Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 06/18/2019
News for Tuesday 061819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Governor John Bel Edwards has requested a federal fisheries disaster declaration for Louisiana. Edwards says diverting Mississippi River water into Lake Ponchartrain has resulted in troubling mortality rates among oysters, declining fish catches and financial damage to the livelihoods of those in the fishing industry. The Bonnet Carre Spillway has been operated twice this year because of high levels on the Mississippi River.
An Opelousas man is dead following a shooting at his home. Police say 49-year-old Stanley Boxie died of multiple gunshot wounds after being ambushed in his driveway at 3am Monday morning. The investigation is ongoing and there are no suspects at this time.
The former warden of the Avoyelles Correctional Center in Cottonport, Nate Cain was sentenced Monday to 38-months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in March to two counts of federal wire fraud. His ex-wife, Tonia Bandy, received an eight month sentence. Prosecutors say the duo made fraudulent purchases with public dollars.
The Grant Parish Sheriff’s Department has arrested a Montgomery man and a Verda woman following a narcotics investigation. 46 year old Ryan Johnson was arrested for the possession of meth with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana. 41 year old Misty Brocato was arrested for the possession of meth with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and felony probation violation.
Louisiana officials are optimistic that 2016 flood victims who did not get RESTORE grant money due to receiving SBA loans will see a check in the near future. State Office of Community Development Executive Director Pat Forbes says the state is getting final guidelines approved by HUD. After that happens, they will contact remaining flood victims. This action should end the “duplication of benefits” loophole.
Former Secretary of State Tom Schedler, who resigned last May amid a lawsuit alleging he repeatedly sexually harassed a woman who worked in his office, is trying to get his money back as part of that case. Though the lawsuit was settled late last year, Schedler is seeking reimbursement for his costs. The state ultimately paid north of $180,000 on the case, including, attorney’s fees, and the woman who alleged the harassment received $167,500, including over $18,000 that Schedler paid personally.
In a lawsuit Schedler filed against the state in February, he argues the state did not provide him as an individual with a defense in the original case, as it was required to by law.
State Police say an impaired driver is to blame for a wreck that sent three victims flying off the elevated Westbank Expressway in Harvey. All three people died after a fall of about 100 feet. Trooper Monroe Dillon says the three victims were working on a disabled vehicle in the roadway. Dillon says they arrested 40-year-old Todd Williams of New Orleans and he’s facing numerous charges including three counts of vehicular homicide.
A 15-year-old is dead and two other minors are in critical condition after they were ejected from an SUV in a rollover crash south of Ponchatoula on I-55 Sunday night. None of the children involved appear to have been buckled up.
The executive director of the Louisiana State Troopers Association was arrested on Father's Day, accused of firing one shot toward his daughter's boyfriend in the parking lot of his office in Baton Rouge. David Young, the association's executive director, was booked into jail Sunday night. The Louisiana State Troopers Association is an organization that acts as a union and advocates on behalf of state troopers.
Congressman Ralph Abraham grabbed 180 votes and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone grabbed 94 votes at Saturday’s Southwest Louisiana Republican’s “Iowa Governor’s race (I-oh-way) straw poll”. UL Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Abraham has to be feeling good about the results, and it appears the Congressman is solidifying his frontrunner status. The 25 dollar a head event was hosted by the Calcasieu Republican Party Executive Committee and the Republican Women of Southwest Louisiana.
Progressive and Louisiana Farm Bureau are dropping their auto insurance rates on the heels of the state’s largest insurer, State Farm, also lowering their rates. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says the three insurers combined account for just over 50 percent of all Louisiana auto policies.
Sports On Air Tody..
Houston Astros @ Cincinnati 5:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Monday 06/17/2019
News for Monday 061719
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Senator Bill Cassidy says the feds have finally relented and will allow those who suffered damage in the 2016 floods, but received SBA loans, access to Louisiana RESTORE grant money. Cassidy says if you make below 120 percent of the area-median-income, you will be immediately eligible for RESTORE, once the state writes some final rules. No word as to how long that might take.
State Police report a man from Winnfield was killed in a single vehicle crash Saturday afternoon on Highway 471 at French Cemetery Road. 36 year old Rufus Green was a passenger in a pickup truck being driven by a 17 year old. Troopers say the driver lost control and ran off the right side of the roadway, causing the truck to overturn. The driver and other 4 injured passengers were treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries The driver was cited for careless operation and no driver’s license.
The City of Alexandria has received a report indicating individuals approached a homeowner and identified themselves as Alexandria Water Department employees. They asked to enter the home in order to collect water samples. They were not employees.. The City of Alexandria reminds residents that any time city employees need to come to a person’s home or office they will always be wearing proper city-issued uniforms, will have city-issued ID badges with photo ID and workers should arrive in a city-marked vehicle. If someone approaches a residence and says they are a city employee but does not have the proper credentials and is not in a city-marked vehicle, please contact police immediately."
Tensions are rising in the Mideast once again as the US alleges Iran is responsible for several recent attacks against oil tankers in the vital oil shipping lane of the Strait of Hormuz.LSU Center for Energy Studies Director Dr. David Dismukes says the political instability will likely lead to a rise in fuel costs for Americans. Iran and the US have traded threats ever since President Trump canceled an agreement, to ease sanctions on the nation in exchange for international monitoring of it’s nuclear abilities.
Some Louisiana drivers will see their car insurance rates drop starting later this summer. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced last week that he has approved a 2.2% rate decrease for private passenger automobile policies through Progressive Security Insurance. Donelon says more than 175,000 of the company's policyholders will see the lower rate when they renew their policies, starting in September.
Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain has been released from jail after posting bond Friday, at the jail he used to run. Strain was indicted and arrested this on sex crime charges. Strain made few comments to the press as he left jail but stated he’ll have plenty to say in court.
Investigation Discovery ran a four-hour special over the weekend on the unsolved murders of eight women in the Jennings area between 2005 and 2009. A decade later the deaths remain unsolved. ID Executive Producer Liz Massie says they hope their in-depth look can change that. Not all of the deaths have been ruled murders, and no one was ever charged in the cases.
A corrections officer at the state penitentiary at Angola is facing one count of malfeasance. Prison officials report Christopher Allen of Woodville, Mississippi is a facing charge after investigators say he seized contraband from one prisoner and gave it to another. The contraband included money and cellphones. Allen had worked for the department since 2009 and has resigned following his arrest.
Over 260 dolphins have been stranded since February 1st in the Gulf and Mexico prompting NOAA to declare Unusual Mortality Event. Of the mammals they have been able to perform necropsies on 23-percent have shown skin lesions consistent with fresh water. There are concerns the recent openings of the Bonne Carre Spillway has increased the amount of fresh water and pollutants into the Gulf.
Disgruntled Pelicans star Anthony Davis gets his wish and is traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for young guns Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, along with the 4th pick in this year’s draft and a bevy of future 1st round selections. Locked On Pelicans Publisher Jake Madison says it’s not the deal many fans wanted, but it’s likely the best they could get.
New ULM athletic director Scott McDonald is not using the lack of money as an excuse for not having success. The latest USA Today report says ULM’s athletic budget ranks last among the 130 FBS schools. McDonald, who was interim AD for nine months before getting the job full-time, says he understands the challenges.
Good Morning... News For Friday 06/14/2019
News for Friday 061419
Compiled By Dave Graichen
56 year old Justin Walters of Colfax pleaded not guilty Thursday to rape, kidnapping and abuse charges in a case in which law enforcement officials believe there may be more victims who have not stepped forward. Walters entered his plea in the 35th Judicial District Court in Colfax. A pretrial conference was set for Nov. 14. His trial was set for Dec. 16.
The Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office is looking for 39- year old Oshay Booker in connection with the murder of the former Mayor of Winnfield. Police say Ronald “Cloud Goff was killed Tuesday night in a shooting on Spillway Road. The suspect is the stepson of the former mayor. Police say the suspect fled the scene in a forest green Honda Pilot and is considered armed and dangerous.
Bond has been set at $1.3 million for a former Lake Charles teacher who was accused last month of raping a 10-year-old student. The Calcasieu parish sheriff’s office says
after further investigation, 34 year old Deidre Smith was re-arrested Thursday for additional incidents with the victim. Smith is now facing 9 counts of first-degree rape and other sexually related charges.
31 year old Brian Middleton has been arrested by the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office for the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm with drugs, felony probation violation, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The GPSO said that hundreds of empty THC oil packages were found in the house. It appears Middleton was filling vaping devices with the THC oil and packaging them for sale.
Dads should expect to hit the mother lode this weekend. According to the National Retail Association, Americans are expected to spend more than ever on Father’s Day gifts this year. Sons and daughters are predicted to spend an average of $139 on gifts this year, an increase of 70-percent since 2009.
A high ranking NCAA official tells CBS Sports that at least six schools will be informed this summer about allegations of Level One violations. The accusations are based on the recently completed federal investigation into college basketball corruption. There were two trials and LSU’s Will Wade’s name surfaced in both of them. Tiger Rag Magazine Assistant Editor Tyler Nunez says it remains to be seen if LSU will receive a notice. LSU can fire Wade on cause if the NCAA alleges the men’s basketball program committed Level One violations and that also means athletics director Scott Woodward would get an automatic two-year contract extension.
A U-S House Committee has approved a bipartisan proposal to extend the National Flood Insurance Program for five years. Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says he’s concern the bill does not address the N-F-I-P’s long-term debt and because of how the legislation is structured, there’s a chance it can raise rates. There are about 500-thousand flood insurance policies in Louisiana.
A Trust for America’s Health report shows a dramatic spike in deaths due to drug abuse and suicide over the last twenty years, particularly among young people. CEO John Auerbach says in 2017 Louisiana had 2,000 deaths from alcohol, drugs, and suicide, a seven percent increase over 2016. He says those rates are some of the worst in the nation.
The state says Louisiana’s Medicaid program will spend about 400-million dollars less than expected this fiscal year, because of the tens of the thousands Medicaid recipients that were dropped from the program, because a computer check of their income found they were not eligible. Most of the 400-million is federal money and any state dollars saved has been spent elsewhere in the budget.
Louisiana judges will receive a pay raise this year and potentially a 12.5% salary hike over the next several years – under a new measure signed into law by the governor that is also expected to boost pay for sheriffs and other local officials. The measure, which was overwhelmingly backed in both chambers, gives judges a 2.5% pay raise July 1. The judiciary will pay the $1.8 million cost out of its existing surplus of roughly $50 million.
Governor Edwards awards 25 million for a road project in Monroe after a controversy erupted over the legislature not including northeast Louisiana in a signed 700-million-dollar road project plan. Monroe Representative Jay Morris says when the plan to use BP oil money to fund projects was announced in the legislature, politicians from every corner of the state wanted a piece of the action.
Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier is seeking the death penalty for Jason Reeves, who was convicted in 2004 of abducting a four-year-old girl, raping her and brutally killing her. The kidnapping occurred 18 years ago and DeRosier says it’s been a long time coming, but he’s now seeking an execution date of August 19th. Four-year-old Mary Jean Thigpen was taken from her family in Moss Bluff on November 1st, 2001.
A Louisiana man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the physical and psychological abuse of a young autistic woman. Jody Lambert's sentencing was the latest in court cases involving the woman who was kept in a cage, beaten, shot with a BB gun and forced to eat the cremation ashes of her dead mother before the abuse was discovered. Those cases have been playing out in state court in Tangipahoa Parish, where the abuse occurred, and in federal court in New Orleans.
The battle is over.. the Toronto Raptors are the NBA Champs. Last night Toronto defeated Golden State 110 to 110 to take the series 4 games to 2.
On the air tonight….
The Houston Astros begin a weekend series at home tonight against Toronto hear the entire series this weekend on 94.7 ESPN. Tonight’s airtime 6:35p
The NFL announced Thursday that it will be up to the replay official initiate reviews of potential pass interference calls in the final two minutes of each half and overtime. There was talk of shifting that responsibility to the coaches, but the coaches balked at that idea saying it could impact their timeout strategy.
The Saints concluded their three-day mandatory camp Thursday. Quarterback Drew Brees returned for the final two days after missing some time, because he and his wife are involved in a trial against a San Diego jeweler who allegedly defrauded them of millions of dollars. Brees says it was stressful to be away, because he knows the responsibility he has to the team.
Good Morning.... News For Thursday 06/13/2019
News for Thursday 061319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A Grant Parish grand jury has indicted 56 year old Justin Grant Walters of Colfax on multiple charges, including three counts each of rape and second-degree kidnapping. According to Grant Sheriff Steven McCain, Walters used his skills as a registered nurse to hold women against their will and beat and rape them. McCain says he believes there are more victims out there and he is asking them to come forward.
Rapides Parish School Board members met in a special board meeting yesterday to review all eight applications for superintendent of schools. One of the 8 candidates, Dr. Corwin Robinson apparently did not meet the qualifications for the position and was disqualified. The board will conduct first-round interviews with the remaining seven candidates on Monday and Wednesday of next week.
If all goes according to plans a November trial will be held for a Pineville man accused of killing his girlfriend, during a domestic violence incident back in a 2017. 61 year old Douglas Ponthieux will face a jury trial on Nov. 4. He's accused in the death of 56-year-old Connie Ducote Patterson, who was found unresponsive at a Shreveport Highway home on March 2, 2017.
The 21-year-old man accused of setting fire to three historically black churches in St. Landry Parish now faces federal hate crime charges. U-S Attorney David Joseph says attacks against a group because of their religious briefs will not be tolerated. Legal analyst Tim Meche expects the feds will be the first to prosecute Holden Matthews. Matthews is currently being held in jail without bond.
The American Gaming Association’s annual report showcasing 2018 casino revenue indicates Louisiana remained flat at just over two-and-a-half billion dollars, generating just over 600-million in total tax revenue for the state. The Baton Rouge market saw a steep 17.4% gaming revenue drop last year, likely due to the city-wide ban on smoking in bars and casinos put into place in May of 2018.
The Shreveport city council votes 6-1 to abolish a 2007 ordinance banning people from wearing pants below their waistlines. ACLU Louisiana Legal Director Katie Schwartzmann says the law was racially motivated and a violation of first amendment rights. Police data shows the ordinance resulted in the arrest of 699 black men and 12 white men, although it is unclear if anyone was arrested for the violation alone. Schwartzmann says the law could lead to a police interaction that might not end well.
Friday marks the two year anniversary of when Congressman Steve Scalise and three others were shot during a practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. Scalise welcomed U-S Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner who was also shot, but she’s credited with stopping the shooter. Scalise says the Capitol Police were the epitome of what’s great about law enforcement…
The House Judiciary Committee passes legislation permanently authorizing healthcare funds for 9/11 first responders who suffer health effects from the attack. Congressman Mike Johnson sits on the panel and says while the first responders fund has been well managed; it was time to guarantee their benefits long term.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s office says two people are dead after an airplane crashed on the levee of the Atchafalaya River. The F-A-A is now leading the investigation. No other details are known. The crash happened near the St. Martin Parish line.
Louisiana’s sole Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond has been named co-chair for former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Richmond says Biden is committed to doing the opposite of President Trump, and former Governor Jindal, by investing in the people through education and healthcare. There’s upwards of 20 Democrats running for the nomination.
