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KSYL Local News Archives for 2020-02

Good Morning... News For Friday February 28th, 2020

News for Friday February 28th, 2020

Compiled By Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s assistance in locating a missing person, RICHARD CHARLES WARREN. Warren is a 57 year old white male with brown hair and brown eyes.  Warren is 5’ 6” tall and weighs approximately 145 pounds. He was last seen late Tuesday afternoon near the Walmart Supercenter in Pineville. If anyone has seen or has information about Richard Warren,  they are ask to contact the RPSO or local authorities.

 

KALB reports a Rapides Parish teacher is under arrest for an alleged sex offense involving a student. 27 year old Joshua Ivory is charged with prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and a student. The APD say they began their investigation Thursday morning after getting a complaint about an incident between Ivory and a student at a local school. Ivory was booked into the Rapides Parish Jail on Thursday afternoon. His bond is set for $5,000. The investigation is ongoing.

 

Oil prices continued to fall Thursday as demand weakens over concerns from the coronavirus. The U-S West Texas Intermediate crude fell below 46-dollars a barrel, it’s lowest level since January 2019. LSU Energy Studies Director David Dismukes says there’s a lot of uncertainty right now.

 

Covington Senator Patrick McMath introduces this year’s effort to ban all handheld phone use for drivers. McMath says passing the law would save a lot of lives by reducing the number of crashes, and reducing the number of crashes would also save state drivers a lot of money. The Republican cited stats showing Louisiana claims the nation’s 7th highest distracted driving rate. Seven states, including Louisiana, have partial bans on handheld use, but McMath says partial bans like ours can be nearly impossible to enforce. Last session a similar version of this bill cleared the House, then Senate, but a compromise effort returned to the House and failed by a few votes.

 

A House bill filed by Jonesboro Republican Jack McFarland aims to allow nighttime hunting for feral hogs on private property at any time of the year.  McFarland says feral hogs will eat anything and have a negative impact of row crops as well as other wildlife, but adds the problem isn’t just limited to rural communities. Similar legislation has been attempted in the past, but McFarland believes the problem has gotten worse and feels it would have more support this year.

 

According to the annual AccuWeather spring allergy forecast predicts we’ll see a brutal allergy season. In Louisiana, the forecast calls for an above-average season.  LSU Health New Orleans Professor of Allergy/Immunology Dr. Sanjay Kamboj says In order to prevent an allergy flair up, don’t open windows and doors until the early afternoon. If an allergy sufferer goes outside, there are steps to take upon getting home. At the top of the list change clothes and wash you face and hands.

 

Ronnie Anderson, president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau, announced yesterday that he will retire at the end of June.  Anderson who is 71 has served as president for the past 31 years, longer than any other Louisiana Farm Bureau president, and has been active with Farm Bureau for more than 50 years.

 

Two-term Baton Rouge area District Judge Jessie LeBlanc resigns in the wake of a scandal involving her use of racist slurs in text messages sent to an Ascension Sheriff’s Deputy she was having an affair with. The judge admitted to using the slurs, including the n-word about a court employee and an Ascension Parish Sheriff Deputy.

 

Authorities have arrested a 21-year-old man accused of shooting his mother to death hours before leading officers on a chase that hit speeds of 130 mph. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that DaRius Sims is awaiting extradition from St. Tammany Parish on a second-degree murder charge. He's accused of fatally shooting his 61-year-old mother, Jeanette Collins, in the chest Monday.

 

The 11th ranked LSU baseball team will spend the next three days in Houston facing Texas, Baylor and 15th ranked Oklahoma at the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic at Minute Maid Park. Coach Paul Mainieri says it will be an exciting weekend for his players and the fans. Hear all three games beginning tonight at 6:30 on KSYL 970AM/104.9FM

 

The Pelicans begin an important three-game home stand tonight as the Cleveland Cavaliers make their only appearance at the Smoothie King Center. New Orleans is three games back of Memphis for the final playoff spot in the West. Airtime this evening at  6:30p 94.7 ESPN / 1410AM

Good Morning.... News For Thursday February 27th, 2020

News for Thursday February 27th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

A house fire Wednesday morning in Tioga claimed the life of a 52-year-old woman.

The State Fire Marshal's office says the fire occurred on the 5600 block of Gilly Williams Road. The Alpine Fire Department responded to the scene and found the body of the woman inside. The woman has yet to be identified. The Fire Marshal's office said that her death is not believed to be suspicious.

 

Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham says he will not seek reelection. The Republican who represents the 5th Congressional district says he’s keeping his promise to only serve three terms. The congressman’s decision comes a few months after his unsuccessful bid for governor. Abraham says his loss in the governor’s race didn’t factor into his decision.

 

KALB reports a Pineville man has been accused of setting fire to a house on Hickory Hill Road Monday evening, all while a grandmother and her 15-year-old grandson were still inside. According to the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office, 29 year old Daniel Pless was arrested and charged with aggravated arson.

 

The CDC warns it’s just a matter of time before the coronavirus will reach the U-S. As Congress debates over funding to combat the disease, LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine Chief of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Julio Figueroa says research at this time shows that 80 percent of those diagnosed with the virus have mild symptoms, and 20 percent will require medical attention. Figueroa says when you compare the coronavirus to the common flu and worldwide mortality rates more people die from the common flu but that could change. Figueroa says our culture of people going to work and school sick is something that people need to stop doing..

 

U-S Senator John Kennedy is not happy with the lack of answers from acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf over the coronavirus. Kennedy’s frustration grew when Wolf couldn’t say how many respirators and masks are available or if there’s an estimate on how many cases we might see in the U-S. The tense line of questioning came during a hearing on Homeland Security’s budget. Kennedy’s blood pressure rose when Wolf said a vaccine could be available in a few months, but C-D-C officials said it could take 12 to 18 months…

 

The Alexandria Police Department announced yesterday it’s accepting applications for the 2020 Citizen’s Academy, which will meet from 5-8 p.m. on Tuesdays March 24-May 5. Participants must be 21 years of age or older and pass a background check which will be conducted on all applicants. Preference will be given to applicants who reside in the City of Alexandria. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Friday, March 20, 2020. The application can be picked up at the Alexandria Police Department office on Bolton Avenue.

 

Last year there was a significant effort to pass a sports wagering bill, and now Metairie Senator Cameron Henry is filing legislation this year for a statewide proposition election to determine whether sports wagering will be permitted in a particular parish.  If successful, it will appear on the November 3rd ballot.

 

Governor Edwards calls for the resignation of 23rd Judicial District Judge Jessie LeBlanc following her admission to using racial text messages. Loyola University law professor Dane Ciolino expects the matter to be referred to the Judiciary Commission.

LaBlanc’s lawyer Jill Craft released a statement saying her client’s statements were made in a private conversation and in response to a threatening situation.

 

If victim a of domestic violence fails to appear at court in Louisiana during the filing of a temporary restraining order for any reason the judge could deem it frivolous and charge the victim court cost. In a state that has the second-highest rate of women murdered by men in the nation, Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence Director Mariah Wineski says this practice needs to stop. Wineski says the potential burden of court costs could have a chilling effect across the state for victims of domestic abuse and those who so desperately need to file protective orders.

 

The nephew of filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry has died in the Union Parish Detention Center. 26-year-old Gavin Porter of St. Helena Parish, was found dead in his cell from an apparent suicide by hanging.

 

Shreveport television stations are reporting a robbery suspect was fatally shot Tuesday  night by police. Officers were reportedly investigating a robbery near an apartment complex when they spotted the suspect, who shot at officers. Police returned fired, striking him. He died at a local hospital and no officers were injured. It was one of three deadly shootings in Shreveport Tuesday.

 

A new poll from YouGov asked over 8,000 people to name the hardest thing to give up for 40 days for Lent. Data journalist at YouGov Jamie Ballard says the number one answer is watching TV or streaming services as 29% of respondents say that would be the biggest challenge. Caffeine came in at number two with 19%, followed by social networking and chocolate, both with 11%.

 

 

Good Morning.... News For Wednesday February 26th, 2020

News for Wednesday February 26th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

A significant cold front is blasting into the state today. National Weather Service Shreveport meteorologist Brad Bryant says gusty winds between 15 and 20 miles per hour will make it worth wile to bundle up. Bryant says over the winter, the state has seen multiple cold fronts creep through and stall at the coast, but that won’t be the case this time. The front should push it’s way through the state even leaving New Orleans much colder..

 

Yesterday Millions celebrated Mardi Gras around the world, but no one does it bigger than New Orleans.  The celebration has a large economic impact on the Big Easy, bringing in over $1 billion annually, which is roughly 2 percent of the city’s GDP.  The average price to attend a Mardi Gras ball is about $190 a ticket. Personal finance website WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzales says a VIP experience of riding on a float is upwards of $3000. An interesting stat.. About 25 million pounds of beads are thrown during the celebrations.  92,000 pounds of beads are removed from storm drains after the celebration.

 

Former LSU Quarterback Joe Burrow put to rest rumors yesterday that he would pull a fast one and not play for the Bengals who are expected to draft him with the number one pick in the NFL draft on April 23rd. Burrow spoke to reporters at the draft combine and said if Cincinnati selects him number one, he’ll play for the Bengals. The Ohio native also joked that he could drive home for dinner if they drafted him.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards wants to raise the state’s minimum wage and Marrero Representative Kyle Green has filed legislation that would increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to nine dollars an hour in 2021. He says since the economy is booming, there’s no reason businesses can’t afford to pay their workers fairly. Arkansas increased  its minimum wage to 10 dollars this year. It’s set to rise to eleven dollars in 2021.

