3:30 LRN Newscast Sept 22

Embattled New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell refuses to reimburse the city for her travel expenses to France, Councilman J.P. Morrell and other council members are working on a plan to recoup the more than $43-thousand in upgrades for first class plane fares and top-notch hotel rooms…:

CUT 03(09)      “…when we do the budget”

A group of south Louisiana realtors asks Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon to hold on approving a big rate hike for the state-run insurer of last resort, Louisiana Citizens. One of those realtors is Cody Caudill, who says waiting will give more time for private market companies to start writing business at lower rates…:

CUT 08(04)      “…come back.”

He says higher insurance are already causing some to cancel home purchases and a rate hike will make that even worse.

 

With a total of 33 severe cases of West Nile, Louisiana is fourth in the nation for the virus. Whitney Thomas has more…:

CUT 02(32)      “…Thomas.”

A number of robo-calls have gone out around Louisiana today, reporting fake ‘active shooter’ situations at a number of schools, according to Louisiana State Police. Calls came to schools in Ouachita, Lafayette, St. Mary and Beauregard parishes today. NO actual shooters were found. Other states got the hoax calls as well.

2:30 LRN Newscast Sept 22

A group of real estate agents asks Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon to put the brakes on approving a big rate hike for the state-run insurer of last resort, Louisiana Citizens…:

CUT 01(28)      “…Golsby.”

Cops in Mansfield were called out to Mansfield High School today on a report of an active shooter. After evacuating and thoroughly checking, police found NO such threat and declared the school safe & secure. The same thing happened today in Monroe, at Neville High school. Again, no real threat was found. Hoaxes? Quite likely.

 

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell refuses to reimburse the city for her travel expenses. She reportedly racked up over $40-thousand in travel upgrades; flying first class and staying in 5-star rooms on trips to D.C. and to France. City Councilman J.P. Morrell says she could have used campaign money, but chose to let taxpayers foot the bill…:

CUT 05(11)      “…fly first class.”

Morrell says the city can claw those dollars back, but reducing her salary in next year’s city budget. Meanwhile, a petition to recall Cantrell continues to collect signatures.

At 33 reported cases statewide, Louisiana ranks 4th in the country for West Nile Virus cases. State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says avoiding insect bites that transmit it is fairly easy…:

CUT 09(12)      “…the population.”

Five have been diagnosed with the Neuro-Invasive form of the virus, which CAN be fatal.

PM Newscall Sept 22

The state’s homeowner insurer of last resort is asking for a 63-percent rate increase. A coalition of realtors says if it’s approved it will price some homeowners right out of their homes. Marsanne Golsby has more.

Cut 1 (28)  “…I’m Marsanne Golsby.”

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With a total of 33 severe cases of West Nile, Louisiana is fourth in the nation for the virus. Whitney Thomas has more

Cut 2 (32) “…I’m Whitney Thomas.”  

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Because New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell refuses to reimburse the city for her travel expenses to France, councilman JP Morrell and other council members are working on a plan to recoup the more than $43 thousand in expenses.

Cut 3 (09) “…when we do the budget.” 

Morrell says Cantrell’s expenses set a horrible precedent on two levels; one is that elected officials should be treated differently than city employees and second in a city that faces tremendous costs with an $80 million crime plan coming up and a 70% increase in sanitation…

Cut 4 (10) “…comprehend.” 

Morrell says while the travel to France was in some semi-official capacity for the city, he believes Cantrell could have used a portion of her more than $1 million in campaign funds to finance the trip.

Cut 5 (11) “…first class.” 

A recall effort is also underway to have Cantrell removed from office.

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New Orleans Realtors are asking the insurance commissioner to put the brakes on a 63-percent rate hike for 100 thousand Louisiana homeowners that have insurance with Citizens Insurance.

Realtor Cody Caudill (pronounced coddle) is part of a coalition trying to stabilize the housing market.

Cut 6 (08)  “…the market” 

Louisiana Citizens is the state’s insurer of last resort. Citizens is asking for the increase to be effective on January 1st.

