News for Thursday March 5th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Louisiana’s 2014 law that requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals went before the U-S Supreme Court Wednesday. Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino says this is the first major abortion case for the Supreme Court since President Trump’s appointment of two conservative judges. Reporters who attended the hearing say the court appears divided and Chief Justice John Roberts could be the deciding vote. A ruling is expected in June.
A big night Tuesday night for former Vice President Joe Biden makes it likely the Democratic primary will remain competitive by the time Louisianans head to the polls April 4th. JMC Analytics publisher John Couvillon says Louisianans will likely be picking between Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Elizabeth Warren in April, despite Biden’s big night. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had a sizeable presence in Louisiana, dropped out and endorsed Biden.
The US Army is investing over $26 million into Fort Polk for barracks renovations and infrastructure replacements. Congressman Mike Johnson says the needs were critical and this is just the beginning of continued investments.
There are now three announced candidates seeking to replace the retiring Ralph Abraham as Louisiana’s Fifth District Congressman. State Representative Lance Harris of Alexandria entered the race Wednesday, joining the other announced Republican Ouachita Police Juror Scotty Robinson. Candy Christophe of Alexandria is the lone announced Democrat in the race at this point. Abraham’s chief of staff Luke Letlow is also expected to throw his hat into the ring. Qualifying for the race is in July and the primary is in November.
As many as 31,000 Louisiana food stamps recipients could lose their benefits this summer. April 1st marks the beginning of a new Trump administration rule requiring some recipients to meet stricter work requirements to continue receiving benefits for more than three months within a 36-month period. DCFS Secretary for Family Support Sammy Guillory says previously, a federal waiver covered the whole state. Fourteen parishes, most of them in northeast Louisiana, will not be affected by the changes, because they have an unemployment rate much higher than the national average.
A new report shows the diagnosis rate for early-onset dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in Louisiana between 2013 and 2017 is one of the highest in the nation. The findings come from a new report released by Blue Cross Blue Shield, ranking Louisiana 42nd in the nation. Blue Cross Blue Shield Spokesperson Robin Mayhall says early on-set rates increased not only in the Bayou State but across the nation. The average age for a person living with either form of dementia is 49.
The State Police says a Winnsboro man lost his life in a two-vehicle crash on Highway 17 just south of Epps in Richland Parish this morning. Troopers say 24-year-old Ryan Lee crossed the center line and smashed into a commercial truck. Lee was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators say he was not buckled up.