News for Wednesday July 1st, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The state reported one-thousand new cases of Covid-19 yesterday as the state’s total case number surpassed 58-thousand. Governor John Bel Edwards’ next COVID-19 press briefing is this afternoon at 2:30. Edwards has said he’s looking for more compliance from businesses. Assistant State Health Officer Doctor Joseph Kanter says the governor would rather see everyone do more when it comes to spread mitigation efforts, than returning the state to Phase one coronavirus restrictions…
According to the state health department, only 59% of those who tested positive from COVID-19 since mid-May have responded to phone calls from contact tracers and only one-third are answering calls within the crucial first 24 hours after the test results.
State police report a Plaucheville woman is dead following a three-vehicle crash yesterday in Avoyelles Parish. According to the report 62 year old Patricia Guillory was traveling north on Hwy 1179 when she failed to negotiate a curve near Duplechain Road and went off the highway. She then hit a tree and two unoccupied vehicles parked at a home. Guillory was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
KALB reports Cool Planet, an agriculture technology company that develops and markets products for soil health, is shutting down its Alexandria facility, according to multiple sources. The Central Louisiana Regional Port confirmed to KALB that yesterday was Cool Planet’s last day on its property. The company recently opened its new warehouse facility back in of last year.
Orleans and Jefferson Parish have issued mandatory mask-wearing ordinances for those visiting parish businesses. Jefferson Parish President Lee Sheng says their proclamation takes effect today and is the only way the parish will be able to one day move into Phase Three. Sheng says the parish is still working out the details of how it could be enforced, and what punishments would be handed out to businesses in violation.
The special Legislative session has concluded and many tort reform advocates are celebrating a deal cut in the final few hours of the session that led to the passage of a reform bill that supporters say will lower auto insurance rates. The bill sets the jury trial threshold at 10,000 dollars, limits when insurance company’s names can be mentioned in court, removes a ban on mentioning a crash victim’s seatbelt status, and make other adjustments to collateral source, which appeared to be the biggest stumbling block in negotiations between the GOP and Governor Edwards signaled his approval of the legislation, complementing Republicans for compromising.
The Legislature wrapped up work on the 34 billion dollar budget. Despite the influx of hundreds of millions of dollars in CARES Act money Governor Edwards warned there will still have to be some cuts due to COVID-related revenue shortfalls. Edwards also indicated he is concerned about the revenue impact of a series of tax cuts for businesses that passed…
Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart announces a grand jury has returned an indictment against eight Shreveport police officers for allegedly using excessive force against two men who were apprehended back on January 24th. A written report from Stewart’s office says dash camera video from a Caddo Parish Sheriff’s deputy vehicle shows the eight Shreveport police officers physically striking two individuals at the end of a police chase. Stewart says the eight men charged have been booked and released on bond.
Senator Bill Cassidy says he expects another federal stimulus package to be passed sometime in late July. Cassidy aims to have CARES 4.0 focused on covering the estimated 500 billion dollars of lost revenue for local governments nationwide. Cassidy says Senators are evaluating whether they will maintain federal unemployment assistance set to expire July 31st but feels it won’t be necessary if economies can reopen. When asked how big the next stimulus might be, Cassidy expressed concern that about 50 percent of the money allocated for COVID recovery hasn’t even been spent yet.
Any Louisianan planning on heading to New York or New Jersey for the 4th of July may have to change their plans. Both states are now urging travelers from a number of other states, Louisiana included, to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entry. New York and New Jersey were early epicenters of the pandemic but have seen cases drastically fall off. State health officials there say they don’t want travelers from growing hotspots to undo the progress they’ve made.
New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin said today that three Pelicans players tested positive for COVID-19 last week. The unidentified players are in self-isolation and are tested daily. They need to have two negative tests before they can play. The 22 NBA teams that will resume their season in Orlando, must turn in a roster by the end of tomorrow. Griffin does not expect any Pelicans player not to play. 65-year-old head coach Alvin Gentry, who is a cancer survivor, also said he plans to be in Orlando with the team. But Griffin says Gentry’s status is to be determined.
ESPN announced today that former LSU defensive lineman Marcus Spears will appear daily on NFL Live when the network relaunch’s the show in August. The sports network also says Spears has signed a new multi-year ESPN extension. The Baton Rouge native says it’s a pinch myself moment to talk NFL five days a week.
LSU linebacker Marcel Brooks has told the Athletic his decision to enter the NCAA transfer portal is because of family, but he didn’t elaborate. Brooks was expected to play a big role on the Tigers defense in 2020, but it appears he’ll look to continue his college career at a school closer to his Dallas home.
Former LSU safety Eric Monroe has reportedly decided to transfer to Texas Tech. Monroe was a highly rated defensive back out of the Houston area. In three seasons at LSU, Monroe had 21 tackles, most of those tackles occurred during his redshirt freshman season.
The Monroe News-Star reports Ruston High School has suspended football workouts for two weeks after a player tested positive for coronavirus.