12:30 LRN Newscast April 30

Governor John Bel Edwards has provided his input on how one-point-six billion dollars in federal coronavirus aid should be spent.  Edwards says 400-million dollars should go towards refilling the unemployment trust fund, which is bankrupt, and the only other way to re-fill it is by taxing businesses.

Cut 3 (09)  “…a pandemic” 

All of the funding comes from the American Rescue Plan approved by Congress earlier this year.

The Louisiana Department of Health has confirmed two cases of the COVID-19 Brazilian variant in Louisiana.

Cut 9 (06) “..identified yet”

The Brazilian variant is one of now three variants circulating in Louisiana. Kanter says officials getting vaccinated can help prevent mutations and infections of COVID-19

The State Fair is underway in Shreveport and having the event in the spring is a first for the Bayou State staple. State Fair President Chris Giordano says due to COVID they postponed last year’s fall event and instead of canceling the 114th edition they opted for a spring and fall fair this year. So far feedback is positive.

Cut 6 (10) “…families”

The fair runs through May 9th.

A bill to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products in Louisiana from 18 to 21 passes in House Judiciary 8 to 2. Denham Springs High School Assistant Principal Justin Wax says vaping and cigarette use among teens is an ever-growing issue.

Cut 7 (10)  “…away from this.”

The bill now heads to the house for debate.

11:30 LRN Newscast April 30

Another poll finds a majority of Louisiana residents support legalizing recreational marijuana. Erik Piccoli has the story…

Cut 1 (31) “…I’m Erik Piccoli.”

Governor John Bel Edwards says the removal of House Education Committee Chairman Representative Ray Garofalo is justified. The Chalmette representative is under fire after a comment during committee testimony that there may have been good parts of slavery went viral.

College athletes would profit from their name, image, and likeness under a bill that also received approval from the Senate Education Committee. But Minden Senator Robert Mills is concerned that if college athletes make money from their name and likeness, it could result in NCAA penalties against Louisiana colleges…

Cut 16 (11) “…scared to death.”

A bill to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products in Louisiana from 18 to 21 passes in House Judiciary 8 to 2. Denham Springs High School Assistant Principal John Easterly testified that a quarter of the suspensions he handles are students smoking cigarettes or vaping.

Cut 8 (06) “…period of time.”

 

The measure now heads to the house floor for debate.

10:30 LRN Newscast April 30

A bill to ban transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports teams in schools passes unanimously out of the Senate Education Committee. Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell quoted Female Powerlifter Beth Stelzer in her opening remarks…
Cut 10 (13) “…women’s sports.”
Child psychologist Dr. Clifton Mixon calls the bill divisive and says it sets a damaging tone against an already vulnerable population.

Cut 11 (10) “…future.”

The proposal heads to the Senate floor. Governor Edwards opposes it.

The Senate Education Committee approves legislation that would allow college athletes to profit off of their name, image, or likeness, which could result in endorsement and sponsorship deals for star players. Even though it was approved, several senators had questions like River Ridge Senator Kirk Talbot…

Cut 15 (11)“…in this.”

The University of New Orleans’ Survey Research Center has found that 55% of registered voters support the legalization of recreational marijuana in Louisiana.  This comes in the wake of the Louisiana House Criminal Justice Committee passing a bill that seeks to legalize weed. SRC director Dr. Ed Chervenak says it’s unclear if the proposal can receive approval from the Louisiana House.

Cut 6 (07) “…it will be legalized.”

700 registered voters were surveyed.

3:30 LRN Newscast April 30

Governor John Bel Edwards says he would not have a problem if Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo is removed as a committee chairman for his comments regarding slavery. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 1 (34) “ …I’m Jeff Palermo” 

According to United Cajun Navy members a report of a body found in the water has spurred an emergency search and rescue operation, they received a report of a body floating by a rig Friday morning. Seven passengers remain missing from the SEACOR Power lift boat that capsized April 13th.

