4:30 LRN Newscast April 16

Efforts continue in the search for the missing crewmembers of a SeaCor lift boat that capsized seven miles off the coast of Port Fourchon. Six people have been rescued so far.  Marion Cuyler, the fiancée of Chase Morales, who remains missing hasn’t given up…

Cut 4 (05) “…faith alive.” 

The first of three major SWEPCO wind projects is underway to deliver low-cost renewable energy for their customers in northwest and central Louisiana. SWEPCO spokesperson Carey Sullivan says this is the largest renewable energy project ever for a Louisiana utility and will impact 225,000 customers.

Cut 6 (06) “…facilities.”

The windmills will contain the newest technology including a cold weather package which Sullivan says will ensure operation during the coldest parts of the year for the windmills.

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, is part of a two-piece legislative effort to allow the sale of raw medical marijuana in Louisiana.

Cut 12 (10)   “…Mississippi” 

Two bills aimed at lowering drug prices authored by Senator Bill Cassidy are set to be signed into law by President Biden. The bills are some of the few pieces of bipartisan legislation to make it through Congress since the start of the Biden Administration…

Cut 11 (07) “..issue”

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

3:30 LRN Newscast April 16

A second body was recovered today from the Seacor power lift vessel that capsized Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico. The Coast Guard says the body was located approximately 33 miles from where the boat is partially submerged. The identity of the second passenger has not been released and the search continues for 11 others missing.

There’s strong early momentum in the Legislature for the legalization and taxation of raw, smoke-able medical marijuana in Louisiana. Matt Doyle has more.

Cut 2 (30) …I’m Matt Doyle”  

Two bills aimed at lowering drug prices authored by Senator Bill Cassidy are set to be signed into law by President Biden. One bill provides educational material to doctors and patients educating them about “biosimilar” alternatives to expensive name-brand treatments. Cassidy says they do the same thing at a fraction of the cost…

Cut 9 (09) “…thing.”

The other bill counters a recent court ruling that made it harder to create generics.

The largest renewable energy project for a Louisiana utility provider is underway creating a windmill farm. The project is part of SEWPCO’s parent company, American Electric Power’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 80-percent by 2030. SWEPCO spokesperson Carey Sullivan says they will also be adding more forms of low-cost renewable energy.

Cut 8 (07) “…in Louisiana”

1:30 LRN Newscast April 16

Coast Guard officials report a second body from the capsized Seacor power lift boat has been recovered. The second body was located approximately 33 miles from where the boat capsized Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico. The identity has not been released and the search continues for 11 others missing. The Lafourche Parish Coroner’s Office has identified the first body recovered at 63-year-old David Ledet of Thibodaux.

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.

Two bills aimed at lowering drug prices authored by Senator Bill Cassidy are set to be signed into law by President Biden. The bills are some of the few pieces of bipartisan legislation to make it through Congress since the start of the Biden Administration…

Cut 11 (07) “..issue”

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

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.”

The windmills will have a cold weather package which will ensure operation during the coldest parts of the year.

12:30 LRN Newscast

Search and rescue efforts continue for the 12 missing crew members of the Seacor Power, a lift boat that capsized when hurricane-force winds struck the vessel in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday. Several family members have gathered 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.”

The one body that has been recovered has been identified as 63-year-old boat captain David Ledet of Thibodaux.

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” 

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, is part of a two-piece legislative effort to allow the sale of raw medical marijuana in Louisiana.

Cut 12 (10)   “…Mississippi” 

A companion piece of legislation legalizing the sale of raw, or inhalable medical marijuana would also need to be passed for this to take effect.

10:30 LRN Newscast Apr 16

Search and rescue efforts continue for the 12 missing crew members of the Seacor Power, a lift boat that capsized when hurricane-force winds struck the vessel in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday. Marion Cuyler, the fiancée of one of the missing men, says there’s a belief the missing workers are still on the partially submerged vessel…

Cut 3 (10)  “…in there.” 

Six people have been rescued and one body has been recovered.

One million Louisianans have now completed their full vaccine series and Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says about 31 percent of the state has received at least one dose of a vaccine. He says it’s vital that we keep up this good pace of vaccinations because new threats are growing…

Cut 12 (09) “…transmissible.”

The Louisiana AARP reports there’s been a decline in the number of COVID deaths and cases in nursing homes. Director Denise Bottcher says this indicates that the vaccine and infection control are working…

cut 5 (06) “….declined”
But Bottcher says staffing shortages however remain an issue for nursing homes.

The 47th Annual Bayou Classic between Grambling and Southern won’t be played in the Superdome, it’ll be this Saturday at Independence Stadium in Shreveport. Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau President Stacy Brown says the game and surrounding celebrations will be walkable and she encourages you to use free transportation courtesy of Sportram…

Cut 9 (05) “…there.”

Southern leads the series 36-33 and kickoff is 1:30 PM.

