LRN AM Newscall January 25

Governor John Bel Edwards’ 2022 state budget proposes loads spent on roads and bridges, teacher pay raises and more. Kevin Gallagher reports…:

Cut 1 (33) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

__________________________________

We’ve heard the term shedding the virus when it relates to COVID and now there are reports of people shedding their hair two months later. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (32) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

___________________________________

The future of Saints head coach Sean Payton remains a hot topic. David Grubb has more.

Cut 3 (29) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

____________________________________

Governor John Bel Edwards presents his proposed budget priorities for the fiscal year that starts July 1st, with major focus on teacher pay and the state’s infrastructure needs. Mr. Edwards says improving education in Louisiana will help correct a lot of problems, and the best place to start is with teacher pay raises…:

Cut 4 (10) “…for support staff.” 

Governor Edwards proposes allotting just under $150-million; earmarked for $1500 raises for teachers and $750 raises for support staff. He says lawmakers can go even higher, should state surplus revenues projected for the current fiscal year prove true…:

Cut 5 (09) “…another 500 dollars.”

The governor also proposes fully funding TOPS again this year, but increasing funds for needs-based Geaux Grants and other education opportunity programs.

The Governor’s budget contains major funding for roads and bridges; including investing $500-million in building a third Mississippi River Bridge at Baton Rouge. Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson says that money will augment a public-private partnership for construction because the actual cost of the bridge and approaches will be much more than that…:

Cut 6 (15) “…over those four years.”

The governor’s infrastructure budget also includes $500-million for statewide water and sewer improvements & upgrades, $100-million to go toward finishing I-49 south of Lafayette and $100-million to kick-start a new I-10 Bridge at Lake Charles. Dr. Wilson says the new Baton Rouge Bridge is a most-needed project, but funding for bridge connectors to Interstate 10 and State Highway 30 at both ends are also paramount…:

Cut 7 (11) “…bridge to nowhere.”

_______________________________________

A side effect of COVID that physicians say they are beginning to see more patients for is hair loss. LSU Health New Orleans Dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Grieshaber says high stressors on the body like childbirth and COVID can cause temporary hair loss.

Cut 8 (11)  “…precipitating event.”

She says you can lose up to 50-percent of your hair. If you are experiencing significant hair loss, she recommends visiting a dermatologist so they can rule out other causes like thyroid disease or anemia.

Hair loss can cause anxiety and Grieshaber says that will only add to the problem as high levels of stress can cause you to lose even more hair. She says there are supplements that can help.

Cut 9 (10)  “…really helpful.”

Hair loss post-COVID can occur in both men and women, but Grieshaber says it’s more noticeable in women because they tend to have longer hair. Recovery is a long process, and she says it can take a minimum of three months before you see any progress.

Cut 10 (07) “…hair yet.”

Grieshaber says in addition to seeing a physician about your hair loss she also recommends not braiding or getting a perm when experiencing hair loss to minimize trauma to your hair.

_______________________________________

The COVID pandemic has had a major impact on Mardi Gras celebrations over the past couple of years. Monday, Ochsner Health officials provided some potentially good news for those looking to enjoy the Carnival season this year. Dr. Robert Hart says that their data suggests that the Omicron surge was reached nearly two weeks ago in New Orleans and other parts of the state, and with Mardi Gras still more than a month away, time is on our side.

Cut  11 (09)  “…within the population.”  

The Louisiana Health Department reported 2,304 people in hospital with COVID as of Monday, with several thousand more exposed to the Omicron variant. Hart is, however, optimistic that being on the other side of the curve means some level of protection.

Cut 12 (11) “…the Mardi Gras season.”

Children remain highly susceptible to the virus, so Dr. Sandra Kemmerly strongly encourages all who are eligible to be vaccinated or to get their booster.

Cut 13 (15) “…our kids safe.”

____________________________________________

State police are prepping for their first-ever accelerated cadet academy. LSP Sargent Monroe Dillion says the accelerated academy is only open for police officers who are POST certified.

Cut 14 (11)  “…accelerated academy.”

