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By Jeff Palermo
The Saints put together one of their better performances in a long time as they defeated NFC South rival Carolina 34-13. Quarterback Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes and the defense forced three turnovers and held a struggling Panthers offense to 288 total yards.

Coach Sean Payton says the Black and Gold had a good week of practice and it showed in their performance on Sunday. 

"We had some good things early on happen, first drive was good, defensively the first turnover resulted in a touchdown, there will be a lot where we have to clean up, but I was pleased the players were able to get a win," Payton said. 
Carolina came into the game ranked number one in the NFL in total defense. But the Saints were able to sustain a balanced attack with the run and the pass throughout the game. Payton says it was nice to see.
"This is a really good front and I was pleased that we were able to run the ball like we were and provide the protection, it wasn't always perfect, but that was a good group we went against," Payton said.
The Saints are 1-and-2 and we'll spend this week in London, getting ready for their game against Miami on Sunday.  


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LSU’s Speech Language Hearing Clinic has a program that allows people with a medical condition like ALS to bank their voice.

 Speech Language Pathologist Sara Green Mele says individuals with a degenerative disease come to the clinic and record their voice in a sound proof booth using a third party recording software.

“It allows your voice to be banked. You have to do up to 1,600 sentences so it has the different sounds and different placements.”

LSU has used this technology for two years. Mele says by using head or eye control, people are unable to talk can communicate with their friends and family. She says one might think they could download the software on their computer and bank their voice from home but that’s not the case.

“The critical component is the type of microphone you use and having a soundproof booth. Those two things are absolutely necessary to make this successful.”

WAFB news anchor Donna Britt was recently diagnosed with ALS and has banked her voice. The process takes about six to eight hours. Mele says with ALS, even with the loss of voice, a patient’s cognition remains strong. She says all hope isn’t lost if someone has already lost their voice.

“We can voice bank a family member, possibly somebody that sounds similar to them with the same dialect and accent. We can facilitate that with a family member we just wouldn’t utilize that patient’s voice.”



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By Jeff Palermo
LSU did not win by three touchdowns as the odds makers in Las Vegas predicted, but the Tigers did enough to get their third win of the season with a 35-26 victory over Syracuse.
The Orange had more first downs than LSU, but the Tigers produced big plays for their 49th straight victory over a non-conference opponent in Tiger Stadium.

The big plays started right away. On the first play from scrimmage, Greedy Williams intercepted a pass to the flat by Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey and returned to the one-yard line. One play later, Derrius Guice scored to give LSU a very quick 7-0 lead.
Guice only had eight carries for 14 yards as he didn't look himself, because of a knee injury.  
LSU didn't score again until the 2nd quarter. Tigers starting quarterback Danny Etling hit Stephen Sullivan over the middle of the field for a 43-yard touchdown strike.
The Tigers led 14-3 at halftime and on the first play of the 2nd half, Etling threw a bomb to Drake Davis who caught the ball in stride and raced 87 yards for a touchdown.
After Syracuse scored a touchdown, true freshman Myles Brennan came in at quarterback. Brennan hit running back Darrel Williams for a 43-yard pass, which set up a Williams 20-yard touchdown run and a Tigers 28-10 lead.
But the Orange did not give up. A great punt by Syracuse's Sterling Hofrichter pinned LSU at its own 1-yard line. On the next play, Williams was tackled in the end zone for a safety. 
That play gave the Orange a spark. Syracuse scored touchdowns on its next two drives as Dungey ran for one score and threw for another to make it 28-26.
LSU put the game away on the next drive, a Williams 24-yard run got the ball to the Syracuse 28-yard line. A few plays later, DJ Chark would run around the left end and score from 20 yards to win 35-26. 
The Tigers allowed 308 passing yards, but they were only penalized three times. LSU rushed for 151 yards as the offensive line struggled to not only open holes, but provide pass protection.
We might also see a two-quarterback system for the rest of the way. Etling was 10-17 for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Brennan was 4-of-6 for 75 yards and an interception. That's the first turnover of the season for the Tigers.  
Up next, the Troy Trojans at Tiger Stadium next Saturday. 


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By Jeff Palermo 
Sunday marks the 12-year anniversary of Hurricane Rita making landfall near the Texas-Louisiana boarder. State Climatologist Barry Keim says nationwide it’s a forgotten storm, because of the destruction left behind by Hurricane Katrina, but Rita had higher maximum sustained winds and...