AM LRN Newscall April 16

The AARP COVID dashboard reports cases and deaths are on the decline among nursing homes in Louisiana Brooke Thorington has more

Cut 1 (29) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

_______________________________

The Bayou Classic is set for this Saturday in Shreveport at Independence Stadium. Matt Doyle spoke with the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau President about what this means for the region…

Cut 2 (30) “…I’m Matt Doyle.” 

____________________________

Louisiana hits a major milestone in its quest to see everyone fully vaccinated. Matt Doyle has the story.

Cut 3 (30)  “…I’m Matt Doyle.”

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The most recent AARP COVID-19 Dashboard indicates both cases and deaths in Louisiana nursing homes are on the decline. The current dashboard is from February 28th to March 21st. State Director Denise Botcher says fatalities dropped in nursing homes to 64 compared to the previous reporting period of 183.

Cut 4 (09)“….news.”

Botcher says this indicates that the vaccine and infection control are working. COVID Case numbers among residents dropped to 80 from the previous 643. Botcher says it’s not only residents.

Cut 5 (06)“…declined.”

Staffing shortages have been an ongoing issue for nursing homes in Louisiana. Botcher says while the decline is down to 31-percent from the previous 32-percent it remains a critical issue.

Cut 6 (09) “…to solve.”

The dashboard also indicated that PPE shortages declined among nursing homes which Botcher says is vital for infection control.

_____________________________

This year’s Bayou Classic between Grambling and Southern won’t be played in the Superdome, it’ll be this Saturday at Independence Stadium in Shreveport.

Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau President Stacy Brown says the rivalry will bring in fans from around the state, giving the local economy a three million dollar boost…

Cut 7 (07)  “…quick.”

It’s a big get for northwest Louisiana and Brown says they’ll be showing off the city with Port Fest and Party on the Red…

Cut 8 (11) “…entertainment.”

The Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce will also host an expo featuring speakers and networking opportunities.

Brown says the game and surrounding celebrations will be walkable and she encourages you to use free transportation courtesy of Sportram…

Cut 9 (05) “…there.”

Southern leads the series 36-33 and kickoff is 1:30 PM.

____________________

One million Louisianans have now completed their full vaccine series.

Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says about 31 percent of the state has received at least one dose of a vaccine.

Cut 10 (10) “…responded well.”

1.4 million Louisianans have initiated their series.

All Louisianans aged 16 and older are now eligible to get vaccinated and Kanter says we’ve hit a point where if you want a vaccine you really won’t have a hard time finding one.

Cut 11 (07) “….surpassed it.”

About 22 percent of the state has completed their series now, good for 39th in the country.

Kanter says it’s vital that we keep up this good pace of vaccinations because new threats are growing…

Cut 12 (09) “…transmissible.”

The New Orleans region leads the state in completed series at 27 percent of the population. Lake Charles and central Louisiana have the lowest rates at about 15 percent each.

_____________________________

Trooper Kaleb Reeves, son of former State Police Superintendent Kevin Reeves, receives the maximum penalty after an investigation finds his reckless driving caused a crash in Monroe that led to the death of a child and teenager last October. Master Trooper Michael Reichardt says Reeves is suspended for four and a half months without pay.

Cut 13 (09) “…hours.”

The investigation found the crash was preventable. Reeves was driving 20 miles over the speed limit, did not use his emergency lights, was driving without a seatbelt, and violated policy with reckless driving. Reichardt says Reeves will also have to undergo training.

Cut 14 (09) “…operations.”

Reeves was responding to a call last fall that did not involve injuries or road blockage and therefore was not an emergency, but nonetheless was driving 77 mph when he crashed. Reichardt says Reeves was placed on leave last month for the October 2020 crash.

Cut 15 (07)“…process.”

This is not the first time Reeves had violated policy, he was involved in a preventable crash in Wynn Parish in 2019.

___________________________________________

The LSU spring football game is this Saturday at noon.  While the spring game doesn’t count in the win/loss column, head coach Ed Orgeron says he wants his team to be competitive.

Cut 16 (10) “…rotate some players.”

The Spring game will be televised on the SEC Network plus and Orgeron says fans shouldn’t expect a lot of creativity with the play calling.

Cut 17 (15) “…very basic.”

The quarterback battle has been a hot topic during spring practice, with Max Johnson, Myles Brennan, TJ Finley, and Garrett Nussmeier are competing for the starting spot. Orgeron says the rotation in the spring game does not reflect a current depth chart.

Cut  18 (13)”…very very talented.” 

___________________________________________________

With Cam Thomas, Trendon Watford, Javonte Smart, and Darius Days all declaring for the NBA draft, the LSU basketball team has some holes to fill and could look to the transfer portal for help.  Coach Will Wade explains what type of players he’s looking for in the portal.

Cut 19 (09) “…or two.” 

When it comes to finding the right fit, Wade says they have a system to try and project a player’s impact on the team.

Cut 20 (20) “…where you fit.” 

