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KSYL Local News

Good Morning.. News For Tuesday July 7th, 2020

News for Tuesday July 7th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Louisiana adds just over 11-hundred new COVID-19 cases Monday.  The state reports 44% of those cases are from people 29 and younger and 98% of the new cases are from community spread. Here in Rapides Parish we saw 11 new reported cases yesterday and one additional death. The daily percentage of positive tests statewide are currently at 9.84%.

 

The Rapides parish Police called off last nights meeting after an announcement earlier in the day that several jurors and essential staff members had tested positive for COVID-19 or are currently awaiting test results. An update is expected for the July 13 meeting as the Police Jury monitors and assesses the situation.

 

Federal judge Dee Drell  ruled yesterday afternoon that the City of Alexandria and the Alexandria City Council must accommodate 4th district Councilman Harry Silver by allowing him to attend council meetings virtually. The decision comes after a Thursday virtual hearing in which attorneys for the 98-year-old Silver argued that he was being discriminated against under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act.

Silver has missed city council meetings since February due to shoulder surgery and the COVID-19 pandemic, of which he is highly susceptible to contracting due to his age and existing medical conditions. Judge Drell wrote in his 12-page ruling that “Mr. Silver seeks a reasonable accommodation,” and that his attendance “benefits the public’s interests.”

 

Due to COVID-19 four Office of Motor Vehicle locations will be closed to the public due to the positive testing of an employee. The offices are here in Alexandria, Lafayette, Monroe and Shreveport. Customers are encouraged to use the website expresslane.org for any services. These closures are in addition to previously closed offices.

 

An economist says an LSU football season without fans will cost the school and local economies millions of dollars. Financial statements indicate the LSU football team produced a profit of 57-million dollars for fiscal year 2019. Doctor Loren Scott says not having fans in the stands or no football at all, would severely impact the other sports at LSU as well. A rise in coronavirus cases is raising doubts the college football season will start on time. Major decisions are expected later this month from the leaders of the SEC and LSU regarding whether football will start Labor Day weekend and if there will be fans.

 

A Louisiana state senator has called for all athletic activities to be canceled for K through 12 public schools in Louisiana through December because of COVID-19.

Senator Cleo Fields, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, made the request in a letter sent to the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) Monday. Fields says the issue is “too critical” to leave up to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) to decide. BESE will meet July 14 to discuss emergency rules for the coming school year in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

 

State Farm will cut auto insurance rates in Louisiana by 9.6%, The rate cut has been approved by Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. State Farm, is considered the largest auto insurance company in the state when ranked by market share with nearly one-third of all policies. The rate reduction is set to go into effect August 24 for renewal and new policies. The reduction has nothing to do with the recently passed tort reform legislation.

 

In the tropics Edouard became a named storm, setting the record for the earliest formation of a fifth named storm of a season. State Climatologist Barry Keim says Louisiana is currently experiencing unstable weather influenced in part by another  system that is moving over the Florida Panhandle. Keim says the pattern will be bringing rain to Louisiana over the next few days.

 

There was little action on police reform in the recent special session but reform advocates say that is not going to be the case in the fall or 2021 session. Baton Rouge Representative Ted James they will revive an effort to revoke qualified immunity for officers. He says the effort to allow cops to be held liable for misbehavior in civil court will be a major part of reform discussions. A push to end qualified immunity did not get out of committee in the recent session.

 

Yesterday we mentioned Casino’s in Louisiana have announced mass layoffs are coming. The L’Auberge casinos in Lake Charles and Baton Rouge are cutting more than 600 jobs between the two following the Covid pandemic. The Treasure Chest in Kenner is also reliving 340 people of their employment and Boomtown in Harvey is cutting right at 200 jobs.

 

Legislation is awaiting the Governor’s signature that would allow electric co-ops to create their own hi-speed internet networks in rural areas that lack broadband access.

If signed into law co-ops would be able to make broadband companies under separate entities from their current power companies so that utility funds were not used for internet service. The FCC has committed to spending over 20 billion dollars on expanding rural broadband.

 

The East Feliciana Police Jury has rejected a proposal to uproot a more than century-old statue of a Confederate soldier from its perch in front of the parish's antebellum courthouse and move it to a cemetery. Police jurors swept aside a resolution that sought to remove and potentially relocate the Confederate monument in a 5-3 decision at its Monday evening meeting, a vote that in ways mirrored the community's divide over the structure and its location.

 

The coronavirus is putting stress extra on relationships and many are calling it quits. In addition to family practice lawyers seeing an increase in business, the pandemic is also having another effect on divorces. Baton Rouge Attorney Nancy Sue Grégoire says those who were already in the process of a divorce before the pandemic began are having even more complications. Grégoire says the pandemic has caused many to lose their employment and healthcare and it is making the process of divorce even more difficult. 

 

Sports..

 

Plans are still on for LSU and Louisiana Tech to play each other in men’s basketball on November 24th at the CenturyLink Center. Officials announced Monday that tickets will go on sale for the game at 10 AM on Thursday.

 

The Pelicans have added depth as they prepare to leave for the NBA’s bubble in Orlando on Wednesday. Forward Sindarius Thornwell has inked a deal with New Orleans and he’ll serve as a substitute player. The 25-year-old last played in the NBA G League, averaging nine points, five rebounds and five assists for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

 

One of the state’s most successful high school football coaches is leaving the sidelines. Neville’s Mickey McCarty has accepted the job as the school’s principal and former St. Frederick head coach Jeff Tannehill will replace McCarty as the Tigers new head football coach. McCarty spent 18 years as Neville’s head coach, winning 197 games and four state championships. Tannehill, who is a Neville grad, led St. Fred’s to a state title game in 2013.

 

And big news out of the NFL today as the Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes have reportedly agreed to a ten-year contract extension that will pay the superstar signal caller over 400-million dollars. Mahomes and the Super Bowl champion Chiefs will be in the Dome on December 20th to the face the Saints.

Good Morning.. News For Monday July 6th, 2020

News for Monday July 6th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

State Health officials are reporting the number of Covid-19 cases in the state increased by just short of 2,000 over the weekend Saturday and Sunday. There have been 3,180 deaths so far in the state. Here in Rapides parish we saw 25 new reported cases of the virus and one new death.

 

The Fourth of July holiday weekend began Saturday with some sobering numbers in the Sunshine State: Florida logged a record number of people testing positive for the coronavirus. State health officials reported 11,445 new cases, a single-day record since the pandemic began earlier this year. The latest count brings the total number of cases in the state of Florida to more than 190,000.

 

On Friday a Boyce man has been arrested on multiple charges after a high-speed pursuit. Authorities say an officer with the Boyce Police Department witnessed a car being driven without headlights. When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver refused to pull over, leading to a high-speed pursuit. The driver was eventually stopped. The officer located, upon searching the vehicle, three pounds of Marijuana, 2k in cash and a scale. The driver, identified as 22-year-old Dezmon Eddie was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.

 

An estimated 13 percent of Louisiana motorists are uninsured, and a Bogalousa Representative says increasing the minimum wage would lower that number.

The business lobby has never been a fan of raising the minimum, but Representative Malinda White says if the working poor got a living wage they could afford insurance, lowering rates for everyone. Tort reform advocates say recently passed legislation will lower rates by 10-15 percent, but if that number holds up Louisiana would still rank among the highest rates in the nation.

 

L'Auberge has reported it will lay off 441 workers at its Lake Charles casino. L’Auberge Baton Rouge is also set to lay off 161 workers. The company made the announcement to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, as the state's casinos struggle to rebound during the coronavirus. The LWF reports Casinos in Louisiana have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. By mid-August it’s anticipated about 4,000 casino workers will be laid off in Louisiana.

 

If you’ve had significant exposure to a person with COVID-19 but still test negative should you go back to work before your 14-day quarantine ends? Health experts say no. Ochsner Infectious Disease specialist Dr. Sandra Kemmerly says if you get exposed and immediately seek a COVID test the answer may not be helpful. Significant exposure is having contact with a COVID positive person within six feet for longer than 15 minutes. Kemmerly says that’s because the virus can take days, or even over a week to build up in your system enough to actually be detected by current tests. So if you are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days a negative COVID test does not release you from that quarantine.

 

The AARP indicates the state is not doing a good enough job with the basic COVID-19 precautions needed to stem the loss of life and protect residents and staff in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. AARP State Director Denise Bottcher says in recent weeks, the AARP has learned that about a third of facilities are not in compliance with regular testing of residents and staff, but non-compliance has been an issue for quite some time in different areas of cleanliness. The AARP also opposed any sort of immunity from accountability for facilities with issues linked to COVID-19.

 

Governor Edwards is expected to sign a bill placing an eight percent tax on net revenue from online fantasy sports wagering.  Crowley Representative John Stefanski authored the legislation and says after it is signed into law, the gaming control board then has the ability to set rules. In 2018, voters in 47 of the 64 parishes legalized fantasy sports betting and have been waiting for lawmakers to pass the tax component in order to win cash prizes with services like FanDuel and DraftKings.  Stefanski says those companies are standing by ready to implement regulation.

Good Morning.... News For Thursday July 2nd, 2020

News for Thursday July 2nd, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Governor Edwards warns the state is on a bad trajectory of COVID case growth that could, if it were to continue, have him consider putting some restrictions back in place.  Louisiana reported over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, the 3rd largest single-day increase since the pandemic began and the highest since April 4th, the peak of the pandemic. We now have over 60,000 positive tests since March. 14 more people have been hospitalized as well, along with 17 new deaths.

 

Rapides: 1,578 cases (+42) / 62 deaths (+3)

 

Baton Rouge will now be one of three locations selected by the feds to ramp up testing by 5000 more tests per day. Governor Edwards says the uptick in coronavirus metrics has garnered the attention of the White House, especially in the Capital Region. Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome has mandated the use of face coverings while inside of businesses.

 

State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry calls a pop theory advocating for the purposeful COVID infection of people under the guise of creating herd immunity a “myth”. Guidry says the theory has no evidence to back it up and ignores just how volatile viruses can be. To obtain herd immunity a population would need 60 percent immunity. Even in New York City, the worst single epicenter in the country, herd immunity is believed to be under 20 percent. Guidry says the theory is also based on a faulty assumption that if you can’t get infected more than once. Around the world many people are reportedly showing positive for a second time.

 

Sheriff-Elect Mark Wood officially took the title as Sheriff in the police jury room at the Rapides Parish Courthouse. Wood, who’s been in office for two months already, was first sworn in at the end of April, and a second time on Wednesday, since July 1 is officially when his term begins.

 

Also yesterday, Grant Parish Sheriff Steven McCain was sworn in to 3 tern as sheriff. On July 1, 2012, Steven McCain proudly took the oath of office as the new Sheriff of Grant Parish.  At the age of 34,  McCain was the youngest Sheriff in Louisiana.

 

KALB reports The Rapides Parish School District will be assuming control of all Head Start operations here in the parish effective immediately . This means that the program will be the responsibility of the Rapides Parish School Board for the next five years. The school board will serve a total of 850 children, a little over 600 of those being in the Head Start program, a little over 200 in the early Head Start program, and 18 pregnant moms. The school board will be posting several job openings over the next several weeks, looking for anything from teachers to paraprofessionals, school food service workers as well as janitorial staff. They also plan to host a job fair in the near future.

 

The Legislature approved a series of tax breaks for COVID-impacted businesses. Governor Edwards says he has his concerns with passing tax breaks at a time when revenue is already suffering. Proponents of the tax breaks say they are necessary to save businesses on the brink right now financially.

 

State Treasurer John Schroder announces that small businesses can begin applying for $275-million dollars’ worth of grants to supplement losses from COVD-19 towards the end of the month. Eligible businesses can receive up 15-thousand dollars. Schroder says his office will begin accepting applications on July 28th. The funding is on a first come first serve bases.

 

Southern University unveils its line of THC-based medical marijuana products known as AYO (I-O).  The launch sees the release of six different products including tinctures for use under the tongue.  Southern University President Ray Belton says the products have the ability to contribute to the health and welfare of the state and so much more.

Southern becomes the first HBCU to have THC and CBD product lines.

 

Eighteen private law firms have teamed up with the ACLU of Louisiana in a litigation campaign to challenge discriminatory policing practices. Legal Director of the ACLU of Louisiana Nora Ahmed says they are trying to capture cases that were not economical to be taken to court. The initiative is called “Justice Lab: Putting Racist Policing on Trial” and over time it seeks to bring up to 1000 cases in Louisiana challenging the constitutionality of the situations. Law firms will be handling cases on a pro bono basis. Ahmed hopes to form a blueprint for litigation that could be used across the nation.

 

To help keep students engaged in the learning process over the summer, the Louisiana Department of Education will partner with LPB and offer televised math instruction. Director of Math Science STEM, Jill Cowart says the instructional programming is designed for all students in kindergarten through ninth grade. Through the partnership with LPB, more families will now have access to resources beginning July 6th with a focus on keeping students engaged.

 

The Louisiana Department of Veteran’s Affairs is asking citizens to participate in a letter-writing campaign to show support to those in veteran’s homes. Currently, there are more than 600 residents living in five veteran’s homes across the state. LDVA spokesperson Brandee Patrick says  you can find a listing of addresses at VetAffairs.LA.Gov.

 

Sports..

 

The Saints Preseason could be set to get two games shorter according to a report from Pro Football Talk. The two most likely games appear to be the 1st and fourth games, which means an away game in Los Angeles against the Rams August 14th and a home game in the dome against the Dolphins September 3rd. This comes as the league is preparing to move ahead with its schedule for the regular season despite a nationwide spike in COVID cases.

 

Pels rookie sensation Zion Williamson will be one of three cover athletes for NBA 2k21, the long-running basketball video game. Williamson called it a dream come true in an interview with ESPN, saying he’s wanted to grace the cover of that game since he was a kid. Williamson will feature on the front of game boxes for next-gen ps5 and Xbox X consoles, while Portland star guard Damien Lillard will feature on the current-gen ps4 and Xbox One games. A final cover athlete has yet to be announced.

 

ESPN reports the NBA will not have an age limit for coaches heading into the “bubble” in Disney World for the restart of the NBA season. The league assured coaches and staff that those with those who are high risk for other reasons may be told to stay home.

 

LSU Pitcher Ben McDonald, second basemen Todd Walker, and shortstop Alex Bregman have been named to the ESPN all-time college baseball team.

Good Morning.... News For Wednesday May 20th, 2020

News for Wednesday July 1st, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

The state reported one-thousand new cases of Covid-19 yesterday as the state’s total case number surpassed 58-thousand. Governor John Bel Edwards’ next COVID-19 press briefing is this afternoon at 2:30. Edwards has said he’s looking for more compliance from businesses. Assistant State Health Officer Doctor Joseph Kanter says the governor would rather see everyone do more when it comes to spread mitigation efforts, than returning the state to Phase one coronavirus restrictions…

 

According to the state health department, only 59% of those who tested positive from COVID-19 since mid-May have responded to phone calls from contact tracers and only one-third are answering calls within the crucial first 24 hours after the test results.