Former LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the fifth pick, reuniting him with college teammate Joe Burrow. The two won a championship together at LSU.  Chase says he’s ready to grow as a player with Burrow at quarterback.

Cut 14 (11) “…will be easy” 

The first-ever Spring version of the is underway in Shreveport. State Fair President Chris Giordano says due to COVID they postponed last year’s fall event and instead of canceling the 114th fair, they decided to host two this year.  And if all goes well, this could be the new norm.

Cut 8 (05) “…each year.”

In addition to the staple events and attractions, you find at the fall fair at the spring event visitors can also ice skate in the coliseum when the Mudbugs aren’t playing.

AM LRN Newscall April 30

Another poll finds a majority of Louisiana residents support legalizing recreational marijuana. Erik Piccoli has the story…

Cut 1 (31) “…I’m Erik Piccoli.”

_______________________________

Senate Education unanimously approves legislation barring transgender female student-athletes from competing on female teams. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (35) “…I’m Brooke Thorington” 

____________________________

A proposal that would give college athletes in Louisiana a chance to make money off their name, image, and likeness has started moving at the State Capitol. Jim Shannon has the story

Cut 3 (29)  “…I’m Jim Shannon”

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The University of New Orleans’ Survey Research Center has found that a majority of registered voters statewide support the legalization of recreational marijuana. SRC director Dr. Ed Chervenak says they surveyed nearly 700 registered voters and 55% are in favor of legalizing pot.

Cut 4 (12)“…in the budget.”

The survey showcases a generational divide with support for legalization dropping significantly as age increases. Chervenak says unsurprisingly, opinions also split along party lines.

Cut 5 (04)“…Republicans are not.”

This comes in the wake of the Louisiana House Criminal Justice Committee passing a bill that seeks to legalize weed. It’s unclear if the proposal can receive approval from the Louisiana House.

Cut 6 (07) “…it will be legalized.”

_____________________

A bill to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products in Louisiana from 18 to 21 passes in House Judiciary 8 to 2. Denham Springs High School Assistant Principal Justin Wax says vaping and cigarette use among teens is an ever-growing issue.

Cut 7 (10)  “…away from this.”

Assistant Principal John Easterly testified that a quarter of the suspensions he handles are students smoking cigarettes or vaping.

Cut 8 (06) “…period of time.”

Bill author Denham Springs Representative Buddy Mincey says a survey across the state indicates students are exposed to and using nicotine products at alarmingly young ages.

Cut 9 (07) “…elementary school.” (x2)

The measure now heads to the house floor for debate.

__________________

A bill to limit transgender participation in sports passes unanimously from Senate Education. Bill Author Senator Beth Mizell says the bill protects women’s sports by banning transgender females from competing with females because she says they have a physical advantage.  Mizell quoted Female Powerlifter Beth Stelzer in her opening remarks.

Cut 10 (13) “…women’s sports.”

Child psychologist Dr. Clifton Mixon however spoke in opposition of the bill claiming language in the bill is divisive and sets a damaging tone against an already vulnerable population.

Cut 11 (10) “…future.”

Melissa Flournoy, with Louisiana Progress Action, says the bill is trying to create a problem where there isn’t one, and passage of any antitransgender bills endangers the state of losing NCAA tournaments.

Cut 12 (09) “…necessary? no.”

Mizell says no one wants to treat anyone with inequity but says there’s not an equal situation physically when transgender females compete with females.

Cut 13 (06) “…female athletes.”

The bill now heads to the full Senate for debate.

________________________________________

The Senate Education Committee approves legislation that would allow college athletes to profit off of their name, image, or likeness, which could result in endorsement and sponsorship deals for star players. Former LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux spoke in favor of the legislation…

Cut 14 (09) “…playing fields.”

Marrero Senator Patrick Marrero is the sponsor of the bill and says it’s necessary because the NCAA has not taken action on changing its rules so that athletes can make money on their name, image or likeness. Even though it was approved, several senators had questions like River Ridge Senator Kirk Talbot…

Cut 15 (11)“…in this.”

