12:30 LRN Newscast April 20

LSU Interim President Thomas Galligan withdraws his name from being named permanent President. Galligan, who served as Dean of LSU’s Law School, was named to the post of interim President in January of 2020. Galligan says he feels teaching is what he does best, and the role of president limits his ability to instruct.

Cut 4 (05) “…classroom.” 

Galligan will remain interim until the board names his replacement.

The UL and LSU systems will not require students to be vaccinated to attend in-person classes for the upcoming fall semester. UL System President Jim Henderson says he has concerns about mandating students take a vaccine that is still under FDA emergency use authorization.

Cut 12 (07)   “..vaccine” 

Full biological licensing for vaccines may not be available until 2022.

The Edwards administration announces it’s using 216 million dollars in federal coronavirus stimulus money on road and infrastructure projects. The federal money replaces the lost gas tax revenue the state experienced in 2020 when fewer people traveled due to the pandemic. State Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson says 50-million dollars will go towards extending I-49 from Lafayette to New Orleans…

Cut 7 (12) “..to construction”

Wilson says another 20 million will go towards widening I-10 in Ouachita Parish.  The money was approved by Congress in December.

10:30 LRN Newscast April 20

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”

A bill allowing Louisianans 21 and older to carry a concealed handgun without a permit or training, passes out of a Senate Committee 3-2. Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Director Fabian Blache Jr. says they’re not opposed to concealed carry, just concealed carry without education and training…

Cut 8 (11) “…fear.”

Proponents argue there’s no data supporting claims that not requiring a permit will result in more crime.

Four antitransgender bills have been filed this legislative session. Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s concerned about the emotional impact these bills could have on the transgender community.

Cut 11 (09) “…individuals”

Two bills ban transgender females from competing in women’s sports and two others would make it more difficult for transgender individuals to receive both mental and medical treatment.

The Coast Guard has ended its search for the eight missing crewmen that were on the Seacor Power lift boat when it capsized last Tuesday eight miles from the coast of Lafourche Parish. Seacor Marine has hired divers to continue the search and National Transportation Safety Board investigator Andrew Ehlers says the probe could take a year or two to complete…

Cut 13 (08) “…happening again”
NTSB says they will focus on the weather conditions at the time of the accident.

AM LRN Newscall April 20

Legislation allowing the voters to St. Tammany to approve a waterfront casino in Slidell is headed to the Senate floor. Matt Doyle has more.

Cut 1 (30) “…I’m Matt Doyle”

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A proposal to allow Louisianans to carry a concealed handgun without taking a class to get a permit is headed to the Senate floor after narrowly passing a Senate committee. Matt Doyle has more.

Cut 2 (31) “…I’m Matt Doyle.” 

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Four bills have been filed in the legislature impacting transgender individuals in Louisiana. Brooke Thorington on why they don’t have the Governor’s support

Cut 3 (31)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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A Senate committee narrowly approves legislation allowing the people of St. Tammany Parish to vote on allowing a casino to operate in Slidell.

Bill author Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt says a developer has proposed a waterfront casino that would create 1,900 permanent jobs and keep parish residents from spending money in Mississippi.

Cut 4 (11)“…customers in Mississippi.”

The proposal is by P2E, who currently owns DiamondJacks Casino in Bossier City. DiamondJacks did not reopen after COVID restrictions were lifted.

Louisiana Baptist Convention President David Cranford opposes allowing the referendum vote, saying allowing a casino would corrupt the family-friendly culture of the Northshore.

Cut 5 (10)“…are wolves.”

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper supports allowing the vote and the Parish Council has issued a resolution in support.

Speak Hope representative Cynthia Collins argues casinos are hotbeds of human trafficking, a charge Lake Charles Senator Ronnie Johns denied.

Cut 6 (12) “…trafficking.”

The final vote was 4-3. The bill heads to the Senate floor.

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A bill allowing Louisianans 21 and older to carry a concealed handgun without a permit or training passes out of a Senate Committee 3-2.

Bill author West Monroe Senator Jay Morris says Louisiana already allows open carry for anyone over the age of 18…

Cut 7 (08)  “…weapon.”

20 states have already approved “Constitutional Carry” legislation with Texas seemingly on track to become the 21st state.

Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Director Fabian Blache Jr. spoke against the bill. He says they’re not opposed to concealed carry, just concealed carry without education and training…

Cut 8 (11) “…fear.”

Constitutional Carry proponents argued there’s no data supporting claims that not requiring a permit for concealed carry will result in more crime. Those with criminal records would still be forbidden from possessing a weapon.

New Orleans Senator Troy Carter says the legislation promotes untrained gun ownership. He says this would increase the likelihood of accidental shootings.

Cut 9 (07) “…matters.”

The legislation is headed to the Senate floor. A similar bill in the House that would set the age limit at 18 instead of 21 awaits a hearing in committee.

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There are several bills making their way through the legislature that impact transgender individuals in Louisiana. Two bills would prohibit transgender girls from competing in women’s sports. Governor John Bel Edwards says he does not support any of the bills.

Cut 10 (10) “…in sports.”

The other bills would make it more difficult or even ban health care for transgender children and teenagers.

Edwards says he’s concerned about the emotional impact these bills could have on the transgender community.

Cut 11 (09) “…individuals”

Louisiana is scheduled to host the NCAA’s Final Four basketball tournament next year. The NCAA has stated it will not hold tournaments in states with antitransgender laws. Edwards believes the state will receive national backlash if transgender girls are not allowed to compete.

Cut 12 (07) “…other things.”

In 2016 the NCAA disqualified North Carolina from hosting neutral-site championship events for the 2016-17 academic year after the passage of a bill banning transgender use of public restrooms. The law has since been reversed.

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The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation into the Seacor lift boat that capsized off the coast of Lafourche Parish last Tuesday. Eight of the nineteen crew members remain missing. N-T-S-B investigator Andrew Ehlers says the investigation can take anywhere from 12 to 24 months.

Cut 13 (08) “…happening again”

Ehlers says the investigation will focus on three factors to determine the cause of the accident.

Cut 14 (10) “…accident.”

Ehlers says they will focus first on weather conditions at the time of the accident and the National Weather Service is assisting with the investigation.

Other organizations assisting include the U-S Coast Guard, Seacor Marine, and the American Bureau of Shipping.

The N-T-S-B is also asking for the public’s help. Ehlers says if you were in the area and witnessed the accident or experienced similar weather conditions in the Gulf of Mexico that day to contact them.

Cut 15 (09)“…that vessel”

The N-T-S-B can be reached at eyewitness@ntsb.gov. You can follow the investigation on Twitter @ntsb_newsroom.

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Halfway through the SEC season, the LSU Tigers find themselves four and eleven in league play and in fifth place in the SEC West. The Tigers dropped another series this past weekend against South Carolina and once again it featured a game in which the Tigers blew a late lead. Coach Paul Mainieri says finding a dependable closer has been an issue all season

Cut 16 (15) “…frustrating.”

The Tigers have used three closers, Devin Fontenot, Garrett Edwards, and Ty Floyd and none of them have been able to get the job done consistently. Mainieri says despite the team’s struggles, there are some positive things to point out too…

Cut 17 (19) “..frustrating.”

LSU will host ULM tonight. Freshman Will Helmers will start against the Warhawks. Hellmers is 5-and-1 with a 3.46 ERA and Mainieri was asked about using him as a game three starter for the weekends…

Cut  18 (18)”…work in progress.” 

5:30 LRN Newscast April 19

House and Senate committees approve a tax reform that would remove the ability for Louisiana taxpayers to deduct taxes paid to the federal government on their state tax returns, but lower individual income tax rates. Senator Brett Allain of Franklin calls it a good tax policy…

Cut 5  (06)  “…we have now.”

Legislation that would task the Department of Health with creating a statewide grading system for all water systems is headed to the Senate floor. Bill author, Parks Senator Fred Mills says the A through F grading system will be based on past violations, the system’s financial sustainability, infrastructure violations, and customer satisfaction.

Cut 11 (10) “..public”

The legislation cleared the Senate Health and Welfare without opposition.

