2:30 LRN Newscast March 23

The National Weather Service says it was at least an EF 3 tornado with winds of at least 135 miles per hour that caused significant damage in Arabi in St. Bernard Parish. So far only one storm-related death has been reported and St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis says it could have been much worse…:

CUT 03(11)      “…saved lives.”

Lifelong Arabi resident Tony Vitale’s home was demolished. He says thankfully he, his wife, and his nine-year-old son were not injured as the twister ripped his home to pieces. He says the only place they could take shelter was on the floor next to a wall…:

CUT 06(13)      “…is gone.”

Crews are searching 2600 structures; trying to account for nearly 8900 people.

 

The HUD announcement of $450-million in recovery money for southwest Louisiana from 2020’s Hurricanes Laura & Delta is welcome news in Calcasieu Parish. Alberto Galan who’s overseeing Long Term Recovery for the parish says news of the money renews hope in the community that the process to help those with unmet housing needs has been set in motion…:

CUT 13(12)      “…to turn.”

Galan encourages those in need to first fill out a survey with the state’s Office of Community Development.

An F-16 fighter jet crashed today in Beauregard Parish. State Police in Troop D say the jet went down in the woods off Highway 27 a few miles south of Deridder. The pilot was able to eject and is OK. At this time, we don’t know where the jet was en route to or from.

4:30 LRN Newscast March 22

At the Capitol today, a special House committee looking into the roadside death of Ronald Greene, while being arrested by State Police in 2019, seeks answers why high-ranking troopers had their cellphones wiped clean in the months after the incident. LSP originally said Greene died in a car crash, until body cam footage showed that wasn’t so. Committee member and Baton Rouge Representative Denise Marcelle tells LSP Lt. Colonel Doug Cain it’s not right that he won’t tell them anything…:

CUT 14  (14)        “…as exhibit A.”

LSP says they are investigating the phone wipe internally, and so they cannot discuss it in a public forum.

A massive traffic crash on Interstate 10 over the Atchafalaya basin overnight shut the highway down for about six hours. So long, in fact, that when the crash was cleared, lawmen had to go car-to-car waking up drivers who’d fallen asleep to tell them to move on.

 

Disgraced nursing home owner Bob Dean reportedly shot his own thumb off during an incident in Georgia while transferring a number of guns from one vehicle to another at a local car dealership. New Orleans Attorney Madro Bandaris, who’s representing a nursing home patient in one of many lawsuits against Dean, says he feels the man is toxic…:

CUT 06(11)      “…thumb off.”

Bandaris’ client lost both of her legs after complications of the mass evacuation of more than 800 residents to a warehouse in Tangipahoa Parish in 2021 during Hurricane Ida. Dean’s lawyers say he suffers from dementia.

It was a great season, but the LSU Lady Tigers have ended their year after being defeated by Ohio State Monday night. Coach Kim Mulkey credits the team for a great turnaround season, especially her senior players…:

CUT 05(12)      “…to them. Forever.”

3:30 LRN Newscast March 22

A tornado reportedly touched down in Madison Parish earlier today. The National Weather Service says the twister hit a rural area. Trees are reported down across Hwy 80. Damage reports include a roof blown off of a home, and some power lines are down in Tensas Parish on Hwy 4.

The House committee looking into a possible cover-up involving State Police’s investigation into the fatal arrest of Ronald Greene try to find out why some high-ranking troopers had their phones wiped clean. Jeff Palermo has more…:

CUT 02(35)      “…Jeff Palermo.”

 

Four New Orleans teens are under arrest; accused of the horrific carjacking that claimed the life of a 73-year old woman Monday. The victim, Linda Frickey was caught on the car as it was stolen and dragged some distance. Her arm was torn off. NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson says a 17-year-old male, a 16-year old girl, and two 15-year old girls could be charged as adults…:

CUT 09(12)      “…hold individuals accountable.”

Ferguson says two of the teen’s parents turned in their own children after seeing surveillance video of their kids on TV. All four face second-degree murder charges, which carries a life sentence if convicted.

Lake Charles Police arrest a man for firing a gun into a vehicle with five people inside; three of them kids. LCPD says 20-year-old Deshawn Landry had an argument with a female in that car, and started shooting. Surprisingly, no one was hit. Landry is charged with aggravated assault; his bond set at $200-thousand.