A national study involving the Pennington Biomedical Research Center debunks the thought that taking vitamin D significantly lowers the chances of a person with pre-diabetes developing type 2 diabetes. Assistant LSU professor and local site investigator Daniel Hsia (Shaw) says there was a thought that vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory properties would have an effect on diabetes, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The study looked at 2,423 people in 22 centers across the nation and did find one potentially interesting avenue for future research. It’s estimated that 575,000 Louisianans have diabetes, and 1.3 million are at high risk of developing the disease.
The Pelican Institute says their study reveals the Medicaid expansion led tens of thousands of Louisianans who qualified for Medicaid to drop their private insurance. Pelican Vice President for Government Affairs Renee Amar says about 450,000 people enrolled under the expansion, at an average cost to the state of 6,286 dollars a year, and many previously had insurance. But Louisiana Department of Health Policy Director Jeanie Donovan says a commissioned study by LSU shows the private insurance market barely budged after the expansion, debunking Pelican’s claim. Donovan countered saying the clear majority of those who enrolled under the expansion are working, but low wage individuals who could not afford monthly premiums.
On air today… NBA Finals!
Toronto @ Golden State G6 Toronto Leads 3-2 7p 94.7 ESPN
After missing Tuesday’s minicamp practice Saints Quarterback Drew Brees was back on the practice field Yesterday. Brees has been in San Diego as he and his wife are involved in a lawsuit against a California jeweler claiming they were sold 15-million dollars’ worth of diamonds, but an appraiser says they paid roughly seven million dollars more than what the collection is worth.
The Anthony Davis trade talks are reportedly heating up as ESPN reports the Lakers and Celtics are talking with the Pelicans. L-A is apparently willing to give up the fourth overall pick as part of their package. Anthony Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, told Sports Illustrated that if the Celtics traded for the six-time All-Star, there’s a strong possibility he’ll only play one season in Boston. A-D is reportedly only interested in signing a long term deal with the Knicks or Lakers.
ULM has decided to remove the interim tag from Scott McDonald’s title and the former baseball player at the school will become the Warhawks permanent athletics director. McDonald has served as the interim A-D for the last nine months. In a statement, McDonald says they are fully committed to enhancing the student-athlete experience at ULM and they’ll continue to achieve great things in the classroom and community, while also pursuing championships.
In college baseball news, LSU Catcher Brock Mathis and relief pitcher Will Ripoll are looking to transfer.
Good Morning.. News For Wednesday 06/12/2019
News for Wednesday 061219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Last night the Pineville city council voted to put a renewal of an "ad valorem" tax on the ballot this November that funds public safety. It's a 10 mill renewal for services like fire and police. The money would raise nearly one million dollars annually to help pay for employee salaries and equipment among other things. Mayor Clarence Fields said the money is the bare minimum of what Pineville actually needs
Governor Edwards signed legislation yesterday that will bring ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft statewide. The DOTD is in the process of establishing the rules to the issuance of permits for the statewide framework for rideshare services like Lyft and Uber. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says he expects the process to be done by the end of the year.
With the legislative session in the books, the state’s political focus shifts to the governor’s race and the October 12th primary. It’s been a quiet race so far, with little ad spending from Governor Edwards and his two Republican opponents, but political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says expect that to change, and soon. A run-off would be necessary if none of the three candidates earn more than 50 percent of the vote.
PTSD has been added to the list of covered injuries for public sector first responders, giving them the ability to get worker’s comp coverage for the illness. Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti wrote the law that was signed by Governor Edwards, and says previous policy made a nightmare situation for many first responders suffering from PTSD even worse. The National Alliance for Mental Health estimates 3.5 percent of US adults suffer from PTSD.
After successfully thwarting a raise in the state’s minimum wage, the National Federation of Independent Business says their hoping for a new governor in the fall, but in the meantime small business optimism is up according to their latest survey. NFIB State Director Dawn Starns says business owners in Louisiana are feeling better now that the 2019 legislative session is in the rearview mirror.
Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain has been booked on rape and incest charges. Late last year allegations became public that Strain may have been involved in sex crimes. The accusations came out of a federal investigation into a work-release program run by the St. Tammany Sheriff’s office.
The Louisiana Watershed Initiative is hosting an Interstate Summit on watershed management with representatives from Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas in an effort to mitigate flood risks. State Office of Community executive director Pat Forbes says the event in Bossier City is the first of its kind in Louisiana. Forbes says towns and parishes already work together in combatting flood risks, now it’s time to further the efforts by working with other states. Congress has allocated $1.2 billion in federal dollars as a result of the 2016 flooding that are helping to avoid future disasters.
ESPN reports the Saints and defensive end Cameron Jordan have agreed on a three-year, 52-million dollar contract extension. Jordan has two more years on his current deal, so this would keep him with the Black and Gold through the 2023 season. ESPN also reports Jordan would receive 42-million dollars in guaranteed earnings. Jordan will turn 30 years-old in a month and he’s coming off a season in which he recorded a dozen sacks.
Pelicans Executive Vice President David Griffin said today there is no urgency to trade Anthony Davis before the June 20th NBA draft. If the Pels unload Davis before the draft, it could result in more draft picks for New Orleans. Meanwhile, Griffin plans to meet soon with Zion Williamson and his family. The Pels are expected to take the former Duke star with the number one pick.
On the air today…
Houston Astros vs Milwaukee 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 06/11/2019
News for Tuesday 061119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A cold front will bring the Bayou State cooler temperatures and lower humidity for the next few days. Davyon Hill with the National Weather Service in Shreveport says says the heat and humidity will return Friday afternoon, so get outside the next few days and enjoy this brief return to spring like weather…
State Police report a Sunday night single vehicle crash killed a woman from Alexandria
The crash, which occurred on Interstate 49, north of LA Hwy 174, claimed the life of 52 year old Delissa Horn. Authorities believe it was a tire failure that led to the crash. Horn was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.
The battle to deter hazing on college campuses continues with a bill on the way to the Governor’s desk authored by Lafayette Representative Nancy Landry. It revises the state’s current anti-hazing laws based on the recommendations of law enforcement, and requires organizations to report hazing much sooner in the process.
The Louisiana Democratic Presidential Primary has been pushed back a month to April 4th, 2020, making this cycle’s Louisiana primary the latest in two decades. Some are concerned the change could leave the state voting after a primary winner has all but been decided.
The 2019 Legislative Session marks the first increase in base funding for higher education in a decade. Lawmakers appropriated an additional 47-million dollars to help with mandated costs for universities and colleges. Higher Ed Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed says this time lawmakers were attentive to their issues…
On the heels of Governor Edwards’ signature of abortion restrictions, a poll is out showing 42 percent of Democratic voters would like another Democrat to challenge the incumbent in the gubernatorial race. Only 43 percent of Democrats say they would not like to see another Democrat, Among Democrats under 35-years-old, 64 percent support having another Dem option in the race. 60 percent of Democrats opposed his signing of the restrictions. We Ask America, who ran the poll, is reportedly a Republican friendly polling firm.
Governor Edwards signs legislation allowing eyewitness identification experts the right to testify in criminal trials. Innocence Project New Orleans Staff Attorney Kia Hayes says this policy brings the state in line with most other states and could cut down on the instances of false identifications. Hayes says 28 people that they know of, have been convicted on a case of mistaken identity.
LSU scientists estimate the 2019 Dead Zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico will be the second largest since measurements began in 1985. The dead zone is a low oxygen area in the Gulf that threatens living resources, like fish, shrimp and crabs. Agricultural practices in the Midwest created the dead zone some 50 years ago.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is urging everyone in southwest Louisiana to participate in a hurricane evacuation study conducted by LSU’s Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. Institute Director Brant Mitchell says the survey is looking for information to better assist in evacuation operations.
We go to game 6 in the NBA finals. That after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Toronto Raptors last night 106 to 105. Toronto still leads the series 3 games to 2. Game six takes place Thursday.. Airtime 7p on 94.7 ESPN
ESPN reports that the Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations, David Griffin, is open to a multi-team trade in order to get the biggest return possible for trading All-Star Anthony Davis. It’s reported the Lakers, Clippers, Nets and Knicks have all asked about A-D who is entering the final year of his contract.
Meanwhile, the Pelicans continue to add to their front office by hiring former UCONN and WNBA star Swin Cash. The 39-year-old Cash won three WNBA titles and two national championships with UCONN. According to ESPN, Cash will scout, help with player development and perform other roles.
The Saints have reportedly signed cornerback Kayvon Webster. The former third round pick in 2013 has played for the Broncos, Rams and Texans, but injuries have prevented him from playing more than 11 games in a season.
Minicamp begins today for the Saints and all three practices are open to the public, weather permitting. The practices are from noon until 1:20 in the afternoon.
On the air today….
Houston Astros vs Milwaukee 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Monday 06/10/2019
News for Monday 061019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
It started with an argument early Sunday morning and ended, according to authorities with a Bunkie woman shooting her boyfriend in the throat. The APSO says the unidentified man is in intensive care. Police arrested 27 year old Brittney Franklin on a charge of attempted second degree murder. She was booked into the Avoyelles Parish Jail.
Authorities in Evangeline Parish report two inmates who escaped from the GEO Facility in Pine Prairie on Sunday morning have been recaptured. The two men were captured in Oakdale at a convenience store and have been returned to the facility. Both will face simple escape and possibly other charges.
A proposal to abolish the death penalty failed to pass this year, but proponents are more optimistic about its chances going forward, citing the progress it made this year. New Iberia Representative Terry Landy says his bill got further this year than ever before, proof that legislative opinion may be shifting. Landry adds the incoming generation of lawmakers, set to replace a third of the legislature that is term limited, may be more progressive in their views of this issue. The death penalty ban failed to pass, but so too did an effort to make it easier to get the drugs needed to carry out the death penalty.
Governor Edwards signs legislation to extend foster care to age. The voluntary program would allow the Department of Children and Family Services to assist in the transition to adulthood. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says for those that elect to stay in foster care, they can receive various forms of aid from the state.
Previously, the law ended support at 18, which meant some of those in the foster care program were not able to finish high school. Walters says the change will increase the likelihood of better outcomes.
Legislation barring kids under the age of 16 from getting married awaits Governor Edwards. Kids aged 16 and 17 will need judicial approval and parental consent before getting married. An amendment to allow anyone under 16 to get married, but with judicial approval was defeated.
CBD sales were legalized in the same legislation that allows industrial hemp production, and the ATC is now accepting applications from retailers interested in selling the products. ATC Commissioner Juana Lombard says retailers will need to apply as they would for an alcohol license, but no need for a newspaper posting. Retailers will receive a temporary permit, which will last through January. A permanent license can be obtained by working with the Department of Health on labeling requirements. Lombard says the kinds of CBD products available once retailers begin selling will be limited by what is FDA approved.
LSU’s baseball season is over, as Florida State advanced to the College World Series, 5-4, on Sunday night. Florida State (41-21) will face either Arkansas or Ole Miss in its opening game of the CWS later this week.
Good Morning... News For Friday 06/07/2019
News for Friday 060719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
We note the passing of another Louisiana Icon with word yesterday that Dr John had died of a heart attack. Malcolm John Rebennack Jr assumed the persona of Dr. John the Night Tripper in the late 1960s, in his autobiography. "Under a Hoodoo Moon" it was revealed Rebennack, in his younger years, was gangsta to a degree that would likely shock Lil Wayne. But over the course of a remarkable life and career, he evolved into another New Orleans Legend. Dr. John was 77.
The opening of the Morganza Spillway has been pushed back again, this time with no new date set. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Ricky Boyett says the river levels are coming in a little lower than originally projected. Boyett says it is possible the opening will still have to take place depending on weather conditions to the north. Officials are monitoring the levels on at the Red River Landing, which is north of the spillway, to make sure the river level does not surpass the 62-foot mark. The postponement is good news for farmers whose crops would have been lost
Many legislators were off to a late start Thursday as south Louisiana was swamped today with a severe weather system creating localized flooding and even tornadoes. State climatologist Barry Keim says the system dumped dangerous amounts of water on some communities…
37-year-old William Johnson died during the heavy rain event in Baton Rouge when his car flooded. Keim says the severe amount of rainfall was more than initially predicted, but this whole weather system has been unusual from the start. A possible tornado also flipped over cars at Baton Rouge General Hospital.
Livingston Parish Sheriff’s spokesperson Lori Steele says teams are surveying the wind damage from what is believed to be a tornado outbreak in various areas of the parish.
Before the close of business yesterday, the Louisiana House unanimously approved the $30 billion state operating budget for next year, which aligned with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ agenda for $1,000 teacher and $500 support staff pay raises and a contested $39 million block grant for public school districts. The Legislature’s budget deal also included boosts to higher education spending and early childhood education after years of standstill funding and cuts to these agencies and programs. It was the first significant statewide pay raise for teachers in a decade. The budget will take effect on July 1, 2019.
Governor Edwards celebrated the end of the first legislative season of his tenure and says the passage of most of his legislative agenda points the state in the right direction.
Edwards says the over 300-million-dollar surplus the state ran last year made for smoother sailing when crafting a budget, as opposed to previous years’ fiscal chaos…
Opponents say the surplus is evidence that the Legislature did not need to pass a .45 percent sales tax renewal last year.
The 2019 Legislative session is in the books. House Republican Chairman Lance Harris feels overall it’s been a great session. Harris says among the most positive pieces of legislation was the controversial fetal heartbeat abortion ban, which has already been signed into law by Governor Edwards. But he bemoaned the fact that once again, legislation targeting the state’s sky high auto insurance rates crashed and burned…
Governor Edwards signs industrial hemp legalization into law, potentially clearing a path for the first crop in Louisiana to be planted early next year. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says if everything goes according to plan, Louisiana will join dozens of other states for the next planting season. The feds are expected to release their requirements for hemp regulation later this year.
Louisiana will shuffle election dates in 2020, moving the presidential primary from March to April because of Easter-related scheduling conflicts. Lawmakers made the adjustment in an elections bill sent to the governor. Under the change, Louisiana's presidential and municipal primary will be held April 4 next year, rather than its originally scheduled March 7 date. After 2020, the primary will revert back to the first Saturday in March.
Some huge names will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday in Natchitoches. Super Bowl winning quarterback Peyton Manning, former LSU football Coach Les Miles and former La Tech quarterback Matt Dunigan will also be enshrined.
The induction ceremonies can be seen live on C-S-T on Saturday night.
LSU and Florida State will meet tomorrow in a best of three Super Regional Series. The winner will advance to the College World Series. The Seminoles shocked college baseball observers by easily winning the Athens Regional. Airtime 1:30 tomorrow afternoon on KSYL 970AM /104.9FM
Good Morning.... News For Thursday 06/06/2019
News for Thursday 060619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The unsettled weather pattern continues across the state today with widespread coverage of thunderstorms, especially across the southern portions of the state. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a storm system over the Gulf is a contributing factor to the current conditions. Keim says the Storm Prediction Center has Louisiana in the marginal category for tornados, hail, and high winds with this system today and tomorrow. The wet weather is expected to continue through Sunday, with possibly a brief break on Saturday.
Today is the final day of the 2019 legislative session. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says between a funding increase and a pay raise, K-12 education and teachers are clear winners this year, along with those who backed them. Labor issues once again found little support again. Governor Edwards pushed for a minimum wage increase from the current 7.25 an hour to nine dollars an hour. That was shot down early in the session. While most issues have been settled, it remains up in the air as to whether or not the Governor will sign a 700-million-dollar road project bill that uses BP oil spill settlement money. Pinsonat says politically it’s a double-edged sword.
