Tuesday, April 30, 2013
A sharply divided Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal from a Louisiana man who claimed that most of a seven-year delay between his arrest and murder trial was the result of a breakdown in the state's system for paying defense lawyers in death penalty cases. The court's conservative justices prevailed in a 5-4 vote Monday to say they should never have taken the case of Jonathan Edward Boyer, who eventually was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole. Boyer was convicted for the murder of a driver who authorities say picked up Boyer and his brother in Sulphur. The outcome leaves his conviction and sentence in place.
CLOSING ARGUMENTS ARE EXPECTED TODAY IN THE MURDER TRIAL OF DANIEL HARMON OF LAFAYETTE. YESTERDAY A CONVICTED FELON, MICHAEL DICKERSON, WHO LIVED IN THE MARIGNY APARTMENTS WHEN THE MURDER OF CHRISTINE MARIE WOOD HAPPENED, TESTIFIED THAT ANOTHER MAN CONFESSED TO KILLING HER. THE DEFENSE ALSO BROUGHT TO THE STAND DICKERSON’S 14-YEAR-OLD GIRLFRIEND AT THE TIME, WHO TOLD THE JURY THAT DICKERSON CONFESSED TO HER THAT HE HAD KILLED WOOD. HARMON IS STANDING TRIAL FOR THE MURDER BECAUSE OF D-N-A EVIDENCE THAT LINKS HIM TO THE CRIME.
ST. MARY PARISH SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES RESPONDED TO A REPORT OF GUNSHOTS FIRED ON COLUMBUS AVENUE IN BAYOU VISTA AROUND ONE YESTERDAY MORNING.
The House budget-writing committee stripped nearly $500 million in patchwork financing proposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal from next year's $24 billion budget. The move would mean steep cuts on health care and colleges. But the proposed cuts approved Monday by the Appropriations Committee aren't necessarily expected to last in the 2013-14 budget. Appropriations Chairman Jim Fannin expects the Senate to reverse some proposed cuts when it gets the bill.
THE LAKE CHARLES CITY GOVERNMENT HAS GRANTED AN EXTENSION OF A TEN YEAR TAX EXEMPTION TO AEROFRAME SERVICES, WHICH EMPLOYS AROUND 400 PEOPLE AT THE CHENNAULT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. THE COMPANY ORIGINALLY ASKED FOR ANOTHER TEN YEAR EXTENSION, BUT A COMPROMISE WAS REACHED IN WHICH THE EXEMPTION WILL BE PHASED OUT AFTER FIVE YEARS. SOME HAVE QUESTIONED THE ADVISABILITY OF EXTENDING THE TAX BREAK WHEN THE CITY IS DEALING WITH BUDGET DEFICITS, BUT MAYOR RANDY ROACH SAYS IT IS GOOD BUSINESS. CHENNAULT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RANDY ROBB SAYS THAT AEROFRAME IS STRUGGLING WITH FOREIGN COMPETITION AND NEEDS THE TAX RELIEF IN ORDER TO ATTRACT INVESTORS.
THE F-C-C HAS IMPOSED A 126 THOUSAND DOLLAR FINE ON TAYLOR OILFIELD MANUFACTURING OF BROUSSARD, ONE OF TWO COMPANIES NATIONALLY TO BE FINED FOR HAVING CELL PHONE JAMMERS ON THE PREMISES. COMPANY OFFICIALS ADMITTED TO A FIELD AGENT THAT THEY HAD THE CELL PHONE JAMMERS IN ORDER TO PREVENT CELL PHONE USE BY ITS EMPLOYEES WHILE AT WORK. THEY ATTRIBUTED A RECENT ACCIDENT PARTLY TO AN EMPLOYEE USING A CELL PHONE. BUT THE F-C-C PROHIBITS CELL PHONE JAMMERS BECAUSE OF CONCERNS THAT IT INTERFERES WITH AUTHORIZED COMMUNICATIONS SUCH AS EMERGENCY CALLS.
SALES CLERKS AT THREE CONVENIENCE STORES IN CROWLEY WERE CITED FOR SELLING ALCOHOL TO UNDERAGE PERSONS. POLICE CHIEF K-P GIBSON SAYS THEY CONDUCTED A COMPLIANCE CHECK IN WHICH A PERSON BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 20 TRIED TO PURCHASE ALCOHOL AT 13 STORES. CLERKS AT FATBOYS ON WEST SECOND STREET, KORKY’S ON WESTERN AVENUE AND EXPRESS 90 ON EAST SECOND STREET WERE ISSUED SUMMONS FOR UNLAWFUL SALES TO PERSONS UNDERAGE. GIBSON SAYS THEY WILL PERIODICALLY CONDUCT THESE CHECKS TO PREVENT YOUTH FROM UNLAWFULLY DRINKING AND TO KEEP STORES FROM MAKING UNLAWFUL SALES.
The LSU AgCenter says high prices and record yields for corn and soybeans drove Louisiana's agricultural economy to a record high of $11.4 billion last year. That's about 6.5 percent more than the 2011 amount of $10.7 billion. AgCenter economist John Westra says the only row crop with a higher dollar value than corn and soybeans was sugarcane, which brought in $993 million in 2012. That was down 8 percent from 2011 because of lower sugar prices.