LRN PM Newscall February 3

A Louisiana National Guard unit is preparing to deploy to the Middle East, on a classified support mission. More from Jeff Palermo…:

Cut 1 (31)  “…I’m Jeff Palermo.”

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If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll want to be in Thibodaux Saturday to attend a festival dedicated to the state’s favorite pastry. Brooke Thorington has the ingredients

Cut 2 (32)  “….I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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U-S Senator John Kennedy wants Louisiana to develop a new methodology to grade public schools. Kennedy points to the grades that the state’s high schools have received…

Cut 3 (07) “…they are not” 

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has discussed changing Louisiana’s accountability system, but proposed changes have faced criticism from school boards, superintendents, principals, and teachers.  Kennedy says 70 percent of the state’s high schools have received A and B grades, but in reality, we know many of these schools do not deserve such a high grade…

Cut  4 (11)  “…new system.” 

Kennedy made his comments on the floor of the U.S. Senate. He didn’t offer any specifics on how schools should be graded, but expressed the importance of it because it’s vital to the future of Louisiana

Cut 5 (10) “…creating tomorrow”

A BESE committee has recommended that a high school should not be awarded to a student who receives a diploma without passing an Advancement Placement course or didn’t take any dual enrollment classes. That proposal received significant pushback.

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The Louisiana National Guard held a deployment ceremony Friday in New Orleans for the 140-plus soldiers of the 3673 Support Maintenance Company (part of the 139th Regional Support Group.) They will provide support to the Army’s Operation Spartan Shield. The event was at the World War II Museum in the Crescent City. Captain Mitchel Dougherty is the company Commander…:

Cut 6 (08)  “…use this venue.” 

The “3-6-7-3″ is a combat support unit; tasked with keeping military vehicles and material in working order. Battalion Commander Lt. Colonel Ira Jones says their role is of utmost importance…:

Cut 7 (08)  “…their mission is.” 

Operation Spartan Shield is in the Middle East, but exactly where the Louisiana Guardsmen and women are headed is classified. The 3673rd has not been deployed overseas since the Gulf War in the early 1990’s. Col. Jones says the deployment will mean soldiers will be out of the country for quite a while…:

Cut 8 (07)  “…to their families.” 

Jones says the Guardsmen will be back home in about a year.

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If you’re a King Cake connoisseur there’s an inaugural festival cooked up just for you on Saturday. It’s the Lafourche Education Foundation’s Bayou King Cake Festival. Thibodaux Mayor Kevin Clement says attendees can sample almost two dozen cakes and they have five tickets each to cast their vote.

Cut 9 (10) “…choice winner.” 

The event kicks off at 1:30 in downtown Thibodeaux with a kid’s parade. Five marching bands will accompany kids riding in wagons.

Cut 10 (09) “…pretty good.” 

The festival has plenty of activities for kids, like face painting, a coloring booth, and music. Clement says it’s going to be a memorable event to kick off their carnival season and it’s all for a great cause the Lafourche Parish Education Foundation.

Cut 11 (11)  “…quite remarkable.”

The winning King Cake will be announced at 5:30 and they’ll receive bragging and a billboard. Advance tickets are $10 and $15 at the event.

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State lawmakers have approved legislation that sets up a 45-million dollar incentive fund that will be used to bring more insurance companies to Louisiana that will offer homeowners coverage. Senate Insurance Chairman Kirk Talbot says the goal is to reduce the number of Citizens Property Insurance policyholders who face a 63-percent rate hike this year

Cut 12 (07) “…need it”

The bill passed on a 37-to-1 vote in the Senate on Friday. Bossier City Senator Barrow Peacock was the lone no vote as he questioned whether the incentive fund would actually lead to more insurers who can supply homeowners coverage…

Cut 13 (10) “…hurricane season starts” 

Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt says this is not the silver bullet to Louisiana’s insurance crisis, but it’s a first step and lawmakers will need to continue to address the problem even more in the regular session that starts in April…

Cut 14 (10)   “..be successful”

LRN PM Newscall February 2

Congressman Steve Scalise and U.S. House Republicans pass a bill to bring federal employees back to the office. Jeff Palermo has more…:

Cut 1 (30)  “…I’m Jeff Palermo.”

