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Michelle Southern reporting.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation and the Allstate Sugar Bowl have put in a bid to host the College Football Playoff National Championship game in 2019 or 2020. New Orleans is already competing to host the Super Bowls in those same years. 

Jay Cicero, Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President, says it would be their hope to get both big games in the same year.

"We'd love to host them back to back, 19 or 20 would be great," said Cicero.

It's being reported as many as 9 cities are bidding to host the big game between 2018-2020. 

Cicero says they've put together a great presentation and they know there will be many other potential host sites hoping to get the games.

"Every city that has an NFL stadium is interested and then there are others who have college stadiums that are interested," said Cicero.

New Orleans can't bid on 2018 because The Big Easy is already going to host the National Semifinal game that year. Cicero says there will be site visits over the summer and the decision will be made mid-October.

He says one of their main concerns is brand new stadiums, but a lot of those cities can't offer all New Orleans has to offer.

"They don't have the infrastructure, between us and the Sugar Bowl, and all of the other tourism entities who work together to attract an event like this and manage it," said Cicero.


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Michelle Southern reporting.
A football player for LSU is booked with felony domestic abuse for allegedly choking his fiance in the presence of children. East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's office Spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks says the victim claims she and 22-year-old Jevonte Domond got into a huge argument when the incident took place.

"During that argument, she says she was leaning over their baby's crib at which time he grabbed her neck and lifted her off the ground," said Hicks. "She stated she began to lose consciousness."

Hicks says Domond was arrested for felony domestic abuse battery by strangulation with minor children present. 

She says the woman claimed she was strangled by Domond to the point of almost completely blacking out.

"She said the child was present," said Hicks. "The woman says she tried to get away and several times she had to spray him with mace. Her injuries were consistent with her story."

Hicks says there was also a witness who corroborated the claim.

Domond is a junior who transferred to LSU last summer and played in one game. He is a 6-foot-6 offensive tackle and weighs 310 pounds. A spokesman from the team says he has been suspended. 

Hicks says the suspect told detectives there was a dispute that started earlier in the day when the woman pulled a knife on him on threatened him.

"She said she did pull a knife out but it was in self defense as he supposedly pushed her prior to the incident."


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Former US Senator Mary Landrieu has found a new job. She's been hired by the Washington DC lobbying firm Van Ness Feldman as a Senior Policy Advisor. Political analyst Clancy Dubos says it's not a surprise for former Senators and US Representatives to accept these kind of jobs.
"This has gotten to be standard fare for retired Senators and Congressmen, especially those who have some tenure and who have had some time building up relationships on Capitol Hill," he says.
The company says Landrieu will advise clients on various public policy and regulatory issues with an emphasis on energy, natural resources and infrastucture matters. Dubos says Landrieu's career as a politician will help her out in her new occupation.
"She has half a lifetime of contacts, not only in the Senate, but also at the administrative level," he says.
Dubos says it's likely Landrieu's days in public office are over and this announcement signals a career change.
"When you accept a job at a lobbying firm, you pretty much signal that your days of running for office are over, and you're seguing into a parallel political universe on a different career track," he says.


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Michelle Southern reporting.
A bill that would ban sex selection abortions in Louisiana stalls in a Senate Judiciary Committee. The proposal by Representative Lenar Whitney would penalize doctors who knowingly end a pregnancy because of sex preference of the baby. 

The Houma lawmaker has argued that this is a problem in Asian communities where there is a preference for boys.

"Choosing to kill baby girls and letting baby boys live is just wrong," said Whitney. "If you're willing to kill baby girls, you should vote no."

New Orleans Senator Karen Carter Peterson did not like the way Whitney worded that statement, "I want to know if you believe I would be a murderer If I vote no? You just said that, those were your words. That I would want to kill baby girls?"

"I think if the abortion was being performed because of sex selection," said Whitney.

The vote was 2-2 so the House approved measure will not go to the Senate floor for now.

Whitney says there is currently no evidence which suggests that abortions based on sex are a problem in Louisiana. 

Committee Chair New Orleans Senator JP Morrell says he couldn't support the legislation without evidence that this is taking place in Louisiana.

"This is kind-of like a solution in search of a problem," said Morrell. "I'm willing to work with you to try and collect the data to see if this is a problem, but we disagree on the timing of it."


