10:30 LRN Newscast April 22

Winnsboro Police Lieutenant Terrance Pleasant is accused of soliciting sexual favors and money to a woman who was involved in a two-vehicle crash. State Police Trooper Michael Reichardt says the woman who received the offer told the Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Office

Cut 3 (10)  “…her insurance” 

Reichardt says they investigated the case for several weeks and then last night 47-year-old Pleasant was booked into the Franklin Parish Jail…

The list of candidates to become the next president at LSU is narrowed down to eight from twenty-three applicants. Governor John Bel Edwards says the ideal candidate needs to have the qualities to oversee not just the Baton Rouge campus but also serve as Chancellor of the A & M system.

Cut 5 (10)“… funding issues.”

The Senate Labor Committee has approved a measure on a three to two vote that would raise the minimum wage in Louisiana to 15-dollars an hour. It faces opposition from business groups. Jim Patterson with LABI says studies show that raising the minimum wage is actually not good for low-wage earners…

cut 8 (11) “…. employment”
The bill is not expected to make it through the legislative process.

US Drug Test Centers CEO Dr. Jonathan Baktari says the fiscal impact of the legalization of marijuana is moderately impactful. Most moderately sized states generated an extra 100 to 400 million dollars a year in revenue.

Cut 12 (10) “…programs.”

AM LRN Newscall April 22

An LSU special committee narrows the list of candidates to eight from 23. Brooke Thorington has more from Governor John Bel Edwards on ideal qualities for the school’s president.

Cut 1 (34) “…I’m Brooke Thorington”

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A bill raising the state minimum wage to $15 an hour next year advances from Senate Labor. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (29) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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Research by the US Drug Test Centers gives legislators food for thought as they consider allowing full statewide marijuana legalization to be put to a vote of the people. Matt Doyle has more.

Cut 3 (30)  “…I’m Matt Doyle.”

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The list of candidates to become the next president at LSU is narrowed down to eight from twenty-three applicants. Two familiar names among the eight are University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson and Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne. Governor John Bel Edwards says it’s imperative the right candidate is chosen.

Cut 4 (09)“…is having.”

Edwards says the ideal candidate needs to have the qualities to oversee not just the Baton Rouge campus but also serve as Chancellor of the A & M system.

Cut 5 (10)“… funding issues.”

Edwards says it’s a huge job overseeing an ag center, a law school, Pennington Biomedical Research, two medical schools a two-year campus in Eunice, and really a statewide footprint.

Cut 6 (08) “…do that.”

The search committee plans to live stream interviews with the eight semifinalists Monday and Tuesday.

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A Senate bill to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour beginning in 2022 advances from Senate Labor 3 to 2. Bill author, New Orleans Senator Troy Carter says the top five occupations with the greatest number of workers earning less than $8.25 an hour are cashiers, waiters, food prep workers, home healthcare aides, and fast-food workers. Carter says these are all front-line workers.

Cut 7 (10)  “…couldn’t.”

Speaking in opposition, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry VP of Governmental Relations Jim Patterson cited a study from American and Cornell Universities of states that increased their minimum wage from 2003 to 2007.

Cut 8 (11) “…employment.”

Executive Director of the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families Susan East Nelson spoke in favor of raising the minimum wage because one in four children in the state face food insecurities.

Cut 9 (09) “…livable wage.”

The bill is now expected to be heard in Senate Finance.

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A study by US Drug Test Centers shows 8 percent of Louisianans admit to using marijuana within the last month, a 30 percent increase since 2015.

CEO Dr. Jonathan Baktari says that gives the state the 29th highest rate of use amongst adults. He says judging by results in other states that number would rise should Louisiana legalize weed…

Cut 10 (09) “…access.”

Legislation is up for consideration this year that would put statewide legalization up to a vote of the people.

But Baktari says there is no clear correlation between legalization and increased youth usage of pot. He says of the 16 states with legal weed eight saw youth use increase, eight saw it decrease.

Cut 11 (08) “…below.”

