Tuesday, March 26, 2013
The Lafayette Housing Authority, which has been under federal control for two years, has been ordered to repay $2.9 million in mismanaged funds. An investigation by the U.S. Office of Inspector General concluded that LHA had violated U.S. Housing and Urban Development procurement requirements and paid for unreasonable and unnecessary contract work. According to the OIG report, a copy of which was obtained by The Daily Advertiser, seven contractors were overpaid more than $350,000 and some employees at the federal Disaster Housing Assistance Program were paid excessive salaries or were paid without executed contracts. HUD took over the Lafayette Housing Authority in March 2011 following more than six months of upheaval that started when an independent 2008-2009 audit revealed mismanagement and possible fraud in connection with contracts and spending.
AN AMENDMENT BY SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU TO FUND VETERAN’S AFFAIRS CLINICS IN LAKE CHARLES AND LAFAYETTE WAS PART OF A THREE-POINT-7 TRILLION DOLLAR BUDGET APPROVED BY THE U-S SENATE ON SATURDAY. A STAFFER FOR LANDRIEU TOLD THE AMERICAN PRESS THAT THE AMENDMENT ALLOWS FOR THE BILL TO BE ONE OF THE FIRST VEHICLES THAT GOES OUT OF COMMITTEE AND TO THE FLOOR FOR VETERAN’S LEGISLATION. LANDRIEU BLAMES A “BUREAUCRATIC BOTTLENECK” AT THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE FOR CAUSING A DELAY IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW CLINICS. THE BILL WOULD AUTHORIZE FUNDING FOR THE TWO CLINICS IN THE 2013 AND 2014 FISCAL YEARS.
STATE TROOPERS HAVE IDENTIFIED A PEDESTRIAN KILLED EARLY SUNDAY MORNING WHILE WALKING ALONG AN I-49 SERVICE ROAD NORTH OF SUNSET. HE IS 28-YEAR-OLD JEROME WOODLEY OF OPELOUSAS WHO WAS HIT FROM BEHIND BY A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY 59-YEAR-OLD GUILLIAM LEGER OF OPELOUSAS. STATE POLICE SAY WOODLEY WAS WEARING DARK CLOTHING AND WALKING IN THE ROAD. LEGER WAS NOT CITED BUT THE ACCIDENT REMAINS UNDER INVESTIGATION.
Six Republican lawmakers say Gov. Bobby Jindal is trying to pressure the Board of Regents to fire the state's top higher education leader. Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell has been at odds with the GOP governor over the depth of budget cuts to colleges and what that slashing means. Reps. Brett Geymann, Cameron Henry, Lance Harris, Jim Morris, Rogers Pope and John Schroder issued a statement Monday condemning what they called an attempt "to politically influence" the Regents. Asked if the administration was trying to get Purcell fired, Jindal spokesman Sean Lansing said, "We think he's done a poor job, but that is up to the Board of Regents."
LAFAYETTE PARISH SUPERINTENDENT PAT COOPER SAYS A 2010 FACILITIES MASTER PLAN CANNOT BE RELIED ON TO BE A ROAD MAP FOR THE DISTRICT. COOPER TOLD THE DISTRICT’S COMMUNITY EDUCATION PLAN COMMITTEE YESTERDAY THAT THERE ARE GOOD THINGS IN THE PLAN BUT IT WAS NOT DESIGNED WITH THE DISTRICT’S EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS IN MIND. COOPER SAYS HIS SIX YEAR TURNAROUND PLAN WAS BASED ON RESEARCH AND THE BUILDING PROGRAMS WERE DESIGNED AROUND WHAT THE DISTRICT NEEDS. THE COMMITTEE IS LOOKING AT WAYS TO FUND THE FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS THAT ARE PART OF THE TURNAROUND PLAN.
THE LAKE CHARLES POLICE DEPARTMENT IS NEEDING MORE POLICE OFFICERS AND THEY ARE PLANNING A RECRUITMENT DAY FOR THIS SATURDAY MORNING AT EIGHT AT THE CONTRABAND ROOM IN THE LAKE CHARLES CIVIC CENTER. THE DEPARTMENT IS DOWN EIGHT OFFICERS BECAUSE OF RETIREMENTS AND PROMOTIONS. CORPORAL LARRY MOSS SAYS THEY ARE LOOKING FOR MOTIVATED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE EASY TO TRAIN AND THAT REALLY WANT TO DO THE JOB. APPLICANTS MUST BE U-S CITIZENS, AT LEAST 21-YEARS-OLD, AND HAVE A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA OR G-E-D.
IBERIA PARISH SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES ARE INVESTIGATING AN ARMED ROBBERY THAT HAPPENED AROUND NINE O’CLOCK LAST NIGHT AT 618 WEST ADMIRAL DOYLE IN NEW IBERIA.
A government watchdog group says Gov. Bobby Jindal's tax plan should include a "margin of error" factor so the state doesn't end up facing new budget shortfalls. The Council for A Better Louisiana also suggests that if lawmakers agree to the tax system revamp, it should be phased in over time rather than take effect all at once.
Jindal wants to eliminate state income taxes for individuals and businesses. In exchange, he wants to raise state sales taxes and tobacco taxes, to charge sales taxes on an array of new items and to scrap some existing tax breaks.