"Storm surge of 17.8 feet which is the second largest storm surge on record in Louisiana, behind only Katrina at 18.7 feet," Keim said.
Keim says Rita even re-flooded parts of New Orleans. But he says the hardest hit areas were low-lying communities in southwest Louisiana. 
The towns of Cameron, Holly Beach, Johnson Bayou, Oak Grove, these towns were completely wiped out, even 12 years later they have not fully recovered and they may never be what they once were," Keim said. 
Rita is the last major hurricane to hit Louisiana. It still ranks number four all-time for lowest atmospheric pressure and seventh for highest maximum sustained winds, which was 180-miles per hour. 


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In response to last week's death of 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver, the LSU fraternity pledge, who died in a suspected hazing incident involving alcohol, Governor John Bel Edwards is requesting universities review their hazing policies. Edwards does not want to see another student die as a result of hazing. 
"Louisiana has moved a long way over the last number of years in instituting policies and practices to guard against this, but it did happen, so we have to redouble our efforts," Edwards said. 

Edwards says it's up to the state to ensure students who attend a Louisiana university are safe from harm.
"Your surely are not supposed to be burying your young child, because they died on a college campus because of some sort of hazing ritual," Edwards said. 


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A Breaux Bridge Police Officer is under arrest amid allegations he was engaging in sexual relations with a 16-year-old juvenile. State Police is investigating and Master Trooper Brooks David says Breaux Bridge Police Chief Rollie Cantu contacted LSP detectives about the claims against 29-year-old Craig David.

"During the investigation, detectives were able to determine as early as December of 2016, this police officer was having inappropriate contacts with this juvenile," Brooks David said.
Officer Craig David was charged with carnal knowledge of a juvenile, computer aided solicitation of a minor and malfeasance in office. Master Trooper Brooks David says it’s a shame when LSP has to arrest someone sworn to protect the public. 
"It's another black eye to police agencies across the nation, but we want people to realize that once again contacted, State Police will investigate and do the right thing," Brooks David said.  


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A survey by Offers.com took a look at the top tailgating trends around the country, and found that Louisiana ranks #7 for drinking the most alcohol on game days. Spokeswoman Carson Yarbrough says they also found tailgating fans in Sportsman’s Paradise prefer burgers, while most Americans prefer wings.

"And ya'll prefer beer and cornhole as your favorite tailgating activities," said Yarbrough.

Yarbrough says the average tailgater in Louisiana consumes an average of 4 alcoholic beverages per game. She says 53% of Americans prefer watching NFL games at home, and 60.5% would rather tailgate at a college game.

"And over 80% of Louisianians prefer college tailgates," said Yarbrough.

Yarbrough says the states that drink more than Louisiana at tailgates are South Dakota, Connecticut, Deleware, Oklahoma, Idaho and Nevada. She says not only do Louisianians like to live it up at the tailgate, fans also go to the games.

"Over 50% of Louisianians prefer to be at the game, in the stadium where all the action takes place," said Yarbrough.


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By Jeff Palermo
The state department of transportation is hopeful the major overlay project on I-20 in Webster Parish will wrap around the Thanksgiving weekend, which would be ahead of schedule. DOTD spokesperson Erin Buchanan says the westbound lanes are complete and contractors are working in the eastbound lanes. 

"Which will be followed by applying asphalt to the shoulder, permanent striping, and some guard rail work," Buchanan said.
The 29-million dollar project to improve nearly 10-miles of interstate began in January of 2016. Buchanan says crews removed the surface of existing pavement, which is called cold plane. 
"You do that to remove any of that old bumpy surface that so many people are familiar with on parts of I-20. By doing that you prolong the life of the roadway," Buchanan said. 
Buchanan says once the work is complete, motorists will experience a greatly improved travel experience for this section of I-20. 
"Lots of parts of I-20 need to have this sort of work done, so we are glad to be able to have this stretch completed very soon," Buchanan said. 


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Michelle Southern reporting. 
The pumpkin spice craze is in full swing as it is around this time every year, and experts say there's science behind your autumn craving. Dr. Michelle Moore is a psychologist at LSU Health New Orleans, and she says people have natural reactions to certain scents, and your brain gets triggered to certain memories.

"Usually reminds you of something happy, or pleasurable," said Moore. "So for some people, pumpkin spice is associated with fall, and makes other associations to happy memories."

