11:30 LRN Newscast Dec 23

The state transportation department announces Louisiana is receiving 36-million in federal dollars to help improve airports across the state. Michelle Southern has more…:

CUT 01(30)      “….Southern.”

Police in Jeanerette say a seven-year-old boy is dead, from an accidental shooting inside a car Wednesday night. Police Chief Dusty Vallot says a teen, also riding in the car, was looking at a gun, when it went off accidentally; hitting the younger child in the head. The boy was airlifted to a hospital, but didn’t survive. An investigation is underway.

 

A case of suicide by cop? Lawmen were called when 44-year-old Chantel Myers, of the town of Pitkin, first threatened to kill law officers and then herself. Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft says a responding officer was trying to reason with the disturbed woman, but – when she raised a weapon – he was forced to respond in kind. Myers was shot once and killed. Craft says Ms. Myers left a suicide note and was on the phone with someone; telling them what she was about to do…:

CUT 07(12)      “…call our dispatcher.”

Craft calls the incident a tragedy for all involved.

State Police dentify the man killed in an officer-involved shooting in Pointe Coupee Parish Wednesday night. 48-year-old Jessie Gaither had reportedly tried to torch a home in the town of Fordoche, when he approached an officer with a knife in his hand. He was Tased, but then he drew a gun, causing the officer to fire. He was pronounced dead at the scene. LSP is investigating, as they do all officer-involved shootings.

0930 NEWSCAST DECEMBER 23

The roadways are about to get a lot busier as folks head out for the holidays. Reporter Dave Brannen spoke with Triple-A’s Don Redman…:
Cut 1 (30) “I’m Dave Brannen”

As the Omicron COVID variant takes a foothold in Louisiana, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approves Pfizer’s new COVID-19 treatment pill. Dr. Benjamin Springgate is with LSU Health in New Orleans…:
Cut 11 (11) “in which it was tested”
Pfizer’s Paxlovid is available only with a prescription from your doctor.

Today is the last day to send gifts in the mail if you want them to arrive for Christmas. USPS Spokesperson David Walton has a few mailing tips to help your packages arrive on time, like a clearly printed address label with the correct zip code, and…:
Cut 14 (07) “packages as well”
He says use Priority Mail Express if you want guaranteed delivery by Saturday.

One person is dead following an officer involved shooting in Pointe Coupee Parish, according to State Police. They say cops were dispatched to a residence in Fordoche responding to a domestic dispute when they encountered an armed subject. The man was shot and killed in an incident involving a Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s deputy and a Livonia police officer and LSP is handling the investigation and processing the scene as it is not yet clear who fired the fatal shot.

0830 LRN NEWSCAST DECEMBER 23

As cases of COVID’s Omicron variant grow in Louisiana, the FDA approves a pill to mitigate the virus’s impact…:
Cut 3 (31) “I’m Kevin Gallagher”

AAA says the roads are going to be packed this Christmas, with most folks heading out of town starting today. Spokesman Don Redman…:
Cut 6 (10) “in your destination”
He says they predict a 34 percent increase in Holiday travel over last year.

A recent study shows Louisiana continues to have one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the country. Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America says the pandemic amplified the problem, but it’s been an ongoing issue here due to low wages and inadequate safety net programs in the state…:
Cut 8 (12) “legitimate”
He says the 67-percent drop in food insufficiency in Louisiana coincided with the massive boost in federal food and cash aid.

The Jeanerette Police Department says a 7 year old has died after being shot in the head Wednesday while inside a vehicle. They say investigators are still gathering information about circumstances surrounding the shooting, but it does appear to be accidental. The young boy was sitting inside the vehicle when a 15 year old located a gun and was handling it when it discharged by mistake, striking the child.

07:30 LRN NEWSCAST DECEMBER 23

Holiday traffic was light in 2020 as Covid was keeping folks home, but that is not the case this year. AAA spokesman Don Redman says they expect a 34 percent increase in those on the roadways this Christmas, starting today…:
CUT 4 (08) “vaccinations and boosters”
Nationwide, 109 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more for the holidays.

In another step towards getting the pandemic under control, the FDA has approved a new Covid-19 pill by Pfizer. “Paxlovid” is a major breakthrough, according to Dr. Benjamin Springgate with LSU Health New Orleans….:
CUT 12 (09) “fortunate that it is”
The drug is authorized for treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID in adults and kids 12 and up at high risk for progressing to severe illness. It is not authorized for post-exposure prevention, or in people who are already hospitalized with the virus.