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A $1,300 reward is being offered for the safe return of a Shar Pei puppy that was stolen in New Orleans Monday. Brooke Thorington has more

Cut 2 (32)  “….I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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District 1 Congressman and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise led colleagues in passing a bill requiring federal workers to return to the office. It’s dubbed the “SHOW UP Act”; an acronym for Stopping Home Office Work’s Unproductive Problems. On the House floor, Scalise tells members the government should be held to the same standard as taxpayers…:

Cut 3 (09) “…get the job done.” 

Scalise says Americans have largely gone back to their workplaces after the pandemic, and they wonder why the federal government is still operating in lockdown mode. He cites the Veterans Administration as an example of the so-called “unproductive problems”…:

Cut  4 (12)  “…that hurts people.” 

Scalise says un-staffed government offices is causing come to wait a year or more for tax refund checks, wait 6 months to renew a passport and other problems. He says taxpayers are growing impatient with the government they pay for…:

Cut 5 (10) “…go back to work.”

The bill passed the House. Whether the Democrat-controlled Senate will even take it up for discussion is unknown.

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A Hahnville man will spend at least eight years in prison for his role in a July 4th 2020 boating fatality in St. Charles Parish. State Wildlife and Fisheries spokesperson Adam Einck says 25-year-old Kevin Comardelle was driving a boat when it collided with another boat.

Cut 6 (09)  “…he was intoxicated.” 

The victim who died was 36-year-old Audrey Higgins of Luling, she was a passenger in the other vessel and several other passengers received significant injuries.

Einck says Comardelle was convicted of vehicular homicide and four counts of first-degree vehicular negligent injuring.

Cut 7 (09)  “…of the vessel.” 

Comardelle will be on probation for five years following his prison sentence, must comply with an alcohol monitoring program, and is subject to restitution to the victims. Einck says the crash happened at night on Bayou Des Allemands.

Cut 8 (04)  “…prevented.” 

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After a Shar Pei puppy was stolen from a Lakeview home in New Orleans Monday, a $1300 reward is being offered for its safe return. Humane Society of Louisiana Director Jeff Dorson says UNO student Scott Elston is devasted over the theft of his dog.

Cut 9 (10) “…called Toby.” 

Shar Peis are known for their wrinkles and blue tongues.

Dorson says unfortunately there’s not a clear image of the suspects from home security systems in the neighborhood.

Cut 10 (11) “…they’re doing.” 

The Humane Society and Elston have pledged $500 each for a reward along with $300 from an anonymous donor.  Artwork and electronics were also stolen from the home but Elston’s main concern is his puppy, Toby. Dorson says the burglary happened while Elston was in class.

Cut 11 (09)  “…Shar Pei.”

If you have any information you’re asked to call HSLA at 1-888-6-HUMANE.

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Thirty-one-year-old Louis Foret of Morgan City has received a life sentence after admitting to fatally shooting a Thibodaux man multiple times two years ago. Lafourche Parish District Attorney spokesperson David Melancon says Foret entered the guilty plea as his trial was set to begin

Cut 12 (10) “…pleading guilty”

Melancon says Foret killed his friend Chance Benoit at his home on a February night in 2021

Cut 13 (10) “…shot dead” 

Melancon says investigators have determined that Foret and Benoit were talking inside Benoit’s home when Foret began assaulting the victim and as the attack progressed, Foret shot him

Cut 14 (11)   “..hung up the phone.”

Second degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.