Moore says when fall rolls around and leaves fall off the trees, people connect the cooler weather with all sorts of positive things, which is what makes them want pumpkin spice. She says the other phenomenon that's occurring, is that pumpkin spice is very trendy.

"The addiction or obsession is also just from social media, and people seeing that so many others are excited about it, that they want to be a part of that," said Moore.

Starbucks first developed its pumpkin spice latte in 2003, and the craze has spread to all sorts of other seasonal products. Moore says when something like this takes on a life of its own, everyone wants in on the action.

"Because they know that something that that everyone is paying attention to, it's on people's minds," said Moore. "And people will buy most anything just because it says pumpkin spice."


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By Jeff Palermo
Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards encourages schools to participate in the school breakfast challenge to help reduce childhood hunger. Donna Edwards says schools that take action and make sure kids eat breakfast can win up to one-thousand dollars in cash and other great prizes. 

"I'm really reaching out and begging our school superintendents to grab a hold of this program," Edwards said.
Edwards says research shows one in four children in Louisiana struggles with hunger. The First Lady knows as a former teacher that if children have a healthy start to their day, it will lead to better results in the classroom.
"They do better on tests and have fewer discipline and health problems and they are more likely to graduate from high school," Edwards said. 
Schools can register online at Louisiana-school-breakfast-dot-org. Edwards says the Breakfast Challenge is part of the No Kid Hungry Louisiana Initiative. The First Lady says a pilot program started in Orleans Parish in 2010 and there has been a 60-percent increase in school breakfast participation rates.
"I saw it, it was so easy, the lunch workers were there watching, but the kids in this particular school have been doing this for four years and the teachers go straight to their classroom and they eat." 
For more information go to https://la.nokidhungry.org/schoolbreakfast 


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A new report from the USDA finds there are over 41 million Americans, including 13 million children, who lived at risk of hunger in 2016. Bread for the World, a movement in the US to end hunger, broke the numbers down by state, and found that Louisiana is the second hungriest in the nation.

President David Beckmann says this should be a wake-up call.

"What this means is that family runs out of food at the end of the month," said Beckmann. "So maybe mom doesn't eat for a few days, then pretty soon the kids are barely eating or not at all."

Beckmann said the hunger problem in the state is concentrated among African Americans where about 1 out of 3 families may run out of food for the month.

"But also about one in 10 white families are struggling with food insecurities," said Beckmann. "About 100,000."

Beckmann said there are several ways to reverse this trend such as maintaining funding for Medicaid, SNAP, and providing tax credits for low-income families.


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There is a tragic story out of Denham Springs. Police say a 5-year-old child was run over and killed in the street moments after leaving an ice cream truck. Amber Fairburn with Denham Springs PD says officers were dispatched Wednesday evening.

"In reference to a juvenile man being struck by a Toyota Tundra," said Fairburn. "The young man was found and transported to Ochsner."

No charges are filed in the incident. Fairburn says the child was pronounced dead at a local hospital. She says the driver of the vehicle indicated he did not see the little boy.

"There was an ice cream truck in the opposite lane of travel," said Fairburn. "We believe the young boy ran from the rear of the truck into the path of the Toyota Tundra."


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This is Louisiana Craft Brewers Week, designated to commemorate beers brewed right here in the state, and the people who make it possible. Cary Koch, Executive Director of the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild, says when this designation was made by the State Legislature in 2013, there were just 7 breweries that took part, and three brewpubs.

"Today we are boasting that we have 30 breweries participating in this," said Koch. "And we are really really excited about the explosion of the growth in the industry."

LACBW events include tap takeovers, samplings of cask ales, special beer releases, and opportunities to meet the brewers. Koch says this week is about giving back to Louisiana Craft Beer, and you can log on to la-beer.org to find a brewery near you.

"At the breweries there are some special events going on this week, as we are promoting using these as travel destinations," said Koch. "From north, south, west to east, there will be a brewery not far from you."

Koch says Louisiana has over 30 breweries and brew pubs -- and establishments in every corner of the state are opening up their taps and shelves to carry these locally made beers. He says these brewers make it a priority to use as many Louisiana-made products as possible.

"That goes from Sugarcane, to rice to wheat," said Koch. "We are proud of our products and proud of our base of locals who support us so heavily."


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By Jeff Palermo
Good budget news for the state has been hard to find, but we finally found some. Governor John Bel Edwards says the state ended up with a 143-million dollar surplus for the fiscal year that ended June 30th. Edwards says it's a sign Louisiana's economy is improving. 
"We've been disciplined, we've worked extremely hard, and so the revenue is finally exceeding slightly the revenue forecasts," Edwards said.

