5:30 LRN Newscast May 20

The Senate Education Committee approves a House-backed measure that would hold back third-graders from advancing to the fourth grade if they score poorly multiple times on a literacy test. Michelle Southern has more…

Cut 1 (32) “…I’m Michelle Southern.”

Seven years after a woman was killed and her two nieces kidnapped, two arrests have been made. Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet says new evidence led them to make the arrests in connection with the murder of 56-year-old Pamela Johnson.

Cut 6 (07) “…on this.”

Three people were shot Thursday night while attending Hammond High School’s graduation ceremonies, and a man has been arrested for it. Southeastern University Police Chief Michael Beckner says the event was held at SLU’s University Center…:

Cut 9 (14) “…justice.”

Thomas is being held in the Amite jail. A fourth person was taken to the hospital due to injuries from fleeing the incident. One shooting victim remains hospitalized.

Louisiana will get a break from the recent heat as a result of a cold front that will bring cloud cover and rain. LRN Meteorologist John Wetherbee says showers and thunderstorms will develop along the coast on Saturday spreading into southeast Louisiana and there’s also a cold front coming

Cut 14 (11)  “…of the state”

4:45 LRN Sportscast

After a 13-2 win in their series opener, LSU takes on Vanderbilt in game two of their season-ending SEC series tonight at 6 pm. The Tigers have lost eight of their past nine regular-season series with the Commodores, including four straight at Vandy. That streak could come to an end tonight. The last time LSU won a series in Nashville was 2005. The Tigers are fighting for seeding in next week’s SEC tournament, where they could place anywhere from fifth to seventh.

Southern has game two of its series versus Alcorn State. The U-L Ragin Cajuns try to even things with Little Rock as Louisiana Tech tries to do the same against UNC-Charlotte. UL-Monroe goes for consecutive wins for the first time since April 24-26 as they take on Arkansas State. And Tulane tries to rebound against Memphis.

On day two of the Southland Conference baseball tournament, Northwestern State was eliminated by eighth-seeded Incarnate Word and Southeastern beat Houston Baptist. Tonight, Nicholls faces McNeese and UNO takes on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

In the opening round of the NCAA Softball tournament, UL came up just short against Auburn, losing 4-3.  The game was tied at 3 until the bottom of the sixth when Tigers first baseman Bri Ellis sent a solo shot over the center-field wall. The Cajuns will face UNC-Wilmington in an elimination game Saturday at 3:30 pm. LSU opens regional play tonight on the road for the first time since 2014. The Tigers will take on San Diego State at 7 pm in the Tempe Regional.

The LSU women’s golf team is trying to make up for last year’s disappointment when they missed out on match play at the NCAA championships by a single stroke. This year the Tigers return as SEC champions and still have Ingrid Lindbland, the SEC individual champion and the world’s number two ranked women’s amateur player, one of three players on the team ranked in the top 100.

The Boston Celtics evened up the Eastern Conference Finals at one game each after beating Miami 127-102 last night in their best-of-seven series. Tonight, Dallas will try to earn a split on the road at Golden State in game two of the Western Conference Finals.

LRN PM Newscall May 20

The Senate Education Committee approves a House-backed measure that would hold back third-graders from advancing to the fourth grade if they score poorly multiple times on a literacy test. Michelle Southern has more…

Cut 1 (32) “…I’m Michelle Southern.”

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One man is in custody and more arrests are anticipated after three people were shot during Hammond High school’s Graduation Thursday night. Brooke Thorington has more…

Cut 2 (35) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”  

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A House-approved bill that would hold back third-graders who score in the bottom tier in state reading assessments continues to move through the Legislature. Mandeville Representative Richard Nelson says the state has a literacy problem and this legislation is designed to make sure students who reach the fourth grade can read at an adequate level…

Cut 3 (12) “…fewer, fewer back”

An estimated 45-hundred students could be held back and the legislation would go into effect for the 2023-24 school year. The Senate Education Committee approved Nelson’s bill and an amendment was added that would give a student three tries to pass a literacy test before it’s determined the student must repeat the third grade…

Cut 4  (08) “…as well.”

Nelson’s legislation is modeled after a program in Mississippi that he says has boosted literacy rates in the Magnolia State. He says if a third-grader fails the literacy test on the first try, they’ll get intensive tutoring…

Cut 5  (08) “…cut score.”

