4:30 LRN Newscast Dec 14

State Police are investigating the fiery crash of a privately owned helicopter this afternoon on the I-10 Bonnet Carre Spillway Bridge outside New Orleans. St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre says calls about the crash came in just after 1 p.m…:

CUT 27(11)      “…unforeseeable future”

Eastbound I-10 traffic is being re-routed to U.S. 51 and/or U.S. 61. The aircraft was completely destroyed by the fire. So far no word on how many were inside or if any survived.

Looking for work in the tech field? The state Department of Economic Development is having a virtual job fair Wednesday. Recruitment Director Jamie Nakamoto says look for it on your favorite social media site and simply register to take part. She says there are numerous jobs they want to fill…:

CUT 13(10)      “…fastest-growing sector.”

 

At the State Capitol Monday, lawmakers heard from a State Police detective, Al Paxton, who investigated the strange roadside death of Ronald Greene in 2019. More from Brooke Thorington…:

CUT 01(33)      “…Thorington.”

Congressman Clay Higgins office says the U.S. Representative is resting comfortably today, after what’s described as a “successful surgical procedure” this morning at a hospital in Lafayette. Higgins will spend the next few weeks recovering.

Governor John Bel Edwards says, despite a legislative committee voting to reject it, he and the Department of Health will add COVID-19 shots to the list of vaccines required for kids to get into school. No kid will be forced if their parents submit a written opt-out.

3:30 LRN Newscast Dec 14

Traffic on the busy I-10 Bonnet Carre Spillway Bridge outside the New Orleans area came to a grinding halt this afternoon, when a privately owned helicopter crashed onto the roadway. State Police are on the scene, and say the fiery wreck happened around 1 p.m.; perhaps due to fog. We don’t yet know how many people were in the chopper or if any survived.

The state Health Department says 650-thousand eligible children in Louisiana are not vaccinated against COVID, while 123-thousand 5-to-17 year-olds have completed the vaccine series. Dr. Catherine O’ Neal at Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge is a mother and understands parents’ concerns, but they shouldn’t worry about this vaccine…:

CUT 09(06)      “…your child.”

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the first COVID vaccine administered in Louisiana.

 

State Police officers who were involved in the roadside arrest and subsequent death of Ronald Green two years ago were asked to testify Monday before a state legislative committee, but failed to show up. One LSP officer who did was Sgt. Al Paxton who investigates allegations of wrongdoing. He spoke of trouble getting troopers to hand over their body cam footage, reluctance to be interviewed and more, which he says frustrates him…:

CUT 05(03)      “…I won’t lie.”

Police body camera footage of Greene’s arrest was made public by the Associated Press in May of this year, two years after his death.

St. Tammany voters’ rejection of Pacific Peninsula’s proposal to use its gambling license for a casino resort near Slidell, it’s going back to Diamond Jacks in Bossier City. Wade Duty, executive director of the Louisiana Casino Association…:

CUT 06(12)      “…the license holder.”

Unless Diamond Jacks can reopened within the 60 days, they can lose their license. Certainly someone will want it.

2:30 LRN Newscast Dec 14

A helicopter crashed and burned today on the I-10 Bonnet Carre Spillway Bridge in St. John parish. Eastbound traffic is closed while the fiery wreck is investigated. About 20-thousand Entergy customers lost power at about the same time as the crash. It’s unknown of the two are in fact related. So far no reports of injuries or deaths.

A State Police detective who investigated if troopers used excessive force in the death of Ronald Greene answered questions from the Senate Select Committee on State Police Oversite Monday. LSP Sgt. Albert Paxton says his recommendations were ignored by superiors. Monroe Representative Katrina Jackson asks Paxton about gathering key evidence – body cam footage of incidents…:

CUT 04(08)      “…yes ma’am.”

Officers who were directly involved in the Greene arrest were asked to appear before the committee and did not.

 

Could Diamond Jacks Casino in Bossier City reopen, now that the Camellia Bay Resort Casino project in Slidell was voted down by voters in St. Tammany Parish? Jeff Palermo has the story…:

CUT 02(33)      “…Palermo.”

LED FastStart is holding yet another virtual career fair. Jamie Nakamoto is the Director of Recruitment and says the event is tomorrow and targets those seeking jobs in the tech field…:

CUT 12(10)      “…hiring right now.”

4:30 LRN Newscast Dec 13

The United Cajun Navy are in Kentucky, to help with rescue and recovery from the horrific tornadoes early Saturday morning that destroyed hundreds of structures and killed dozens of people. Spokesman Brian Trascher says they’re setting up supply distribution sites at churches between Bowling Green and Mayfield, and they’re using search dogs and drones to try to find victims in all that rubble…:

CUT 11  (09)        “…aren’t in the game yet, y’know?”

To help, go to the United Cajun Navy Facebook page.

