3:30 LRN Newscast Dec 01

According to the Louisiana Tech Center for Economic Research’s first Economic Abstract of the state’s economy, employment has increased but it’s not at pre-pandemic levels yet. Center Director Dr. Patrick Scott says the study looked at employment & unemployment, costs of goods & services, income levels and more. Of the real estate market, Scott says there HAS been a robust demand for housing, in part due to low-interest rates, but Scott says the market is now beginning to cool…:

CUT 05         (07)    “…relatively well.”

He says the state is still down over 130-thousand jobs from pre-pandemic levels.

Country superstar Garth Brooks will be coming to LSU’s Tiger Stadium for an April 30th concert; his first time in the Capital City in 24 years. Visit Baton Rouge CEO Paul Arrigo says he expects a spectacular turnout that’ll put a positive spotlight on the city…:

CUT 06         (10)    “…over the world.”

 

LSU formally introduces Brian Kelly as its new head football coach. Kelly has been with Notre Dame for the last 12 years; during which he racked up the university’s highest win rate. Kelly says he’s looking forward to his first experience in Tiger Stadium, but he understands the fans expectations that he win games…:

Cut 14(14)    “…team on the field.”

Kelly’s combined wins in both Divisions 1 and 2 make him the winningest active coach in college football.

The Coast Guard is looking for a man who fell overboard from the American Queen riverboat early this morning on the Mississippi River. A call came in just after 2 a.m. that a crewmember had gone into the water; triggering the search & rescue efforts between mile marker 224 and 230, which are still underway.

The federal Department of Defense says all National Guard members must get the COVID vaccine or obtain an approved waiver or they won’t get paid for federal activities and training. For services within Louisiana, Guardsmen and women are paid with state funds.

2:30 LRN Newscast Dec 01

Brian Kelly is formally introduced as LSU’s new football coach. Jeff Palermo has the highlights…:

CUT 02(30)      “…Palermo.”

Lawmen in Shreveport are seeking a man who’s been exposing his private parts to passers-by. Cops have obtained security camera video of the man stripping naked in a parking lot on Shreve Park Drive in October. The balding white male was driving a white Chevy extended cab pickup. Crimestoppers will take tips at 318-673-7373.

 

Former St. Tammany Parish sheriff Jack Strain faces up to ten years in prison, after pleading guilty to a federal charge of corruption and kickbacks related to his privatizing the parish inmate work release program. Loyola University law professor Dane Ciolino says he’s not surprised at the guilty plea, as Strain will already be serving time for his November conviction on sexual assault charges. Ciolino says there wasn’t much to gain by forcing Strain to plea to more than one federal corruption charge…:

CUT 11(07)      “…scheme to defraud.”

Strain faces multiple life sentences on the sexual assault convictions.

Country music fans are thrilled to hear Garth Brooks will be coming to Tiger Stadium in late April of next year. It will be his only appearance in Louisiana or Mississippi on the upcoming tour.  Visit Baton Rouge head Paul Arrigo says the show is sure to be an economic boon for the Capital Area…:

CUT 08(09)      “…all those seats filled.”

At about $95 a head, tickets go on sale December 10th.

4:30 LRN Newscast Nov 30

Sad and alarming news is out about the Thanksgiving holiday weekend traffic. More from Dave Brannen…:

CUT 01(33)      “…Brannen.”

Recently convicted of sex crimes, former St. Tammany Parish sheriff Jack Strain will plead guilty to federal charges in a bribery and kickbacks scheme involving the parish jail’s Work Release program. The 16-count indictment was announced in August 2019. So far Strain has not commented publicly on the matter.

 

LSU has hired one of the winningest coaches in college football to lead the Tigers. Brian Kelly leaves South Bend, Indiana, for Baton Rouge after a 113-40 record at Notre Dame. Tiger Rag Editor Ron Higgins says Kelly should succeed at LSU after guiding the Fighting Irish to the College Football Playoffs in two of the last three years…:

CUT 06(10)      “…any better.”

Kelly’s 10-year deal is worth a reported $95-million plus incentives.

The deadline for Medicare Annual Enrollment or to make changes is a week away. Ann Booth of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana says their agents look at the three P’s in advising the ideal Medicare plan for an individual, they consider provider, pharmacy benefit, and the plan value…:

CUT 11(12)      “…choosing a plan.”

Call them at 800-568-1417 or visit bcbsLAplan.com/Medicare

3:30 LRN Newscast Nov 30

LSU announces Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly as the new Tigers head football coach. Can one of college ball’s winningest coaches bring another national title to Baton Rouge? Here’s Jeff Palermo…:

CUT 02(30)      “…Palermo.”