Dillion says a typical cadet class can last up to 24 weeks and they are open to those with military experience and those without police experience. Dillon says they are hoping to have more officers trained and, on the job, sooner with the accelerated academy.

Cut 15 (08)  “…boots on the ground.”

Dillon says another benefit to having an accelerated academy made up of police officers is that they are already familiar with the demands of the job and want to continue in the profession.

The 101st cadet class is expected to commence in June, but Dillon says the application deadline for the class of up to 60 officers is right around the corner.

Cut  16 (05)  “…out today.”

To apply or for more information visit www.lsp.org/recruit.html

_________________________________________________

Though Sean Payton is back from his vacation, there is still no word on his coaching future. Questions about Payton’s status as coach of the Saints found their way to Gayle Benson on Monday, who didn’t have any updates. Rod Walker, who covers the Saints for NOLA.com, thinks Mrs. Benson is much like the rest of Who Dat Nation; awaiting word from the man himself as he processes one of the most exhausting seasons of his career.

Cut 17 (16) “ …looking really good.” 

Even with their incredible number of obstacles, the Saints were in contention for the playoffs down to the season’s final game. The on-field future of the team still seems bright, but Walker says Payton’s decision is bigger than just Xs and Os.

Cut 18 (17) “ …a lot of times.” 

Should the unimaginable happen, and Payton step away from the Saints, Walker says that New Orleans, in no small part due to what Payton has built, instantly becomes one of the most attractive jobs in the NFL.

Cut 19 (15)_“…see what’s out there.” 

LRN AM Newscall January 21

After missing two years due to COVID, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is back this spring. Kevin Gallagher has lineup highlights…:

Cut 1 (27) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

__________________________________

COVID numbers are indicative the state may have reached a peak,  but stats also show the Omicron variant has been the hardest one yet for children. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (31) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

___________________________________

According to the 2022 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws, Louisiana ranks 9th in the nation. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 3 (32) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

____________________________________

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is back for 2022; at the Fairgrounds and on its traditional dates.  Jazz Fest director and organizer Quint Davis says this year’s roster of performers has something for everyone…:

Cut 4 (10) “…Stevie Knicks, Billy strings, Nora Jones.” 

There was no 2020 Jazz Fest due to the pandemic, and a planned FALL Jazz Fest for 2021 fell apart amid the Delta surge. Davis says it is back after three years, and this year’s top headliners are The Who, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Buffett, Lionel Richie, Willie Nelson and dozens more. Davis says a number of artists planned their other dates AROUND being at Jazz Fest’s big return…like one superstar in particular…:

Cut 5 (11) “…we’re gonna be there.”

Back to its traditional dates – the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May – Jazz Fest has put reserved special admission packages and weekend pass tickets on sale now. Individual day tickets will go on sale soon. Davis says he is deeply grateful to the dozens of artists who’ve stayed by Jazz fest during its hiatus. He says most of them wouldn’t have it any other way…:

Cut 6 (11) “…like three years now.”

NOJazzFest.com for more information on acts and tickets.

_______________________________________

State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says COVID numbers hint that the state might be close to peaking with cases but yet it’s still too early to tell.

Cut 7 (12) “…very, very high.”

On Thursday the state reported 14,706 new cases and the state is expected to reach at least 1.1 million total cases today week after eclipsing a million earlier in the week.

Kanter says however the Omicron variant proves it’s much harder on children than others. He says this past week 33 children were admitted to the hospital with COVID and for the month of January 199 children have been admitted.

Cut 8 (12)  “…be vaccinated.”

Omicron is also impacting children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, and brain. Kanter says we added four cases this week.

Cut 9 (06)  “…marker as well.”

Because the highest percentage of pediatric cases are among ages four and younger, which are ineligible to be vaccinated Kanter says it’s imperative those around them be vaccinated and masked to protect them.

___________________________________________________

Louisiana receives a top grade when it comes to laws that prevent auto crashes. Allison Kennedy, spokesperson for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety says their report looks at 16 different factors that are statistically are proven to reduce traffics accidents and Louisiana has 10 of those laws on the books.

Cut 10 (07) “…passengers.”