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One of the three men accused in the January 2022 fatal shooting death of Deven Brooks has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Rapides Parish Assistant District Attorney Lea Hall says 22-year-old Terrance Lavalais entered the guilty during jury selection

Cut 15 (10) “… that time”

Brooks’ body was found on the edge of the Red River in Alexandria in January 2022. Police say the 27-year-old was kidnapped as he was bound with cable, zip ties and duct tape.

Two others are also charged with second degree murder, Jamaria Randle and Tremaine Veal. Hall says their trials are scheduled to begin over the next two weeks

Cut  16 (11)  “…this victim”

Police believe the three men arrested in Brooks’ death were trying to get money out of him.

Updated AM Newscall with sports cuts February 2

A Winnfield lawmaker says, instead of paying property insurers to come to Louisiana, why not pay homeowners to make their roofs hurricane-proof…?

Cut 1 (32)  “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

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If you’re a fan of Antiques Roadshow, listen up because the 20-time Emmy Award-winning series is coming to Baton Rouge. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (33)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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The Louisiana House has approved a plan that creates a 45-million dollar incentive fund to attract more private insurers to the state. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 3 (32) “…I’m Jeff Palermo” 

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As lawmakers debate a plan to help alleviate soaring property insurance costs and availability, there is growing support for a plan to incentivize homeowners to hurricane-proof their roofs and lower their coverage costs. Winnfield Representative Jack McFarland supports the idea of the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program…:

Cut 4 (11)  “…their insurance premiums.”

In essence, the program would give homeowners grants of up to $10-thousand (paid from a special fund) to retrofit their home’s roof so it is capable of withstanding 150-mile-an-hour winds. McFarland says that would be a metal roof in many cases, but there are many other ways to storm-harden a roof, such as…:

Cut 5 (14) “…hold the roof down.”

McFarland says the legislature voted to create the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program last year but did not create solid funding for it. He says the Department of Insurance and fellow lawmakers are committed to funding the program in the regular session that starts in April. He says it is a proven plan to lower coverage costs for homeowners…:

Cut 6 (09)  “…and fortifying.” 

McFarland wants any unused cash from the $5-million Insure Louisiana Incentive Fund to be put into the fortification fund.

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Have you ever watched Antiques Roadshow and thought to yourself I wonder what that vase I inherited is worth? Well, here’s your chance, the beloved PBS series will be in Baton Rouge on May 2nd and Roadshow producer Marsha Bemko says your odds of winning tickets are pretty good.

Cut 7 (05) “…getting in here.”

Two-thousand pairs of tickets will be issued and the deadline to register is March 13th. For more information visit pbs.org/roadshowtickets.

Ticketholders will be able to bring two items to be appraised for free. Bemko says it’s an opportunity to have experts evaluate your treasures, so bring in something that you can’t look up on the internet.

Cut 8 (09)  “…came in.”

Bemko says appraisers will tell participants where the item was made, a little history about it, and its value. But when experts eye something remarkable the experience is quite different.

Cut 9 (06)  “…cameras are rolling.”

It’s been ten years since Antiques Roadshow has been in Baton Rouge and Bemko says they are looking forward to what treasurers they’ll discover in the capital city. The last time the Emmy Award-winning program was in Louisiana was in 2017 in New Orleans.

The deadline to register for tickets is March 13th and participants will be notified in mid-April if they’ve won tickets.

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The 2022 Louisiana Economic Development Annual Report says the state topped $20 billion in economic investment for a second consecutive year. LED Secretary Don Pierson says it was a great year because the state leveraged its unique business advantages, sector diversity, and support for climate action.

Cut 10 (09)  “…in 24 parishes.”

And it’s not just the metro areas that have seen growth, Pierson says he’s also proud of the work they’ve done in rural areas of the state.

Cut 11 (12)  “…larger companies.”

While touting their 2022 success, Pierson says the state is poised for additional expansion, innovation, and the energy transition Louisiana is part of.

Cut 12 (10) “…for Louisiana.”

Pierson says whenever new companies locate or expand in the Bayou State it’s a ripple effect and it only improves the local economy.

