Thursday, October 10, 2013
Six students arrested after a Sept. 23 disturbance at Opelousas High School will begin serving a month in the Opelousas jail Thursday. KATC-TV reports that Judge Vanessa Harris dropped charges against two students, saying they had tried to break up the fight. The six students — four 17-year-olds and two 18-year-olds — will serve one month in jail and two years on probation. They were banned from making contact with victims of the brawl.
THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY SAYS FOUR LAKE AREA PETROCHEMICAL COMPANIES HAVE AGREED TO FUND THE CLEANUP OF MORE THAN 700 ACRES AT BAYOU D’INDE (DIN). CITGO, AXIALL, OCCIDENTAL CHEMICAL AND OXY USA AGREED TO PAY FOR THE CLEANUP BECAUSE IT WAS DETERMINED CHEMICALS FROM THEIR PLANTS RESULTED IN THE POLLUTION IN THE BAYOU. FIRESTONE AND WESTLAKE POLYMERS, WHO WERE ALSO FOUND TO BE PARTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE POLLUTION IN THE BAYOU BY THE D-E-Q, DISAGREED, AND WILL NOT PARTICIPATE. TOM HARRIS, A D-E-Q ADMINISTRATOR SAYS THE LOUISIANA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT ALLOWS COMPANIES PARTICIPATING WITH THE GOVERNMENT TO SUE NON-PARTICIPATING COMPANIES FOR WHAT THEY CONSIDER WOULD HAVE BEEN THEIR PERCENTAGE OF THE COSTS.
THE LEMOINE COMPANY HAD A TOPPING OUT CEREMONY YESTERDAY TO CELEBRATE THE COMPLETION OF THE FRAME FOR THE 53 MILLION DOLLAR EXPANSION AND RENOVATION OF LAFAYETTE GENERAL MEDICAL CENTER. THE PROJECT INCLUDES THE CONSTRUCTION OF A 343 SPACE PARKING GARAGE AND THE EXPANSION OF THE EMERGENCY ROOM AND SURGICAL AREA. THE PARKING GARAGE IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED BY APRIL. THE NEW EMERGENCY AND OPERATING ROOMS ARE SCHEDULED TO BE FINISHED BY LATE SUMMER.
Insurance companies say they're seeing an uptick in the trickle of people in Louisiana signing up for health insurance plans through the federally-run marketplace. But people are still having trouble accessing the website, and the numbers of insurance enrollees in the state remain low. Vantage Health Plan is one of four insurance companies offering plans to Louisiana residents through the marketplace. Vantage spokesman Billy Justice says 12 people have purchased a plan through the marketplace so far.
AN IBERIA PARISH SHERIFF’S DEPUTY, CAPTURED ON VIDEO SMACKING A HANDCUFFED MAN WITH A NIGHT STICK AND BODY SLAMMING A TEENAGE GIRL, HAS BEEN FIRED. JULIE DARCY HAS MORE.
THE NEW WEST CAL ARENA IN SULPHUR IS ON SCHEDULE TO OPEN IN JUNE OF NEXT YEAR, ACCORDING TO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ADRIAN MORENO. HE TELLS K-P-L-C T-V THAT THEY’VE ALREADY BEGUN BOOKING EVENTS BEGINNING IN JULY. THE TEN MILLION DOLLAR FACILITY WILL HAVE 60 THOUSAND SQUARE FEET OF ACTIVITY SPACE AND MORENO SAYS THEY WILL BE ABLE TO HOST EVENTS OF VARYING SIZES. ONCE THE NEW ARENA IS OPENED, MORENO SAYS THE OLD FACILITY WILL STILL BE USED FOR EVENTS THAT CATER TO OUTDOOR VENUES.
THE NATIONAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS INSTITUTE AT U-L LAFAYETTE HAS RECEIVED A ONE-POINT-3 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT TO DEVELOP A TOOL THAT WILL DETERMINE THE LEVEL OF RISK A PROPERTY HAS FOR FLOODING OR OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS. THE GRANT COMES FROM THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS. THE INSTITUTE’S DIRECTOR RAMESH KOLLURU SAYS THEY WANT TO DEVELOP THE TECHNOLOGY SO THAT ANYONE LOOKING TO BUILD ON A PROPERTY CAN FIND OUT THE RISK OF A NATURAL DISASTER IN THAT AREA ON A SCALE OF ONE TO TEN. HE TELLS THE ADVOCATE THAT THE RESEARCH IS DESIGNED TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT WAYS TO REDUCE THE RISKS OF PROPERTY DAMAGE
A group of higher education leaders is starting Louisiana's latest study on the tuition rates charged at the state's public colleges and universities. The Tuition Task Force was created by lawmakers earlier this year in a resolution by Carencro Rep. Stephen Ortego. The task force holds its first meeting Thursday. The study panel was asked to look at: the impact of increased tuition rates on the state's free college tuition program called TOPS; strategies for increasing college access and affordability; and new ways of charging tuition to generate additional money for campuses.