But Kennedy also notes statistically only half of drivers and passengers are properly restrained in crashes

Areas, where Louisiana needs improvement, include booster seat laws, which Kennedy says are critical for child safety, and graduated drivers’ licenses.

Cut  11 (08)  “…impaired driving crashes.”  

According to DOTD 997 people were killed last year in traffic crashes, an alarming increase from previous years. Kennedy says Louisiana is not immune because traffic fatalities are up nationwide. And according to a recent survey Kennedy says 75-percent of respondents were unaware of the increase however…

Cut 12 (10) “…being done.”

Kennedy says another bright point for Louisiana is helmet laws for operators and passengers.

____________________________________________

Louisiana is dealing with its coldest air of the winter as overnight temperatures over the next few days will dip well below the freezing mark. Even the Houma-Thibodaux area could see lows in the mid-20s this weekend. The state has reported ten home fire deaths this year and Governor John Bel Edwards doesn’t want to see any more anytime soon…

Cut 13 (04) “…generators.”

Edwards is also asking Louisiana residents to be good a neighbor, check on those who are elderly during this frigid weather…

Cut 14 (06)  “…again.”

Light freezing rain was a possibility in south Louisiana during the overnight hours. Edwards says the state department of transportation has crews ready to address any slick roads, but he’s asking motorists to be careful…

Cut 15 (10)  “…driving.”

_________________________________________________

Last week, former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow led the Cincinnati Bengals to their first playoff victory in more than 30 years. Now, as he prepares to face the top-seeded Tennesse Titans in the AFC’s divisional round, Burrow says that postseason pressure and big games are nothing new to him.

Cut  16 (10)  “…situation before.”

Already a candidate for MVP in his second season, Burrow says that his focus on preparation is what’s made the biggest impact on his early success.

Cut 17 (12) “ …confidence in.” 

Burrow has put up some eye-popping numbers this year, but knows he hasn’t gotten the NFL figured out just yet.

Cut 18 (10) “ …see still.” 

_____________________________________________________________

Louisiana Tech starts a critical three-game homestand this weekend with a battle for first place in Conference USA’s Western Division. The Bulldogs will play host to UAB riding a seven-game win streak. The Blazers were the preseason pick to win the conference title, and coach Eric Koncol knows his team will have to be at its best to hold on to that top spot.

Cut 19 (10)_“…this Saturday.” 

Tech’s early success already has fans wondering just how far the Bulldogs can go. Koncol isn’t looking too far ahead as he keeps his young team improving each day.

Cut 20 (09) “…real strengths.”  

4

5:30 LRN Newscast January 20

Governor John Bel Edwards visited Shreveport today for the announcement of a $100 million investment by American Electric Power to develop a transmission control center in the city. Edwards says the center will create 20 direct jobs with an average salary of $115 thousand.

AEP’s 77-thousand square foot transmission facility will be the first business to move into Shreveport’s Resilient Technology Park.

Cut 7 (9) “…reliable electricity.”

Edwards says the timing of the investment couldn’t be better, after so many experienced lengthy power losses due to weather last year.

The new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport is no longer on standby. Travelers were welcomed into the $150 million state of the art facility today. Airport Executive Director Steven Picou says this is just the beginning.

Cut 5 (11) “…go that direction.”

Senate Republicans were able to use the filibuster to defeat a voting rights bill that Democratic and civil rights leaders say is needed to protect our democracy. Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, an opponent of the bill, accuses the Biden administration of manufacturing a fake voting crisis to distract from more pressing issues.

Baton Rouge representative Ted James, outgoing chair of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, says the bill wasn’t partisan and would have made voting more accessible to millions of Americans.

Cut 12 (11) “…to the polls.”

Today was just the beginning of severe winter weather, with low temperatures expected to remain below freezing for most of the state through Sunday morning.

Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain stresses that owners of livestock exercise the necessary precaution to protect their animals from these frigid temperatures.

Cut 15 (12) “…out of the weather.”