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Seven years after a woman was killed in Terrebonne Parish and her two nieces were kidnapped, two arrests have been made. Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet says new evidence led them to make the arrests in connection with the murder of 56-year-old Pamela Johnson.

Cut 6  (07) “…on this.” 

Soignet says December 1, 2015, they found two young girls in a car in Houma who told them they had been kidnapped from their aunt’s home, which led them to Johnson’s home in Bourg where they found her body. He says the girls had already lost their mother, so they wanted to bring them closure in this case.

Cut 7 (06) “…that closure.” 

As for the particular evidence that helped lead them to a break in the case, Soignet couldn’t comment but says new technology and the evidence helped his team make arrests in the case.

Cut 8 (06) “…homicide.” 

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After three people were shot Thursday night while attending Hammond high school’s graduating ceremonies on the campus of Southeastern University, authorities say one person is in custody. Southeastern University Police Chief Michael Beckner…

Cut 9 (14) “…justice.”

Thomas is being held in the Amite jail. A fourth person was taken to the hospital due to injuries from fleeing the incident. One shooting victim remains hospitalized.

Hammond Police Chief Edwin Bergeron says they do know that the shooting victims were innocent bystanders and a person of interest is being sought in what is believed to be a gang-related shooting.

Cut 10 (11) ” ….person of interests.” 

Authorities have asked individuals attending more graduating ceremonies on Southeastern’s campus this weekend not to bring any bags, or guns into the facility only their phones to take photos. Bergeron says this is not the way high school seniors should have to remember their graduation.

Cut 11 (11)  “…like this.” 

More arrests are anticipated.

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As the shortage of infant formula throughout the country continues, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are demanding answers to how we got here and when we’ll be out of this crisis. Leading the charge has been District 5 Representative Julia Letlow who was quite direct in questioning FDA commissioner Robert Califf.

Cut 12 (13) “…24 x 7.”  

Letlow pressed Califf on exactly when families would see restocked shelves, and the Chairman struggled to provide any concrete answers.

Cut 13 (11) “…is distribution.”

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Louisiana will get a break from the recent heat as a result of a cold front that will bring cloud cover and rain. LRN Meteorologist John Wetherbee says showers and thunderstorms will develop along the coast on Saturday spreading into southeast Louisiana and there’s also a cold front coming

Cut 14 (11)  “…of the state”

Wetherbee says a large area of showers and thunderstorms will cover the entire state on Sunday

Cut 15 (09) “…rainfall” 

12:30 LRN Newscast May 20

20-year-old Trent Thomas was arrested today on three complaints of attempted second-degree murder following a shooting outside of the graduation ceremony for Hammond High School on Thursday night. Three people were struck by the gunfire, and a fourth person was injured while fleeing the area. One of those remains hospitalized in stable condition. Hammond Police say it’s possible there was a second shooter and more arrests could be on the way.

Chief Edwin Bergeron said it began with an altercation between Thomas and a juvenile only identified as a person of interest. Police are requesting that anyone with video that might help in the investigation contact them immediately.

Tangipahoa Parish Schools Superintendent Melissa Stilley says graduation went as planned, but gunfire erupted as the students were leaving…:

Cut 17 (07) “began to fire”

At Brother Martin High School in New Orleans, there was extra security on campus Thursday after graffiti reportedly issuing a threat to Black students was found inside a school bathroom.  A statement from the administration said authorities had deemed the threat to not be credible, but the extra security will remain until the end of the school year next Friday.

Seven years after a woman was killed in Terrebonne Parish and her two nieces were kidnapped, two arrests have been made. Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet says new evidence led them to make the arrests in connection with the murder of 56-year-old Pamela Johnson. As for the particular evidence that helped lead them to a break in the case, Soignet couldn’t comment but says new technology and the evidence helped his team make arrests in the case.

Cut 8 (06) “…homicide.”

A House-approved bill that would hold back third-graders who score in the bottom tier in state reading assessments continues to move through the Legislature. An estimated 45-hundred students could be held back and the legislation would go into effect for the 2023-24 school year. The Senate Education Committee approved Mandeville Representative Richard Nelson’s bill and an amendment was added that would give a student three tries to pass a literacy test before it’s determined the student must repeat the third grade….

Cut 4  (08) “…as well.”