The Legislature approves a constitutional amendment that would allow voters on the 2020 Presidential ballot to decide if the state does not protect the right to an abortion. The amendment would not protect that right in cases of rape or incest. Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell says it’s necessary to prevent a rogue judge from protecting the right to an abortion in Louisiana. This comes on the heel of a fetal heartbeat abortion ban that was signed into law by Governor Edwards. The law would not take effect unless Roe vs. Wade is overturned.
Legislation allowing those with a medical marijuana prescription access to an inhalable form of the treatment is headed to the Governor’s desk. Bill sponsor Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says the pill or oil-based forms of the treatment sometimes aren’t fast acting enough to respond to an urgent situation, such as an episode of PTSD.
A Fort Polk soldier, Specialist Logan Kyle of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, was sentenced Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to the October 2018 murder of his wife and unborn son. Kyle was sentenced to life behind bars.
An investigation by the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana Probation and Parole led to the arrest of four people in the Springhill community. Sasha Delaney of Pineville, Tony “T.C.” Carter of Winnfield, Julius Layfield of Pollock and Matthew Dodge of Dry Prong have all been charged with a long list of drug charges.
The Saint Hall of Fame Class of 2019 was announced Wednesday with Reggie Bush, Marcus Colston, and former Governor Kathleen Blanco receiving the distinction at a ceremony this October. Blanco was instrumental in getting the Saints back to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina by pushing for repairs to the storm damages of the Superdome. Blanco, who is currently battling cancer, was on hand for the announcement and describes the induction as a huge honor.
The Louisiana Senate voted 37-0 Wednesday to tighten hazing laws since incidents keep occurring on college campuses even though lawmakers took several steps to crack down on the problems last year. The bill approved by the Senate would penalize universities and student organizations that fail to immediately report hazing incidents to law enforcement, and it would allow campus police to investigate off-campus hazing incidents. The Legislature elevated hazing from a misdemeanor to a felony last year.
A Taco Bell in Slidell ran out of both soft and crunchy taco shells on Monday. One patron felt the snafu was an egregious violation and warranted a call to Slidell Police. Slidell Police spokesperson Daniel Seuzaneau says initially the department thought it was a joke. Authorities have posted their account of the story on social media, which has since gone viral with over 2,000 shares. Seuzaneau says others have chimed in on Taco Bell’s inventory woes.
Dates and times are set for the Saints four preseason games. New Orleans will host Minnesota on August 9th at 7 PM, visit the Chargers on August 18th for a 3 PM kick-off. Take on the Jets in New York at 6:30 on August 24th and then host Miami in the preseason finale on August 29th at 7.
Good Morning.. News For Wednesday 06/05/2019
News for Wednesday 060519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
A flash flood watch is in effect for southwest Louisiana, central Louisiana, and Acadiana as the state is expected to see steady rains over the next several days. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a trough has formed along the coast, and is expected to bring rains across the entire state. Keim says after two weeks of some incredibly dry weather, our fortunes are expected to change starting today. Some areas of the state could see 2 to 4 inches of rain.
Also, A tropical disturbance is working its way up the Mexican Gulf Coast , and there’s a 40 percent chance the disturbance could develop into Tropical Storm Barry. If you’re worried the deluge could exacerbate the ongoing flood risk on the Mississippi River, Keim says don’t worry about it, because the water we’re about to get won’t be getting into that waterway. Keim adds the water putting south Louisiana levees at risk is flowing in from the north.
Colorado State University hurricane researchers are predicting a near-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2019, which is only a slight increase from the initial forecast issued in early April. The research team calls for 13 named storms this season. Researcher Jhordanne Jones says conditions in the Pacific could impact the Atlantic season.
Jones says what causes the season to be average is the uncertainty of the Pacific to continue to warm up.
KALB TV reports Roger Boggs, the former CEO of Revolution Aluminum (formerly American Specialty Alloys), who was supposed to bring a $1.5 billion aluminum plant to Pineville back in 2015, has been declared "indigent" by the 9th Judicial District Public Defender's Office. Boggs is charged with bank fraud for allegedly defrauding Red River Bank, and most recently, a charge of issuing worthless checks over $25,000.
President Trump approves the state’s request for federal assistance to help rebuild public property and infrastructure from the EF-3 tornado that hit Ruston in April. Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker says over five-hundred structures were damaged in Ruston and about one-hundred of them were totaled. He says the other issue they are dealing with his fraudulent contractors. Walker says most of their expenses are from repairing the city’s electrical grid and fiber system, plus debris removal.
A bill that would direct 700 million dollars in BP oil spill settlement money to road projects gains final passage. Houma Representative Tanner Magee says the money will find its way to every corner of the state, and target projects with the greatest economic impacts. Magee says when federal matching dollars are accounted for, the total investment could top a billion dollars. One of the roads that will benefit locally is Sugarhouse Road in Alexandria. That project has been stalled for years.
Legislation to ban the handheld use of cellphones while behind the wheel is dead for the session. This is the second year Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval has pursued the measure. Huval says the bill has built momentum, but met its fate when Senator Regina Barrow changed her vote, now moving to defer the bill, which had no objection. Huval says he will continue with the efforts next year.
An attempt to pull a bill out of House Appropriations that would have paved the way for sports betting legalization failed in the House on a 41 to 48 vote, but it’s not the end of the line for the increasingly controversial topic. The House will take up a vote on a combined fantasy sports/sports betting bill today. If that legislation fails to get the votes, it will head into a conference committee with a looming 6pm Thursday deadline for the session approaching.
The state legislature has given final approval to a bill that will create a new crime of harassment of a school or recreation athletic contest official. If someone is found guilty of threatening or injuring an official, he or she could receive up to 90 days in jail, along with mandatory counseling and community service work.
Senator John Kennedy says he’s got legislation that would address the raw deals smaller news media outlets are getting from social media giants who use their content. Kennedy wants to empower small media outlets by temporarily suspending antitrust laws for them. He says this would allow them to collectively negotiate for more profit sharing from companies that use their content.
Final legislative approval came on Monday for a measure to give a pay raise of $1000 to teachers, $500 to school support workers, and $39 million in block grant funding for school districts. President of the Louisiana Association of Educators Debbie Meaux says while it is a modest amount, teachers are ecstatic that lawmakers recognize the importance of the raise. The legislative instrument results in a $140 million increase to annual school spending.
LSU’s Super Regional Series against Florida State will begin Saturday at 2 PM at Alex Box Stadium. Game Two will be at 5 o’ clock on Sunday and if the third game is needed, it will be played on Monday night at 7:30.
The Pelicans are reportedly listening to trade offers for disgruntled superstar Anthony Davis. Newly hired Pelicans executive David Griffin reportedly met with Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, last week to see if the six-time All-Star had a change of heart and wanted to stay in New Orleans. But there have been reports that Davis is still seeking a trade, even though the Pels own the top overall pick in the draft.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees was not at Tuesday’s session of organized team activities because he was reportedly in San Diego dealing with a lawsuit. Court records indicate that Brees and his wife are suing a San Diego-based jeweler. It gave backup Teddy Bridgewater a chance to run the first team offense.
LSU teammates Zack Hess and Todd Peterson were both taken in 7th round of MLB Draft Monday night.
The Independence Bowl is reportedly losing its tie-in with the SEC. Starting in 2020 the annual football game in Shreveport will have teams from the ACC and PAC-12 play in the bowl game. In 2020, 2022 and 2024 the SEC will have teams playing in the Las Vegas Bowl and the Gasprilla Bowl in Tampa.
On air tonight..
Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs with Toronto @ Golden State airtime 7p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 06/04/2019
News for Tuesday 060419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Authorities in Natchitoches are investigating the suspicious death of a pregnant woman in Clarence. Detectives with the NPSO have identified the deceased as 22 year old Elonzeya Teal of Campti. Teal was pronounced dead at the scene. The body is being sent for an autopsy to determine the manner of death. Late last night, the NPSO announced the arrest of 25 year old Christopher Houston Jr. of Campti in connection with the death of his wife and unborn child.
A three-year fight in the Louisiana Legislature over creation of statewide regulations for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft has ended with the proposal's passage. The measure by Houma Republican Rep. Tanner Magee is aimed at expanding the services to more areas, particularly smaller, rural communities. A 98-0 House vote Monday sent the legislation to Governor John Bel Edwards for his signature.
The House votes unanimously to give K-12 teachers a 1,000 dollar pay raise, support personnel a 500 dollar pay raise, and approves 39 million dollars in new public-school funding. Monroe Representative Katrina Jackson says the state is long overdue for an increase in education spending. The pay raises plus additional funding will cost the state an extra 140 million dollars a year and will be permanent, rather than a one year stipend.
The state Senate breathed new life into the effort to legalize sports betting by allowing a hitchhiker amendment, then approving Monday the newly revamped legislation. Senators voted 24-13 for fantasy sports regulation, House Bill 459, which picked up a last-minute rider on the Senate floor: the sports betting legalization language from a measure sidelined last week. The amended legislation now returns to the Louisiana House for consideration of the changes.
The Senate amends a proposal to let medical marijuana patients use cannabis inhalers that results in the measure’s favorable passage. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell spoke in favor of the bill, saying providing a remedy for debilitating issues when other drugs fail to help is the fair thing to do. Winnfield Senator Gerald Long was on the opposing end of the measure, insisting that medical marijuana was paving a pathway to a slippery slope toward recreational marijuana. Following the 31-7 favorable vote, the bill is heading back to the House.
The legislative battle over whether Louisiana should have a minimum age to get married continues. Legislators are pushing to set the minimum age at 17. An amendment was introduced that would preserve the lack of minimum age, but would require 16 and 17-year-olds have parental consent for marriage and judicial review for younger individuals.
Lafayette Representative Nancy Landry says she’s for sending the bill to a conference committee prior to advancing the measure any further.
The Senate passes legislation legalizing industrial hemp production and CBD oil, but the upper chamber packed it with new amendments, so the proposal still needs House approval. Franklin Senator Bret Allain says farmers are itching to grow hemp, as the prices for rice, cotton, and soybeans are currently low.
The Corps of Engineers says they’re delaying the opening of the Morganza Spillway to Sunday, the second time the structure’s much talked about opening has been pushed back. Corps spokesperson Ricky Boyett says it’s due to recent reports that the river’s high-water mark will be arriving three days later than previously thought. Just outside the State Capitol building you can see the water pushing up close to the top of the levee system. Boyett says the river level in Baton Rouge has been up and down but is projected to stay within safe levels through the end of the week.
Authorities in Hammond report a 13-year-old boy is accused of stabbing a woman to death in Hammond early Sunday. 30 year old Ceirra Miller died from stab wounds to her neck and head. Investigators identified the suspect as a boy who "was in Miller's care for the evening." Authorities did not release the juvenile's identity.
A Baton Rouge teenager was arrested Monday after authorities said he shot his father multiple times, causing injuries that will likely prove fatal. The father remains hospitalized with gunshot wounds to his head and torso. 17 year old Anthony Templet is accused of retrieving two handguns from his father's bedroom and then firing multiple shots during an argument. He confessed to the shooting in an interview with detectives.
LSU catcher Saul Garza was voted as the Baton Rouge Regional’s co-Most Outstanding Player as he helped the Tigers defeat Southern Miss six to four last night. The Tigers advance to the Super Regionals where they’ll face Florida State.
On The Air Tuesday June 4th
Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners 8:30p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Monday 06/03/2019
News for Monday 060319
Compiled By Dave Graichen
We note the passing over the weekend of a Louisiana Legend. Leah Chase was know by many as the Queen of Creole Cuisine. But, she was also a civil rights pioneer. Leah Chase died Saturday, surrounded by her family. She was 96.
The state Senate approves a 30-billion dollar budget for next fiscal year and the controversy over the fetal heartbeat abortion bill spilled into the debate. New Orleans Senator and chairwoman of the state Democratic Party , Karen Carter Peterson, tried to steer more money towards the state’s foster care system, but it was shot down by her colleagues. If the federal courts uphold a similar law in Mississippi, than abortions would be outlawed in Louisiana once doctors detects the heartbeat of a fetus, usually six weeks into a pregnancy. The House and Senate still have to settle their differences with the spending plan.
Governor Edwards proposal to provide teachers with a one-thousand dollar pay raise and also provide public schools with 39-million dollars in block grant funding received approval from a key committee in the House. The Appropriations Committee okayed the proposal, despite concerns it may cause funding problems in future years. House Republicans rejected a similar proposal earlier this year over concerns the state can’t afford this type of spending.
Teachers may not know what kind of pay raise their getting yet, but judges are celebrating as a 2.5 percent pay raise, with potential for a 2.5 percent raise every year for the next five years. That as a result of bill that has received final legislative passage.
A study by LSU Economist Dr. Loren Scott indicated Louisiana judges were 2.5 percent behind the southern regional average in pay. The raise will cost 1.8 million in the first year and could grow to 9.5 million if the State Supreme Court approves raises in each of the next five years.
A bill prohibiting handheld use of cellphones while behind the wheel has cleared the House and is being heard in Senate Judiciary Committee C today. From there, it would need final passage on the Senate floor before the session wraps up on Thursday. Last year, a similar effort got hung up, but Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval is confident this year will be different. Current law only calls for no handheld cell phone use while driving in a school zone.
A bill to bring Uber and Lyft ride sharing services to Alexandria and rural areas is close to final legislative passage. The proposal has died in the Senate the last two years, but over the weekend the upper chamber approved the measure 34-to-1. Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau (Lou-NO) says this legislation can help reduce drunk driving deaths among college students. The lone Senator to vote against the measure was Kenner Republican Danny Martiny, who questioned why Lyft and Uber would not be regulated by the Public Service Commission, which currently regulates taxi cabs. The bill still needs House approval of changes made by the Senate, but that is expected to happen.
Houma Representative Beryl Amadee withdraws her bill that would extend Stand Your Ground legal protections to houses of worship amid concerns from opponents who say the legislation could extend to interpersonal conflicts, and poorly defines what a “justifiable threat” is in a church.
The House Ag Committee advances a Senate-approved bill that would prohibit Louisiana manufacturers from labeling foods such as of cauliflower rice as rice when it doesn’t contain rice. Opponents of the bill say it will also be a hindrance to manufacturers who specialize in producing plant-based meat imitation products.
The bill moved forward without any objecting votes.
Beer and wine could be available for purchase in the general seating areas in Tiger Stadium this year as the SEC has lifted its stadium wide ban on alcohol sales. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says LSU has been a driving force behind this rule change.
The policy change gives the 14 schools in the SEC the ability to draw up their own alcohol sale policy.
AAA is warning drivers to be extra cautious on the roads this summer as teens off from school pack the roadways. Spokesperson Don Redman says there’s a 17 percent increase in fatal teen crashes during this period relative to other times in the year.
The top three killers of teen drivers are speeding at 28 percent of all fatalities, drunk driving at 17 percent, and distraction at 9 percent. Redman says parents need to set a good example for all three, particularly distraction.
Port Allen based Holy Family Catholic School Principle Michael Comeau was arrested in Washington D.C. Friday morning while in the Capital for a school field trip for allegedly getting highly intoxicated at a strip club, refusing to pay his bill, and then standing drunkenly in the roadway and refusing to move when police arrived on the scene. Comeau is an award winning educator who’s previously received the prestigious Milken award.