Some states have already passed their own legislation on this issue, like Mississippi and Florida. Minden Senator Robert Mills is concerned that if Louisiana passes this bill and their college athletes start to get compensated from endorsement deals, it could result in NCAA penalties

Cut 16 (11) “…scared to death.”

__________________________________________________

LSU baseball begins a three-game series tonight against number one ranked Arkansas and there could be over ten thousand fans on hand. Center fielder Giovanni Digiacomo is looking forward to packed Box

Cut 17 (13) “…forward to it.”

LSU is 6-and-12 in the SEC and in jeopardy of not making the SEC Tournament if they can not win a couple of series before the regular season ends. Right fielder Dylan Crews says they understand what’s at stake…

Cut  18 (16)”..for sure.” 

_________________________________________________

After splitting a four-game series at home against Marshall last weekend, Louisiana Tech is on the road this weekend for another four-game set at Middle Tennessee. Bulldogs Coach Lane Burroughs says his guys play well on the road pointing to their seven and one record in away games in conference play…

Cut 19 (18) “…incomplete picture” 

Burroughs is hoping to get cleanup hitter Steele Netterville back in the line-up. He’s fourth on the team in RBIs with 30 but hasn’t played a full game in nearly a month because of an oblique strain. The coach says Netterville makes a difference in their line-up…

Cut 20 (20) “…quality is a priority for us.” 

1:30 LRN Newscast April 29

Louisiana’s Legislative Black Caucus has asked for the removal of Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo as House Education Chairman over a comment he made about slavery. While discussing his bill to ban “divisive concepts” Garofalo said there were some good components of slavery. A video of him making the comment has gone viral but Garofalo says the slavery comment was taken out of context and blames the media of inflammatory reporting…

Cut 4 (11) “…accused of.” 

Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Ted James calls Garofalo’s comments about slavery troubling and his comments on the House floor explaining the situation never resulted in an apology…

Cut 5  (11)  “…initial comments.”

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder told the Advocate he has not decided on whether Garofalo will be removed as House Education Chairman.

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff deputies say a homeowner used a pair of scissors to fight back against an armed robber who got inside his home. Chief Jimmy Travis says the homeowner feared for his life and two small children as one of the assailants was attacking him…

Cut 10 (10) “…on the scene” 

Twenty-six-year-old Devin Mitchell of Hammond died from his injuries. Travis says Mitchell was one of five people involved in the armed robbery and home invasion. The other four have been arrested.

Former LSU wide receiver Ja’marr Chase should hear his name called early in tonight’s NFL draft as he’s projected to be a top-10 pick.  Chase’s high school head coach and Rummel athletic director Jay Roth says he knew Chase had a chance to be great.

Cut 7 (14) “…special here”

12:30 LRN Newscast April 29

House Education approves legislation outlawing the use of corporal punishment in Louisiana public schools. 36-year veteran teacher Tammy Wood spoke in support of the bill. She says if a student is acting out schools should work to find out why instead of just beating them.

Cut 8 (11) “…psychologists.”

Currently, 29 districts allow corporal punishment, and parents are allowed to opt-out.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife of Fisheries was forced to put down a black bear once it became a threat to public safety in Port Allen. LDWF Biologist Supervisor Scott Durham it’s the same bear they rescued Saturday but this time it demonstrated dangerous behavior looking food.

Cut 14 (10) “…the town” 

The bear was put down Tuesday.

Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo is facing backlash and calls for his removal as House Education Chairman as a result of a comment he made about slavery. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 1 (31) “ …I’m Jeff Palermo” 

 

11:30 LRN Newscast April 29

Louisiana’s Legislative Black Caucus has asked for the removal of Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo as House Education Chairman over a comment he made about slavery. While discussing his bill to ban “divisive concepts” Garofalo said there were some good components to slavery…

Cut 3 (11)  “…maybe.” 

