2:30 LRN Newscast May 19

The proposed $39-billion state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1st has passed the Senate and is scheduled today for a House vote on amendments made in the Upper Chamber. One sticking point was Governor Edwards’ request for a half-billion dollars set aside for building a new Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge. The current budget bill has $300-million for that purpose. Mr. Edwards says the amount matters, when it comes to seeking matching federal dollars…:

CUT 05(10)      “…put up yourself.”

Also still in play, the amount budgeted to give teachers and school staff an annual pay raise.

Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies shoot and kill a man they say charged at them with a pickaxe. This happened late last night in Terrytown, while trying to talk the man down during a domestic call. Officers say the man came out of the home armed with the yard tool and started swinging. One deputy fired several shots; bringing him down. An investigation into the shooting is underway.


We are all coping with the high cost of, well EVERYTHING now … but especially with groceries. Our food dollar won’t go as far as it did, and state Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says it may stay that way for quite a while before getting better. He says state & federal authorities, and private sector interests are working on solutions, but they could be quite some time coming…:

CUT 10(11)      “…to cut that down.”

He says try to eat more of your leftovers to conserve food dollars. More than 40-percent of all food produced is wasted.

Two Baton Rouge men are charged with the beating death of 18-year-old Hayes Sellers, a well-intentioned bystander who was defending a lady outside a bar being annoyed by a belligerent drunk last Sunday night. That drunken man and a drunken buddy beat Sellers unconscious and left him to die, which he did later in a hospital. They’ve been charged with murder and battery.

1:30 LRN Newscast May 19

The Senate approved the $39-billion state budget on Wednesday and the House will vote on it this afternoon. Within that bill, a significant down payment of $300-million on a proposed Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge. Governor John Bel Edwards says it’s the most significant infrastructure project that impacts traffic across the state…:

CUT 04(12)      “…two billion.”

Edwards also says bridge sites should be narrowed down to three in the new few weeks.

As Louisianans continue to cope with rising prices and inflation at over 8-percent, State agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says the prices we pay at the grocery store now are reflective of market conditions and wholesale prices from months ago…:

CUT 09(09)      “…next year’s crop.”

Strain advises planning out meals more carefully, and making every effort to eat your leftovers, to get the most bang for your grocery bucks.


Research published by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge reports that reducing protein in the diet produces a number of positive outcomes, including increasing lifespan. Dr. Christopher Morrison says while this basic fact has been known for some time, by experimenting with the diets of mice scientists are learning more about this connection…:

CUT 06(12)      “…metabolic improvement.”

The Department of Health reports over 1300 new cases of COVID, with 115 under hospital care. Two new COVID-related deaths are also reported. They remind you to stay up-to-date on boosters.

Sad news from Chimp Haven, the large primate sanctuary in Caddo Parish. One of the oldest residents there, Ladybird, a 62-year-old chimp, has passed away. She was born in the wild, but brought to Chimp Haven back in 2011. In a social media post, staff say Chimp Haven won’t be the same without her.

4:30 LRN Newscast May 18

Consumer watchdog groups are warning parents of potential scams due to the nationwide shortage of baby formula. Brooke Thorington has more…:

CUT 01(34)      “…Brooke Thorington.”

A Baton Rouge cop was arrested this week for pulling a gun on utility workers who were laying fiber optic cable in his back yard. He ordered them – at gunpoint – to refill the holes they’d dug. He was booked with multiple counts of aggravated assault and is now on administrative leave.


Since the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act is one step closer to the Governor’s Desk, and when questioned on his monthly call-in show Governor John Bel Edwards says he not going to commit to vetoing the legislation at the moment. In the past, Edwards has said it’s a solution looking for a problem and so far, it isn’t a problem in Louisiana. Edwards says he’s met with the bill’s author, Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell and he believes her intent is not spiteful…:

CUT 13(12)      “…unfortunate.”

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee votes in favor of a House-approved bill that’s aimed at improving access to medical marijuana. Houma Representative Tanner Magee says his measure will allow pharmacies to open satellite locations and home delivery would also be an option…:

CUT 09(13)      “…rural access”

That bill is expected to meet full Senate approval as well.

3:30 LRN Newscast May 18

During his monthly statewide radio program, Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s not going to commit to a veto of a transgender athlete ban, if it comes to his desk…:

CUT 12(16)      “…the bill itself”

In the past, Edwards has said it’s a solution looking for a problem and so far, it isn’t a problem in Louisiana. Edwards says he’s met with the bill’s author, Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell and he believes her intent is not spiteful of trans athletes, but protective of natural female athletes. That bill is nearing final passage. The governor vetoed a similar bill last year. A veto override attempt failed.