 

State police report a  Plaucheville woman is dead following a three-vehicle crash yesterday in Avoyelles Parish.  According to the report 62 year old  Patricia Guillory was traveling north on Hwy 1179 when she failed to negotiate a curve near Duplechain Road and went off the highway. She then hit a tree and two unoccupied vehicles parked at a home. Guillory was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

 

KALB reports Cool Planet, an agriculture technology company that develops and markets products for soil health, is shutting down its Alexandria facility, according to multiple sources. The Central Louisiana Regional Port confirmed to KALB that yesterday was Cool Planet’s last day on its property. The company recently opened its new warehouse facility back in of last year.

 

Orleans and Jefferson Parish have issued mandatory mask-wearing ordinances for those visiting parish businesses. Jefferson Parish President Lee Sheng says their proclamation takes effect today and is the only way the parish will be able to one day move into Phase Three. Sheng says the parish is still working out the details of how it could be enforced, and what punishments would be handed out to businesses in violation.

 

The special Legislative session has concluded and many tort reform advocates are celebrating a deal cut in the final few hours of the session that led to the passage of a reform bill that supporters say will lower auto insurance rates. The bill sets the jury trial threshold at 10,000 dollars, limits when insurance company’s names can be mentioned in court, removes a ban on mentioning a crash victim’s seatbelt status, and make other adjustments to collateral source, which appeared to be the biggest stumbling block in negotiations between the GOP and Governor Edwards signaled his approval of the legislation, complementing Republicans for compromising.

 

The Legislature wrapped up work on the 34 billion dollar budget. Despite the influx of hundreds of millions of dollars in CARES Act money Governor Edwards warned there will still have to be some cuts due to COVID-related revenue shortfalls. Edwards also indicated he is concerned about the revenue impact of a series of tax cuts for businesses that passed…

 

Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart announces a grand jury has returned an indictment against eight Shreveport police officers for allegedly using excessive force against two men who were apprehended back on January 24th. A written report from Stewart’s office says dash camera video from a Caddo Parish Sheriff’s deputy vehicle shows the eight Shreveport police officers physically striking two individuals at the end of a police chase. Stewart says the eight men charged have been booked and released on bond.

 

Senator Bill Cassidy says he expects another federal stimulus package to be passed sometime in late July. Cassidy aims to have CARES 4.0 focused on covering the estimated 500 billion dollars of lost revenue for local governments nationwide. Cassidy says Senators are evaluating whether they will maintain federal unemployment assistance set to expire July 31st but feels it won’t be necessary if economies can reopen. When asked how big the next stimulus might be, Cassidy expressed concern that about 50 percent of the money allocated for COVID recovery hasn’t even been spent yet.

 

Any Louisianan planning on heading to New York or New Jersey for the 4th of July may have to change their plans. Both states are now urging travelers from a number of other states, Louisiana included, to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entry. New York and New Jersey were early epicenters of the pandemic but have seen cases drastically fall off. State health officials there say they don’t want travelers from growing hotspots to undo the progress they’ve made.

 

Sports..

 

New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin said today that three Pelicans players tested positive for COVID-19 last week. The unidentified players are in self-isolation and are tested daily. They need to have two negative tests before they can play. The 22 NBA teams that will resume their season in Orlando, must turn in a roster by the end of tomorrow. Griffin does not expect any Pelicans player not to play. 65-year-old head coach Alvin Gentry, who is a cancer survivor, also said he plans to be in Orlando with the team. But Griffin says Gentry’s status is to be determined.

 

ESPN announced today that former LSU defensive lineman Marcus Spears will appear daily on NFL Live when the network relaunch’s the show in August. The sports network also says Spears has signed a new multi-year ESPN extension. The Baton Rouge native says it’s a pinch myself moment to talk NFL five days a week.

 

LSU linebacker Marcel Brooks has told the Athletic his decision to enter the NCAA transfer portal is because of family, but he didn’t elaborate. Brooks was expected to play a big role on the Tigers defense in 2020, but it appears he’ll look to continue his college career at a school closer to his Dallas home.

 

Former LSU safety Eric Monroe has reportedly decided to transfer to Texas Tech. Monroe was a highly rated defensive back out of the Houston area. In three seasons at LSU, Monroe had 21 tackles, most of those tackles occurred during his redshirt freshman season.

 

The Monroe News-Star reports Ruston High School has suspended football workouts for two weeks after a player tested positive for coronavirus.

Good Morning.. News For Tuesday June 30th, 2020

News for Tuesday June 30th, 2020

Compiled By Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Louisiana tacks on another 845 cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the grand total to just over 57,000. 46% of those new cases are among those 29 and younger. Hospitalizations are the highest they’ve been in over a month, increasing by 22 to 737. Total deaths, 3,091, up by 5.

 

Governor Edwards says he will consider a New Orleans lawmaker’s request to place regulations on visitors to Louisiana entering from COVID hotspots, but he says his public health experts haven’t said it is necessary.

 

The City of Alexandria announced yesterday that it will not host the annual Rock the Red celebration nor will there be a public fireworks display this year for Independence Day on July 4. In light of the increasing number of coronavirus cases in Central Louisiana, as well as the extension of the Phase 2 executive order by Gov. John Bel Edwards, City officials determined it was best not to host an activity that could encourage people to gather in crowds. There was also a reminder in the press release, as the City of Alexandria reminds residents that it is illegal for individuals to set off fireworks in the city limits.

 

The APD reports another death in the city over the weekend. Officers were called to the  3200 block of Laurel Street Sunday evening. Upon arriving the found the deceased victim. No other information has been released by authorities.

 

A measure providing grocery store workers, bus drivers, law enforcement personnel, and healthcare workers with a 250-dollar check gains final legislative approval in the House and is heading to the Governor’s desk. Monroe Senator Jay Morris says federal coronavirus relief dollars will pay for the tax credit. Front line or essential workers will be eligible for this 250-dollar check if they make less than 50-thousand dollars a year.

 

A Louisiana abortion law authored by Monroe Senator Katrina Jackson in 2014 is struck down by the Supreme Court. If upheld the law would have required abortion clinics to have admitting privileges, which pro-choice advocates say would have closed two of the state’s three clinics. The Supreme Court also struck down a similar law out of Texas in 2016. The Center for Reproductive Rights filed suit preventing Louisiana’s law from going into effect. The decision was 5-4 against Louisiana’s law.

 

Tort reform aimed at lowering auto insurance rates has taken center stage through most of the regular and special session and now lawmakers have until 6PM tonight to pass their last ditch efforts before the session ends. LaPolitics.com Publisher Jeremy Alford says legislators are still considering everything from resolutions temporarily suspending portions of current tort law, to new bills by a freshman and the House Speaker. Alford says one of the most interesting new developments is a bill by Mandeville freshman Representative Richard Nelson that includes items like a lower jury trial threshold, but also has a sunset attached, that would require Insurance Companies to reduce rates or the law would go away.

 

Outside of the central battle over tort lawmakers have a number of other issues to finalize. Legislation shielding public and private schools from suits related to potential COVID outbreaks on their campuses is one vote away from final passage. The now 35 billion dollar budget still needs to be finalized. A number of tax breaks and credits for COVID impacted businesses are still being considered as well, but are finding opposition from Democrats who say the state doesn’t have the revenue to do that right now.

 

The Louisiana Workforce Commission reports over half of the money in the state’s unemployment trust fund has been spent during the coronavirus pandemic.   LWC Executive Director Ava Dejoie says there is growing concern the fund, which was at one time just over one billion dollars, will run dry within 14 weeks. From March 22nd through June 26th, Dejoie says the state has paid out $3.5 billion in unemployment benefits, with most of that being federal dollars from the CARES Act. If the fund goes empty, out of work residents would still receive unemployment. Dejoie says several states have already run out of unemployment money and if it happens to Louisiana, the state will borrow money from the feds like the other states.

 

Health officials believe that recent demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd by police have not resulted in a significant addition of new COVID-19 cases. Assistant state health officer Dr. Joseph Kanter says that’s probably because the virus doesn’t spread well outside and protestors were wearing mask, but adds no matter what other mitigation efforts are taken, it is still always best to avoid large crowds.

 

Sports..

 

LSU athletics director Scott Woodward previously said a decision will be made in July on whether fans will be allowed inside Tiger Stadium to watch football games this season. But a professor at the LSU School of Public Health says the COVID-19 risk is too high. Epidemiologist Edward Trapido told LSU’s student newspaper that he would not recommend fans at LSU games this year. One of his colleagues, Susanne Straif-Bourgeois, calls it a logistical nightmare. An LSU spokesperson says the school remains hopeful that fans will be allowed in Tiger Stadium, but a lot still has to be determined with respect to COVID.

 

LSU men’s basketball coach Will Wade is welcoming his players back on campus for voluntarily workouts, but he’ll do so in stages. Five players were expected to report today, another four or five players will return to campus on July 13th and the rest of the team will arrive at the end of July.

 

LSU announces that senior pitcher Matthew Beck from Alexandria will wear number eight in 2021. The number eight jersey is given each season to the upperclassmen who exemplifies the spirit of LSU Baseball through his leadership and dedication to the program. Beck has been a solid pitcher out of the bullpen for the Tigers, posting a 9-1 record with a 2.66 ERA in 77 career appearances.

 

Louisiana Tech says eight of its players are competing in summer league action across the South. Cole McConnell, Logan McLeod, Jack Payne, Ben Brantley, Joseph Carbone, Adarius Myers, Kyle Crigger and Manny Garcia are getting a chance to play after a shortened 2020 season.

 

Several major league players have made the decision not to play in 2020 because health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19. The World Series champs will not have first baseman Ryan Zimmerman or pitcher Joss Ross, and Arizona pitcher Mike Leake says he’s not playing as well.

Good Morning.. News For Monday June 29th, 2020

News for Monday June 29th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Health officials in Louisiana are now reporting there are 56,236  cases of Covid-19 in the state an increase of 1467 over the weekend. There have been 3,086 deaths  reported in the state since the beginning of the pandemic. Here in Rapides Parish we’ve seen 1,498 cases that’s an increase of 45 cases over the weekend. 57 people have died thus far.

 

Governor Edwards is demanding businesses comply with coronavirus restrictions as Covid-19 numbers continue to soar across the state. Edwards says the state office of public health, A-T-C, and state fire marshal deputies will conduct robust compliance checks on businesses when they get complaints they are not following Phase two restrictions. Assistant health secretary Dr. Alex Billioux says in order to stop the surge in cases, Louisiana residents should wear masks in public and maintain social distancing.

 

An unprecedented special session called by Republican legislators during the coronavirus crisis still must resolve two key issues before adjournment at 6 p.m. tomorrow. Legislators still must approve the operating and construction budgets that will fund health care, education, prisons and countless other state activities beginning July 1. The Republican-led Legislature also must settle on a plan on the most contentious issue of the year — the effort to limit court payments to car accident victims and their attorneys.

 

If Louisiana is still in Phase Two when schools reopen in August then students who rely on busses could be in a bit of a bind, with busses limited to 50 percent occupancy. State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley says districts are working on solutions to the school bus capacity limit. The state will remain in Phase Two for another 27 days due to the recent spike in cases. Brumley says Phase Two school bus limitations and other restrictions mean students may be doing a split of distance and congregate learning should schools reopen without moving to Phase Three.

 

An Alexandria police officer has been released from the hospital after an altercation with three people in the parking lot of Rapides Regional Hospital. After being asked one time to turn down loud music, the vehicle holding three people was observed a short time later with music blaring and this time they were asked to leave or face arrest. But, a short time later they were back. This time the APD officer told them three people they were under arrest. One of the vehicles occupants then attacked the officer striking him multiple times, knocking him unconscious. Bystanders, as well as backup police officers, intervened. The officer used a taser on the suspect, and all three suspects were taken into custody.

 

The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred Early Sunday Morning in the 100 block of Sunset Drive. During the preliminary investigation, officers determined that there were multiple shots fired from a small vehicle which was occupied by several people. Three victims were transported to local hospitals by Acadian Ambulance. One of the victims later died at the hospital. The victim’s name is not being released at this time pending notification of family.

 

Legislation that would provide grocery store workers, bus drivers, law enforcement personnel, and healthcare workers with a 250-dollar check is nearing final legislative passage. The legislation needs House approval on Senate changes before it heads to the governor’s desk. It passed out of the Senate on a 38-0 vote. Federal coronavirus relief dollars will pay for the tax credit…

 

The C-D-C now says pregnant women may be more at risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 than those who are not expecting. This news comes on the heels of a Baton Rouge mother who gave birth to a premature baby but died from COVID-19 complications. The newborn girl is fighting for her life in intensive care.

 

A common childhood vaccine might help prevent severe lung inflammation and sepsis if a person is infected with COVID-19. LSU Health New Orleans researcher Dr. Paul Fidel suggests that live attenuated vaccines such as MMR can help boost an adult’s immune system to mount a more effective defense. The next step, Fidel says they plan to give the MMR vaccination to adult primates to see if it can prevent severe complications of COVID-19.

 

The University of Louisiana System is anticipating a five percent loss of revenue by the end of the 2021 fiscal year. President Jim Henderson says part of the revenue loss can be attributed to a drop in enrollment. For the current fiscal year that ends Tuesday, the UL System is set to suffer a 28 million dollar loss.

 

LSU has set its fall academic calendar. Classes will begin August 24th. The fall holiday in October has been canceled and students will not return to campus to finish the fall semester after the Thanksgiving holiday. The final few classes and finals will be held online.

 

The Louisiana Farm Bureau has a new president for the first time in 31 years as Jim Harper from here in Rapides Parish has been elected to replace Ronnie Anderson. Harper is a crawfish, sugarcane and soybean farmer, who previously served as vice president.

 

Housing advocates warn Louisiana is likely to suffer a substantial wave of evictions after enhanced federal assistance for rent and unemployment ends July 31st. Center for Planning Excellence CEO Camille Manning-Broome says due to Louisiana’s service-based economy they estimate 69,000 to 132,000 renter households are at risk once benefits end. Nationally that number is estimated to be nearly seven million.

Good Morning... News For Friday June 19th, 2020

News for Friday June 26th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

KALB TV Reports Central Louisiana State Hospital in Pineville is being affected by COVID-19.the LDH reports the hospital has had 71 patients test positive for the virus, and three patients have died. Four more are currently hospitalized. So far, 50 patients have recovered from the virus. An additional 42 employees have also tested positive for COVID-19.

 

The trend of higher COVID case counts and increased hospitalizations continues with 938 new positive tests reported state wide Thursday and 22 additional hospitalizations.

Louisiana has seen over 53,000 COVID-19 cases and 3,000 fatalities.

 

Shreveport Republican Alan Seabaugh is once again pushing his petition to end Louisiana’s state of emergency because of COVID-19.  Seabaugh needs the support of 53 other lawmakers in the House and says the spread mitigation restrictions have been extended too long.

 

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality warns residents with breathing issues to remain indoors as the Saharan Dust Cloud begins impacting New Orleans this afternoon. LDEQ Air Planning and Assessment Administrator Jason Myers says the dust can exasperate existing respiratory conditions. Wearing an N95 mask is recommended for those who have to go outside and have respiratory issues right now.