2:30 LRN Newscast March 22

The line of thunderstorms moving across Louisiana has begun to move off to the east in central and northeastern portions of them state. In the Baton Rouge area and points south and southeast, the storm line is just arriving. Be prepared for severe thunderstorms, hail, possible flash flooding and possible tornados. The system should be mostly out of Louisiana by dinner time.

The special House committee looking into the 2019 fatal arrest of motorist Ronald Greene tried to figure out today why three high-ranking State Police officers wiped their phones of information in 2020. Houma Representative Tanner Magee tells Lt. Colonel Doug Cain (one of the three whose phones were wiped) that State Police say they want to be transparent, but this action says just the opposite…:

CUT 13(12)      “…and the directives.”

Lawmakers want to know why LSP originally told the public Greene died in car crash, when that was not the case.

 

New Orleans cops arrest four teens for a carjacking Monday that took the life of an elderly woman. 73-year-old Linda Frickey was dragged by her own vehicle as the thieves sped away. She died when her arm was torn off. NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson says parents of two of the teens cooperated in the investigation…:

CUT 11(11)      “…address.”

The four are all between 15 and 17.

Disgraced nursing home owner Bob Dean reportedly shot his own thumb off during an incident in Georgia, while transferring a number of guns from one vehicle to another at a local car dealership. New Orleans Attorney Madro Bandaris who’s representing a nursing home patient in one of many lawsuits says if that had happened in Louisiana, those guns would have been confiscated…:

CUT 08(11)      “…he and his wife.”

4:30 LRN Newscast March 21

The House Transportation Committee has approved legislation once again to ban held-held cell phones while driving. Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval says his legislation is intended to promote safe driving behavior and not for the police to issue a bunch of tickets…:

CUT 03(11)      “…pay for it.”

The Louisiana House approved Huval’s hand-held cell phone ban while driving last year, but it failed to pass the Senate by one vote.

New Orleans Police say a carjacking victim died today, after she was caught on her own car and dragged a long distance. NOPD says her arm was torn off, as she finally came loose. She was pronounced dead a short time later. Officers are seeking the gray Nissan Kicks and ask for witnesses to come forward.

 

During a visit to St. Landry Parish, Vice President Kamala Harris announced a $30-million dollar grant to assist those in Acadiana with broadband access. The VP says everyone, no matter where they began in life, has the ability to reach their goals and improved access to the internet is part of that…:

CUT 08(12)      “…potential.”

You’ll want to make sure you’re able to receive weather alerts as a major system will move into Louisiana later tonight and State Climatologist Barry Keim says it has the potential to bring tornados, high winds, hail, and even heavy rainfall. And while most of Louisiana is under enhanced risk, Keim says areas east of Alexandria are under a moderate…:

CUT 10(12)      “…moderate category.”

Keim says be prepared for a bumpy ride for the next 18 to 24 hours.

3:30 LRN Newscast March 21

Vice President Harris announces a large investment to assist residents in Acadiana with high-speed internet access. Brooke Thorington has more…:

CUT 02(32)      “…Brooke Thorington.”

Cops in New Orleans are looking for a man they say stabbed a 12-year-old girl, and ran over a group of people right after stealing their car. NOPD says 51-year-old Anthony Moss broke into their home and stole the keys, but was confronted. The ensuing violence happened as he tried to get away. They hope a tip will help catch him.

 

The House Transportation Committee approves a bill to ban any use of a handheld cellphone while driving. StopDistractions.org CEO Jennifer Smith says 24 other states have such a law, because it works…:

CUT 04(12)      “…driving crashes.:

It passed unanimously and goes on for full House debate.

A $10.5-million grant program to help students attain good jobs in growing industry sectors goes online. The M.J. Foster Promise program is now open to all 21 years or older, and on a first-come, first-served basis. Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance spokesperson Ebony Holmes says main requirements are income-based, so don’t worry if your grades aren’t so great…:

CUT 12(12)      “…poverty level.”

2:30 LRN Newscast March 21

At the Capitol, the House Transportation Committee approves a bill to ban handheld use of a cellphone while driving. This measure nearly reached final passage last year. During discussion, Vachere Representative Ken Brass asks whether law officers will be able to enforce the ban…:

CUT 05  (11)        “…actually texting.”

Passing with zero “nay” votes, it now goes to the House floor for debate and vote.

Be wary of possible severe weather this afternoon and tonight. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a major system moving through has the potential for heavy rainfall, high winds, hail, and even tornados…:

CUT 09(12)      “…weather aware.”