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Another round of severe weather rolled through Louisiana earlier today and State Climatologist Barry Keim says more rain is coming.   He says rainfall is in the forecast for the next several days.  

Keim says there is at least a 50-percent chance of rain each day for the rest of the week.
"So we can expect these thunderstorms to just continue to roll through the area, at least through the work weed, probably into the weekend.  We're just in one of those patterns."

Keim says El Nino is the probable cause for these fronts slamming the state.  He says the state has averaged about six inches of rain over the last month, but some isolated areas have gotten much more.

"We had 15.9 inches of rain over the last month in Columbia Lock, which is in north Louisiana.  Ruston's at 15.3 inches over the last month.  That's at least 10 inches above normal."

Keim says the Tangipahoa Parish town of Tickfaw has received 10.8 inches of rain over the last month, five inches above normal.  He says because of a very unstable atmosphere, we could see more severe weather this week.

"The potential for the trifecta of hail, severe winds, and tornadoes on top of that are all possible.  This is the season for it and we're definitely seeing it right now." 


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Shrimp season opened just over a week ago and local shrimpers are seeing prices at the dock take a nose dive.  One shrimper says he's getting 55-cents per pound for his catch, compared to $2 a year ago.  

Clint Guidry, President of the Louisiana Shrimp Association, says there is one big factor contributing to the drop in price.
"We've had a huge increase in imports and our prices have fallen over 50-percent."

Guidry says there was a decrease in imports the last few years because of a disease problem with southeast Asian shrimp.  He says these falling prices have an adverse affect the entire industry.

"All expenses keep rising, fuel, maintenance costs for these fishing vessels have gone through the roof, and you still have to bear all that cost with very little profits.  It gets to a point where you just can't go out anymore."

The dramatic drop in the price of shrimp is making it difficult for fishermen to pay expenses, much less make a profit.  Guidry is hopeful the federal government will step in and help curb the number of imports allowed in the US.  He says there is one specific way consumers can help Louisiana shrimpers.

"Go out and purchase domestic-caught wild shrimp and that's how you can support these hard working fishermen." 


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Louisiana has some of the harshest marijuana possession penalties, but two bills are moving through the legislature that seek to reduce prison times for repeat offenders. Similar efforts to reduce possession penalties failed in the past, but New Orleans Senator JP Morrell says the Louisiana Sheriff's Association and the District Attorney Association do not oppose the legislation this year.

"I have worked with them over the last year, we reached a compromise with language that puts it in a posture where everyone is comfortable with this bill moving forward," Morrell said. 
The current maximum prison sentence for multiple marijuana possession offenders is 20-years, but Morrell's which was approved by the Senate on Monday, reduces the mandatory jail time to eight years.
"Second offense is a misdemeanor, third-offense is a felony up to 4 years, and fourth offense, the highest offense, is a felony up to 8 years in jail." 
The House has also approved a bill that reduces pot penalties. Morrell says his legislation is NOT an attempt to legalize marijuana for recreational use. 
"This does not in anyway decriminalize marijuana," Morrell said. "It just makes the penalty more in line and more humane for people that are going through the system." 
Morrell's bill still needs approval from the House.  


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New graduates are hitting the workforce and Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eysink says the job market in Louisiana looks as good as it's looked in 20 years.  He says while the market, as a whole, is strong, some college degrees are more sought after than others.

"Basically the business fields, accounting, finance, and so forth, and computer related fields, digital media and so forth, they're as strong as they've been in Louisiana in a long, long time."

Eysink says the job market in business and computer related fields are particularly strong, right now.  He says grads can go to laworks-dot-net to see a list of jobs in the state in their field.  He says those exiting community colleges are also in demand.

"Construction and manufacturing, also computer and engineering related fields from all levels, those are very hot right now."

Eysink says the job market in Louisiana is projected to stay strong through 2022.  He adds that success in the job market will vary from person to person depending on what their degree is in.  Eysink also has a bit of advice for those who are still in school.

"I think the key thing is for people who are not graduating yet, to start looking forward and start trying to get summer jobs in their field that will give them a little bit of experience and a little bit of a leg up this time next year when they get out." 


