Friday, December 14, 2012
THERE WILL BE TESTING FOR TUBERCULOSIS AT TWO MORE LAFAYETTE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY. ABOUT 200 STUDENTS AND STAFF MEMBERS AT LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL WILL BE TESTED FOR THE DISEASE BECAUSE OF A SUSPECTED CASE THERE. AN INVESTIGATION BY THE LOUISIANA OFFICE OF PUBLIC HEALTH INTO WHO THAT PERSON HAD CONTACT WITH LED THEM TO TRUMAN MONTESSORI AND ALICE BOUCHER ELEMENTARY. REGIONAL MEDICAL DIRECTOR DR. TINA STEFANSKI SAYS THEY ARE NOT SURE YET HOW MANY STUDENTS AT THE OTHER TWO SCHOOLS WILL BE TESTED BUT IT’S NOT LIKELY TO BE AS MANY AS AT LAFAYETTE HIGH.
DR. STEFANSKI SAYS THE LAFAYETTE CASE POSES NO THREAT TO THE LAKE CHARLES AREA. TUBERCULOSIS CAN BE SPREAD TO ANOTHER PERSON IF THEY SHARE THE SAME SPACE WITH AN INFECTED PERSON FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME. SHE SAYS THE SUSPECTED CASE AT LAFAYETTE HIGH HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED YET. DR. STEFANSKI SAYS THERE WERE NINE CASES OF T-B IN THE LAKE CHARLES REGION IN 2011 AND 17 ACTIVE CASES IN ACADIANA.
ACADIA PARISH SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES ARE INVESTIGATING A HOMOCIDE.
A federal judge has approved a $525 million settlement between BP and the Securities and Exchange Commission over statements the company made during the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In documents signed Monday, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier approved the deal, which was tied to BP claims about the volume of oil spewing from its busted Macondo well. The settlement was announced in November along with a separate but related deal to resolve criminal charges stemming from the April 2010 explosion of the rig Deepwater Horizon off the Louisiana coast. The SEC had accused BP of misleading investors by lowballing the amount of crude that was spilling from the well.
THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE CURRENTLY COMPLIES WITH FEDERAL AIR POLLUTION STANDARDS BUT THAT MAY NOT BE THE CASE FOR LONG. MICHAEL VINCE OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY’S AIR QUALITY ASSESSMENT DIVISION SAYS THE E-P-A IS CONSIDERING TOUGHENING THE STANDARDS WHICH COULD PUT LAFAYETTE IN THE NON-ATTAINMENT CATEGORY. HE URGED LOCAL OFFICIALS TO BEGIN NOW MAKING EFFORTS TO DECREASE THE POLLUTION BEFORE THEY ARE FORCED TO BY FEDERAL REGULATORS. HE OFFERED SEVERAL IDEAS INCLUDING ENCOURAGING CARPOOLING AND ALLOWING RESIDENTS TO TRADE IN OLD GAS POWER LAWN MOWERS FOR MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY ONES.
THE LAKE CHARLES CITY COUNCIL IS IN THE FINAL STAGES OF WORKING OUT AN AGREEMENT FOR MARDI GRAS BOARDWALK TO PURCHASE THE OLD HARRAH’S PROPERTY AND THE PARKING GARAGE. COUNCILMAN STUART WEATHERFORD SAYS THE PROCESS IS TAKING A LITTLE LONGER BECAUSE IT’S NOT A NORMAL REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION. HE SAYS CONSTRUCTION ON THE NEW DEVELOPMENT IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN WITHIN 18 MONTHS. HE SAYS MARDI GRAS BOARDWALK WILL BE GIVEN DEADLINES TO BEGIN AND COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION AND WHEN THEY’LL BE OPEN.
BY A 13-TO-3 VOTE, THE IBERIA PARISH COUNCIL TURNED DOWN THE NOMINATION OF RICKY VERRET (ver EHT) FOR CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER. THE POSITION HAS BEEN VACANT SINCE THE RESIGNATION OF JOEL DUGAS IN JUNE. SOME COUNCIL MEMBERS FEEL IT’S MORE IMPORTANT TO FILL THE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER POSITION SINCE KIM SEGURA RESIGNED IN SEPTEMBER. PARISH PRESIDENT ERROL ROMO ROMERO SAYS THE ONGOING RIFT BETWEEN HIM AND THE COUNCIL HAS KEPT ANY QUALIFIED CANDIDATE FROM APPLYING FOR THE POSITION.
Louisiana's budget picture has grown bleaker. The state's revenue forecasting panel dropped income estimates by $129 million, creating a midyear deficit. Gov. Bobby Jindal's chief budget adviser, Kristy Nichols, says she will present a plan for cuts to lawmakers Friday, to rebalance the budget. Most vulnerable to slashing are public colleges and health care services. Next year's budget forecast also worsened, with the panel dropping income estimates $207 million, leaving lawmakers with a nearly $1.2 billion budget gap to close in the fiscal year that begins July 1.