11:40 LRN Sportscast May 20

LSU opened its series with Vanderbilt by sinking the Commodores, 13-2 on Thursday night. The Tigers jumped out front with a six-run second inning. Jordan Thompson opened the frame with a solo home run followed by a three-run blast by Dylan Crews. Cade Doughty went yard twice and Brayden Jobert smacked his 15th homer of the season as well, as the Tigers pounded out 16 hits against Vandy pitchers. Ma’Khail Hilliard gave another strong start, going five and a third innings and allowing just one run while improving to 6-1 on the season. The win guarantees LSU at least a .500 finish in the SEC. Game two starts tonight at 6 pm.

Southern took over first place in the SWAC West with a 21-2 destruction of Alcorn State. Jovante Dorris hit a grand slam to cap a nine-run first inning for the Jags. The Ragin Cajuns lost to Little Rock 2-0, UL-Monroe ended a three-game skid with a 16-9 win over Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech lost to Charlotte 11-3 and Tulane fell to Memphis by the same score.

More college baseball as the Southland Tournament began yesterday in Lake Charles and Hammond. In the McNeese Bracket, fourth-seeded Nicholls topped Northwestern State 7-5 and the top-seeded Cowboys doubled up Incarnate Word 12-6. NSU and UIW play an elimination game at 1 pm with Nicholls and McNeese starting at 6 tonight.

In the Southeastern Bracket, three-seed UNO beat Houston Baptist 10-3, and Southeastern was upset by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6-5. The Lions try to stay alive against HBU this afternoon while the Privateers take on the Islanders this evening.

The NCAA softball tournament begins today. UL-Lafayette makes its 23rd consecutive appearance in the tournament and faces Auburn at 1:30 this afternoon in the Clemson Regional. LSU opens regional play on the road for the first time since 2014. The Tigers will take on San Diego State tonight at 7 pm in the Tempe Regional.

LRN AM Newscall May 20

As the abortion debate returns to the headlines, Brooke Thorington has reaction from the director of one of three abortion clinics remaining in Louisiana.

Cut 1 (31) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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A record number of graduates will be leaving LSU and entering the workforce this weekend, but what awaits them when they do? David Grubb has the story…

Cut 2 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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Lawmakers deliver the state’s $39-billion annual budget to final passage. Kevin Gallagher reports…:

Cut 3 (34) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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After a bill to charge a woman with murder if she has an abortion was heard in the Louisiana House, Kathaleen Pittman, Director of the Hope Medical Group for Women, which provides abortion in Shreveport, says it’s not just antiabortion protesters that upset her.

Cut 4 (07)  “…the women.”

The bill was heavily amended and then returned to the calendar by the bill’s author.

Pittman who’s advocated for abortion rights for more than three decades says more restrictive abortion laws are only going to put more women in danger.

Cut 5 (11) “…of that.”

As a guest on Jim Engster’s Talk Louisiana radio program Pittman was asked about her feelings about majority male lawmakers making decisions regarding female reproductive rights, she said she feels it’s about control. And when religion is brought into the debate, Pittman has a response.

Cut 6 (08)  “…treat that.”

Pittman says when Texas outlawed abortions in September they experience a significant increase in patients who crossed state lines for a procedure.

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LSU will be awarding a record number of degrees with more than 45-hundred students expected to cross the stage, diploma in hand, this weekend. The number one question for every graduate, or at least their parents, is “what’s next?” LSU economist Dr. Loren Scott says opportunities abound for the class of 2022.

Cut 7 (07) “…it seems like.”

Scott says that nearly every industry in the state has complained about the lack of available workers. That means, at least for now, the value of those degrees is on the rise along with wages.

Cut 8 (09)  “…we’re seeing that.”

The shortage of workers and the steady uptick in inflation has pushed many employers to offer better salaries right out of the gate.  That increases competition for employees, especially for one industry in particular.

Cut 9 (10)  “…really hot.”

 

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The state’s $39-billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1st has reached final passage. House members Thursday voted concurrence on amendments made in the Senate; sending the bill to Governor Edwards’ desk. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says lawmakers did a good job of using windfalls of federal money; from the pandemic and the Infrastructure Act passed months ago…:

Cut 10 (14) “…out of their pockets.”

Pinsonat says polling of Louisiana taxpayers indicates they’d approve of the Governor’s budget proposals and how legislators dealt with them…:

Cut  11 (11)  “…existing revenue.” 

