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.

06:30 LRN Newscast May 16

The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Baton Rouge area pastor who refused to stop church services during the governor’s COVID lockdown. Pastor Tony Spell, of the Life Tabernacle Church in Central was arrested for flouting stay-at-home orders. Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino on the High Court’s decision…:

CUT 04(11)      “religious institutions”

Spell was arrested in 2020 for violating the Governor’s emergency order limiting gatherings to no more than 50 people. At that time, he said anywhere up a thousand persons might attend services at his church. The governor disagrees with the court’s ruling, but says he’ll abide by it.

State Police in Washington Parish say drunk driving PROBABLY led to a fatal single vehicle crash on state Highway 440, near Mt. Hermon Saturday night. Troopers say 31-year-old Pam Brown, from Kentwood, was driving and ran off the roadway: overturned several times and slammed into some trees. She and her passenger, 16-year-old Jaquan Brown were killed.

 

As we return to a pre-COVID routine, Governor Edwards says they continue to monitor case counts and positivity rates. Brooke Thorington has more…:

CUT 02(29)      “…Brooke Thorington”

An Abbeville man is dead after his tractor was hit by another vehicle in Vermilion Parish. State Police say Alvin Minnick’s tractor was rear-ended by a pickup as he drove on Highway 167. The impact caused the tractor to overturn, throwing the 64-year-old farmer from the vehicle. The pickup driver received moderate injuries. Charges are pending.

5:30 LRN Newscast May 13

A Biden administration decision on oil and gas lease sales is receiving harsh criticism from the petroleum industry. David Grubb has more…:

CUT 02 (40)      “…David Grubb.”

An Arkansas man is arrested for the murder of a Winnsboro woman in a local motel. Franklin Parish deputies say Willie Greenwood fled back to Arkansas, where local cops tracked him down and took him in.

 

Child drownings are on the rise in Louisiana. Regional medical director Martha Whyte says there were 24 drownings in 2020, a 60 percent jump from 2019, and preliminary data from LDH indicates 25 drowning deaths last year. There have also been several drownings around the state in recent weeks…:

CUT 10 (11)      “…safe around water.”

The state Supreme Court rules in favor of Baton Rouge pastor Tony Spell, who was arrested for refusing to suspend church services during the Governor’s COVID lockdown. The court ruled that violated Spell’s 1st Amendment rights.

The New Orleans Saints signed former LSU wide receiver and NFL Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry. Landry was released by Cleveland in March, and made five Pro Bowls with the Browns and at Miami. The former Lutcher High standout was a Fighting Tiger from 2011 through 2013.

3:30 LRN Newscast May 13

Louisiana’s energy industry is upset that the Biden Administration cancelled oil & gas lease sales in the Gulf and Alaska. Louisiana Oil & Gas Association President Mike Moncla says the White House is failing to respond in a time of crisis, with gas prices reaching a record $4.40-a-gallon and consumer prices up 8.3 percent from a year ago…:

CUT 08(09)      “…would do that.”

New leases and drilling won’t have any quick impact on current gas prices, since it will take years for them to produce oil.

Child drownings are on the rise in our state. LDH Regional Medical Director Martha Whyte says drownings in and near the home are particularly troubling. She says boating drownings are another matter, and so preventable. Just put everyone in a life vest…:

CUT 12(10)      “…at all times.”

 

After a Republican lawmaker’s bill to charge women who have abortions with murder fell to defeat Thursday, some wonder if there will be political fallout for the GOP in our state. “LAPolitics.com” publisher Jeremy Alford says many feel the bill was needlessly harsh and unnecessary, because of a trigger law banning abortion with the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Alford says the bill was gutted of its criminal teeth via amendment…:

CUT 05(09)      “…politically have not.”

Alford says the measure seemed to represent an ultra-right fringe of the Republican Party. The bill was withdrawn from debate by its sponsor, Rep. Danny McCormick of Oil City.

The state Supreme Court has reversed a lower court’s ruling on Baton Rouge pastor Tony Spell, who refused to stop church services during the governor’s COVID lockdown. Spell was arrested and even jailed for it. The High Court ruled the order violated Spell’s 1st Amendment rights. The Governor’s office says he did what he did to protect public health and save lives.

2:30 LRN Newscast May 13

A Biden administration decision on oil and gas lease sales is receiving harsh criticism from the petroleum industry. David Grubb has more…:

CUT 02(40)      “…David Grubb.”

Three Louisianans are dead and several others injured, after a wrong-way driver on I-40 in Arkansas plowed into a group of motorcyclists Thursday. Arkansas State Police say the victims are a married couple from Slidell and a woman from Terrytown.

 

Thursday’s debate on Oil City Representative Danny McCormick’s bill to charge a woman who has an abortion with murder is met with questions of fallout from the issue among the Republican Party in Louisiana. “LAPolitics.com” publisher Jeremy Alford says it was republicans who amended the legislation and pointed out the bill could also punish those who use in-vitro fertilization, and that the bill in its original form is unconstitutional…:

CUT 03(10)      “…those amendments.”

He says the bill was something on which GOP and Democrats could easily agree.

If the skies aren’t cloudy Sunday night, we could all see a total lunar eclipse. LSU Astronomy professor Jeff Clayton says these events were one-upon-a-time considered harbingers of something bad…:

CUT 14(12)      “…as the Babylonians”

He says the eclipse should start around 9:30 Sunday evening.