The Edwards administration closed two mid-year shortfalls last year, but a higher than anticipated increase in personal income and sales tax collections created the surplus. The governor says the state's constitution limits how the surplus money can be used. 
"You can do things like fund the rainy day account, you can fund the unfunded accrued liability, you can do capital construction projects and you can reduce debt," Edwards said.  
Because of limits on how the surplus money can be spent, it can not be used to help the state close an anticipated one-billion dollar budget gap next fiscal year. Edwards says he's having positive meetings with legislators and business leaders over how the state can replace the loss of temporary taxes that expire in July. 
"We don't really need new net revenue, we just have to replace the temporary revenue with permanent revenue and we are going to set the stage for a level of prosperity that the state hasn't seen for decades," Edwards said.  


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Louisiana Tech University has set an enrollment record for this fall as nearly 13,000 students are taking classes this fall, which is 17%  increase since the fall of 2013. Jim King is the Vice President for Student Advancement.

“Over the last four years have kind of grown our population incrementally. Each class seems to be getting a little bigger and certainly more academically prepared.”

King says the average ACT score of 24.71 for first-time freshmen is also a university record.

“That’s a solid, solid freshman class and we know they’re going to be successful and we’ve very proud of what they’ve done to get here and we’re really pleased to have them.”

King says they’ve been able to boost enrollment at Louisiana Tech, despite state budget cuts. He says when you are listed on U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 Best Colleges list, it helps attracts students to your school.

“It’s helped people at least identify Louisiana Tech as a possibility and we’re glad they’re making the choice to come up here.”



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A Fordham Institute study finds 28% of public school teachers missed more than 10 days of work compared to charter school teachers at 10%. But Louisiana Federation of Teachers spokesperson Les Landon says Fordham skews data to show public education isn’t doing well. He says the report also claims generous collective bargaining agreements lead to an increase in teacher absences.

“As far as collective bargaining being the reason, especially in Louisiana which is a Right to Work state and there are only about five or six collective bargaining locals in the state, that’s just a bogus argument.”

Landon says teachers in charter schools are often much younger than traditional public school teachers. He also says they are extremely mobile, as many educators in charter schools come from the Teach for America Program.

“They’re a fairly new experiment. They may not have as many medical issues as veteran teachers. Young teachers without families don’t need to take sick leave to care for children or spouses.”

Landon says teachers are entitled to 10 sick days according to state law. He says traditional public school educators and charter schools teachers are not comparable.

“There are many factors involved and we tend to think this is an apple and oranges situation.”



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After a long wait, the car-sharing service, Uber, is finally available in Monroe, West Monroe and areas governed by Ouachita Parish. Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo says his office has spent the last six months working on a contract with Uber and he knows the city is excited it’s finally official.

“They’re very excited about it, in fact, we’ve done a lot of announcements over the years and this will be right there with them.”

Mayo says he’s also hoping to work out a deal with Lyft as well. Mayo says ride-sharing services are needed because they have many visitors coming into the city, because of businesses like CenturyLink, Chase, Advantage and Gardner Denver Thomas.

“You need a 21st century service such as these net world countries to be able to accommodate them.”

Mayo says he knows Uber has already signed up a lot of drivers who are looking to make some extra money driving people around town. The mayor thanks the city council and the city attorney’s office for helping to make Uber a reality in Monroe.

“It just goes to show that it took a team effort to get this done, to get a service that’s reliable and affordable for our citizens.”



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LSU’s suspension of Greek activities in the wake of the death of fraternity pledge Max Gruver, is rife with constitutional concerns, according to attorney Scott Sternberg. LSU officials said fraternities and sororities can’t tailgate in a group of more than 10, or do most things together as an organization. Sternberg says LSU is trying to teach these students a lesson.

"But I just think there are constitutional ways to do that, without throwing these adults underneath the bus as it relates to their constitutional rights," said Sternberg.

Sternberg also questions the prohibition of wearing Greek attire on LSU’s gameday. He fails to see how that has anything to do with educating students about making good decisions.

"I think that the basic constitutional rights that this country was based on, are the ability to identify with your group," said Sternberg.

Sternberg said a public institution should not be allowed to tell these adult students that they can’t exercise their basic rights of association. He says telling an organization that they can’t have a group gathering in a public forum, where everyone else can, is incredibly problematic.