The dust hangs in the air and will add a haze to the sky, along with brightening up the sunset.

 

State workers will not be getting their scheduled pay raises if the budget remains it its current state. Senate Finance Committee members agreed to pause the raises and reconsider them later in the year, citing concern over the  “optics” of giving state workers a pay raise while so many private-sector employees have lost their jobs, but Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne notes that most of the workers who will be impacted don’t make a lot of money.

 

The City of Alexandria utility department is warning residents to be on guard for scammers who are calling customers and threatening to shut off their power unless they make an immediate payment. The City reminds all residents that it will not call customers asking them to make a credit card payment or wire money for bill payment and threaten to terminate services.  If you receive such a call, hang up and contact authorities.

 

The state education department released a plan Thursday on how public schools can reopen for the upcoming school year and do so without contributing to the spread of COVID-19. One of the guidelines calls for children in third grade and above to wear masks and students with a breathing condition could wear a face shield. The plan also calls for symptom monitoring of students when they arrive and throughout the day, including an initial temp check. Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Larry Carter says sick students need to be isolated quickly…

 

COVID-19 is impacting summer travel. The AAA travel forecast shows Americans will take far fewer trips this summer as experts expect to see a 15%  decrease compared to last summer. Driving sees the smallest decrease in travel volume, down 3.6% over the year. AAA spokesperson Don Redman says other transportation methods are taking a much worse hit. Cruise ship, rail, and bus travel are down by 86% over the year.

 

Louisiana’s first harvested batch of industrial hemp has been tested and is in compliance with rules for the crop.  State Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says the crop received the green light after being tested to make sure THC concentration level is below the legal limit of .3% Strain says in Louisiana there are over 100 people licensed as growers, processors, transporters, or seed sellers of hemp.

 

A 72-year-old Louisiana woman is in critical condition, but stable condition after being attacked by her two pit bulls on Thursday. A neighbor who call the sheriff’s office was also attacked and bitten. Both dogs were still attacking their owner when St. Tammany Parish sheriff’s deputies arrived at the woman’s home near Mandeville. The deputies shot the dogs after the dogs turned on them.

 

Sports..

 

Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins said on C-N-N today that football is a nonessential business and the coronavirus risk would have to be eliminated for him to feel comfortable playing football this season. Jenkins says he also doesn’t want to put his parents at risk of getting sick.

 

LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine says for high school football practice to start, Louisiana has to be in phase three of its reopening and it’s disappointing to see the increase in coronavirus cases. Bonine says they will not flip the fall sports season with the spring sports so that football can be played during the academic year. Bonine says there also no plans to push back the football season. That’s because they want to hold the Prep Classic December 11th and 12th.

 

The NFL’s Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Steelers on August sixth in Canton, Ohio has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony has been postponed to 2021.

 

ULM has announced football coach Matt Viator has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him on the Warhawk sidelines through the 2022 season. The extension reportedly does not come with a raise in pay. The USA Today reports that Viator’s base salary is 390-thousand dollars and he can receive 50-thousand dollars in bonuses.

 

Former McNeese baseball player and head coach Todd Butler has returned to his alma mater and will serve as the school’s new Senior Associate Athletics Director. Butler will oversee ticketing and game promotions operations, work on fundraising and serve as a liaison to the athletic corporate sponsorships. Butler earned his degree from McNeese in 1991 and was the head coach of the Pokes from 2001 to 2003. His last job was as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Missouri.

 

In girls high school basketball…former LSU star Temeka Johnson has been named the new head coach at John Curtis, replace Barbara Farris, who accepted an assistant head coaching job at Stetson. Johnson is leaving as head coach of McKinley in Baton Rouge.

 

Good Morning.... News For Thursday June 25th, 2020

News for Thursday June 25th, 2020

Compiled By Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Coronavirus in Louisiana: 52,477 cases | 3,039 dead | 631 in hospital | 39,792 recovered

 

The Acadiana region is outpacing other regions of the state in new COVID-19 cases. On Tuesday’s case report, of the tests taken in the region, 11.1% came back positive, higher than the federal recommendations in moving forward in economic reopening. Dr. Tina Stefanski, regional medical director of the Office of Public Health in Acadiana, says the age groups that are the most problematic are the younger demographics. Wednesday’s statewide total case count increases by 882 to 52,477.

 

State Police report a 16 year old Otis Boy lost his life yesterday in a two vehicle accident on Highway 28 at  highway 121. Connor Lemoine was traveling westbound on Hwy 28, when while attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Hwy 121, he was struck by an oncoming vehicle. Lemoine sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, two adult passengers, and one juvenile passenger in the other vehicle sustained minor injuries. The accident is still under investigation.

 

The Alexandria Police Dept. arrested an Alexandria man in connection with a stabbing and robbery that occurred Sunday in the 2000 block of North Mall Drive. 25 year old Dakota Lee Erwin of Alexandria was arrested Tuesday and charged with attempted second degree murder and armed robbery. This incident remains under investigation. If anyone has any information about the incident, please contact the APD.

 

Governor Edwards’ new proclamation of extending Phase Two reopening for another 28 days is officially issued today.  Edwards says when ranking of states by per capita COVID-19 cases, Louisiana is ranked 7th, down three spots from its previous best ranking. 245,000 tests have been done in the state this month with no plans to slow those efforts down.

 

Governor Edwards is alarmed by the growing numbers or younger individuals testing positive for the virus and encourages them to take mitigation efforts seriously.  Edwards says while younger people think they may be untouchable by the virus, they can suffer poor health outcomes, including death. They can also bring the illness to older friends and family.

 

Heated moment Wednesday afternoon in the House as lawmakers took up a resolution to create a task force dedicated to studying policing policy. Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says the Black Caucus and Republican leaders struck a deal to pass the resolution in exchange for stripping it of any mention of George Floyd and agreeing not to hold floor speeches on policing. The resolution, by Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields, heads back to the Senate for approval of the House made changes.

 

Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration and Treasurer John Schroder said Wednesday they have struck an agreement ending a three-year dispute over Louisiana's unclaimed property money that has tied up millions of dollars earmarked for government programs in litigation. The resolution is contained in Senate Bills 12 and 18 by Houma Republican Sen. Mike Fesi, which won easy support Wednesday from the House Appropriations Committee and is only steps from final passage. The plan will free up millions to spend in the upcoming budget as Edwards wants, but keep the unclaimed property dollars locked up in a trust fund in the future as Schroder wants.

 

The House approves legislation protecting public and private schools from civil suits by students or teachers who say they got COVID on school grounds. Amite Representative Robby Carter says a school board superintendent told him this bill was vital to actually having students back in classrooms come fall. The vote was 82-17.

 

A bill that places an eight-percent tax on net revenue from online fantasy sports contests is heading to the governor’s desk after it received final legislative approval. The money would generate about 375-thousand dollars a year. River Ridge Senator Kirk Talbot says all of the money will go towards funding early childhood education. In 2018, voters in 47 of the 64 parishes legalized fantasy sports betting. Residents in parishes who voted for it have been waiting for lawmakers to pass the tax component.

 

The family of a gay teenager stabbed in the neck and wrists believes 18-year-old Holden White of Kaplan is the victim of a hate crime. Police have arrested 19-year-old Chance Seneca and charged him with attempted second-degree murder, but no hate crime charges have been added. White is in intensive care, but his family says his condition is improving.

 

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announces the city will enforce the use of face masks, due to the uptick of coronavirus cases. Health officials report the increase in cases is a result of community spread. Cantrell says Police officers will be provided masks to hand out to those in need of one. The mayor also says the city will also be shutting down any businesses that are out of compliance with current guidelines.

 

The state’s only current medical marijuana grower announces it will lower its prices as a result of a new law that greatly expands access to the treatment. Wellcana CEO John Davis says the price reductions will allow pharmacies to sell the product at the average price for the nation’s more mature markets. The law expanding access goes into effect on August 1st.

 

In Homer, a confederate monument that was once prominent at the Claiborne Parish courthouse lawn has been removed. The Claiborne Parish Police Jury voted unanimously last week to have the 9-foot-tall, eight-thousand-pound monument removed. The monument had been on the courthouse lawn since 1940.

 

 

Good Morning.... News For Wednesday June 24th, 2020

News for Wednesday June 24th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

The state continues its troubling trend in new COVID cases, yesterday posting the highest single-day increase in new cases since April 7th with 1,356 new positive tests. The increased numbers suggest community spread is accelerating due to another day of increased hospitalizations of COVID patients, and the over seven percent positive rate for tests conducted. Ventilator use also increased by 14.

 

Young people ages 18 to 29 lead the state in positive COVID-19 cases for a total of just under nine thousand. That’s approximately 19-hundred more than those 60 and older. Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Alex Billoux says the increase among 18 to 29-year-olds is concerning because of the impact they can have on their families.

 

At The Alexandria City Council meeting last night, members of the council voted unanimously to remove the confederate monument in front of the Rapides Parish Courthouse as soon as possible. City Attorney David Williams told the council even though there’s no documentation it’s believed the city is the rightful owner of the statue. But, before it can be removed,  the city is requesting declaratory judgment from a judge so they can move forward and remove the statue from the Courthouse grounds.

 

State Fire Marshal deputies will perform random courtesy visits to businesses in an effort to help owners better comply with COVID spread mitigation restrictions. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says they will visit various businesses with the goal of increasing compliance. Browning says they’re not looking to bust owners for breaking COVID regulations, they’re hoping to help them correct any mistakes. Browning says most businesses are doing their best to be compliant.

 

The Senate Finance Committee will take up the 34 billion dollar budget for the next fiscal year this afternoon. Lapolitics.com Publisher Jeremy Alford expects it to be approved, but notes crafting the budget is tricky because total revenue could change if a series of COVID relief tax breaks are passed. Several of the larger tax break bills headed to the Senate floor have been redirected back to Senate Finance for further review. Federal relief dollars plugged most of the, at one point, billion-dollar shortfall, but some cuts in healthcare and higher ed are still planned. Alford says early year promises for more early childhood education funding and teacher pay raises had to be abandoned as well. The state constitution requires the budget to be balanced.

 

Governor Edwards expects campuses of K-12 schools as well as colleges and universities to reopen in August. Edwards says the latest COVID-19 metrics concerning young people is concerning as to how that will impact heading back to school. Edwards says the school experience will likely look much different. Edwards says formulating the model for what the school will look like on the first day of class will largely be dependent upon what the circumstances are at that time. Thursday night at 6 o’clock, Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley will tell the Senate Education Committee his plan for reopening K-12 schools.

 

The Louisiana House has overwhelmingly voted to give K-12 schools and colleges sweeping protections against civil lawsuits from students and teachers who contract an infectious disease, including COVID-19. The measure is sponsored by Republican Rep. Buddy Mincey, a former Livingston Parish School Board member. The protections would be given to public and private K-12 schools; charter schools; and public and private colleges. Mincey says the limitation from liability is critical to allow schools to offer in-person classes this fall. Opponents say the protections could put students and teachers at greater risk of exposure.

 

Senator Bill Cassidy says Congress is working on another round of federal economic relief but feels the 600 dollar a week federal unemployment benefit must be changed. Cassidy says the unemployed must not be allowed to collect more in unemployment benefits than they made at their last job. Cassidy says one of his constituents says the unemployment benefits are making it difficult to staff their business as the economy begins to reopen.

 

The Senate voted 36-0 Tuesday to give final passage to a bill to levy an 8 percent state tax on the net revenue from fantasy sports contests. The aim is to dedicate that tax money to early childhood education. A 2018 law allowed voters in each parish to decide whether or not they wanted to be able to bet on fantasy sports. Forty-seven of the 64 parishes approved it. When fantasy sports betting was legalized, legislators said that it could not take effect unless it was taxed. The enactment of this tax is the last step in allowing citizens to bet on fantasy sports.

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reports a third straight month of over-the-year increases in fishing license sales. Over 51,000 fishing licenses were sold in May 2020 compared to over 38,000 in May 2019.

 

A Shreveport man faces charges of animal cruelty after several hundred heads of cattle were discovered suffering from starvation and neglect. The Caddo Parish Sherriff’s office says 49-year old Tremecius Dixon was arrested Tuesday after an investigation on his property discovered the carcasses of at least 10 cattle, the remaining 250 were malnourished and lacked adequate water supply. Bond is set at 25-thousand dollars.

 

 

 

Sports..

 

The Saints announced Tuesday that two members from their Super Bowl team will be inducted in the team’s hall of fame later this year. Jahri Evans and Roman Harper were both drafted in 2006 and played big roles in helping the Black and Gold win the Super Bowl a few years later. The two combined to play in eight pro bowls. Also, longtime Saints Spanish radio broadcaster Marco Garcia will receive the Joe Gemelli “Fleur de Lis” award for his contributions to the organization.

 

The Athletic is reporting the NFL will not dictate attendance capacity limits for this season, instead the league has told teams that they should follow their local health COVID-19 guidelines on social distancing rules. A stadium reopening task force is expected to offer recommendations either next week or early July. If the entire season and postseason is played without fans, it will reportedly cost the NFL three billion dollars.

 

Nicholls State has named former Colonel football player and coach Jonathan Terrell as its new athletics director. Terrell is the first Black A-D in school history. He played quarterback and wide receiver for the Colonels in the mid-1990s and returned to Nicholls to serve as quarterbacks coach in 2004. Terrell has been a sales professional in private business and he’s also been president of the First Down Club.

 

Good Morning.. News For Tuesday June 23rd, 2020

News for Tuesday June 23rd, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

A deadly 3 vehicle crash yesterday shortly after noon claimed the lives of 5 people and injured 6 others.  The crash on Hwy 29 at Hwy 1184 in Cottonport is being investigated by State Police who report 21 year old Derrick Kyle JR of Cottonport, was traveling northbound on Hwy 29. For reasons still under investigation his vehicle crossed the center lines into the southbound travel lane and struck a van head-on. After the head-on collision, which left both of these vehicles disabled on the highway, a car heading southbound struck the van. Kyle Jr. and his passenger, identified as 20 year old Jada Cook of Marksville, sustained fatal injuries. A third passenger in Kyle Jr.'s vehicle, identified as a juvenile, sustained serious injuries and was transported to a local hospital. The driver and three adult passengers in the van sustained serious injuries and were transported to a local hospital. Three additional adult passengers in the van sustained fatal injuries. They are identified as 60 year old Steven Freeman of Ville Platte, 50 year old Jacoby Mayes of Eunice, and 55 year old Hayward Petre Jr of Ville Platte.

 

Governor Edwards announces the state will not move into Phase 3 of reopening its economy and it will remain in Phase 2 for another 28 days. Edwards made the announcement on the day Louisiana surpassed 50-thousand COVID-19 cases and three-thousand deaths, Edwards says Louisiana is one of 23 states experiencing an increase in cases and hospitalizations are also on the rise. Louisiana saw its biggest single-day hospitalization increase since April on Monday.

 

On a positive note, the Governor said yesterday Public K-12 schools throughout Louisiana, as well as colleges and universities, can expect to open their doors "on time" in August.

