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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013





LAFAYETTE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER TEHMI CHAISSON HAS SUBMITTED A REQUEST THAT THE BOARD ELIMINATE FUNDING FOR AN ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT POSITION HELD CURRENTLY BY THAD WELCH. SUPERINTENDENT PAT COOPER HIRED WELCH LAST YEAR FOR A NEWLY CREATED POSITION OF ADVISOR OVERSEEING TRANSPORTATION, FACILITIES, MAINTENANCE AND GROUNDS. IT WAS LATER DISCOVERED THAT WELCH DOES NOT HAVE A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA, BUT COOPER SAID AFTER THE FEBRUARY SIXTH MEETING THAT WELCH IS QUALIFIED AND HE HAD NO PLANS TO FIRE HIM. LAST YEAR, THE STATE LEGISLATURE GAVE SUPERINTENDENTS HIRING AND FIRING POWERS, BUT THE SCHOOL BOARD RETAINED AUTHORITY OVER BUDGETS.





THE BOOKER T. WASHINGTON HOUSING COMPLEX, ONE OF THE OLDEST IN LAKE CHARLES, HAS BEEN TORN DOWN TO MAKE WAY FOR A NEW RESIDENTIAL FACILITY. THE OLD COMPLEX HAD 72 UNITS, BUT THE NEW ONE WILL HAVE 102 RESIDENCES. LAKE CHARLES HOUSING AUTHORITY DIRECTOR BEN TAYLOR SAYS THE COMPLEX FOR LOW INCOME RESIDENTS WILL HAVE DUPLEXES AS WELL AS A COMMUNITY CENTER AND SECURITY MEASURES. TAYLOR SAYS THE NEW BOOKER T. WASHINGTON WILL BE READY FOR OCCUPANCY BY THE END OF THE YEAR.





THE OPELOUSAS BOARD OF ALDERMEN UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A RESOLUTION URGING THE ST. LANDRY PARISH SCHOOL BOARD TO IMPLEMENT AGGRESSIVE REFORMS TO TURN AROUND FAILING SCHOOLS. FIVE SCHOOLS WITHIN OPELOUSAS RECEIVED AN F ON 2012 STATE TESTS INCLUDING CRESSWELL ELEMENTARY WHICH, NEXT YEAR, IS BEING TAKEN OVER BY THE STATE AND TURNED INTO A CHARTER SCHOOL. MAYOR DONALD CRAVINS WARNED THAT IF THE SCHOOL BOARD DOES NOT TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION, CITY OFFICIALS WILL GO TO THE STATE TO ASK FOR A CHARTER SYSTEM OR ALLOW THEM TO CREATE AN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR THE CITY. CRAVINS SAYS THE RESOLUTION ADVISES THE SCHOOL SYSTEM TO GET ITS HOUSE IN ORDER.





GOVERNOR JINDAL HAS ASKED THE WHITE HOUSE TO DECLARE A DISASTER DECLARATION FOR AREAS OF THE STATE THAT SUFFERED FROM JANUARY FLOODING, JEFF DAVIS PARISH IS ALSO ON THE LIST.





THE LAFAYETTE CITY PARISH COUNCIL MET YESTERDAY WITH OTHER TAXING AUTHORITIES IN THE PARISH TO DISCUSS WAYS TO GENERATE MORE REVENUES. CITY PARISH PRESIDENT JOEY DUREL SAYS A BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE IS BEING APPOINTED TO DRAFT A PLAN THAT WOULD GENERATE ENOUGH MONEY TO COVER MUNICIPAL SERVICES THAT RESIDENTS CONSIDER IMPORTANT. HE SAYS THE COMMITTEE WILL ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF THE CONSOLIDATED GOVERNMENT BUT TAKE INPUT FROM OTHER TAXING ENTITIES SO THEY ARE NOT COMPETING FOR THE SAME DOLLARS. LOCAL BUSINESSMAN JEREMIAH SUPPLE SAYS THE COMMITTEE IS A GREAT IDEA, BUT HE ASKED DUREL AND THE COUNCIL TO CONSIDER APPOINTING PEOPLE WHO DONíT ALWAYS AGREE WITH LOCAL LEADERS.





STATE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING A FATAL CRASH ON I-TEN LAST NIGHT AT MILE MARKER 53, NEAR THE WELSH EXIT. 25-YEAR-OLD TRESSA HOFFPAUIR WAS TRAVELING WEST ON THE INTERSTATE WHEN SHE DROVE ONTO THE SHOULDER AND THEN ABRUPTLY TURNED BACK INTO THE RIGHT WEST BOUND LANE. SHE PULLED INTO THE PATH OF AN 18-WHEELER THAT STRUCK THE CAR ON THE DRIVERíS SIDE. HOFFPAUIER, WHO WASNíT WEARING A SEAT BELT, WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT AN AREA HOSPITAL, WHILE TWO PASSENGERS IN HER VEHICLE SUFFERED MODERATE INJURIES.





THE CHURCH POINT POLICE ARE ASKING THE PUBLICíS HELP IN LOCATING A MURDER SUSPECT. 29-YEAR-OLD JOHN TIMOTHY DUANE GUIDRY IS WANTED FOR SECOND DEGREE MURDER FOR AN ALLEGED HOMOCIDE THAT OCCURRED ON NOVEMBER THIRD. GUIDRY IS DESCRIBED AS A BLACK MALE, FIVE-NINE, 150 POUNDS, WITH SHORT BLACK HAIR AND CLEANSHAVEN. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ON HIS LOCATION SHOULD CALL THE TIPS LINE AT 789-TIPS.





The Allen Parish School Board has agreed to pursue placing specially trained law enforcement officers on all public school campuses. Sheriff Doug Hebert III presented plans Monday to place school resource officers on all 11 campuses for the safety and security of children. Hebert tells the American Press schools are an easy target for violence. Officials are eyeing a 10-year, 6- to 8-mill millage to provide officers for each school.



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