3:30 LRN Newscast May 10

Along with gasoline prices, the price of our utility bills is also rising to match the heat. Cleco wants to remind you of its Alternative Rate for Electricity discount program for eligible low-income families. Spokesperson Fran Phoenix says, if you meet the guidelines for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP, you automatically qualify for these savings during the hottest months of the year…:

CUT 08(08)      “…that discount.”

Find out more at “lhc.la.gov”

Senator Bill Cassidy introduces a bill to reauthorize the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 that provides crucial programs. It provides mental health services for kids in schools, but also for those who find themselves in juvenile detention. He says some teens are denied services while they await sentencing…:

CUT 13(10)      “…might be.”

 

Louisiana is sort of flush with cash – revenue – right now, and the Louisiana House has up-voted a proposal to help the next legislature deal with the future loss of a temporary sales tax. Jeff Palermo has the story…:

CUT 01(32)      “…Jeff Palermo.”

New Orleans Police are seeking a woman they say stole food from a grocery store and used her toddler-aged child to shoplift as well. Store security video shows the woman and little girl carrying over $400 worth of meat without paying. Police say it’s sad they have to steal food, but she’s teaching the child criminal behavior.

2:30 LRN Newscast May 10

A few years back, the Governor and state lawmakers plugged a big budget gap by passing a temporary sales tax hike; set to expire in 2025. It generates about $400-million a year for the state. The state House has passed a bill start phasing that tax increase out, starting next year. Bill sponsor Tony Bacala, of Prairieville, says better to start reducing the sales tax sooner, so budget planners face a soft landing instead of a fiscal cliff…:

CUT 05(08)      “…long term.”

Passed by a 67-to-40 vote, the bill heads now for the Senate.

Funeral services are today for East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Nick Tullier, who died after six years of struggling with injuries received when he was shot in an assassin’s attack in Baton Rouge in 2016. Tullier and two others were shot and wounded. Three other law officers were killed, as was the gunman.

 

Senator Bill Cassidy introduces a bill to reauthorize the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 that provides crucial programs to improve the nation’s mental health infrastructure. Cassidy says current legislation is set to expire in September and the new bill also focuses on mental health programs for children…:

CUT 12(11)      “…support children.”

Cassidy’s 2022 Reauthorization Act not only provides mental health services for kids in schools but also for those who find themselves in juvenile detention centers.

Optimism among small businesses continues to wane, according to the April survey by the National Federation of Independent Business. State NFIB director Dawn McVea says a net-negative 50-percent of owners feel the business environment for them will NOT improve, and record high inflation is why…:

CUT 10(07)      “operating right now.”

93-percent of those surveyed report few or no qualified job applicants.

5:30 LRN Newscast May 09

I’m Kevin Gallagher with today’s Legislative Update from the Louisiana Radio Network.

One of Louisiana’s strongest pro-life lobbies comes out AGAINST a bill that would make having or performing an abortion punishable with prison time. Caddo Parish Representative Danny McCormick’s bill would define a procedure to terminate a pregnancy as murder. Louisiana Family Forum president Gene Mills says it’s un-needed, because the state already has a trigger law that will render abortions illegal, should the Supreme Court overturn Roe versus Wade…:

CUT 12(10)      “…Dobbs opinion”

Last week’s leaked Justice Alito opinion draft references the case of Dobbs versus Jackson Women’s Health, of Jackson Mississippi, and indicates a majority of justices support upholding it and returning control of abortion law to the states. Mills says McCormick’s bill needlessly punishes the mother…:

CUT 13(07)      “…even harmful.”

McCormick’s bill is scheduled for full House debate later this week.

 

The Revenue Estimating Conference increased income projections for this fiscal year by 350-million dollars today, giving state lawmakers additional money to spend. Economists are reporting better-than-expected tax collections from sales and personal income taxes. So, what to do with that extra money? Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says the Governor’s Office has some ideas…:

CUT 07(12)      “…bridge in Baton Rouge”

He also favors using the money for a new I-10 bridge in Lake Charles and completing I-49 south to New Orleans. Administration economist Manfred Dix says the state is having a good year when it comes to better than expected revenues. He wonders if it could last beyond this calendar year…:

CUT 05(11)      “…ensuing fiscal year.”

The Governor’s Office would also like to use the surplus money to kick up planned $1500 teacher pay raises to $2000.

4:30 LRN newscast May 09

You may be surprised to hear a major pro-life group in Louisiana comes down AGAINST a bill that would make abortion a crime; punishable with prison time for the mother, doctor and others as assisting. Louisiana Family Forum president Gene Mills says the measure is potentially harmful and won’t be needed if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade. Mills says if that happens the state and private sector need to be ready to step up for expectant mothers..:

CUT 14(14)      “…or chemical abortions.”

