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House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Jefferson Parish has been discharged from MedStar Washington hospital to begin "intensive inpatient rehabilitation.
 
Scalise's doctors say the Congressman has made excellent progress in his recovery from a life-threatening gunshot wound to the hip six weeks ago.


They say Scalise is in good spirits and looking forward to returning to Capitol Hill once he completes rehabilitation.

Scalise has undergone several surgeries since he was shot on June 14th when a gunman opened fire on several federal lawmakers who were practicing in Virginia for a charity baseball game.
 
 

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Two Shreveport juveniles have been charged in back to back store burglaries. Cpl. Marcus Hines with Shreveport Police says the first robbery occurred on Tuesday at a Boost Mobile store. He says officers responded to the call after 10 p.m.

“When they got there, they notices the front window of the business had been busted out, items had been taken from within the business,” Hines said, “Officers weren’t able to catch anyone that day, but they did recover surveillance video.”

Two males were visible in the video leaving the store with merchandise. Hines says it appears the culprits made off with several phones from the store. The front window was repaired shortly after. He says officers responded to a similar burglary call around 11 p.m. the very next day.

“Same business, alarm is going off. They get there and the window’s busted out yet again, and two people were detained. One was inside the business, and one was seen coming out of the rear of the business,” Hines said.

The juveniles are ages 10 and 12, and Hines says that speaks to the tragedy of what is happening with some of our youth today. The boys are already on probation for other burglaries. He says it’s a sad situation that these two will now face additional counts of that charge, and the parents weren’t much help.

“We could not contact parents for these children at 10, 11 o’clock at night. These are 10- and 11-year-old kids, and the parents don’t even know where these children are,” Hines said.

 
 
 
 
 

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President Donald Trump announces transgendered individuals are no longer allowed to serve in the U.S. military in any capacity. Richland Parish U.S. Congressman Ralph Abraham, who serves on the House Armed Forces Committee, says this change makes sense. He says if someone decides to undergo a gender transformation surgery while enlisted, it could hinder their service to the military.

“You only sign up for 4 years and if you’re not able to fight for 2.5 of those, then that’s really unfair to the rest of your platoon. It does become a very important readiness issue.”

But Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana Marjorie Esman says this is a huge mistake by President Trump because it’s clear discrimination. She says it’s against the law in America to discriminate against people based on their medical history.

“To single out a particular group of people to say their medical conditions might be too expensive has no bearing on whether or not these people are better for the country to have them serving.”

Abraham says this is not a discrimination issue, but transgender individuals can create problems that the military should not have to address.

“That disrupts literally everything, as far as bathroom privileges, as far as dining privileges, does he take a shower with the women? No, I hope not.”

Esman says the president is blaming the victim, as transgender individuals are not by nature disruptive. She says the best way to solve this problem is to get rid of the people causing the disruption, not the transgender individuals.

“The woman who is sexually assaulted, it’s her fault because she was wearing a short skirt, no it’s not her fault for wearing a short skirt. It’s not transgender individuals fault is somebody else has trouble dealing with them.”

 
 

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Most Louisiana residents approve of Donald Trump’s job performance, according to a recent Gallup poll. LSU political science professor Robert Hogan says that’s not surprising since the president won an overwhelming majority of the popular vote in the Bayou State. He says the poll shows that Louisiana voters like what the president is doing.

“They like the messages that he’s sending about low regulations. He wants to repeal Obamacare. All those are issues that would resonate with voters, particularly the voters that put Mr. Trump into office,” Hogan said.

Louisiana is one of 17 states where a majority of residents say the president is doing a good job six months into his term. Mr. Trump carried Louisiana in the election with 58 percent of the vote. This recent poll is a significant drop down to 51 percent. Hogan says that’s not unusual as most presidents start out with a honeymoon period.

“Over time his has dropped a good bit nationally, but I suspect the drop has not been as great here as in other parts of the country,” Hogan said.

West Virginia is home to the most Trump supporters, with 60 percent saying they approve of his performance. Not many fans of the president live in Vermont though, as only 29 percent of those surveyed are pleased with the commander in chief. Hogan says voters in the Bayou State will likely support Mr. Trump no matter what he’s able to accomplish.

“If he’s unable to achieve the goals that he has set for himself and or his part, he’s going to blame the Democrats or the media or someone else,” Hogan said.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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More people than ever are lying on resumes to get a job. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 85 percent of employers caught applicants fibbing on their resumes or application, up from just 66 percent five years ago. UNO business professor Mark Rosa blames a competitive job market.

