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State News

News For Wednesday 06/06/12


NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 060612
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

INFORMATION IS STILL SKETCHY, BUT ALEXANDRIA POLICE REPORT ONE WOMAN IS DEAD AND ANOTHER IS INJURED AFTER AN INCIDENT TUESDAY AFTER NOON ON BERTIE STREET. POLICE SAY 34 YEAR OLD DERRICK PICKENS OF ALEXANDRIA, TURNED HIMSELF IN EARLY TUESDAY EVENING AND WAS CHARGED WITH FIRST-DEGREE MURDER AND TWO COUNTS OF ATTEMPTED FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN CONNECTION WITH THE INCIDENT. OFFICERS WERE CALLED TO THE HOME AROUND 12:30 YESTERDAY. UPON ARRIVAL OFFICERS FOUND A 33-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WHO HAD SUFFERED A HEAD INJURY. SHE WAS TRANSPORTED TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL, POLICE SAID. FURTHER INTO THE INVESTIGATION, OFFICERS DISCOVERED A DEAD FEMALE IN A NEARBY RESIDENCE. ALEXANDRIA POLICE DETECTIVES AND CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATORS WERE CALLED TO THE SCENE.
DETECTIVES BELIEVE THE TWO INCIDENTS ARE RELATED.

ISIAH TATE, A RESERVE ON THE LOUISIANA COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAM, DIED TUESDAY IN A DROWNING ACCIDENT IN LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN. TATE, A 21-YEAR-OLD SLIDELL NATIVE WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN A JUNIOR WITH THE WILDCATS IN THE FALL, FELL FROM A BOAT IN ROUGH WATERS ABOUT 3:30 YESTERDAY MORNING. SEARCHERS PULLED TATE'S BODY FROM THE LAKE ABOUT 11 HOURS LATER. THE BODY WAS TURNED OVER TO THE PARISH CORONER'S OFFICE TO DETERMINE AN EXACT CAUSE OF DEATH.

PINEVILLE CITY EMPLOYEES WILL RECEIVE A TWO PERCENT RAISE IF THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVES THE BUDGET PROPOSED BY MAYOR CLARENCE FIELDS' ADMINISTRATION.
THE CITY'S PROPOSED BUDGET FOR THE 2012-2013 FISCAL YEAR, WHICH BEGINS JULY 1, WAS MADE PUBLIC TUESDAY AT A FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING. THE CITY HAS 280 EMPLOYEES SPREAD OVER 17 DEPARTMENTS. THE RAISE, WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE ELECTED OFFICIALS, WOULD BE THE FIRST IN TWO YEARS FOR EMPLOYEES.

A MARKSVILLE CITY COUNCILMAN HAS BEEN CITED FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY, AFTER AVOYELLES DEPUTIES FOUND THREE UNDERNOURISHED HORSES ON HIS PROPERTY. NO FEED WAS PRESENT FOR THE ANIMALS AND THEIR PASTURE WAS BARREN. COUNCILMAN ELLIOT JORDAN WAS ARRESTED FOR CRUELTY, PUBLIC INTIMIDATION AND RESISTING AN OFFICER.

IN THE WAKE OF THE RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT THAT THE TIMES PICAYUNE WOULD BE REDUCING DELIVERY SERVICE TO JUST THREE DAYS, A GROUP OF CONCERNED CIVIC AND BUSINESS LEADERS ARE SPEAKING OUT. MEG LOUSTEAU IS DIRECTOR OF A FRENCH QUARTER ADVOCACY GROUP. SHE SAYS THEY BELIEVE THE PAPER'S OWNERS SHOULD SELL IT TO SOMEONE WHO WILL PUBLISH DAILY AND SHE SAY, HER GROUP WILL TRY TO COME UP WITH SOME POTENTIAL BUYERS. LOUSTEAU SAYS THE TIMES PICAYUNE IS AN IMPORTANT RESOURCE FOR SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA. THE TIMES PICAYUNE HAS PUBLISHED DAILY FOR OVER 150 YEARS.

THE FINAL VERSION OF THE BUDGET BILLS ADJUSTING SPENDING PLANS FOR THIS YEAR AND NEXT YEAR CONTAINED CUTS FOR LOUISIANA COLLEGES. THE BOARD OF REGENTS YESTERDAY PROVIDED A PRELIMINARY BREAK-DOWN OF HOW THE STATE GENERAL FUND CUTS WILL BE DIVVIED UP. THE BOARD OF REGENTS WILL SEE A HALF MILLION DOLLAR CUT THIS YEAR AND $5.1 MILLION NEXT YEAR. LOUISIANA COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE SYSTEM; $3.7 MILLION THIS YEAR; $20.5 MILLION NEXT YEAR. LSU SYSTEM: $10.6 MILLION THIS YEAR; $28.1 MILLION NEXT YEAR. THE SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY SYSTEM: $1.5 MILLION THIS YEAR; $6 MILLION NEXT YEAR. FINALLY, THE HARDEST HIT OF ALL, THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA SYSTEM. IT WILL SEE AN $8.6 MILLION CUT THIS YEAR AND A MASSIVE $54 MILLION NEXT YEAR.