One in five children in Louisiana suffers from hunger. Brooke Thorington has more:
Cut 2 (32) “I’m Brooke Thorington”

State Police say they were called to investigate a fatal shooting involving a deputy with the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office and a Livonia Police Department officer. One person is deceased on the scene of an incident where multiple agencies responded in Fordoche. No officers were injured and the LSP Crime Lab is processing everything for evidence right now. More on this as it develops.

4 Saints players were voted to the Pro Bowl: defensive back J.T. Gray, defensive end Cameron Jordan, running back Alvin Kamara and cornerback Marshon Lattimore were selected to the NFC squad to play in the NFL’s All-Star game.

0645 LRN SPORTSCAST DECEMBER 23

The Saints will take on a red-hot Miami Dolphins team on Monday night. The Dolphins have won six in a row, only allowing a total of 79 points in those games. New Orleans Acting Head Coach Dennis Allen says Miami is also playing complimentary football on offense…:
Cut 16 (22) “win games”
Sean Payton remains away from the team after testing positive for COVID-19 last Friday. Allen says Payton is doing better but did not give a clear timeline on when the head coach will return.

Fans going to the game Monday are encouraged to wear black to match the uniforms the Saints players will be wearing in the contest.

The LSU men’s basketball team finishes non-conference play still undefeated and that’s for the first time since the year 2000. The Tigers easily cruised to a 95-60 victory over Lipscomb on Wednesday. Coach Will Wade’s team will take a break for Christmas before getting ready for SEC action at Auburn next Wednesday.

Louisiana Tech Men’s Basketball concluded their non-conference slate with a 99-56 win over Crowley’s Ridge College.

LSU linebacker Damone Clark has posted a farewell message to fans on Twitter as he’s opted out of the Texas bowl. The Tigers will play Kansas State on January fourth without two of its best players on defense. Defensive tackle Neil Farrell Junior has also opted out.

The latest surge in COVID cases is impacting the world of college football.

An outbreak with the Texas A-and-M program means the Aggies will not play Wake Forest in the Gator Bowl. the College Football Playoff said if a team cannot play in a semifinal, the opponent will advance to the title game and if both teams cannot play, the winner of the other semi is the champion.

630 LRN NEWSCAST DECEMBER 23

As the Omicron COVID variant grows in Louisiana, the FDA approves Pfizer’s new COVID-19 treatment pill. Dr. Benjamin Springgate is with LSU Health in New Orleans. He says this an “extraordinary step forward” in treating the coronavirus and its variants…:
Cut 10 (07) “hospitalization or death”
The oral treatment called Paxlovid is available only with a prescription from your doctor. Treatment must begin within five days of onset of symptoms.

Today is the last day to send gifts in the mail if you want them to arrive for Christmas. USPS Spokesperson David Walton says send Priority Mail Express…:
Cut 13 (06) “Christmas Day”
USPS says no shipping delays are expected for people shipping last minute.

A recent study shows Louisiana continues to have one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the country. Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, says more than half a million Louisianans, including one in five children, struggle with hunger:
Cut 7 (12) “leftover food”
He says you can help by donating food, time or money, and every little bit helps.

The Vernon Parish Sherrif’s Office says a woman was killed in a deputy-involved shooting Tuesday after allegedly pointing a weapon and pursuing one of the officers. They indicate a male subject told cops 44-year-old Chantel Myers was threatening to commit suicide, and when deputies attempted to deescalate the situation at a residence in the area of Pitkin, the woman charged at officers with a gun in an aggressive manner threatening to harm them. A deputy fired his weapon fatally striking Myers. The matter is under investigation.

4:30 LRN Newscast Dec 22

Louisiana U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy says he’s looking to the Centers for Disease Control to offer up some guidance on how safe from COVID a person may be if they’ve already had it. He says worldwide research suggests previous exposure and illness can produce a natural immunity. Cassidy has suggested to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky they should look into that. He says she verified other countries are saying, “yes, natural immunity is a thing”…:

CUT 13  (11)        “…or restaurant.”

The federal Food & Drug Administration approves a new pill to take for COVID from Pfizer. Called “Paxlovid”, it reduced serious symptoms by about 89-percent in human testing. It’ll be available by prescription only, and is expected to be in pretty short supply at first … as production of the pills ramps up. COVID Omicron cases are on the rise in Louisiana and across the country.

 

KNOE in Monroe reports a man wanted for murdering a woman in the Ouachita Parish city back in November has been apprehended in Houston. 32-year-old Nelson Bridges is accused of the shooting death of 29-year-old Jessica Lee on November 15th. He’ll be extradited back to Ouachita, where he’ll face a 2nd-degree murder charge.

The U.S. Census Bureau says Louisiana continues to lose people to other states; a trend that’s been going on for years. More on that from Dave Brannen…:

CUT 01(30)      “…Brannen.”

