News for Friday May 1st, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Louisiana reported 60 new COVID fatalities yesterday. But, the good news is we continue to see a decline in total hospitalizations. 341 new positive tests were reported as well putting the total above 28,000.
Beginning today, restaurants can have outside dining with no wait service. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says all restaurants that provide outdoor patio venues must adhere to strict mitigation standards.
Governor Edwards calls a legislative petition aimed at ending his stay at home order and public health emergency “completely irresponsible and nonsensical”, but a petition proponent says they already have more than half the signatures they need to pass the veto-proof instrument. Petition supporters appear to be all Republicans but not everyone in the GOP is on board. Baton Rouge Representative Barbara Freiburg supports the Governor’s decision. She says she’s been in frequent meetings with health officials and says the data shows reopening now wouldn’t be a good idea.
LaSalle Parish is planning to reopen today, defying the Governor’s statewide stay-at-home order extension through May 15th. A day after West Feliciana Parish unveiled plans to allow restaurants to serve diners and to let other businesses reopen, the parish president said Thursday he plans to follow the governor's new coronavirus orders that were extended for two more weeks.
Senator John Kennedy says he’s not in favor of rubber-stamping federal legislation to help state and local level governments cover expenses without seeing some indication as to how much revenue is expected to be lost. Kennedy thinks some mayors and governors will see spending money that they don’t have as being the new normal.
The Central Police Department warns their phone lines are clogged with out of state callers protesting the house arrest of Life Tabernacle Church Pastor Tony Spell. The call to action was posted on a Facebook page claiming to be Magi Spell. Police Chief Roger Corcoran says it’s a dangerous stunt that could prevent people from reporting emergencies.
Attorney General Jeff Landry is encouraging Governor Edwards to allow the reopening of churches. Landry says there is becoming some social unrest and one of the first steps to helping that is to allow churches to reunite their congregations. Edwards responded to the letter saying he’s not considering allowing churches to open before May 15th.
Louisiana legislative leadership made official Thursday afternoon their plans to reconvene the session that was suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Lawmakers are returning to the State Capitol Monday, giving them 28 days to pass an operating budget for state government, advise and consent on about 300 appointees, and reconfirm several state agencies that are about to “sunset” or close unless allowed to continue operations. The session is scheduled by law to adjourn by 6 p.m. June 1. The state Constitution requires that a state budget be approved by the Legislature and signed into law by July 1 or spending must halt.
Natchitoches officials report an early morning Thursday fire caused damage to two businesses on Main Street. Mayeaux’s Steakhouse and All Tangled Up Salon had severe damage from the fire but no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans is preparing to file bankruptcy as today. The Advocate is reporting that the bankruptcy filing comes as the mounting cost of unresolved clergy-abuse lawsuits and the shutdown of church services due to the coronavirus deliver crushing blows to church finances. The 227-year-old local institution serving half a million New Orleans-area Catholics will join 26 other American dioceses and Catholic religious orders that have sought financial protection from creditors and claimants since the clergy-abuse scandal reached a fever pitch in 2002
The Louisiana Workforce Commission has released data for initial unemployment insurance claims for the week ending April 25 are down by 28% over the previous week.
The Kisatchie National Forest has canceled its annual fishing derbies scheduled for May and June. This cancellation comes as the USDA Forest Service is taking necessary measures to safeguard the health of employees and the public.
LSU men’s basketball coach Will Wade is like many coaches, hoping there will be a season next year. Wade says at this time he’s optimistic. If the Tigers are able to get on the court next season, LSU should have a good team. Wade signed the fifth best-recruiting class in the country according to 24-7 sports.