Democrats running for President back a 15 dollar minimum wage by 2025.

 

Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten season and seafood becomes a popular dish.  Chairman of the Gulf Seafood Institute Harlon Pearce believes there should be plenty available.  Pearce says high water levels and weather conditions have resulted in a bountiful crawfish harvest. Pearce says oysters went through a rough phase with the high Mississippi river levels, but now there are more than enough to go around and prices are leveling out much better than what they were.

 

New data from the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control shows Louisiana ranks fifth in the nation among states with the highest per capita gun death rates in 2018. The states with the highest rates are Mississippi, Alabama, Wyoming, Missouri followed by the Bayou State. The nationwide average for gun deaths is 12 per 100-thousand, in Louisiana the death rate is 21 per 100-thousand, significantly above the national average.

 

 

Sports..

 

LSU Football Coach Ed Orgeron has reportedly promoted Kevin Faulk to running backs coach. Faulk, who is the school’s all-time leading rusher, will replace Tommie Robinson, who is taking the same job at Texas A-and-M. Faulk has served as the Tigers director of player development.

 

And remember the controversy surrounding Odell Beckham Junior and the handing out of cash after the national championship game. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson says he donated his money handshake to his church.

 

LSU basketball coach Will Wade is not happy with the SEC schedule makers. The Tigers are at Florida tonight for an 8 PM tip and then they’ll host Texas A-and-M  Saturday at 11 AM. Wade says it’s the second time his team has had to play late on Wednesday and turnround and play their next game on Saturday morning. The first time LSU played a late Wednesday night game, followed by an early Saturday morning contest, they lost to Vanderbilt and Auburn. Here tonight’s game on KSYL 970AM/104.9FM Airtime 7:30

 

The 11th ranked LSU baseball team welcomes Louisiana Tech to Alex Box Stadium tonight. The Tigers are 5-3 and through eight games Coach Paul Mainieri has been shuffling the line-up and getting mixed results. Mainieri says with SEC play starting in a couple of weeks, he intends to use a similar lineup over the next four games to see if they can win with that group.

 

Good Morning.. News For Tuesday February 25th, 2020

News for Tuesday February 25th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Today is fat Tuesday and with that the final day of parades and wild partying before Ash Wednesday and the start of lent. Most of today’s activities will be in the southern part of the state. Parades roll throughout the day In Lafayette and all day in New Orleans. In Mamou, Iowa and several other communities it’s the Courir De Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday Run. An amazing experience to observe and take part in.. Eat, drink and be merry. But, please designate a driver to get you home.

 

Law enforcement warns revelers to be aware of their surroundings in an effort to keep from becoming a victim of pickpocketing. Over the course of the past weekend, troopers have made numerous arrests and recovered thousands of dollars in stolen items nabbed by pickpocket suspects.

 

In the face of criticism from teachers, the governor’s office has signaled they could back a 500-dollar raise on top of the one-thousand dollar salary boost teachers got this year. Last year, we were told Louisiana teachers were paid about 22-hundred dollars below the southern regional average. The session deciding the pay bump starts in two weeks.

 

The federal government has approved the state’s plan to spend one-point-two billion dollars in grant money that will be used to reduce the flood risk for several communities. Director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development, Pat Forbes, says they’ll implement the plan as fast as possible. Forbes says he expects the money will become available in the spring and they’ll start using the dollars to improve rain and river gauges and models for every watershed in the state.

 

A bill will be presented by Baton Rouge Senator Franklin Foil in the upcoming legislative session to add surveillance cameras in the classrooms to protect special needs students. If enacted parents can request school systems install cameras in the classrooms to monitor interactions. Foil believes cameras will clear up any questions parents have of what’s really going on in the classroom.

 

55-year-old Gary James Goulas of Breaux Bridge faces animal cruelty charges accused of tossing a bag full of lab puppies from a bridge in Henderson last week. St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office Major Ginny Higgins says the puppies are in the care of Every Paw Animal Rescue in Evangeline Parish and they appear to be doing well.

 

A Baton Rouge woman expecting twins died along with her 7-year-old son Monday in a two-vehicle crash in Interstate 10 eastbound in St. John the Baptist Parish. State Police say the woman was traveling eastbound on I-10 shortly before noon when, for reasons still under investigation, she stopped in the left lane of travel and was struck from behind. The driver of that vehicle and his 3 year old son received non-life-threatening injuries.

 

 

Sports..

 

The Pelicans are getting closer to catching Memphis for the final spot in the Western Conference. New Orleans won for the fifth time in its last six games Sunday night as they defeated Golden State 115 to 101. The Pels are now 3.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Grizzlies. The Pels take on the Lakers in Los Angeles tonight.. Airtime 8:30 on 94.7 ESPN

 

 

 

 

Good Morning.. News For Monday February 24th, 2020

News for Monday February 24th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Mother nature cooperated over the weekend and in doing so All weekend parades rolled as scheduled in Cenla. Conditions were a bit cold Friday afternoon for the Classic Car and Cheerleaders parade and Saturday morning for the Children’s Parade. But, crowds still lined the streets and loaded up on beads. Sunday conditions were cloudy but it was still a perfect day for a parade. Festivities now move south to Mamou, Lafayette, New Orleans and all points in-between.

 

Mardi Gras safety will be a big topic in New Orleans over the months ahead, after a second person in three days was struck and killed by a float. 58-year-old Joseph Sampson died Saturday after a passing tandem float hit. Afterwards, the city banned the use of tandem floats. Last Wednesday a 58-year-old woman was run over by a parade float and died.

 

An Alexandria-based cybersecurity agency has broken down how the 2020 Presidential election could be hacked in a report distributed to the National Association of Secretaries of State. While Louisiana appears to be secure, Ingalls Information Security CEO Jason Ingalls says in a recent intrusion response, the agency discovered vulnerabilities to ransomware. State agencies such as the OMV were recently impacted by a ransomware attack. But Ingalls says the state’s election systems are a testament to good security.

 

Longtime Louisiana legislator Butch Gautreaux has died. Gautreaux, served St. Mary Parish for many years as a member of the Louisiana State Senate from 2000 to 2012, prior to that he served 4 years in the Louisianan House of Representatives. Family members posted on social media yesterday a short statement announcing his passing. No other information has been released at this time.

 

The rules and regulations for the state’s industrial hemp program are now finalized and the first license for industrial hemp has been issued. As part of the process, applicants have to undergo a background check. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says the rules are guided by federal law. The planting season begins in mid-April.

 

A former Westlake pastor has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography charges.  46 year old John Michael Ward was arrested last summer by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office and accused of molesting a child for two years. At the time of his arrest, the child was 11 years old.

 

A study commissioned by Louisiana’s Board of Regents indicates there is a lack of evidence to warrant the establishment of a law school in Shreveport.  The decision comes just weeks after the board struck down the idea of a dental school in the area.

 

Governor Edwards announces the creation of a “Climate Initiatives Task Force” that will work on ways to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to slow sea level rise. The governor would not name any specific carbon emission targets at this point, but it’s still early in the process. Edwards showcased his billion dollars a year coastal restoration plan last week, but officials admit it requires a slowing of sea-level rise to work longterm.

 

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is in effect for the remainder of the Carnival season. Louisiana Highway Safety Commission spokesperson Mark Lambert says the goal is to prevent fatal drunk driving crashes. In 2018- the latest year for available stats, two people were killed over the final days of the Mardi Gras season the lowest since 2012.

 

For the fourth straight year, the Humane Society of Louisiana is running an adoption program for a few of the horses that walk in the Mardi Gras parades. Humane Society of Louisiana Director Jeff Dorson says 55 horses have been adopted over the last three years and they are expecting another successful year. Go to Facebook-dot-com, slash mardi-gras-horses to view the horses up for adoption.

 

Sports..

 

After a disappointing two to nothing loss on Friday, the 11th ranked LSU baseball team bounced back to win Saturday and Sunday to take the weekend series at the Box  from Eastern Kentucky.

Good Morning... News For Friday February 21st, 2020

News for Friday February 21st, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

This is Mardi Gras weekend in Alexandria, with a full schedule of events. Beginning this afternoon , the Classic Cars & College Cheerleaders (CCCC) Parade will roll at 4:30 with a rout that winds through downtown. Tonight the 26th Annual Taste of Mardi Gras will be held at the Randolph Riverfront Center. Saturday morning the Annual Children’s Parade will roll at 10 a.m. Sunday The 27th Annual Krewes Parade will roll at 2 p.m. There are many other events scheduled throughout Cenla. The list can be found on our websites under events.  

 

The Board of Regents approves a new policy that could result in financial penalties for universities that do not comply with minimum admissions requirements for incoming students. Higher Ed Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed says a school will be flagged for review if they allow too many students in, who do not meet requirements like minimum GPA, or ACT.