The budget contains money for road & bridge improvements, $300-million toward a new Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge and pay raises for teachers and school staff members.

Governor Edwards is expected to sign the budget bill, but will he use his privilege of the line-item veto before he does? Pinsonat says, if Edwards does, he’ll use it sparingly…:

Cut 12 (08) “…don’t end very well.” 

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Proposed changes in policy could have a major impact on how charter schools in New Orleans are evaluated. Due to the pandemic, clear performance data was harder to come by, so adaptation became necessary says Sarah Vandergriff, Legal and Policy Director for the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools.

Cut 13 (10) “…pre-COVID.”

Orleans Parish has 10 schools up for charter renewal this year and a new superintendent coming on board this summer. Vandergriff says these temporary policy changes allow for schools to receive multiple comprehensive evaluations in order to offset the lack of state testing data and performance scores in determining whether or not to extend those charters.

Cut 14 (12)  “…recommendations would be.”

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has been conducting its own review of the state’s accountability system. Vandergriff believes this is an opportunity for Orleans Parish to take a leadership role in localizing the process due to its unique makeup.

Cut 15 (11)  “…100 percent charter.”

 

4:45 LRN Sportscast May 19

LSU is on the road in Nashville as they open their series with Vanderbilt. The Tigers are in need of a bounce back after getting swept by Ole Miss last weekend. It’s been a strange season for LSU and adversity has been a big part of Jay Johnson’s first year in Baton Rouge. Johnson says his team has shown grit all year long and he expects them to continue to do so this weekend.

Cut 17 (18) “…this week.”

Game one will be broadcast live on ESPN 2 beginning at 7 pm.

As the regular season comes to a close a number of big series open tonight…Southern hosts Alcorn, UL-Monroe closes the season with Arkansas State in town, while Tulane takes on Memphis.

LSU and UL both open play in the NCAA softball tournament on Friday.

The U-L Ragin Cajuns are fighting to get back into the NCAA tournament for the first time in six years. Matt Deggs’ squad was on a major roll before being swept by Texas State last weekend. Now the Cajuns likely need a big weekend against Little Rock and a strong showing in the Sun Belt tourney to reach the postseason. Deggs says he’s been here before…

Cut 18 (19) “ …big at-bats.”

A new NCAA rule will allow major college football programs to sign as many players as they want for the next two years as long as they don’t exceed 85 scholarship players. The NCAA Division I Council says this will create more flexibility for schools and opportunities for athletes.

Pelicans forward Herb Jones was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team, becoming just the sixth player in franchise history to make an All-Rookie Team.

LRN PM Newscall May 19

As the state budget makes its way through the legislature Governor Edwards says, for the most part, he’s pleased lawmakers have accepted the majority of his funding requests. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (32) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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A new study shows the connection between hormones, the brain, and our diet…David Grubb has the story.

Cut 2 (00) “…I’m David Grubb.”  

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The Senate approved the $39-billion state budget Wednesday, and the House will vote on the concurrence of Senate amendments this afternoon. Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s pleased the majority of his budget requests have been approved but he wishes the $2,000 teacher pay raises had made the cut, instead of the $1500 raises that WERE approved…:

Cut 3 (11) “….working out”

The Senate-approved budget also includes a significant down payment of $300 million on a proposed Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge. Edwards says it’s the most significant infrastructure project that impacts traffic across the state.

Cut 4  (12) “…two billion dollars.”

Edwards says he asked for $500-million for the Mississippi River Bridge because of state also received additional one-time funding as part of the American Rescue Act. He says the amount matters when it comes to seeking matching funds.

Cut 5  (10) “…yourself.”

Edwards also says bridge sites should be narrowed down to three in the new few weeks.

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Research published by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge reports that reducing protein in the diet produces a number of positive outcomes, including increasing lifespan. Dr. Christopher Morrison says while this basic fact has been known for some time, by experimenting with the diets of mice scientists are learning more about this connection.

Cut 6  (11) “…metabolic improvement.” 

Pennington has been a leader in this research for a while, discovering a hormonal link between the brain and the body and protein restriction years ago. Dr. Morrison says this study used mice to compare the body’s response either with or without the hormone leading to a deeper understanding of that link.

Cut 7 (11) “…protein restricted.” 