The statewide average price of regular gas is now at $4.22-a-gallon. That’s up 3-cents from just yesterday. Experts say be prepared to pay up to $4.50 right through the summer.


Deputies in Iberville Parish are investigating an apparent murder suicide in the town of Maringouin Tuesday. Sheriff Brett Stassi says two teens came home from school to find their mom and dad both dead. Stassi says they have established no clear motive, but the incident is still under investigation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that traffic fatalities across the country are at their highest level in 16 years; with nearly 43-hundred deaths in 2021. That’s an 11-percent increase from the previous year. Louisiana Highway Safety Commission spokesman Mark Lambert says the annual “Click it or Ticket” campaign begins next week, and law enforcement will be looking for drivers and passengers who haven’t buckled up…:

CUT 08(11)      “…in a crash.”

2:30 LRN Newscast May 18

There’s been a national surge in road fatalities and Louisiana hasn’t avoided the trend. David Grubb has the story…:

CUT 02(35)      “…David Grubb.”

Speaking of which, State Police report a motorcycle crash in Calcasieu Parish over ten days ago has taken the life of a Sulphur man. Troopers say, on May 6th, 27-year-old John Baldwin ran from troopers trying to stop him for speeding. He lost control after hitting a curb and was thrown from the bike. He died Monday in the hospital.


Police in Winnfield are investigating a shooting incident last night that left two people dead and two injured. The two men killed were young Black males. Two wounded victims were airlifted to an Alexandria hospital, where they are expected to recover. Police say over 30 rounds of ammunition were fired in the gunfight.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee advances a House-approved bill aimed at improving access to medical marijuana. The bill would allow the existing licensed cannabis pharmacies to open satellite stores, and even do home delivery. Only Denham Springs Senator Rogers Pope voted against the proposal…:

CUT 11(11)      “…that’s where I am.”

The measure moves to the full Senate, where it is expected to reach final passage.

4:30 LRN Newscast May 17

Yesterday, I filled my tank and payed $3.93-a-gallon. Today the price was $4.19! That is, in fact, the statewide average price of regular gas. That beats the previous high of $4.16 set in March. Louisiana AAA fuel guy Don Redman says that’s 33-cents higher than just a month ago, and do you want to even know about a year ago?

CUT 05(11)      “…feeling the pinch.”

He says a good number of us may look to cancel summer travel plans or make shorter trips.

The full House passes a bill that would impose an annual road use fee on drivers of electric vehicles and hybrids. Baton Rouge Representative Barbara Frieberg’s bill proposes $110 yearly for EV cars and $60 yearly for hybrids…:

CUT 04(09)      “…enacted it yet.”

By a vote of 82-13, the bill passed and moves now to the Senate.


The FDA now recommends COVID booster shots for kids 5-to-11. Dr. Mark Kline is Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. He says the extra shots are a good idea for everyone; kids included…:

CUT 08(13)      “…protective range.”

He says the number of kids 5-to-11 that have had even one shot is very low.

The House has passed a bill that would prohibit giving out COVID shots at any Louisiana public school without obtaining parents’ permission. Terrebonne Parish Representative Baryl Amedee says putting her bill into law will mean less potential liability for school systems. The House voted 65-31 for the bill, sending it now to the Senate.

A carjacker in New Orleans sped off Monday with the car’s owner clinging to the hood. Cops saw that and stopped the car before it had gone more than three blocks; arresting the thug behind the wheel. The woman was not seriously hurt.

3:30 LRN Newscast May 17

At the State Capitol, a bill to block teaching Critical Race Theory in Louisiana schools fails to pass the House Education Committee. St. Bernard Parish Representative Ray Garafalo is the bill’s author, and says there is indoctrination going on in our schools. But Homer Representative Patrick Jefferson says “prove that is so”…:

CUT 12(12)      “…articulate to me?”

Others felt it would be un-enforceable as law. The committee voted to defer Garafalo’s bill.

A bill requiring folks that own electric cars or hybrids to pay a road usage fee passes the full House. Baton Rouge Representative Barbra Friedberg says people pay a gas tax for road maintenance and EV drivers need to have “skin in the game” too…:

CUT 03(07)      “…that privilege.”

The bill would dun EV drivers $110 yearly and hybrid drivers $60 yearly. It moves forward to the Senate.


Police in Broussard are investigating the death of a ten-month-old infant and the critical beating of a 2-year-old. Few details are known at this time, but we do know a 49-year-old, Tammy Clause, is charged with 2nd-degree murder and cruelty to a juvenile.