4:45 LRN Sportscast January 20

UL-Monroe welcomes the Trojans of Troy for a matchup with the Sun Belt Conference’s top team. The WarHawks are looking for their second straight upset after last weekend’s shocker over UT-Arlington.

Over six Sun Belt games, ULM has yet to see the team that got off to an 8-4 start due to Covid-related absences. Head Coach Keith Richard hopes that tonight is the night he gets to see his whole roster in action.

Cut 17 (10) …”at full strength.”

LSU came up short on the road at Alabama, losing 67-70 on Wednesday night. The Tigers fought their way back into the ball game, showing a spark that had been missing as of late. Will Wade praised his team’s effort, and believes the best is ahead for the Tigers.

Cut 23 (9) …of our guys.”

Tonight, the New Orleans Pelicans will be looking to snap their own two-game losing skid in the Big Apple against the New York Knicks. They could be without the services of point guard Devonte’ Graham who is listed as questionable with a left ankle injury.

The Pels currently sit two games out of tenth place in the Western Conference standings.

It’s the anniversary of one of the most controversial playoff games in New Orleans Saints and NFL history. Three years ago today, the Saints lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game, 23-26 in overtime. The game is infamous for the “NOLA No-Call,” a missed pass interference penalty against the Rams that potentially cost the Saints the game-winning score in regulation.

And, former Louisiana Tech football coach Skip Holtz has been named head coach of the USFL’s Birmingham Stallions. Over 22 collegiate seasons and stops at four different schools, Holtz put together a record of 152-121.

The eight team league, which includes the New Orleans Breakers, opens its season April 16, with all games being played in Birmingham.

AM Newscall January 18

State lawmakers can begin filing bills for the 2022 regular session starting today.  Kevin Gallagher on the bills that will come up for debate when the three-month-long session begins in March…

Cut 1 (31) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

___________________________________

Plans are afoot to bring broadband Internet to the state’s most remote areas, via the GUMBO Fund grant program Kevin Gallagher has more…:

Cut 2 (34) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

___________________________________

A beloved Louisiana staple is adding another Cajun classic to its array of products. Brooke Thorington has the ingredients.

Cut 3 (30) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

____________________________________

The start of the 2022 regular legislative session is still two months away, but today lawmakers can begin filing bills to be heard in the three-month-long session. LaPolitics-dot-com publisher Jeremy Alford says some of the controversial bills that failed to pass last year, will be back this year

Cut 4 (10) “…vaccine mandates.” 

Alford says it’s a non-fiscal session, so bills to raise taxes can not be filed, but legislators will still discuss state finances as they have to pass a budget and determine how to spend over a billion dollars in surplus money…

Cut 5 (11) “…last forever.”

Alford says after two years of getting battered by hurricanes and homeowners wrestling with their insurance providers over claims, Republican lawmakers are eager to pass insurance reform legislation…

Cut 6 (12) “…governor.”

_______________________________________

58 parishes have applied for grants to bring broadband internet to their areas. It’s no secret that large portions of Louisiana are underserved when it comes to Internet access and connection speeds. Avoyelles state Rep. Daryl Deshotel was an architect of the so-called GUMBO Fund grants…:

Cut 7 (12) “…round of applications.”

GUMBO is an acronym for Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities. The program was proposed by Deshotel and others and was passed in 2021. 58 parishes have applied for the money and the first-round candidates will be announced in March. Deshotel says the GUMBO Fund will get a boost from federal Infrastructure Bill money, and there are other ways the available funds could grow…:

Cut 8 (14) “…here in Louisiana.”

Deshotel says actual work to install broadband infrastructure in the state’s more remote areas can begin as early as May. He says there is some concern about the supply chain and any potential labor shortage due to the pandemic. Deshotel says it is high time that broadband Internet was available to every part of Louisiana…:

Cut 9 (13)  “…change our state.”

___________________________________________________

In honor of their 50th anniversary, Louisiana staple Tony Chachere’s is introducing new Cajun chili mixes. Spokesperson Celeste Chachere says when they were brainstorming for new product ideas, they decided to pull from one of her great-grandfather’s favorite chili recipes.

Cut 10 (11) “…2.5 ounce box.”

