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Two Abused and Starved Horses Finally Get Rescued June 30, 2011

Filed under: WWL-TV Stories — kswige1 @ 11:46 pm

By: Kristen Swiger

-Cutoff, Louisiana

Two horses have free reign in a fenced-in pasture, clean water to drink and plenty of food to eat. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case just a couple of weeks ago.

The stallion and mare were rescued from an old junkyard, tied to a post with only 20 feet of rope to walk around and were starving. 47-year old Oris Lee, Sr. was charged with three counts of animal cruelty.

Allegedly, Lee was in jail on his third domestic-abuse charge within a week of neighbors complaining about the horses, and when the police told him to do something about them, he refused and action was taken.

Pamela George, a part-time boat captain, takes it upon herself to rescue animals in need in her spare time. When she got the call to come look at the horses, she was shocked to see the protruding ribs and missing front teeth.

“They were so emaciated and so depleted, that I said we have to get these horses out of here, or they’re going to die,” she said.

The Lafouche Parish sheriff’s office and humane society helped Pamela get the horses under her care. While she says that she’s not rich by any means, she does have the resources to help.

“If I dont’t get the donations, then I just do it by myself,” she said.

Once the horses are nursed back to health, the search will be on for an adopting family.


Residents in New Orleans East Get City to Take Down Blighted House June 27, 2011

Filed under: WWL-TV Stories — kswige1 @ 5:47 pm

By: Kristen Swiger

-New Orleans East

Neighbors in New Orleans East said they can finally rest easy now that a potential danger has been removed.

An old, blighted house used to sit across the street from a park where kids were frequent visitors, and as the months passed, the house became less visible behind overgrown grass, trees and vines. Today, the scene looks a little different thanks to a good deal of persistance.

Residents of the neighborhood were worried that the house had the perfect potential to hide pedophiles and kidnappers, making it unsafe for children to walk on nearby sidewalks or even wait for the school bus.

“Now I can sleep peacefully at night to see that they have taken and demolished this house, and I won’t be worried about children gonig to the park, and maybe somebody will take them and bring them into that house,” said a neighborhood resident.

Neighbors say that have been complaining since January, but they’re determination finally paid off. It took just about two hours for the house to come down, and they couldn’t be happier.

Another resident said, “Baseball season is very active. They have games every other night, and now the kids don’t have the problem of avoiding that trash that was up there, and I’m very thankful.”

The house has been abandoned since before Hurricane Katrina, but neighbors hope that the mayor’s office plans to continue to bring down more blighted houses in the area.


New Orleans Police Department Tries to Recruit More Officers June 22, 2011

Filed under: WWL-TV Stories — kswige1 @ 7:56 pm

By: Kristen Swiger

-New Orleans

Having enough officers on the police force to give an entire community peace of mind can be difficult, but the New Orleans Police Department is trying to make it happen.

Chief Ronal Serpas of NOPD recently introduced the idea of community empowerment, which involves walking teams of officers going door-to-door to ask residents what they can do for them to make them feel safer.

“Let’s build some community resource, let’s build some community empowerment, let’s build some community relationship with the police department, as opposed to just simply the aggressive police work,” Serpas said.

The program will occur three days a week, four hours a day, but the question of how many officers the police force can afford to put on duty is another matter. Commander Henry Dean said that they could use as many officers as they can get. “With the personal that we have in place and the units we have in place, we’re beginning to be stretched a little bit thin,” he said.

The police force is down 153 officers from last year, but some say that the decision to add more officers should come after crime rates are studied with the addition of new technology. However, waiting too long could be deadly.

“The answer to our problems is a constant, consistent flow of people in here,” said Dean.


New Orleans Hornets Have Sights Set High for Next Season June 15, 2011

Filed under: WWL-TV Stories — kswige1 @ 2:02 am

By: Kristen Swiger

-New Orleans

The 2010 Hornets season proved to be anything but easy. With a list of injuries, a rookie head coach, and a period where the team didn’t even have an owner, the bugs had a good deal going against them.

However, Coach Monty Williams proved to New Orleans that he belonged here and was here to stay. “I think if people come here and experience the city, then they’ll want to be here. It takes time after Katrina, after all the things the team has been through, to build it back up again, and we’re in that process,” he said.

Even with the news that lead Assistant Coach Mike Malone plans to leave the Hornets to coach the Golden State Warriors in California, Williams’ standards remain high for whoever fills the position.

“I don’t want this to become a job where people say I want to be here as a stepping stone to go somewhere else. We want guys who want to be here, and they have to fit the mold that Mike fit,” he said. “Mike was committed to this job, and it was evident by our success.”

2010 first-round draft pick Quincy Pondexter also has his sights set high for next season. After averaging just under three points a game, Pondexter is determined to get his team into the playoffs next year.

“If I’ve got to go out and defend the best player and not take a shot, that’s fine with me. As long as my team gets a “W” at the end of the day, that’s the role I’m playing,” he said.

With the uncertainty of whether or not there will even be a NBA summer league this year, Coach Williams stressed the importance of his players continuing to condition in order to prepare for next season.


Camp Villere Hosts National Guard Fitness Camp for Kids June 9, 2011

Filed under: WWL-TV Stories — kswige1 @ 6:23 pm

By: Kristen Swiger


Living a healthy lifestyle is important for young children and plays a bigger part in their lives as time goes on.

Unfortunately, nutrition is far from a child’s mind at such a young age, and that is why Camp Villere does their part to teach kids the importance of staying healthy and fit.