Nevada saw the largest increase in regular youth use after legalization at 21 percent, while Arizona saw the largest decrease at 27 percent.

Baktari says the fiscal impact of legalization is moderately impactful. Most moderately sized states generated an extra 100 to 400 million dollars a year in revenue.

Cut 12 (10) “…programs.”

The study uses numbers from the US Department of Health and analysis from the Tax Foundation.

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The House approves legislation that would allow the people to vote on an amendment centralizing Louisiana’s sales and local tax collection system.

The legislation has strong support from the state’s business community and was brought by Speaker Clay Schexnayder.

Cut 13 (13) “…constituents.”

New Iberia Representative Gerald Beaullieu says the current decentralized system leads to complexities and burdens on the business community.

Cut 14 (11) “…in those rankings.”

Louisiana is one of only three states with a decentralized collection system.

But the legislation drew concern from lawmakers who were concerned it would result in lost revenue for municipalities. Hornbeck Representative Rodney Schamerhorn says as written it’s too vague…

Cut 15 (10)“…we go.”

The final vote was 96-4

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The NFL draft begins a week from today and the Saints own the 28th pick in the first round.  While the organization has been hard at work scouting potential draftees, coach Sean Payton says there’s still work to be done.

Cut 16 (12) “…this point.”

Scouting might be more difficult than in previous years due to a number of big-time player opt-outs in college football this past season.  Add that to the fact that there was no official NFL combine this year.  Payton says it’s another challenge presented to them by the pandemic.

Cut 17 (17) “…presents”

The Saints have lost some key veterans this offseason due to salary cap restraints and are very thin at a number of positions. Here’s Payton on what they could potentially look for in the draft.

Cut  18 (15)”…in the season.” 

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LSU baseball begins another series tonight against a team ranked in the Top 15. The Tigers are at 12th ranked Ole Miss. The Rebels are 27-10 overall, nine-six in the SEC West. Ole Miss is second in the SEC in hitting with a team batting average of .301, while the Tigers are 10th in the league in hitting. Coach Paul Mainieri says there are some positions that have not hit consistently…

Cut 19 (17) “…positions” 

Mainieri plans on starting Oxford native Drew Bianco at second base. The son of Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco has only started nine games, but Mainieri is hoping the junior can give the offense a boost

Cut 20 (12) “…tomorrow night” 

4:30 LRN Newscast April 21

Legislation inspired by the LSU sexual misconduct scandal mandating, among other things, that higher ed employees properly report known incidents of “power-based violence” is headed to the Senate floor. Baton Rouge Senator Regina Barrow…

Cut 3 (08)  “…existed” 

Power-based violence is defined as dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking.

A bill mandating five-year-olds to go kindergarten is headed to the Senate floor as well. Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools Legal Director Sarah Vandergriff says early education increases student literacy rates.

Cut 10 (06) “….is supported.” 

Homeschool Louisiana argues five-year-olds should be outside playing and not limited to a classroom setting and this is an overreach of government.

The House Ways and Means Committee advances a proposal that would eliminate the state’s income tax on residents and the corporate franchise tax. It’s unclear if Mandeville Representative Richard Nelson’s tax reform plan has enough support to get the two-thirds vote needed to pass, but Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey says it’s a proposal that should be looked at some more…

Cut 15 (10) “…consideration” 

Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s thankful the criminal justice system dispensed justice against ex-Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin who was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. U-S Senator Bill Cassidy says justice was done…

cut 6 (11) “….never taught”

3:30 LRN Newscast April 21

Louisiana elected officials react to a jury convicting former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin of murder and manslaughter of George Floyd. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 2 (28) …I’m Jeff Palermo”  

A sixth body has been recovered from the Seacor powerlift boat that capsized a week ago Tuesday. The Lafourche Parish Coroner’s Office says 31-year-old Quinon Pitre of St. Mary Parish, has been recovered. Seven crew members remain missing as divers continue search efforts inside the vessel.