That bill is scheduled for full House debate this week.

Deputies in Webster Parish says three men were seriously burned in a propane explosion this morning at Aeropres in Cotton Valley. The men were airlifted to the burn center in Shreveport. If it’s known, the cause of the blast has not yet been made public. OSHA is investigating.

 

After taking a dip for a few weeks, the statewide average price for regular gas has gone up to $4-a-gallon…again. You remember, it hit $4.15 in March. Louisiana AAA fuel expert Don Redman says get used to what you’re paying now…:

CUT 10(09)      “…near term.”

He says another hurricane could cause another huge price spike.

A Lafayette area man is behind bars after a traffic stop yielded a huge number of illegal weapons and drugs. Sheriff’s deputies say they got permission to search 41-year-old Dustin McCullough’s vehicle and found 14 firearms (some fully automatic), over 2000 rounds of ammo, plus meth, ecstasy, marijuana and various opioid pills. He faces a long list of charges.

State Police seek the public’s help finding a hit & run driver that killed a man Friday in Shreveport. They have images of a silver early-2000’s GMC Sierra with black trim – pulling a trailer – and hope someone can identify the truck and its owner.

3:30 LRN Newscast May 09

A state Wildlife & Fisheries agent is credited with saving 9 people off the coast of Grand Isle this past weekend. Sgt. Stephen Rhodes was patrolling the beach in that area when he noticed a boat taking on water before capsizing. After helping 8 people onto his boat, he went into the water to save a little girl trapped under the boat, then performed CPR until she was breathing on her own. LDWF spokesman Adam Einck says Rhodes did everything right..:

CUT 08(08)      “…as well.”

Einck says the little girl is expected to fully recover.

The Louisiana Family Forum, a strong pro-life lobby, says it won’t support a House bill making abortion a crime punishable with prison time. Caddo Parish Representative Danny McCormick’s bill is set for House debate this week. LFF’s Gene Mills says the bill has some “language problems” and needlessly punishes the mother…:

CUT 13(11)      “…trying to accomplish.”

 

State Police Troop E reports two people died in separate weekend crashes in Sabine and Grant parishes. In Sabine, an overturned ATV killed an 11-year-old boy. In Grant, a two-car crash on U.S. 165 took the life of a 14-year-old passenger, who was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle.

Louisiana lawmakers will have more money to spend as the state continues to report better than expected revenues. Jeff Palermo has the story…:

CUT 01(34)      “…Jeff Palermo.”

2:30 LRN Newscast May 09

The Revenue Estimating Conference – the state panel that figures out how much money the state has, will have and will need – has upped the fiscal outlook for the current year by $350-million. Chief Legislative Economist Deborah Vivien says it’s due to better-than-expected tax collections. But, she says, she expects a drop next year…:

CUT 04(09)      “economic influences.”

Revenue estimates for the fiscal year that starts in July are also up; by $100-million.

Here’s another story on gasoline prices: the statewide average for regular gas has hit $4 again. There was a 14-cent jump in just 7 days. Louisiana AAA fuel expert Don Redman says that reflects a recent 10-percent jump in crude oil…:

CUT 09  (09)        “…production of crude…”

He says if you can budget for gasoline, budget for $4-a-gallon though the summer.

 

Pineville cops arrest a man today for yesterday’s shooting inside a Walgreen’s drug store. Two victims sustained minor injuries. 19-year-old Bryson Brosette is charged with attempted murder.

A Caddo Parish teen is under arrest for threatening to shoot up Donnie Bickham Middle School in Shreveport. The teen boy made the threats on social media Sunday. It didn’t take long to identify the culprit and round him up.

A state Wildlife & Fisheries agent is hailed as a hero, after rescuing 9 people from a sinking pleasure boat off the coast of Grand Isle Saturday. LDWF spokesman Adam Einck says one of them – a little girl – was trapped under the capsized boat, so Sgt Stephen Rhodes dove in..:

CUT 07  (11)        “…breathing again.”

The girl is going to be OK.

1:30 LRN Newscast May 09

A Wildlife and Fisheries agent rescues nine from a capsized boat this weekend and saves the life of a young girl…David Grubb has the story…:

CUT 02(36)      “…David Grubb.”

Three people were seriously injured this morning in a chemical plant explosion in Cotton Valley. Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker says it happened at Aeropres Corporation. The men hurt were airlifted to the burn center in Shreveport.

 

One of Louisiana’s strongest pro-life lobbies comes out AGAINST a bill that would make having or performing an abortion punishable with prison time. Caddo Parish Representative Danny McCormick’s bill would define a procedure to terminate a pregnancy as murder. Louisiana Family Forum president Gene Mills says it’s un-needed, because the state already has a trigger bill that will render abortions illegal, should the Supreme Court overturn Roe versus Wade…:

CUT 12(10)      “…Dobbs opinion.”