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For a fourth straight season, LSU is a national seed in the NCAA Baseball Tournament, which will get underway when the Tigers host Lehigh University on Friday.
The Tigers received the number two national seed, despite being ranked number one by most of the polls for the entire season.
Coach Paul Maineri admits some disappointment in not getting the number one overall seed.
"I'm a little disappointed, but I don't think it impacts one iota what's going to happen, beginning on Friday," Mainieri said.
If LSU wins the Baton Rouge regional, they'll face the winner of the Houston Regional during the first weekend of June. Houston beat the Tigers in the Baton Rouge Regional last year, but Mainieri says his team can't look ahead to a possible rematch.
"The players know, we can win five in a row and make it to Omaha, we can win 10 in a row and win a national championship. Now with that said, all we want to do is be 1-0 after Friday and then we'll turn out attention to Saturday." 
The other two teams in the Baton Rouge regional are UNC-Wilmington and Tulane. If the Green Wave and LSU win on Friday, they'll face each other on Saturday night. 
"They're very talented ballclub, they can really pitch," shortstop Alex Bregman said.
"We're going to have our hands full with every team in this regional. I just think if we play Tulane, it will be a really cool deal."
LSU beat Tulane twice in the regular season, 13-7 on March 24th and 6-0 on April 21st.
UL Lafayette has made it to the NCAA Tournament for a third straight season. The Ragin Cajuns received an automatic bid after winning the Sun Belt Tournament and they'll battle Rice on Friday afternoon in the Houston Regional.
Cajuns Coach Tony Robichaux says getting into the tournament again is quite a feat considering how much talent they lost from last year's super regional team. 
"You ask a team to take six of their best juniors off the field and play this year and then to start three freshmen starters (pitchers) on the weekend, I'm just so proud of this team and what they accomplished," Robichaux said.  
Houston and Houston Baptist are the other two teams in the regional with UL Lafayette and Rice. 


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The state Department of Transportation continues to gather feedback from motorists on how I-10 through the Baton Rouge area should be improved.  People can go online to i10br-dot-com and take a 21 question survey through the end of the month.  

DOTD Spokesperson Rodney Mallett says more than 6,000 people have taken the survey thus far, but would like to see those numbers climb.
"There's about 100,000 who go over the Mississippi River bridge on a daily basis, so we're still hoping to get more input."

Mallet says the results of the survey will be revealed in August.  He says the survey is just one part of gathering people's input on what should be done to the I-10 corridor.

"LSU's doing a scientific survey with a phone poll, we're also talking to some area businesses and home owners associations.  So we really want to get community-wide input."

Mallet says a public meetings about proposed changes to the corridor will happen sometime in August.  He says DOTD believes there needs to be public backing and input to address this issue.

"We don't want to just come in and throw down more concrete.  We want to come down and work with everybody to find out what we can do to enhance the corridor so everyone would be happy." 


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Governor Bobby Jindal could be kept out of the first Republican debate of the 2016 presidential campaign. Fox News will host the debate on August 6th and the network requires contenders to be in the top 10 in an average of five national polls leading up to the event.

LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says Jindal is in the bottom half of a list of 16 potential candidates and he'll continue trying to get the attention of party activists. 
"Things such as putting forth his support for the failed change in state law, the so-called protection of religious freedom legislation," Hogan said.
In recent presidential polls, Jindal has finished near the bottom, and getting about one-percent in most of the surveys. Hogan says despite numbers, it will be difficult for Fox to leave someone like Jindal out of their debate. 
"He's a governor, he has executive experience, something that republicans typically like," Hogan said.
Jindal is expected to officially announce he's running for President after the legislative session ends on June 11th. There's already an ad running in Iowa supporting his candidacy in Iowa. Hogan says if the field of candidates gets smaller, Jindal may have a chance to move up in the polls. 
"I think some will drop out and I think they maybe looking around for people like Jindal, who has executive experience, who has a great deal of credibility within the party," Hogan said.   