Legislation inspired by the LSU sexual misconduct scandal mandating higher ed employees properly report known incidents of “power-based violence” is headed to the Senate floor. Higher ed officials came out in support of the legislation. Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed…

Cut 4 (13) “…environment.” 

Power-based violence is defined as dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking.

The House Ways and Means Committee advances a proposal to eliminate the state’s income tax on residents and a tax on businesses known as the corporate franchise tax. Mandeville Representative Richard Nelson tax plan would also lower the homestead exemption from 75-to 25-thousand dollars. The freshman lawmaker believes the public will support the measure.

Cut 14 (05) “..will sell” 

1:30 LRN Newscast April 21

A Senate Committee approves legislation mandating higher education staff properly report known cases of sexual misconduct or be terminated. Matt Doyle has the story.

Cut 1 (30) “ …I’m Matt Doyle.” 

An 85-year-old woman was killed Tuesday when her golf cart crashed and pinned her to the ground. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office says the woman was unresponsive when emergency workers answered the call around 9 p.m. near Abita Springs. The parish coroner’s office will determine the cause of death and release the woman’s name.

Many are saying justice was served when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the murder of George Floyd. But Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus Ted James on Talk Louisiana on WRKF tells host Jim Engster he can’t go that far…

Cut 9 (08) “..it was justice.”

Senate Education votes 5-1 in favor of a bill that would make kindergarten mandatory in Louisiana. Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields’ bill would require all children to start school at the age of five. Homeschool Louisiana Governmental Affairs Jesse Leger spoke in opposition saying five-year-olds should be outside playing, not limited to a classroom setting and this places another burden on families who homeschool.

Cut 11 (09) “…happy about”

Several spoke in favor. advances to the Senate Floor but could be sent to the Senate Finance to address fiscal needs.

11:30 LRN Newscast April 21

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd. Cell phone video showed Chauvin’s knee pressing on Floyd’s neck for nine and half minutes during an arrest. Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus Ted James said on Talk Louisiana on WRKF he was expecting an acquittal….

Cut 8 (10) “..held accountable”

Social media claims that the COVID vaccine is responsible for a more than 300-percent increase in miscarriages is causing concerns. LSU Health New Orleans OB/GYN Doctor Asha Heard says there has been no evidence at this time to suggest the claims of an increase are true and miscarriages early in pregnancy are far more common than you would think.

Cut 12 (06) “…recognized pregnancies.”

Heard says speak with your personal physician and not social media for your medical concerns.

A Bossier City Senator proposes dedicating the expiring .45 percent of the state’s sales tax solely to roads and bridges. Matt Doyle has the story.

Cut 1 (30) “…I’m Matt Doyle”

Divers have recovered a sixth body that was a crewmember on the capsized Seacor Power lift boat in the Gulf of Mexico. The Lafourche Parish Coroner’s office identifies the person as 31-year-old Quinon Pitre of St. Mary Parish. Seven crew members remain missing.

10:30 LRN Newscast April 21

U-S Senator Bill Cassidy believes justice was done when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts Tuesday. Cell phone video showed Chauvin’s knee pressing on George Floyd’s neck for nine and half minutes during an arrest. Cassidy says he spoke to local law enforcement who tell him what Chauvin did is not taught in police training.

Cut 7 (05) “..take over”

 

The Louisiana Senate will soon have the opportunity to decide whether .45-percent of the state’s 4.45-percent sales tax should strictly be used on Louisiana roads. Bossier City Senator Barrow Peacock says with billions in federal infrastructure aid potentially headed to the state, the state needs to start putting some money aside.
Cut 5 (08)“… for federal funds.”
Peacock’s proposal has already cleared a Senate committee.

Social media claims that the COVID vaccine is responsible for a more than 300-percent increase in miscarriages is raising eyebrows. LSU Health New Orleans OB/GYN Doctor Asha Heard says recent studies by the CDC and the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology say otherwise.

Cut 11 (05) “…the two.”

Heard says as with any medical concern speak with your personal physician.