The Coast Guard is suspending the search for the eight crewmembers from the Seacor Power lift boat that capsized off the coast of Lafourche Parish. Captain Will Watson says suspending a search is one of the toughest decisions they have to make, and he describes the meeting they had with the families of the victims…

Cut 12 (08)   “…still” 

The captain of the Seacor Power has been identified as 63-year-old David Ledet of Thibodaux. The vessel capsized on Tuesday afternoon after it encountered hurricane-force winds unexpectedly. Seacor Marine President John Gellert says it was the captain’s decision for the vessel to operate that day and the captain had decades of experience on lift boats…

Cut 14 (09) “..what so ever.” 

The N-T-S-B will investigate and look at weather conditions at the time.

4:30 LRN Newscast April 19

The Coast Guard is suspending the search for the eight crewmembers from the Seacor Power lift boat that capsized off the coast of Lafourche Parish Tuesday. Seacor Marine President John Gellert says 17 divers will continue to search the boat as they remain committed to recovering the eight missing. He says the divers have been through half of the vessel.

Cut 13 (09)“….we know”

The NTSB will investigate if the weather was a factor.

Parks Senator Fred Mills introduces legislation tasking the Department of Health to create a statewide grading system for all water systems. Mills says there have been independent studies that rate the state’s water infrastructure at a D minus, and say it would cost five billion dollars to get to an acceptable level…

Cut 9 (09) “…problem.”

The House Ways and Means Committee approves legislation eliminating the ability for Louisiana taxpayers to deduct taxes paid to the IRS on their state return, but individual income tax rates would drop. Public Affairs Research Council President Robert Travis Scott…

Cut 4 (09) “…more fair.” 

Those who make 50-thousand dollars or above would see their individual income tax rates drop from six to 4.25 percent.

A suspected road rage incident in Jefferson Parish Saturday leads to a crash that killed three people, including an 11-year-old. Trooper Monroe Dillon says 49-year-old Paul Ferrara of New Orleans allegedly had a hostile exchange with a woman driving an F-150 and moments later rammed her truck…

Cut 6 (07) “..occured”

Ferrara’s vehicle then spun out of control and hit another car. Ferrara along with those in the other vehicle were killed.

1:30 LRN Newscast April 19

U.S. Coast Guard Captain Will Watson announced today that they will suspend rescue efforts at sunset today for the eight passengers who remain missing from the lift boat accident last Tuesday. 19 occupants were on the boat, only 6 have been rescued so far and five bodies have been recovered.

Legislation that seeks to eliminate the federal income tax deduction, a tax break many Louisiana taxpayers enjoy in exchange for lower income tax rates receives approval from the House tax-writing committee. Jeff Palermo has more…

Cut 1 (30) “ …I’m Jeff Palermo.” 

Parks Senator Fred Mills introduces legislation that would task the Department of Health with creating a statewide grading system for all water systems. Mills says there have been independent studies that rate the state’s water infrastructure at a D minus, and conclude it would cost five billion dollars to get us to an acceptable level…

Cut 9 (09) “…problem.”

A suspected road rage incident in Jefferson Parish claimed three lives Saturday. Trooper Monroe Dillon says it began allegedly began when 49-year-old Paul Ferrara attempted to pass a woman in F-150 in a no-pass zone during bad weather. He was unable and later pulled up alongside her truck and began to yell at her. Dillon says if someone is threatening you with road rage, try not to engage them.

Cut 8 (11) “…location”

Dillion says Ferrara then rammed the woman’s truck, he then spun out of control and hit another car. Ferrara along with those in another vehicle were killed.

12:30 LRN Newscast

A suspected road rage incident in Jefferson Parish claimed three lives Saturday. Trooper Monroe Dillon says it began when 49-year-old Paul Ferrara of New Orleans tried to pass a driver in a no-pass zone during bad weather. He was unable and later down the road Ferrara rammed the other driver’s truck…

Cut 7 (07) “…occurred.”

The crash killed Ferrara and two others in another vehicle.

The House Ways and Means Committee approves legislation eliminating the ability for Louisiana taxpayers to deduct taxes paid to the IRS on their state return, but individual income tax rates would drop. Public Affairs Research Council President Robert Travis Scott…

Cut 4 (09) “…more fair.” 

Those who make 50-thousand dollars or above would see their individual income tax rates drop from six to 4.25 percent.