Cut 7 (06) “…a nonprofit.”

And the problem doesn’t just affect New Orleans. More insurance companies are pulling out of the state, becoming insolvent, or refusing to write policies south of I-12.

But Caudill sees signs of improvement in the insurance market. He says they have indications a couple of private insurers will return to the market if we can make it through this hurricane season without a major storm.

Cut 8 (04)  “…come back.”

Donelon says he will decide based on what the numbers show about the need for an increase.

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Louisiana has the fourth highest rate of West Nile in the country according to the CDC. A total of 33 cases, and 3 West Nile fever cases have been reported. State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says there are ways to avoid catching West Nile.

Cut 9 (12)  “…the population.”

More people are at risk due to the high number of positive pool samples in the Northshore area. Only 1% of people with West Nile contract severe symptoms from the virus.  The five individuals diagnosed with severe neurological disease caused by the virus this year have died. Dr. Kanter says the symptoms are hard to miss…

Cut 10 (13) “…difficulty walking.” 

Dr. Kanter says protecting yourself and your home will make a difference

Cut 11 (07)  “…your house.”

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SWEPCO is constructing its first solar farm to supply customers in North Caddo Parish with renewable energy. PSC Commissioner Foster Campbell praised the utility provider’s efforts to help lower energy costs for some 12-thousand homes with the plant.

Cut 12 (09) “…all around the state.”  

The SWEPCO solar facility will be built just outside of Hosston and Foster says it also sets a good example that Louisiana is using more renewable sources of energy.

Cut 13 (08) “…energy now.” 

Foster says the installation of more renewable energy sources not only benefits the state environmentally, but it also entices more companies and families to relocate to the Bayou State.

Cut 14 (08)  “…this project.” 

1:30 LRN Newscast Sept 22

We don’t talk a lot these days about West Nile Virus, but the mosquito-borne illness puts Louisiana at 4th in the nation for cases…:

CUT 02(32)      “…Thomas.”

Police in Mansfield responded today to a call of an active shooter at Mansfield High School. The building was cleared and NO threat was found. They says the building is secure. Police in Monroe confirm the same thing happened this morning at Neville High. Both apparently hoaxes.

 

A group of New Orleans area realtors are asking state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon to delay approving a rate increase for customers of the state-run insurer of last resort, Louisiana Citizens. Cody Cuadill is one of those realtors. He says they’re asking for 18 months to allow homeowners time to find private market coverage…:

CUT 07(06)      “…a non-profit.”

He says the proposed 63-percent hike in rates will affect the real estate market badly, and hence the state’s economy.

Underway in Caddo Parish, a solar energy farm – built by SWEPCO – to ease electricity costs in that area. Public service Commissioner Foster Campbell likes it…:

CUT 13(08-0    “…energy now.”

The plant is going in near Hosston.

12:30 LRN Newscast Sept 22

SWEPCO is constructing its first solar farm to supply customers in North Caddo Parish with renewable energy. Public Service Commission member Foster Campbell praised the utility provider’s efforts to help lower energy costs for some 12-thousand homes with the plant…:

CUT 12(10)      “…all around.”

The SWEPCO solar facility will be built just outside of Hosston.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell refuses to reimburse the city for recent upgrades to her travels to France and D.C. The amount is said to be over $40-thousand for first class plane fares and 5-star hotel rooms. City Councilman J.P. Morrell…:

CUT 04(10)      can’t even comprehend

He says council members COULD dock her pay to claw the money back, when they prepare the next city budget.

 

A reward of $30,000 is now being offered to help find those responsible for the murder of LSU student Allie Rice in Baton Rouge last week…:

CUT 27(30)      “…Thorington.”

…and now today’s markets…

11:30 LRN Newscast Sept 22

New Orleans Realtors are asking the insurance commissioner to put the brakes on a 64 percent rate hike for 100 thousand Louisiana homeowners that have insurance with Citizens Insurance. Realtor Cody Caudill is part of a coalition trying to stabilize the housing market…:

CUT 06(09)      “…the market.”