 

Louisiana state and local governments wasted or missed out on a combined $642 million in 2019, according to the state legislative auditor’s year-end report released this week. The auditor points to a handful of key issues, noting Louisiana’s “ongoing struggle to make sure the Medicaid program is paying only for services that actually have been delivered, and to ensure that only eligible individuals are receiving Medicaid services.”  In addition, the auditor wrote Louisiana’s colleges and universities need to improve their bookkeeping so that students are not overcharged or undercharged fees and tuition. The auditor also slams a number of local governments for similar problems, noting that a number of repeat offenders are on the “edge of financial collapse.”

 

The Louisiana Lottery says the lack of massive Powerball and Mega Million jackpots recently results in fewer dollars for education.  Lottery spokesperson Kim Chopin says there is currently a rare, eight-month drought of multistate games rising into major jackpot territory, which has had an impact on ticket sales. Chopin believes some players are waiting until those jackpots hit a certain level before participating. The Louisiana Lottery is required to transfer at least 35 percent of its revenue to the state.

 

The Tulane National Primate Research Center will soon begin work on a vaccine, and more effective diagnostic tools for the coronavirus. The virus is expected to arrive at the St. Tammany Parish based facility in the next two to three weeks, and Associate Director Dr. Skip Bohm says it will likely take a while for their work to come to fruition.

The virus has infected some  75,000 people worldwide and is thought to have killed over 2,000. Tulane was one of the first labs in the nation to receive CDC approval to study the virus.

 

Cleco customers will see a drop on their power bill starting in March with the removal of the storm restoration fee. The fee became part of customers’ statements to pay to fix the damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Cleco spokesperson Jennifer Cahill says it’s good news for their customers. Cleco customers will save a combined $22.3 million annually because of the fee removal.

 

Governor Edwards plans to spend a billion dollars a year building and restoring the coast over the next four years, according to his recently released second term coastal plan. The Governor also announced 115 million dollars from last year’s surplus will help bolster those efforts. The billion dollars a year will fund a web of projects, highlighted by massive sediment diversions that will redirect river sediment into the wetlands.

 

Over two hundred state troopers are being deployed to the city of New Orleans for Carnival 2020.  This is an uptick from last year as crowds are expected to be bigger.  Trooper Monroe Dillon says much of the concentration will be around downtown and the French Quarter.   Dillon says law enforcement will be keeping an eye out for those who have partied too hard and decide to get behind the wheel.

 

58-year-old Geraldine Carmouche was killed Wednesday night at a New Orleans parade after reportedly trying to pass between two floats, tripping, and being run over. The incident has sparked some calls for new safety regulations to keep people away from floats.

 

Summerfield High School Principal Brian Biggs is in the Claiborne Parish jail after being arrested yesterday at his home for multiple sex crimes. State Police report the  investigation began after authorities were notified by concerned parents who accused Biggs of acting inappropriately with children on the internet.

 

In Lafourche Parish, a school traffic guard is dead after being struck by a truck driven by an 83-year-old man.  The victim has been identified as 67-year-old Larry Boudreaux.

 

The Pelicans return from the All-Star break as they start a three-game road trip in Portland tonight. New Orleans is 5.5 games back from Memphis, who occupies the final playoff spot in the West. Pels Coach Alvin Gentry says every game is important the rest of the way. You can hear that game tonight beginning at 9p on 94.7 ESPN..

 

There’s LSU baseball at the box tonight as the Tigers begin a 3 game series against Eastern Kentucky. Tonight’s broadcast begins at 6:30p on KSYL 970am/104.9fm

Good Morning.... News For Thursday February 20th, 2020

News for Thursday February 20th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Three people are under arrest after over $600,000 in drugs are found during a traffic stop on US Highway 165 near Woodworth.  Trooper Casey Wallace says the collection had a lot of fentanyl and heroin in it, two drugs that are fairly new to the area. He says the price on those two narcotics are beginning to spike.

 

Pineville City Marshal Sarah Smith announced Wednesday that she intends to retire and will not seek re-election at the end of this year. Marshal Smith has spent 30 years in service to the Pineville Marshal Office.

 

A Rapides Parish grand jury has indicted 64 year old Leo Laird of Oakdale in connection with a cold case murder. Laird has been charged with first degree murder, first degree rape, and aggravated kidnapping for the 1980 death of 18-year-old Donna Brazzell in Gardner. Brazzell's remains were found back in Nov. 1980, but went unidentified until last year when the LSU FACES Lab in Baton Rouge and a relative were able to make a positive identification. The grand jury returned a true bill on Tuesday.

 

Senator Bill Cassidy officially announces his run for a second term.  So far, Cassidy does not face any major Democratic challengers, but  U-L Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Cassidy will probably have to put together a little bit of a campaign. Cross says he foresees Cassidy holding on to  his seat for many years to come. While it is possible that another Republican challenger could pop up, Cross says  Cassidy has solidified himself with party establishment and they don’t have a reason to desert him.

 

Col. Stephen Murphy, commander of the Corps’ New Orleans office announced yesterday with the Mississippi River now forecast to crest at 16.5 feet in New Orleans on March 4, a half-foot below official flood stage, the Army Corps of Engineers does not foresee a need to open either the Bonnet Carre Spillway just north of New Orleans or the Morganza Floodway above Baton Rouge in the foreseeable future. Last year, the spillway was opened twice for a record 143 days

 

Governor Edwards addressed the controversy over his decision not to include a specific teacher pay raise in his budget, saying he is confident there will ultimately be a raise in this year’s legislative session. Edwards says he has not deprioritized K-12 education, noting his budget includes 39 million dollars in new education spending. Edwards says his plan to get teachers to the southern regional average by the end of the term hasn’t changed..

 

Louisiana is ranked in the bottom third of states for internet connectivity and infrastructure, and lobbying group 5G Action Now says the Trump Administration’s plan to expand nationwide 5G would fix that. Spokesperson Ian Prior says nearly 40 percent of state residents surveyed complain about the lack of high-speed internet in rural areas.

 

A 77-year-old Baton Rouge man turned himself in to authorities Tuesday once autopsy results revealed his special needs son died as a result of internal bleeding on Valentine’s Day.  Ellsworth Hull is charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of his son 40-year-old Derrick Christophe. Baton Rouge authorities say Hull confessed to beating his son.

 

The Humane Society of Louisiana is offer a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of a person who threw a dog food bag containing eight puppies from a bridge in in St. Martin Parish on Sunday. A fisherman reportedly retrieved the bag, thinking it was litter, but he found the 3 to 5-day-old puppies inside. The puppies are currently receiving treatment and are expected to be okay.

Good Morning.. News For Wednesday February 19th, 2020

News for Wednesday February 19th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

41-year-old Saints QB Drew Brees announces on his Instagram that he will return for the 2020 season after taking some time to consider retirement. Assuming the team resigns Brees, Saints analyst Mike Detillier says we’re almost certain to see backup QB Teddy Bridgewater, who led the team to five wins last year, leave in free agency.

Detillier says it’s likely the team will retain third-string backup QB Taysom Hill who is a restrictive free agent.

 

The APD is investigating a Tuesday morning 2 vehicle accident in which the driver of one of the vehicles had been shot in the leg. The driver told officers that the gunshot wound occurred at an unknown location on 3rd Street, and he was attempting to drive to the hospital when the crash occurred.

 

KALB is reporting the Louisiana Attorney General's Office has filed a motion to revoke the bond of Kayla Giles, the woman who shot and killed her estranged husband, Thomas Coutee, Jr. in an Alexandria Walmart parking lot in Sept. 2018. The motion was filed Tuesday afternoon according to the Rapides Parish Clerk of Court's Office and was immediately sent to Judge Greg Beard's office for review. The details of the motion and the reasoning for wanting bond revoked have not yet been released. Giles has been out on a $510,000 bond for a second degree murder and obstruction of justice charge since December.

 

KALB TV has confirmed the City of Alexandria is changing the name of their summer festival back to Alex River Fete. Mayor Jeff Hall's administration said, in the first year of the Mayor’s term, the name change was a fresh start and would be more inclusive to the whole community. However, the name change came with criticism from locals and some who were involved with the festival in years past saying the change was unnecessary. KALB reached out to the city's Special Projects Coordinator, Jim Smilie, and he confirmed the name would be changed back to Alex River Fete. The ordinance, that would do so, will now go back to the finance committee at the next city council meeting before being voted on.

 

The Alexandria VA Health Care System announced on Tuesday that Louisiana veterans now have access to a new mobile app that enables them to get instant access to VA health care information right from their phone. Users of the new "MyVA Info app will, according to VA officials, have easier access to health information, guidance and resources when they need it most. The app is now available for iOS and Android devices.

 

Shreveport Police has charged 37-year-old Gregory Jones for the Sunday night fatal shooting death of his girlfriend 43-year-old Tasha Mayberry.  Authorities say Jones was shot in the chest after he pointed a gun at officers after fleeing from the scene, and remains hospitalized.

 

President Trump has pardoned former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Junior who in 1998 pleaded guilty to failing to report a felony when he paid 400-thousand dollars to former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards. DeBartolo testified against Edwards in the corruption trial that resulted in the former four-term governor spending 8.5 years in federal prison. Edwards says prosecutors needed DeBartolo’s false testimony in order to convict him. DeBartolo avoided prison time.

 

After spending 52 days in the hospital, Wade Berzas is heading home. He’s the lone survivor of a December plane crash in Lafayette Parish that killed five people, including sports journalist Carley McCord. The plane was flying from Lafayette to Atlanta carrying passengers to watch the LSU Tigers compete in the Peach Bowl.