A video of Garofalo making the comment has gone viral.

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder told the Advocate he has not decided on whether Garofalo will be removed as House Education Chairman. The Speaker says he spoke with him and plans to meet with the Black Caucus. Caucus Chairman Ted James says as a chairman of a committee, Garofalo, should be held to a higher standard.

Cut 6 (07) “…of the chairman”

Garofalo says the slavery comment was taken out of context and blames the media of inflammatory reporting.

House Education approves legislation outlawing the use of corporal punishment in Louisiana public schools. Louisiana Association of School Superintendents head Michael Faulk says this decision should be left up to districts and notes the 29 that still allow it must follow certain corporal punishment guidelines.

Cut 9 (12) “…thickness.”

In the 29 districts that allow corporal punishment parents can opt out of it and chose other punishments instead.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife of Fisheries had to make a difficult decision to put down a black bear after it became a threat to public safety in Port Allen. LDWF Biologist Supervisor Scott Durham says after relocating the bear in the woods over the weekend it returned to the city.

Cut 13 (07)“…this case”

The bear was put down Tuesday night.

10:30 LRN Newscast April 29

House Education approves legislation outlawing the use of corporal punishment in Louisiana public schools. Baton Rouge Representative Barbara Freiberg, a retired educator, says children mirror the behavior they see in adults, and utilizing corporal punishment teaches kids to solve problems using violence.

Cut 7 (07)  “..conflict.”
Twenty-nine school districts allow corporal punishment and parents are allowed to opt-out. BESE supports the legislation.

A bill requiring mandatory reporting on college campuses of power-based abuse passes unanimously in the house. New Orleans Representative Aimee Freeman says she worked with the Board of Regents at all public universities and STAR, Sexual Trauma Awareness Response Group…

Cut 15 (06)“….the table.”

Power-based abuse includes sexual assault and harassment, dating and domestic violence. The Bill now heads to the Senate.

The invasive species, known as apple snails, because they grow to that size is causing issues for some crawfish farmers. LSU Ag Center Entomologist Blake Wilson says the apple snail and their egg have besieged some crawfish farms in six parishes.

Cut 5 (08)“…all together.”

Wilson says the egg masses resemble bubble gum.

The Softball State Championships in Sulphur begin today and fans will be happy to know there won’t be any capacity restrictions due to newly relaxed COVID public health orders. Visit Lake Charles Sales Director Eric Zartler says last year the teams didn’t even get to finish their season, let alone have a tournament, so this means a lot to the players and community…

Cut 10 (12) “…Louisiana.”

AM LRN Newscall April 29

Outbreaks of apple snails are affecting the crawfish harvest in some areas of the state. Brooke Thorington explains.

Cut 1 (29) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

_______________________________

A House committee advances legislation prohibiting corporal punishment from being administered in Louisiana public schools. Matt Doyle has the story…

Cut 2 (31) “…I’m Matt Doyle” 

____________________________

The State Softball Tournament begins today and for the first time in over a year players will be treated to full stands with no capacity restrictions. Matt Doyle has more.

Cut 3 (30)  “…I’m Matt Doyle.”

____________________________

An invasive species is wreaking havoc for some Louisiana crawfish farmers. LSU Ag Center Entomologist Blake Wilson says apple snail egg masses are being reported in as many as six parishes.

Cut 4 (10)“…dead snails.”

Wilson says apple snails got their name because they can grow to be the size of an apple and their eggs are bright pink and resemble bubble gum and in the egg stage, they emit toxins and can irritate your skin.

While the species isn’t extremely widespread across the state, Wilson says crawfish farmers that have been besieged with them are suffering.

Cut 5 (08)“…all together.”

Apple snails were introduced to the Louisiana ecosystem back in 2016 when they were sold in pet stores for aquariums. Wilson says they believe once the snails reached full size some owners were possibly overwhelmed.

Cut 6 (11) “…gulf coast states.”

Wilson advises if you have an infestation, do not move boats or equipment to another body of water because the species will continue to spread.