Police are investing an arson and vandalism case at a Lake Charles church that occurred May 22nd. The church security camera caught a suspect walking up to the church with a five gallon bucket of some kind of liquid, and filmed them as they attempted to kick in the glass door. After failing to do so, the suspect kicks in a side window, tosses the liquid in, and follows it up by throwing items he lit on fire on the liquid. A vehicle has also been caught on film. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Lake Charles Police.
LSU will play in a Super Regional series for a 14th time in program history as the Fighting Tigers won the Baton Rouge Regional last night with a six to four victory over Southern Miss. LSU will host Florida State in the Super Regionals, which will start on either Friday or Saturday.
Good Morning... News For Friday 05/31/2019
News for Friday 053119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
KALB reports A trial for John Scott, 44 of Alexandria, for a March 2018 crash on Broadway Avenue that claimed the lives of 27 year old Darlicia Smith and her 6 year old son M'Kye has been continued until October 21. Scott is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, and a single count each of reckless operation, driving under suspension, running a red light, possession of marijuana, and vehicular negligent injuring. The trial by judge was set for the week of June 10. But, on Thursday the decision was made to continue it to give more time for preparation. A status conference is set for September 9.
A new survey said that Louisiana ranks near the bottom when it comes to finding a job. The survey conducted by wallethub.com claimed that Louisiana ranks 47 in the nation when it comes to finding a job. Louisiana ranked 47 in job opportunities, 39 in employment growth, 47 in unemployment rate, 42 in median annual income, 46 in the average length of the work week, 32 in average commute time, and 47 in job satisfaction.
Louisiana becomes the 5th state to enact a fetal heartbeat abortion ban after Governor Edwards signs the prohibition into law. The law’s implementation is pending a legal challenge to a similar Mississippi law. The deep south’s only Democratic Governor says he’s always been upfront about his pro-life views. Before the governor signed the ban, hundreds of pro-choice demonstrators packed the capitol steps and voiced their opposition to the ban, led in chants by Planned Parenthood organizers…
An effort to reduce the state sales tax from the current 4.45 percent to four-percent over a four-year period died in a Senate Committee. Lawmakers settled on the current rate last year as part of a budget deal to avoid significant cuts. New Orleans Senator Karen Carter Peterson says residents are expecting the state to pay for a variety of things and the tax deal approved last year, helps the government fund those wishes. Proponents argue the state is running a surplus of tax revenue and should give that money back.
A Senate-approved resolution that contains a 1,000-dollar teacher pay raise and an additional 39 million dollars for public education passes through the House Education Committee. The Senate says the state has the money to afford the 39-million-dollar block grant, but House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry says that will be confirmed when the proposal moves next to the House Appropriations Committee. The resolution includes a 500 dollar raise for support personnel.
A bill that aims to notify restaurant consumers of the origin of crawfish and shrimp has sailed through the Senate. Bill author Larose Representative Truck Gisclair says the bill will make a restaurant use the same font and letter size on the menu to make it clear if the food didn’t come from the Gulf. Gisclair says initially the Louisiana Restaurant Association was in opposition of the bill, but he believes they’ve reached a happy medium that is a win for both restaurants and consumers.
Tomorrow marks the start of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center predicts the season should be near-average. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the latest forecast calls for between two and four major hurricanes, which would be Category 3 or higher, with three being the long term average. While the peak of hurricane season is typically in September, Keim still recommends having a plan and supplies ready now, as Louisiana is not immune to early season storms.
The Morganza Spillway opening has been delayed to Monday, June 6th but concerns are still rising over the effect of the floodway’s opening on the aquaculture of southern bayou parishes. LSU AgCenter Aquaculture Professor Greg Lutz says crawfishermen could be in short term trouble, but the crawfish population should be okay after the flooding.
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office is mourning the loss of one of its deputies who was killed in a one-vehicle wreck on his way to work Thursday morning. Sheriff Sid Geautreaux says 42-year-old Lt. Steven Whitstine was a deputy for eight years.
An Ascension Parish priest accused of stealing about $79,000 from his church has been arrested in Texas. Father Desmond Ohankwere was with the St. Catherine Church in Donaldsonville for about two to three years. Authorities are working on getting him back to Louisiana.
NOLA-dot-com reports Governor John Bel Edwards texted LSU officials about whether basketball player Javonte Smart would play again after reports surfaced that Smart may have received money beyond his athletic scholarship. Edwards’ lawyer says the governor only asked, because a journalist had asked the governor about it.
LSU Freshman right-hander Landon Marceaux will start on the hill for the Tigers when they face Stony Brook tonight in the opening round of the Baton Rouge Regional. Marceaux has been really good in his last three starts, posting an ERA of 1.45 in those three starts.
McNeese and Southern have arrived at their NCAA Baseball Regional Destinations. The Cowboys baseball team arrived in Nashville wearing cowboy hats, boots and Mardi Gras Beads. They’ll face Indiana State tomorrow afternoon. Southern faces Mississippi State at noon on the SEC Network. Jags third baseman Tyler LaPorte was named a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball today.
LSU’s first two home football games will kick off at 6:30. The Tigers open the season against Georgia Southern on August 31st, two weeks later, Northwestern State visits LSU for another 6:30 kick-off.
The Ragin Cajuns versus Mississippi State football game in the Superdome on August 31st gets an 11 AM kick off. When Louisiana Tech hosts Grambling State on September seventh. That game will be televised by the NFL Network. Tech will be the first Conference USA team to appear on the NFL Network since the announcement of the partnership between the league and network.
The NFL Network will also televise the Louisiana Tech-Southern Miss game on October 19th. That will also be a 2:30 kickoff in Ruston
Good Morning.... News For Thursday 05/30/2019
News for Thursday 053019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Legislation that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected obtained final passage and is headed to the governor’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law. The debate was intense when Baton Rouge Representative Ted James attempted, and failed, to bring an amendment offering exceptions in the case of rape or incest. The measure is not expected to take effect anytime soon. Under the proposal, the restriction of abortions would not be enforceable until a federal appeals court rules on upholding a similar law in Mississippi.
The APD reports K’ci Rue turned himself in on Wednesday, following a shooting on Bacon Street last week that killed one person and wounded four others. Rue was arrested on four counts of armed robbery with a firearm, four counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder.
Local authorities have arrested a Pineville man, 58 year old Mark Evans on three counts of possession of Pornography Involving Juveniles Under the Age of Thirteen. Wednesday, agents executed a search warrant at Evans' home. They seized electronic devices that are subject to further forensic examination, which may lead to additional charges. The arrest was the result of a joint investigation.
The State Police announced yesterday that they will be setting up sobriety check points Friday night and early Saturday morning across Rapides parish. State Police Spokesman Scott Moreau says the mission will be to intercept and incarcerate impaired drivers before they can cause injury or death to themselves, their passengers, or members of the public. He says they are asking the public to make the mature decision and to designate a sober driver.
As families hit the road for summer vacations, the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office would like to remind motorists to buckle up as part of their Click It or Ticket Campaign. Sheriff Hilton announced the receipt of a grant through the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission to conduct additional traffic safety enforcement targeting seatbelt use during this campaign, which runs through June 2nd.
State officials found guilty of sexual harassment could be set to foot much of the bill for their misdeeds if Senate approved legislation gets final approval on the House floor before the end of the session. Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt says her legislation was inspired by a Legislative Auditor’s report that showed taxpayers have been on the hook for millions of dollars in costs associated with sexual harassment suits.
A bill banning drivers from holding their phone while behind the wheel is headed to the Senate after an at-times heated discussion on the House floor. Slidell Representative Kevin Pearson says the legislation will save money on insurance rates, but more importantly, likely save the lives of Louisiana drivers, particularly teens. Opponents say the proposal is government overreach.
The House and Senate are at odds over whether or not to include a 39-million-dollar funding increase for public schools, on top of a 1,000-1,200 dollar pay raise for teachers. A portion of the 39 million would help keep increased benefit costs from a pay raise from falling back on educators; the rest goes to the schools.
A proposal attempting to make Louisiana the first state in the South to legalize recreational use of marijuana failed in the House Criminal Justice Committee. Kevin Caldwell of Common Sense NOLA says marijuana use is increasing and the state is not getting any benefits from it. Tax revenues from the sale of legal pot would have gone towards public schools, TOPS and better roads. After about a ten-minute discussion on the proposal, the marijuana legalization bill was soundly defeated.
Legislation is heading to the governor’s desk to extend Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans’ license with the state through 2054. Harrah’s will pay millions of dollars more to the state and city for having Louisiana’s only land-based casino license. A similar bill died last year over concerns that the state was not getting a good deal. Prior to this year’s debate, the legislature hired a consultant to study the market value of the casino license.
Louisiana's congressional delegation has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help farmers whose crops are in the path of the Morganza Spillway, which will be opened Sunday and wipe out anything planted in the Atchafalaya River Basin floodway. Congressman Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, Louisiana's only member of Congress on an agriculture committee, led the delegation's request. Opening the Morganza Spillway will flood about 25,000 acres of crops and aquaculture.
The Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill that places signs on I-10 at the Texas and Mississippi borders declaring that motorists are entering the Home of the Who Dat Nation. New Orleans Senator Wesley Bishop says a metal banner with the message will be added to existing road signs, and they will be funded by fans. Originally, the bill called for I-10 to be renamed the Who Dat Nation Highway, but lawmakers forgot it was already named in honor of veterans.
A barge has arrived that will be sunk in Bayou Chene and will act as a temporary floodgate site to prevent backwater from flooding parts of Assumption, Lower St. Martin, Iberville, St. Mary, and Terrebonne Parishes. The process is being carried out in response to the opening of the Morganza Spillway on Sunday due to rising river levels.
One man has been arrested in Texas and another suspect is still on the lam following a theft of 120-thousand dollars’ worth of wheels and tires from a Slidell car dealership in April. Police said 39 year old Eric Summage was apprehended in Texas and they are still on the lookout for 44 year old Riley Richardson. More arrests are expected in connection with what investigators are considering a professional theft ring along I-10.
ESPN reports Anthony Davis and Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin met Wednesday morning in Los Angeles. The two are expected to keep talking as Griffin is making a case for the All-Star to remain in New Orleans. A-D can be a free agent next summer.
Forward Emmit Williams announces he’s returning to LSU. He’s one of four Tigers who entered their name into the NBA draft, but have decided to come to back LSU.
The LSU-Alabama football game will not be a CBS primetime game this year. Instead the network has decided to televise an SEC night game in September. It’s expected to be the Norte Dame-Georgia game. The SEC Showdown between LSU and Alabama has been shown on CBS at night since 2010. CBS could still televise the big game, but it will kick-off at 2:30, instead of 7 PM.
Good Morning.. News For Wednesday 05/29/2019
News for Wednesday 052919
Compiled by Dave Graichen
State Police report a 70-year-old Montgomery man lost his life Tuesday when he lost control of the pickup truck on Highway 71 Just south of Montgomery. Teddy Roberts died at the scene of the crash.
A proposal to allow sports betting at the state’s casinos and racetracks failed in the House Appropriations Committee. Amendments were added to the legislation to get some money for horseman and allow sports betting at video poker establishments, which drew the opposition of the Louisiana Casino Association. There’s still a slim chance the bill could be revived before the session ends next week. If the clock runs out on legalization this year, it could be another two years before another attempt can be made.
Senate Finance has approved a spending plan for next fiscal year that contains a one-thousand dollar teacher pay raise and 39-million dollars in block grant funding for school districts. The House budget proposal calls for a higher pay raise for teachers, but no additional dollars for public schools.
House lawmakers are scheduled to vote on a bill that would ban abortions when a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, generally around the sixth week of pregnancy. The vote was scheduled to take place Tuesday, but was delayed until Today. Similar laws have already passed in other states, where opponents have called it an attack on women.
A fatal blow was delivered to a pro death penalty bill at the State Capitol Tuesday. A proposal to shield the identity of the drug companies that supply lethal drugs for the state to carry out death penalty sentences failed on a 3-2 vote in Senate committee. New Orleans Senator J-P Morrell says the legislation opens the state to lawsuits, if an execution is botched. Proponents of the legislation say the only way to buy the drugs to carry out an execution, is if drug manufacturers know their names would names would not be made public.
The Morganza Spillway is set to open Sunday to relive pressure on Mississippi River levees, but ecologists say it comes at a steep cost for Atchafalaya Basin wildlife.
Atchafalaya Basin Keeper Executive Director Dean Wilson says there’s nothing that can be done to save thousands of at-risk animals. Experts also warn opening the Basin will likely wipe out most of the crawfish and oyster crop in the area as well.
A Senate-approved bill has advanced from a House committee to set a minimum age on marriage to 16, so long as there is not an age gap of four years or greater between the two parties when one is under 18. Current law does not set a minimum age on marriage so long as the marriage receives the approval of the parents of the minors. The bill advances to the House floor for final passage.
A three year old drown in Lake Arthur in Jefferson Davis Parish on Memorial day. Lake Arthur police responded to a call of an unresponsive child found near the beach just before 4 p.m. Monday CPR was started immediately, but no pulse could be detected. coroner pronounced the boy dead later that day. The incident is still under investigation.
An eleven-year-old Baton Rouge boy has been charged with negligent homicide in the weekend fatal shooting of his nine-year old brother. No charges have been filed against the parents in what police call an accidental shooting.
LSU basketball coach Will Wade yesterday spoke with the media for the first time since his 38-day suspension earlier this year stemming from his connection to FBI wiretap records as part of a recruitment corruption investigation. Wade says he regrets the way he handled the accusations whenever they first surfaced that lead to a suspension.
McNeese is in the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the first time since 2003 as the Cowboys will face Indiana State on Friday afternoon in Nashville. The Cowboys received an automatic berth after winning the Southland Tournament.
On the air…
Wednesday May 29th
Houston vs Chicago Cubs 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Thursday May 30th
Golden State @ Toronto G1 7p 94.7 ESPN
Friday May 31st
Houston Astros @ Oakland A’s 8:30p 94.7 ESPN
LSU vs Stonybrook 5:30p KSYL 970 AM / 104.9 FM
Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 05/28/2019
News for Tuesday 052819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Information is still sketchy at this time, but the APD reports a, yet to be identified male, was shot in the chest outside of the N&N Food Mart No. 2 at the intersection of Monroe Street and Bolton yesterday afternoon. Police say the injuries in the shooting are "non-life threatening."
The Morganza Spillway in Pointe Coupee Parish will open it’s gates on June 2nd. It would divert Mississippi River water into the Atchafalaya Basin, flooding thousands of acres of farmland. Current forecasts show the river would top the spillway at Red River Landing in Point Coupee Parish on June 5 if the corps doesn't open the spillway. If it were allowed to be overtopped, the spillway would likely fail. This is only the 3rd time in the floodway’s 65 year history that it has been opened.
Today, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority will begin sinking a barge in Bayou Chene in southern Assumption to act as temporary flood gate. It’s needed to prevent backwater flooding after the Morganza spillway is opened.
The 2018 high school class sets a record for the number of kids who’ve made the jump to a two-year or four-year college. Roughly 64 percent of all grads will be entering into higher education. Louisiana has seen a 23 percent increase in the number of students entering college from high school since 2012. 29 percent of those who enrolled in a college are set to go to a two year school, versus 71 percent who chose a four year program.
The legislative session will end a week from Thursday and there are numerous bills still trying to get final legislative passage. Fairness for Fantasy Sports spokesperson Ryan Berni says the bill that sets up taxing and regulation of fantasy sports still needs to get through the Senate and there’s a chance it might not pass. Sports betting and statewide regulation for ride sharing services are other pieces of legislation that’s seeking final legislative approval.