District 3 Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins says he’ll sit out the 2022 Washington DC Mardi Gras bash, due to COVID restrictions. All attendees of the late January events must pass a coronavirus screening. In a letter to colleagues, Higgins says he is (quote) “stunned that the Mystick Krewe has apparently determined that free Americans are unable to be trusted with their own medical decisions,″ He says his staff will gladly help constituents who want to attend.

 

The deadline for Medicare Annual Enrollment, or to make changes, is a week away. Ann Booth, of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, says you need to either enroll or make changes by next Tuesday. Booth says choosing a plan can be hard & overwhelming at times, but they offer help to guide you in making your decision as to what’s best for you…:

CUT 10(11)      “…get their questions answered.”

Say bye-bye to the 2021 Hurricane Season; going out with quiet tropics and zero activity. This past season Louisiana felt the impact of several tropical storms and two hurricanes, including Cat 4 Ida which did billions in damage. Colorado State hurricane expert Dr. Phil Klotzbach says climate change will just mean more strong storms in our future…:

CUT 14(09)      “…little bit stronger.”

2:30 LRN Newscast Nov 30

It was a deadly Thanksgiving holiday weekend across Louisiana. State Trooper Michael Reichardt tells us 16 people died in ten fatal crashes over the four-day period across Louisiana. This time last year that number was nearly HALF that. Trooper Reichardt says that’s probably because so many more people were ready to travel after COVID restrictions were lifted…:

CUT 05(08)      “…a downward spiral.”

LSU’s new head coach will be Brian Kelly, the winningest coach in the history of Notre Dame. Kelly’s agreed to a 10-year, $95-million deal plus incentives. Tiger Rag Editor Ron Higgins says that’s the kind of money it took to make it happen…:

CUT 08(08)      “…getting a guy.”

The university make the official announcement Wednesday.

 

The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season goes out with a fizzle today. The tropics are quiet and have been for a couple weeks. Looking back, Colorado State University hurricane researcher Dr. Phil Klotzbach says these final weeks were much quieter than expected…:

CUT 13(11)      “…come to fruition.”

Klotzbach warns we should be prepared for more storms to be stronger at landfall, like Hurricane Ida in August.

Longtime Pineville Mayor Clarence Fields announces he will not seek re-election for another term. He says his retirement will be effective in June of next year. Among his accomplishments as leader, he’s credited with rejuvenating Pineville’s business, recreation, and infrastructure and residential and commercial development. Fields has been Mayor of Pineville since 1999.

A 7-year-old Shreveport girl is in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury; the result of a severe beating. Two teenage boys – 13 and 14 – are arrested for the crime.

4:30 pm LRN Newscast Nov 29

It’s Cyber Monday but before you click on that too good to be true sale, Brooke Thorington has some tips on avoiding a scam…:

CUT 01(33)      “…Thorington.”

Police in Natchitoches are investigating the shooting death of a teen over the weekend. Officers say the 14-year-old was brought to the emergency room with a gunshot wound and was transported to University Health in Shreveport, where he later died from that injury. Natchitoches Crimestoppers will accept tips or info gladly.

 

This year’s 12th annual Small Business Saturday was a hit nationwide with spending hitting an estimated all-time high of 23.3-billion dollars. Dawn McVea, Louisiana Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says the fact that sales went up this year for mom and pop shops during Small Business Saturday can be a precursor to an improved fourth quarter…:

CUT 14(10)      “…strong holiday season.”

A new COVID virus variant, called “omicron” is raising concerns for many, as cases begin turning up in Canada and other countries. So far none in Louisiana, but Governor John Bel Edwards says it’s about par for the course…:

CUT 06(10)      “…more variants.”

He says getting COVID shots and boosters will help with that.

3:30 pm LRN Newscast Nov 29

Today is Cyber Monday, a day set aside to do your online holiday shopping, but the Better Business Bureau warns to be wary of where you take to web browser to shop. BBB’s Carmen Million says check for an “S” in the web address which indicates the site is secure. She advises you price check and compare prices from a variety of online retailers, but most importantly, especially this year with supply chain disruptions…:

CUT 10(08)      “…important thing.”

And remember to check the website’s returns policy, they are not all the same and there are some who don’t have any such policy.

More on holiday shopping: Small Business Saturday this past weekend was apparently a pretty big success. Dawn McVea, state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses…:

CUT 13(11)      “…throughout the year.”

Nationwide, small businesses reported a 2-percent increase in revenues over last year.