 

Pearl River swelling from heavy rain in central Mississippi is catching the attention of officials over flooding issues downstream in Washington and St. Tammany parishes. National Weather Service Slidell meteorologist Gavin Phillips forecasts near-record levels in the coming days around the town of Pearl River.

 

If you’re taking your kids with you to Mardi Gras this year download the FBI Child ID app before you leave in case you and your child are separated. The app gets you to build a profile of your child, including photo, height, weight, age, and your contact number. FBI New Orleans spokesperson Craig Betbeze says if your child is missing, just press a button. The app is available through app stores for both Android and IPhone devices.

 

The Crisis Text Line report on the State of Mental Health in America shows over 22,000 texters in Louisiana have reached out for help since the service was launching in August 2013.  Crisis Text Line spokesperson Ashley Womble says it’s inception they have been able to de-escalate someone in Louisiana who was thinking about suicide  465 times. The report indicates that three-quarters of those using the service are under the age or 25, with 82% of them identifying as female.  However, men are more likely to die from suicide. The Crisis Text Line can be accessed by sending the word “HOME” to 741-741

Good Morning.. News For Tuesday February 18th, 2020

News for Tuesday February 18th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting           

 

Major Glenn Riggs with the Salvation Army’s Alexandria branch was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with home invasion in Pineville. The Pineville Police Department says the incident took place on Lakeview Street in Pineville. Details surrounding the arrest are limited and police are still investigating. Riggs has been released after posting a $5,000 bond.

 

The investigation continues into a home invasion on Lee Street Sunday. APD says two suspects knocked on the rear door of a residence shortly before 4 in the morning and forced their way in the house when the victim answered the door. The suspects are described as a tall black male, wearing camouflage and the other as a short black male wearing all black. One suspect had a handgun and the other had what was described as a handgun style taser. The APD is asking anyone with information to please come forward. .

 

28-year-old Cameron Harville of Natchitoches died after striking a home along LA Highway 494 and being ejected from his car. State Police Trooper Casey Wallace says the vehicle was traveling eastbound on 494 when it left the road for an unknown reason and careened into the private residence early Monday morning.

 

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says when it comes to auto insurance rates, there’s no such thing as a so-called “widow’s penalty.  Alexandria Democrat Jay Luneau has introduced legislation in the Senate aiming to end the practice of raising rates on people who are widowed. Luneau also has bills that would prohibit the calculating of insurance rates based on credit score and gender over the age of 25. But Donelon opposes those measures. Real Reform Louisiana claims a person with a DWI and a high credit rating pays less for insurance than a person with a clean record but low credit score.

 

Lawsuit reform is expected to dominate the upcoming session and the National Federation of Independent Business is backing this year’s effort to lower the jury trial threshold to 15,000 dollars. NFIB State Director Dawn Starns says Louisiana’s 50,000 dollar jury trial threshold is the highest in the nation, and that policy emboldens plaintiffs to file more lawsuits, and demand higher damages against businesses.

 

Baton Rouge Police have arrested five people for attempted ATM thefts at Chase Banks in Baton Rouge. Investigators in Baton Rouge believe that these suspects are possibly connected to similar incidents across neighboring parishes. In Lafayette an ATM at a Chase Bank on Johnston Street was destroyed early Sunday.

 

The Advocate reported Ochsner Health System is going to start paying the medical school education of students who commit to work with Ochsner in Louisiana for five years. The organizations CEO Warner Thomas says the program will start with 30 students this summer. Citing the tight labor market, Thomas said the health system also will pay for current employees who want to advance in their career from a licensed practical nurse to a registered nurse or from a medical assistant to an LPN. The company has set aside about $10 million for the tuition-paying programs.

 

The 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary is rolling along and Louisiana Democrats will get a chance to pick their candidate April 4th. State Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk says it’s a closed primary, which means only Democrats can vote in it. If you’re not a Democrat though, you can always join the party. The deadline to register either for the first time, or to change your party registration is March 4th in person, or March 14th online.

 

A state audit alleges a former fire chief in Webster Parish, Billy Raspberry, Jr. used taxpayer money to give himself an unauthorized 24-thousand dollars in extra compensation between January 2017 and March 2019.  Assistant Legislative Auditor Roger Harris says Raspberry also received an unauthorized 75-hundred dollar raise and they found evidence he received overtime pay that was not warranted. Harris says they also believe Rasberry held two government jobs at the same time from July 2017 to March 2018, which is against state law…

 

Governor John Bel Edwards says rural communities are in a crisis and that’s why he created the Governor’s Advisory Council on Rural Revitalization. Edwards announced the formation of the Council at the Police Jury’s annual convention. The governor says rural revitalization will be a focus during his next four years in office. Former Bogalusa senator Ben Nevers will serve as chairman of the Council that will have 34 members.

 

A struggling LSU basketball team will welcome 10th ranked Kentucky to the PMAC tonight. The Tigers have lost three of their last four games.. Airtime 7:30p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM

 

 

Good Morning.. News For Monday February 17th, 2020

News for Monday February 17th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall says he is satisfied with the response to the city’s gun buyback program that was launched on Saturday. The city allotted $10,000 for gun returns and ran out of the money halfway through, but those who came and returned guns after the money ran out will get paid today. 147 guns were turned in during the event. Those who brought handguns were given $50 and $100 dollars were given for rifles, no questions asked.

 

The 8-year-old boy shot last week in drive-by shooting in New Iberia, died Friday night at a Baton Rouge hospital.  The victim, Jamal Robinson, was the only person injured when Jonas Hawk allegedly shot rounds into a group of people outside of a home.  Charges against Hawk will be upgraded to 14 counts of Attempted First-Degree Murder and 1 count of First Degree Murder.

 

In Mansura a Cottonport woman was arrested Sunday afternoon following a fatal hit and run Saturday night. Police were call to the scene of the accident to find 59 year old Randy Augustine lying dead in a ditch. Police say 21 year old Destiny Randall Struck Augustine as he was walking along the road shortly after 8pm Saturday night and fled the scene.  Randall was arrested and charged with negligent homicide and hit and run fatality involved.

 

A report by the Advocate alleges Attorney General Jeff Landry, who rails against immigration issues, brought in skilled Mexican laborers on work visas to construct an LNG plant in Cameron Parish. The article says Landry used the H2B skilled worker visa program, which is opposed by both the Trump administration and labor unions. Advocate reporter Bryn Stole says there is no definitive proof Landry broke the law, but they did uncover documents indicating his companies may have misled the feds to get access to the visas. A spokesperson for Landry says the work was only temporary.

 

Gov. Edwards signs an executive order formally establishing the Governor’s Advisory Council on Rural Revitalization.  Louisiana Farm Bureau President Ronnie Anderson says the expansion of broadband internet availability is an opportunity to help the rural areas become a more attractive place to live and work.

 

Senator Bill Cassidy is one of seven Republicans to join Senate Democrats in voting to limit the President’s authority to take military action against Iran. Cassidy says the vote was not a slight to President Trump, he just feels Congress needs to reclaim its responsibility in deciding when to head to war and make sure any decision has public support. The measure cleared the Senate 55-45 and heads to the House next, where a similar bill was passed earlier this year.

 

Legislation has been filed for the upcoming session that would eliminate the need to have a concealed carry license in order to carry a concealed handgun in Louisiana. Oil City Representative Danny McCormick says open carry is already legal in Louisiana and requiring people to get a permit to cover up that gun is just a tax. McCormick says putting additional barriers between legal gun owners and their right to carry in public is infringing on basic American rights.

 

A 2019 report on from True Colors United and the National Law Center for Homelessness ranks Louisiana in the top ten among the fifty states and District of Columbia in its efforts to address youth homelessness.  Report co-author Dylan Waguespack says among the areas where Louisiana excels include providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently, and the state’s foster care, where those in the program can now receive benefits through the age of 21 instead of 18.

 

Former LSU baseball coach and athletic director Skip Bertman suffered a couple broken ribs from a during a single-car accident on Friday morning in Baton Rouge, according to an LSU spokesman. Bertman, who is 81, did not require an overnight hospital stay, but was unable to attend opening night..

 

The 11th ranked LSU baseball team opened the 2020 season by taking two of three from Indiana.

 

On air today…

 

The Athletic Director 2p 94.7 ESPN / 1410AM

 

Tiger Talk 4 to 6p  96.9 KZMZ

Good Morning... News For Friday February 14th, 2020

News for Friday February 14th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

A bomb threat called in yesterday afternoon to Arthur F Smith middle magnet appears to have been a hoax.  The call came in shortly before 3p leading to the safe evacuation of the building. Once secured a thorough search of the building turned up nothing suspicious. The investigation is ongoing.

 

Gov. John Bel Edwards plans to dole out nearly $1 million in pay raises to his staff, Cabinet secretaries and other high-level political appointees across state government.

In response to a request from The Associated Press, the Edwards administration provided the names of more than 150 top-level political appointees who have already received or are in line to receive salary hikes. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne told lawmakers the employees hadn't received pay raises over the governor's first term. He says most of the raises are 4%.

 

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, the Louisiana Family Forum is honoring what they believe to be the couple with the longest marriage in the state with the 2020 Marriage Hall of Fame.  For the second year in a row, Wallace and Gladys Menard from Duson have that distinction with 81 years. The couple met at a dance hall in Abbeville in 1937 and were married at ages 19 and 16 in 1938.