LEGAL CHALLENGES ARE STILL EXPECTED AGAINST THE NEWLY CREATED STATEWIDE VOUCHER PROGRAM. LOUISIANA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS PRESIDENT STEVE MONAGHAN SAYS THEY BELIEVE IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL, BECAUSE PRIVATE AND PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS WHO WILL TEACH VOUCHER STUDENTS, WILL RECEIVE STATE DOLLARS FROM A FUND THE CONSTITUTION SAYS SHOULD GO TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS. THERE'S CURRENTLY A VOUCHER PROGRAM IN NEW ORLEANS, WHICH HELPS LOW INCOME FAMILIES SEND THEIR CHILD TO A PRIVATE OR PAROCHIAL SCHOOL. BUT MONAGHAN SAYS THE FUNDING FOR THAT PROGRAM DOES NOT TAKE MONEY AWAY FROM THE STATE'S PUBLIC SCHOOL BUDGET...

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL VETOED A PACKAGE OF BILLS TUESDAY THAT WOULD HAVE TWEAKED THE STATE'S VIDEO POKER LAWS, AFTER THE CONSERVATIVE LOUISIANA FAMILY FORUM ASKED HIM TO SCRAP THE CHANGES. IN A LETTER SENT TO THE GOVERNOR, FAMILY FORUM LEADER GENE MILLS SAID THE BILLS WOULD DEREGULATE THE GAMBLING OPERATIONS AND CALLED THEM A "BAD BET FOR LOUISIANA FAMILIES." JINDAL AGREED, SAYING THEY WOULD WEAKEN GAMBLING SAFEGUARDS.

THE FAMILY OF A LAFAYETTE CO-ED WHO'S BEEN MISSING FOR THREE WEEKS HAS HIRED A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR TO HELP SOLVE THE CASE. P.I. JOHN ABDELLA SAYS HE'S WORKING 'ROUND THE CLOCK LOOKING FOR 22-YEAR-OLD MICKEY SHUNICK--TAKING BETWEEN 50 AND 100 TIP CALLS DAILY. MICKEY VANISHED ON MAY 19TH; LAST SEEN LEAVING A FRIEND'S HOUSE TO RIDE THE FIVE MILES HOME ON HER BICYCLE. THAT BIKE WAS FOUND LAST WEEK UNDER THE I-10 WHISKEY BAY BRIDGE IN ST. MARTIN PARISH. ABDELLA SAYS HE BELIEVES HE'S CLOSE TO A BREAKTHROUGH IN THE CASE.

PROSECUTORS URGED A JUDGE TUESDAY TO REJECT DEFENSE ATTORNEYS' CLAIMS THAT A "SECRET PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN" BY FEDERAL AUTHORITIES DEPRIVED FIVE FORMER POLICE OFFICERS OF A FAIR TRIAL ON CHARGES STEMMING FROM DEADLY SHOOTINGS ON A NEW ORLEANS BRIDGE FOLLOWING HURRICANE KATRINA. IN A COURT FILING, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT PROSECUTOR BOBBI BERNSTEIN SAYS THE CONVICTED OFFICERS' BID FOR A NEW TRIAL MUST BE REJECTED BECAUSE IT ISN'T BASED ON ANY NEWLY DISCOVERED EVIDENCE. BERNSTEIN ALSO ARGUED THAT THE OFFICERS' ATTORNEYS HAVEN'T SHOWN HOW MEDIA REPORTS ON THE FEDERAL PROBE OF THE DANZIGER BRIDGE SHOOTINGS LED TO AN UNFAIR TRIAL. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE KURT ENGELHARDT HASN'T INDICATED WHEN HE WILL RULE ON THE ISSUE. THE OFFICERS WERE SENTENCED IN APRIL TO PRISON TERMS RANGING FROM SIX TO 65 YEARS FOR THEIR CONVICTIONS ON CIVIL RIGHTS CHARGES.

"BILLY" BRETHERTON, STAR OF THE A&E REALITY TV SHOW "BILLY THE EXTERMINATOR," HAS BEEN ARRESTED ON DRUG POSSESSION CHARGES. BOSSIER CITY POLICE REPORT THAT A WARRANT WAS ISSUED LAST WEEK FOR BRETHERTON AND HIS WIFE, MARY, AFTER ITEMS RECOVERED FROM THEIR HOTEL ROOM TESTED POSITIVE FOR SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA. THEY SURRENDERED TO AUTHORITIES, POSTED $6,000 BOND EACH AND WERE RELEASED LATER THAT DAY. WORD IS POLICE WERE CALLED ON APRIL 28 TO A BOSSIER CITY HOTEL FOLLOWING A 911 HANG-UP CALL FROM THE ROOM. POLICE SAY THEY FOUND THE BRETHERTONS, WITH SUSPECTED SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA AND A DEVICE COMMONLY USED TO SMOKE NARCOTICS.