Louisiana marks another all-time high at the gas pump today. Brooke Thorington has more…:

CUT 01(30)      “…Brooke Thorington.”

2:30 LRN Newscast May 17

We start with gasoline prices. The statewide average cost of regular gas is now at $4.19-a-gallon; surpassing the record $4.16 set in March. Louisiana AAA’s Don Redman says that’s up 33-cents in one month, and $1.50 more from a year ago. He says Memorial Day travel was expected to be robust, but this recent price jump MIGHT make some rethink that…:

CUT 07  (10)        “…or stay as long.”

The Federal Food & Drug Administration authorizes COVID booster shots for kids between 5 and 11. Children’s Hospital New Orleans CMO Dr. Mark Kline says just under 30-percent of Louisiana kids are fully vaxxed, and it’s a good time to consider taking them in for another shot…:

CUT 10  (10)        “…protect their kids.”

COVID shots are still free and available everywhere.


A West Monroe couple are accused of contractor fraud, for allegedly taking on a flooring job and then failing to ever finish it. 43-year-old Shawn Ledoux and wife Leigh Ledoux – age 40 – reportedly took $19-k for a $30-k job and quit showing up. They’ve been booked and released on bonds of $40-k each.

At the Capitol, a House committee kills an anti-Critical Race Theory bill. More from Jeff Palermo…:

CUT 02  (31)        “…Jeff Palermo.”

08:30 LRN Newscast May 16

The state Supreme Court has ruled 5-to-2 FOR the Baton Rouge area pastor who went to jail for defying the Governor’s COVID lockdown orders in 2020. Pastor Tony Spell, of the Life Tabernacle Church in Central, was taken to jail for violating the order to limit gatherings to no more than 50 persons. His services have been known to attract a thousand. Loyola University law professor Dane Ciolino says, despite rulings from lower courts, the majority of state Supreme Court Justice’s found in Spell’s favor…:

CUT 05(09)      “…different from churches.”

Does the ruling mean the Governor’s future emergency orders might lack the strength of enforcement? Ciolino says he doesn’t think so…as along as things are dealt with evenly and fairly going forward.

Three violent teen criminals, and the guard who helped them escape from a Northwest Louisiana juvenile detention center, were captured early Sunday at a motel in Houston. The boys escaped Saturday around 3 a.m. from the Ware Youth Center in Coushatta, with the help of 21-year-old WYC security guard Victoria Tune. They and Tune are in custody.


Sad news from Louisiana native and superstar Britney Spears; she has lost her baby. The 40-year-old Spear excitedly announced last month she was expecting a child with fiancé Sam Asghari. She updated Saturday, saying the baby was lost. Spears thanks fans and well-wishers for their support.

Another former LSU Tiger is coming home as Jarvis Landry agrees to a one-year deal with the Saints. David Grubb has more…:

CUT 03(33)      “…David Grubb.”

07:30 LRN Newscast May 16

The Senate Finance Committee approved a proposed budget for next fiscal year that does not match Governor John Bel Edwards’ wish list. Edwards has asked the Senate to give teachers a two-thousand dollar pay raise, but House Appropriations Chairman Jerome Zeringue, the author of the budget bill says a 15-hundred dollar raise is more appropriate…:

CUT 10(10)      “…Southern average.”

The governor also wants $500-million set aside to build a new Mississippi River bridge at Baton Rouge. The Senate approved $300-million.

Deputies in Rapides Parish arrest a Deville man for allegedly pointing a gun at a school bus that had children aboard. The incident happened last Thursday afternoon. Officers say 41-year-old Ray Corbett leveled what appeared to be a pistol at the vehicle. He did not fire. A search of his home found some Air Soft guns, but no real firearms. Corbett was charged with terrorizing and aggravated assault.


There will be a changing of the guard, or more accurately, a changing of the chiefs this morning as Butch Browning, the state’s longest-serving fire marshal, hands the baton to Daniel Wallis – his former right hand man – after 14 years of leadership. Here’s spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue…:

CUT 13(11)      “…state for decades.”

Browning moves on to the position of executive director of the National Association of State Fire Marshalls.

As we return to somewhat of a pre-COVID lifestyle Governor John Bel Edwards says there’s been a slight bump in daily case counts. On Friday the state reported 730 new cases. Edwards says the positivity rate is also increasing…:

CUT 07(06)      “…point-seven-percent.”

He says it still pays to get vaccinated and up-to-date on boosters.