 

A Senate-approved bill that would provide an 83-million dollar tax break over five years for the state’s casinos and race tracks moved closer to final passage as the House Ways and Means Committee approved it Monday. The legislation would allow each casino to give customers five-million dollars in free promotional play wagers without having to pay state taxes on those amounts.

 

An estimated 450,000 Louisiana small businesses who’ve been impacted by COVID-19 economic shutdowns could qualify to receive grants from a fund set to start disbursing money next month. For the first 21 days, only businesses with one to forty-nine employees as of March 1st that have received no federal aid can apply. 40 million dollars of the program has been set aside specifically for veteran, women, and minority-owned businesses.  Not all businesses who qualify may receive grants if the fund runs out. The 300 million dollars set aside from the program is drawn from 1.8 billion in federal relief dollars sent to the state.

 

The Senate passes lawsuit reform legislation that supporters believe may help lower auto insurance rates. The bill lowers the jury trial threshold to 10,000 dollars, prevents insurance company’s names from being mentioned in court, and removes a gag order on whether a crash victim was wearing a seat belt. Democrats fumed over the legislation’s lack of any wording requiring auto insurance rates to go down if the bill were to pass. Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau says it does nothing for drivers…

 

A cloud of Saharan dust is crossing the Atlantic and is set to arrive in Louisiana by Wednesday bringing with it more COVID-19 concerns.  The dust consists of tiny mineral rock particles from Africa. While it can produce vivid sunsets, the head of environmental sciences at LSU Health New Orleans, Dr. James Diaz, says it poses a risk to those with underlying health conditions. Those with asthma, COPD, chronic bronchitis, and heart conditions should be most cautious.  Diaz says the dust can also impact pollen allergy sufferers and possibly increase the transmission of COVID-19. Diaz says the best defense is keeping tabs on air quality alerts and staying indoors or be ready with a face covering if you do have to be outside.

 

Saturday was the first day of early voting for the July 11th Presidential Preference Primary and election officials say they’ve already received 48-thousand mail-in ballots. Anyone who is at a high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, caring for a high-risk person, or experiencing COVID symptoms, can also request an absentee ballot. Louisiana’s presidential primary is not the only item on the ballot for the July 11th. There are also local races in 24 parishes and party committee positions. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says more than 116-thousand absentee ballots have been requested.

 

Several oil and gas service businesses in Louisiana have filed for bankruptcy protection in recent weeks amid an economic downturn spurred by the coronavirus pandemic and low crude oil prices. Two businesses near Lafayette, one in Houma and another in Kenner filed for bankruptcy, all of which appear to be oil and gas services companies. Dozens more Louisiana businesses are owed money by the companies filing for bankruptcy. In recent weeks, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association has said about half its 460 member companies have told the organization that bankruptcy was on the table as an option to survive the economic downturn.

 

The Department of Health is aiming to prevent crisis situations with the launch of the Behavioral Health Recovery Outreach Line. Assistant secretary of the Office of Behavioral Health Karen Stubbs says the hotline model is one that has proven to be an effective resource for those with mental health disorders. Calls received range from those having a tough day to those self-identifying the warning signs of mental or emotional changes. The phone number is 1-833-333-1132.

 

Sports..

 

Southern University has canceled its first two football games of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So the Jaguars’ first regular-season game is September 19th at Alabama A-and-M. Southern is still scheduled to wrap up the regular season versus Grambling in the Bayou Classic, but the venue is to be determined as the Superdome might not host the game this year.

 

NASCAR is working with law enforcement to try and figure out who hung a noose in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace at the Talladega Speedway in Alabama. Wallace, who is NASCAR’s lone full-time driver, reportedly never saw the noose. NASCAR said in a statement that they are angry and outraged over the heinous act. Wallace says this will not break him and before today’s race, the entire NASCAR garage pushed Wallace’s number 43 car to the front of the grid in a show solidarity with the Alabama native.

 

Webb Simpson was the winner at the R-B-C Heritage golf tournament in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Simpson shot a seven-under 64 to defeat Abraham Ancer by one shot. It’s the second victory on the tour this year and Simpson now ranks fifth in the world.

 

In NFL news, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has officially signed his 31-million dollar franchise tag tender. Dallas and Prescott have until July 15th to reach a long-term deal. If not he’ll make 31-million dollars this season if they play 16 games.

Good Morning.. News For Monday June 22nd, 2020

News for Monday June 22nd 2020

Compiled By Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Louisiana health officials reported nearly 400 more cases of coronavirus on Sunday and an additional 15 hospitalizations. The 393 additional cases are down from the past few days, though fewer tests results were reported Sunday. One new confirmed death was reported, bringing the state's total to 2,993.

 

A Sports Illustrated report says at least 30 LSU football players have been isolated after they either tested positive for COVID-19 or had contact with players who tested positive. Some of the quarantined players admitted they visited nightclubs near LSU’s campus, which has been the source for over 100 new cases. LSU says the players who have tested positive are showing minor symptoms or no symptoms at all. Tiger Rag Editor Ron Higgins says numerous other schools have also reported multiple players testing positive for COVID-19. Three Ragin Cajuns athletes have also tested positive, seven are in quarantine. The football season is still more than two months away and Higgins says schools will continue to make the effort to play football this year.

 

Governor Edwards is expected to announce whether or not the state will move into Phase Three this afternoon. Public Affairs Research Council President Robert Travis Scott says Edwards has a lot to consider given our new upward trajectory of case growth and the face that a majority of the state’s health regions are seeing a growth in new cases. The good news.. even with the recent spike over the past ten days Scott says we’re still nowhere close to overtopping our healthcare capacity.

 

State education leaders are finalizing guidelines for the reopening of public schools amid thorny questions on whether students will be expected to wear face masks, ways to avoid crowded school buses and how many skittish families will opt for distance learning over traditional classrooms. Some schools resume classes Aug. 6, and earlier in districts offering remedial work because of the sudden shutdown in March. Cade Brumley, state superintendent of education, said Friday exactly what schools will look like this time depends on what phase the state is in for combating the coronavirus pandemic.

 

A survey of southerners shows while nearly all whites have heard news about blacks being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, the majority don’t believe it.

GBAO Strategies Pollster Jim Gerstein says over 75% of white respondents reported being previously told by media that blacks suffered disproportionately from the disease, but that they don’t believe it. In Louisiana, 53 percent of COVID deaths have been African Americans, who make up just 32 percent of the population. The survey was conducted during a seven day period starting the day after the death of George Floyd and was created by E Pluribus Unum.

 

Early voting is underway for the presidential primary election. The voting experience will be different because of COVID-19. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin encourages voters to practice social distancing while at the polls and while mask-wearing is not mandated, it will be encouraged. Only registered Republicans can vote in the GOP primary and registered Democrats in the Democratic presidential primary. Ardoin says in addition to the presidential primary, voters in 24 parishes will have local items on their ballot. For those that qualify for vote by mail, the cut off to request an absentee ballot is July 7th.

 

Governor Edwards is highly encouraging residents to fill out their 2020 census if you haven’t already.  The census only happens once every ten years, so Edwards stresses the importance of getting it right. He says the census means more than just a headcount of the population as the data is used to determine the allocation of federal dollars for various programs. So far approximately 56 percent of residents have filled out their census compared to the average of 64 percent for the nation. Edwards says Louisiana is dead last among responses compared to other Deep South states. Collected data also feeds into the redistricting that takes place once every ten years.

 

Health officials in New Orleans have identified new clusters of COVID-19, tracing them to a graduation party and a large gathering at outside of an Orleans Parish bar. A number of how many are affected was not released. And in Baton Rouge an outbreak of more than 100 cases is linked to Tigerland bars and restaurants near the LSU campus. Officials encourage those who were in contact with the outbreaks to get tested and self-quarantine.

 

Louisiana health officials say about a third of the nursing homes in the state are not regularly testing their staff and residents. State health officer Doctor Jimmy Guidry says facilities who fail to follow the state’s testing guidelines could be hit with sanctions. Guidry says they are asking nursing homes to conduct weekly tests on all residents and staff if there are known COVID cases in the facility.

 

Union Tank Car announced late last week, due to current market conditions, their plans to reduce production by approximately 25 percent at its Alexandria manufacturing plant. The reduction here will also affect Union Tanks component facility in Sheldon, Texas. The change is expected to take effect in July.

 

Troy Middleton’s name has been removed from the LSU campus library following a unanimous decision by the board of supervisors. Middleton was a decorated World War Two general and LSU President who opposed efforts to allow blacks to attend the state’s flagship school during his tenure, and according to one board member allegedly did nothing to stop the beatings and harassment of school’s first black PhD student by white students. Former lawmaker Woody Jenkins spoke on behalf of the Middleton family, saying despite his views on race Middleton was a man students should be proud of. The library was named for Middleton in 1978 after his death.

Good Morning... News For Friday June 19th, 2020

News for Friday June 19th, 2020

 

Governor John Bell Edwards announced yesterday Louisiana is seeing a “concerning” rise in cases of Covid-19 and a recent uptick in hospitalizations in recent days, with the vast majority of new infections the result of community spread in cities across the state.

 

In Acadiana health officials say the number of new cases is alarming.. Likewise the Lake Charles and Alexandria regions are seeing poor trends as well. While the Governor says he is not currently considering moving backward in the phased reopening, he declined to say whether he’s considering moving some regions into Phase 3 but not others.

 

The Louisiana House has unanimously approved a bill that will result in the state sending grocery store employees, bus drivers, nurses, EMS workers and other first responders with a 250-dollar check for hazard pay. Those who make less than 50-thousand dollars will be eligible. Federal coronavirus relief aid will pay for the one-time bonus checks for those who were required to work when the COVID crisis began. The measure still needs Senate approval.

 

Governor Edwards signs a gun bill targeting local gun restriction ordinances. The legislation was opposed by the mayors of Baton Rouge and New Orleans who objected to it because it would prohibit local governments from establishing gun-free zones in parks, playgrounds, and other public areas. Edwards doesn’t see the legislation to be controversial. It was one of three gun rights bills Edwards authorized.

 

A Senate-approved measure creating a policing policy task force written by Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields clears a House committee and the Senate approved measure heads to the House floor for more discussion.  Law enforcement supports the resolution.

 

A survey from the Louisiana Association of United Ways finds that 47-percent of residents say their child care situation changed after the stay at home order. President of the group Sarah Berthelot says for some individuals the change was so great they had to quit their job. Half of the respondents also expressed concern about child care availability in the near future.

 

28-year-old Cordale Richard was arrested thursday in the shooting deaths of 21-year-old Aliza Gabriel and 20-year-old Tanasa Francis at a large party in Raceland Sunday. Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Lt. Brennan Matherne says Richard was involved in a fight at the party, and once the police arrived he allegedly began firing indiscriminately into a crowd. Detectives say Francis and Gabriel were innocent bystanders.

 

Interim LSU President Tom Galligan announced yesterday that the university will hold its summer commencement ceremony online due to uncertain circumstances surrounding Louisiana's recovery from the initial spread of coronavirus. The virtual ceremony will be broadcast on LSU's Facebook page at 10 a.m. on Aug. 7. In related news, LSU expects to begin Phase 3 of its return to campus plan on June 29.

 

The LSU Board of Supervisors will vote today to decide if they will rename the Troy H. Middleton Library. Interim President Tom Galligan met with black student leaders following weeks of nationwide demonstrations in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd to discuss ideas and “concrete steps to make real change at LSU. One of the steps black student leaders proposed was removing Middleton’s name from the library. Troy Middleton was president of the university from 1951-1962 and supported racial segregation.

 

A Calhoun man is in the Ouachita Parish correctional center charged with 400 counts of child porn and 100 counts of sexual abuse of an animal.  40-year-old Keith Taylor is accused of being in possession of, and possibly distributing, inappropriate content online.

 

Border patrol agents seize 2,000 counterfeit designer face masks shipped into the port of New Orleans from China and Vietnam. No information right now as to whether the masks were functional, but they were seized for bearing the counterfeit trademarks of Burberry, Supreme, Gucci, and Chanel on the front of them.

 

Medical experts in the United Kingdom indicate that a steroid treatment has provided a glimmer of hope in treatment of COVID-19. Dexamethasone appears to cut the risk of death for ventilator patients by a third. Tulane Medical Center pulmonary care Dr. Joshua Denson says he has used this therapy to treat a handful of COVID patients.

The steroid also appears to cut the risk of death for patients on oxygen by a fifth.

 

 

Sports..

 

The NCAA has approved a six-week preseason plan for college football that allows for additional hours of supervised weight training and conditioning, plus walk-thru practices that will start on July 24th. Preseason camp would start on August 7th.

 

Doctor Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says there’s a chance that football might not happen at all this season. Fauci told C-N-N that football players need to be isolated from others and tested regularly. He says for it to work they need to play in a bubble environment like the N-B-A is setting up.

 

The University of Texas says 13 of its football players have tested positive for the coronavirus or are presumed positive. These 13 players are self-isolating and 10 more players identified through contact tracing are also in self-quarantine. LSU will host the Longhorns on September 12th.

 

LSU men’s basketball associate head coach Greg Heiar has announced on Twitter that he’s left the program. Heiar has been at LSU the last three seasons. He is credited with helping to develop Tremont Waters and Skylar Mays and he’s also known as a good recruiter. The Advocate reports that Bill Armstrong has been promoted to associate head coach and Kevin Nickelberry will be promoted from the support staff to the coaching.

 

Former LSU Tiger Tremont Waters has been named the NBA G League Player of the year. Waters averaged 18 points in 36 games for the Maine Red Claws, a develoopment team for the Boston Celtics.

 

McNeese men’s basketball coach Heath Schroyer will also serve as the interim athletics director. McNeese President Doctor Daryl Burckel says a change is needed to address the current needs of the department and the uncertainty of the upcoming academic year and to maixmize the effectiveness and efficiency of the department staff.

Good Morning.... News For Thursday June 18th, 2020

News for Thursday June 18th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

The Louisiana Department of Health reports a total of 928 additional cases of COVID-19 but officials note that 129 cases are related to test backlogs. That still leaves 799 cases. Wednesday’s count is the largest single-day increase since April 10, which was the tail end of the peak in the state.

 

Governor Edwards recommends boycotting businesses that do not enforce social distancing and mask recommendations. Edwards told a caller to his monthly talk show Ask the Governor that the government can’t mandate mask use and social distancing, but the market can. If you go to a business that does not follow the state recommendations, leave and go somewhere else.  Edwards made the comments in light of recent jumps in positive COVID cases. He says the good news is the increased case numbers are likely the result of increased testing capacity. Hospitalizations are also up on average over the past four days.

 

KALB TV is reporting the death of a prominent local attorney in an apparent boating accident on Kincaid Lake Wednesday. Albin Provosty was pronounced dead at a local hospital after he was found in the lake just before noon in what is being described as a boating accident. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is doing an investigation into the incident and will release more information at a later date.

 

Alexandria City Council has several resolutions for its June 23 meeting that are aimed at removing the Confederate Monument in front of the Rapides Parish Courthouse. It’s the second attempt by the council to remove the statue. Back in 2017 the council tried to remove it, but there was confusion over who actually owned it.

