News for Thursday July 9th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
For the first time in a week and a half the state sees a decrease in the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19, even if it’s only three. Total new reported cases jumped sharply though, up nearly 1900, putting our total number of cases since the pandemic began at over 70,000. Just over 10 percent of all tests today are positive, a benchmark the feds use to track problem areas. 20 additional fatalities are also being reported.
Governor John Bel Edwards says the state is heading in the wrong direction in its battle to stop the spread of COVID-19, but he is not contemplating a statewide mask mandate. But Edwards says you should wear a mask when interacting with others outside of your home. The state health department reports over 70-thousand coronavirus cases since the pandemic started and one-thousand COVID patients are hospitalized.
Governor Edwards on Wednesday announced that he has signed the state's budget for the FY 2020-2021. The state House and Senate approved the $34 billion spending plan on June 30, the final day of a 30-day special legislative session. The budget sets aside funding for healthcare, workforce and education services that are needed during the pandemic.
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Edwards announced that he has ordered cabinet agencies to prepare for possible mid-year budget cuts by sequestering at least 10 percent of their budgets, and recommends the same for the judicial and legislative branches. He will also issue an executive order to freeze hiring of state employees.
Oil City Representative Danny McCormick denounces masking mandates in a video posted to Facebook as Shreveport becomes the latest municipality to enact a mask mandate while inside a business. In the clip, McCormick compares mask-wearing to the holocaust and brandishes a chainsaw and blow torch. McCormick says a mask mandate is a gateway to other government efforts of overreach.
The Alexandria Police Department is currently investigating a shooting incident that occurred in the 2900 block of Masonic Drive on yesterday. APD says that two people got into a fight, leading to one of them pulling out a handgun and shooting the other. The gunshot victim was transported to a local hospital. The one that fired the weapon is still at large. APD requests that anyone with information regarding this incident to call them.
Authorities say a West Monroe man wanted for shooting at a State Trooper during an attempted traffic stop was killed early Wednesday morning during a gun battle with law enforcement at a motel in Monroe. Master Trooper Michael Reichardt says they’ve been looking for 31-year-old Erroll Johnson since the first shooting incident on Sunday. No troopers were injured during the exchange of gunfire.
Hurricane researchers at Colorado State have increased their projected storm total for this year from 19 to 20 as we’ve already seen five named storms this year. Jhordanne Jones says sea surface temperatures are above normal and there’s no El Nino to suppress storm development…
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday that $50 million through the CARES Act Fund is now available for K-12 schools and Higher Education. Approximately $35 million will be made available to the Louisiana Dept. of Education and $15 million to the Board of Regents.
A OnePoll survey of Americans finds two-thirds of people admit to gaining weight since the pandemic began with most saying its due to snacking. LSU Health New Orleans Professor of Public Health Melinda Sothern says that’s not surprising because there’s a lot of scientific literature explaining why we’re snacking more often now. 69 percent of respondents said the increased snacking was due to boredom. Sothern says this is a really bad time to be packing on the extra pounds as COVID tends to be worse in people who are overweight.
Houma Representative Tanner Magee submits a letter to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Sandy Holloway requesting that the board does not consider a recommendation to cancel high school sports at this time. Magee says among the reasons to continue moving forward with sports is to motivate many of students to stay in school and to combat the health concerns of those struggling with adolescent obesity. The LHSAA released a statement late Wednesday afternoon that said they are fully committed to the safe return of high school sports in the fall.
A white East Baton Rouge Parish school system elementary school PE teacher was arrested after allegedly pulling a gun on a black family driving through her neighborhood, and beating their car with a bat. It happened during a period of heavy rain and flooding. A social media video shows the alleged aftermath with 38-year-old standing near the car with a gun. She claims people driving through the flooded neighborhood were forcing flood waters into the homes.
The Pelicans are in Orlando and head coach Alvin Gentry is with the team. ESPN reports Gentry was cleared to be inside bubble that the NBA has set up in Orlando for 22 teams to resume the season. Gentry is 65-years-old and the league is concerned about those over 65 entering the bubble.
The 2019 LSU football team has received their championship rings and they got three of them. One for winning the SEC Championship, one for winning the college football playoffs and another for winning a national championship. For the players and coaches who are no longer with the program, they had their rings shipped to them.
The NFL and its players association have begun discussing the rules for the likelihood of players opting out for the 2020 season. The Baltimore Ravens say if fans are allowed at their games, they’ll have no more than 14-thousand in the stands.