Saturday, May 18 2013 9:58 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:58:17 GMT
JEFF AMYAssociated PressLouisiana's unemployment rate rose in April for the fourth straight month, as fewer people reported having work. While the labor force was basically flat, according to the federalMore >>
Louisiana's unemployment rate rose in April for the fourth straight month, as fewer people reported having work.More >>
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
Proposed budget cuts to the National Weather Service next year could result in the delayed issue of critical weather warnings.
President Obama's proposed 2013 budget calls for $39 million in cuts to the National Weather Service. Most prominent among the cuts will be the loss of the information technology specialist at each local forecasting office, who currently remain on site to address computer issues and monitor technology during storms in case there are any problems.
Each of the 122 local offices of the National Weather Service currently have an IT specialist on staff, which will get consolidated into just 24 positions responsible for overseeing the entire nation.
That includes the NOAA National Weather Service office in Shreveport, which provides weather for 48 parishes and counties across the ArkLaTex.
The National Weather Service Employees Organization opposes the proposed cuts, saying that without an IT specialist on site, response time will be slower and lives potentially lost during severe weather events.
NWSEO Spokesman Frank Nocera, who is also a forecaster at the National Weather Service in Taunton, MA, told local statiOn WSHM. "One IT specialist will be responsible not just for one, but they would have to provide support for four, five, or six offices. Next year that IT may be in a regional office, not on-site, and not be able to provide on-site support. That could delay watches and warnings to the public."
That's why the Shreveport office of the National Weather Service invited Rep. John Fleming to tour their operations on Tuesday, in hopes of impressing upon him how vital each and every member is on their 23-person team.
Asked if he felt the cuts could affect the safety of his constituents, Rep. Fleming said, "Yes, I do. We just don't have enough money to spend on everything. We've got to set our priorities and this is a very high priority."
Shreveport's Meteorologist in Charge, Armando Garza, says it's important that elected officials like Fleming understand how the NWS works. "We really can't do without anything. Everything we have is important, very important."
Copyright 2011 KSLA and WSHM. All rights reserved.
Tuesday, May 14 2013 12:47 PM EDT2013-05-14 16:47:12 GMT
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Vice officers made dozens of arrests in the last two weeks during an operation they called the Bissonet Initiative, named for the street the sting took place.More >>