The recipe is called “He-Man Chilli” and Chachere says it’s bold, hearty, and filling.

There are two versions of the chili seasonings, mild and original. Chachere says they definitely have a little personality in them and are created with fresh herbs and spices.

Cut  11 (10)  “…smoked sausage.”  

Chachere says the mixes are affordable at just under two dollars and the mixes are designed to be used with two pounds of ground beef or venison, enough to feed a whole family.

Cut 12 (10) “…about this one.”

The new chili mixes are currently rolling out to grocery stores, and you can also find them at TonyChachere.com.

____________________________________________

U.S. Senator John Kennedy reports he raised just over $3-million for his re-election campaign, during the last months of 2021. That brings his total campaign funds to a little over $18-million, with about $11-million cash on-hand. U.L.-Monroe political science professor Joshua Stockley says that is considerably more than Kennedy raised for his campaign in 2016…:

Cut 13 (11) “…have that in 2022.”

So far, only Bunkie airline pilot Luke Mixon and Baton Rouge activist and blogger Gary Chambers – both Democrats – have announced they’ll challenge Kennedy. Dr. Stockley says $11-million cash on-hand is a huge sum of money to have, when facing what he calls “a token Democrat”….:

Cut 14 (07)  “…his re-election bid.”

Kennedy has been raising campaign funds for – pretty much – the last five years of his first term. Stockley says it’s been ever thus in D.C. politics…:

Cut 15 (09)  “…your next re-election.”

Stockley says Kennedy has a real knack for gathering big campaign donations. He says the size of his campaign “warchest” gives him a clear and strong advantage in the fall election.

 _________________________________________________

The Pelicans dropped their second straight ballgame yesterday afternoon, a 104-92 loss to the Celtics. Willie Green says that his team struggled to meet Boston’s intensity on defense.

Cut  16 (14) “…get into stuff.”

Green says that there are nights like this over the course of the NBA season, but his team will bounce back.

Cut 17 (08) “ …their physicality.” 

_____________________________________________________________

LSU coach Brian Kelly has assembled his coaching staff as he prepares for his first season in Baton Rouge. Adam Hunsucker from Tiger Rag Magazine says that the makeup of Kelly’s staff should help him make the adjustment to the SEC.

Cut 18 (13) “ …familiar with.” 

The addition of New Orleans native Cortez Hankton should give the Tigers a boost when it comes to building a fence around some of the state’s most talented players.

Cut 19 (21)_“…other places.” 

With the mix of familiar faces and up and comers on the sidelines for Coach Kelly, the Tigers staff should once again be one to be reckoned with.

Cut 20 (10) “…national title.”  

 

11:40 LRN Sportscast

In the NFL playoffs yesterday, Kansas City and Tampa Bay advanced, while Dallas’s season ended with a home loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Former Haughton star and Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 254 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Big game for former Ragin Cajun running back Elijah Mithcell as he had 96 yards rushing and one touchdown to help San Francisco advance to play at Green Bay.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals will play Tennessee this Saturday. The Bengals won their first playoff game in 31 years as Cincinnati held off the Raiders 26-19 on Saturday. Burrow threw two touchdown passes in the win…
Cut 17 (13) “ .next one”
One more NFC playoff game tonight. the Rams take on the Cardinals.
The LSU men’s basketball team dropped one spot today to number 13 in the AP Top 25 poll after suffering an upset loss to unranked Arkansas on Saturday. The Razorbacks went on a 17-2 run to finish the game and defeated the 12th ranked Tigers 65-58. LSU Coach Will Wade says the Hogs made the plays down the stretch and they didn’t…
Cut 18 (08) “ ..needed to be”
Eric Gaines had 14 points to lead LSU, while Tari Eason and Alex Fudge each had 13 points. It was the second straight game LSU played without starting point guard Xavier Pinson, who has a sprained knee. Wade hopes Pinson will be back this week. The Tigers are at Alabama on Wednesday and Tennessee on Saturday.

Louisiana Tech improved to 6-0 in Conference USA with a 76062 win over Southern Miss to finish a two-game sweep of the Golden Eagles in regular season play. Kenneth Lofton Junior had 23 points to lead the way.