“There’s more generation on the current generation to find work and to find meaningful work than there’s ever been,” Rosa said, “There’s more people in school, more people with credentials, more people with experience.”

Rosa says some applicants may only embellish a little bit, like adding a few years to their experience, while others go as far as to make diplomas from fake universities. But he says employers are getting better at catching them, because most things on a resume are verifiable.

“You can call the registrar at the university with respect to college credentials. You can call previous employers with respect to their work history,” Rosa said.

Rosa says the internet is also helping employers weed out untruthful applicants, which increases the risk of getting caught. He says if someone is caught lying on a resume, the consequences could be disastrous for the person telling white lies.

“Their career is completely finishes. They’re usually a young person. It’s a mess. They’re never to be seen again,” Rosa said.

 
 
 
 
 

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As Congress is set to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance program in September, the Natural Resources Defense Council is urging a shift to moving homeowners to a safer area rather than rebuilding properties that repeatedly flood. Rob Moore with the NRDC says for each 100 dollars spent to rebuild homes, FEMA spends only $1.75 to move individuals to a less flood prone area.


“Many of those homeowners would probably prefer to relocate somewhere where flooding is no longer a part of their life and that would also save the flood insurance the expense of having to rebuild these properties.”
 
Moore says they recommend that the National Flood Insurance Program provides homeowners a guaranteed buyout if they no longer want to rebuild.
“The flood insurance program would often get a financial saving for helping people move to higher ground.”
 
Louisiana leads the country for the number of repeated flooded properties. He says another change Congress should make to the NFIP is for homeowners to be educated on the flooding history of their home, because they are currently denied access to that information.

“Currently the only people that can get it, already must have flood insurance and that information won’t be provided until after they filed their first damage claim, that’s not really the time to inform people that their home repeatedly floods.”
 
 

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A new startup out of Lafayette called Short and Fat offers more clothing options to men with a different build. Co-founder Jeff Martin says men who are “vertically challenged and horizontally blessed” have to resort to shopping at big and tall stores.

But they often end up trading one solution for more problems, like trying to find a shirt that fits around the neck.

“When I do find one, I end up with this huge shirt that’s huge on my shoulders. The sleeves are too long, and I have ton of material to tuck in,” Martin said, “I end up looking like a kid wearing his dad’s shirt.”

Martin says many men aren’t even aware they’re wearing ill-fitting shirts because they’re so used to settling for whatever they can get. He says it is noticeable when a collar is too small or the sleeves too short, and then there’s the problem of the belly wink.

“That’s when you sit down and the fabric stretches so tight around your belly that those two bottom buttons pull apart, and it winks at anyone across the room,” Martin said.

Customers can build their own shirts on Short and Fat’s Kickstarter page, choosing their fabric, collar, buttons, pocket, and cuffs. The shirt is then made to the customer’s exact measurements. Martin says these easy care fabrics offer a wider selection than can be found at a big and tall store.

“We have fabrics that are beautiful and they cross the spectrum. So if you want to be a little more bold and be out there, we have things to choose from, and if you want your standard white or blue dress shirt, we can do that as well,” Martin said.

Short and Fat has a $15,000 goal on Kickstarter that Martin says will help them launch their own website. Donations can be made here

 
 
 
 
 

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The Saints look to get back to the playoffs this season as they report for training camp on Wednesday. The New Orleans franchise has finished 7-and-9, the last three seasons. And NFL analyst Mike Detillier projects the Saints will once again be solid on offense with Quarterback Drew Brees at the helm and an emerging pass catcher.


"This offense has been a top six offense every year under Sean Payton," Detillier said. "And if there's a superstar on this team other than Drew Brees, it's Michael Thomas."
 
Thomas had a big rookie campaign as he caught 92 passes for 1,137 yards and 9 touchdowns.
 
The Saints have failed to notch a winning record since 2013 because of problems on defense. Detillier says says it remains to be seen if the Saints defense has improved enough in the offseason to keep opposing offenses off the scoreboard.
 
"Can you slow them down, can you win the turnover battle and also put better pressure on the quarterback," Detillier said.
 
One of the big off-season additions was the signing of future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson. Detillier says hopefully this means head coach Sean Payton will be more committed to the running game this year. 
 
"Play a little smash mouth football, play a little keep away and also keep your suspect defense off the field," Detillier said.
 
The first day of practices at the team's training facility is Thursday.  
 
 

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Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand announced his retirement today, as the most vocal sheriff in the state will soon take to the airwaves. After spending 10 years at the helm of JPSO, Normand says a good leader knows when it’s time to leave. He adds good leaders evaluate opportunities.