A Senate approved bill that would allow a parish by parish vote on the legalization of sports betting will be heard today in the House Appropriations Committee. Currently the bill calls for the activity at racetracks and casinos but video poker interests are hoping to expand that. Metairie Senator Danny Martiny is optimistic and thinks Louisiana could have sports betting in the state’s racetracks, riverboat casinos, and land-based casino in New Orleans by the end of the year. A companion bill to tax the activity proposes a 13 percent tax rate, which Martiny says is about average, and nearly equal to that of Mississippi’s. One percent would be sent to compulsive gambling funds.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and Shell Chemicals Vice President for Gulf Coast Manufacturing Rhoman Hardy announced the company will advance feasibility plans for a potential $1.2 billion manufacturing expansion at its Shell Geismar facility in Louisiana. At the 841-acre complex in Ascension Parish, Shell Chemical LP would build a world-scale monoethylene glycol plant, pending final engineering, design and investment decisions. A decision to proceed with the project could come from Royal Dutch Shell in 2020.
It was an exceptionally violent Memorial Day weekend in New Orleans, where as of Monday evening, at least five people were killed and 13 shot.
Researchers from LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center and other institutions will study why some people in rural parishes and counties live longer, more healthier lives. Doctor Stephanie Broyles will lead the Louisiana portion of the study and they’ll look at two parishes, Assumption and Franklin. Broyles says in a couple of years they will recruit about 700 participants from Assumption and Franklin parishes to see why Assumption is more resilient to heart disease and other illnesses compared to Franklin, where there are currently no obvious reasons. The Boston University School of Medicine is coordinating the six-year study and funding comes from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
LSU will face a familiar foe on Friday night in the opening round of the Baton Rouge Regional. Stony Brook, who upset the Fighting Tigers in the Super Regionals in 2012, returns to B-R to take on LSU once again. Coach Paul Mainieri says the 2012 team had seven players drafted in the first few rounds. He says Stony Brook deserved to beat them seven years ago. But, not this time. Southern Miss and Arizona State are the other two teams in the LSU Regional.
Southern is in the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the first in 10 years and they will head to Starkville to play Mississippi State on Friday afternoon. The other two teams in the Starkville Regional are Central Michigan and Miami.
On Air Today.. Tuesday May 28th
Houston vs Chicago Cubs 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Wednesday 05/08/2019
News for Wednesday 050819
Compiled By Dave Graichen
Von Jennings has resigned as the city of Alexandria's director of community services following a social media controversy over the weekend. A screenshot of a Facebook post attributed to Jennings began circulating last weekend. In it, she appears to call someone racist and uses an expletive in response to a meme and a bad review of the Alexandria Red River Festival. The city issued a release Tuesday afternoon announcing the resignation and went on to say the offensive post in no way represents the views of the city administration.
It didn’t take long. The man suspected of robbing the Capitol One Bank location on Jackson Street yesterday, shortly before noon, was arrested at a Mac Arthur Drive Motel less than 2 hours after the robbery. Authorities were able to talk Joshua Perry out of the room without incident, inside police reported finding evidence from the robbery.
The trial for a Pineville woman, accused with her brother in the deaths of three people, has been pushed back to March of next year. Ebony Nicole Sonnier's has been indicted on two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder and two counts of criminal conspiracy. The Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office has filed notice that it intends to seek the death penalty for Sonnier, who is 32. She and her brother, 30-year-old Matthew Sonnier, are accused in the deaths of Jeremy Norris, Kendrick Horn and Latisha White. The three died in October of 2017.
Here in CenLA, Law enforcement officials believe there are women out there who were held captive by a man identified as 56-year-old Justin Walters of Colfax. Grant Parish Sheriff Steven McCain says Walters is behind bars, accused of physically restraining three women, beating them for days and raping at least one of the victims. McCain says the suspect used social media to start a relationship with his victims. Anyone with information should call the GPSO.
One day after the Senate rejected legislation to abolish the death penalty; the House Governmental Affairs Committee approved a bill that would allow the state to keep it a secret on where they purchase lethal drugs to carry out an execution. Louisiana has not carried out an execution since 2010 and a major stumbling block is the state’s inability to acquire the drugs needed to perform a lethal injection, because pharmaceutical companies do not want to be associated with it. It passed on an 8-2 vote. It now faces more discussion on the House floor. It’s also been approved by House Criminal Justice.
A House committee advances legislation that would move regulatory power of the state’s medical marijuana program out of the Ag Department and into the Department of Health. Making the product available to the public has faced repeated delays and grower GB Sciences President John Davis is tired of the wait. GB Sciences is partnered with the LSU AgCenter to grow part of the state’s medical marijuana crop. Strain defended his department against accusations they have been responsible for the frequent delays.
A Council for a Strong America report says the state needs to do more in making sure parents are able to find child care. CEO of the Committee of 100 Michael Olivier says the infant and child care crisis is costing the state $1.1 billion each year and that’s lost earnings and productivity. 5,000 kids are currently on a state waiting list for funding to pay for child care education.
Last week it was the Vice President, next week, Tuesday to be exact; President Trump is scheduled to visit the state to highlight job growth in the energy sector. The President will visit a 10 billion dollar liquefied natural gas export facility in Cameron Parish.
A bill that would up the amount of time a minor has to work before getting a break from five hours to eight hours has stalled in the House after a heated argument on the lower chamber floor. Baton Rouge Representative Denise Marcelle says the legislation would endanger teen’s education, and it’s unfair to push them to work seven and a half hours straight while paying them 7.25 an hour. Bill writer, Bossier City Representative Raymond Crews countered saying teenagers have not proven their worth yet.
Governor Edwards has deemed May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. With the weather more favorable for hitting the road on two wheels, State Police Sgt. Jared Sandifer says motorcycles are more present on the roadways, and LSP is offering a refresher course for riders. So far in 2019, 20 people have died and nearly 300 have been injured in motorcycle accidents on state’s roads.
The LSU men’s basketball program is planning to visit Spain in August. The NCAA allows schools to take one foreign trip every four years and LSU’s last out of country trip was in 2015 to Australia.
New LSU athletics director Scott Woodward appeared on 94.7 ESPN’s After Further Review with Matt Mascona yesterday and was asked about basketball coach Will Wade. Woodward says Wade has their support and backing and it will be that way until it’s not. He added that they hope Wade is LSU’s coach for a long time, but things change and minds change.
Preliminary estimates show the devastating EF-3 tornado that ripped through Ruston likely destroyed Louisiana Tech’s softball, baseball, and soccer fields. Athletic Director Tommy McClelland says the estimates aren’t final, but they do not expect at this time that the facilities are useable. Two people were killed in the deadly incident last month.
On the air..
Wednesday May 8th
Houston Astros vs Kansas City 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 05/07/2019
News for Tuesday 050719
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Fired Rapides Sheriff's lieutenant, Stacy Bender, agreed to a plea deal Monday to one count of malfeasance in office, almost three years after he was arrested and fired from the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office. The 51 year old Bender was sentenced to three years in prison at hard labor, which was suspended. He also was sentenced to three years of supervised probation. Bender was originally arrested on six counts of malfeasance in office, two counts of solicitation for prostitution, inciting prostitution, obstruction of justice and two counts of unlawful use of criminal records.
Law enforcement officials from Grant and Rapides parishes held a press conference yesterday to discuss the unusual case of Justin Grant Walters. The Colfax man is in custody in Grant Parish, accused of kidnapping, rape and other crimes, but authorities believe more victims might be out there and they are asking them to come forward. Walters, who is 56, is in the Grant Parish Detention Center on a $900,000 bond, facing charges that could bring him life in prison.
The Louisiana Department of Health is emphasizing the importance of immunizations in the wake of the nationwide measles outbreak. Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says while there have not been any reported cases in the state so far, over 760 cases have been reported in other states. Kanter says of those national measles cases, over 72% were unvaccinated.
House Republicans have pushed forward a 30-billion dollar budget proposal for next fiscal year that contains a 12-hundred pay raise for teachers, but it doesn’t include an additional 39-million dollars for public schools. House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry says school districts are receiving a lot of money, while teachers are underpaid. The full House is set to vote on the budget Thursday.
Bossier Parish teachers could conduct a strike, a walk out or sick out this school year, because voters overwhelmingly rejected a tax proposal to fund teacher pay raises. 74-percent of the voters opposed the teacher salary hike proposal over the weekend.
A bill to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected soared through the Senate 31-5, and is headed to the House. Bill author Shreveport Senator John Milkovich says there is scientific evidence that life exists at the moment of conception, which why he hopes to continue pushing for abortion restrictions such as this one. Governor Edwards has indicated that he would sign the legislation into law if it were to reach his desk.
The constitutional amendment aimed at ending capital punishment in Louisiana met its demise on the Senate floor following a 13-25 vote. Louisiana has the highest homicide rate in the nation and the bill’s author Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor says death row is not working as a deterrent. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell spoke in favor of the amendment, and says in order for death to be an option, the government must be infallible in its decision on who is executed. Morrell says the death sentence in Louisiana has a history of inaccuracy with multiple exonerations over the years.
The Superdome is hoping to complete a 450 million dollar renovation, but questions abound about whom is going to pay for it, and that sparked an animated discussion in Senate Finance yesterday. Metairie Senator Conrad Appel says there’s better ways to spend a few hundred million dollars. The Saints have agreed to pay for a third of the cost of the renovation.
Monday marked new LSU athletics director Scott Woodward’s first day on the job. Woodward has posted a letter to the LSU family on the school’s athletics website. In that published statement, Woodward says he believes in LSU and he believes the school will win championships under his leadership.
Governor John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell announce a funding deal that will provide the city with 67.5 million dollars up front to fix streets and the drainage system. Edwards says the agreement also calls for 26-million dollars in annual recurring funding. The announcement of the deal comes after a 114-year-old water main busted, flooding roads and closing schools over the weekend.
LSU Coach Paul Mainieri has already announced that freshman right-hander Cole Henry will not pitch in the upcoming SEC series against Arkansas. Henry has missed the last two weekends, because of soreness in his elbow. LSU heads into tonight’s home game against La Tech with a 30-18 record.
On air today….
Tuesday May 7th
LSU Baseball vs LA Tech 5:30p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Houston Astros vs Kansas City 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Monday 05/06/2019
News for Monday 050619
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Just after saying last week it would be ready, word is now medical marijuana will not be available to eligible patients by the mid-May deadline. The LSU AgCenter says the first batch of therapeutic cannabis should be ready by the end of this month, but the ag department will still need to test it. So now it looks like sometime in June.
Governor Edwards is seeking 39 million dollars in new K-12 education funding, but House Republicans say the money is not there to do it. Political Analyst Clancy DuBos says another battle is shaping up between the governor and the House. House Republican leaders say if they increase funding for public education, they’ll have to cut the budget somewhere else.
The House will hear a bill today that would allow minors to work eight hours without a break instead of the current five. The House Labor Committee has already unanimously approved the measure. Author of the bill, Shreveport Representative Raymond Crews says the current law discourages employers from hiring minors as the mandatory break can disrupt a fluid shift. The law also issues employers a 500 dollar fine for violating the break requirement. Julie Cherry with the Louisiana AFL-CIO is concerned the bill could lead to minors not receiving breaks at all…
Legislation that would require Louisiana businesses to provide employees with paid leave to deal with family or medical issues cleared its first legislative hurdle by getting out of the Senate Labor committee, but the proposal faces strong opposition. No big surprise her, the National Federation of Independent Business objects to the measure. The measure needs to go before Senate Finance because a small payroll tax paid by employers and employees is needed to create a fund that can provide for the paid leave.
Vice President Mike Pence visited St. Landry Parish on Friday to thank the parishioners of three African American churches for how they’ve handled the burning down of their places of worship by a suspected arsonist. Over two-million dollars have been raised to rebuild the churches.
U-S Senator John Kennedy is teaming up with Attorney General Jeff Landry to lead the Louisiana Committee for a Conservative Majority, a political action committee. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says Kennedy brings his fundraising talents to an organization aimed at electing more conservative Republicans to the legislature. All 144 seats in the state legislature are up re-election this fall.
New Orleans’ historic newspaper, The Times Picayune has been purchased by their Baton Rouge based rival, The Advocate. Manship School Professor Len Apcar, a 40 years veteran journalist who’s worked at the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, says the merger will increase the quality of reporting in the Crescent City. Employees of the Picayune and it’s online service, Nola.com, have been given 60 days’ notice that they will be fired. However, they can apply to work for the Advocate.
The Arizona Daily Star reports the NCAA has launched an investigation into the Arizona men’s basketball program, which just like LSU has been tied to the FBI’s college basketball corruption case. One of their former assistant coaches pleaded guilty in January to accepting 20-thousand dollars in bribes to steer Arizona players to aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins.
Through the month of May, Louisiana residents can download the LA Wallet app and activate their license for free in an effort to get more people to use the service. OMV field administrator Paige Paxton says law enforcement will accept digital license as a valid I-D, but you should hang on to your physical I-D as well, especially if you plan to travel out of state. Louisiana is the first state to allow the use of a smartphone app as a picture ID.
The U.S. Coast Guard begins a week long public hearing today regarding the October 2018 barge wreck that resulted in damage to the Sunshine Bridge in St. James Parish. Legal analyst Tim Meche says anytime there is a major incident on a major waterway, there is an investigation followed up by a public hearing. In the wreck, a crane carried on a barge collided with the bridge, resulting in the closure of the bridge for repairs until it was fully reopened in January. Meche says if the final report finds that individuals are implicated as culprits in the cause, they may be liable civilly or even criminally.
40 year old Clayton Florane of Bogalusa was arrested Sunday morning when he was caught driving a Natchitoches Regional Medical Center ambulance In Gonzales. An officer with the Gonzales PD stopped the ambulance around 9 a.m. Sunday when he saw it had extensive damage to the front bumper, a broken windshield, and the driver was in civilian clothes. Florane got out and admitted he'd stolen the vehicle from the hospital because he needed a ride home. Natchitoches police told Gonzales authorities the ambulance was stolen from the hospital at approximately 5:30 a.m.
Motown Records legend Diana Ross, who performed in front of thousands of fans Saturday at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, says while fans at the Festival were wonderful, she was treated rudely an Louis Armstrong New Orleans International.
In a Tweet Sunday morning, Ross says she felt "violated" by what she described as an overly intimate and aggressive pat-down by a female TSA agent at an airport security checkpoint. Her tweet says It was not what was done but how.
Good Morning... News For Friday 05/03/2019
News for Friday 050319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Northwestern University is in mourning today after word of two students dying yesterday in separate, unrelated incidents. The students were 46 year old Samuel Taylor of Natchitoches and 23 year old Michael Robichaux of Pineville. University Police Chief Craig Vercher said foul play is not suspected in either incident. According to Vercher, the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office will conduct autopsies to determine the cause of death of the students.
Former Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard's appeal that sought to terminate an arbitration agreement between the two parties has been denied. Both sides had argued during arbitration whether Aguillard was an "at-will" employee or whether he had an employment contract specifying a term of five years.
Rapides Parish School Board members will be asked to accept Superintendent Nason Authement's resignation at their meeting next Tuesday. Another motion, submitted by board President Wilton Barrios, seeks to "discuss and take action" on searching for a replacement for Authement, who ends his term after six years. His tenure began on June 1, 2013. He came in with a plan focused on eliminating some jobs at the district's central office and restructuring low-performing schools.
Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Lafayette this afternoon and will visit Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, one of the three churches recently torched in St. Landry Parish. Pence will meet with community and church leaders.
The Baton Rouge Advocate has purchased New Orleans’ longest running major paper, The 182 year old Times Picayune and it’s website NOLA.com The Advocate will publish a seven-day, home-delivered newspaper in New Orleans using the brands and features of both publications. The new paper will debut in June. The two papers’ websites will be combined under the nola.com brand around the same time.
The loosening of regulations based on rules written following the 2010 BP oil spill may make the Gulf of Mexico more attractive to those looking to establish offshore rigs. Tulane Energy Institute Professor Eric Smith describes the rules set following the oil spoil as overly harsh and now that they’ve been loosened, it opens the Gulf of Mexico to being more competitive with other deep water drilling sites around the world.
One year after the state legislature restored voting rights for some convicted felons, there’s an effort to allow some convicts to be eligible for jury duty. Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says his legislation would allow convicted felons to be called for jury duty once they are off parole or probation for five years. The House Criminal Justice Committee sent the proposal to the full House after a 9-6 vote.
The Harrah’s Casino 30 year license extension effort rolled through the House and is on it’s way back to the Senate, where it died last year. In return for a substantial extension, House Speaker Taylor Barras’ bill asks for Harrah’s to invest 325 million dollars to upgrade the facility, including building a new hotel. This year’s version pays the state 130 million dollars more over the length of the deal than last years.
The House health committee approves legislation that would allow medical marijuana patients to receive the drug through an inhaler, instead of a liquid or pill. Members of the House Health and Welfare committee heard moving testimony from veterans. An 11-year combat veteran from Belle Chasse says he’s using medical marijuana to treat P-T-S-D.
A construction firm has been selected to manage the first phase of what would, if approved, ultimately be a 450-million dollar Superdome renovation. The first phase of construction will cost about 100 million dollars, and Superdome Commission spokesperson Mike Hoss says it focuses on making the dome easier to traverse, and bringing the food up to New Orleans standards. The plan is for all four phases of renovation to be completed before the 2024 Superbowl in New Orleans.
Ecologists are sounding the alarm about a huge increase in the number of dead dolphins being found off the coast of Mississippi, and are pinning the blame partly on the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway in March. Institute for Marine Mammal Studies President Dr. Mody Solangi says it’s not just the Spillway at fault. In previous decades, the spillway’s opening wasn’t as devastating, but the Mississippi River has grown so polluted that dumping that water into the gulf is disastrous. There have also been reports of Oyster beds being destroyed.
The Cenikor Foundation, a drug rehab with a Baton Rouge facility, has been hit with lawsuits alleging the organization funneled patients to work at local chemical plants and the LSU student union without paying them, less than a week after an investigative report was published with similar findings. According to an attorney representing one of the former patients, the rehab sent patients to do things like put up scaffolding at petrochemical plants and make king cakes at local bakeries, all without pay.
Louisiana Tech raised 1.23 million dollars for it’s inaugural Giving Day fundraiser. Nearly 2,000 donors contributed to the fund, a record for Tech fundraisers, which averages out to a little over 615 dollars a donor. A tornado ravaged the campus last week.
LSU pitcher Zach Hess has agreed to head to the bullpen as a reliever after two years of trying to mold himself into a starting pitcher. The junior admitted in a recent interview that he’s better when he can give his all on every pitch, instead of having to stretch his stamina out across 8 or so innings.
12th ranked LSU baseball takes on Ole Miss at Alex Box for a three game series this weekend, but Freshman right-hander Cole Henry is still not available to pitch because of a sore elbow.
Louisiana Tech will be playing it’s final home series against Western Kentucky at Warhawk Field at Louisiana-Monroe’s campus. The Bulldog’s home field is still in tatters after being heavily damaged by a Tornado that tore through the campus last week..
On the air…
Friday May 3rd
LSU Baseball vs Ole Miss 6p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Saturday May 4th
Houston Astros @ LA Angels 5:30p
LSU Baseball vs Ole Miss 5:30p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Sunday May 5th
LSU Baseball vs Ole Miss 1:30p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Houston Astros @ Minnesota 2:30p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.... News For Thursday 05/02/2019
News for Thursday 050219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
With votes were being received through written ballots and via email, Rapides Parish School District employees and retirees have rejected a proposal to leave the Office of Group Benefits. The last public meeting on the matter was to be held in Tioga last night, but was cancelled. Liz Domite, the district's chief financial officer, said enough no votes already had been received that there was no way the proposal would pass.
Today is the “National Day Of Prayer and as people have for the past 25 years many will gather today at Pineville City Hall for an informal time of prayer for the nation, state, and city. The non-denominational Prayer Gathering will be held from 12:15 to 12:45 and all are invited to attend.
A WWL-TV report says Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser has State Police troopers drive him everywhere he goes, but he still receives 84-hundred dollars in annual salary to drive a personal vehicle to work. The report also claims that his staffers were getting paid by taxpayers while work on his re-election campaign. Nungesser is up for re-election this year, but no major challengers have surfaced. Nungesser says he rides with troopers only part of the time.
In one of the more bizarre stories A Lake Charles Charter Academy teacher has been arrested after allegations were lodged against her for sexual misconduct with a student. 34 year old Deidre Smith of Sulphur was arrested for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship, including intercourse, with one of her 10-year-old students. Smith was arrested and is facing charges of first-degree rape and felony indecent behavior with a juvenile.
On a narrow vote, the House Criminal Justice Committee approves a bill that expands the state’s stand your ground law to protect an individual who may have to use deadly force in churches. In Louisiana, people can bring a concealed weapon into a house of worship if the person or group in charge of the facility authorizes them to do so. The measure heads to the House floor.
Patients may finally be access liquid medical marijuana during the last week in May, while lawmakers on a House committee approved a bill that might allow them to inhale the medicine in the future. Officials with the LSU Ag Center and its partner GB Sciences said Wednesday they believe they're on track to deliver cannabis to the state's nine authorized pharmacies May 27.
A bill that would have required producers of “almond milk” to label their product something other than milk has had an amendment added that would only allow the law to go into effect if similar regulations are approved at the federal level. There were concerns that having different names for the same products across state lines would create confusions.
A bill that would conceal the identities of companies that sell lethal injection drugs and equipment to Louisiana clears committee and is headed to the House floor. Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops representative Rob Tasman says the state owes it to the tax payers to be open and honest when dealing with a subject as sensitive as killing someone. Bill sponsor, Hammond Representative Nicky Muscarello, agreed that the bill does promote government contracting secrecy, but says companies won’t sell the state the legally required lethal injection drugs without a guarantee of secrecy. The state has not carried out an execution since 2010.
Thousands of Louisianans with developmental disabilities will now be able to stay at home with their families after the Department of Health revamped a decades-old assistance waiting list. Assistant Secretary for the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities Julie Hagan says they’ve adopted a “tiered system” that prioritizes those in immediate need of help, rather than those who will need help in the future. The full wait list was 12,000 people long but included thousands who may not need help for several years.
A new report from the National Education Association, the union representing over 3 million members across the country, indicates the average teacher salary in Louisiana is $50,000, which is 11% less than the average salary in the state a decade ago when adjusted for inflation. Union President Lily Garcia says the salary trajectory is making many potential teachers choose other occupations. The report indicates the state’s average teacher salary ranks 39th compared to other states and is 4.5% less than the national average.
Governor Edwards, along with gubernatorial challengers Congressman Ralph Abraham and Baton Rouge Businessman Eddie Rispone spoke before attendees at the “Oil and Natural Gas Industry Day” event in Baton Rouge. Each gave their case as to why voters should select them to lead the state. Edwards says while there is still work to be done, the state is in a better position than what it was when he took office. Abraham says if he is elected, he’d make more efforts to make Louisiana more business-friendly for the oil and natural gas industry. Rispone touted his experience as a businessman instead of being a career politician as the reason he has the ability to lead Louisiana.
Louisiana Tech has launched the school’s inaugural Giving Day. President of the Student Advancement team Maddie Patton says that donor can select if they want their money going toward the general school fund helping students attend Louisiana Tech through scholarships or toward fixing the damage from last week’s EF-3 tornado that impacted the Ruston area. To donate, visit LouisianaTechGivingDay.org.
The USA Today Network is reporting that Vice President Mike Pence will visit St. Landry Parish Friday to meet with faith leaders of the three churches that burned down in an alleged case of racially motivated arson. 21-year-old Holden Matthews has been arrested in connection to the crimes, and two million dollars has been raised on a GoFundMe page for the recovery efforts.
LSU baseball Coach Paul Mainieri said Wednesday that Cole Henry’s sore elbow will not allow him to pitch this weekend against Ole Miss. Even though Henry will not pitch, Mainieri has decided to move Zack Hess back to the bullpen. Mainieri wants Hess to let it loose when he comes out of the pen.
Good Morning.. News For Wednesday 05/01/2019
News for Wednesday 050119
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Felicia Marie Nicole Smith, one of two Natchitoches Parish women accused in the burning death of a 6-month-old boy in July of last year, was granted a hearing to determine if there's enough evidence to proceed in her case after a judge cited the delay in appointing a public defender for her. Smith and Hanna Nicole Barker both face first-degree murder charges in the death of Levi Cole Ellerbe, who was Barker's son. The cases are being tried separately.
The Alexandria City Council last night voted 4 to 3 for a resolution of support for house bill 422, which would repeal the state's ban on local control of economic policies, specifically the minimum wage. The council chamber was filled with supporters of the resolution. The bill is currently in a House Chamber and Tuesday’s resolution won't change anything, but simply show support for the bill.
A Senate committee has approved legislation that would prohibit an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected. If Louisiana’s abortion ban proposal is signed by the governor, it would not take effect until the federal courts determine if a similar law in Mississippi is constitutional. The measure advances to the Senate floor after a five to two vote in a judiciary committee, and does not include an exception if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest.
A constitutional amendment to abolish the death penalty in Louisiana passed a Senate committee on 4-2 vote. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell says if prosecutors seek the death penalty, the state has infinite resources to defend that decision compared to a person who is handed the sentence, and noted that outside groups have had to exonerate death row inmates who the state had failed to defend. Two DAs spoke in opposition.
A measure to legalize sports wagering in the state has survived a full Senate vote and is heading to the House. Bill sponsor, Metairie Senator Danny Martiny, says there’s already an active sports betting black market, and while the law may increase the overall amount of gaming in the state, it will contribute funding to early childhood education.
A Shreveport Democrat railed against vaccinations on the Senate floor during discussion of a bill that would allow adults to opt into a statewide immunization database. Senator John Milkovich checked off a list of reasons why he believes vaccinations may not be trustworthy, and could be poisonous to children. Republican US Senator Bill Cassidy, a doctor, spoke out against the claims, calling the research that linked vaccinations and autism “fake news” that’s responsible for the resurgence of measles nationwide.
It may just be a feel good piece of legislation, but the Louisiana House passes a bill that says banks with gun control policies cannot refuse to do business with companies involved in the manufacturing and selling of guns and ammunition. The House approved the measure on a 66-27 vote. The bill now heads to the Senate for more discussion.
Governor Edwards is confident tornado ravaged Ruston and Louisiana Tech will receive federal disaster recovery funds once damage assessments are complete, and an application for aid has been filed. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning reportedly has already identified at least 1,200 damaged structures, and Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness spokesperson Mike Steele says they’re hoping to get started on the assessment process soon, but some areas still need to be checked for safety before the crews go out.
A former St. Landry Parish priest was sentenced to seven years in prison today and received three years probation. Michael Guidry pleaded guilty in March to giving a 16-year-old boy alcohol and then sexually molesting him. Guidry was a longtime leader of St. Peter Church in Morrow.
LSU football head coach Ed Orgeron says the team’s number one ranked 2020 recruiting class is evidence the team’s brand has gone national. 247Sports.com recruiting analyst Shea Dixon says the most remarkable part of the class is that 11 of the 14 commitments are from out of state. Alabama is close on LSU’s heels with the number two class. Elsewhere in the SEC you’ve got Florida at 5, Georgia at 11, Mississippi State at 13, and Auburn at 18, South Carolina at 25, and A&M at 26.
Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 04/30/2019
News for Tuesday 043019
Compiled by Dave Graichen
State Police report a Pineville man died Monday afternoon after he road an ATV into the path of a car on Highway 28 east. 23 year old Stephen Wade Bennett Jr. was ejected from the ATV. Troopers say he was not wearing a helmet and died at the scene.
Homestead exemption kept its reputation as the third rail of Louisiana politics after a House committee here killed a bill to allow local voters to raise taxes on homeowners in individual parishes. House Bill 12 by Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, is a constitutional amendment would have allowed individual parish governments to let locals decide whether to lower the current homestead exemption of $75,000. Members voted 9-3 against the bill, killing it for this year.
The House unanimously passed a statewide framework for ridesharing in the state Monday. HB 575 now moves to the Senate where it’s track record has not been good. For the past two years, similar bills have passed the House, but did not receive a vote in the Senate.
The House Transportation Committee overwhelming supports legislation that would prohibit hand held cell phone use while driving. A similar bill in Louisiana died in the Senate last year. Supporters of the proposed handheld cell phone ban say statistics show that talking or texting on the phone is contributing to more and more accidents.
The measure now moves to the full House for more debate.
A bill that would partially roll back changes to the Industrial Tax Exemption Program advanced to the House floor on a 8 to 7 vote. The change would take the ability to grant the often substantial local property tax breaks out of larger, local level boards, and place them in the hands of a three person, Parish level board.
Some residents are still without power from Thursday’s EF-3 tornado that struck Ruston, killing two and causing widespread damage. Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker says they have 88% of the electrical grid back up, but they will not hit 100% for a while.
Lincoln Parish public schools and Louisiana Tech University re-opened Monday.
A proposed constitutional amendment to exempt diapers and feminine products from the state sales tax cleared the Senate Finance Committee, and is heading to the Senate floor, with debate focusing in on diapers. Baton Rouge Diaper Bank Danielle Satawa says poor families often struggle to afford diapers, and end up needing to lift them from local groceries. The proposal would need a two thirds vote in both houses, followed by voter approval on the October ballot before becoming law.
For the first time, the Bonnet Carre Spillway could be opened twice in one calendar year. Only weeks after the spillway closed, the National Weather Service predicted the Mississippi River will reach 16.9 feet at the Carrollton gage in New Orleans on May 11th, just shy of the 17-foot mark which normally corresponds with an opening. The spillway in St. Charles Parish is designed to divert river water into Lake Pontchartrain to prevent flooding downriver in New Orleans and some of its suburbs.
LSU basketball coach Will Wade’s name surfaced in a federal courtroom in New York Monday where an NCAA corruption trial is ongoing. A recording was played in which a former Arizona assistant coach said he discussed with Wade a 300-thousand dollar recruiting offer in order to get Reid to sign with LSU. Reid played a vital role this past season in helping LSU win an SEC regular season title. There has yet to be any corroborating evidence in court connecting Wade to this potential deal.
The Louisiana Department of Health is warning Louisianans to be on the lookout for the penny sized “kissing bug”, whose bite can carry the rare, but nasty Chagas disease. The Triatomine bugs are known to break into poorly maintained houses, and feast on unsuspecting sleepers. The state has only seen 13 confirmed cases within our borders since cases first began being recognized. Chagas symptoms can take weeks to appear, and can feel very much like the flu initially. Tonzel says after that, it could be quite some time before the long term effects are felt, but they could ultimately be fatal.