Lawmakers are happy to hear that the state added 35-hundred individuals to the state’s workforce from February to March and the unemployment rate has dropped slightly to seven-point-three percent, the lowest rate since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Dejoie says nearly 130-thousand people have returned to work as the state nears the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 impact on the workforce and their Hire Site has tens of thousands of job openings…

Cut 14 (0)7 “…market.”
18-hundred leisure and hospitality jobs were added from February to March.

10:30 LRN Newscast April 19

The House Ways and Means Committee approves legislation that would eliminate the ability for Louisiana taxpayers to deduct taxes paid to the federal government on their state tax returns, but individual income tax rates would drop from six to 4.25 percent. House Ways and Means Chairman Stuart Bishop …

Cut 3 (08)  “…right direction.” 

The proposed tax swap plan has a lot of support among legislative leaders and will need a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate and voter approval.

A suspected road rage incident in Jefferson Parish claims the lives of three people, including an 11-year-old Saturday. Trooper Monroe Dillon says it began when 49-year-old Paul Ferrara of New Orleans attempted to pass another driver in a no-pass zone during bad weather. He was unable and later down the road…

Cut 6 (10) “..exchanged”

Dillon says Ferrara’s vehicle spun out of control after ramming the truck, then collided with another car that claimed his life, and two others in another car.

Covington Representative Mark Wright has a bill that would require first-time DUI offenders to install an in-car interlock device. Taylor Sharp reports the device only allows sober drivers to start the vehicle…

Cut 1 (28) “…I’m Taylor Sharp”

A fifth body has been recovered at the site of where a lift boat capsized off the coast of Port Fourchon. Authorities say the body was found on the second floor of the vessel. Eight crew members are still unaccounted for. The Coast Guard will hold a briefing today at 1 o’clock.

10:30 LRN Newscast April 19

A fifth body was recovered in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday, a crew member of the Seacor lift boat that capsized a week ago tomorrow. The U.S. Coast Guard and Seacor Marine officials will hold a press conference at 1 pm on recovery efforts. Families of the missing crew members say they are holding onto faith. Six of the 19 crew members were rescued last Tuesday.

The state’s unemployment rate is now the lowest it’s been since the start of the pandemic, but new job growth remains a bit sluggish. Matt Doyle has more.

Cut 3 (30)  “…I’m Matt Doyle.”

State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon warns folks not to fall for social media fake news about COVID-19 vaccines and life insurance. Donelon unfortunately says this kind of misinformation is widespread and impact more than just Louisiana.

Cut 12 (09) “…spread.”

It’s Buckle Up in Your Truck week that means law enforcement is looking for pickup truck drivers who aren’t wearing their seat belts and ticketing them. Louisiana Highway Safety Commission spokesperson Mark Lambert says 17-percent of pickup drivers in the state fail to wear their seat belts, and in rural areas, they are less likely to buckle up.

Cut 9 (12) “…buckled up.”

Lambert says pickup truck drivers in Lake Charles have the highest rate of compliance.

5:30 LRN Newscast April 16

The Coast Guard continues to oversee efforts to rescue the remaining passengers of a SeaCor lift boat that capsized Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico. Several family members are at the Port Fourchon firehouse anxiously awaiting answers. Marion Cuyler, the fiancée of one of the missing men, says they are trying to keep the faith…

Cut 5  (07)  “…for them.”

Two bills aimed at lowering drug prices authored by Senator Bill Cassidy are set to be signed into law by President Biden. One of the two bills counters a recent court ruling that would have made it harder for much cheaper generic medications to be created after patents on expensive name brands lapse…

Cut 10 (08) “…fall” 

Cassidy says his next healthcare affordability push will focus on Medicare drug prices and deductibles.

Legislation setting up a tax structure for “raw” smoke-able medical marijuana gets unanimous approval from House Ways and Means. The bill, by Houma Representative Tanner Magee would tax raw medical marijuana at the state sales tax level of 4.45 percent. Magee says other forms of medical marijuana aren’t subject to the tax, but they’re also much more expensive…

Cut 13 (08)“….on it”

The tax would be dedicated to a road and bridge construction sub-fund.

The first of three major SWEPCO windmill projects under construction to deliver low-cost renewable energy. SWEPCO spokesperson Carey Sullivan says the projects are in north-central Oklahoma and the windmills are connected to the power grid, which will also serve customers in Louisiana.

Cut 7 (10) “…than 500.”