 

A House Committee defeats a proposal that would have stripped Louisiana police officers of their legal protection from civil lawsuits over alleged civil rights violations like excessive force or wrongful death. Baton Rouge Representative Edmond Jordan brought the bill. He says “qualified immunity” makes cops unaccountable for their actions. St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne spoke against it. He says the bill would have made officers think twice before intervening in the middle of active criminal behavior out of fear of being sued.

 

Louisiana colleges and universities are refunding students approximately $24 million due to the coronavirus interruption of the academic school year.  LSU tops the list, returning $4.4 million. Most of the refunds cover charges for housing, which students had to vacate about two months before the scheduled end of the school year. Colleges and universities received $147 million from the $2.2 trillion federal rescue bill.

 

Lower paying employers can now report employees for refusing to come back to work because unemployment benefits pay better The Louisiana Workforce Commission releases a tool to help report employees who are refusing to come back to work while still claiming unemployment benefits.  Assistant Secretary with LWC Robert Wooley says it is a simple process, just head to LAworks.net and there will be a link on the front page. Typically, someone would only be eligible for $247 in unemployment benefits each week, but an extra $600 in federal money makes it hard for some employers to compete, creating issues in luring staff back. Wooley says they’ve already received several hundred reports.

 

A UL Lafayette economics professor warns our economic recovery from the COVID recession could drag well into 2022.   Gary Wagner says if the pandemic had not hit it is likely we would have experienced a minor economic slowdown, but because of COVID-19, we’re now looking at historic long-term job losses.

 

A measure that would provide the gaming industry with an 83-million dollar tax break over the next five years is awaiting debate on the Senate floor after a Senate Committee approved the bill. Lake Charles Senator Ronnie Johns says his proposal is to help an industry that’s been hit hard by the COVID-19 economic shutdown.

 

The numbers are out regarding casino revenue in the month of May and the grand total is $70 million.  Overall, the feeling is the turnout is better than expected, but Casino Association of Louisiana executive director Wade Duty feels a clearer picture of the pandemic’s impact on the industry will be revealed with June numbers. June’s numbers will also reflect the reopening of New Orleans casinos which did not see an opening during May.

 

A House committee has approved a bill that would result in the state sending 250-dollar checks to some front-line employees who were required to work when the coronavirus pandemic hit Louisiana. Shreveport Representative Sam Jenkins says front line workers, first responders, healthcare, and childcare workers who earn less than 50-thousand dollars a year will be eligible, and the cash will help stimulate local economies.

 

Sport.

 

LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine said four parishes have reported having one school each with football players who have tested positive for coronavirus. Bonine did not disclose the names of the parishes or schools involved. He did note that the group includes one parish located outside East Baton Rouge, one in north Louisiana, one in the Acadiana area and one located in southwest Louisiana. The LHSAA has more than 250 football schools.

 

Joe Burrow is the first LSU football player to be named the SEC Male Athlete of the Year. That honor was announced earlier today by the Southeastern Conference. While Burrow is the first Tiger football player to win the award, previous winners from LSU include Shaquille O’ Neal, who won it twice and former track stars Walter Davis and Xavier Carter.

 

It appears Major League Baseball is finally getting its act together. Commissioner Rob Manfred has confirmed he met face to face with the head of the players union Tony Clark and they jointly developed a framework that could result in an agreement that would result in a shortened 2020 season. According to the Athletic, Major League Baseball’s proposal calls for a 60-game season starting July 19th or the 20th and players would get a full prorated salary. There will also be expanded playoffs for this year and next and the players would agree to waive any potential labor grievance.

Good Morning.... News For Wednesday June 17th, 2020

News for Wednesday June 17th, 2020a

Compiled by Dave Graichen’

Cenla Broadcasting

 

As of noon Tuesday the state reported 24 new COVID-19 fatalities, more than the last three days combined. Total deaths: 2,930. Hospitalizations… up by 20, bringing the total to 588. Total cases: 47,706… up by 534 yesterday, but the Department of Health says 148 of those come from a testing backlog.

 

Louisiana has now seen three straight days of COVID-19 hospitalizations, the metric used by health officials to track the actual rate of community spread. Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Alex Billioux says their contact tracing data shows this is largely due to increased social interactions in recent weeks, and possibly because of Memorial Day.

Neighboring Texas and Arkansas have seen record-breaking increases in the last week. Billioux says that could be foreshadowing. The growth in cases has been largest in the Lake Charles, Alexandria, and Monroe regions.

 

A study from Scripps Research Institute indicates the strain of coronavirus circulating the United States appears to show mutations making the virus more stable and abundant than the original strain from Wuhan, China.  LSU Health New Orleans molecular geneticist Dr. Lucio Miele says viruses that contain a mutated protein are approximately ten times more infectious.

 

Over the fierce objections of municipalities, Gov. John Bel Edwards late Monday night approved legislation that effectively invalidates local and parish ordinances restricting where a person can go with a firearm. Then on Tuesday afternoon Edwards signed a second bill that stops local officials from regulating gun sales during times of emergency. He signed a third measure Friday. That bill will allow anyone to carry a gun into a house of worship without having the get the permission of those in the congregation.

 

A change has been made to Louisiana's Phase 2 reopening guidelines, now allowing live music in Louisiana bars and clubs. This marks the first time since mid-March bars and clubs can offer live music legally. The change does not automatically permit all venues to host live music, however. Business owners must apply to the State Fire Marshal's Office for approval in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Health. They also must meet certain safety criteria.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards vetoes a bill that would have provided companies impacted by COVID-19 a rebate for hiring or rehiring employees. Businesses would be eligible if they hired at least five people and added 40-thousand dollars in total payroll, but in the governor’s veto letter, Edwards said the program would create a large pool of eligible businesses and the potential cost to the state could be substantial.

 

The State Treasury Department will launch a 300-million dollar small business COVID relief grant program in July as a result of legislation signed by the governor. Treasurer John Schroder says to qualify your business must have fewer than 50 employees and can demonstrate COVID-19 related losses.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards signs a bill that greatly expands access to medical marijuana. Louisiana Association of Therapeutic Alternatives lobbyist Danny Ford says this measure allows any doctor in good standing to recommend medical cannabis to a patient suffering from a debilitating condition. Under current law, medical marijuana is only available to a patient suffering from a specific condition or disease.

 

Governor Edwards signs legislation barring residents from suing a restaurant, claiming they got the coronavirus from their business. Covington Senator Patrick McMath says it’s tough to prove where someone contracted COVID-19, but that wouldn’t stop someone from trying. But McMath notes that if restaurants refuse to follow COVID guidelines like mandatory mask wearing for employees they could still get sued.

 

The US Senate’s lone African American GOP member is set to unveil police reform legislation today in response to the George Floyd protests. The legislation limits use of chokeholds, requires officers to intervene if they see excessive use of force, and provides for more cameras. Senator Bill Cassidy says Tim Scott’s bill is a necessary conversation. Tuesday the President signed his own executive order blocking federal funds from heading to police departments that do not limit the use of chokeholds.

 

Personal finance website WalletHub finds a strong majority, 67 percent, of Americans think people who do not want to return to the office and would rather work from home should not see pushback from employers. WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzales says those that disagree tend to want direct action from employers against those workers. About a third of respondents also believe businesses should be held responsible for employees getting sick.

 

A onetime confirmed and admitted incoming LSU freshman who filmed himself screaming the n-word on camera along with other racist comments will not be attending the state’s flagship university in fall. LSU has refused to comment further on the subject citing privacy concerns.

 

A push is being led by a Lake Charles attorney for the removal of a Confederate monument at the Calcasieu courthouse has also received the support of a judge in that courthouse.  Attorney Todd Clemons says when you are black and entering the courthouse, the monument sends a message that you don’t have equal rights, having a chilling and intimidating effect. Judge Ron Ware has also been vocal that it is time for the monument to come down.

 

The Iberville Parish Council voted unanimously Tuesday to remove a Confederate statue outside the parish's old courthouse building.

 

Taylor Energy has filed a lawsuit challenging the Coast Guard’s order for the New Orleans oil company to halt a more than 15-year-long oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

Filed in federal court in New Orleans on Monday, the lawsuit asserts that Taylor is not liable for the costs, penalties or damages related to collecting or halting the oil flowing from the site of its broken deepwater wells. Taylor also questions whether the high volume of oil the Coast Guard says is being collected from Taylor’s wells is actually oil from its wells. The Taylor Energy site has produced what many scientists say is one of the largest and longest-running oil disasters in U.S. history.

Good Morning.. News For Tuesday June 16th,2020

News for Tuesday June 16th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

The state health department reports 553 new coronavirus cases Monday, bringing the state’s total to 47,172. Over 37-thousand patients are listed as recovered. The state reported five more coronavirus-related deaths and hospitalizations increased by 12 to 568. Here in Rapides Parish there have been 1,193 cases reported and 41 people have lost their lives.

 

The House passes another tort reform effort aimed at lowering auto insurance rates, this time with a veto-proof majority. Bill sponsor Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo says the legislation requires insurance companies to meet with the Insurance Commissioner to see how much money this legislation has saved them. New Orleans Representative Mandie Landry says just because companies are required to meet with the Commissioner, doesn’t mean he can, or will force them to lower rates. The Governor vetoed a similar bill in the regular session. This legislation differs from that attempt in that it further lowers the jury trial threshold to 5,000 dollars. The bill heads to the Senate.

 

Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed a Republican-crafted plan to spend $300 million in federal coronavirus aid to help small businesses recover from the outbreak. The dollars come from direct federal aid allocated to Louisiana by Congress to respond to the COVID-19 disease. Edwards intended to steer about $811 million of the federal assistance to local government agencies to reimburse them for virus-related expenses.

Republican state lawmakers chose to divvy that money up differently. They carved out $300 million for small business grants and used the remaining $511 million for municipalities.

 

The Supreme Court rules that employees cannot be fired due to their sexual orientation or if they are transgender. Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says the ruling has added meaning in Louisiana because state law did not protect gays and transgender individuals from workplace discrimination. Ciolino says this now puts orientation and transgender status under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

 

Many people are just now getting back into their normal Sunday routine, which might include a church service. Most houses of worship closed their doors during the stay-at-home order, but now, some lawmakers want to discourage the government from dictating whether people can gather to worship again. On Monday a House committee approved a resolution asking Governor John Bel Edwards to broadly respect religious liberties. Lawmakers complained that churches were not considered an essential business.

 

Governor Edwards signs into law legislation increasing the penalties for throwing water on, or at a police officer. The new law makes the action “battery of a police officer” which comes with up to six months in jail.

 

Wild crawfish farmers are steaming over federal restrictions on who can and cannot receive CARES Act COVID relief money. Wild crawfish fisherman Jody Meche says crawfish farmers can get cash, but those who fish them in the wild have been left out in the cold. Meche says he spends hundreds of dollars a day on bait and fuel to harvest the mudbugs and the relief money would help with the expenses of not being able to sell his catch because restaurants have not been buying.

 

Authorities are seeking those responsible for the gunfire that left two people dead at a large gathering in Raceland early Sunday morning.  Lt. Brennan Matherne with the  Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office says two females, a 20 and 21 year old, were pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Authorities report the person who died Sunday night in a shooting in New Iberia was 12 years old. The Iberia Parish Coroner's Office is refusing to identify the victim. He would have turned 13 in August. The victim's brother also was shot in the incident, police say he remains in stable but critical condition in an area hospital.

 

Pennington Biomedical Research Center researchers say a chemical compound called BAM15 shows great promise as a metabolism increasing fat burner. Pennington Executive Director Dr. John Kirwan says they found the compound in a chemical library and administered it to lab mice. He says the results were impressive. Kirwan says BAM15 infiltrated fat cells in those lab mice and showed weight loss in the test group without any additional physical exertion compared to the control group. BAM15 was also shown to reduce blood sugar and insulin levels in lab mice.The substance will have to move to human trial next and would likely not be available for several years should it prove safe and effective.

 

Louisiana Highway 1 in Lafourche Parish receives $135 million in federal grant money to construct an 8.3 mile elevated highway from Leeville Bridge to Golden Meadow, making it the largest transportation grant in America.  Congressman Garret Graves says the road is vital to get to Port Fourchon. Sections of the highway are so low that the road can go under water with a high tide or a strong wind, but experiences the most trouble with storm surge from tropical systems. 

 

Motorists who want to celebrate Louisiana State University's latest college football national championship victory will be able to buy a specialized license plate commemorating the season. State lawmakers authorized creation of a special LSU National Champions 2019 license plate that can be used on a vehicle in place of a regular state-issued plate. Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday he had signed the bill into law. It could be a while however before the plates are available, the LSU Board of Supervisors must agree on a design.

 

Sports..

 

LSU’s Zack Mathis and Saul Garza are leaving the Tigers baseball program as Mathis signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Padres, while Garza inked a deal with the Royals. Ragin Cajuns pitcher Brandon Young has signed with the Orioles.

 

And the WNBA announces it will hold a 22-game regular season in July and the league’s regular playoff format will end in October.

 

In the NFL, several players on the Cowboys and Texans have tested positive for COVID-19. The agent for star Dallas running back Eziekal Elliot says his client was one of the players who tested positive.

 

Saints running back Alvin Kamara attended his first NASCAR race yesterday as he was part of a small group of people who watched the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in person. Kamara became a fan of the sport after NASCAR announced last week a ban of the confederate flag at all of their events. Denny Hamlin was the winner.

 

C-N-N has hired Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins as a contributor. Jenkins will continue to play football, but he’ll make himself available to the cable news network to speak on racial and social justice issues.

 

Good Morning.. News For Monday June 15th, 2020

News for Monday June 15, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

As expected Governor John Bel Edwards has vetoed the tort reform bill aimed at lowering car insurance rates by making changes to the state’s civil litigation system. Edwards cited the measure does not contain a mandate to lower auto insurance rates as assured by its supporters. The Governor says he’s willing to work with anyone operating in good faith to reach a compromise. He says he’s confident they can reach an agreement on a bill that will have broad support.

 

In a rare Sunday evening session, the state Senate easily approved a proposal that would authorize hearings on police practices after the death of George Floyd. The vote was 34-0, sending the plan to the House for more debate. The Senate, in a 45-minute session, also approved a bill by Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, aimed at extending internet access to rural areas. Both topics were on the agenda as lawmakers began the final weeks of the special session, which has to end by June 30 at 6 p.m. Approval of an operating budget by July 1 is the key priority, as well as renewed debate Monday on efforts to reduce car and truck insurance rates.

 

Louisiana fell short of its goal to test all the state’s nursing home residents and employees for the coronavirus by the end of May. That’s raising questions about whether testing plans aimed at keeping tabs on those most vulnerable to the pandemic are too ambitious. Data provided by the state health department shows nearly 78% of Louisiana’s 23,000-plus nursing home residents have been tested for the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus. Only 61% of the facilities’ workers have received tests. That falls short of Louisiana’s goal in a testing plan it submitted to federal officials last month. Nursing homes account for more than 40% of COVID-19 deaths in Louisiana.