A Hepatitis A outbreak results in the first death reported from the virus in the state. The highly contagious liver infection primarily spreads through close contact. According to the state’s department of health, infections usually resolve themselves without treatment, illness, and deaths. However, the current national outbreak has been higher than usual due to older age and underlying health conditions. The virus is preventable with vaccines.
On the Air……
Tuesday April 30th
Houston Astros @ Minnesota 6:05p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning... News For Friday 04/26/2019
News for Friday 042619
Compiled By Dave Graichen
State police report the death of a Deville Woman yesterday La. Highway 107 in a 3 vehicle accident. Authorities say 29 year old Joseph Hood of Greenbrier, Tennessee failed to stop for driver in front of him who was attempting to make a left hand turn onto La. Highway 1196. 29-year-old Chloe Bordelon was waiting for northbound traffic to pass before she could turn, when Hood struck her from behind. Bordelon died at the scene, Hood sustained minor injuries.
In a good piece of Police Work, the APD was able to bring a standoff with a disturbed man to a peaceful conclusion yesterday afternoon on Webster Street.. Police were called to the home shortly after 11 in the morning. Crisis negotiators arrived on the scene and spent the next few hours attempting to communicate with the suspect, who was undergoing a mental health crisis. Around 2:30 p.m., a tactical team entered the house. The suspect was taken into custody. Police do not anticipate charging the man with any crime.
The RPSO reports the arrest of 37 Justin Gillespie after a report of a disturbance on England Drive in Alexandria Wednesday. The victims, who were treated at a local hospital for their injuries, claim Gillespie beat and raped them. Gillespie was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center for one count each first-degree rape, second-degree kidnapping, domestic abuse battery strangulation, criminal damage and two counts of domestic abuse battery. Gillespie is currently being detained at the detention center in lieu of posting bond.
A deadly EF-3 tornado sliced through Ruston early yesterday morning claiming the lives of a mother and son and reeking damage throughout the town. At Louisiana Tech President Les Guice says thankfully the tornado skirted the edge of the core academic buildings, but the residential halls weren’t so lucky. The pictures from the campus are startling, with trees ripped up by the roots, and debris littering the grounds.
Governor Edwards was on-hand to survey the devastation in Ruston in the wake of that freak EF-3.Edwards says pictures from the ground just don’t do the damage justice, and for a state used to floods and hurricanes, it’s unusual to see such a precise path of destruction. Edwards has declared a state of emergency while officials get a full handle on the scope of the damage that cut across several northern parishes.
A bill to legalize the growing and processing of Industrial hemp is on it’s way to the full House after unanimously passing in the House Agriculture Committee.
Following a 5-1 vote, a constitutional amendment that aims to raise the minimum wage in Louisiana to $9 an hour on July 1, 2020, is headed to the Senate floor, where the effort died last year. New Orleans Senator Troy Carter says a bump in the minimum wage would show that the state is serious about helping its working poor. Governor John Bel Edwards has sought an increase in the minimum wage since taking office in 2016. The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry is in opposition.
Attorney General Jeff Landry is welcoming other AG’s from around the nation to an event in Lafayette this week that address their roles following a disaster. The event is not only addressing natural disasters, but is discussing an AG’s role following events such as active shooter situations.
A New Orleans Senator’s bill to rename the I-10 the “Who Dat Nation Highway” has it’s ambitions significantly reduced after lawmakers discover the stretch of road has already been dedicated to veterans. Wesley Bishop amended the bill to call for three plates saying “Welcome to the Who Dat Nation” to be placed underneath some existing road signs. The plates would be paid for by private donors. Bishop says before filing the legislation, he was not aware that the entirety of the I-10 from Jacksonville, Florida to Santa Monica, California, had already been dedicated to something a bit more prominent than a football team.
The LSU Board of Supervisors is set to vote on the contracts of two major figures in the school’s athletics. The first is that of the new Athletic Director Scott Woodward. Tiger Rag Editor James Moran says Woodward’s six-year contract is valued at $8 million, with a starting annual salary of $1.1 million and seeing it bumped to $1.5 in years five and six. Basketball coach Will Wade’s contract is also being amended as part of his reinstatement. Wade has agreed to waive his quarter million dollar performance bonuses earned in the most recent season. Also, Moran says if the NCAA finds that Wade has committed a level one or level two violations, LSU can send Wade packing.
The owner of Cajun Cannabis has been arrested on felony drug charges after his new store was raided Wednesday night. Cajun Cannabis began selling CBD oil this past weekend and during a traffic stop last night the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s office arrested Travis DeYoung after CBD oil, gummies and mints were found in his vehicle. Louisiana officials have said CBD is illegal.
A Mississippi police officer who was indicted in Louisiana on charges that he used excessive force while working in the Bayou State has resigned from his job with Moss Point, Mississippi Police. 44-year-old Robert Hammac had been working at the Magnolia State police department for several months, and the police chief there says they were not aware of the ongoing investigation into his behavior as a Lake Charles officer.
The Louisiana Tech baseball and softball stadiums and the school’s soccer complex sustained significant damage from a powerful tornado that roared through Ruston early this morning. Louisiana Tech President Les Guice says the facilities are unusable. No one on campus was severely injured and Guice says locals are helping in the cleanup effort, including legendary Bulldog basketball player, the mailman himself, Karl Malone. The softball team hosts Western Kentucky this weekend, but they can’t play in their stadium. School officials say the games could be moved to Ruston or Cedar Creek High School.
The Saints will finally get a chance to draft tonight after they traded their first-round pick last year for defensive end Marcus Davenport. The Saints only have one pick in the first four rounds and six overall, with two in the sixth and two in the seventh.
On The Air… Friday April 26th
NFL Draft Day Two 5p 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball @ Alabama 5p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Good Morning.... News For Thursday 04/25/2019
News for Thursday 042519
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The House Health and Welfare committee approves legislation to increase the legal age to smoke from 18 to 21-years-old. The measure also raises the legal age to vape to 21-years-old. That brought opposition from individuals, as you may suspect, who own vaping stores. Stonewall Representative Larry Bagley says he couldn’t support the legislation, because he didn’t think it was right to prohibit an 18-to-21-year-old from smoking even though they can fight for our country. But the measure passed on a 10-2 vote.
A bill that removes professional wrestling from the State Boxing and Wrestling Commission’s overview is headed to the House after clearing the House Commerce Committee on a 14-2 vote. Houma Representative Beryl Amedee says regulation is not necessary for an event that is more theatrical than sport. The WWE hosted their super bowl, called WrestleMania, in New Orleans twice in the past four years.
Governor John Bel Edwards wants three debates with his Republican challengers Ralph Abraham, and Eddie Rispone between September 2nd and the October 12th election. Rispone’s campaign spokesperson Anthony Ramirez agreed that three debates was an appropriate number. But Abraham responded on Twitter that there should be debates in each of the state’s six congressional districts.
The House Agriculture Committee will hear a bill today that would legalize, and regulate the growth of industrial hemp in Louisiana. The product was OK’d by the USDA, but Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says it’s still off limits here. The plant is featured in 50,000 different products and can be turned into hypoallergenic fabrics, concrete, has nutritional value, and more. Hemp is considered pest resistant, and can mature in 8-12 weeks, and proponents argue it is far less water needy, and has a mechanism that detoxifies soil. But it’s often confused for its cousin plant, pot. Strain says if legalized, they’ll be picking out seeds that won’t do anything if you smoke them.
Trivia…. The first few drafts of the Declaration of Independence were thought to be written on hemp paper, which was commonly grown and used in colonial North America. It was also used in American paratroopers parachute webbing in WW2.
The LSU AgCenter will begin studying to effects of cannabis based compounds on epileptic seizures, using the common zebrafish as a lab rat. The funding for the research comes courtesy of a yearly 500,000 dollar cannabis research grant from the AgCenter’s medicinal pot partner GB Sciences to help further cannabis related research. Now that testing is legal, Green says scientists are looking forward to seeing what the plant has to offer.
The House approves legislation aimed at addressing the factors that result in the state’s high auto insurance rates. River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot says his bill lowers the jury threshold from 50-thousand to five-thousand dollars, which Talbot says would lead to more cases settled out of court and lower costs for insurance companies. But many lawmakers are skeptical. Additional debate on the bill will take place in the Senate.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission will host a meeting tomorrow in Baton Rouge with telephone companies to talk about an influx in “robo-calls.” Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell says he and the rest of Louisiana are tired of the phone calls. Campbell says the calls are a violation of Louisiana’s ‘Do Not Call’ law that prevents telemarketers from calling numbers that have signed up on a do not call registry. He says because these callers are breaking the law he wants them to receive severe fines. Which may be a difficult to enforce since many of the calls come from outside the country.
54-year-old Jessie Guillory of Lake Charles, who allegedly attacked a nurse at a Baton Rouge hospital has been booked for manslaughter after the nurse he allegedly attacked died from her injuries. Baton Rouge Police say their investigation has determined the victim, Lynne Truxillo, was trying to help a fellow nurse who was pinned to the wall by Guillory. Witnesses say Guillory slammed Truxillo’s head into a desk; she died as a result of a blood clot.
New LSU athletics director Scott Woodward’s contract is reportedly six years long and his annual pay will start at one-point-one million dollars and grow over the course of the deal. He’ll make a million and a half in the final two years of the contract. The LSU alum is also set to receive a 250-thousand dollar signing bonus. The LSU Board of Supervisors will have to approve the deal at their next meeting.
Multiple media outlets are reporting the Saints will pick up defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins fifth-year option. Rankins had a career-high eight sacks and 12 tackles for a loss last season, but tore his Achilles tendon in the playoff win over Philadelphia. He’s expected to start the season on the physically unable to perform list, but the team must believe he’ll make a full recovery from that injury.
Tonight at 7PM it’s the NFL Draft and Two former Tigers are expected to go in the first round. One of those is one of the most beloved players in LSU history, linebacker Devin White. In his three years, White was showered with All-American selections and national honors. NFL Draft analyst Mike Detillier says he enters as one of the best middle linebacker prospects in draft history. Complete live coverage can he heard on Alexandria’s 94.7 ESPN.
Tiger Rag dot com reports Marlon Taylor becomes the sixth LSU underclassman to declare for the NBA draft. The six-foot-six junior averaged seven points and four rebounds a game last season. He will have the option to return next season.
Good Morning.. News For Wednesday 04/24/2019
News for Wednesday 042419
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Legislation that would prohibit food manufacturers from labeling a package and naming it cauliflower rice, if it doesn’t contain rice receives unanimous approval from the Senate. Delhi Senator Francis Thompson’s proposed law would also protect other ag products like Milk and meat, so no more tofu burgers or Almond or Coconut Milk. Food manufacturers in violation of this proposed law would be fined 500-dollars and it would take effect in October 2020.The measure is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Health committee.
Legislation to reinstate sales tax holidays is heading to the Senate after the proposal received overwhelming support in the House. Legislators inadvertently suspended sales tax holidays for seven years when they approved a tax deal last June. If the Senate gives it’s approval the three separate sales tax holidays would be for back to school shopping, hurricane preparedness and hunting supplies.
An effort to legalize sports betting at the state’s 15 licensed riverboat casinos, four racetracks and New Orleans land-based casino received approval from a Senate committee Yesterday. Metairie Senator Danny Martiny says this legislation could raise up to 60-million dollars a year for the state and voting against this bill will not keep addicts from betting. The measure heads to the Senate floor for more discussion.
The House Health and Welfare Committee is expected to vote on a bill that would raise the age to purchase or possess tobacco from 18 to 21 years old. The sponsor of the bill, West Monroe representative Frank Hoffman, says raising the age could prevent potential young smokers from ever picking up a pack of cigarettes. The bill would also prevent those under 21 from buying vaping products.
State Police is discussing how they can provide better protection for the governor’s mansion after an intruder was able to get inside John Bel Edwards home and fall asleep on the couch. Security expert Joshua Nicholson says this will force State Police to look at their protocols. The intruder was arrested after he allegedly assaulted two officers in the mansion.
A center dedicated to coastal restoration and preservation could be in the cards for Nicholls State University as the school prepares to expand it’s engineering curriculum. School President Dr. Jay Clune says the facility will resemble the LSU Center for River Studies, famed for it’s huge model of the Mississippi River and it’s flow patterns. Clune says the facility will be a hub for wetlands protection research. Louisiana has lost 1,800 square miles of land to coastal erosion since 1932.
New Orleans Senator Karen Carter Peterson spoke publicly for the first time about her struggles with gambling addiction Tuesday at a committee hearing on the legalization of sports betting. Peterson says she’s dealt with the disease for years, but had managed to keep it a secret. The Crescent City Democrat was the lone dissenting vote in Tuesday’s 3-1 committee approval of the legislation.
Breaux bridge Representative Mike Huval has legislation that would allow information about whether or not a driver was buckled up to be used in determining damages in trials related to car wrecks. Currently that information is not allowed to be entered into the record.
At a noon press conference yesterday Baton Rouge native Scott Woodward says it’s an incredible opportunity to take over as LSU’s athletics director. The LSU alum said at his introductory press conference that LSU will win SEC and NCAA championships and do so with integrity.
LSU baseball last night, the tigers took care of Lamar at the Box.. Final score 5 to 3. The tigers begin a three game series in Alabama Friday.
The Houston Astros needed a win last night and that’s just what they got.. a 10 to 4 victory over the twins.. they’ll continue that series tonight.. 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
On air today Wednesday April 24th
Houston Astros vs Minnesota 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.. News For Tuesday 04/23/2019
News for Tuesday 042319
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The APD Reports a woman shot a man and then apparently turned the gun on herself. The shooting took place in a Mobile home shortly after 2:30 in the afternoon just off of Sterkx Road. . Police say when they arrived at the scene they found the unidentified woman dead and the man with non-life threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing.
The investigation continues into a two vehicle crash yesterday afternoon that claimed the life of 53 year old Ted Gaspard. State police say the vehicle, in which Gaspard was a passenger, was hit head on by an oncoming vehicle that crossed the center line of LA highway one. Three other occupants of the vehicle received moderate injuries.
Members of the community and Catholic Church packed St. Frances Xavier Cathedral yesterday to say goodbye and celebrate the life of Alexandria's 11th Bishop, Ronald Herzog. Bishop Herzog served Alexandria from 2005 to 2017. He passed away on April 12 after a brief illness.
Louisiana extends it’s streak of over the year job gains to 13 consecutive months. The state’s Workforce Commission Director Ava Dejoie says since March of 2018, the education/healthcare sector has led the way with an additional 7,400 jobs. But nearly all of the year to year job gains were powered by hiring in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette. North Louisiana is still struggling, with Shreveport in particular down 1,700 jobs over the last year. Houma continues to see it’s economy slip, as it lost 2,100 job from last year in a city of roughly 34,000. Dejoie says she’s hopeful that rising oil prices can stem the losses.
A Senate Judiciary Committee will take up a proposal to allow voters to legalize sports betting at casinos and race tracks in their parishes today. Louisiana Family Forum President Gene Mills opposes the legislation, and says any revenue generated would be offset by the social damage caused by increased gambling. But bill sponsor, Metairie Senator Danny Martiny, says there’s already an active sports betting black market. Martiny is pushing to direct any revenue generated directly from sports betting activities into early childhood education.