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The Louisiana House has approved legislation that puts 45-million dollars in a fund to award grants to insurance companies who provide homeowners coverage. The measure passed on a 90-8 vote. Baton Rouge Representative Edmond Jordan voted against it as he’s skeptical the plan will lead to a more affordable insurance market

Cut 13 (13)  “….make sense.”

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is confident the incentive fund can bring eight to ten new private insurers to the state leading to the reduction of 40-thousand policyholders who rely on Citizens Insurance, which is increasing rates by an average of 63 percent this year.

Plaquemine Representative Chad Brown also has concerns about the plan and wishes Donelon provided more options for state lawmakers to consider in this special session

Cut 14 (11)  “…be more competitive”

The Incentive fund legislation will be discussed in the Senate starting today. Meanwhile, Houma Representative Beryl Amedee says the Louisiana Legislature can propose additional ideas for the regular session that begins in April.

Cut 15 (09)  “…let’s go.”

A two-month-long regular session begins April 10th.

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La Tech hosts one of the better teams in Conference USA tonight as the Bulldogs battle the Rice Owls at the Thomas Assembly Center. Rice is 15-6 overall, 6-4 in league play while Tech is 5-and-6 in conference action. The Bulldogs are coming off a win at UTSA as Isaiah Crawford scored 19 points. Bulldogs Coach Talvin Hester hopes to see more good play from Crawford…

Cut  16 (15)  “..successful”. 

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ULM opens a three-game homestand tonight as they host Coastal Carolina. The Warhawks are 6-4 in the Sun Belt, while Coastal is 4-and-6, but ULM Coach Keith Richard says it should be a good matchup…

Cut 17 (17) “…two one-point games.” 

Coastal Carolina has four players in double figures and they are one of the top rebounding teams in the Sun Belt.

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The Ragin Cajuns men’s basketball team puts their eight-game winning streak on the line tonight as they take on Texas State in the Cajundome. The Bobcats are 4-and-6 in Sun Belt play, and 11-and-12 overall and Coach Bob Marlin says they have a better record on the road than at home…

Cut 18 (13) “…on Thursday” 

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According to Rivals-dot-com, the Ragin Cajuns had the best recruiting class in the Sun Belt as they added four more guys to their 2023 class. Two of the newest additions are from the River Parishes, including the Class 4A Offensive Player of the Year, Lutcher Quarterback D’Wanye Winnfield. Cajuns Coach Michael Desormeaux calls Winnfield a gritty player who is a proven winner…

Cut 19 (18) “..for sure”

The Cajuns also signed cornerback Glenn Brown, who is a transfer from Southern. Brown is a graduate of St. James High School and appeared in 36 games for the Southern Jaguars. Desormeaux says they are excited to have Brown in Lafayette

Cut 20 (22)  “…need to” 

LRN PM Newscall February 1

Louisiana loves beef, but new federal data shows we can expect to pay more for the popular protein in the months ahead…:

Cut 1 (33)  “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

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Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves still has not made up his mind on running for governor . Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 2 (32)  “….I’m Jeff Palermo” 

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Louisiana loves beef, but the USDA’s 2023 Cattle Report predicts higher costs ahead for the popular protein. Cattle Producers of Louisiana CEO David Foster concurs with the USDA’s findings that say the national herd is down over 39-million head from one year ago…:

Cut 3 (10) “…were down 6-percent.” 

Foster says there are fewer beef cattle around, which drives up cost based on availability. What’s more, feed stock costs are also up sharply meaning less food in feeders to fatten up the livestock…:

Cut  4 (10)  “…for the consumer.” 

Foster says fewer and less hefty cows will mean less beef for the market, hence an increase in costs of – possibly – 10-percent or more. He says all this can, of course, be affected by consumer demand for beef…:

Cut 5 (13) “…customers back again.”

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Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves is still not ready to make a decision on whether to run for governor or not. Graves says he’s received encouragement to run, but his busy schedule in Washington D-C has kept him from examining the race

Cut 6 (11)  “…you posted” 

Graves, who is a close ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, was recently named chair of the Elected Leadership Committee, an important position in the GOP.