 

Nationally, marriage rates have dipped almost eight percent over the decade.  In Louisiana, that number is almost 28 percent.  LSU Health New Orleans clinical psychologist Amy Dickson says that doesn’t necessarily mean there are fewer people in committed relationships as you may find plenty of engaged couples. The divorce rate is also down nearly 20 percent nationally, with Louisiana down by 23 percent. 

 

Louisiana has the 9th worst business tax climate in the nation according to the Tax Foundation’s 2020 report. Policy Analyst Janelle Cammenga says that’s largely due to Louisiana having the 3rd highest sales tax in the nation, an above-average corporate tax rate, and decentralized sales tax collection. Only Washington and Alabama rank worse in sales tax issues.

 

Covington Representative Mark Wright files an amendment to consolidate the Governor and Lt. Governor onto one ticket, instead of having voters chose them separately. Wright says for starters, the Lt. Governor’s job is nearly all tourism-related, and it would make for more efficient government if tourism was folded directly into the Governor’s administration. Wright says combining the ticket could open up some interesting political options for gubernatorial candidates who would now get to pick a running mate.

 

Webster Parish is welcoming a new manufacturing facility with the arrival of E.I. Williams Industries.   President of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership Scott Martinez says the Canadian company specializing in sound-control equipment such as vent silencers, fan silencers, industrial silencers, and noise enclosures. Martinez says the $700,000 capital investment into an existing 50,000 square foot facility in the North Webster Parish Industrial District will result in 100 new jobs over the next five years, with an average salary of $37,400 plus benefits.

 

Attorney General Jeff Landry and his brother Ben Landry are accusing the Advocate of harassment and released video of Advocate reporters investigating Ben Landry’s home. Reports indicate the paper was investigating business dealings of some kind involving a Landry owned company.

 

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson continues to urge drivers to put down the cell phone.  Wilson says earlier this month, another DOTD employee, Dwayne Pitre, was seriously injured while picking up litter in a work zone near Carencro.  Once again, distracted driving was believed to be a factor. Two DOTD employees have died since 2016 due to distracted driving.

 

A Lafayette man is facing felony theft charges after allegedly tricking a Shreveport man into paying 3,600 dollars for a pair of National Championship tickets that were only worth 525 dollars each. Caddo Sheriff’s spokesperson Cindy Chadwick says the victim was told the tickets he was buying were in section 104, but the tickets he was sold by Michael Simmons turned out to be nose bleed seats. Simmons was arrested for Felony Theft.

 

Its opening day of the college baseball season and at Alex Box Stadium the 11th ranked Tigers will face Indiana. This is Paul Mainieri’s 14th season as head coach of the Tigers. He’ll send sophomore right-hander Cole Henry to the mound as he’ll throw the first pitch of the season for the Tigers.  Airtime tonight at 6:30 on KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM.

 

Good Morning.... News For Thursday February 13th, 2020

News for Thursday February 13th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Today is the 2020 Children’s Miracle Network media thon here at the studios of Cenla Broadcasting. The event broadcast on KALB TV 5 and on Q93fm. Raises money to help children right here in Cenla. Today from 11 to 2 there will be a $5 Drive through Gumbo lunch in the parking lot of Cenla Broadcasting on Texas Avenue, with proceeds going to the Media thon. Call 528-3500 to donate. You are also welcome to come to our studios and make a donation. Or if you like, visit any of our websites to make a secure online donation.  

 

State Police have taken eight students from Many High School into custody in connection to a reported case of bullying and alleged sexual assault at the school in late January. The incident, which went viral on social media, showed a student being held down and sodomized with an object.  As a result of their investigation, LSP obtained arrest warrants for seven juvenile students and one 18-year-old student. The investigation is ongoing.

 

KALB TV reports a 30-year-old cold case came to a unexpected end Wednesday when the man facing two manslaughter charges decided to plead "guilty" at his arraignment.

Back in October of last year the RPSP pull out an old truck from deep within a pond on 71-year-old Robert Blair's old family property. Soon after, a 30-year-old mystery began to unravel as Blair was indicted on two counts of manslaughter for the July 1989 disappearance and deaths of his wife at the time, Isabelle Blair, and her friend, Marian Coutee. After Blair pleaded guilty yesterday he was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

 

Louisiana native Dr. Courtney Phillips has been chosen as Louisiana’s new health secretary. She’s been the head of the Texas health department since October 2018.  Governor John Bel Edwards made the announcement of the appointment via a tweet on Wednesday afternoon.   The position became vacant with the retirement of Dr. Rebekah Gee.

 

The Agenda for Children releases its first-ever road map to improving Child Well-Being in Louisiana. The Bayou State has never ranked higher than 46th in the Annie E Casey Foundation Kids Count report. Researcher Theresa Falgoust (Fal-goo) says reducing the child poverty rate would be a huge step forward.  Louisiana came in at 49 in the nation for Child Wellbeing.

 

The 2018 Louisiana Trooper of the Year has been arrested by State Police.  As part of an FBI investigation, 41-year-old Jason Boyet of Troop L is charged with one count of production and distribution of pornography involving juveniles.  Boyet was placed on administrative leave following the arrest.

 

The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office lost one of their own yesterday. Deputy Donna Richardson-Below died in a tragic two vehicle crash, while on duty. Deputy Richardson-Below had been with the DPSO since January of 2019. She was previously an agent with Louisiana Probation and Parole.

 

With the mumps outbreak on the LSU campus up to 12 cases the university is stepping up efforts to prevent further spread by offering free MMR vaccines to those considered to be in high risk groups. Students receiving the vaccine need to get both doses of it in order for it be fully effective. The Louisiana Department of Health is still advising that all LSU students receive the vaccine.

 

Eddie Rispone made a rare public appearance yesterday on a Baton Rouge Talk show and discussed his near successful effort to unseat Governor Edwards in last year’s run-off. Rispone, who sunk a reported 14 million of his own money into the race, says he has no plans to ever run for office again..

 

A drive-by shooting in Iberia Parish leaves an 8-year-old child in critical condition in a Baton Rouge hospital.  26-year-old Jonas Hawk of Jeanerette is accused of firing at least four shots at a group of 15. The suspect was arrested with 30 minutes.

 

Three teens have been arrested for the murder of 20-year-old Adrian Carradine of Bossier City Monday night, including a high school basketball star. 18-year-old Raymond Henry of Bossier City a 15-year-old female and 19-year-old Otis Smith, a senior on the Bossier High basketball team, were arrested.

 

Louisiana lawmakers are sitting on $86 million in off-the-books surpluses in their agencies, and the House and Senate's new leaders said they haven't decided how they want to spend the money that has been quietly amassing for years.

 

The dollars aren't regularly discussed in budget hearings, and they're not included in the yearly legislative spending plans. Their existence is tucked away in annual financial reports for the House, Senate and other legislative agencies that were recently filed by the legislative auditor's office. The surpluses' size approaches the $96 million allocated this year for legislative operations.

 

Acadiana-based Bayou Teche Brewing is releasing a limited edition beer called Cajun Breakfast Stout.  Brewery founder Karlos Knott says breakfast stout captures the flavors of bacon, maple syrup, and donuts. The beer will be available first at a launch party this weekend at the brewery, followed by a launch across the state. 

Good Morning.. News For Wednesday February 12th, 2020

News for Wednesday February 12th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Wild weather is in the forecast for the state today. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a pesky stationary front has been parked across Louisiana for the past couple of days, keeping it cloudy and dreary with the occasional rain. Keim says the Storm Prediction Center puts much of Louisiana under a slight to marginal risk for severe weather.

 

Fire erupted late last night a Mobile Exxon refinery in Baton Rouge. The fire turned the night sky a shade of orange and sent a large plume of smoke into the air. No injuries were reported. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the fire. A spokesman for the Baton Rouge Fire Department says there is no off-site impact. The refinery is the fifth largest in the United States.

 

It’s been a long time coming, but construction is set to start soon on a roundabout at the intersection of Jackson St., Twin Bridges Rd. and Horseshoe Drive here in Alexandria. The state DOTD said they will start construction on the roundabout in early March and that the intersection will be completely closed during construction. They hope the project will be completed in the early summer.

 

Saints owner Gayle Benson’s sudden and forceful statement Monday that none of her donations to New Orleans’ archdiocese had financed clergy abuse settlements came just days after attorneys for an alleged victim subpoenaed financial records from her charitable foundation. The Feb. 6 subpoena gave the Gayle and Tom Benson Charitable Foundation until March 3 to hand over a trove of documents, including any detailing the funding of “settlements of claims for clergy abuse within the archdiocese from 2010 to present.” In a statement released to the public well ahead of that deadline, Benson said neither she nor her late husband ever gave money to the church for such a purpose, saying the mere insinuation was offensive.

 

The State Legislative Auditor is asking the Legislature to consider implementing a water management plan to keep the state’s aquifers from running dry, or falling prey to saltwater intrusion in the future. Audit Manager Gina Brown says water depletion has increased 63 percent nationwide since 1951, and 579 percent since 59’ for the Gulf Coast region. 49 percent of current usage going to energy production, 25 percent to industry, and 12 percent heading to irrigation.