They’re asking for 18 months of cushion before the rate hike kicks in, which will give more time for those covered by Citizens to find cheaper, private market insurance.

The National Weather Service in Shreveport says pay attention to the tropical wave off the coast of Venezuela, as it makes it way west and northwest overt the next week. The system has potential to reach named storm status and enter the Gulf, and thus potential to threaten Louisiana.

 

Because New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell refuses to reimburse the city for her travel expenses to France, Councilman J.P. Morrell and other council members are working on a plan to recoup the more than $43 thousand in expenses…:

CUT 03(09)      “…at the budget.”

Morrell says while the travel to France was in some semi-official capacity for the city, he believes Cantrell could have used a portion of her more than $1 million in campaign funds to finance the trip. A voter effort to recall the mayor is underway.

A West Baton Rouge Parish State Trooper is now on administrative leave after being arrested in connection with a sex crime investigation in South Dakota. 44-year-old LSP Lt. Kirk Thibodeaux is accused of soliciting a prostitute, while in the state on work-related business. His case on South Dakota is pending.

4:30 LRN Newscast Sept 21

On his monthly radio show, “Ask the Governor”, Governor John Bel Edwards was asked about the spiking rate of violent crime in Baton Rouge, and the recent murder of 21-year-old LSU Senior Allie Rice last week. He calls her killing senseless and careless and says hiring more trained cops will likely help curb murders and robberies…:

CUT 13(13)      “…too high.”
The reward money for catching Allie’s killer is now up to $30-thousand. Baton Rouge cops believe the crime was totally random.

Gasoline prices have seemingly ended their 100-plus day run of price declines; now at a statewide average of $3.13 and holding. Louisiana AAA fuel analyst Don Redman says, if a hurricane threatens our coast those prices will spike again…:

CUT 08(08)      “…in the Gulf.”

 

Two men who pulled off an armed robbery this morning in West Monroe have been captured. Ouachita Parish deputies say Donald Bouwell and James Stephenson held up a bingo hall, but were nabbed after a foot chase by both Ouachita and Union parish officers.

Southeastern Louisiana University is using a $5-million federal grant to create a program to keep teachers in the classroom. Brooke Thorington has more…:

CUT 01(33)      “…Thorington.”

PM Newscall Sept 21

Southeastern Louisiana University is using a $5-million federal grant to create a program to keep teachers in the classroom. Brooke Thorington has more

Cut 1 (33)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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Triple A says gasoline prices have stopped falling. Today the statewide average for a gallon of gas is $3.13–the same as yesterday. Marsanne Golsby has more.

Cut 2 (27) “I’m Marsanne Golsby.”  

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Southeastern Louisiana University is using a $5-million federal grant to develop a mentoring program to assist education graduates as they enter the classroom. Dean of Education Paula Summers Calderon says new teachers tend to leave the profession in their first few years due to burnout and not meeting their own expectations.

Cut 3 (10) “…or 20 years.” 

The Program is called BRIDGE Building Rigorous Induction and Development for Growing all Educators. Calderon says they are partnering with the Tangipahoa School System for the first year and will focus on ways to prepare teachers to meet the needs of the district also. She says it’s a win-win.

Cut 4 (11) “…those new teachers.” 

And then for the third year of the five-year program, the St. Charles Parish school system will be added.

The project will prepare 375 more highly effective and trained teachers over a five-year period and increase the leadership skills and knowledge of 150 teachers who support them. Calderon says other states have similar programs, but this is a first for Louisiana.

Cut 5 (07) “…entire state.” 

The program will also work closely with school districts to recruit teacher candidates from underrepresented populations.

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The drop from record high gasoline prices appears to be ending. For nearly 100 days the price at pump has fallen, but today the statewide average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.13, the same as yesterday. Triple-A fuel analyst Don Redman says a lot of factors went into the stabilization of prices…

Cut 6 (08)  “…production” 

Redman says now that gasoline price have stabilized its hard to predict where they go from here….

