Friday, September 20, 2013
Police in Pocahontas, Arkansas say a body found in the city is that of a missing carnival worker from Louisiana. Pocahontas Police Chief Cecil Tackett said Thursday the body was identified as that of 26-year-old Mathew St. Amant (ah-MAHNT) of Church Point. The chief says the Arkansas State Crime Lab made the identification through fingerprints. Jonesboro television station KAIT reports St. Amant was reported missing by a relative and that his fair group also hadn't seen him for a time.
CITGO HAS AGREED TO PAY A FINE OF 737 THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE CLEAN AIR ACT AT THEIR LAKE CHARLES AND LEMONT, ILLINOIS REFINERIES. AT THE LAKE CHARLES REFINERY, THEY EXCEEDED THEIR AVERAGE ANNUAL EMISSIONS FOR MOBILE AIR TOXINS, INCLUDING BENZENE, WHICH THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY HAS LINKED TO LEUKEMIA. AS PART OF THE SETTLEMENT, CITGO HAS AGREED TO INSTALL CARBON ABSORPTION SYSTEMS ON TWO FUEL STORAGE TANKS. ROBERT DREHER, ACTING ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL WITH THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENTíS ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES DIVISION, SAYS THE SETTLEMENT REQUIRES PROJECTS THAT WILL SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE HARMFUL AIR POLLUTION.
THE MAYORS OF BROUSSARD AND YOUNGSVILLE EXPRESSED DISAPPOINTMENT IN THE LAFAYETTE PARISH SCHOOL BOARDíS DECISION WEDNESDAY TO REJECT APPLICATIONS FOR NEW CHARTER SCHOOLS. SUPERINTENDENT PAT COOPER SENT AN EMAIL TO THE MAYORS SAYING HE IS CONFIDENT THE STATE BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION WILL APPROVE THE APPLICATIONS FOR TYPE TWO CHARTER SCHOOLS. HE TOLD THEM HE BELIEVES THAT THERE WILL BE TWO NEW SCHOOLS IN THEIR AREA BY THIS TIME NEXT YEAR. IF THE APPLICATIONS ARE REJECTED BY THE STATE, MAYOR WILSON VIATOR OF YOUNGSVILLE AND CHARLES LANGLINAIS OF BROUSSARD SAY THEY WILL CONSIDER OTHER OPTIONS, INCLUDING THE CREATION OF A SEPARATE SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR THEIR TWO CITIES.
A Monroe judge has refused to let the state intervene in a teacher's lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Gov. Bobby Jindal's teacher tenure revamp.
Judge Benjamin Jones ruled Thursday that the state couldn't become a party to the lawsuit filed against Monroe City Schools. In August, Jones declared as unconstitutional part of the 2012 law that made it tougher to reach tenure and changed dismissal procedures. After his ruling, the state sought to intervene in the lawsuit, filed by DeAnne Williams, a Monroe teacher facing possible dismissal.
OPELOUSAS POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR TWO MEN WHO APPEARED TO BE RACING THEIR HORSES DOWN UNION STREET, ULTIMATELY CRASHING INTO A VAN. JULIE DARCY HAS MORE.
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THEREíS BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF D-W-I CASES IN CALCASIEU PARISH , INCLUDING FELONY D-W-IíS WHICH INVOLVED A THIRD OR FOURTH OFFENSE, ACCORDING TO DISTRICT ATTORNEY JOHN DEROSIER. HE SAYS THERE WAS A MOVE IN THE PAST DECADE OR MORE AWAY FROM LONG JAIL TERMS TO ENROLLING OFFENDERS IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROGRAMS, WHICH HAS NOT BEEN ENTIRELY EFFECTIVE. DEROSIER TELLS K-P-L-C T-V THAT HE PROPOSES INCREASING THE MANDATORY MINIMUM JAIL TIME ALONG WITH ENFORCING SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT. HE SAYS EVENTUALLY THEY WILL GET TO THE RIGHT MIX OF REHABILITATION AND PUNISHMENT, WHICH WILL LEAD MORE DRIVERS TO REALIZE ITS NOT WORTH IT TO GET BEHIND THE WHEEL WHILE INTOXICATED.
COLLECTIONS FROM A HALF CENT SALES TAX DEDICATED TO TEACHER PAY AND SUPPORT TOTALED ABOUT 26 MILLION DOLLARS DURING THE LAST FISCAL YEAR. AS A RESULT THE FUND NOW HAS SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS IN RESERVES. A BLUE RIBBON PANEL OF SCHOOL SYSTEM EMPLOYEES AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS AGREED TO RECOMMEND THAT THE SCHOOL BOARD DISTRIBUTE THAT SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS TO ALL ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES. IF THE SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES, THAT MEANS MORE THAN 24-HUNDRED SCHOOL EMPLOYEES WOULD RECEIVE AN EXTRA PAYCHECK NEXT MONTH OF AROUND 22-HUNDRED DOLLARS.
Officials with the Louisiana Tax Commission say they are doing their best to make sure parish tax assessors are accurately setting property taxes. But they didn't say whether the commission is redesigning its review processes to address concerns raised in an audit. Charles Abels, administrator for the commission, says the office is doing everything it can within its $3.8 million budget to make sure "people aren't paying more than their fair share." Abels spoke at a legislative hearing Thursday, responding to an audit that said the commission regularly approved changes that assessors made to tax bills without checking the accuracy of those changes.