Meanwhile, Graves is not happy the state GOP has already endorsed Attorney General Jeff Landry in the Louisiana governor’s race. Graves says voters are upset a group of Republicans are trying to hand pick the next governor…

Cut 7 (08)  “…strong encouragement” 

Graves is 51-years-old and has served in the U-S House since 2015. During his weekly appearance on Mornings with Brian Haldane on Talk 107-3, Graves admits the Louisiana Republican Party’s endorsement of Attorney General Jeff Landry has led to a push for him to run for governor…

Cut 8 (12)  “…absurd” 

We also continue to wait on a major Democratic candidate to get in the race.

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There’s another big jackpot drawing tonight. Powerball is up to $653 million with a cash value of $351 million. Dustin Annison with the Louisiana Lottery says this Powerball jackpot has been rolling since November 21st.

Cut 9 (05) “…right now.” 

It seems like we’ve heard about several large jackpots recently in the multi-state games. Annison says the current Powerball jackpot has been rolling for 31 drawings.

Cut 10 (08) “…Louisiana winner.” 

So just what are your chances of winning? Annison says the odds of hitting a jackpot are one in 292 million.

Cut 11 (09)  “…million dollars.”

To be eligible for tonight’s Powerball drawing your ticket must be purchased by 9:00 PM. Remember to play responsibly and it only takes one ticket to win.

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At the legislative special session today, the Louisiana House voted for  a measure that creates a 45-million dollar incentive fund that would provide grants to insurance companies who write private property policies. Plaquemine Representative Chad Brown has reservations, but still voted yes…

Cut 12 (12) “…do that”

The goal of the program is to reduce the number of Louisiana Citizens policyholders, who pay much higher premiums than they would if they had coverage through a private insurer.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon believes this legislation could reduce the number of Citizens policies by 40-thousand and it needs to pass now to give companies time to get reinsurance before the start of the next hurricane season. Houma Representative Beryl Amedee says it seems like a good idea to her

Cut 13 (11) “…insurance crisis” 

The measure passed overwhelming (90-to-8) in the lower chamber. House Speaker Clay Schexnayder with the final vote tally

Cut 14 (12)   “..finally passed.”

The bill heads to the Senate for more debate.

LRN PM Newscall

Senator Bill Cassidy says federal Infrastructure Act money is bringing broadband internet to the state’s rural parishes, with progress already made in Morehouse Parish. Brooke Thorington reports…:

Cut 1 (34)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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A proposal to create a 45-million dollar fund that would provide grants to insurance companies willing to write property insurance policies receives approval from the Appropriations Committee and heads to the House floor. Jeff Palermo has more…

Cut 2 (32)  “….I’m Jeff Palermo” 

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Revelers receive welcome news from the City of New Orleans as Mayor LaToya Cantrell officially announces that parade routes will return to pre-pandemic length and the Crescent City has secured enough police officers for carnival season.

Cut 3 (13) “…City of New Orleans” 

Interim Police Superintendent Michelle Woodfork says planning began several months ago to ensure enough police officers were allocated from around the state to provide security for residents and tourists for Mardi Gras.

Cut  4 (10)  “…Mardi Gras season.” 

Parade routes were abbreviated the last two seasons due to a shortage of police officers but Woodfork says they are extremely pleased with the collaborative effort of law enforcement across the state to provide adequate security for carnival season.

Cut 5 (08) “…everyone’s happy.”

The return of longer routes means the Krewe of Thoth can roll by New Orleans’ Children’s Hospital after a nearly three-year absence.

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U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy says the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is bringing broadband internet to Louisiana’s rural parishes. In his weekly press conference, Cassidy says a great example of the project’s progress is Morehouse Parish; where there was once NO fast internet access at all…:

Cut 6 (13)  “…is connected.” 