Dr. Morrison says while the study doesn’t provide a “magic bullet” to help people be healthier or live longer, it is an important step in understanding how our brains and bodies work collectively, which could lead to improvements in individual health outcomes in the future…

Cut 8 (10) “…and your goals.” 

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As Louisianans continue to cope with rising prices and inflation at over 8-percent, State Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain advises we hunker down for at least several more months of this. Strain says the prices we pay at the grocery store now are reflective of market conditions and wholesale prices from months ago…:

Cut 9 (09) “…next year’s crop.”

Strain says everything from seed costs, to fertilizer prices, to the cost & scarcity of diesel fuel for hauling food to market in contributing to the current high prices. He says state & federal authorities, and private sector interests are working on solutions, but they could be quite some time coming…:

Cut 10 (10) ” ….try to cut that down.” 

Strain says there’s is little people on a fixed income can do, but one thing we can all do is make maximum use of the groceries we do buy…:

Cut 11 (10)  “…the spices get better.” 

Strain advises planning out meals more carefully and making every effort to eat your leftovers, to get the most bang for your grocery bucks.

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A House bill to prohibit smoking or vaping marijuana in a motor vehicle advances from Senate Transportation. Metairie Representative Laurie Schlegel says her bill is to address the rising number of incidents of motorists using cannabis and then getting behind the wheel.

Cut 12 (08) “…in a car”  

Schlegel amended the bill in committee after issues were brought to light during a previous House debate that the legislation could be used to profile motorists.

Cut 13 (12) “…primary offense (x2).”

Schlegel says there’s been data from other states showing that once marijuana is legalized some individuals believe it means they are allowed to drive and use marijuana also. The purpose of the legislation is to remind them it’s not ok.

Cut 14 (03)  “…all times.”

The amended legislation now advances to the Senate.

12:30 LRN Newscast May 19

As the state budget makes its way through the legislature Governor Edwards says, for the most part, he’s pleased lawmakers have accepted the majority of his funding requests. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (33) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

A Senate-passed bill proposing risk assessment for juveniles who run afoul of the law clears another legislative hurdle. Central Louisiana Senator Heather Cloud’s SB 323 has already won approval from the full Senate. Cloud’s bill would require that juveniles arrested and brought into the system be assessed for their tendencies toward violent behavior, assessing them from least to most dangerous.

The Louisiana Department of Health has removed the COVID-19 vaccine as a requirement for elementary and secondary school students, citing a lack of full approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Though the COVID vaccine will not be on the schedule this fall, Governor Edwards and the LDH are still in agreement with the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that all children between the ages of five and 17 get vaccinated.

Cut 12 (11) “…any boosters.”

Since March of 2020, Louisiana has had 21 children die due to COVID-19. In none of those cases were those children fully vaccinated.

The U-S House passed a pair of bills Wednesday night to address the nationwide baby formula shortage, approving a measure that would allow the federal government to purchase more formula to aid low-income women, infants, and children, as well as another that would send $28 million to the FDA to help boost supply and prevent future shortages. Both bills now head to the Senate.

11:40 LRN Sportscast May 19

There’s a lot on the line for LSU baseball as they head to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt in their SEC regular-season finale. Less than a week ago the Tigers were a near lock to host an NCAA regional, and now they’re flirting with a below .500 finish in the SEC. Pitching will be key against the Commodores and Jay Johnson likes what he’s seen lately from sophomore Ty Floyd.

Cut 16 (20) “…him in there.”

As the regular season comes to a close a number of big series open tonight…Southern hosts Alcorn with first place in the SWAC West on the line. UL-Monroe closes the season with Arkansas State in town, while Tulane takes on Memphis.

The U-L Ragin Cajuns are fighting to get back into the NCAA tournament for the first time in six years. Coach Matt Deggs’ team likely needs a big weekend against Little Rock and a strong showing in the Sun Belt tourney to get there. Deggs’ biggest concern leading up to the conference tournament is his pitching staff. The Cajuns will use this weekend to set up their rotation, but Deggs says they’ll adapt to matchups and hopefully get some hitting.

Cut 19 (19) _“…be a grinder.”

A new NCAA rule will allow major college football programs to sign as many players as they want for the next two years as long as the don’t exceed 85 scholarship players. The NCAA Division I Council says this will create more flexibility for schools and opportunities for athletes.

Pelicans forward Herb Jones was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.