A FORMER COMMISSIONER OF THE STATE OFFICE OF ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO CONTROL WAS ALLOWED TO REMAIN FREE WITHOUT BAIL TUESDAY ON FEDERAL CHARGES THAT HE ILLEGALLY GAINED NATIONAL CRIME COMPUTER INFORMATION ON PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT UNDER INVESTIGATION. THE JUDGE REQUIRED MURPHY PAINTER TO SURRENDER HIS PASSPORT AND A GUN COLLECTION. PAINTER, WHO RESIGNED IN 2010 AFTER 14 YEARS IN OFFICE, HAS NOT COMMENTED ON THE INDICTMENT BUT HAS DENIED ANY WRONGDOING. SHORTLY AFTER HIS RESIGNATION, HE TOLD A BATON ROUGE TELEVISION STATION THE ALLEGATIONS WERE ORCHESTRATED TO SMEAR HIM PAINTER WAS INDICTED MAY 23 ON CHARGES OF COMPUTER FRAUD, MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS AND IDENTITY THEFT. HE’S DUE BACK IN COURT NEXT WEEK.

THE CHANCELLOR OF LSU'S SHREVEPORT CAMPUS, VINCENT MARSALA, HAS RETIRED AFTER 17 YEARS IN THE JOB. WITH MARSALA'S RETIREMENT, THE LSU SYSTEM ANNOUNCED THAT CAMPUS PROVOST PAUL SISSON WAS NAMED INTERIM CHANCELLOR TUESDAY. A PROCESS TO FIND A PERMANENT CHANCELLOR IS SLATED TO BEGIN .

HOUMA POLICE SAY A MAN IS BELIEVED TO HAVE STABBED HIS GIRLFRIEND IN THE CHEST AS HE DROVE DOWN A HOUMA STREET. THE CAR CRASHED INTO A LOCAL STORE AND BOTH PEOPLE WERE HOSPITALIZED. THE 38-YEAR-OLD MAN IS IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER MONDAY'S INCIDENT. THE 35-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WAS IN STABLE CONDITION. POLICE SAID THE CAR CARRYING THE TWO CRASHED INTO THE BRICK WALL OF AN AUTO PARTS STORE AROUND 1 A.M. THE MAN THEN CHASED THE WOMAN INTO THE PARKING LOT OF A NEARBY FAST FOOD RESTAURANT, WHERE HE FELL AGAINST A CURB AND STRUCK HIS HEAD.
POLICE SAID THEY FOUND THE WOMAN IN THE RESTAURANT WITH STAB WOUNDS TO HER CHEST. POLICE SAID THEY WILL SEEK AN ARREST WARRANT FOR THE MAN, IF HE SURVIVES.

THE 2ND CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEAL HAS UPHELD THE CONVICTION AND SENTENCING OF A MONROE MAN WHO IS SERVING LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF PROBATION OR PAROLE IN THE 2010 NEW YEAR'S DAY SHOOTING OF HIS WIFE. 60-YEAR-OLD HERBERT JAMES BRADLEY WAS SENTENCED IN JULY 2011 AFTER BEING CONVICTED THAT APRIL ON ONE COUNT OF SECOND-DEGREE MURDER IN THE SHOOTING DEATH OF 38-YEAR-OLD SALLIE SCOTT BRADLEY. MONROE POLICE SAID THE SHOOTING OCCURRED IN THE EARLY MORNING OF JAN. 1, 2010. NEIGHBORS FOUND SALLIE SCOTT BRADLEY LYING IN THE STREET OUTSIDE HER HOUSE WITH FOUR OR FIVE GUNSHOT WOUNDS TO THE CHEST. AUTHORITIES APPREHENDED HERBERT BRADLEY IN ARLINGTON, TEXAS, A COUPLE OF DAYS AFTER THE MURDER.

LAFAYETTE, LA.-BASED IBERIABANK CORP. HAS RECEIVED APPROVED TO BUY FLORIDA GULF BANCORP INC. AND FLORIDA GULF BANK. IBERIABANK ANNOUNCED THE PROPOSED $43.7 MILLION CASH-AND-STOCK DEAL IN MARCH.

A DEBATE IN NEW ORLEANS OVER WHETHER TULANE UNIVERSITY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BUILD A NEW FOOTBALL STADIUM IS ABOUT TO PLAY OUT ON CAMPUS. TULANE HAS SET A WEDNESDAY NIGHT FORUM ON THE ISSUE. THE UNIVERSITY HAS PLAYED FOOTBALL AT THE DOMED STADIUM DOWNTOWN FOR DECADES BUT TULANE NOW WANTS TO BRING FOOTBALL BACK TO CAMPUS. IT IS AN ISSUE THAT HAS DIVIDED NEIGHBORS OF THE PROPOSED SITE IN UPTOWN NEW ORLEANS. AND IT WILL BE PLAYING OUT IN THE COMING WEEKS IN COURT AS WELL AS BEFORE THE NEW ORLEANS PLANNING COMMISSION AND THE CITY COUNCIL.





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