State building website to match jobs, job seekers

Louisiana news brief

State building website to match jobs, job seekers
BATON ROUGE (AP) — State officials say a new website to help match Louisiana employers with job-seekers will open this summer.
Gov. Bobby Jindal says the Louisiana Job Connection will open to the public on Aug. 18. Starting June 16, employers will be able to post openings.
Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret, in a news release, said employers will only see profiles of job seekers who have the skills they want. He says recruiters also will be able to broaden or narrow their searches.
Moret says employers who have posted jobs on other websites will be able to copy those postings to the new site.

Production start pushed back for Shreveport-built Elio
SHREVEPORT (AP) — The start date for production of a new three-wheeled vehicle at a plant in Shreveport has been pushed back.
Production at Elio Motors had been slated to start by March 2015. Now, it is expected to begin in September 2015.
Founder Paul Elio says the reason is a funding delay last year.
Stuart Lichter, an industrial developer leasing the plant, was set to invest $7.5 million in Elio Motors — in conjunction with the purchase of the facility for the same amount by Caddo’s Industrial Development Board. The proposal received a green light from the Caddo Commission in August. But, it was delayed until December.
Elio said he could not start the current round until Lichter’s money was in hand. He said if funding falls into place “unbelievably quickly” there could be no delay. However, if it takes the time he initially allotted, production will be delayed until the second quarter or the third quarter if that funding process takes longer.
Elio said he’s raised $55 million in private funding to date, and needs roughly $200 million to get his operation started.

Nicholls awarded record 1,365 degrees for 2013-14
THIBODAUX (AP) — Nicholls State University says it awarded the most degrees in its history during the 2013-14 academic year, with diplomas going to 1,365 diplomas to students.
The university said Tuesday that 672 of the degrees were awarded during its spring commencement ceremonies in May. That was just under the record 673 degrees handed out at last spring’s ceremonies.

Correctional officer arrested
ST. MARTINVILLE (AP) — The St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office has arrested one of its own, booking a corrections officer on multiple counts of wrongdoing at the jail.
Marshall Babineaux Jr., 22, was booked Tuesday on one count each of malfeasance in office and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and two counts of introduction of contraband in a penal institution.
Bail information was not immediately available. It was not known if Babineaux has an attorney.
Babineaux, of Breaux Bridge, had been a corrections officer since August.

3 parishes extend closure
of all inland waterways
GONZALES (AP) — Ascension, St. James and Livingston parishes have agreed to extend the closure of all inland waterways to recreational boating traffic until at least Thursday morning.
Ascension Parish officials said the affected waterways include the Amite River, the Amite River Diversion Canal, the Blind River and the Tickfaw River.
Rick Webre, director of the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said in a statement Tuesday that the parishes will reassess the situation on Thursday.
The waterways were closed after heavy rainfall last week caused flooding and raised water levels.

Man booked with copper theft
POINTE A LA HACHE (AP) — A 23-year-old St. Bernard Parish man has been arrested for allegedly stealing copper from Hurricane Isaac-damaged homes in a Plaquemines Parish community.
The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office said Nicholas Lee was booked last week on two charges of theft over $1,500. Bond information was unavailable. It was unclear if he has an attorney.
Sheriff Lonnie Greco said Tuesday the department began investigating copper thefts from two residences in July, nearly a year after Isaac decimated the Braithwaite Park community located just past the St. Bernard Parish line.
DNA evidence from the crime scenes, led investigators to Lee but officers couldn’t find him. Following a recent arrest, Lee was transferred to Plaquemines, where he admitted to stealing the cooper and selling it to a New Orleans scrapyard.

Alexander quitting state veterans affairs post
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander is stepping down as head of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, a job he took last fall after quitting Congress.
He gave no specific reason for leaving a post he held for about eight months.
“He is pursuing other opportunities outside of government. He is not running for congress,” department spokeswoman, Robin Keller, said Tuesday.
There had been speculation that Alexander might seek his old job after a video surfaced showing newly elected Rep. Vance McAllister kissing a congressional aide who is not his wife. McAllister has said he won’t seek re-election.
Gov. Bobby Jindal announced the appointment of David LaCerte to replace Alexander, effective immediately.

Small plane crashes
at fast-food parking lot
MONROE (AP) — A small airplane crashed Tuesday in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in northeast Louisiana, injuring the pilot.
The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office says the pilot was airlifted to a Shreveport hospital. He was identified as Michael Ray Martin, 41, of Calhoun. His condition was unavailable. Martin was the only person aboard. There were no injuries on the ground.
The plane was upside down in the parking lot of a McDonald’s after it crashed, between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
“It crashed after the pilot reported a problem with the airplane’s fuel,” Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Fort Worth, Texas, said in an email. “The aircraft clipped some treetops before coming to rest in the parking lot.”
Lunsford said the plane was a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza. Federal investigators were heading to the scene.
FAA records identify the plane’s owner as WFO Flying Service of Carmi, Illinois.
The News-Star of Monroe reported that the plane left Carmi Municipal Airport earlier Tuesday.
“It was a scary, scary thing,” witness Lori Jones told the News-Star of Monroe (http://tnsne.ws/1o4X6GG). “It was not something I hope I ever see again.
“Thank God, he’s alive,” Jones said of the pilot. “And I hope he’s going to be OK.”

From The Associated Press.

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