“As it turns out, my next opportunity is that I have been offered to take over for Garland Robinette as the radio talk show host for WWL Radio,” Normand said.

Mid-morning host Garland Robinette announced his retirement from WWL earlier this month. The sheriff joked that he’d be stepping across the line to the dark side and joining the media. But he’s excited to lead in a different way. He says that’s what intrigued him most about this opportunity.

“I will be able to be part of stimulating and influencing the development of public opinion in so much broader of a landscape than I could ever imagine as sheriff,” Normand said.

Normand will retire on August 31 and chief deputy and former state representative Joe Lopinto will be sworn in as the next sheriff of Jefferson Parish. Normand began his career in law enforcement in 1977 in Orleans Parish. He says although rewarding, it’s not an easy job.

“I’d be less than honest if I didn’t tell you I’m a little tired. Thinking about 1,500 men and women going home every night, it wears on you,” Normand said.

 
 
 
 
 

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Both of Louisiana's U.S. Senators have voted in favor of debate on a healthcare bill. Senior Senator Bill Cassidy has authored amendments to the GOP replacement bill, but they haven’t gained much support.

UL-Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Cassidy’s proposals run against the most conservative elements in the Republican Party.

“Cassidy has been over on the more moderate, let’s fix things, let’s make things better but that can’t get much traction in the Senate now either.”

Senator John Kennedy has proudly stated he will vote to repeal Obamacare even without a replacement. Cross says this is what got Kennedy elected to the position.

“Ran very much as an opponent to Obamacare, going to rip it out root and branch so the pressure on them to follow through now that they finally have the majority in the House and Senate is really extraordinary.”

The Edwards administration has raised concerns about repealing the current federal healthcare law. They say over 400,000 Louisiana residents are insured because of the expansion of Medicaid. Cross says Cassidy, who has worked as a doctor in the state’s charity hospital system, understands the risks of taking away health insurance to thousands.

“He’s the one who is most amenable to fixing Obamacare. He’s the one who is very concerned about the expansion of Medicaid folks but he’s also getting it from the other side, so he’s really under the gun.”

 

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Michelle Southern reporting. 
Alabama Republican Congressman Mo Brooks is making waves with a campaign commercial in which he uses audio from the shooting at the GOP baseball game that injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. The ad notes Brooks came to the aid of those wounded in the attack at a Virginia baseball park.


Political analyst Dr. Silas Lee gives his take.

"Using an attempted assassination event like this can be risky," said Lee. "Steve Scalise is still recovering and he was critically injured."

A staffer for Scalise had said some people have different ideas about what's appropriate. Lee says advocates for gun rights may not be offended by the spot, but he feels most candidates would not use the audio from the shooting.

"And in a situation like this, the question needs to be asked of Mo Brooks if he would want someone to use him in an ad like that if that happened to him," said Lee.

The ad touts Brooks' support of the Second Amendment, and criticizes the media for asking questions about gun control after the shooting.

Lee says the problem with a commercial like this is that there typically isn't a grey area when it comes to gun advocacy, but it's the middle of the road voters you have to think about.

"Who might not be strong supporters of changing gun laws."

You can view the ad below:
 
 
 
 

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The 2017 NBA All-Star Game brought nearly $45 million to the state, according to a new LSU study. Co-author of the report Dr. Stephen Barnes says visitors spent a total of $24 million in the region over the weekend.

He says people who attended the game spent an average of $1,400 per person, while visitors who did not attend the game spent around $800 each.

“Those people that were coming for the main event spent a good bit more than you would see from a typical visitor, but even those other visitors are spending a lot of money in the regional economy,” Barnes said.

Barnes says the weekend event in mid-February brought hundreds of visitors, including international tourists. Those visitors tended to be more affluent and stayed for several days, which contributed to the increased spending. He says that’s what makes an event like this a real money maker.

“They’re going to be coming in from further away really looking to experience a weekend in New Orleans. There are going to be a lot of other parties hosted offsite, and all that leads to a greater amount of spending,” Barnes said.

Barnes says the NBA spent over $18 million on the event, with media promotions adding another $1.4 million. Sponsors contributed almost $4 million. He says that combined with secondary impacts is nearly $83 million in total spending, which generated over $2 million in new sales and excise taxes.

“New Orleans has to compete for events like this. So knowing what the benefits of this are to the region is an important part of that calculation of what resources should the region and the state bring to the table to try to help attract that event,” Barnes said.