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State officials want you to take time this week preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. Governor Bobby Jindal has declared it, Hurricane Preparedness Week, and Chris Guilbeaux, a deputy director at the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness says visiting Getagamplan.org is a good first step.
"Take advantage of the checklist on there and all of the other ideas and things that we recommend, to stay prepare and take the appropriate action for any kind of hurricane that may threaten our coastline," Guilbeaux said. 
Guilbeaux says a three to five day supply of water and food that won't spoil are some of the things you should purchase now. He says this Saturday and Sunday, it's a sales tax holiday for certain hurricane preparation items.
"Flashlights, generators and everything in between, to have your self and your family ready to deal with any kind of emergency that may arise," Guilbeaux said.
Forecasters are calling for a quiet hurricane season. Louisiana has seen only a couple of hurricanes since the devastation that occurred in 2005 with Katrina and Rita. Guilbeaux says we can't let our guard down. 
"It only takes one to make it a bad day, so we encourage people to stay prepared all of the time," Guilbeaux said.  


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Memorial Day is one of the most solemn holidays on the calendar.  It's a day set aside to remember those men and women who gave their lives in defense of our freedom.  Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, David LeCerte, says the United States has sending young men and women off to fight for our nation since 1775.

"And a lot of them don't come back.  There's a lot of families that are impacted by that, especially over the last decade of war.  Memorial Day is a day that we set aside to honor those young men and women."

There will be several events across the state to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  LaCerte says attending a Memorial Day ceremony is a great way to remember these fallen heroes.  But he adds there are other ways you can commemorate the day.

"If you want to spend the day with your loved ones and grill a hot dog or a hamburger and kick back and, maybe, wet a fishing line, I think that that's also a great way to spend the day remembering those sacrifices."

LaCerte says several hundred Louisiana troops have been lost in the post 9/11 war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.   He says as the fight continues in new theatres, more men and women will be sent in harm's way and some will not come back home.  LaCerte says it's important to continue to honor those lost as we progress forward.

"Louisiana does a great job of that and I'm very proud to be a Louisianian on weekends like this.  I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world." 


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Many will be firing up the grill this Memorial Day and LSU AgCenter Economist Ross Pruitt says you can expect to continue to pay high prices for beef.  According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price for a pound of ground beef in March was $4.20, up almost 14-percent from 2014.  

Pruitt says it all comes down to how much beef is available.
"We're dealing with some tighter cattle supplies that we've dealt with the past couple of years.  So that's really causing some of these prices to keep going higher."

Beef production has been down over the past several years because of a drought in some of the leading beef-producing states.  However, Pruitt says some slight relief could be in sight.

"We're getting into that time of year where cattle slaughter starts to increase seasonally, so we might see some increased supplies and, as a result, bring prices down a little bit."

But Pruitt says, overall, you can expect to pay high prices for beef at least through the end of the year.  He says if you're looking for more bang for your buck, you may want to go with chicken or pork for your barbecue.

"Those two commodities may be relatively more cheap than what they have been compared to beef in the past couple of years in terms of a price differential." 


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LSU's 12-game winning streak at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium and 9-game winning streak in the SEC Tournament came to an end on Saturday as Florida rallied to beat LSU 2-1.
The Fighting Tigers had nine hits, but they left eight runners on base.

LSU's lone run came in the 2nd inning on a Jared Foster RBI single.
Florida's bullpen shutdown the Tigers the rest of the way. Kirby Snead threw two shutout innings. Taylor Lewis pitched 4.1 innings of scoreless baseball.  
LSU starting pitcher Alex Lange threw seven strong innings as he struck out seven. But walked six.
The Tigers bullpen, which was so good in victories on Wednesday and Thursday, could not hold on to a 1-0 lead on Saturday.
Zac Person relieved a tired Lange in the 8th. He gave up a lead-off single and then walked the next hitter. LSU's Hunter Newman entered the game and gave up an RBI double. Florida could have scored more runs, but had two runners thrown out on the RBI double.
Jesse Stallings pitched in the 9th and gave up his first home run of the year as Mike Rivera hit a solo dinger.
LSU can now get ready for the real season as they'll find out on Monday, who they will host in a Baton Rouge Regional.  


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Houma Police say a 36-year-old woman accused of dumping a pot of boiling grease on her sleeping ex-boyfriend turned herself into authorities this morning. Police chief Todd Duplantis says investigators originally thought it was just boiling water that burned the 33-year-old victim.
"It was a grease that she had thrown on her boyfriend and the officers noticed she put thumbtacks around the victim's bed," Duplantis said.  
The victim suffered severe burns to his torso, right arm and face and was sent to a burn center in Baton Rouge. Duplantis says Lynette Joseph faces a charge of aggravated second-degree battery. 
If convicted she faces fine of up to $10,000 and a 15 year prison sentence.  