Congressman Garret Graves is trying to help with sky-high car insurance in Louisiana by filing a federal bill to crack down on those who stage accidents to get insurance money. Graves says one organized ring in the New Orleans area was responsible for over a hundred…:

CUT 04  (09)        “…all Louisiana drivers.”

His bill would mean stiff fines and prison time for offenders.

 

Louisiana has elected its first-ever female sheriff. She is Susan Hutson, who just won a runoff against 4-term incumbent Marlin Gusman in Orleans Parish. UNO political science professor Ed Chervenak says Hutson’s campaign pointed out Gusman’s problem running the parish prison…:

CUT 14  (12)        “…justice system.”

Both Hutson and Gusman are Democrats, but a number of Dem high-rollers backed Hutson’s campaign.

A 50-year-old Eros woman is jailed at the Ouachita Correctional Center on criminal trespass charges after being told twice to leave from the sheriff’s office parking lot Saturday afternoon. Sheriff’s spokesman, Glenn Springfield, identified the person as Sharon Whatley…:

CUT 06(12)      “…to leave.”

He says, despite her claims, the woman had no wants or warrants for her arrest.

3:30 LRN Newscast Dec 13

History was made on Saturday as voters in Orleans Parish elected the city’s first ever female sheriff. Susan Hutson is also the first female elected sheriff in the state; by 53-percent of the vote. UNO political scientist Dr. Ed Chervenak says Hutson clobbered 4-term incumbent Marlin Gusman on his performance running the parish jail, which has had numerous inmate deaths & suicides…:

CUT 13(10)      “…than he was her.”

In the Monroe area, a vote to recall Richwood Mayor Gerald Brown fell to defeat by voters. The margin was only about 50 votes.

A Lake Charles woman is under arrest, after she’s indicted for cruelty to a juvenile. 25-year-old Mary Labove allegedly caused bruising, broken bones and skull fracture to her 2-year-old. The child is in foster care.

 

Wondering why your auto insurance is so high in Louisiana? Congressman Garret Graves says it’s blamed in part on staged accidents: the most egregious example taking place in New Orleans in recent years…:

CUT 03(08)      “…different traffic accidents”

His proposed legislation would make it a federal crime to stage accidents to defraud insurance companies; punishable with stiff fines and prison.

A 50-year-old Eros woman is in jail in Ouachita Parish for … well for wanting to get arrested. Sharon Whatley showed up Saturday at the parish jail parking lot and refused to leave, despite being told several times. Ouachita Sheriff’s spokesman Glenn Springfield says Whatley only told them she was wanted by the law…:

CUT 08(12)      “…basing that on.”

She’s now a …guest of the parish.

2:30 LRN Newscast Dec 13

Congressman Garret Graves proposes federal legislation to punish those who stage traffic accidents to get insurance money. More from Dave Brannen…:

CUT 01(34)      “…Brannen.”

Now that St. Tammany Parish has rejected a proposed casino resort in Slidell, will that license remain where it started – in Bossier City? State gaming officials OK’ed the Diamond Jacks in Bossier so the license could go to the southeast, but now what? The license holders say Diamond Jacks will resume business where it is.

 

Saturday’s election results were historical with Louisiana’s  – and Orleans Parish’s – first ever female sheriff elected. UNO Political analyst Ed Chervenak says Susan Hutson’s victory over incumbent Marlin Gusman was quite a feat…:

CUT 12(07)      “…17-year-incumbent.”

Hutson ran on challenging Gusman’s performance running the parish jail; resulting in suicides and deaths.

The United Cajun Navy is boots on the ground in Kentucky, to help with rescue and recovery after tornados ravaged the landscape and killed dozens. Spokesman Brian Trascher says the devastation is hard to describe, and he’s posting photos from team members that are onsite to their Facebook page. He says right now those in Mayfield and surrounding towns need prayers first and foremost…:

CUT 10(11)      “…it looks more like that.”

To help, search Facebook for United Cajun Navy.

4:30 LRN Newscast Dec 10

Sad news about what was already a deadly Thanksgiving holiday weekend for motorists; even more persons have died from injuries in traffic crashes – bringing the total crashes to 15 and the total dead to 26 people. DOTD spokesman Rodney Mallett data from law enforcement shows a majority of the wrecks were caused by speeding and/or impaired or distracted driving; all of which are preventable…:

CUT 10(07)      “… help us a lot.”

Remember you can still dial *LSP from most any cell phone to report a crash or impaired driving.

More on the death of former New Orleans Saint Glenn Foster. Foster was driven to a medical facility, after he reportedly attacked a cellmate in the Pickens County jail. By the time that police cruiser arrived, Foster was dead in the back seat. Foster’s family says he was bipolar and likely had a breakdown. They have hired well-known civil right attorney Ben Crump to get to the bottom of what happened.