5:30 LRN Newscast Jan 11

For LRN im Erik Piccoli
LSU star wide receiver Kayshon Boutte has signed a name, image, and likeness deal with well-known injury attorney Gordon McKernan. Jeff Palermo has the story…
Cut 2 (30)…I’m Jeff Palermo”
And Baton Rouge area businessman and self-described advocate, Gary Chambers will run for the Senate this fall. Chambers says incumbent Senator John Kennedy’s votes don’t necessarily reflect what the people of Louisiana want and if he is elected, he’ll work to secure Medicare for the elderly and for everyone else…
Cut 8 (11) “…in this country.”
LRN
======================
New Orleans is reinstating their indoor mask mandate beginning Wednesday due to the rapid increase in COVID cases causing disruptions in schools and overwhelming hospitals. New Orleans Department of Health Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno
Cut 9 (11) “…further notice.”
And Louisiana has a combined 1.5 billion dollar budget surplus from the last and current fiscal year. The REC has recognized the additional revenue and can begin to craft a proposed budget to present to lawmakers ahead of the regular legislative session. The state will also have another 450-million dollar in surplus money to spend from the last fiscal year.
LRN

1:30 LRN Newscast Jan 6

For LRN I’m Erik Piccoli

One year ago today, pro-Trump supporters stormed the U-S Capitol as Congress was set to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. Lawmakers were escorted out of the chambers. Here’s Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson describing the scene that day

Cut 3 (13) “…secure location.”

Senator Bill Cassidy was the lone Republican member of Louisiana’s delegation who voted to certify presidential election results and later voted to convict the former President on charges that his actions led to the mob attack on the capitol.

The Louisiana Department of Health says 90-percent of all COVID cases in the state is the Omicron variant. LSU Health Shreveport Infectious Disease specialist Dr. John Vanchiere says LSU Health Shreveport is testing on average 650 to 800 people a day…:

Cut 12 (08) “…community testing.”

LRN

==================================

It’s King’s Day and that means you can officially begin consuming King Cake. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (00)…I’m Brooke Thorington.”  

And in Louisiana 14,000 new Covid Cases and 12 new deaths bring the state to a total of over 893 thousand cases. In the last week, hospitalizations have almost doubled and there are 1,412 patients. Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to hold a press conference today at 2:30.

This is news on LRN

AM Newscall Dec 23

AM NEWSCALL

The roadways are about to get a lot busier as folks head out for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Reporter Dave Brannen spoke with Triple-A’s Don Redman.

Cut 1 (30) “…I’m Dave Brannen.”

___________________________________

 One in five children in Louisiana suffers from hunger. Brooke Thorington has more

Cut 2 (32) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

___________________________________

As cases of COVID’s Omicron variant grow in Louisiana, the FDA approves a pill to mitigate the virus’s impact. More from Kevin Gallagher…:

Cut 3 (31) “….I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

___________________________________

There will be a lot more Christmas and New Year’s holiday travelers this year compared to a year ago when COVID had us all hunkered down. Triple-A’s Don Redman says his group predicts a 34 percent increase in those hitting the highways, many of them beginning their trips today.

Cut 4 (08) “….vaccinations and boosters.”

Nationwide, 109 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more for the holidays.

Redman says while gas prices are significantly higher than a year ago, that’s not likely to be the lone determining factor for folks opting for holiday travel.

Cut 5 (08) “…their personal economies.”

Redman says patience will be key to getting to your holiday destination safely.

Cut 6 (10) “..in your destination.”

And, he says airline travel over the holiday period is expected to increase 184 percent compared to last year.

__________________________________________________

A recent study shows Louisiana continues to have one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the country. Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America says more than half a million Louisianans, including one in five children, struggle with hunger.

Cut 7 (12) “…leftover food.”

While the pandemic highlighted food insecurity during a surge in unemployment Berg says hunger in the Bayou State has been an ongoing issue due to low wages and inadequate safety net programs in the state.

Cut 8 (12) “…legitimate.”