 
 
 
 
 

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National watchdog, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, believes the $100,000 fine against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for animal abuse at its New Iberia research laboratory does not go far enough. SAEN Co-founder Michael Budkie says the USDA previously took significant action against another facility for killing a large number of animals.

“That action was to force them to surrender their registration as a laboratory and we believe the USDA should’ve done that with ULL.”

This is the fifth largest fine levied against a laboratory in the U.S. University Spokesperson Kathleen Thames released a statement saying these incidents occurred as part of routine housing and care of nonhuman primates. But Budkie disagrees as there are multiple occurrences of monkeys being neglected or killed.

“A monkey had two fingers become trapped in cage, those fingers ended up being broken. The animal developed several lacerations, eventually died of a cerebral hemorrhage.”

Budkie says other allegations against the New Iberia laboratory claim three monkeys were lost during a transfer and were not found until they all died and one primate had a broken arm that was not treated for five days. He says entities that continue to criminally abuse animals should not be allowed to break the law.

“The only way to prevent this is to make it illegal for them to use animals ever again.”

 
 

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New Orleans and Baton Rouge are among the most segregated cities in the nation, according to a report from 24/7 Wall Street. New Orleans came in at number six on the list, and Baton Rouge ranked thirteenth. Editor-In-Chief Doug McIntyre says that’s because of population concentration in the cities.

“You have sections of the city that are very heavily white and very heavily black,” McIntyre said.

In both Baton Rouge and New Orleans, the black poverty rate is roughly 30 percent, while the white poverty rate is only about 10 percent. McIntyre says that demonstrates one big problem with segregation because black neighborhoods tend to be much poorer than white neighborhoods.

“Black families tend to be more impoverished. They tend to have lower income. They tend to have lower education and worse health outcomes,” McIntyre said.

In New Orleans, about 43 percent of the black population lives in black neighborhoods, compared to 32 percent in Baton Rouge. McIntyre says the fact that those groups of people are isolated from groups that have better outcomes means that segregation helps to keep those kinds of outcomes in place.

“A city that is highly segregated makes it harder for people in the minority to have their situations improve over time,” McIntyre said.

 
 
 
 
 

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The state Department of Environmental Quality will distribute $12 million from the Volkswagen settlement to projects proposed by public agencies that offer long term benefits to the community. Thursday is the last day to submit a proposal.

Randy Hayden with the Louisiana Propane Gas Association says one option is to replace diesel fueled school buses 10 years and older with ones that run on propane, which would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by over 92%.

“You take a six year old little girl and you put her on a bus and you stick her in Baton Rouge traffic where there is a bus in front of her and a bus behind her and it’s belching diesel fumes, that’s a real life story and that’s not good.”

Hayden says propane is less expensive than conventional fuels as the cost falls in between the price of oil and natural gas.

“Propane compresses relatively easily and it’s stored in a relatively small tank and it’s power is very comparable, the gasoline gallon equivalent is very comparable.”

There is already a handful of school systems who use propane school buses, Lafayette, East Baton Rouge, Lafourche and Caddo Parishes. Hayden says East Baton Rouge used the historic flooding last August to start the process of switching over to propane powered school buses when they lost 168 vehicles.

“68 of that 168 were immediately replaced, 10 of those were propane powered vehicles, they’ve got an order in for 20 to 30 more propane powered vehicles.”

 
 

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Calcasieu Parish authorities have made an arrest in a 2009 cold case. The body of 19-year-old Sierra Bouzigard was found on the side of the road in November of 2009, and police have been searching for a suspect ever since. Sheriff Tony Mancuso says they used phenotyping technology to create a suspect profile from DNA found on the victim, which led to today’s arrest of 31-year-old Blake Russell.

“This is modern day science and technology with just good old fashioned police work. It’s simple as that. We could not have done it without either one,” Mancuso said.

Mancuso says his agency was the first in the state to use the Snapshot DNA Phenotyping technology. Russell was arrested this morning in DeQuincy on a charge of second degree murder. Mancuso says it means everything to give closure to the family, who have been waiting seven years for justice.

“Nothing can reward me as a sheriff more than listening to Dana and Gayle Bouzigard, the mom and grandma, weep with joy,” Mancuso said.

The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Mancuso says Russell did not know the victim at all. He says Bouzigard lived a “risky lifestyle” but did not elaborate because he says it doesn’t matter, and he doesn’t think it’s important.

“What does that matter? I mean, really. She’s a victim. She was murdered for no reason, absolutely no reason,” Mancuso said.