 

The investigation continues into last Thursday night’s murder-suicide that resulted in the deaths of four children and two adults at the Parkview Apartments in Monroe. Interim Police Chief Reggie Brown says 30-year-old Brittany Tucker killed a neighbor, her four kids, ranging from five months to 12 years old and then shot herself. Brown says Tucker was diagnosed with mental illness within the past couple of years and was receiving treatment. But the chief says neighbors told detectives that prior to Thursday’s shooting that Tucker was seen walking, showing irrational behavior and waving a gun in her hand. Brown says they believe Tucker purchased the handgun at a local gun store, adding the investigation is ongoing as to how and why Tucker was allowed to obtain the firearm.

 

A Louisiana pollster believes it may take up to a week to know the results of the November Presidential election. JMC Analytics and polling founder John Couvillon says that’s because many swing states are adopting mail-in voting. The analyst warns even in Louisiana, where the state has adopted restricted mail-in voting due to COVID-19, the substantial increase in mail ballots could produce slowdowns in election reporting.

Couvillon says even though the delay may frustrate some he still sees mail-in voting as the wave of the future. Studies suggest there is little to no partisan impact from the adoption of mail-in voting.

 

Evictions are scheduled to begin today after being frozen by the Governor since late March. Patrick McCarron with Thomas Jefferson Real Estate says he’s looking forward to proceeding with evictions as it has been a frustrating few months for landlords who’ve had tenants who’ve refused to pay rent. However, reports show that the vast majority of tenants have been making rent since the pandemic began. Many tenants who have been struggling financially have been offered hardship plans by their landlords to weather the COVID shutdown. Landlords who receive federal assistance or federally backed loans may not proceed with evictions until late August.

 

Myers says many tenants who have been struggling financially have been offered hardship plans by their landlords to weather the COVID shutdown.

 

A long-standing Mardi Gras tradition is being canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19.  Senior Lieutenant with Mystick Krewe of Louisianians Tyron Picard says the Washington DC Mardi Gras will not be taking place next January. The event has only been canceled three other times in its 76 year history.

 

A proposal is in the works to rename LSU’s Middleton Library and there is also a movement to rename eleven more buildings on campus.  President of LSU College Dems Daniel Carpenter says there are buildings named after Confederate soldiers.

 

Several St. Martinville city employees are in quarantine today, after the Mayor tested positive for Covid-19. Mayor Melinda Mitchell had tested positive last week, and that the city's administrator, police chief and Mitchell's secretary are now in quarantine.

 

Louisiana Tech confirms a football player has tested positive for COVID-19. The school says the student-athlete will self-quarantine for the next 14 days. Tech says additional football student-athletes could have been exposed and those players will also be mandated to self-quarantine for the next two weeks.

Good Morning.... News For Wednesday June 10th, 2020

News for Wednesday June 10th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Alexandria City Council last night turned down a motion to allow Councilman Silver access to attend meetings virtually. Silver hasn't been able to attend council meetings since February 4. First, because he broke his elbow, missing the February 18 meeting and then missing meetings in March, April, May and now June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a lawsuit filed by Silver last week, the 98-year-old says neither the city or Council President Jules Green provided accommodations to enable him to attend council meetings via telephone because he is susceptible to COVID-19 due to his age.

 

Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas are among 14 states that are reporting their highest-ever seven-day average of coronavirus cases. Louisiana is not one of those 14 states. It’s been two weeks since Memorial Day weekend and Governor Edwards says he’s heartened to see the state did not experience a significant surge in COVID transmission as a result of the holiday.

 

An LSU poll that showed 62 percent wear a mask always or often when leaving the house, up from just 48 percent in April. Edwards thanked residents for being responsible and masking up. The poll indicated that 76 percent of people agree that wearing a mask is the responsible thing to do.

 

Ochsner Baton Rouge recently celebrated 250 hours passing without a COVID-19 positive patient on a ventilator. A statement released from the hospital notes that while they are still treating a handful of cases at the medical facility in Baton Rouge the severity of cases is currently not at critical as the previous wave.

 

After a short break waiting for Cristobal to pass Monday the House got back to work Tuesday pushing a series of tax relief bills for Louisiana businesses worth millions of dollars out of House Appropriations and onto the House floor.

 

Chairman of the Louisiana Economic Recovery Task Force Jason Decuir says the state owes it to these businesses to lend a helping hand after many were ordered closed or limited for months. Those relief bills took many forms including a suspension of the franchise tax. Revenue Secretary Kimberly Robinson, speaking on behalf of the Edwards Administration, says passing and maintaining these tax cuts could unbalance the state budget for years to come.

 

In a decision that has not yet been made public, Republican leaders of the Louisiana Legislature are forcing out a well-respected legislative staffer whose office recently produced an independent cost estimate that angered powerful lawmakers. Senate President Page Cortez and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder met Friday with John Carpenter, the legislative fiscal officer, and told him his tenure would end when the special legislative session wraps up at the end of the month. The move raises the question of whether the Legislative Fiscal Office, which plays a key role in determining a bill’s fate by estimating how much it will cost, will remain impartial and nonpartisan at a time when the Legislature has become increasingly partisan.

 

Cities and states nationwide are taking up police reforms in the wake of massive George Floyd protests. Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields says it’s a bit late for legislators to file new bills with the special session in full swing so he’s aiming to introduce legislation next year or in a potential fall special session using recommendations from a 15-member task force he hopes to have created. Fields says he’d like his legislation to call for a statewide ban on the use of chokeholds by law enforcement, psychological testing for both prospective and current officers on a routine basis and new regulations for body cameras.

 

Governor Edwards signs legislation ending the auto insurance “Patriot Penalty” where military who were deployed overseas would return home to higher auto insurance rates. Anyone who is uninsured for six months or more must pay a higher rate upon reinsuring. Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau says that hammered the armed forces…

 

Opelousas Police Officer Tyron Andrepont was booked today on five counts of malfeasance in connection with the alleged beating of an Opelousas teen in a hospital.

He was booked with five counts malfeasance in office. He posted $25,000 bond and was released shortly after being booked, records show. If convicted, he faces up to five years in jail or prison and fines of up to $5,000 on each charge. Attorney Daryl  Washington says his client Coleman, who is 18 now, was beaten by Andrepont while in a room at Opelousas General Hospital in October 2019.

 

Caddo Parish Coroner Doctor Todd Thoma says a 44-year-old man died of natural causes while in the custody of the Shreveport Police Department on April sixth, but his death could have been preventable. Thoma says Tommie McGlothen Junior died from excited delirium. Authorities say police officers used tasers, mace, and nightsticks to control McGlothen.

 

New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Shaun Ferguson has apologized for his officers firing so-called rubber bullets at protesters on the Crescent City Connection last week. The chief says their special operations division was not authorized to use the anti-riot rounds and an investigation is underway.

 

An East Feliciana Parish judge has voided the first-degree murder charge of accused serial killer Ryan Sharpe as the result of a recent US Supreme Court decision that bans non-unanimous convictions. Sharpe’s Attorney Tommy Damico says his client was convicted by jurors 11 to 1 last December.

 

Sports..

 

Voluntary workouts began for the LSU football team Tuesday after spending the last eleven weeks away from the school’s weight room. LSU strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffit says only 20 players are allowed in the weight room at one time and they are using state of the art sanitation and disinfectant equipment. Coach Ed Orgeron also allowed the players to use today to register to vote.

 

Former LSU pitcher Eric Walker has announced he’s transferring to Oklahoma State. The right-hander from Arlington, Texas had a great freshman season but never returned to form after Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm. He entered the NCAA transfer portal in mid-April. Former LSU pitcher Chase Costello has also announced he’s transferring to Stetson.

 

A five-round Major League Baseball Draft begins today. LSU players Daniel Cabrera and Cole Henry will probably not go in the first round, but they are expected to be drafted. Barbe’s Brody Drost is an LSU signee that could also get drafted. Dorst is a left-hander pitcher and outfielder and could be selected in the third or fourth round.

 

NASCAR announced Tuesday that it will have fans watching from the stands for Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. But it will be a small group. Up to one-thousand South Florida service members will be allowed inside the track. The following Sunday at Talladega, five-thousand guests will be able sit in the grandstands and towers.

Good Morning.. News For Tuesday June 9th,2020

News for Tuesday June 9th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

The state is reporting nearly 34,000 of the 43,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Louisiana have recovered. Along with those figures the Department of Health also announced 6 new COVID deaths yesterday, bringing the total number of fatalities up to 2,831, along with 234 new positive cases.

 

The Louisiana Department of Health is reminding the public to catch up on the routine vaccinations that may have gone by the wayside due to the shelter in place order and closure of many medical offices.  State immunization director Dr. Frank Welch says skipping vaccines can have disastrous consequences in the future. State and federal data show a sharp drop in vaccine orders from January through April.

 

The APD says he has 47 year old Eric Grimble of Alexandria has a history of video voyeurism and he was arrested late last week on the same charge, after police received a complaint of a man using his cellphone in an attempt to look up the skirts of women. Grimble was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on one count of video voyeurism. He was released on $10,000 bond.

 

The second week of the special session will see lawmakers dig into the nuts and bolts of the budget and start the debate on economic relief bills for businesses. The special session started last Monday and LaPolitics.com publisher Jeremy Alford is surprised by the slow start despite the mountain of work ahead for legislators. The special session is set to end June 30th.

 

Governor Edwards says Louisiana should consider police reforms in next year’s legislative session. Cities and states across the country are taking up changes to policing policy in the wake of George Floyd protests. Edwards says reforms to the way police interact with their community are needed, and overdue. Proposals to redirect tax dollars away from law enforcement and into education, mental health, and other social services are being considered in some areas. Edwards says he doesn’t agree with that “Defund the Police” movement.

 

As protestors nationwide demand changes in policing policy, Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome says the city’s police union has been an obstruction to reform within the department. Broome says they need greater flexibility to identify and remove bad cops from the department, and the union makes that difficult to do.

 

A new LSU study polling 757 Louisiana residents indicates 42 percent of respondents know some who has tested positive for the COVID-19, with 23 percent knowing someone who has died from it. LSU Public Policy Lab director Michael Henderson says  Louisiana’s black population has seen a disparity in the way it is impacted by the virus and the survey shows it. Forty percent of black residents know someone who has died from complications of COVID-19, compared to 17 percent of white residents

 

ULM is investigating racially insensitive social media posts that were allegedly made by two of their faculty members. According to the Monroe News Star assistant nursing professor, Mary Holmes referred to former President Barack Obama as a monkey and biology instructor Dennis Bell used a racial slur on his Facebook page. ULM says it condemns the stunningly bigoted and racist language in social media posts by select faculty members.

 

The 16th Judicial District Attorney's Office announced on Monday that it has declined to prosecute an Iberia Parish man in connection with the homicide of Howard Poche in 2016. Roy Verret faced a charge of first-degree murder in the 2016 slaying of 75 year old Howard Poche, 75, who was reported missing on Christmas and was found dead three days later, stuffed inside a garbage can on his back porch. According to a release from the DA's office, the move to drop the prosecution comes as a result of being notified of a probability that two samples may have been inadvertently switched during the DNA extraction process on two critical items of evidence.

 

 

 

Sports..

 

LSU football begins offseason workouts today as the national champs can lift weights and perform conditioning drills on campus for the first time since spring practice was halted in March. LSU strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffit says about 85-percent of the players stayed in great shape. He says over the next two weeks they’ll do three days a week of hard training and two days of functional training on specific muscle groups,

 

The NFL has sent a memo to every team describing what needs to be done in order to open practice facilities completely to players. A couple of interesting notes, any meeting with more than 20 people must be conducted virtually and locker rooms need to be modified so that each locker is six feet apart.

 

Basketball star Shaquille O’ Neal said he told the Saints players not to allow the media to divide them based on Drew Brees’ national anthem comments. Shaq who spoke to the Saints during a virtual meeting last Thursday told Peter King that media divided the Lakers in the early 2000s and it led to a break up between O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

 

Major League Baseball Owners proposed a 76-game season to the players today, but the proposal includes a 75-percent prorated salary for players. Players are seeking to be paid fully for the games they play in.

Good Morning.. News For Monday June 8th, 2020

News for Monday June 8th, 2020

Compiled By Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

As of Sunday, Coronavirus in Louisiana: 42,816 cases | 2,825 dead | 575 in hospital | 31,728 recovered.

 

Another fatal shooting in Alexandria over the weekend. Officers were called to 400 block of 16th Street. A little before 4:30 Saturday afternoon. The preliminary investigation by detectives and the Crime Scene Unit indicates two people had a verbal argument.

Each produced a handgun, with the suspect firing one time striking the victim. Names of those involved have yet to be released. The case remains under investigation. Police are asking anyone with any information to contact the APD.

 

It is the second earliest named storm to make landfall in Louisiana history. Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall late yesterday afternoon near Grand Isle with maximum sustained winds at 50 miles per hour. State Climatologist Barry Keim says sea surface temperatures were warm enough to produce a hurricane, but dry air from the west helped create a lopsided tropical storm that didn’t produce a huge impact in Louisiana.

 

Tort reform supporters say they’ll use the special session to fix an unpopular aspect of a bill approved in the regular session that aimed to lower auto insurance rates. River Ridge Senator Kirk Talbot says the bill has some unfortunate wording that would allow people who suffered minor injuries to collect huge settlements. That one issue appears to have been a potential reason the legislation passed without a veto-proof majority. Talbot says even with that error the bill still had near two-thirds support in both chambers.  Governor Edwards has said he has concerns with the legislation and Democrats have criticized the bill saying it would not lower premiums as supporters claim it would.

 

It’s the first day on the new job for Louisiana’s new Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley who will oversee public schools following the departure of John White. The 39-year-old grew up in Sabine Parish and says as a young kid he wanted to be an educator and this is the opportunity of a lifetime. Brumley most recently was at the helm of the Jefferson Parish school system since 2018. Before that, he was the superintendent for the DeSoto Parish Schools. Brumley will be paid $285,000 annually.

 

Disaster food stamp assistance is not expected for Cristobal, but the Department of Children and Family Services is asking the public to pre-register for what is known as DSNAP assistance for this hurricane season. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says D-SNAP helps people who have lost food as a result of a disaster. Walters says low to moderate-income households who are currently not on food stamps will qualify for DSNAP if they’ve lost income or suffered damages from a significant weather event.

 

Public defenders say the COVID shutdown hammered their budgets and are requesting 28 million dollars in state funds to fill the gaps and address a staffing shortage.

Meghan Garvey says she works with one defender who is currently managing 400 misdemeanor cases and another with about 170 felony cases. The Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers warns people could be released from jail if they don’t have enough lawyers to represent them in criminal cases. State Lawmakers largely agreed with the need for the additional funding but raised concerns about where the money could be found given the state’s finances.

 

Acadia Parish Sheriff’s deputies arrest a 21-year-old man for the stabbing deaths of two elderly relatives found dead in their home two weeks ago.  Sheriff K.P. Gibson says Detrick Guillory faces two first degree murder charges for the deaths of John and Lois Guillory, both 71, of Richard. Gibson says his agency does not have a history of interactions with the suspect and the reason behind the slayings is unclear. The investigation continues as the case is being put together.