Cassidy says federal funds from the Infrastructure Act (which he supported) have been flowing into Louisiana to provide expanded, faster internet access. He says Morehouse is a good example of the program’s progress…:

Cut 7 (08)  “…reliable internet.” 

Cassidy says broadband work in Morehouse Parish continues…:

Cut 8 (09)  “…fiber-optic network.” 

He says more parishes have broadband project underway and the goal if for fast internet access to be available statewide.

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There is the potential for light freezing rain across the northern parishes tonight, into the overnight hours and through tomorrow morning. Louisiana Radio Network Meteorologist John Wetherbee says high temperatures will only be in the upper 30s today across north Louisiana and temperatures will approach freezing tonight

Cut 9 (11) “…early tomorrow.” 

Wetherbee says the Winter Weather Advisory is for parishes along I-20…

Cut 10 (09) “…close to freezing” 

Wetherbee says the winter weather advisory goes into effect tonight and last until tomorrow morning.

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House Appropriations approves legislation that establishes a45-million dollar incentive fund aimed at attracting additional private property insurers to the state. House Insurance Chairman Mike Huval is an insurance agent in Breaux Bridge and says a similar program after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita helped revitalize the private property insurance market…

Cut 11 (10)  “…come also.”

The bill heads to the House floor where it will be discussed on Wednesday.

Five companies took advantage of the Insure Louisiana Incentive Program in 2007, but Huval says it also attracted many other private property insurers who found Louisiana was a good state to provide coverage.  But Houma Representative Tanner Magee says several of the new property insurers bailed after multiple hurricanes

Cut 12 (09) “…pay claims.”

Huval admits smaller carriers could not handle the super active 2020 and 2021 hurricane seasons.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says there are insurance companies who have expressed interest in writing policies in Louisiana if the incentive fund is created. But Jonesboro Representative Jack McFarland says the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Louisiana are unaware of any of those companies

Cut 13 (07) “…willing to come.” 

Donelon says the incentive fund can result in more homeowners receiving insurance from a private insurer, instead of relying on much more expensive Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance policies. He says it could prevent thousands of people below I-10 from losing their homes…

Cut 14 (09)   “…emergency room.”

Donelon says long-term property insurance reform legislation could be addressed in the regular session that starts in April.

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Over 15-thousand fans packed into the Pete Maravich Assembly Center last night to watch the third ranked LSU women’s basketball team stay undefeated on the year by beating Tennessee 76-68. Coach Kim Mulkey was pleased with the win and amazed by the crowd

Cut 15 (15) “… in college”

The 15-thousand fans in attendance set a record for largest crowd in the PMAC since it was reconfigured in 2005. They were all wearing white T-shirts. Star forward Angel Reese was impressed…

Cut  16 (10)  “…is amazing.”

LSU is 21-0 and its next game is Thursday at home against Georgia.

LRN PM Newscall January 30

LSU launches a collective that gives fans the opportunity to donate money that will be used to provide name, image and likeness payments for select athletes. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 1 (32)  “…I’m Jeff Palermo”

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An attorney for the mother of Madison Brooks says defense lawyers representing the four men accused of her sexual assault, are victim blaming.

Cut 2 (40)  “….I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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LSU announced today the launch of Bayou Traditions, which is a collective that will open up more opportunities for athletes to get paid through name, image and likeness deals. Bayou Traditions President Brent Cunningham says fans can donate to the collective

Cut 3 (07) “…specifically” 

Cunningham says fans have the opportunity to make one-time, monthly and annual payments, anywhere from 10-dollars a month to 50-thousand dollars a year. He says the person making the contribution will get something in return

Cut  4 (11)  “…football season” 

Cunningham says fans can direct their payment to a specific sport…

Cut 5 (10) “…their program”

For more information go to “BayouTraditionsCollective.com”

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Hammond Police arrest 19-year-old Johnny Williams on charges of First-Degree Murder and Attempted First Degree murder. Chief Edwin Bergeron says Williams was a passenger in the car and just after seven o’clock last night an officer was flagged down by another man who told him his 24-year-old girlfriend, Tori Banks had been shot.

