News for Wednesday May 6th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The number of COVID-19 deaths here in Louisiana has surpassed two-thousand as the state reported 51 more fatalities Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 2,042. The Louisiana Health Department also reports 323 new cases of the virus as the total number of cases is just shy of 30-thousand.
Three more deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Tuesday in Central Louisiana, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. The new deaths, one in each parish, were in Catahoula, Rapides and Natchitoches parishes. With these three deaths, the total across Cenla rises to 45.
Governor Edwards will address the state this afternoon at 2:45 to pass along the latest information on covid-19 in the state. You can hear that press conference on KSYL 970am / 104.9fm.
The House Governmental Affairs committee hears a resolution today that seeks to suspend the Governor’s public health emergency as it relates to the coronavirus. House Republican Caucus chairman and Erath Representative Blake Miguez says the objective is to put local leaders in control of reopening the economy. A legislative petition is circling that would also end the public health emergency, but many fear it would result in a substantial loss of federal funds. Governor Edwards has labeled the effort “misguided” and does not believe the House and Senate will pass it…
Researchers at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication found that most Louisiana residents report they are complying with state and federal stay-at-home orders. They also expressed anxieties about the pandemic and the economy, but they support continued efforts to slow the spread of the virus.
The APD reports a mother rescued her child as an Alexandria woman allegedly tried to kidnap the child from in front of their home on Monday afternoon. Officers found that Heather Dalrymple (Dal-Rimple) "took an autistic child from the sidewalk in front of their residence and started walking away from the home. After the mother got her child, Dalrymple allegedly exposed herself and cut herself with glass before leaving. Dalrymple was found nearby by APD officers. She was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center
Anyone who believes they have symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested by the state Office of Public Health on Friday from 9 a.m. to noon at Frank O. Hunter Park on Willow Glen River Road in Alexandria. If you have had symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, diarrhea, loss of taste and/or smell, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, then you can be tested. Bring photo identification and an insurance card, if you have one. While drive-up service is preferred, walk-ups will be allowed.
A Baton Rouge man’s 2006 non-unanimous conviction for rape and kidnapping will be taken up by the US Supreme Court in a challenge to the constitutionality of previously decided non-unanimous jury verdicts. Thedrick Edwards is serving multiple life sentences on a series of 11-1 and 10-2 convictions that were decided along racial lines in the jury. His attorney Andre Belanger says the conviction was unconstitutional.
Attorney General Jeff Landry is pushing for the Governor to greenlight the reopening of barbershops and hair salons. Landry encourages the Governor to issue guidance for the reopening and says spread mitigation techniques can be implemented into the hair cutting process.
After a record breaking 53.2 million people visited Louisiana in 2019 the state is scrambling to save the tourism industry. Cities and parishes are cash strapped and Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says to save tourism the Legislature needs to authorize more tourism assistance to local governments. Nungesser says tourism is the fourth largest industry in the state.
The University of Louisiana System announces a special tuition rate for adults wanting to return to school to finish their degree through the Compete LA program. UL System President Jim Henderson says the new rate provides an average discount of $450 per course, adding the process of finding the right path to a degree doesn’t get much more convenient. Henderson says the program gives employers a bigger talent pool to hire from and will generate more revenue…
A Senate committee approves legislation that would give voters the opportunity to decide in November whether sports betting should be legal in Louisiana. A similar proposal failed last year after heated debate. Metairie Senator Cameron Henry says it’s time to put this issue before the voters. The measure heads to the Senate floor for more consideration. If it receives legislative approval the proposition would appear on the November 3rd ballot.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission has paid over a billion dollars in unemployment payments since March 22nd. LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie says they’ve issued over 250 million dollars in state unemployment and over 840 million in federal dollars from the CARES Act to 400,000 Louisianans. LWC paid out 151 million dollars to 103,000 claimants in all of 2019.
The New Orleans Fire Department and City Hall announced an emergency declaration to demolish three buildings near the Hard Rock Hotel collapse. Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the developers cannot stall demolishing the site any longer. The emergency declaration means demolition can begin without permission from The Historic District Landmarks Commission. The plan to demolish the site will use cranes with a traditional demolition, instead of an implosion, taking down the site piece by piece.
The Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF) has awarded $75,000 worth of grants to the families of Lt. Glenn Hutto Jr. and Cpl. Derrick Maglone. Officers Hutto and Maglone were shot Sunday, April 26 during a confrontation with a murder suspect. Hutto lost his life and Maglone is currently recovering in a Baton Rouge hospital. The East Baton Rouge First Responders Fund granted $50,000 to Hutto’s family and $25,000 to Maglone’s.