 
 
 
 
 

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A Rayne man, with a history of DWI arrests, is behind bars after police say he hit a man on a bicycle while driving intoxicated. Acadia Parish Sheriff K. P. Gibson says 61-year-old Ricky Joyner of Rayne was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver, 42-year-old Ivy Roger, was nowhere to be found.

“Our deputies found the vehicle not very far from the location of the crash, but the driver had fled, unknown if he fled on his own on foot or with assistance,” Gibson said.

Gibson says deputies were able to identify the driver and track him down inside the city limits of Rayne. He says they are waiting for toxicology results to charge Roger with a DWI, but he already faces a slew of criminal charges.

“We have filed the hit and run charges. We filed a driving under suspension charge and vehicular homicide,” Gibson said, “the DWI will come forth once we finish the blood work to confirm it.”

Roger has already been charged with 5 DWIs, and Gibson says three of them were fairly recently. As Roger’s license is currently suspended, the sheriff says he shouldn’t have been driving at all.

“If a person doesn’t learn after one offense of a DWI, they’ll never learn, I don’t think. When you’re on your fifth offense and you’re still driving, there’s a major problem there where somebody has a disregard for life,” Gibson said.

 
 
 
 
 

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Michelle Southern reporting. 
Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie has submitted his letter of retirement, and today is reportedly his last day. It's not a huge surprise as Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome had said since she took office that new leadership was needed at BRPD in the wake of the Alton Sterling shooting. She said Monday that Dabadie is an honorable man.


"He has served the people and the parish as police chief and many people appreciate his contributions to law enforcement," said Weston-Broome.

Weston-Broome was not able to fire Dabadie without cause as the chief's job is protected by civil service laws. But Political Analyst and Baton Rouge radio host Clay Young says Dabadie probably had had enough.

"And the back and forth had been going on for so long," said Young. "I think he met his required time to retire, and just said, 'It's time to move on.'"

Weston-Broome ran a campaign on the promise that she'd appoint a fresh face to the department that would help ease tensions between people and police officers. But Young says Dabadie is not a person who would be unwilling to try to work with anyone to try to make the city of Baton Rouge and the community better.

"He has never been the problem," said Young. "The discussion about what needs to happen going forward should be a lot more about process and outcomes, and less about emotion."
 
Weston-Broome said has appointed Lt. Johnathan Dunnam as interim chief, but says he will not be applying for the permanent position.
 
Dabadie's official last day of service is October 2nd, but he's using the rest of his leave time through that point. 
 
 
 

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Gas prices are on the rise in the Bayou State. Don Redman with AAA says gas prices in June were the lowest we’ve seen all year, which is unusual for the summer months. He says we’re already seeing an uptick in prices at the pump.

“We’re looking right now at prices just a couple of cents higher than we were a week ago, fairly in line to where we were a month ago, but we’re hanging around the $2.08 cents a gallon range statewide,” Redman said.

Redman says that’s almost 10 cents higher than we were this time last year. He expects prices will continue to climb as we get closer to Labor Day, as refineries struggle to keep up with this summer’s record demand for gasoline.

“If that demand continues at the pace that it is right now, we could see pressure put on the gas prices. We could see potentially by the time we get to Labor Day, prices statewide about $2.20 a gallon,” Redman said.

Redman says we could be looking at a 10 cent a gallon hike by the time we reach Labor Day. But he notes that’s an educated guess because a lot of factors affect prices at the pump, especially in the Gulf South.

“We’re still in hurricane season. So if we get a hurricane come in that could disrupt the refining process or the distribution process, we could see prices go much higher,” Redman said.

 
 
 
 
 

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A professor at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health says it’s never a good idea to carry your cell phone to the bathroom. Dr. James Diaz says a smart phone can contain more bacteria than the bathroom. He says what gets spread to our phones can get on a lot of other things we touch.

“If you’re not washing your hands after you use the bathroom it could collect bacteria from feces or it could just collect some of the normal flora that’s on your hands.”

Diaz says people need to be wary of what they’re touching every day, from door knobs to computer keyboards. He says fecal oral transmission to inanimate objects occurs when individuals don’t wash their hands after leaving the bathroom.

“Whenever you’re using the bathroom you should certainly wash your hands because anything that’s on your hands can be transferred by touch.”

Diaz suggests using an antiseptic to clean your phone screen on a regular basis. He says it’s best to never bring your cell phone into the bathroom because it poses the risk for dropping it in the toilet.

“You would really have to clean with an antiseptic particularly if the toilet is still filled with feces, that could even transmit something like cholera.”

 
 

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