 

Today is the deadline to register for FEMA disaster relief if your main home suffered damage during Hurricane Ida. Nathan Custer with the agency says that damage can range from the minor to the catastrophic, but if you haven’t registered with FEMA for assistance, you only have hours left to do so…:

CUT 03(07)      “…hear from you.”

Visit DisasterRelief.gov or call FEMA at 800-621-3362.

It has sat vacant ever since Hurricane Katrina, but New Orleans’ former Charity Hospital building will soon be revitalized. Tulane University will be the main tenant of the 350-thousand square foot structure – using it for classroom and research space, but it will also be a mixed-use facility; featuring apartments, retail shops and more. Refurbishing will take well over two years, Tulane hopes to be in by 2025.

2:30 pm LRN Newscast Nov 29

Today is the deadline to register for FEMA disaster relief if your main home suffered damage during Hurricane Ida. FEMA’s Nathan Custer says more than a half-million property owners have registered with FEMA since Ida hit and at least $1.6-billion in assistance has been paid out by the agency…:

CUT 05(08)      “…in late August.”

Custer says you can claim for damage ranging from the minor to the catastrophic, but if you haven’t registered with FEMA for assistance, you only have hours left to do so.

A holiday weekend child hand-off from one divorced parent to another became violent and ended with one man dead. Shreveport Police say adults meeting in a gas station lot for the exchange argued, and then gunfire erupted.  That was one of four shootings SPD responded to within just five minutes Sunday.

 

The figures are in and this year’s Small Business Saturday was an apparent record-setter. More from Dave Brannen…:

CUT 02(34)      “…Brannen.”

A new COVID variant, called Omicron, has some alarmed. Governor John Bel Edwards urges us all to take steps to help slow transmission…:

CUT 07(10)      “…global pandemic.”

Right now, just under half the state has need vaccinated for coronavirus.

4:30 pm LRN Newscast Nov 24

Louisiana’s temporary shelter assistance program for victims of Hurricane Ida continues to make progress. Frustrated with FEMA’s ability to get it done quickly, the state took charge; ordering almost 2100 travel trailers for folks whose homes were ravaged by the Labor Day Weekend storm. GOHSEP acting director Casey Tingle says the current pace of the trailers being newly occupied is about 40 a day…:

CUT 13(07)      “…into their units.”

Please drive safely if traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. AAA says they expect a hefty 13-percent increase in highway travel starting … well, now. State Police Trooper Ross Brannen reminds us that law men will be out in force, as part of the federal Click It or Ticket campaign…:

CUT 08(12)      “…that proper seatbelt.”

…and oh yes, they’ll be watching for speeders and impaired drivers as well. Last Thanksgiving holiday eight people died on Louisiana roadways.

 

Early voting opens Saturday for the Dec. 11 Louisiana open general election and runs through Saturday, December 4th. Polls are closed Sunday. Some areas of the state have literally NO ballot on which to vote. Others have important runoffs and local option votes.

Local Christmas tree farmers say this season is shaping up to be their busiest ever. Brooke Thorington explains…:

CUT 02(33)      “…Thorington.”

3:30 pm LRN Newscast Nov 24

According to Triple-A, Thanksgiving travel is up 13-percent and law enforcement is concerned the increase in travel could lead to a large number of motor vehicle crashes. State Police Trooper Ross Brennan says during last year’s Thanksgiving holiday period nearly 800 people were injured and eight people killed in crashes in Louisiana…:

CUT 06(07)      “…these roadways.”

“Real tree, or not real tree … that is the question.” Christmas tree farmers say they’re already off to a busy start with more people decorating earlier this season. For those determined to have a certain type of tree, listen up. Kay Gersch of Yawn Station Christmas Tree Farm in Livingston Parish says Fraser fir trees are hard to come by…:

CUT 10(11)      “…eight foot.”

If you like to cut your own, there are a good supply of those, despite the impact of Hurricane Ida last summer.

 

The state-run Hurricane Ida temporary sheltering program continues to move ahead, though at a slower pace than many would like. Casey Tingle is acting director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, who run the trailer program. He says they are making progress, 3 months after the storm…:

CUT 14(09)      “…to do that.”

When it comes to preparing your holiday meal, and then storing what’s left over …temperature and timing are everything. Meredith Caruthers is with the U.S. Department of Agriculture…:

CUT 04(14)      “…than two hours.”

The USDA notes that improper prep and leftover storage leads to about 48-million Americans getting sick from foodborne illness. Up to 3000 a year can actually die.