LA: Police policies Under Scrutiny

At the urging of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Mandeville officials have agreed to an outside evaluation of the city’s Police Department.

The watchdog group will finance the evaluation, which will be conducted by a retired Louisiana State Police deputy superintendent.

The Mandeville Police Department has been at “the epicenter of controversies involving the executive and legislative branches of Mandeville city government,” Rafael Goyeneche, the Crime Commission’s president, wrote earlier this month to Mayor Eddie Price.

Goyeneche’s letter alluded to several well-publicized examples: a scandal involving a charitable fund controlled by Police Chief Tom Buell; the phone call Price made to the police station on behalf of a wealthy businessman accused of beating a woman at a Mandeville wine bar; City Councilman Jerry Coogan’s use of a city police car after Hurricane Katrina.

While rank-and-file police officers were not central players in most of those incidents, morale within the department has suffered, Goyeneche wrote.

Advice from an outside expert, on topics that could range from personnel procedures to suggested rules on communication between elected officials and police officers, would help the department rise above recent distractions and concentrate on policing the city, Goyeneche said.

Seems to be a growing problem with police depts around the country.  Just look at the cops caught on tape abusing suspects, some necessary, some not so.  Or the excessive force and shootings and on and on…..

AL: Fruit Of The Loom Plants To Close

Fruit of the Loom will close its Vanity Fair dye plant in Monroeville and its knitting plant in Jackson by the end of 2009, shuttering its last remaining manufacturing operations in southwest Alabama, according to local leaders. The cuts will eliminate 180 jobs in Monroeville and 90 in Jackson, according to the company.

At the same time, the company will continue to expand its distribution center in Monroeville, the local officials were told. The company told employees about the phase-out on Thursday.

Sloan “Corky” Fountain, the top local executive, referred comment this evening to company leaders in Bowling Green, Ky. No one there could be reached for comment.

Vanity Fair began manufacturing in Jackson and Monroeville in 1937.

A sign of the recessional times.  Where would the jobs go?  (he asked knowingly)

FL: Gov. And Health Care

Gov. Charlie Crist barnstormed the state Monday, touting new legislation to streamline hospital expansion that he said will be one of the cornerstones of his plan to find low-cost health care for the 3.8 million uninsured Floridians.

Crist called it among the most significant bureaucratic reforms in the state’s history, even though the legislation falls short of his original goal.

“This revised process will increase access to health care, short and simple,” Crist said.

The changes are designed to significantly shorten the time it takes to navigate the 1970s era certificate of need process, which requires the industry to demonstrate a market demand for new facilities.

This is a band aid for a gunshot wound–this does little for those that truly need health care.  A typical approach to a monster of a problem.

MS: Dem. Childers Sworn In

Mississippi’s newest member of Congress will take his oath of office today in Washington.

Democrat Travis Childers is set to be sworn in about noon on the U.S. House floor.

Childers defeated Republican Greg Davis last week in a special election in north Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District.

He will serve the final 7½ months of a two-year term that Republican Roger Wicker started in January 2007. Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Wicker to the U.S. Senate in December after Trent Lott retired.

My problem with him is that he is not a true Dem.  He is more in the mold of Liberman.  He is pro-life, pro-gun, etc, etc.  Basically he is a Repub in Dem clothing.  Very similar to most of Mississippi’s politicians.

Pundits are really asking what is up with the Repub Party losing these special elections.  Nothing!  This guy is a true conservative, he does not have a progressive bone in his political body.  I think the vote in Congress is safe.

MS Gulf Coast: Wind v Water

The Mississippi Supreme Court has agreed to decide how an insurance policy should be interpreted in a wind vs. water dispute over Hurricane Katrina claims.

In Corban vs. USAA, Long Beach policyholders argue the insurance company should cover wind damage to their property, regardless of damage caused by water. Water damage is excluded from coverage. USAA and other insurers argue that policy language also excludes coverage for a combination of wind and water.

The Supreme Court is expected to resolve the issue before the case goes to trial in Circuit Court.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with insurance companies, finding that policies bar coverage when wind and water act in sequence to destroy property. The Supreme Court is not bound to follow the federal appellate court’s ruling, however, because state law governs insurance contracts.

We will see just how much influence the Insurance companies have over the state Supreme Court. My guess is that it has considerable pull within the state’s highest court.

Idiot Of The Week

It is so hard to pick an idiot of the week…..cops beating people on tape….teens beating other teens to put on youtube…..etc…etc.

But I finally found my idiot of the week:

An American soldier, serving in Iraq, used the Koran for target practice and was seen by some locals.

How stupid must you be to do something this moronic?  A general had to apologize and the soldier had to write a letter to the locals.  If not, then the Sunni tribesmen would have pulled out of the cooperation deal with the military and then your sacred “surge” would be a dried cow pie on the road of war.

This lucky person will now be entered into the Idiot of the Year award—