4:30 LRN Newscast April 15

Crews are continuing their search for 12 workers who were aboard a lift boat that capsized in the Gulf of Mexico just south of Port Fourchon Tuesday. Coast Guard Petty Officer Third Class Carlos Galarza (Guh-lar-zuh) says a dive team has been brought in and air and surface assets are also being used in the search, which is expected to continue for the time being…

Cut 14 (06) “…and for yours.” 

LSU says the body found in the Mississippi River in St. John the Baptist Parish on Tuesday is that of missing student Kori Gauthier (go-shay) of Opelousas.  The 19-year-old disappeared on April 7th and her car was found on top of the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge. Her uncle Spencer Gauthier posted a video on social media.

Cut 3 (09)  “…folks.” 

The House Appropriations committee discovers LSU still has not written a mandatory reporting policy requiring employees to properly report sexual misconduct cases. The discovery was made after Baton Rouge Representative Denise Marcelle questioned LSU Interim President Thomas Galligan…

Cut 9 (13) “…policy.”

Shreveport Senator Greg Tarver is calling out LSU Baton Rouge amidst the sexual misconduct scandal and says they are attempting to skirt attention and place it on LSU Shreveport instead. Tarver says it’s clear that LSU Baton Rouge has not even touched the surface of mishandlings.

Cut 6 (10) “…nor fair.”

3:30 LRN Newscast April 15

LSU still has not written mandatory sexual misconduct reporting policy despite the ongoing scandal. Matt Doyle has more.

Cut 2 (33) …I’m Matt Doyle”  

The Louisiana Department of Health says more than one million residents in the state have completed their vaccine series, that’s approximately 22-percent of the population.  The state also has a hotline to answer questions and assist with vaccine appointments. That number is 1-855-453-0774.

Authorities release the name of the one body recovered in the lift boat accident that capsized Tuesday, he’s been identified as 63-year-old David Ledet of Thibodaux. Crews continuing their search for 12 workers in the Gulf of Mexico just south of Port Fourchon. Coast Guard Petty Officer Third Class Carlos Galarza (Guh-lar-zuh) says most of the vessel that capsized is underwater, which is why a dive team was brought in.

Cut 13 (03)“….any survivors”

Shreveport Senator Greg Tarver is calling out LSU Baton Rouge amidst allegations that Shreveport Medical School Chancellor Dr. G.E. Ghali covered up sexual misconduct. Tarver says but the chancellor at the New Orleans has received more complaints than Ghali but has not placed on leave.

Cut 7 (12) “…different.”

Ghali was placed on leave after allegations of sexual misconduct.

1:30 LRN Newscast April 15

The search for a missing LSU student has reached a sad conclusion. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 1 (31) “ …I’m Jeff Palermo.” 

The Coast Guard continues to search for the 12 missing after a commercial platform capsized Tuesday afternoon. Sector commander of Coast Guard New Orleans Will Watson says they have to remain optimistic in search efforts. So far one body was located.

A Legislative committee discovers LSU still has not written a mandatory reporting policy requiring employees to properly report sexual misconduct cases. The discovery was made after Baton Rouge Representative Denise Marcelle questioned LSU Interim President Thomas Galligan New Orleans Representative Aimee Freeman pointed out the University of Louisiana System has already written and implemented that policy, so why hasn’t LSU?

Cut 10 (12) “..over.” 

Shreveport Senator Greg Tarver is calling out LSU Baton Rouge amidst the sexual misconduct scandal and says they are attempting to skirt attention and place it on LSU Shreveport instead. Tarver says it’s clear that LSU Baton Rouge has not even touched the surface of mishandlings.

Cut 6 (10) “…nor fair.”

 

11:30 LRN Newscast April 15

LSU confirms the body found in the Mississippi River in St. John the Baptist Parish on Tuesday is that of missing student Kori Gauthier of Opelousas.  The 19-year-old disappeared on April 7th and her car was found on the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge. Her uncle Spencer Gauthier posted a video on social media.

Cut 4 (10) “…circumstance.” 

Police do not believe foul play is involved in Gautier’s death.

Senator Bill Cassidy says lawmakers will present an alternative proposal to the President’s 2.2 trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. Cassidy says the bulk of Biden’s bill, isn’t infrastructure spending, it includes funding for new housing, clean water, green energy infrastructure, paid leave, elderly care, veterans’ health, and more. Cassidy calls it too unfocused.

Cut 5 (09)“…give up.”

The poor conditions of roads and bridges in Louisiana are costing motorists in the state $7.6 billion a year. That’s according to TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit. Erich Ponti with Louisiana Coalition to Fix Our Roads says each year the cost to drivers continues to increase.

Cut 11 (08) “….drivers.”

Currently, there is legislation in this session to address Louisiana’s transportation infrastructure issues.

The House Civil Law Committee approves legislation allowing victims of sexual assault to break their rental leases early. A survivor would have to provide adequate documentation to their landlord certified by a qualified third party. Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center spokesperson Maxwell Ciardullo says it must be within sixty days of the incident…

Cut 14 (07) “…begin with.”