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Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi says DNA has confirmed that a 30-year-old teacher in Plaquemine fathered a child of a 15-year-old student. Keavin Keith was arrested earlier this week, after accused of having a sexual relationship with three students. Stassi says no new additional charges will occur as a result of this latest development.

"He was already charged with the charge that came in," Stassi said. "There maybe some child support issues that come up down the road, but not at this time."
Stassi says they ordered DNA tests after one of the alleged victims told detectives she had a sexual relationship with Keith that produced a son. 
"One of the three underage victims had a baby, the baby is approximately a year old."
Keith was released from jail on a 100-thousand dollar bond. Stassi says they continue to investigate, but at this time, there's only three alleged victims in this case.


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Fourth district Congressman John Fleming's office says the Environmental Protection Agency will move forward with the disposal of 15-million pounds of M6 propellant stored at Camp Minden in Webster Parish. Fleming was concerned about a delay, because the EPA is seeking an additional 8-million dollars from Louisiana for oversight costs.

"They've done nothing to show that there is a need for that type of oversight or any type of justification for that level of expense," Fleming said.
In a statement, the EPA says additional dollars are needed because of updated cost estimates. But Fleming says the EPA has not provided any documentation on why this additional money is needed. 
"This all came verbally from a phone call a couple of days ago and that's it," Fleming said.  
Fleming is hopeful the work to dispose the product will be completed soon. 
"This stuff gets increasingly more unstable because of exposure to weather, and in mid-August is the outside date of getting this stuff done," Fleming said.  


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A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent is hospitalized after he was shot while in the line of duty. LDWF spokesperson Adam Einck says 32-year-old Sgt. Scott Bullitt of Jonesboro was shot in the back while performing a traffic stop on the Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area in Ouachita Parish.

"He's still listed in serious condition," Einck said. "At this time, it doesn't appear it will be life threatening, however we are unsure what injuries may or may not be recoverable from." 
A source says the bullet is lodged in Bullitt's spine. He's at a hospital in Shreveport. Einck says Sergeant Bullitt has been an LDWF agent for over five years and he's married with no kids. 
"He recently received the 'Louisiana Highway Safety Commission DWI Award.' He was selected among statewide agents to receive this award due to his dedication and hard work to make Louisiana waterways and roadways safer for the traveling public by removing impaired drivers."
The man who allegedly shot Sergeant Bullitt has been identified as 29-year-old Luke Jarrod Hust. He fled into the woods after the shooting, but was arrested by authorities several hours later. Einck says Hust has been in and out of jail over the last 10 years and decided to shoot Bullitt during the traffic stop. 
"He went back to his own patrol vehicle and at the time, the passenger opened fire on him and hit him in his lower back," Einck said. 
Hust has been charged with two counts of attempted 1st-degree murder.  


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In the first of a series of questions to the four major gubernatorial candidates, Louisiana Radio Network asks about the state's budget problems. We asked each candidate if they were Governor today, how would they handle the $1.6 billion dollar deficit? Republican Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle says he'd cut every dime of wasteful spending.

"Wasteful contracts, programs and positions that are not critical should be cut and that money needs to be used for higher education and healthcare," says Angelle.

Republican Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne says he'd curtail tax exemptions and refundable credits, cap the film tax credit program and raise the cigarette tax. But Dardenne says if he were Governor there wouldn't be this giant deficit.

"We've got to separate our wants from our needs by setting priorities and funding the most critical areas of state government first," said Dardenne. "For me those start with education, transportation and keeping our economy strong."

Democratic Representative John Bel Edwards says he would reduce or eliminate tax giveaways that cost too much or produce too little return on investment. He says he would also accept federal tax dollars back into Louisiana to help us meet obligations for the people of Louisiana.

"We need to expand Medicaid," said Edwards. "It would bring in $16 billion dollars over 10 years and it would save $52 million dollars this year alone. That's money we can use."

Republican US Senator David Vitter says if he is elected, he would immediately call a special legislative session on spending and tax reform.

"We need to put everything on the table and get down to basics," said Vitter. "We're not doing that now under Governor Jindal and we need to do that immediately in the new governor's term."


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