Berg says it’s ironic that a state known for its culinary leads the nation in hunger and despite what some might say hunger is a political and a partisan issue.

Cut 9 (12)  “…pro-hunger.”

Berg says the 67-percent drop in food insufficiency in Louisiana coincided with the massive boost in federal food and cash aid.

_____________________________________________

As the Omicron COVID variant takes a foothold in Louisiana, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approves Pfizer’s new COVID-19 treatment pill. Dr. Benjamin Springgate is with LSU Health in New Orleans. He call this an “extraordinary step forward” in treating the coronavirus and its variants…:

Cut 10 (07)  “…hospitalization or death.”

The oral treatment, called “Paxlovid” by Pfizer, was authorized for treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID in adults and kids 12 and up at high risk for progressing to severe illness. The drug is not authorized for post-exposure prevention, or in people who are already hospitalized with the virus. Dr. Springgate says, even so, its approval comes none too soon…:

Cut  11 (11)  “…in which it was tested.”  

Pfizer’s Paxlovid is available only with a prescription from your doctor. Treatment must begin within five days of onset of symptoms. Frequent COVID testing is advised to know if or when that occurs. Dr. Stringgate says this can be a serious breakthrough in dealing with pandemic…:

Cut 12 (09) “…fortunate that it is.”

_____________________________________________________

Today is the last day to send gifts in the mail if you want them to arrive for Christmas. USPS Spokesperson David Walton says you can use their service called Priority Mail Express if you want guaranteed delivery by Saturday.

Cut 13 (06) “…Christmas Day.”

Check with your local post office to find out what their drop-off hours are for Priority Express.

Walton has a few mailing tips to help your packages arrive on time, like a clearly printed address label with the correct zip code.

Cut 14 (07)  “…packages as well.”

Walton says put plenty of bubble wrap in your packages and if you’re shipping a battery-operated item…

Cut 15 (09)  “…investigate it.”

And if you’re tracking an item and it’s still not showing any details, Walton says to contact the retailer or sender to see if it’s been handed over to the postal service yet.

_______________________________________________________

The Saints will take on a red-hot Miami Dolphins team on Monday night. The Dolphins have won six in a row, only allowing a total of 79 points in those games. New Orleans Acting Head Coach Dennis Allen says Miami is also playing complimentary football on offense…

Cut  16 (22) “…win games”

Sean Payton remains away from the team after testing positive for COVID-19 last Friday. Allen says Payton is doing better, but did not give a clear timeline on when the head coach will return…

Cut 17 (17) “ for it” 

Both New Orleans and Miami have suffered long-losing streaks this season. Miami lost seven in a row, while the Saints dropped five in a row. But both teams are 7-and-7 and playing a meaningful game in December. Quarterback Taysom Hill he’s looking forward to this game…..

Cut 18 (30) “ ..matchup” 

5:30 LRN Newscast Dec 22

Hospitals are beginning to reinstate mask policies. Brooke Thorington has more

Cut 2 (33)…I’m Brooke Thorington.”  

______________________________________

Louisiana is continuing an unfortunate trend of losing population to other states according to Census Bureau data.  Demographer Greg Rigamer says economic factors primarily played a role in the Bayou State ranking fifth in out-migration comparing 2020 to 2021 figures.

Cut 3 (10) “…doing much better.”

 

Louisiana’s percent of population decline for the year-long period was six-tenths of a percent, the sixth highest in the nation.

 

Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy says he’s still waiting on the CDC to provide some guidance on how much protection a person may have from COVID if previously infected by COVID. Cassidy says based on worldwide research there is some natural immunity for those who recover from COVID…Cassidy isn’t sure why the CDC seems reluctant to look into natural immunity, but the senator, who is also a physician, believes it does provide some protection from future infection…

Cut 14 (11) “..were infected.” 

 

As you head out to do your last-minute shopping for Christmas dinner, Mike Strain, Louisiana’s AG Secretary, says you really shouldn’t have much trouble finding what you need, including the right size turkey.

Cut 9 (10) “…food products available.”

The only downside to all this is inflation has pushed up the price of most everything you’ll need for your meal.