3:30 LRN Newscast Dec 23

Along with state offices resuming the requirement of face masks indoors, hospitals are beginning to reinstate mask policies as well. Brooke Thorington has more…:

CUT 02 (33)      “…Thorington.”

You remember the Shreveport woman who tossed her kids off a bridge into Cross Lake back in September; killing one of them? Ureka Black is charged with murder and attempted murder. Her arraignment, which was scheduled for today, has been pushed back until late January. Her lawyers have filed a sanity motion, and that psych evaluation will take that long.

 

The coroner in St. Charles Parish nails down causes of death for two bodies found in drainage ditches in the town of Boutte within days of each other. On December 17th, the remains of 31-year-old Ellington Lockett were discovered. He was stabbed to death. Just three days later, 52-year-old Leroy Houston, Jr. was found. He died of natural causes, exacerbated by illegal drugs in his system. The former’s murder is under investigation.

If you haven’t done the Christmas dinner grocery shopping yet, be prepared to pay a good bit more. Inflation of food items is at about 6.8-percent compared to last year. Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says he doesn’t anticipate any break in prices soon…:

CUT 11  (08)        “…we call input costs.”

Serving turkey? Expect to pay about 8-percent more. Beef is up nearly 21-percent this year.

Salvation Army of Lafayette says they’re behind their holiday donation goal, so they’ll stay out; ringing the bells and thanking you for your generosity right through New Year’s Eve. You can donate online at “Lafyettekettle.org”

2:30 LRN Newscast Dec 22

Unfortunate news: one of Louisiana’s top exports is PEOPLE. U.S. Census data shows our state ranked fifth in the country for outmigration of populace. From July 2020 to July 2021, the Bayou State lost over 27-thousand people. Demographer Greg Rigamer says if the trend continues, the state will lose another seat in Congress eventually…:

CUT 05  (05)        “…a probability.”

Louisiana went from seven congressional districts to six after the 2010 Census.

Face mask requirements are returning to state offices and agencies, AND to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, where infectious disease specialist Dr. Catherine O’Neal says get the jab and/or booster and mask up, because treatment options are limited right now…:

CUT 08  (09)        “…short supply”

She also urges you get tested for a COVID variant before spending holiday time with family.

 

Louisiana U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy says he’s waiting for the Centers for Disease Control to provide guidance on the degree of risk from COVID, if one has had it before. He says research worldwide suggests some natural immunity for those who’ve recovered from coronavirus..:

CUT 12  (11)        “…some protection.”

Cassidy says he’s uncertain why CDC seems reluctant to publicly discuss natural immunity.

Doing some last-minute shopping for Christmas dinner? Some tips to help from state Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain; particularly if you’re serving a turkey…:

CUT 10  (09)        “…wonderful Christmas time.”

Strain says the over 6.8-percent inflation rate is causing a spike in the costs of this year’s Christmas dinner, and he’s not expecting prices to come down anytime soon.

4:30 LRN Newscast Dec 21

New data from Moderna suggests that their COVID booster shot produces great results against the Omicron variant, which is surging across Louisiana and the country. LSU infectious disease specialist Dr. Fred Lopez reminds us the data is brand new and has not yet undergone peer review…:

CUT 06         (10)    “…and older.”

Lopez says it’s still a good idea to get that booster, if you have not already.

A Monday afternoon crash in Ouachita Parish takes the life of a teen driver and leaves his passenger in serious condition. State Police Trooper Mike Reichardt says 17-year-old Logan Temple of Wisner was not wearing his seatbelt, when he ran a stop sign and was broadsided by a dump truck. That driver was unhurt. Reichardt says this is the worst time of year to lose a loved one…:

CUT 04         (08)    “…a happy time”

The crash is under investigation. No charges have been filed.

 

East Baton Rouge deputies are searching for a man accused of contractor fraud. He’s identified as 32-year-old Tayler Braud.  Deputies say Braud took $5,500 from someone to do work on their home, but he either didn’t finish or messed it up & didn’t fix it. The homeowner had to pay a second contractor more than $4,000 to do that. The financial loss to the victim is just under $10,000. As for Braud, who has precious contractor fraud arrests… he’s in the wind.

The Mayor of New Orleans says plans to have Mardi Gras parades WILL go on, despite an uptick in COVID cases in the state. LaToya Cantrell says they believe the events can happen without being super-spreader events. NOPD Superintendent Shawn Ferguson says parades will all happen along just two routes and police presence will be paramount…:

CUT 10         (04)    “…entire parade route.”

She says no krewes have opted to cancel their parades because of COVID.