Cut 7 (08) “…right now.”

But Redman says if a major hurricane appears in the Gulf, prices will spike.

Cut 8 (08)  “…in the Gulf.”

Forecasters are keeping an eye on a tropical wave in the western Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center says it has a 70 percent chance of forming into a depression in the next 48 hours.

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Social Catfish, an online investigation service that monitors scams, says in Louisiana last year more than 4,000 people lost $43 million to con-artists, that’s up from $27 million in 2020. Social Catfish CEO David McClellan…

Cut 9 (08)  “…staggering number.”

During the pandemic, there was an increase in identity theft due to stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment. McClellan says there are immediate scams also, that steal your personal information when you check on a link and others that play out for months.

Cut 10 (04) “…really staggering” 

McClellan says three out of four victims of Romance Scams are college educated and online cryptocurrency scams have skyrocketed seven-fold to $1.6 million in the US.

To avoid falling victim, McClennan says never give money to someone you’ve never met, do not give out personal information, use different passwords for different accounts, and when it comes to Romance Scams utilize a reverse image search to see if the person you are communicating with is who they say they are. And most of all, he says trust your gut.

Cut 11 (10)  “…your gut.”

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Governor John Bel Edwards addressed the uptick in crime in Baton Rouge by discussing the Death of  21 years old Allison Rice.

Edwards says the incident is insensitive and careless…

Cut 12 (10) “.. .just horrendous.”  

Edwards says having more officers will deescalate crime.

Cut 13 (13) “…is too high.” 

3:30 LRN Newscast Sept 21

Would it surprise you to know that online scammers raked in over $40-million from Louisiana residents in 2021? That’s a lot, and much more than the estimated $27-million conned out of Bayou state citizens during 2020. Social Catfish is an agency that tracks online scams, and CEO Dave McClellan says simple steps like changing passwords frequently and never agreeing to anything asked for online are two ways to avoid being taken. He says trust your instincts…:

CUT 11(10)      “…your gut.”

As the4 state-run property insurer of last-resort, Louisiana Citizens, asks for a 63-percednt rate increase…realtors are asking the Insurance Commissioner to delay approving that hike. They say, if buyers cannot afford coverage, they will not buy the home…and slowing the housing market any further will badly hurt the state’s economy.

 

On his monthly radio program, Governor John Bel Edwards addressed the uptick in crime in Baton Rouge and the murder of 21-year- old LSU Senior Allison Rice. The governor says the killing is insensitive and careless…:

CUT 12(10)      “…just horrendous.”

Edwards says hiring and training more cops will help with the crime surge.

Southeastern Louisiana University is using a $5-million federal grant to develop a mentoring program to assist education graduates as they enter the classroom. Dean of Education Paula Summers Calderon says other states have similar programs, but this is a first for Louisiana…:

CUT 05(07)      “…entire state.”

The Program is called BRIDGE, for Building Rigorous Induction and Development for Growing all Educators.

2:30 LRN Newscast Sept 21

It seems gasoline prices have ceased their weeks-long decline, with the statewide average price of regular at $3.13 and holding…:

CUT 02  (27)        “…Golsby.”

A good news story: a Shreveport woman who’d been missing since early June has been found safe and sound. SPD says they’ve located 43-year-old Carzie Rhodes, and says she was not a victim of any crime or foul play.

 

Social Catfish, an online investigation service that monitors scams, says over 4000 Louisiana residents lost over $43-million to online cons last year. That’s up from $27 million in 2020. Social Catfish CEO David McClellan says many are immediate scams that steal your personal information when you check on a link, and others that can play out for months…:

CUT 10(04)      “…really staggering.”

McClennan says never give money to someone you’ve never met, do not give out personal information, and change passwords often.

Police in Baton Rouge says the murder of 21-year-old Allie Rice last week appears to be a random act. BRPD tells WBRZ TV they’ve found “no evidence suggesting Allie Rice was specifically targeted by her attacker.” A $10-thousand private reward is offered for a tip that leads to her killer’s conviction.