 

The summertime low-oxygen “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to cover at least 6,700 square miles along the Louisiana and eastern Texas coasts at the end of July, according to a federal forecast based on estimates developed by five research teams studying the effects of fertilizer and other nutrients on Gulf waters. The high-end estimate would cover an area larger than the state of New Hampshire.

 

 

Good Morning... News For Friday June 5th, 2020

News for Friday June 5th, 2020

Compiled By Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

The state reported 429 new coronavirus cases Thursday to bring Louisiana’s total 41,562. Assistant health secretary Alex Billioux says seeing more cases is not enough for them to be concerned that the spread of the disease is getting out of hand.  The state is reporting 613 people are hospitalized. That’s a decline of 134 since May 25th.

 

Senator Bill Cassidy believes a coronavirus vaccination will be ready by October.   Cassidy says he’s been in talks with one of the companies working on a vaccine and feels confident that a product could help resume events with large gatherings this fall.

 

The state moves into Phase Two of the economic reopening today. The change means establishments that previously were allowed to operate at 25% occupancy will now see that increased to 50% capacity. Movie theatres, gyms, shopping malls, museums, barbershops and salons will all be able to increase capacity to 50% with social distancing. Casinos and video poker establishments can increase to 50% capacity, limited to 75% of their gaming positions. Phase Two will last at least 21 days.

 

36 year old Ronnie Humphrey of Pineville has been arrested on charges of distribution of pornography involving juveniles. The arrest resulted from an investigation by State Police that dates back to March. Humphrey was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center. This investigation is ongoing.

 

The JC Penny store in Alexandria missed the first cut, but it days may be numbered. The company announced yesterday that they would close three stores in the state,  Lafayette, Metairie and Shreveport, with additional closures expected to be announced later this month. The affected stores will begin store closing sales on June 12.

 

Gov. John Bel Edwards on Thursday issued an emergency declaration ahead of the expected Sunday or Monday landfall of Tropical Depression Cristobal, which is expected to bring heavy rains and potential flooding to parts of Louisiana. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the forecast calls for up to ten inches of rain in the watch area.

 

Colorado State University ups its projections for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season for above-average to very active. CSU forecaster Jhordanne Jones says they now expect 19 named storms before the season closes, up from 12, along with now nine hurricanes, up from eight. Expected major hurricanes remained at four. Jones says this season is still being driven by the lack of an influential El Nino, and it appears that will be the case for this season.

 

The number of people continuing to receive unemployment in Louisiana has taken a downward turn as more businesses reopen from the state's stay-at-home order aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. There were 301,598 continued claims being paid last week, down from the peak of 328,409 continued claims set the week before.

Even with businesses coming back, there were still 19,334 people who filed for first-time benefits last week.

 

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser announces the reopening of Louisiana’s welcome centers under Phase Two guidelines today as the state is ready to start accommodating travelers.  Nungesser says there will be a strict cap on the occupancy of the lobbies at any one time, along with more frequent cleanings. Welcome centers have been closed since March 16th.

 

As Southeastern Conference teams ready to begin voluntary workouts in the coming days, a handful of Alabama football players have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.  The positive results for at least five Crimson Tide players came as student-athletes returned to Tuscaloosa this week. The names of the players have not been released.

 

New Orleans Police fired tear gas into a large group of George Floyd protestors last night after the crowd allegedly began planning to assault a line of officers. NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson says they have video evidence of an effort by some in the crowd to break through the police line guarding the Crescent City Connection and get onto the bridge. Ferguson says after rolling one tear gas canister and firing another from a launcher the crowd began dispersing.

 

Sports..

 

One day after saying he cannot support players who take a knee during the national anthem, Saints Quarterback Drew Brees apologized Thursday with a lengthy post on Instagram. Brees admits his comments were insensitive and he completely missed the mark. Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas disagreed with what Brees had to say yesterday but went on Twitter today and said he accepts Brees’ apology and now it’s back to the movement.

 

Thursday, the NBA Board of Governors approved a 22-team format to resume the 2019-20 season. The Pelicans and 21 other teams will play eight regular season games in Orlando starting on July 31st. A training camp for the 22 teams will start on June 30th and then the teams will travel the bubble site in Orlando on July seventh. So what about the rest of the NBA calendar, the NBA draft lottery will be August 25th, the NBA draft will be October 15th and the 2020-21 regular season will begin December 1st.

 

LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine says they have video evidence and pictures of four football teams holding summer workouts before the June eighth start date. Bonine made the comments during the Association’s executive committee meeting. He says the investigation into the practice violations continues. He says they received reports on 17 different football teams violating the practice ban.

 

ESPN Basketball commentator Dick Vitale says LSU will soon receive a notice of allegations pertaining to its men’s basketball program. Vitale first reported that LSU has received the notice, but sent another tweet an hour later clarifying that LSU basketball will receive a written report soon.

 

LSU baseball has received some news on the recruiting front as Dylan Crews is taking his name out of consideration for the Major League Baseball Draft and will play for the Tigers in 2021. Crews is from Longwood, Florida and is ranked as a top 50 prospect and considered one of the best high school hitters in the class of 2020.

Good Morning.... News For Thursday June 4th, 2020

News for Thursday June 4th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Tropical Storm Cristobal is slowly moving inland over eastern Mexico, but it’s expected to get back into the Gulf of Mexico and start heading north on Friday. The National Hurricane Center forecasts the storm will stay at tropical storm strength when crossing the Gulf of Mexico, but State Climatologist Barry Keim says conditions for reaching hurricane strength are favorable. Landfall along the Louisiana coast is possible Sunday night or early Monday morning.

 

Governor Edwards says the state is planning for an active hurricane season and making adjustments to existing preparedness guidelines with COVID-19 in mind. Edwards says shelters are a major piece of the state’s response efforts but now is not the best time for congregate mega shelters. Edwards says another issue they’re trying to solve is the potential lack of help from humanitarian groups the state relies upon to provide aid in a crisis. Edwards says the state is also working to establish new deals with our neighbors to house residents should the occasion call for it, despite COVID-19 still being prevalent here.

 

The RPSO reports two people are in custody after a shooting incident in Wardville early yesterday morning. When Deputies arrived on the scene shortly after 1pm  the victims said they were in a verbal altercation with the suspects earlier that evening. After leaving the location, the suspects pursued the victims and shot at them several times, striking their vehicle. No one was injured. The suspects, 25 year old Johnney Roberts of Pineville and 21 year old Laiken  Vollm of Alexandria, were arrested Wednesday afternoon.

 

KALB reports Alexandria City Councilman Harry Silver is suing the City of Alexandria and Council President Jules Green for allegedly violating the Americans With Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act. Silver, who is 98-years-old, said neither the city nor Councilman Green provided accommodations to enable him to attend council meetings via telephone, because he is susceptible to COVID-19 due to his age. Silver is the oldest elected official in the United States. The lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in Alexandria. Silver said he has been unable to attend council meetings since Feb. 4.

 

Funeral service information has been released for Ben and Blake Cooper, two prominent members of the Alexandria community who died following a plane crash near the Pineville Municipal Airport at Lake Buhlow last Sunday. Private family services will be held at Calvary Baptist Church this Friday. A public drive-thru visitation will begin at 12 and continue until 2 p.m.

 

The Alexandria Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation into the death of McKinsley Lincoln, a black, gay man from Alexandria who was shot to death on May 15 around 11:30 a.m. in the 2000 block of Day Street. APD says all aspects of any criminality are being considered, including the possibility of a hate crime. Lincoln's mother said that he was an openly gay man that was the target of harassment and discrimination.

 

On Friday restaurants and bars that serve food will be able to open at 50 percent capacity as the state moves into Phase Two.  President of the Louisiana Restaurant Association Stan Harris believes the transition to increase capacity with effective social distancing will help put restaurants on the road to recovery. Tables can be arranged 6 feet apart in Phase Two as opposed to the current eight to ten feet apart. Restaurant workers are still required to wear masks and Harris says even though it makes it difficult to socialize, workers have adapted to the new change.

 

Some courts are set to resume operations in Phase Two and with that the resumption of evictions. Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center Executive Director Cashauna Hill says evictions are a legal process that cannot proceed without a court hearing. Landlords with federally backed mortgages will not be able to file for evictions until August 24th.

 

Governor Edwards weighed in on tort reform legislation that’s headed to his desk, indicating he’s not a fan of the River Ridge Senator Kirk Talbot’s bill proponents say would lower auto insurance rates by implementing lawsuit reform. The legislation cleared the Legislature without a veto-proof majority Monday, losing several supporters on the last day due to changes made to the bill over the weekend. One of the changes made just before the bill was introduced Monday afternoon drew a rebuke from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, saying the unclear wording could allow people who only suffered minor injuries to collect significant settlements.

 

Gov. John Bel Edwards moved swiftly on Wednesday to fill a key government vacancy by naming a senior Louisiana State Police official as the new chairman of the state gambling board. Lt. Col. Mike Noel, the number two official at State Police, replaces Ronnie Jones, who spent seven years as the head of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board before being unexpectedly ousted in a power play Monday.

 

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser says the failure to reappoint Ronnie Jones as the chairman of Louisiana’s Gaming Control Board appears to be bad blood related to New Orleans Senator Karen Carter Peterson’s frustration with the way she was treated following an incident where she was spotted in a casino. Peterson has a gambling addiction. Nungesser says the timing of the retaliation could not be worse as everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction to get the state back where it needs to be. A Louisiana State Police trooper issued Peterson a misdemeanor summons for violating a self-imposed casino ban when she gambled at L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge in February 2019.

 

The Louisiana Speaker of the House and Senate President form a joint organization aimed at promoting a unified message about the work both chambers are doing.  Leading Louisiana Executive Director Lionel Rainey says the organization will be promoting legislation like the 300 million dollar small business grant fund that was sent to the Governor’s desk.

 

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser celebrates the 20,000 Louisianans who packed into state parks over the last two weekends, numbers not seen since 2008. The state was offering campers a free night if they stayed in a cabin for several nights and Nungesser says the deal appears to have been a hit.

 

The deputy in charge of supervising Tangipahoa Parish Jail's kitchen staff has died of the coronavirus, according to the warden and the man's family members. Kietrell Pitts, 44, died Sunday after a two-week battle with the disease that his family says began with mild symptoms and escalated to organ failure within days.

 

Sports..

 

Saints Q-B Drew Brees is receiving backlash on social media today. In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Brees reiterated his stance on players kneeling during the U-S national anthem. Brees says he will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States. The future Hall of Famer says he thinks about his two grandfathers fighting in World War Two when he stands with his hand over his heart during the national anthem. Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas responded to Brees’ comments on Twitter by saying he don’t know no better.

 

Meanwhile, Dallas Cowboys quarterback and Louisiana native Dak Prescott pledges to donate one million dollars to improve police training and address systematic racism through education and advocacy in our country. Prescott says he’s disgusted and unsettled by the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.

 

LSU Football Coach Ed Orgeron says he will not tolerate racism in an interview with Sports Illustrated and supports his players who are hurting over Floyd’s death.

 

The NBA Board of Governors will vote tomorrow on a return to play plan for 22 of the league’s 30 teams. There will be 13 teams from the Western Conference, including the Pelicans and nine from the Eastern Conference. The league is proposing eight regular-season games to be played in Orlando starting on July 31st. New Orleans is 3.5 games back of Memphis for the final playoff spot in the West. If the Pels finish in ninth place, but yet four games back of the Grizzlies, there will be a double elimination play-in tournament to see who gets in the traditional 16-team postseason format.

 

Will there be a baseball season? As expected Major League Baseball rejected the players union 114-game plan and does not plan on making a counterproposal. According to the Athletic, the league is ready to talk with players about playing a shorter season, possibly as few as 50 games, without any fans. Joel Sherman with the New York Post says pessimism is growing over a season not happening in 2020.

 

Good Morning.... News For Wednesday June 3rd, 2020

News for Wednesday June 3rd, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

The health department releases new covid-19 numbers for the state; hospitalization rates continue to decline. A decrease of 22 from Monday with 639 now recorded. Vent usage also decreased down by 3 with 83 on record and fatalities increased by 34 for a total of 2,724. Case numbers increased by 405. The Governor Announced Monday that the state will move to Phase Two of reopening this Friday.

 

A hearing in the Kayla Giles' second-degree murder case has been reset for Aug. 5.

Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Greg Beard on Monday granted the joint motion to reset the hearing for Giles, who is accused of shooting her estranged husband on Sept. 8th of 2018, in the Coliseum Boulevard Walmart parking lot in Alexandria. Her trial was to have been held May 4 but didn't happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent court shutdown. No new date has been set yet.

 

Two St. Landry Parish deputies have left the department - one fired and one who resigned - over social media posts related to the George Floyd incident. One deputy, who posted several memes, was fired. Among the memes he shared on his Facebook page was one of a semi-truck with what appears to be blood on the front of its cab with the caption "Just drove through Minneapolis, didn't see any protesters. The other deputy, who resigned, wrote a comment urging those who support violent protests to "go burn down the projects where black on black crimes happen every day."

 

Legislators manage to pass tort reform aimed at lowering auto insurance rates by ten percent but Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat believes Governor Edwards will veto the session’s signature bill. Edwards has long expressed concerns that the bill would not actually lower rates and was frustrated when the Legislature blocked efforts to prevent insurance rate discrimination on gender or class grounds. The legislation did not pass with a veto proof majority and Pinsonat says that may have doomed their effort, despite a mandate from voters to lower auto insurance rates.

 

Another piece of controversial legislation made it out of the Legislature in the last minutes of the session: a 300 million dollar grant program for small businesses.  Democrats opposed the grant program saying the Louisiana Congressional Delegation sent us that money to aid local governments, and Amite Representative Robby Carter says Louisiana businesses have already received 7 billion dollars in Payroll Protection Program funds…

 

Tropical Storm Cristobal forms in the Bay of Campeche, but it’s expected to remain stationary over the next few days. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the current forecast calls for the storm to move to about 200 miles south of Morgan City on Sunday morning and tracking northward. Keim says its never too early to be prepared.

 

The casino industry is responding to the Senate’s decision not to confirm the re-appointment of Ronnie Jones as chairman of the state’s gaming control board. Casino Association of Louisiana executive director Wade Duty was surprised by the decision and says Louisiana benefitted from his time at the helm of the board.  he retired state police deputy superintendent has held the job since 2013. Duty says Jones captured the respect of those within the state’s gaming industry and beyond. Since the decision was made during executive session, there’s no public record on why Jones was ousted.

 

Tattoo shops are reopening in Phase Two and the artists behind the ink are ready to get back to work on Friday.  But, the Tattoo experience will be quite different with customers needing to set an appointment, as walk-in business will not be available in the near future. Both the Tattoo artist and Customers will need to wear masks.

 

As the nation reacts to the violent death of George Floyd, Governor John Bel Edwards says he appreciates citizens of Louisiana keeping protests civil and nonviolent. Edwards says Floyd’s death was unnecessary and he says the procedure used to restrain Floyd is not approved in police training.

