Friday, July 12, 2013
FIVE NEWLY HIRED LAFAYETTE PARISH SCHOOL PRINCIPALS ARE BEING PAID ON A 244 DAY WORK SCHEDULE, AND THAT HAS SOME SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS AND OTHER PRINCIPALS UPSET. THE DISTRICT GUIDELINES CALL FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS TO BE PAID ON A 203 DAY SCHEDULE, MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPALS HAVE A 213 DAY SCHEDULE AND HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPALS GET PAID ON A 224 DAY SCHEDULE. BOARD MEMBER TEHMI CHAISSON SAYS HE’S UPSET THAT SUPERINTENDENT PAT COOPER HAS NOT FOLLOWED THE SALARY SCHEDULE IN HIRING THE NEW PRINCIPALS AND HAS PLACED AN ITEM ON THE JULY 17TH MEETING AGENDA TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE FURTHER. COOPER SAYS HE HAS THE RIGHT UNDER STATE LAW TO SET PRINCIPAL SCHEDULES AND HE NEEDED TO OFFER MORE MONEY TO ATTRACT THE BEST CANDIDATES TO POORLY PERFORMING SCHOOLS.
AN AGREEMENT BY THREE GOVERNING BODIES IN CALCASIEU PARISH TO SPLIT A PROPERTY BILL FOR THE BUILDING OF AN EDUCATIONAL BUILDING ACROSS FROM SOWELA TECHNICAL COLLEGE WILL HAVE TO BE CHANGED BECAUSE THE PROJECT IS GETTING 20 MILLION DOLLARS IN STATE GRANTS. RANDY ROBB OF THE CHENNAULT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY SAYS CHENNAULT, THE CALCASIEU PARISH POLICE JURY AND THE LAKE CHARLES CITY GOVERNMENT WILL HAVE TO PAY THREE PERCENT OF THE PROPERTY’S VALUE, OR AROUND 17 THOUSAND DOLLARS, TO THE SELLER. ROBB TELLS THE AMERICAN PRESS THAT THE FRUSTRATING THING ABOUT THE DELAY IS HOW IT AFFECTS RESIDENTS IN THE CHENNAULT MOBILE VILLAGE TRAILER PARK, WHO WILL BE RELOCATED. ROBB SAYS ONCE THE PURCHASE GOES THROUGH, THE STATE WILL CONDUCT AN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY THAT WILL TAKE 90 DAYS AND THEN THE STATE HAS 90 DAYS TO RELOCATE THE TRAILERS.
THE ST. LANDRY PARISH SCHOOL BOARD VOTED 7-TO-3 TO APPOINT FALTERY JOLIVETTE AS AN INTERIM SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER FOR DISTRICT THREE. HE REPLACES JOHN MILLER WHO RESIGNED AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO A FEDERAL BRIBERY CHARGE. JOLIVETTE THANKED THE BOARD AND SAID HE PLANS TO SERVE THE DISTRICT WITH INTEGRITY AND HONESTY. BOARD ATTORNEY GERARD CASWELL SAYS QUALIFYING FOR MILLER’S SEAT WILL BEGIN ON AUGUST 14TH.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu has introduced a bill to forbid the federal government from withholding money from programs whose participants engage in voluntary religious activity. The Louisiana Democrat introduced the Freedom to Pray Act on Thursday. Landrieu says she has been working on it since a constituent told her in 2012 that the Young Marines program in Bossier Parish might lose federal money because of voluntary prayer and references to God. Young Marines describes itself as a private service program for boys and girls.
A NATIVE JORDANIAN WHO WAS ACCUSED OF DEALING SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA HAS REACHED A PLEA DEAL WITH THE LAFAYETTE PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE. EMAD EDIN YOUSEF ABDALLAH PLEADED GUILTY TO ONE COUNT OF RACKETEERING IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF SYNTHETIC DRUGS AND, TO STAY OUT OF JAIL, HE AGREED TO GIVE UP 350 THOUSAND DOLLARS IN CASH AND A LUXURY AUTOMOBILE. ABDALLAH ALSO WILL RETURN TO THE MIDDLE EAST AND AGREED TO NEVER RETURN TO THE U-S. HE ALSO WILL TESTIFY AGAINST HIS EX-WIFE, WHO IS ACCUSED OF MARRYING TO GET AROUND U-S IMMIGRATION LAWS.
A MULTI-AGENCY ANTI-DRUG TEAM KNOWN AS CAT HAS BUSTED A MAJOR CRYSTAL METH DRUG OPERATION IN THE VINTON STARKS AREA. ON MONDAY, CAT SERVED ELEVEN SEARCH WARRANTS AND MADE 18 ARRESTS. AUTHORITIES BELIEVE THAT MANY OF THE PEOPLE WHO OPERATED THREE ACTIVE METH LABS WERE ILLEGAL ALIENS FROM MEXICO AND SEVERAL OF THE SUSPECTS HAD TIES TO THE HORSE RACING INDUSTRY. THE INVESTIGATION, KNOWN AS OPERATION HAVANA SPEED, BEGAN A YEAR-AND-A-HALF AGO BECAUSE OF AN INFLUX OF CRYSTAL METH INTO SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA.
THE EUNICE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS INVESTIGATING A HIT-AND-RUN INVOLVING A FOUR-YEAR-OLD GIRL. JULIE DARCY HAS THE DETAILS.
A super PAC that is supporting U.S. Sen. David Vitter has raised more than $750,000 that could support either Vitter's re-election bid or a possible gubernatorial campaign. Charlie Spies (speez), treasurer for The Fund for Louisiana's Future, said Thursday that the pro-Vitter political action committee will report its fundraising to federal elections officials on Friday. He says the $750,000 raised comes from more than 150 donors and will be spent to independently advocate for Vitter in either the 2015 governor's race or the 2016 Senate race. Vitter hasn't said whether he intends to run for governor, but Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is term-limited, prompting speculation the senator might be a candidate.