La. preparing for $500M bond sale for construction
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana is on track to borrow nearly $500 million in February to replenish the fund that pays for state-backed construction projects.
The Bond Commission gave preliminary approval to the borrowing plan Thursday. Treasurer John Kennedy says the details will be fleshed out next month.
The plan involves selling $347 million in tax-exempt bonds and $149 million in taxable bonds to investors for upfront cash. The bond debt will be paid off over decades with interest.
The money will keep construction dollars flowing for college building repairs, economic development projects, road work and state-funded local projects.
At one point, Louisiana's construction budget got so tight that some projects appeared threatened. But improved revenue forecasts and low interest rates helped give the state more room to borrow under its debt ceiling.
DUCK DYNASTY-LOUISIANA GOVERNOR
La. gov. critical of A&E over Robertson 'hiatus'
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The A&E cable television network's suspension of "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson from the hit reality show has drawn criticism from the governor of his home state.
The network says Robertson was placed on "hiatus" after he gave an interview in GQ magazine disparaging gays as sinners akin to adulterers and swindlers.
Governor Bobby Jindal issued a brief statement on the matter Thursday.
Jindal didn't offer an opinion on Robertson's comments but said everyone is entitled to express a view. He added: "It is a messed-up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended."
The show is produced around the Robertson family's home base in Ouachita Parish.
Fisherman arrested after fight on boat
BELLE CHASSE, La. (AP) - A Gretna fisherman has been arrested after police say he cut another fisherman's throat with a knife during an argument earlier this month aboard a shrimp boat in Plaquemines Parish.
The Times-Picayune reports 49-year-old Lau Thanh Ho surrendered to Plaquemines Sheriff's Office investigators Wednesday. Deputies say he was booked with attempted second-degree murder.
The 52-year-old victim, whose name was not released, was hospitalized in New Orleans, investigators say.
Deputies say that on Dec. 1, the Coast Guard received a call about a man bleeding from the neck aboard the boat Sister Brother, owned and operated by Ho.
It was not immediately clear whether Ho has an attorney.
ORLEANS HEALTH COMMISSIONER-OBAMA
Orleans health official to take Washington post
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans' Health Commissioner, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, will leave her post on January 10, to assume a Presidential appointment at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
A Thursday news release from New Orleans City Hall says DeSalvo will join the Obama Administration as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
DeSalvo joined Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Administration in 2011. She previously was a professor of medicine and vice dean for community affairs and health policy at Tulane University School of Medicine.
Jeff Davis panel votes to help buy land for Sowela
JENNINGS, La. (AP) - The Jefferson Davis Parish School Board's finance committee has agreed to commit $100,000 to help buy 10 acres of land south of Jennings High School for a new Sowela Technical Community College campus.
The American Press reports that the School Board is one of three local entities that have committed financial support to help buy the property for the proposed $10 million campus.
The Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury agreed last week to give up $200,000 for the project, and the city of Jennings is expected to approve a $100,000 commitment in January. The school panel's vote came Tuesday, sending the issue to the full board.
Student, 15, arrested, accused of robbery on a bus
A 15-year-old North DeSoto High School student has been arrested on multiple felony charges.
The student is accused of threatening to rob and shoot students on a bus last week.
DeSoto Parish sheriff's investigators are still unsure if the student, who could not be identified because of his age, was armed with an actual weapon.
Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle tells The Times of Shreveport that students on the bus believed he had a gun.
The student was arrested Tuesday after investigators consulted with DeSoto District Attorney Richard Johnson.
Lafayette council member to get degree Friday
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Seventeen years after he left college without a degree, a Lafayette City-Parish Council member is about to march across the stage during graduation ceremonies at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
Thirty-six-year-old Brandon Shelvin graduated with honors from Delcambre (DELL'-kahm) High School in 1995 and went to LSU. He majored in microbiology and pre-med. But, after three semesters of trying to adjust to college life in a larger city, he called it quits and head back home to Lafayette.
On Friday he receives his bachelor of science degree, cum laude, in general studies with a concentration in political science and criminal justice. He told The Advertiser that he hopes to show people that it's never too late to go after their dreams.
ST LANDRY ARENA
St. Landry to study feasibility of new arena
OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) - The St. Landry Economic and Industrial Development District has voted to study the feasibility establishing a major multi-purpose arena for St. Landry Parish.
The Daily World reports that the parish's economic development agency has for years been discussing a roughly $15 million arena with seating for more than 3,000 people.
This week it voted to spend $25,000 to hire a consulting firm to create a detailed feasibility study for the project.
Board member Daniel Lyons, a strong advocate for the project, expressed confidence it could be a major moneymaker for the parish. He urged the board to move forward with the project as quickly as possible.
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