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is offering a 6,000 dollar reward for information leading to arrests in the shooting death of a black bear just south of Franklin. LDWF spokesperson Adam Einck says the bear was discovered in a ditch by passersby May 17th. The Humane Society along with the Acadiana Chapter of Safari Club International pitched in for the reward. Einck says the bears were taken off the endangered list a few years ago but are still protected.

 

Sports..

 

Saints and Pelicans Owner Gayle Benson announces the formation of a Social Justice Leadership Coalition. Players from the two professional franchises will be on the task force. Saints linebacker Demario Davis, along with Pelicans guards Lonzo Ball and J-J Redick will be on it, but Benson says anyone can join. She says we have a lot of work to create meaningful change.

 

Just over a year ago Louisiana Tech’s baseball stadium was destroyed by an E-F three tornado. But next year, Tech will host the Conference USA Baseball championship tournament at a rebuilt J-C Love Field at Patterson Park next year. It will mark the first Conference USA championship that La Tech has hosted since it joined the league in 2013.

 

In other Conference USA news, the Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reports the field for the Conference USA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments next year will be dropped from 12 to eight teams.

 

 

Good Morning.. News For Tuesday June 2nd,2020

News for Tuesday June 2nd, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Governor Edwards announces the state will move into phase two of reopening of the economy beginning on Friday. Edwards says he made the decision after analyzing several key metrics. Phase two means bars can reopen at 25-percent capacity, while restaurants and other businesses can increase capacity from 25 to 50-percent. Pool halls, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors, recreational pools and spas can reopen for the first time since March. Edwards reminds the public the state’s fight against COVID-19 is not over. The state will remain in Phase Two at least until June 26th.

 

Tort reform aimed at lowering auto insurance rates will head to the governor’s desk without a veto-proof majority of support in the House, raising the possibility that the Governor could veto the legislation that he’s long criticized, saying the bill does not do anything to lower rates but does undermine victim’s ability to get a fair settlement. Bill sponsor River Ridge Senator Kirk Talbot pushed back on that claim. Talbot says the bill brings our legal climate in line with other states.

 

A bill allocating 300 million dollars to create a grant program for the states small businesses also passes. The bill was controversial for drawing the funds from money set aside to help local governments salvage their budgets in the face of COVID-related revenue loss.

 

Legislation allowing any patient with a debilitating condition to receive medical marijuana from any state-licensed doctor is headed to the governor’s desk. The bill’s author Stonewall Rep. Larry Bagley says the measure has the opportunity to combat the opioid crisis.

 

A bill that sets up the regulations so Louisiana residents can participate in online fantasy sports contests for cash prizes is headed to the governor’s desk. Fairness for Fantasy Sports spokesperson Ryan Berni says they’re confident Governor Edwards will sign the legislation and hopefully lawmakers will approve the taxation in the June special session.

 

As soon as the regular legislative session finished lawmakers went into a special session. Lawmakers are set to tangle over proposals aimed at rebooting the state’s economy and passing the state’s budget for the next fiscal year that begins July 1st.

Chairman of the Louisiana Economic Recovery Task Force Jason Decuir says first up is codifying relief passed by executive order during the early days of the pandemic. Legislators will also consider a temporary, and possibly permanent repeal of the franchise tax.

 

Monday marked the official start of the 2020 hurricane season and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness wants you to get prepared for a projected busy season. GOHSEP spokesperson Mike Steele says the state is actively preparing to have to respond to a severe weather event in the midst of a pandemic. Tropical Depression 3 has formed in the Bay of Campeche. The system could enter the gulf as tropical storm on Saturday afternoon.

 

LSU outlines a roadmap to the return to physical class settings this fall.  Cleaning, handwashing, and physical distancing will see a continued emphasis.  LSU Interim President Thomas Galligan expects the CDC will also still recommend face coverings, so the university will contribute to that need. LSU also plans to test 10 to 16 percent of the populations of the campuses statewide for the virus this fall, with voluntary participants selected at random. The current plans would see the fall semester starting on schedule. 

 

Two of four inmates who escaped from Detention Center 1 in Marksville have been captured. However the search for the final two inmates continues. 18 year old Travis Green and 34 year old Brandon Johnson have evaded authorities so far. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of these individuals is asked to contact the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

 

The state Senate passed several bills to improve Louisiana’s criminal justice system, including a bill to make probation less costly for both the state and offenders. Other bills would adjust the juvenile probation procedure and provide released prisoners letters verifying where they had served their time. The measures had already been approved by the House and now go to the governor for his approval.

 

Sports..

 

LSU announces it will play Grambling State and Southern for the first time ever in football over the next couple of years. The Fighting Tigers will host the Jaguars on September 10th, 2022 in Tiger Stadium and in 2023, Grambling will be in Death Valley for a game against LSU on September ninth. Athletics Director Scott Woodward says these games will not only be a celebration of football, but also the state of Louisiana and all of its people.

 

On Friday night, protestors smashed the exterior glass of the College Football of Fame in Atlanta and gained entry. But officials say the hall’s treasured artifacts, collections and displays were untouched and remain protected in secured locations. The substantial damage that did occur was limited to the gift shop and its merchandise.

 

Former Auburn football coach and athletic director Pat Dye has passed away at the age of 80. He won 99 games in 12 seasons and won and shared four SEC titles. The 80-year-old was hospitalized last month for kidney-related issues.

 

There’s big news involving Louisiana Tech and its baseball program. The Conference USA Baseball championship tournament will be played at J-C Love Field at Patterson Park next year. The facility is currently being rebuilt after it was destroyed by an EF-3 tornado last year. It will mark the first Conference USA championship that La Tech has hosted since it joined the league in 2013 and the first Tech baseball hosted the league championships since the 2008 Western Athletic Conference Championships.

Good Morning.. News For Monday June 1st, 2020

News for Monday June 1st, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Cenla Broadcasting notes the tragic loss of twin brothers’ Ben & Blake Cooper. The two were tragically killed in a private plane crash Sunday afternoon just after taking off from Pineville Municipal Airport at Lake Buhlow. Ben, a mental health hospital administrator, and Blake, the Executive Director of the Central Louisiana Regional Port) were both popular in the Cenla Community. Each leaves behind a spouse and children. One son of Blake was also on board and is said to have survived the crash. Although no medical status is known of the boy at this time.

 

The Alexandria Police Department reports a homicide in the city yesterday. Police were called to the 700 block of Harold Glen shortly after noon to find the body of a man who had been shot several times. The identity of the victim is not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin. This incident is still under investigation.

If anyone has any information, please contact the APD.

 

Today is the first day of the 2020 hurricane season and there’s the possibility we could see a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico later this week. National Weather Service Forecaster Stephen Carboni, says  what was Tropical Storm Amanda in the Pacific is moving over Central America and into the Southern Gulf. The National Hurricane Center says there’s a 50% chance we’ll of something develop over the next five days. Carboni says if it does develop into a storm, it will be called Cristobal, the third named storm of 2020 and the hurricane season is just starting

 

30 year old Cody Richardson, a former Correctional Officer with the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office Detention Center 1, in Alexandria, Louisiana, pleaded guilty in court Friday to three counts of using excessive force against pretrial detainees housed at the facility. According to documents filed in connection with the guilty plea, Richardson, while on duty as a correctional officer, tased three different detainees who were restrained and/or not resisting.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to announce at 2:30 today whether the state is ready to move into Phase 2 of reopening the economy. Edwards says the metrics used to make the decision to move into phase one are still in play for determining whether the state is ready for phase two. Edwards says they are also looking at active cases and testing capacity, which he says continues to improve. He says even if the state goes to phase two that doesn’t mean COVID-19 has left the state. The state reported six more deaths yesterday to bring the total to 2,686 statewide.

 

Families of children who receive free or reduced-price meals are eligible for Pandemic EBT cards to help offset those meals lost when schools closed early, but they need to act fast. Syndi Dunn, Louisiana Department of Education spokesperson says applications must be completed by June 8th. Participation in other relief programs will not disqualify students from the P-EBT program. Dunn says so far approximately 60 percent of eligible families have applied for the benefits thus far. For more information go to the Louisianabelieves.com and click on Covid-19 Information and Resources.

 

Legislation blocking coastal local governments from suing the oil industry for damages dies in the House as the bill sponsor admits they just ran out of time to pass it this year. Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Gifford Briggs says it is a frustrating outcome, and the lawsuits will never lead to a windfall for local governments and is just a trial lawyer scheme. Local government leaders say the lawsuits will be instrumental in undoing industry damage.

 

Tort reform legislation that supporters say will lower auto insurance rates is expected to be sent to the Governor today. Governor Edwards is not in favor of the bill and UL Lafayette Poli Sci Professor Pearson Cross says if it hits Edwards’ desk he expects it to be vetoed even though it passed by veto-proof majorities. Cross says a veto override has not been completed in Louisiana since 1993.

 

Legislation allowing delivery services that use contract workers to deliver alcohol is headed to the Governor’s desk. The bill amends last year’s alcohol delivery law. Bill sponsor Franklin Senator Bret Allain says if it’s signed into law it could really take off in a state like Louisiana.

 

Newly drafted LSU Quarterback Joe Burrow calls for all Americans to show support for the black community in the wake of George Floyd’s death. In his Twitter post Friday, he says “The black community needs our help. They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.”  The tweet has over 400-thousand likes.

 

Mental health advocates warn that the reopening of the economy may lead to more anxiety as people try to adapt to the new normal. Dr. Tonya Hansel with the Tulane School of Social Work says, to start, limit your news intake, so as not to overstimulate yourself while trying to safely navigate the outside world. Hansel says another way to relieve stress is to reconnect with friends and family outside of your household in safe, outdoor environments…

 

There will be several changes when college students return to campus in the Fall due to COVID-19. University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson says it’s all designed to protect the students, staff, and faculty. For example, changing the calendar so students will complete the semester before Thanksgiving.

Good Morning... News For Friday May 29th, 2020

News for Friday May 29th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Governor John Bel Edwards is encouraged by the state’s recent COVID-19 numbers, but as for a decision on Phase Two reopening that will have to wait. Edwards says the data is still being analyzed, but it’s encouraging to see the number of hospitalizations has fallen below 800. He hopes to make the announcement on June 1st on possible movement to Phase Two, Phase One is currently in effect until June 5th. The number of patients who are hospitalized dropped by another 37 on Thursday to 761.

 

Legislation is heading to the governor’s desk that will ask voters on November 3rd if sports betting should be legalized in their parish. Metairie Senator Cameron Henry says if a parish approves the referendum, then lawmakers will vote next year on the regulation and taxation of sports wagering, which will be controversial. An effort to legalize sports betting failed in the legislature last year. Henry says by putting the issue before the voters, lawmakers can then decide how they should vote when the sports betting and taxation bills come before them in 2021…

 

A bill that removes many restrictions on who can be prescribed medical marijuana is nearing final legislative passage. On a 28-to-six vote, the Senate approved the measure that would allow a state-licensed doctor to recommend the treatment for any debilitating health conditions. Under current law, cannabis can only be used to treat a specific list of diseases or disorders that includes cancer, seizures, Parkinson’s, and PTSD. Before the bill goes to the governor’s desk, the House will need to approve Senate changes to the measure.

 

A House-approved bill allowing a concealed handgun permit holder to bring a gun into a church without informing the congregation heads to the Senate floor for final passage.

The legislation still requires a concealed carrier to ask the pastor or other leader of the house of worship for permission to carry while on the premises. Churches can currently allow concealed carry, but the congregation must be informed who is carrying. Under this bill parishioners would not be informed.

 

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association delayed summer training dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic but 12 schools are under investigation for violating the start date. The association changed the date from May 17th to June 8th to fall in line with the Governor’s proposed timeline of reopening the state. LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine declined to name the 12 schools and says the executive committee will meet June 3rd to discuss the situation. Schools and coaches could receive, fines, suspensions, or probation.

 

Legislation is headed to the Governor’s desk that would create a 300 million dollar grant program for small businesses. The money will be drawn from an 800 million dollar CARES Act payment sent to Louisiana. New Orleans Representative Gary Carter, one of the critics of the bill, says this money was supposed to help save local governments.

 

A Louisiana district judge has ordered Treasurer John Schroder to transfer more than $32 million in unclaimed property money to cover government operating expenses.

Judge Richard Moore sided with Gov. John Bel Edwards in a lawsuit over the money.

Moore said the Republican treasurer improperly withheld the money from the state general fund after lawmakers appropriated it for spending on state programs and services.

 

A registered nurse formerly employed with the VA Medical Center in Pineville has pleaded guilty to one count of fraudulently obtaining Hydromorphone, a powerful opioid designed to relieve pain. While working at the VA Medical Center Urgent Care Clinic, the Department of Justice says 40 Jolie King of Alexandria, used her position to access the clinic’s narcotics supply cabinet and retrieve vials of controlled substance medications. As a part of the plea agreement reached, King admitted that she used the drugs for her own personal use. King faces up to four years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

 

The smallest ever baby to born in Louisiana made history this week by being discharged from the hospital.  Dionna Ambrielle  Miracle Taylor was born January 27th weighing just 11 ounces at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport. She left the hospital yesterday and currently weighs 4 pounds and 13 ounces.

 

An autopsy of African American COVID-19 victims by a team of LSU pathologists reveals new information about how the disease damages your lungs by causing hemorrhaging. LSU Health New Orleans head of Pathology Research Dr. Richard Vander Heide says they’ve performed 26 autopsies and surveyed the victim’s lungs. He says they found heart disease, obesity, and other comorbidities in nearly all of those studied which may be linked to the blood clotting.

 

Sports..

 

Dates and times for Saints preseason games have been set. The Black and Gold will kick off the preseason in Los Angeles on Friday, August 14th. 9 PM is the start time. The next week, New Orleans travels to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers on a Sunday night. In week three of the preseason, New Orleans hosts Houston on Saturday, August 29th. The Saints conclude the preseason on Thursday night, September third against the Miami Dolphins.

 

Louisiana Tech plans to begin voluntary football workouts on June 8th. Athletic Director Tommy McClelland says players are allowed back on campus next week…

 

Conference USA and the Sun Belt have announced their bowl lineup for the next six years starting with the 2020 season. The Sun Belt will have five bowl tie-ins, but the New Orleans Bowl will no longer have the first pick. That will go to a bowl game owned and operated by ESPN, such as the Boca Raton Bowl, Cure Bowl and SERVPRO First Responsder Bowl in Dallas.

 

Conference USA says they will continue to send teams to the Bahamas Bowl and the New Orleans Bowl on an annual basis.

 

LSU assistant baseball coach Eddie Smith says 21 Tigers will participate in summer leagues this season. Several players will play in the South Florida League, which begins play on June 12th. They are Collier Cranford, Cade Doughty, Alex Milazzo, Cade Beloso, Zach Arnold and Giovanni DiGiacomo.

 

Northwestern State pitcher Kyle Swanson has been named the Southland Conference Baseball Student-Athlete of the Year. The Texas native graduated with perfect 4.0 GPA in health and human performance and had a 1.04 ERA in seven appearances and four saves in 2020.

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