 

The two newly elected leaders of the Louisiana Legislature on Tuesday told the state’s largest business lobby they want to tilt the state’s legal system in favor of businesses through tort reform, but they will aim to get a bill to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk that he will be willing to sign to avoid trying to override his vetoes. Edwards, meanwhile, said the way to actually lower insurance rates is by preventing insurance companies from charging more to people based on their gender, marital status and whether or not they are a veteran. But he also indicated he's open to negotiating with Republican lawmakers on the issue. 

 

The story of Keiosha Felix, a 15-year-old who vanished in 2012, gets the national spotlight tonight on the show “In Pursuit with John Walsh,” which airs on Investigation Discovery.  Show producer Michelle Sigona says Keiosha disappeared from her aunt’s home in Duson in April 2012.  Sigona has hope the episode can lead to Keiosha’s whereabouts as the program has a history of successfully tracking down fugitives and missing children.

 

A judge in East Feliciana Parish declined Tuesday to hold a new trial and delay sentencing for alleged serial killer Ryan Sharpe, even though his attorney argued the U.S. Supreme Court could void the jury's 11-1 decision convicting him of first-degree murder. Sharpe was convicted in December in the killing of Brad DeFranceschi, one of three men authorities said Sharpe gunned down from his car during a killing spree across East Feliciana and East Baton Rouge parishes in 2017.

 

Sports..

 

LSU Football Coach Ed Orgeron has hired former Rams head coach Scott Linehan to be the Tigers new passing game coordinator. Linehan has also been a former offensive coordinator in Dallas, Minnesota, Miami, and Detroit. Tiger Rag Editor Ron Higgins says most of Coach O’s coaching hires have worked, so we’ll have to wait to see if Linehan can help keep LSU’s offense humming along.

 

 

Good Morning.. News For Tuesday February 11th, 2020

News for Tuesday February 11th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

The northern half of the state is under a flash flood watch until tomorrow night as moisture and upper-level disturbances are expected to interact with a cold front to produce locally heavy rainfall. National Weather Service Shreveport Meteorologist Jason Hansford says several inches of rain will fall over the next few days.

 

Following a standoff that lasted a little more than 6 hours, Alexandria Police Officers arrested an Alexandria man on charges of attempted first degree rape. The incident, which started at approximately 1 p.m., took place in the 3700 block of Church Street when officers were dispatched to a sexual assault investigation. The suspect remained inside the residence and refused to come out. Members of the Alexandria Police SWAT team as well as the Crisis Intervention Team were called to the scene and remained until the matter was resolved peacefully at approximately 6:35 p.m. 44 year old Mario Rue of Alexandria was taken into custody on an arrest warrant for attempted 1st degree rape.

 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is now calling the fire that burned down a Pineville home belonging to Kayla Giles and the late Thomas Coutee, Jr. on Friday intentionally set. The Fire Marshal's Office reported yesterday afternoon that it appears someone was residing in the house, but not home at the time. There is no word yet on what exactly caused the fire.

 

Louisiana gets low marks from the American Lung Association’s 2020 report for it’s failure to properly fund anti-smoking programs and enact anti-smoking legislation.

State Director Ashley Lyerly says Louisiana maintains one of the highest smoking rates in the nation for both adults, and teens. The report also notes Louisiana only utilizes three percent of the 450 million a year it generates in cigarette taxes and tobacco settlements to fund anti-smoking programs, far below what is recommended.

 

Marrero Democrat Kyle Green introduces a House bill aimed at eliminating the death penalty and allows those previously sentenced to the death penalty to be resentenced to a life sentence without parole. Louisiana has not executed an inmate since 2010, with the inability to obtain drugs for a lethal injection being cited as the reason for the gap.  Traditionally, Republicans lean in favor of preserving the death penalty, but Green believes executions do not fall in line with the state’s pro-life values.

 

22-year-old Holden Matthews pleads guilty in federal and district court to burning down three historically black churches in St. Landry Parish, a hate crime that shocked the nation last spring. The federal charges include using fire to commit a federal felony and violating the Church Arson Prevention Act, and he faces a minimum of ten years and a maximum of 70 years in prison on the federal charges alone.

 

The Army Corps of Engineers announced yesterday that they will spend $85 million this year to begin deepening parts of the Mississippi River navigation channel between Baton Rouge and the river's mouth to 50 feet, 5 feet deeper than at present. President Donald Trump's proposed fiscal year 2021 budget, also released Monday, includes another $45.7 million for the dredging project, but no money for the long-discussed new lock on the Industrial Canal or the "Morganza to the Gulf" levee project.

 

We’re up to 12 cases in the LSU centered mumps outbreak that was first made public with five cases reported last week. Mumps feels like a particularly nasty cold, and also involves visible swelling of the salivary glands, and it can take up to three weeks after you are infected to show symptoms.

 

AAA says the price at the pump has fallen more than 20-cents over the last month to a statewide average of $2.11 a gallon for regular gasoline. But AAA fuel analyst Don Redman expects the prices to rise soon as we’ll see a cutback on production…

 

State Police say an off-duty Baton Rouge police officer was driving his unmarked patrol car Sunday night when he ran a red light and crashed into another vehicle. He then  became combative with medical personnel and ultimately was arrested on suspicion of DWI.the 30 year old officer  was placed on leave from the department Monday morning pending the results of an internal investigation.

 

Alabama drivers will soon have the opportunity to have their own LSU license plate.  Webster Parish native and vice president of the Birmingham LSU Alumni Chapter Kenny Haynes decided to launch a campaign to get an LSU tag after seeing other out of state schools have their own special plate design. In Louisiana, a specialty tag design requires legislative approval, but in Alabama, the proposed design just needed 250 drivers to apply and prepay for the license plate.  Haynes says they hit that goal.

 

Sports..

 

Despite two losses last week, LSU remains ranked the A-P Top 25, but barely. The Tigers are 25th after road losses at Vanderbilt and Auburn. LSU entered the week in first place, two games ahead of Kentucky and Auburn, and now the Bayou Bengals find themselves in a three-way tie for first place with eight SEC games left. LSU hosts Missouri tonight. Airtime 7:30 on KSYL 970am / 104.9fm

 

Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson says he’ll play tonight against Portland after missing Saturday’s win over Indiana with a left ankle sprain. All-Star forward Brandon Ingram also did not play because of a right ankle injury and he’ll be a game-time decision tonight. Airtime 6:30p on 94.7 ESPN

Good Morning.. News For Monday February 10th, 2020

News for Monday February 10th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Concerns over lessening demand and uncertainty involving the Wuhan Coronavirus are likely to keep oil prices low, and volatile for the near future according to the LSU Center for Energy Studies. Executive Director David Dismukes says until the world finds out just how severe the Wuhan Coronavirus is, prices will remain in flux, but trending downward. A gallon of gas in Louisiana averages $2.13

 

A 19-month-old boy was shot to death in Louisiana and police have arrested his father on a manslaughter charge. The shooting happened Friday night in Shreveport.

Investigators believe the child's father was mishandling a firearm when it discharged, striking the child in the chest. The child died later at Oschner LSU Hospital.

 

The Governor’s July 1st budget proposal calls for a 128 million dollar increase in general fund spending, but does not include a teacher pay raise, has angering teachers unions who backed his reelection. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says school districts will be given funds they can use to give raises, but Louisiana Federation of Teachers Legislative Director Cynthia Posey says it’s not the same. Louisiana teachers received a 1,000 dollar pay raise in the last session, but still, have average pay below the southern regional average.

 

State Treasurer John Schroder is in a legal battle with Governor Edwards over the state trying to spend unclaimed property money as part of the state general fund. Schroder says the department was short $20 million last fiscal year in paying 82,000 claims because of previous dips into unclaimed property money. Edwards countered that the Unclaimed Property Fund hit a balance of more than $78-million, leaving a healthy balance of funds for Schroder.

 

TORT reform may suck up a lot of air in the car insurance premium debate at the Capitol but one Senator has a few bills he says are small, common-sense fixes to lower rates. Alexandria Democrat Jay Luneau’s first bill would prevent insurance companies from charging you more for your insurance just because you have a lower credit rating.

Real Reform Louisiana claims a person with a DWI and a high credit rating pays less for insurance than a person with a clean record but low credit score. Luneau says most insurers in Louisiana also raise rates on people who are widowed. His second bill would end that practice. His third bill deals with incidents where Louisianans in the military are deployed overseas, don’t renew their insurance for six months and are hit with a premium increase.  His fourth bill would block insurers from charging someone a higher premium on the basis of their sex alone, once they are older than 25.

 

The Baton Rouge Advocate reports 35 year old Kyle Joekel, who was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the 2012 ambush shooting deaths of two St. John the Baptist Parish sheriff's deputies, has been given the death penalty. Joekel had little reaction to the decision at the St. John the Baptist Parish Courthouse on Sunday morning

 

State health officials are investigating L’Auberge Casino in Lake Charles after 200 people are reported sick from an outbreak of the norovirus.  The highly contagious gastrointestinal virus can cause symptoms even three weeks after exposure.  The agency’s encourages you to report it to the State Department of Health if you have symptoms.

 

Holden Matthews, the man accused of torching three St. Landry churches last spring, will have a plea-change hearing today in Lafayette. Matthews had originally given a plea of not guilty. Legal analyst Tim Meche says the judge will hold the hearing to make sure that the suspect is changing his plea voluntarily. Meche says if the judge accepts the guilty plea, a sentencing date will be set for some time in the next 2 to 3 months.