Law enforcement agencies participate this week in the “Buckle Up in Your Truck” campaign, an effort to get more drivers and passengers in pickup trucks to wear seat belts. Deputy Director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Dortha Cummins says 89-percent of drivers and passengers in passenger vehicles follow the state’s seat belt laws, but the percentage drops to 81-percent for pickup truck drivers and passengers.
A House committee approves legislation to create a Team Gleason specialty license plate in honor of former Saints star and now ALS advocate Steve Gleason. The House Transportation Committee gave the Team Gleason specialty license plate unanimous approval and New Orleans Representative Walt Leger says if it becomes law, it can also help in the fight against A-L-S.
LSU fans are upset with national sports reporter Darren Rovell after he said on Twitter that you should not put up a billboard celebrating second place. A billboard is up in Baton Rouge congratulating the LSU gymnastics team for finishing as runner ups at the national championships. Rovell did not back down from that tweet when he appeared on “Off the Bench” Monday morning on Alexandria’s 94.7 ESPN. LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette tweeted back to Rovell that the billboard helps promote the LSU brand.
New LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward is set to be introduced today at noon. The former LSU graduate has served as the Athletic Director for Texas A&M for the past four years with the sports program winning nine SEC titles.
The state hopes to get more students involved in the Ag industry by letting eligible two-year college grads transfer directly to LSU’s College of Ag and start as a junior. Louisiana Community and Technical College President Monty Sullivan says 2 2 is an economic program that gets kids out of college in four years with a lower debt load and bright prospects for a high paying job in a vital field. Students need to have a 2.5 GPA, and an associate degree in certain fields of study.
A constitutional amendment to exempt diapers and feminine products from the state sales tax cleared it’s first committee, and is on it’s way to Senate Finance, where it has previously died. The proposal comes with a 10 million dollar price tag, and is being introduced by New Orleans Senator JP Morrell.
Two people died early Sunday when their vehicle hit a deer while traveling on Highway 821 in Lincoln Parish. State Police say after the Chevy Tahoe hit the deer, the vehicle struck several trees.
The 14th LSU baseball team looks to win a midweek game for the first time since April 3rd when they host Lamar tonight. After tonight’s home game, LSU visits Alabama starting Thursday for a three game weekend series.
On Air Today..
Brooklyn @ Philadelphia 6:30p 94.7 ESPN
Oklahoma City @ Portland (Follows) 94.7 ESPN
LSU Baseball vs Lamar 5p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
Good Morning.. News For Monday 04/22/2019
News for Monday 042219
Compiled by Dave Graichen
LSU basketball coach Will Wade will not have to testify in a college hoops bribery trial set to begin next week in New York. Wade and Arizona coach Sean Miller were subpoenaed to testify, but judge Edgardo Ramos ruled that their testimonies would be irrelevant to the bribery charges the two defendants are facing.
Three people are behind bars for allegedly planting fake bombs at two northwest Louisiana schools to distract authorities while they robbed nearby banks. The two schools impacted were Lakeview High School in Natchitoches Parish and Castor High School in Bienville Parish. 41-year-old Paul Nash of Jonesboro, 47-year-old Lacentrusa Mayweather, and 42-year-old Tabitha Gray of Ball have been booked into the Bienville Parish Prison.
Legislation is being brought that would conceal the identities of companies that sell lethal injection drugs or equipment to the state. The state has not performed an execution since 2010, and advocates say a big part of that is because drug companies fear retaliation from anti-death penalty consumers. Governor Edwards says he would sign the legislation if it were to make it to his desk.
A Senate Committee is set to hear a proposal today that would exempt feminine hygiene products and diapers from the state sales tax. Louisiana Budget Project Executive Director Jan Moller says the proposal would cost the state 10-million dollars in revenues, but that’s not a lot of money in a 30-billion dollar budget.
A Senate Bill up consideration in the legislative session would allowing every junior and senior public high school students to take two college courses free of charge starting next school year. It’s an effort that has the support of Gov. John Bel Edwards. Higher Ed Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed says while Louisiana does offer dual enrollment, there isn’t universal access. The state Board of Regents is looking into ways to keep the students from having to foot the bill on dual enrollment classes
Hurricane Michael that impacted the Florida Panhandle in October has been upgraded by NOAA as a rare Category 5 hurricane at the time of landfall. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the last Category 5 storm that made landfall on US soil was Hurricane Andrew when it hit Florida and then crossed the Gulf and struck the Bayou State.
The 2019 Louisiana Survey shows a majority of Louisiana residents oppose gun restrictions as 57-percent oppose banning the sale of assault weapons and 61-percent oppose banning high capacity ammunition magazines. LSU Public Policy Research Lab director Doctor Michael Henderson says they asked respondents about three different proposals to restrict firearms and only one received majority support. Henderson says 69-percent of those polled say a law should be put in place to prevent people with mental illness from purchasing guns.
Kathleen Blanco’s family wants the public to know the former governor is not as close to death as reports indicated last week when it was announced she was in hospice care. Advocate Reporter Tyler Bridges spoke with Blanco’s husband, Raymond Blanco, and he says his wife is still active despite her terminal cancer. Bridges says Blanco can no longer walk, but is getting around with the help of an electric wheelchair. Bridges says no one knows how many days the former governor has left, but she’s trying to live them to the fullest.
East Baton Rouge residents will not have to worry about serving jury duty until at least June after a case out of Shreveport found young adults were not being summoned for jury duty. The jury service computer glitch means jury trials will have to be delayed. E-B-R District Attorney Hillar Moore says it’s obviously a setback.
After losing the series opener 16-9, the LSU Tigers roared back over the next two games to beat Florida 13-1 in Game two and then 11-2 in the rubber game on Saturday. Eric Walker was the winning pitcher in the series finale and had plenty of run support, as the Tigers scored nine runs over the first three innings.
On air today…
Monday April 22nd
Houston Astros vs Minnesota 6:35p 94.7 ESPN
Good Morning.... News For Thursday 04/18/2019
News for Thursday 041819
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Another round of bad weather is moving through the state today. There’s an enhanced risk for severe weather in the forecast for East Carroll Parish all the way down to the Cameron Parish and all parishes east of that stretch. State Climatologist Barry Keim says expect strong thunderstorms and several inches of rain. The good news is Keim expects the front to clear the state by tomorrow morning. Once the front is out of the way, expect cool and dry weather starting Friday and continuing through the Easter weekend.
LSU Athletics Director Joe Alleva has officially announced he’s stepping down. The university says he’ll be transitioning into a new role as special assistant to the president for donor relations, but will continue to serve as A-D until a new athletics director is named. Alleva has been the school’s A-D since 2008 and his contract is set to expire next year. Texas A&M Athletic Director Scott Woodward is reportedly set to take over as LSU’s new AD. Woodward has been in charge of Aggies athletics since 2016.
Former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco is under hospice care. Blanco, who served as governor from 2004 to 2008 was first diagnosed with an eye cancer in 2011, but the cancer returned in 2017 and spread to her liver. Last December, she said there’s no escape from her cancer. Franklin Representative Sam Jones spoke on the House floor yesterday to recognize the governor’s fight for her life. Blanco served in elected offices for two dozen years.
A proposal to ban the creation of most new freestanding emergency rooms in Louisiana has won support from state senators. Backers of the proposal said the ERs threaten the survival of Louisiana's fragile rural hospitals. Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Fred Mills, a St. Martin Parish Republican, said stand-alone emergency departments cherry-pick services that generate the most money. Senators voted 36-1 for Mills' bill. The House received the measure Wednesday, where a committee will next debate it.
Over 1.2 million dollars has been raised for the burned St. Landry Parish churches on a GoFundMe page that’s seen a surge in donations since a fire tore through the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Seventh District Missionary Baptist Church President Freddie Jack says the effort is much appreciated, and the congregations are taking the tragedy in stride while they figure out how to get back into their old homes.
The Center for Reproductive Rights says if an admitting privileges law set to be heard at the US Supreme Court were to take effect, two of the state’s three abortion clinics would close. President Nancy Northup says the regulation requiring clinics and providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital would dramatically reduce access to the procedure. The only remaining clinic would be a facility in Baton Rouge.
A bill is being introduced that would guarantee all Louisianans 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave, along with legal protections against being fired while out. Berni Consulting partner Caitlin Berni says it would allow you to draw from a fund managed by Workforce Commission, and paid into by you and your employer every paycheck. The bill includes parental leave, leave to take care of a close relative who has fallen ill, and long term medical leave for events like chemo therapy in cancer patients.
The Baton Rouge Advocate reported yesterday Attorney General Jeff Landry took a Citigroup campaign contribution despite objecting to Louisiana doing business with the banking giant because of its gun policies. Landry led the 2018 effort to keep Citigroup and Bank of America from participating in a $600 million road financing plan. But campaign filings released Tuesday show Landry accepted $2,500 from Citigroup on March 6 for his re-election bid. Landry campaign adviser Brent Littlefield says Landry appreciates the support from anyone that "wishes to support his conservative advocacy."
An $810 million alleged Ponzi scheme run through a California solar power company has ensnared Hancock Whitney Corp., resulting in a multimillion-dollar hit to the bank's first-quarter profits. DC Solar, a maker of mobile solar power generators based in California, filed for bankruptcy protection in February after federal investigators raided the company's offices. The alleged fraud also hit several other banks and insurance companies across the U.S., including insurance giant Progressive Corp., which said it could lose tens of millions of dollars due to its investment.
Every year, more and more pet rabbits are been turned over to the Louisiana SPCA following the Easter holiday from owners with buyer’s remorse. While rabbits can be great companion animals, Louisiana SPCA spokesperson Rebecca Melanson says many people do not realize the commitment of rabbit ownership. The average rabbit lifespan is 10-12 years.
LSU is set to begin a three-game series tonight against Florida and there’s good news on the injury front. Coach Paul Mainieri says he’s shocked by it, but he’s been told Zack Hess, Zach Watson and Chris Reid could return from injury and play in this series. Airtime 5p KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
David Griffin was introduced Wednesday as the new Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations. During the press conference, Griffin said that head coach Alvin Gentry will return next season and he believes there’s a chance Anthony Davis could also return, despite his demand for a trade during the regular season.
Good Morning.. News For Wednesday 04/17/2019
News for Wednesday 041719
By Dave Graichen
The Louisiana Attorney General's Office has officially stepped into the Kayla Giles case.
The Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office sought and received approval to have itself recused from the first-degree murder case because DA Phillip Terrell represented the father of the victim, Thomas Coutee Jr., back in 1990 during divorce proceedings. Giles is accused of shooting Coutee on Sept. 8 of last year in the Coliseum Boulevard Walmart parking lot as the estranged couple met for a child swap on their daughter's second birthday.
Tobias Williams will spend the rest of his life behind bars in connection with the 2016 death of Fort Polk Captain Jonathan Ellis. On Tuesday, Williams was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder and forty years for obstruction of justice for his role in the shooting death of Cpt. Ellis. Last month a jury unanimously found Williams guilty of both charges. The shooter, Wanda Gordon is serving 40 years for manslaughter after taking a guilty plea last year.
A new bill filed in the Louisiana House of Representatives by State Rep. Valarie Hodges who represents East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes, would make it a crime to threaten to kill or injure a judge or law enforcement officer. Those who violate the bill, if passed, could be fined up to $15,000 or imprisoned with or without hard labor for up to 15 years, or both. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice.
A constitutional amendment is on it’s way to the House floor that would let Louisiana voters decided whether or not the state constitution protects abortion rights. The law would not outright ban abortion, and thus is unlikely to be challenged in federal court, but it may create a legal framework to outlaw the procedure if the US Supreme Court ever undid Roe vs. Wade.
Lawmakers are seeking to bring back sales tax holidays. They were accidentally suspended for seven years when legislators crafted new tax laws last June. Monroe Representative Jay Morris’ measure would benefit consumers by reinstating a tax holiday for back to school shopping, hurricane preparedness and hunting supplies
The school supply sales tax weekend would occur in August, hurricane preparedness would be in May and the second amendment sales tax weekend would take place in September.
If you have ever been confused as to whether or not Almond Milk or coconut milk came from a cow, the Senate Ag Committee approved and expanded a bill that would require “truth in labeling” for food products like Almond “milk”, “riced” cauliflower, and “sugar” substitutes. Louisiana rice industry representative Scott Franklin says the “substitute” industry is well aware that they are misleading the public, and they’d have trouble selling their product if it was labeled properly. Our lesson for today, let’s look up the word “Substitute”.
The House Transportation committee slammed the breaks on a resolution pushed by Jonesboro Rep. Jack McFarland aimed at reducing the number of billboards on Louisiana roadways. Louisiana’s trucking industry backed the effort, because McFarland says ads for crash attorneys are impacting the cost of doing business for truckers. Supporters also say the number of billboards are distracting and take away from Louisiana’s scenery. The legislation was killed on a 14-to-3 vote.
Legislation has advanced to the House floor that seeks to lower auto insurance rates. Louisiana reportedly has the second-highest average auto insurance rates in the nation and River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot says his bill would lower the state’s threshold for requiring a civil trial to $5,000 from the current $50,000, take away the ability to sue an insurance company directly and extend the time limit to file a suit from one year to two.
Bossier City has been selected as a top retirement destination according to Where to Retire Magazine. The city was highlighted in a feature called “8 Veteran-Friendly Cities” in an upcoming issue. Bossier City Chief Administrative Officer Pam Glorioso says the area offers a great part of Louisiana for people to live in and at a low cost.
The 2019 Louisiana Survey shows 70 percent of Louisianans support the criminal justice reforms championed by Governor Edwards and passed by a bi-partisan Legislature in 2016. The reforms were aimed at reducing the prison population by reducing sentences and providing non-prison alternatives for non-violent offenders.
A wreck that claimed the life of four-year-old Katie Grantham in November 2017 has inspired legislation to run toxicology tests on drivers at fault for vehicle collisions that cause serious injury. The child’s mother, Morgan Grantham, spoke to a Senate Committee Tuesday and says the driver was not drug tested. Currently a drug test is only mandated if someone dies at the scene of a crash. Grantham’s daughter died in the days that followed.
Fundraising efforts are beginning to spread to help the three historically black churches that were torched in St. Landry Parish get back on their feet. A GoFundMe has raised 50,000 dollars of a 1.8 million dollar goal, Iberia Bank has promised to match donations up to 50,000 dollars along with an initial 6,000 dollar donation, and former Saints tight end Ben Watson has hit the trail to assist in fundraising efforts.
The NFL will release its regular season schedule for 2019 tonight at 7 Pm. We already know who the Black and Gold will play next season, we just don’t know the dates and times. The Saints are set to play a home and home series against their NFC South Rivals and they’ll also host the Cardinals, 49ers, Texans, Colts and Cowboys. New Orleans will travel to Chicago, Tennessee, Seattle, Jacksonville and Los Angeles in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game.
Two Louisiana Tech football games have been moved to Friday. Tech’s Conference USA home opener against F-I-U will now take place on Friday September 20th and the Bulldogs visit to Marshall will be played on November 15th instead.
The Pelicans will introduce their new executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin today during a press conference set for 12:45.
And Former Pelicans Center DeMarcus Cousins could miss the rest of the season after an M-R-I has revealed he tore his left quad in the Warriors loss to the Clippers last season.
On the air….
Wednesday April 17th
Houston Astros @ Oakland 8:30p 94.7 ESPN