"It's also impossible to enforce," said Sternberg. "There's no way to identify, whether or not these individuals are in the same organization."


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Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the TV host bashed the health care plan being pushed by US Senator Bill Cassidy. “The Jimmy Kimmel Test” is what Cassidy had previously said on the show the nation’s healthcare system should pass, but Kimmel on Tuesday accused Louisiana’s Senator of being a liar.

"He said he wants coverage for all, no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, lower premiums for middle class families and no lifetime caps," said Kimmel. "Guess what? The new bill does none of those things."

Cassidy responded soon after on CNN and implied Kimmel didn’t understand the bill. The Jimmy Kimmel test would mean no family should be denied medical care, because they can’t afford it. But Kimmel said the Graham-Cassidy bill is a scam that’s trying to sneak in confusing language which does nothing they claim it does.

"And these guys are counting on you to be overwhelmed with all the information, you just trust them to take care of you," said Kimmel. "But they are not taking care of you. They are taking care of people who give them money, like insurance companies."

Kimmel listed organizations that oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill, then flashed a goofy picture of Cassidy and asked who people should trust. He then urged people to call Cassidy’s Congressional office.

"Tell him that this bill doesn't pass your test," said Kimmel.


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From 3-to-6 PM Thursday, young adults can attend a job fair in their area to find seasonal work or a full-time job. The Louisiana Workforce Commission Business and Career Solutions Center is hosting the job fairs at 25 locations. LWC Executive Director Ava Dejoie says to find the job fair closest to you go to laworks.net. 

"We have over 1,000 seasonal jobs that we are trying to place our youth that are 18-to-24, out of school specifically, into these jobs," Dejoie said.  
Dejoie says the average wages for these jobs are starting at $10 an hour. 
"This is an opportunity for young people to get what we call those essential work place skills, come into work on time, following instructions, dealing with difficult people and different circumstances," Dejoie said.
Walmart is one of the companies participating in the Seasonal Job Fair as the national retail giant plans to hire 1,250 workers in Louisiana for the holiday season.
Dejoie says providing job opportunities for young adults helps with their professional development and the state's economy. 
"Help them to pay their bills, their tuition, cost of living, help their parents and also gain valuable work experience," Dejoie said.
Here is a list of the job fairs from 3-6 PM on Thursday, September 21 at the LWC's Business and Career Solutions Centers. 

Southeast Region:

• JOB1 Career Center and Youth Works: 3400 Tulane Ave., 2nd floor, New Orleans

• St. Charles BCSC: 737 Paul Maillard Rd., Suite 2A, Luling

• St. John BCSC: 975 Cambridge Dr., LaPlace

Capital Region:

• McKinley Alumni Center: 1520 Thomas H. Delpit Dr., Baton Rouge

• Ascension BCSC: 1721 South Burnside Ave., Gonzales

• Livingston BCSC: 9384 Florida Blvd., Suite B, Walker

• Tangipahoa/St. Helena BCSC: 1745 SW Railroad Ave., Suite 201, Hammond

• Washington BCSC: 420 Ave. B, Bogalusa

Acadiana Region:

• Lafayette BCSC: 706 E. Vermillion St., Lafayette

• Acadia BCSC: 11 N. Parkerson Ave., Crowley

• Iberia BCSC: 601 Ember Dr., New Iberia

• St. Landry BCSC: 1065 Hwy. 749, Opelousas

• St. Mary – West BCSC: 600 Main St., Franklin

• Terrebonne BCSC: 807 Barrow St., Houma

Southwest Region:

• Calcasieu BCSC: 2424 Third St. Lake Charles

• Beauregard BCSC: 1102 West First St., DeRidder

Central Region:

• Rapides BCSC: 5610-B Coliseum Blvd., Alexandria

• Concordia BCSC: 107 N.E.E. Wallace Blvd., Ferriday

• Avoyelles BCSC: 320 Cottage St., Marksville

Northwest Region:

• Caddo BCSC: 2121 Fairfield Ave., Suite 100, Shreveport

• Bossier BCSC: 4000 Viking Dr., B-1, Bossier City

Northeast Region:

• Ouachita BCSC: 1162 Oliver Rd., Suite 9, Monroe

• Morehouse BCSC: 250 Holt St., Bastrop

• Franklin BCSC: 3290 Front St., Winnsboro

• Jackson BCSC: 236 Industrial Dr., Jonesboro



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