Camp Villere in Slidell, Louisiana, is a five-day camp that hosts 80 kids ranging from seven to ten-years old. The kids leard a different health subject every day, and classes range anywhere from fitness stations and jazzercise to learning how to read nutrition labels.

Volunteers from the National Guard, Slidell Police Department and other organizations also put on demonstrations to teach the kids what they can do to fight childhood obesity.

Camp Villere Director Taffy Morrison said that the campers look up to these role models. “When a state trooper, someone you look up to, tells you that you can do this, it motivates them and we want them to be able to set up for their future,” she said.

It might sound tough, but these kids don’t seem at all worried.

“When I exersise, I feel like I’m making a better me,” said 11-year old, Madeline.

The campers also learn the importance of self-esteem and collaboration in addition to healthy eating habits, something that can’t be learned in a regular classroom.


Animals Cope with Rising Temperatures June 7, 2011

Filed under: WWL-TV Stories — kswige1 @ 8:16 pm

By: Kristen Swiger

-New Orleans

People are desperate to keep cool and escape from the record-high temperatures creeping up all along the south. Our four-legged friends are no exception.

Dianne Cooke runs Camp Bow-Wow and takes care of more than a hundred dogs a day. She knows how important it is to make sure dogs stay cool in excessive heat. “You can’t leave dogs outside, you can’t let them play, exert themselves, they’ll overheat, they’ll run around with their friends. It’s a huge concern to keep them hydrated,” she said.

The dog camp has bone and paw-shaped pools and even popsicles to keep the dogs hydrated.

Most don’t realize how easily dogs can overheat. Leaving them outside for the day or even in the car for a couple of minutes can be deadly. It doesn’t take long for temperatures to reach 140 degrees inside a car.

While humans can sweat in order to cool off, dogs are only able to release heat from their paws, ears, armpits and by panting, so it doesn’t take much to send them into heat shock.

SPCA Veterinarian Dr. Melisse Conway said that dogs with shorter faces, as well as overweight dogs, are more susceptible to heat problems, but it can be fatal for all types. “They go into shock, thier body goes into excessive heat and starts breaking down their proteins, white gums,” she said.

Conway said the best thing to do is hose them down with cool water, wrap them in a wet towel and bring them to the vet, but never ice them off. She said, “It will constrict their blood vessels so they can’t lose the heat.”

If you notice your pets experiencing any of these warning symptoms, please transport them to a veterinarian or animal clinic as soon as possible.


LSU Dairy Store Increasing Revenue Despite Budget Cuts May 6, 2011

Filed under: Spring 2011 Stories — kswige1 @ 4:48 pm

The Dairy Store also provides the dining halls on-campus with 50 three-gallon containers of ice cream every week

By: Kristen Swiger

-Baton Rouge

It’s no secret that LSU has seen its fair share of negative effects from the recent budget cuts, but one campus location is thriving despite surrounding money troubles.

The Dairy Store has been a part of LSU’s campus since 1956 and is slowly gaining popularity among the student population.  Its location tucked away between Tureaud Hall and Patrick Taylor Hall makes the store easy to pass up.

Chuck Boeneke, Dairy Store manager, said that the store is different from other campus units in that it generates its own revenue rather than receive money from the state.

“We generate our own revenue and out of that revenue, we take our own expenses out,” said Boeneke.

Most people are also surprised to know that the Dairy Store gets all of its milk from its very own dairy farm right off River Road.  Both milk and cheese from the dairy farm are used to make the homemade ice cream right in the facility.

Leo Johnson, Dairy Store employee, helps make the ice cream once a week and said that is takes almost all day to it.  “We get milk from the LSU cows, we get cream from the local creamery, we mix it up with sugar, water, all that good stuff, and we make ice cream every week.  All the ice cream served in the store, we made it,” said Johnson.

However, ice cream isn’t the only product available to students.  Meat and cheese is also pre-packaged and ready to buy on a daily basis.  Boeneke said that the goat and lamb meat is rather beneficial for business, because both are difficult to find in supermarkets around town.

Even though the Dairy Store had to cut down on two full-time manager positions, the budget cuts haven’t really affected student workers.

Boeneke said, “Our main focus here is teaching and research. The store provides an outlet for the products that are made in order to train the students how to make them.”

Not only has the Dairy Store been seemingly unaffected by budget cuts, but the sales have even increased from past semesters.  Revenue has gone up over 50 percent in the last two years.

To help out the dining halls on-campus like the 5 and the 459, the Dairy Store supplies them with about 50 containers of ice cream a week.  Ice cream in cups, cones, and three-gallon containers seem to be the most popular items sold, and the store usually sells about 300 to 500 ice cream cups or cones per day.

Containers, however, are usually heavier and more difficult to carry.  As a result, Boeneke said that the store plans on reordering more of the smaller 3-ounce cups, which cost about $4000. The store also changed its hours to stay open until 5:30 pm on the weekdays in order to accommodate easy streets being blocked off early.

Currently, sixteen ice cream flavors are available to customers and sixteen more rotate out.  Employees Ty’Quan Miller and Leo Johnson agree that both students and visitors are a popular sight in the store, and business has not seemed to decrease at all over the past few months despite economy concerns.

“Hey, LSU we have the best and I’ve actually taken ice cream home to some of my friends, and they were like it’s better than Bluebell and Kleinpeter all put together,” said Miller.

Heather Higgins, frequent Dairy Store visitor, also said that as long as students love ice cream, the store shouldn’t have any problems gaining profits.  “It’s something students want and so they make it a part of their budget,” she said.

All of the revenue made from the Dairy Store goes back into operating both the store and the dairy farm.