News for Friday April 24th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Here In Rapides Parish authorities have released the name of a Lecompte woman who was killed Wednesday night as a line of severe weather moved through the area. 67-year-old Becky Roberts was killed when her home was destroyed by a potential tornado. National Weather Service forecaster Seth Warthen says the suspected supercell was highly unusual for the area. Warthen says the potential tornadoes, and yes there were two, were part of a supercell that appeared to have traveled a long distance. At least 7 dead as storms hit Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.
Cleco reports the Wednesday night and Thursday morning storms caused power outages for roughly 6,900 customers. As of 4:30 yesterday afternoon Cleco says there were still about 1,850 customers without power. Close to 900 of those were here in Rapides Parish.
The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to approve replenishing the fourth round of stimulus funds amid the spread of COVID-19. The bill was approved by the House by a 388-5 margin. It previously passed the Senate by a voice vote, and now awaits President Donald Trump's signature.
The state reported 67 more COVID-19 deaths Thursday, bringing the death toll to 1,540. During his daily COVID-19 briefing, Governor Edwards says the state continues to flatten the curve. Louisiana reported 481 new cases and the number of patients hospitalized and on ventilators continues to decline. Edwards was asked if there will be high school football this year. The governor says he’s optimistic…
Louisiana’s Senate President Page Cortez from Lafayette has told the Advocate he tested positive for the coronavirus last month, but had a mild case and is fine now.
Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt starts a petition urging Governor Edwards to allow parishes to make their own decisions on when and how they reopen their economies.
Hewitt says the Governor’s preference to issue stay at home orders on a statewide basis is not working for areas of the state with low case counts. The stay at home order is set to end April 30th, but New Orleans has already extended the order locally until May 16th.
The coronavirus pandemic could result in an unemployment rate above 20-percent in Louisiana. The Tax Foundation estimates about 16-percent of the workforce have applied for or are receiving unemployment benefits in Louisiana. Economist Loren Scott says low oil prices will prevent Louisiana from bouncing back as fast as other states. Scott made the comments during the first meeting of the Louisiana Economic Recovery Taskforce which legislative leaders formed in an effort to provide the Legislature with policy recommendations on how to jump-start the economy.
The Louisiana Supreme Court extends an order delaying all jury trials until June 30th.
The order was initially filed April 6thand there’s some fear that a three-month delay in cases will create a nightmare of a trial backlog, but Legal Analyst Tim Meche says Louisiana learned from Katrina and Rita. Mid-March was an unlucky time for anyone to get locked up but Meche says DAs and sheriffs have made an effort to release low-risk detainees who are awaiting trial. Meche also said it’s unlikely the extended delay will result in any legal or constitutional challenges that would impact the court once trials resume.
The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office has lifted the burn ban issued on March 25, effective immediately. State officials are asking residents to please remain aware of their surroundings and be compliant with any local restrictions on open burning.
As expected the Cincinnati Bengals welcome Ohio native Joe Burrow back home, making him the school's third number one overall selection, and first since 2007 when the Raiders drafted quarterback JaMarcus Russell.
Car dealerships are seeing slow sales and not as much work for their service departments as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association President Will Green says car shoppers should be able to find great deals…
Green adds that implementing social distancing guidelines means they are moving the transactions from the showroom to the internet and car buyers can have a vehicle delivered to their home for a test drive.
Few department stores are likely to survive following the coronavirus pandemic, according to retail experts at Columbia University’s Business School. New Orleans consultant of real estate valuations Wade Ragas says department stores have already had a tough enough time keeping up with e-commerce in recent years. Ragas says even if the brick and mortar stores begin to disappear, it is possible to shift familiar brands into the e-commerce space.
While there is limited evidence cats can suffer from COVID-19, the Louisiana SPCA is asking owners not to seek tests for their pets.CEO Anna Zorrilla says right now we want to make sure COVID testing is focused on humans, who have a more critical need.
Two cats tested positive in New York City, but the CDC reports there is no evidence cats can transmit the virus back to humans. If your pet is suffering from what appears to be COVID-like symptoms Zorrilla says talk to your vet before doing anything else.