Matthews is also facing state charges, but Meche says Matthews may never go to trial on those based on what happens with the federal charges.

 

Two brothers are in critical condition after jumping off a party bus in Ascension Parish early Saturday morning. Police say the bus was returning to Thibodaux from Baton Rouge, it happened at 4am on Airline Highway south of Interstate 10. Police say the bus was transporting approximately 40 young adults and the two young men jumped off for unknown reasons.

 

A St. Martinville man died Saturday evening after his ATV was struck by a hit-and-run driver. A spokesman for State Police Troop I says the accident happened just before 7 p.m. on Saturday. 36 year old Jamaal James died in the crash.

 

Good Morning... News For Friday February 7th, 2020

News for Friday February 7th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall announced yesterday the City of Alexandria, along with the APD and SafeAlex, will hold a gun buyback program a week from this Saturday  from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m, at the old Fire Station No. 2 on Broadway Avenue. “The Mayor saying we want to increase our efforts to address the rash of gun-related incidents we have seen recently in Alexandria. Individuals turning in functioning guns will receive $50 for a handgun and $100 for rifles and shotguns, all no questions asked. Again, the gun buy back is a week from tomorrow.

 

The crash of a small Cessna plane in Jackson Parish has claimed the lives of three people. The plane was in route to Shreveport after taking off from Jackson, MS

 

Governor John Bel Edwards will propose a budget to lawmakers today that would see increased spending on education.  Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says the spending is something Edwards has been pushing for years and now the state has the resources to do that. Edwards has made his priority of early childhood education clear for his second term. 

 

Natchitoches Police arrest a third suspect tied to a double homicide that took place last week at a home on Short Seventh Street.  Officer John Greely says the arrest comes following the Sunday surrendering of 17-year-old Daerieon Latchie and shortly after Tousant’s arrest, 21-year-old Jessie James Petite (pronounced P-T) Jr. turned himself in. Greely says three family members who were harboring Tousant were arrested as well

 

The Lake Charles L’Auberge is thought to be ground zero for an outbreak of norovirus that’s infected dozens of people. The origin of the outbreak has reportedly been traced to a Mardi Gras ball held last weekend. The virus can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, direct contact with the infected, or consuming contaminated food or water..

 

Three Many High juveniles are under arrest on allegations of bullying and sexual assault. The trio was arrested Tuesday night, and reportedly is linked to an incident that was caught on video during late January showing a student who was held down and sodomized with an object. The video was shared on social media, and went viral.

 

About two-dozen Louisiana state fire marshal employees left for Puerto Rico Thursday  to assist with earthquake recovery efforts. 23 deputies and personnel are on the deployment that’s expected to last 16 days.

 

Lawsuit reform and car insurance rate arguments are set to dominate the upcoming session, and a new group has been formed to push back against leading Republican proposals for TORT reform. Real Reform Louisiana Executive Director Eric Holl, a former Governor Edwards staffer opposes the Republican-crafted omnibus TORT reform bill he says is a giveaway to big business. Proponents of HB9 argue reducing the number of jury trials will save insurance companies money that they will then pass down to customers.

 

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin announces the rollout of the Small Business Protection Act, helping business owners stay aware of proposed regulations that could impact their business operations.  Ardoin says businesses that sign up at smallbiz.sos.la.gov will get updates so that they are not blindsided by regulation changes. The Act passed in the 2019 Legislative session and went into effect on February 1st.

 

An Ascension Parish minister accused for a second time of molestation of juvenile has been arrested. The Rev. Irvin Briley Jr., of Gonzales, turned himself in to police officers Wednesday evening and was booked with one of count of molestation. The grand jury handed down the indictment Monday over molestation allegations from the mid-1990s. In October, Briley was indicted on another molestation count with a different juvenile between August 2016 and April 2019.

 

The 18th ranked LSU basketball team is working to correct the errors that led to Wednesday night’s 99-90 upset loss to Vanderbilt. LSU leaves today for a big game Saturday morning against 11th ranked Auburn, who has just two losses on the season. Wade’s team will need to win to stay in sole possession of first place in the SEC.

Good Morning.... News For Thursday February 6th, 2020

News for Thursday February 6th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

KALB reports the attorney for Kayla Giles has notified the State of Louisiana that he plans to pursue a Stand Your Ground defense.  Giles is the woman indicted for second-degree murder and obstruction of justice for the Sept. 2018 shooting death of her estranged husband, Thomas Coutee, Jr. in an Alexandria Walmart parking lot. The shooting happened in the midst of a custody exchange. The case is being prosecuted by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.

 

The City of Pineville had a break in a water main at the corner of Bragg Street and Bayou Maria early Wednesday morning. Crews worked throughout the night to restore service to some 700 residents. With water restored, there is a boil advisory in effect until further notice. Residents are instructed to boil their water for at least a minute before using.

 

Impeachment comes to an end as the Senate votes to acquit President Donald Trump in a nearly party-line 52-48 not guilty vote on both articles of impeachment. Both Louisiana Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy voting against removal. Kennedy gave the reasoning for his acquittal vote, attacking House Democrats impeachment proceedings as a partisan exercise. The only Republican to vote in favor of removal was Utah Senator Mitt Romney.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards warns local government officials of the headaches that can be created by not being ready to withstand a cyberattack.  Edwards says recent cyberattacks across the state are likely to happen again in other areas. Ransomware attacks have been the issue faced in the most recent attacks.  The hackers will hold data ransom until a ransom is paid with cryptocurrencies. Edwards urges officials to take precautionary steps to avoid an attack by backing up data and protecting it behind a firewall.

 

Five LSU students who were living off-campus are confirmed to have a case of the mumps, a contagious disease that spreads through saliva or other respiratory droplets. Doctor Frank Welch says they are trying to determine if there’s a connection between the students because they did not live in the same apartment.

 

Some Louisiana conservatives are rethinking capital punishment by announcing the formation of a new group known as Louisiana Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.  The organization’s national manager Hannah Cox says a recent study indicates the death penalty cost the state’s taxpayers nearly $16 million more annually than life without parole. Louisiana becomes the thirteenth state to join the national organization. 

 

Governor John Bel Edwards approves the deployment of 23 State Fire Marshal deputies and personnel to Puerto Rico to assist in the recovery from recent earthquakes. The Urban Search and Rescue specialist will survey and access about 12,000 damaged buildings on the two-week mission.

 

Global technology firm CGI will conduct a career fair next week in Lafayette to fill professional positions for the company’s Louisiana operations. The event will take place on Tuesday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Research Park. CGI says they are seeking both entry level and experienced IT professionals to fill up to 160 positions in Louisiana.

 

The Census will be taken this year and then it will be up to the state legislature to draw up new political maps. Lake Charles Republican Stephen Dwight was just named chair of the House Governmental Affairs Committee and he lays out the timeline for when reapportionment discussions will begin. Dwight will join with Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt, who chairs Senate House and Governmental Affairs, in the effort. He says they’ll tour the state after the Census is conducted. A Census is taken every ten years.

 

LSU freshman linebacker Donte Starks has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules. Head coach Ed Orgeron made the announcement in a statement issued over the past weekend.  LSU officials later confirmed the suspension was handed down a day after Starks was arrested in Marerro by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.   Deputies reported Starks was booked on illegally possessing a concealed handgun and attempting to run from deputies. Starks’ suspension is the first major disciplinary action of the offseason following LSU’s College Football Playoff National Championship win on Jan. 13.

 

A survey reveals that one in three Louisiana pet owners struggle financially to care for their animals. The survey by Innovet Pet found that nearly a quarter of those surveyed admit they have a difficult time caring for their pets. Elizabeth Sprang, Director of Southern Animal Foundation, a nonprofit vet clinic in New Orleans, says medical costs continue to increase for pet owners.

 

As vaping rates soar LSU assistant professor of Comparative Biomedical Sciences Alexandra Noel is looking into how vaping impcats the lungs of people who were previously non-smokers. She hopes her research can help inform public policy on the issue as more and more kids take up vaping without having ever touched a cigarette.

 

LSU football signed three more players to its 2020 recruiting class on Wednesday. 24-7 sports ranks the Tigers incoming group of players as the fourth-best in the nation.

 

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Good Morning.. News For Wednesday February 5th, 2020

News for Wednesday February 5th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

The LSU Alexandria Foundation receives a $460,000 contribution from six community partners to fund the expansion of the nursing program.  Foundation director Melinda Anderson says this helps combat the nursing shortage in CENLA. The money will fund scholarships as well as the salary and benefits of an additional faculty member over the next four years. LSUA and the Department of Nursing has a high year to year passing rate of around 94 percent.

 

The City of Alexandria is asking for request for proposals (RFP) to revamp the old Weiss & Goldring  building downtown, but with specific parameters. The city said a mixed-use of the facility is preferable over single-use. If it is mixed-use, the city said they'd prefer housing over retail and business office mixes. The city also said they'd consider educational use, full retail grocery space since the area is considered a food desert as well as a destination site like a museum. The city will be taking RFPs until April 30th.

 

Baton Rouge Democrat Ted James is named Criminal Justice Committee Chairman, and plans to approach incarceration reform, marijuana, and capital punishment with a focus on their fiscal impact. The bipartisan criminal justice reform of 2017 significantly reduced the state’s prison population, but James says he will guide the committee towards further reductions. Louisiana retook the title of the nation’s highest per capita incarcerator last year after briefly dropping to 49th following the 2017 criminal justice reform.

