News for Tuesday April 28th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Governor Edwards extends the statewide stay at home order to May 15th citing concerning levels of case growth outside of the Metro New Orleans epicenter. Cases have recently increased in northeast Louisiana, Baton Rouge, and Acadiana, and Edwards says every doctor and scientist advising him agreed with the extension. Vice President Mike Pence was informed of the plan and agreed with it as well. Edwards says the stay at home order has not been a failure, and it helped the state avoid a worst-case scenario but it hasn’t slowed case growth fast enough just yet.
Three minor changes were announced yesterday. People will be allowed to make pickups outside of mall-based retail stores, customers will be able to eat takeout orders outside of restaurants if seating is available, and beginning Friday all employees working with the public will be required to wear a mask.
Speaking of masks, starting today Rapides and Grant parish are supplying fire departments and many schools with masks, each to give out to residents in a drive-thru type style. Due to short supply, the masks will be limited to heads of households. A complete list of locations can be found on our websites…
27 more people are reported to have died from COVID-19 in the state bringing the state total to just under 1,700 fatalities. As of yesterday’s totals, the state had 27,068 cases of Covid-19 in the state, 1,683 Hospitalizations and 17,303 recovered..
The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association warns the sector is on pace to be hit harder than previously thought, and oil futures are likely to again trade in the negatives. President Gifford Briggs says estimates show the world is producing 30 million barrels of oil a day more than it can consume. He says more than half of state wells are set to shut down as a result. Briggs says roughly 33,000 people earning wages over three billion dollars directly work in the industry. He says surveys indicate 70 percent of those jobs will now be lost. That’s a little over 23,000 people.
The APD reported yesterday that two people have been arrested in connection with Sunday's shooting of a 1-year-old in the 3000 block of Culpepper Road. 21 year old Kendrick Williams and 22 year old Krystal Jones, both of Alexandria, were arrested and charged with second degree cruelty to a juvenile. This incident is still under investigation.
LSU interim president Thomas Galligan says the plan is for students to be back on campus this fall. Galligan says the university needs to get back to business, but they ‘ll do it in a safe manner. Galligan says he’s hopeful football will be played in Tiger Stadium this fall, but the Tigers will only take the field when it’s safe to do so, Galligan says delaying the start of the season is a possibility…
Many dentist offices opened back up again Monday along with time-sensitive elective medical surgeries. Former Louisiana Dental Association President Dr. Kristi Soileau (swallow) says the only work not being allowed is cosmetic dentistry that is for the sole purpose of enhancing someone’s appearance.
Ouachita Parish Sheriff Deputies arrest a West Monroe man for allegedly firing shots at the home of Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson. O-P-S-O spokesperson Glenn Springfield says 38-year-old Daniel King Jr. has been charged with aggravated assault for the drive-by shooting that happened Friday afternoon. Springfield says surveillance cameras provided important evidence in leading to a quick capture of the suspect.
A Baton Rouge Police Officer is dead and another is fighting for his life after responding to tips about a domestic violence homicide suspect. Chief Murphy Paul says the two officers were shot during a four-hour standoff with the suspect, 36-year-old Ronnie Kato, on Sunday. Kato has been booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish jail. Kato was a suspect in a homicide that occurred earlier on Sunday and affidavits indicate Kato has previously made threats against law enforcement.
Fatal crashes were up eight percent from March 16th to April 20th compared to the same time last year despite an estimated 30 to 40 percent fewer cars being on the road.
Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Executive Director Lisa Freeman says it appears the more open roads are bringing out the worst in some motorists. The state counted 66 fatal crashes during that March to April period.