News for Tuesday march 10th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The Louisiana Department of Health has confirmed the state’s first presumptive positive case of the COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus. The patient is a Jefferson Parish resident who is hospitalized in Orleans Parish. Governor Edwards reaffirmed that his office will announce all confirmed cases and that the state is being as proactive as possible to contain the virus. The governor’s office says 15 tests have been completed in Louisiana. State immunization director Dr. Frank Welch says anyone who experiences symptoms should call their doctor to see if they fit the profile for someone in need of testing.
Kayla Giles, the woman who shot and killed her estranged husband, Thomas Coutee, Jr. in an Alexandria Walmart parking lot in September of 2018, must now spend 30 days in the Rapides Parish Jail, abide by a curfew and other rules, that after she broke conditions of her bond. Judge Greg Beard stated yesterday that Giles’ trip to Oklahoma to visit her daughter was not permitted by the Court, and ultimately broke her bond conditions. The order comes after Giles' attorney asked Judge Beard to reject a motion filed by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office to revoke Giles’ bond.
Governor John Bel Edwards tells legislators on the opening day of the session that it’s unacceptable for Louisiana to continue to have the largest gender pay gap in the country. Edwards is asking lawmakers to pass a pay transparency bill that would prevent anyone from losing their job for discussing their salaries. Since Edwards became governor in 2016, he’s pushed to raise the minimum wage, but he has not been successful. Edwards says this year he’s supporting New Orleans Senator Troy Carter’s legislation in an effort to see that happen.
The collapse in the price of oil has lawmakers concerned the state’s energy-dependent budget could take a big hit. The Governor’s budget calls for a 128 million dollar increase in general fund spending, including 25 million for early childhood education, and 39 million for K-12 spending. It’s feared falling oil prices could impact those priorities… This week’s drop in the price of oil was the largest since 1991.
Oil prices have tumbled and the price for a barrel of oil is now in the 30s. Associate Director of the Tulane Energy Institute Dr. Eric Smith says a big part of the collapse is news that Russia and OPEC will both ramp up oil production in an apparent price war, suppressing global prices. Smith adds it won’t harm all Louisiana drilling, as liquid natural gas exists in a separate market.
Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham’s Chief of Staff, Luke Letlow, formally announces he’s entering the race to replace his boss who’s not seeking reelection for the 5th Congressional District. Letlow, was immediately endorsed by Abraham and If elected Letlow says he would seek a committee seat on the House Agriculture Committee.
Louisiana drivers are seeing savings at the pump during a time of year when prices traditionally increase. A significant drop in oil prices has now sent the price per barrel into the 30s. GasBuddy.com petroleum analyst Allison Mac says the spring and summer months usually bring an added expense for transitioning to summer grade gas, but not this year. Louisiana started the workweek with a statewide average at $2.07 for a gallon of regular gasoline and Mac foresees more drops in the near future.
The Safety and health of cruise passengers and crew members are a top priority for the Port of New Orleans after the State Department’s advisory was issued in reference to the coronavirus. The port of New Orleans issued a statement that they are working with the Coast Guard and the CDC. Cruise lines at the port are now administering temperature checks and screenings before passengers embark on all vessels.
LSU’s Gavin Dugas hit two home runs Sunday to help the Tigers complete the sweep of U-Mass Lowell six to four. The Tigers host South Alabama on Wednesday.
The LSU men’s basketball team finished the regular season over the weekend with a 94-64 win over Georgia to finish in a tie for second place with Auburn. LSU will play again on Friday night in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. They’ll face either Vanderbilt, Arkansas or South Carolina.
The NFL Players Association is giving its members a couple of extra days to vote on a new collective bargaining agreement that calls for a 17-game schedule. The voting window has been extended from Thursday night to Saturday at 10:59 PM central time.