News for Thursday August 13th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The state now reports over 100,000 people are deemed to have recovered from COVID-19, which leaves about 26,000 known active cases in the state after Louisiana reports another 1,200 new cases Wednesday. 43 new deaths were also reported.
The Saints’ season opener against the Tampa Bay Bucs at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on September 13th will go on without any fans in attendance. No further determinations have been made concerning other games at the Dome this season. The building normally can house over 74-thousand fans.
State Police report a Deville man died in a motorcycle crash on Philadelphia Road on Tuesday afternoon. According to the report 29 year old Cody Winstead was traveling northwest on Philadelphia Road when he traveled off the left side of the road and overturned. Winstead was ejected from the vehicle, and although he was wearing an approved helmet, sustained fatal injuries during the crash. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Liability concerns are reportedly one of the leading factors in why the Big Ten and PAC 12 suspended fall sports. Legal analyst Tim Meche says those conferences had good reason to believe that, and there’s already precedent for wide-scale health-related sports lawsuits. One idea being pushed to counter potential suits is that players must sign a liability waiver to play, but Meche says the NCAA has already spoken out against the use of athletics waivers by schools, and federal legislation has been proposed that would ban them.
College students who have been receiving TOPS but are choosing not to take classes in the fall must fill out an exception form with LOSFA or lose their TOPS eligibility.
You can find the application at my-losfa-dot-la-dot-gov, but LOSFA director Dr. Sujuan Boutte warns that applying is no guarantee. If you do switch from taking in-person classes to online courses Boutte says you’ll still have to meet GPA and full-time student requirements. Spring 2020 high school grads have until fall 2021 to enroll before they lose eligibility.
As many as 200,000 Louisianans on unemployment could be ineligible to receive the new 300 dollar federally enhanced weekly benefits. Workers must receive at least 100 dollars a week in state benefits to qualify for the 300 extra. Governor Edwards also raised concerns that without some federal intervention the state unemployment trust fund will soon be depleted, and the state will have to start borrowing that money from the feds. State beneficiaries can receive a maximum of 247 dollars a week.
Ed Tarpley, a candidate for district judge in the 35th Judicial District Court in Grant Parish, has been disqualified from running for the position in November. On Tuesday district 10 Ad-hoc Judge Peyton Cunningham ruled Ed Tarpley can’t run because he was unable to establish domicile in Grant Parish. Tarpley says he has a home in Alexandria and Pollock. He filed for domicile in Pollock back in July of 2019. That means “Danny” Willett will win re-election unopposed. Judge Willett was also the one who filed the election challenge against Tarpley. Tarpley said he will not appeal the judge’s decision.
The state education department has created an email address where the public can file complaints about a school not following minimum COVID-19 health requirements established by BESE. Education Superintendent Cade Brumley says schools who refuse to follow these guidelines put themselves at risk of being sued if a student is infected by COVID-19. The email address is l-d-o-e-covid-19-support-at-la-dot-gov.
Virtual meetings may have become part of the new normal during the pandemic, but a new study from career website Zippia shows that most people are distracted during the meetings. Head of content at Zippia Kathy Morris says in Louisiana the number one distraction is multitasking. Morris says 20% of workers say their meetings are never productive and 47% of workers prefer in-person meetings over the frustrations that come with virtual gatherings. Morris says another factor that may contribute to the distractions and disdain for meetings the amount of time they take away from actual work.
The Department of Children and Family Services is partnering with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System to help SNAP recipients receive high-demand employment training. DCFS Assistant Secretary of Family Support Shavana Howard the partnership could also help fill the gap with other hurdles that stand in the way of education including assistance for transportation and childcare expenses.
The partnership is initially limited to a couple of training programs and locations, but Howard says that could expand in the future.
The manhunt is over for Taniel Cole, who is accused of shooting a man in the leg at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – St. Mary Medical Center Thursday morning, then carjacking a woman to get away. The Meridian Police Department and Mississippi Highway Patrol arrested 41-year-old Cole after crashing on Interstate 20 about 9 miles from the Mississippi/Alabama state line.