Last week’s leaked Justice Alito opinion draft references the case of Dobbs versus Jackson Women’s Health, of Jackson Mississippi, and indicates a majority of justices support upholding it and returning control of abortion law to the states. McCormick’s bill goes to the House floor this week.

The state panel that figures out how much money the state has, will have and will need has upped the fiscal outlook for the current year by $350-million. Chief legislative Economist Deborah Vivien says it’s due to better-than-expected tax collections.

4:40 LRN Newscast May 06

You may be surprised to know that corporal punishment – paddling – of school kids is still allowed by law in Louisiana. A bill to end that met a narrow defeat on the House floor. Among those opposed was Caddo Parish Rep. Danny McCormick, who says spanking kids is a parental right…:

CUT 06(08)      “…the bill.”

The bill received 51 “yes” votes but it needs 53 votes to pass the House. It can come up for a vote again in the House. A similar measure failed in the House last year.

Thinking about bringing Mom breakfast in bed this Mother’s Day? Data from the American Academy of Neurology suggests a better gift may be letting her sleep in. United Healthcare-Louisiana Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kevin Stephens, says women sleep less as they get older and another hour or two under the covers can make a world of difference…:

CUT 11(11)      “…absolutely necessary.”

 

Entergy says it will create its expanded customer service call center in West Monroe. The company will build out existing commercial property to accommodate 170 new customer care representatives. Entergy spokesperson Yovanka Daniel says the additional employees will help Entergy provide faster and better customer service, and will be most helpful during disasters, as the company plays a key role in emergency response and recovery. Daniel says people seeking a good entry-level position should take note…:

CUT 13(08)      “…end of the summer.”

Apply online at “entergy-louisiana.com”

Deputies in St. Bernard have found the second of three children who were swept away while wading in the Mississippi River in New Orleans nearly two weeks ago. Relatives identified the remains as 14-year-old Brandy Wilson. Her 15-year-old brother’s body was found Monday. An 8-year-old sister is still missing and presumed drowned.

3:30 LRN Newscast May 06

A bill to ban corporal punishment in public schools fails to pass in the Louisiana House by two votes. Michelle Southern has the story…:

Cut 01  (30)      “…Michelle Southern.”

Traffic on I-49 in Desoto Parish ground to a halt today, as an alligator blocked the roadway. DeSoto Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Dunn says the reptile was about 10 feet long. He grappled with the gator, picked it up with his bare hands and carried it to safety. The DPSO Facebook page has a hilarious description of the incident.

 

A man accused of abducting & raping a Southeastern Louisiana University student was arrested within just a few hours of the crime. SLU campus Police Chief Mike Beckner says it happened Thursday morning, right after the victim parked her car…:

CUT 04(06)      “…at gunpoint.”

Beckner says they got a good description from the victim, and had surveillance cam video of 19-year-old Demetris Harris – of Jackson, Mississippi. He was arrested before noon Thursday and is in custody.

Entergy says it will create its expanded customer service call center in West Monroe. The company will build out existing commercial property to accommodate 170 new customer care representatives. Entergy spokesperson Yovanka Daniel says the announcement is good news for the regional economy…:

CUT 12(10)      “…seamless and positive.”

Daniel says hiring for the expanded customer call center will begin soon. To apply go online to “entergy-louisiana.com.”

2:30 LRN Newscast may 06

Campus police at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond were able to arrest a suspected on-campus rapist within four hours of his crime. SLU Police Chief Michael Beckner says 19-year-old Demetris Harris – from Jackson, Mississippi – was trolling the campus for a while before abducting a female student at gunpoint, from a parking lot in a remote part of the campus…:

CUT 03(08)      “…a random attack.”

The attack happened Thursday at around 8 am. Beckner says the witness’s description, coupled with good surveillance video of Harris in his SUV, led to his arrest before noon.

A bill to ban spanking kids in public schools failed on the House floor by only TWO votes. It needed 53 “yea” votes to pass and got only 51. Among those objecting was Desoto Parish Rep. Larry Bagley, who says schools should decide that policy, not lawmakers..:

CUT 08(11)      “…the wrong signals.”

The bill COULD be brought up for a second vote.

 

Shreveport Police seek a driver who hit a 12-year-old girl as she was getting off her school bus Thursday, then drove away. Cops say he stopped, got out of his silver SUV, then got back in and ran. A camera caught a good image of the man and they are asking that he turn himself in.

Thinking about bringing Mom breakfast in bed this Mother’s Day? A new study suggests it might be better to skip the scrambled eggs and instead, let Mom sleep in. David Grubb has more…:

CUT 02(35)      “…David Grubb.”