A bill requiring young children to attend kindergarten will be heard in the Senate education committee today. Stand for Children Governmental Affairs Director Brigitte Nieland fully support Senator Cleo Fields’ legislation because she says kindergarten provides vital foundational skills.
Cut 14 (09) “…student’s lifetime.”
But Louisiana Family Forum President Gene Mills says parents should decide if their children attend kindergarten, not the Louisiana Legislature.

5:30 LRN Newscast April 20

Louisiana is receiving 216-million dollars in federal coronavirus stimulus dollars that can be used on highway projects like widening I-20 in Ouachita Parish and extending I-49 south in Lafayette. Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson says eleven million dollars must also be spent on installing electric vehicle charging stations statewide…
cut 8 (11) “…of that”

Legislation allowing a statewide amendment vote, on expanding the size of the State Supreme Court to nine from the current seven is headed to the Senate floor. Bill author and Covington Senator Patrick McMath says it also calls for a redistricting of the State Supreme Court to be conducted after every census.

Cut 10 (08) “.problem” 

Students at UL and LSU system schools will not have to be vaccinated to attend classes in the fall. UL System President Jim Henderson says it’s mostly due to an ethical concern with mandating vaccine use for non-fully licensed vaccines. That being said he says you should still get one.

Cut 13 (08)“….campuses”

LSU Interim president Thomas Galligan removes himself from consideration to be named permanently to the post. As for his predecessor, Galligan says they will have a big job considering the school’s Title IX issues. He says however improvements to reporting sexual misconduct at the university are significantly underway.

Cut 5  (07)  “…commitment.”

Galligan will remain interim until the board names his replacement.

3:30 LRN Newscast April 20

The UL and LSU systems will not require students to be vaccinated to attend in-person classes for the upcoming fall semester. Despite that UL System President Jim Henderson says he’s confident that our current vaccination rates will facilitate a safe fall campus experience, barring a new vaccine immune variant.

Cut 14 (07) “..science” 

All Louisiana residents 16 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine at local pharmacies.

LSU Interim President Thomas Galligan withdraws his name from consideration to be named permanent president. Galligan says he came to the decision after spending time with his 14-month-old grandson…
cut 3 (10) “…do best”
Galligan was the dean of the LSU law school when he was named temporary leader of the LSU system in January of 2020.

The Edwards administration says it’s using 216 million dollars in federal coronavirus stimulus money on road and infrastructure projects. The money was approved by Congress in December and Governor John Bel Edwards says improving the state’s roads and bridges has been a priority of his administration.

Cut 6 (10) “..for awhile”

Legislation allowing a statewide amendment vote on expanding the size of the State Supreme Court to nine from the current seven is headed to the Senate floor. Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau had some concerns that New Orleans Senator Jimmy Harris, a co-author, tried to put to rest…

Cut 11 (12) “..either way”

1:30 LRN Newscast April 20

Students will not be required to get a COVID vaccine to attend in-person classes this fall at either LSU or UL system schools. Matt Doyle has the story.

Cut 2 (29) …I’m Matt Doyle”  

Louisiana Housing Corporation Executive Director Keith Cunningham has been suspended while he’s under investigation for allegedly sexually harassing an employee, Cunningham was placed on administrative leave with pay last Wednesday pending the investigation according to Governor Edwards’ spokeswoman Christina Stephens.

A Senate Committee approves a constitutional amendment expanding the size of the State Supreme Court from seven justices to nine. Bill author and Covington Senator Patrick McMath says the current makeup of State Supreme Court districts is not representative of the state’s population distribution.

Cut 9 (07) “..district.”

The bill also calls for a redistricting of the State Supreme Court to be conducted after every census.

LSU Interim president Thomas Galligan removes himself from consideration to be named permanently to the post. As for his predecessor, Galligan says they will have a big job considering the school’s Title IX issues. He says however improvements to reporting sexual misconduct at the university are significantly underway.

Cut 5  (07)  “…commitment.”

Galligan will remain interim until the board names his replacement.