Be prepared for high amounts of rain in a short period.

 

Vice President Kamala Harris is in Sunset where she’s announced a $30-million dollar grant to assist those in Acadiana with broadband access. That means access for about 22-thousand households in that area alone. Harris says having reliable access to the internet is essential to our everyday lives…:

CUT 07(09)      “…high-speed internet.”

She also announced that $40-million from the Infrastructure plan will be dedicated to help communities in our state become more flood resilient.

An employee at a Bourbon street bar was killed Sunday, when a stray bullet fired by someone outside hit him in the chest. 46-year-old Charles Spencer worked at the Cat’s Meow nightclub. A woman – 24-year-old Daphney Jackson was later arrested for firing the shot.

A Breaux Bridge couple have been arrested, after their one-year-old baby was brought to an ER unresponsive. Brooke Blanchard and Brady LeBlanc – both 23 – are charged with 2nd degree murder, while the investigation is underway.

5:30 LRN Newscast March 18

the Richard’s Sausage plant, when he fell into machinery and was killed. The investigation is ongoing.

Production costs for farmers in the Bayou State could go up as much as 40-percent this year, depending on the crop. LSU AgCenter Economist Mike Deliberto, it’s due to a number of issues, like supply chain disruptions and the availability of herbicides…:

CUT 03(09)      “…fuel markets.”

He says both of those markets follow the price of crude oil and natural gas.

The Department of Health reports just over 200 new coronavirus cases, with only 171 in the hospital statewide. They also add 16 more deaths from the virus; making the pandemic state total just under 17-thousand.

Washington-based Greenberry Industrial is ready to set up shop in Jefferson Davis Parish. The company is taking over the former Gulf Islands Shipyards facility near Jennings. Fabrication Manager Aaron Reeves says the site offers everything that Greenberry was looking for…:

CUT 12(11)      “…from the bare floor up.”

The plant will mean 100 new jobs and over 140 indirect jobs.

The LSU Lady Tiger face Jackson State in the NCAA Tourney, and coach Kim Mulkey talks about star guard Alexis Morris, who’s missed three games with an injury…:

CUT 09(12)      “…she’ll play.”

Jackson State comes to Baton Rouge riding a 21-game win streak.

 

 

4:30 LRN Newscast March 18

West Feliciana Parish deputies say they’ve located the remains of a St. Francisville woman who went missing last week. The body of 63-year-old Dianne Young was discovered Thursday near the hardwood community. Officers do not suspect foul play.

Caddo Parish Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a human skull found today in some woods near Keithville. The coroner says the skull had been there at least six months. Cadaver dogs are being used to try to locate the rest of the remains, so they can be identified.

Happy Silver Anniversary to Tony Chachere’s Cajun spice. Marking 50 years, grand-daughter Celeste Chachere says Tony would be proud of what his brand has become..:

CUT 07(09)      “…about it.”

 

A Houma teen is under arrest; accused of a hate crime. Viral video online shows the 15-year-old white student at Vanderbilt High tossing cotton balls on a younger black student and hitting him with a belt. Charged with a hate crime and simple battery, the teen is in juvenile detention.

It’s been a long wait, but LSU women’s basketball is back in the spotlight. David Grubb has more…:

CUT 01(35)      “…David Grubb.”

3:30 LRN Newscast March 18

Economic development for Jeff Davis Parish. Washington-based Greenberry Industrial will re-purpose a shipyard near Jennings to expand on its pipe-making and fabrications in Sulphur. Greenberry plant manager Aaron Reeves says that means about 100 new jobs at around $60-thousand a year, plus 144 indirect jobs. He says applicants should come visit the Sulphur plant to apply…:

CUT 14(12)      “…for those jobs.”

Firefighters rescued a driver whose vehicle went over the side of Interstate 10 in St. John Parish late last night. Authorities say it was as single vehicle accident, and they were able to lower a line and winch the motorist back up to the roadway … then retrieve the car. A routine blood toxicology sample was taken to see if impairment was behind the wreck.

 

From the state Department of Health, COVID cases continue to decline. LDH reports just 205 new cases of coronavirus, with only 171 persons in the hospital. They also report 16 more COVID-related deaths; bring the pandemic total for Louisiana to just under 17-thousand.

Louisiana dinner table staple Tony Chachere’s observes 50 years of spicing up your meals. Brooke Thorington has more…:

CUT 02(31)      “…Brooke Thorington.”