Wilson says the snails have been reported in Cameron, Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, St. James, and Vermillion Parishes.

_______________________

House Education approves legislation outlawing the use of corporal punishment in Louisiana public schools.

Baton Rouge Representative Barbara Freiberg, a retired educator, says children mirror the behavior they see in adults, and utilizing corporal punishment teaches kids to solve problems using violence.

Cut 7 (07)  “..conflict.”

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education spokesperson Ethan Melancon says the board is strongly in favor of adopting this law.

36-year veteran teacher Tammy Wood spoke in support of the bill. She says if a student is acting out schools should work to find out why instead of just beating them.

Cut 8 (11) “…psychologists.”

Louisiana Association of School Superintendents head Michael Faulk says this decision should be left up to districts and notes the 29 that still allow it have to follow certain corporal punishment guidelines.

Cut 9 (12) “…thickness.”

In the 29 districts that allow corporal punishment parents are allowed to opt-out of it and chose other punishments instead.

__________________

The Softball State Championships in Sulphur begin today and fans will be happy to know there won’t be any capacity restrictions due to newly relaxed COVID public health orders.

Visit Lake Charles Sales Director Eric Zartler says last year the teams didn’t even get to finish their season, let alone have a tournament, so this means a lot to the players and community…

Cut 10 (12) “…Louisiana.”

The removal of capacity restrictions will also be in effect for the State Baseball Tournament in mid-May.

Zartler says weather permitting they’re hoping for over 18,000 people to attend the 48 team tournament between today’s start of the semi-finals and Saturday’s championship finals.

Cut 11 (08) “..state.”

Zartler says the elimination of restrictions on outdoor gatherings means these students will get to play to packed stands for the first time this season.

Cut 12 (07) “…crowd.”

_________________________________

A bill requiring mandatory reporting on college campuses of power-based abuse passes unanimously in the house. New Orleans Representative Aimee Freeman says her bill is a result of the unreported cases of sexual assault and harassment at LSU that came to light in November.

Cut 13 (07) “…abuse.”

Power-based abuse includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, and domestic violence

The bill also requires termination of an employee if they fail to report the conduct to the Title IX coordinator.

Freeman introduced an amendment to the bill to clarify how a mandatory reporter must learn of the power-based abuse.

Cut 14 (08) “….another manner.”

Freeman says she worked with the Board of Regents at all public universities and STAR, Sexual Trauma Awareness Response Group…

Cut 15 (06)“….the table.”

The Bill which is part of the Governor’s legislative agenda now heads to the Senate.

________________________________________________

The NFL draft begins tonight and wide receiver Jamarr Chase seems to be a lock to go in the top ten, with some projections having Cincinnati picking him with the fifth pick.  Many LSU fans would love to see Chase re-unite with Joe Burrow, draft analyst Mike Detillier says that may not be the best option.

Cut 16 (17) “…with Tua.”

Another Tiger receiver in the draft is Terrace Marshall Jr.  Marshall battled injuries during his time in Baton Rouge but was a big-time playmaker when healthy.  Detillier thinks Marshall could hear his name called on the first day.

Cut 17 (12) “…Ravens”

While Chase and Marshall have the talent to make immediate impacts in the league, Detillier says the most intriguing LSU player in the draft might be Safety Jacoby Stevens.

Cut  18 (13)”..at LSU.” 

_________________________________________________

The Saints have eight selections heading into the seven-round NFL draft. They have the 28th overall pick in the first round. There was no NFL draft combine and getting medical information has been a challenge. General Manager Mickey Loomis wishes they had the chance to speak with some of the prospects face to face

Cut 19 (18) “…incomplete picture” 

The Saints have lost several starters from last year’s NFC South champion team. Quarterback Drew Brees retired and several others were released or lost in free agency to get below the salary cap. But Loomis does not see a lot of big holes on his current roster

Cut 20 (20) “…quality is a priority for us.”