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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Thursday, March 07, 2013





Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge has been given a $1 million federal recovery grant to build a fish lab complex to replace facilities destroyed by Hurricane Rita in 2005.

The American Press reports the money, received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will go toward the total $3.7 million cost of the 5,460-square-foot lab. Refuge program manager Tom Hess says the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries also will fund the project. Construction could begin in 2014.





AN ASSISTANT TO THE LAFAYETTE PARISH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT IS WORKING TO GET HIS G-E-D DIPLOMA. THE SCHOOL BOARD LAST YEAR APPROVED THE HIRING OF THAD WELCH, BUT DID NOT KNOW HE DIDN’T HAVE A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA, EVEN THOUGH THE JOB DESCRIPTION REQUIRED AT LEAST THAT MUCH EDUCATION. SUPERINTENDENT PAT COOPER SAYS WELCH WAS HIRED BECAUSE HE HAS 17 YEARS OF SUPERVISORY EXPERIENCE AND OUTSCORED THE OTHER APPLICANTS FOR THE POSITION. HE SAYS WELCH HAS SAVED THE DISTRICT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON POTENTIAL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS SINCE HIS HIRING.





BRANDON LAVERGNE OF CHURCH POINT, THE CONFESSED KILLER OF MICKEY SHUNICK OF LAFAYETTE AND LISA PATE OF LAFAYETTE PARISH, HAS BEGUN A HUNGER STRIKE AT THE LOUISIANA STATE PENITENTIARY. LAVERGNE PLED GUILTY TO THE MURDERS LAST AUGUST BUT HAS RECENTLY BEGUN AN EFFORT TO GET THEM THROWN OUT. LAVERGNE SAYS IN COURT DOCUMENTS THAT HE BEGAN THE HUNGER STRIKE ON SUNDAY AS A NONVIOLENT PROTEST AGAINST HIS TREATMENT AT THE LOUISIANA STATE PENITENTIARY. HE SAYS HE’S BEEN KEPT IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, AND BEEN DENIED ACCESS TO THE LAW LIBRARY AND TO A MEDICAL DEVICE THAT HELPS HIM BREATHE WHILE SLEEPING.





A retired BP employee who supervised drilling operations on the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico says he never felt pressure to sacrifice safety to save money, even though the project was behind schedule and over budget. Former BP PLC well site leader Ronnie Sepulvado testified Wednesday at a federal trial designed to assign fault for the deadly disaster to the companies involved in drilling BP's Macondo well. Sepulvado left the Deepwater Horizon rig four days before the April 2010 well blowout. Sepulvado says he doesn't believe in "pushing people to keep schedules" and never asked rig workers to cut corners.





Dry weather in southwest Louisiana is increasing the danger of wildfires, state agriculture officials say. KPLC reports Calcasieu, Vernon, Allen, Jeff Davis and Acadia parishes are classed as in "very high" danger. A "medium" danger exists in Beauregard Parish, authorities say. Conditions favor quick spreading of any fire that starts, authorities say.





OFFICIALS WITH THE LAFAYETTE PARISH SCHOOL SYSTEM HAVE CREATED A WISH LIST OF 275 MILLION DOLLARS IN FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE DISTRICT. NEXT WEEK A 30 MEMBER COMMITTEE COMPRISED OF PARENTS, EDUCATORS AND COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS, WILL BEGIN LOOKING AT WAYS TO FUND THE PROJECTS. INCLUDED ON THE LIST IS FOUR NEW SCHOOLS…A PRE-K-TO--EIGHTH GRADE SCHOOL FOR NORTH LAFAYETTE, A NEW HIGH SCHOOL, A NEW ELEMENTARY MIDDLE SCHOOOL FOR SOUTH LAFAYETTE PARISH, AND A WORLD LANGUAGE HIGH SCHOOL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE. THE PROJECTED COSTS OF THOSE FOUR SCHOOLS IS 105 MILLION DOLLARS.





THE STATE’S THIRD CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS THREW OUT A STATE DISTRICT JUDGE’S RULING THAT THE CITY OF HENDERSON ILLEGALLY ANNEXED 46 ACRES AT THE I-TEN EXIT WEST OF TOWN. THE PROPERTY IN QUESTION INCLUDES RESTAURANTS, TRUCK STOP CASINOS AND GAS STATIONS WHICH WOULD RESULT IN ADDITIONAL TAX REVENUE FOR HENDERSON. BUSINESSES IN THAT AREA FILED A LAWSUIT TO PREVENT THE ANNEXATION, SAYING IT WAS SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF GENERATING MORE TAX REVENUE. THE APPEALS COURT’S RULING ALLOWS THE ATTORNEYS FOR HENDERSON TO ARGUE AT TRIAL THAT THE ANNEXATION IS LEGAL.





WHERE’S THE BEST PLACE TO FISH FOR BASS IN LOUISIANA? YOU’LL SOON BE ABLE TO FIND OUT ALL THANKS TO THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES.



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