 

Saturday is Election Day in 34 of the state’s 64 parishes. Across the state, voters will be asked to decide matters like civic spending proposals, runoffs for local judgeships and other offices. That – combined with expected lousy weather – is why Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin expects very low voter turnout. That is except in St. Tammany where a big vote on allowing a huge casino resort in Slidell is on the ballot…:

CUT 13(09)      “…and vote.”

Orleans Parish has a big runoff in the race for Sheriff; pitting 4-term incumbent Marlin Gussman against Susan Hutson, a fellow Democrat with heavy party backing.

Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins is asking voters to approve upgrades for roads, underground pipes, public safety and more when they go to the polls. The five propositions total $237-million.  There are also a handful of other races and issues that will be on local ballots. You can always download the free “Geaux Vote” app to get a sample of your ballot.

3:30 LRN Newscast Dec 10

Consumer prices jumped 6.8 percent in November compared to a year earlier. That’s the highest annual inflation rate in nearly four decades. LSU economist emeritus Dr. Loren Scott says fixing the supply chain issues won’t likely do much to erase inflation…:

CUT 06(11)      “…return to normal.”

He says that’s unlikely. Scott blames the Federal Reserve’s unwise fiscal policies – printing more money to pump into the economy – for the current inflationary trend.

What we thought was a record for deadly crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday, has proven even worse. There were 15 crashes on state roadways, and since the holiday many persons injured in them have since died. The total now for the Thanksgiving weekend is at 26. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson…:

CUT 09(09)      “…900 fatalities in 2021.”

 

Recent numbers from the Louisiana Workforce Commission show the unemployment rate is getting closer to pre-pandemic levels. Extra unemployment for people staying home to avoid spreading COVID ended over 3 months ago, and many are now looking to get income flowing again. And what of COVID shots mandates and jobs lost there? U.S. Labor Secretary Martin Walsh says he doesn’t believe it will deter those who want to work…:

CUT 05(08)      “…thing go back.”

A 28-year-old Shreveport man is behind bars; accused of possessing and distributing child pornography. State Police say Joshua Turner had dozens of illegal images and was sharing them on social media. No word on bail. The investigation is still underway.

St Tammany Parish residents go to the polls tomorrow to decide the fate of a proposed gambling casino resort complex in Slidell. St. Tammany has been gaming-free since 1998.

2:30 LRN Newscast Dec 10

Encouraging new figures from the Louisiana Workforce Commission show the state’s unemployment rate is nearing pre-pandemic levels. This while many says why get a job, when the government pays me to stay home. Federal Labor Secretary Martin Walsh says “not true”; pandemic related benefits ended three months ago…:

CUT 03  (06)        “….unemployment benefits.”

So folks are going back to work, just maybe not in their chosen field.

Tomorrow is Election Day in 34 parishes across the state. Many runoffs for local positions, ordinances and proposals and more. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says he’s expecting pretty low voter turnout…:

CUT 12  (09)        “…usually it does…”

There’s a runoff for Sheriff in Orleans Parish; pitting a 4-term incumbent against a fellow Democrat with a lot of party-based backing.

 

With inflation up 6.8 percent from a year ago – the biggest jump in 39 years – the finger of blame is being pointed at supply chain issues, supply-and-demand and monetary and fiscal policy. More from Dave Brannen…:

CUT 02(33)      “…Brannen.”

Canadian Pacific railroad says it’s committed to establishing passenger-rail service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. CP is about to merge with Kansas City Southern, who currently control the rail lines on that route. A daily bus service between the cities – started after Hurricane Katrina – was ended due to low ridership.

0930 lrn newscast december 10

Saturday is Election Day in many parts of Louisiana, but there are only ballots to be cast in 34 parishes; LaPolitics.com editor Jeremy Alford says one race to watch is in Monroe, in Ouachita Parish, and an attempt to recall Mayor Gerald Brown …:

CUT 5 (11) “back in the Big Seat”
Orleans Parish has a runoff for sheriff, with 4-term incumbent Marlin Gusman facing a tough challenge from fellow Democrat Susan Hutson.
Hunting and Fishing enthusiasts will be thrilled to learn that there’s now a super easy way to book an excursion, similar to Air Bnb. It’s called Mallard Bay and founder Logan Meaux says it’s a one-stop-shop service for outfitters and sportsmen:
Cut 10 (09)  “you name it”
Mallard Bay is based in Baton Rouge.
The state high school football championships get underway at noon with the Division Four state title game, Ouachita Christian versus Southern Lab, At 3:30, Many seeks its second straight title when they face Amite. The Class 4A Championship game should be a great one tonight as Westgate meets Warren Easton. And over in Lafayette, it’s the Division Two state title game as University High takes one E-D White in a battle of unbeaten teams. E-D White has not been in a state title game since 1981.
There’s not a whole lot of time left to shop for presents, but electronics are always an easy choice if you’re still trying to come up with a good gift idea. Tech Expert Andrea Smith recommends cell phone accessories like…:
CUT 14 (11) “on the go”

She says when all else fails, there’s no shame in settling for a gift card.