 

In the State Of The Union address last night President Trump highlighted two bills by Senator Bill Cassidy, one focusing on parental leave and the other targeting surprise medical billing. Cassidy’s family leave bill would allow parents to receive a larger child tax credit in their child’s first year after birth or adoption. The legislation would be paid for by drawing from parent’s future child tax credits.

 

A final removal vote in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump is set for today, and Senator Bill Cassidy says he will vote against removing the Commander in Chief. Polls show a near dead even split on public opinion related to impeachment and removal, and Cassidy says you can’t undo an election without a strong consensus.

 

The City of New Orleans is facing a tab of $11-million for the partial collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel. A planned implosion for the construction site is set for mid to late March.

 

A new, potentially lethal drug has been discovered in a St. Mary Parish traffic stop.  It’s called “gray death” and it is heroin cut with fentanyl and can be deadly to the touch. St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s spokesperson David Spencer says this drug is fairly new, first popping up around Georgia and Alabama in 2017. He says it looks like concrete or limestone.

 

The 18th ranked LSU men’s basketball team looks to extend its winning streak to eleven games tonight and improve to 9-0 in the SEC when they visit Vanderbilt. Tip off tonight is at 8. Airtime 7:30p on KSYL 970 AM / 104.9 FM

 

LSU football looks to put the finishing touches on its best recruiting class in more than a decade as today begins the second national signing period for the 2020 class .

Good Morning.. News For Tuesday February 4th, 2020

News for Tuesday February 4th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh announced yesterday he's been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Addressing listeners on his program Monday, Limbaugh said he will take some days off for further medical tests and to determine treatment. Rush, who is heard locally on KSYL and across the country, says he intends to work as much as possible while undergoing treatment.

 

The APD officer was responding to a reported burglary yesterday shortly after noon struck a vehicle that attempted to make a left turn in front of him. The APD says the officer was traveling in the left lane of 3rd street when he struck the vehicle. The driver and passenger of the vehicle were transported to a local hospital with minor to moderate injuries. The officer, who suffered moderate injuries, was also transported to the hospital for treatment. The incident remains under investigation.

 

RPSO responded to the 7000 block of Hwy 1 in Boyce yesterday after a man allegedly stabbed several members of his family. 70 year old James Edward Rogers was arrested on two counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault. The victims were transported to a local area hospital and are in stable condition. Rogers is currently being held at the Rapides Parish Detention Center in lieu of $350,000 bond.

 

Northern parishes are preparing for the possibility of severe weather with a cold front that is moving into the state tonight and into tomorrow morning.  National Weather Service Shreveport meteorologist CS Ross says along the front, a band of showers and thunderstorms have developed. Ross adds that a light wintry mix has not been ruled out for late Wednesday night, into early Thursday morning.

 

Congressman Ralph Abraham, fresh off a primary loss in last year’s gubernatorial race, only has 21,000 dollars in his reelection war chest, sparking speculation he’s considering not running again this year. ULM Poli Sci Professor Joshua Stockley says 21,000 dollars is a remarkably low number for someone to run a reelection campaign with.  Abraham ran in 1st place during last year’s gubernatorial primary within his congressional district.

 

A DOTD worker was struck yesterday by a vehicle on Interstate 49. State Police say the worker had parked his vehicle, with the lights flashing, on the shoulder so he could pick up some equipment near the Carencro exit. Traffic was slowing in the area, and a motorist couldn't stop in time, and took to the shoulder. State Police say the SUV struck the worker, who sustained moderate to severe injuries. Charges are pending.

 

Former St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister passed away. The public servant also had stints as the State GOP Chairwoman, and President Bush’s 2004 Louisiana Reelection Campaign Chair. Brister was 73.

 

With a death rate for pregnant women that's twice the U.S. average, Louisiana is one of the country's most dangerous places to have a baby. Now, a new study on maternal mortality in the state includes another startling statistic: Homicide is among the leading causes of death. A study published Monday found that women in Louisiana are more likely to be killed than to die from any single pregnancy-related condition.

 

State Fire Marshal deputies arrest a 20-year-old Louisiana Tech student who admitted to having lit trash on fire inside of a building next to a dorm out of boredom. 20 year old Gavin Jones was booked into the Lincoln Parish Jail on one count of Simple Arson.

 

A Plaquemine man is arrested for elder abuse after authorities say they discovered a woman in her 70s in a home lying in a hospital bed covered in filth and animal feces. 54-year-old Galen Marcantel had allegedly been living with the woman for many months and had barred the victim’s family from checking up on her. Iberville Sheriff Brett Stassi says he was clearly taking advantage of her condition.

 

A Texas woman is arrested in Bossier Parish, accused of stealing an ambulance from Dallas.  The chase began when Louisiana State Police intitiated a traffic stop near the Texas border. Tyson is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated flight, resisting by false information, misrepresentation during booking, DWI, and driving without a license.

 

Louisiana is pushing the feds to give 150 million dollars in matching funds to the state to help construct an elevated roadway on LA Highway 1 from Golden Meadow to the Leeville Bridge in Lafourche Parish. Louisiana Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson says the plan is to construct a several mile-long bridge structure over the marshlands to guarantee safe passage to Port Fourchon. Louisiana has already pumped over 300 million dollars into projects along that vital stretch of highway.

 

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Good Morning.. News For Monday February 3rd, 2020

News for Monday February 3rd, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

Assignments for two key House committees are in and Democrats have increased their representation relative to the last term thanks to the bipartisan coalition that elected Speaker Clay Schexnayder. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says that’s their reward for backing Schexnayder. A majority of Republicans backed Albany’s Sherman Mack, considered more conservative than Schexnayder. The coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats now narrowly controls Ways and Means and Appropriations.

 

Over the past year, President Donald Trump has raked in more campaign contributions from Louisiana residents than all 11 Democratic candidates combined. Trump, a Republican who received a record number of votes in Louisiana when he ran four years ago, amassed more than $1.2 million from Louisiana donors in 2019, records show. His total nationwide haul was more than $211 million. The final campaign finance reports of 2019 were due Friday.

 

Louisiana high school principals will have to wait another year to try and mend the public private school athletics playoff split in four sports after a proposal to end the separation failed to get the 2/3rd vote needed. LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine says in the meantime they’ll look to better define what a select or private school is. The final vote to end the split received 52 percent.

 

Maplewood Middle School in Sulphur is home to a Grammy winner in Mickey Smith, who was honored with the Music Educator Award. Smith came onto the Grammy’s radar after he was nominated by Sulphur local, two time Grammy nominee Sean Ardoin, who’s known for his work in creole rock and roll. Ardoin noticed Smith had grown the school band to half the schools population.

 

AAA is concerned about the growing movement to legalize recreational marijuana, citing evidence of increasing drug based DUIs in legal states. AAA spokesperson Don Redman says drivers are already very nonchalant about toking and driving as 70% think they won’t be caught, and it has the potential to get worse. Redman says in the five years prior to the state of Washington legalizing recreational use, 9% of drivers involved in fatal crashes tested positive for THC. That numbers double.

 

Louisiana State Police added 51 Troopers to its force as their 99th cadet class graduated Friday. State Police Lt Nick Manale says they are prepping for their historic 100th cadet class at the LSP Academy and graduation day is a momentous occasion for every trooper.

 

About 300 needle incineration devices are being distributed to first responders in East Baton Rouge, Terrebonne, and Point Coupee parishes.  The device is the SANDD-mini, which stands for sharps and needles destruction device.  CEO of Redhawk Holdings, the company behind the device, Darcy Klug says  while the needle is destroyed, it doesn’t tamper with any possible evidence. The device has the potential to save taxpayer dollars.  Klug says a single needle stick injury can top $30k in workers comp costs, even if a first responder doesn’t contract a disease such as Hep C or HIV. More parishes are expected to obtain the devices in teh near future.

 

In Calcasieu Parish, the courts are going to start looking at better ways to get people to show up for court. Reportedly 350 people were summoned for jury duty last week, but only 72 actually appeared according to Judge Robert Wyatt in Lake Charles. Wyatt says courts might have to begin limiting excused absences and change the way it subpoenas potential jurors.

 

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is in trouble with the I-R-S and the tax collection agency has reportedly filed a number of liens on her home because she owes nearly 100-thousand dollars in overdue taxes.

 

A Tulane survey of primary care appointment wait times finds compared to white callers, minorities have three to seven day longer wait times to get a call back for scheduling.  Soon-to-be Tulane research assistant professor Brig Walker says minority callers also faced more questions. The field study was conducted in Texas, where Tulane recruited Hispanic, black, and white callers who placed appointment requests with 800 primary care offices. Hispanics faced a three day longer wait, and blacks a seven day longer wait than similar white patients. Walker says that can have a serious impact on health outcomes.

 

Sports..

 

LSU is 8-0 in SEC play after Saturday’s 73-63 win over Ole Miss. LSU has two games on the road this week. They are at Vanderbilt on Wednesday, who is winless in league play and then they travel to Auburn, who just beat Kentucky.

 

Louisiana Tech men’s basketball is on a four-game winning streak and the Bulldogs have moved into a first place tie with North Texas for first place in Conference. Tech won a thriller on Saturday, a 76-73 victory over Old Dominion.

 

 

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