Cut 6 (12)  “…officer down.” 

Williams fled the scene on foot and Banks later died at the hospital.  Upon further investigation, Bergeron says it was learned that the three had been driving around town prior to the shooting.

Cut 7 (11)  “…the girlfriend.” 

Bergeron says about four hours later Williams was taken into custody, without incident, at his home that was not far from the scene of the incident. He credits officers for their hard work and diligence in apprehending Williams.

Cut 8 (07)  “…so fast.” 

Williams was booked into the Hammond City Jail and the investigation is ongoing.

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A lawyer representing the mother of Madison Brooks is calling out defense attorneys, representing four men accused of sexual assault, for trying the case in the media just moments after they said they wouldn’t. Kerry Miller says in a press conference last week they proceed to blame the victim.

Cut 9 (12) “…very offensive.” 

18-year-old Kaivon Washington, who’s accused of the rape of Brooks, has also been charged with the 2020 rape of a 12-year-old girl in Walker.  Miller says her mother wants to preserve Brooks’ legacy and would like to establish a foundation in her memory.

Cut 10 (06) “…feeling right now.” 

Last week defense attorney Ron Haley said there’s video evidence that proves the men did nothing wrong and that the encounter was consensual. Miller says the video only proves Brooks was unable to consent due to her level of intoxication. Two of the accused told police she was very drunk and Brooks’ blood alcohol content was almost four times the legal limit.

Cut 11 (09)  “…rape period.”

In the Brooks case, Washington and a 17-year-old minor are charged with third-degree rape. 18-year-old Casen Carver and 27-year-old Everett Lee are charged with principle to third-degree rape.  Miller says in the meantime, evidence will be presented to a grand jury to decide if the charges will be upgraded.

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State Police arrest a Lake Arthur man for hitting a bicyclist and killing him earlier this month. Trooper Thomas Gossen says 60-year-old Allen Vincent, of Gueydan, cycling along state Highway 717 in Vermilion Parish on the night of January 9th, when he was hit by a Toyota pickup. Gossen says they initially thought the cyclist was in the wrong lane, but learned otherwise…:

Cut 12 (10) “…correct direction.”

The crash happened back on January 9th at around 7pm, in full darkness. Trooper Gossen says a follow-up investigation the next morning led them to conclude that the pickup driver, 20-year-old Kane LeBlanc of Lake Arthur, was the one who had crossed into the wrong lane…:

Cut 13 (10) “…this determination.” 

Gossen says a routine blood toxicology sample was taken from LeBlanc and the report meant additional charges…:

Cut 14 (11)   “…in a motor vehicle.”

It’s unknown at this time whether LeBlanc has been granted or has made bond.

LRN AM Newscall January 30

ULM’s new Director of Athletics will be formally introduced today. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (30)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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Starting today in Baton Rouge, a special legislative session aimed at bringing property insurance relief to thousands of struggling homeowners…:

Cut 2 (36)  “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

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Louisiana’s own Archie Williams, whose story of redemption and voice amazed the judges of America’s Got Talent in 2020 will perform again tonight. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 3 (33) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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The University of Louisiana at Monroe will introduce its new Director of Athletics John Hartwell this afternoon. ULM Director of Student-Athlete Success Carmen Wright says Hartwell’s resume, which includes stops as the AD at Utah State University and Troy University, and accomplishments speak for themselves.

Cut 4 (09)  “…for ULM.”

In addition to Utah State and Troy, Hartwell also served in the athletic administration at Ole Miss. Wright says Hartwell’s comprehensive experience with similar schools is ideal for the Warhawks.

Cut 5 (13) “…focused.”

After their months-long search to fill the position, Wright says when they spoke with individuals who’ve worked with Hartwell, it sealed his fate to lead ULM athletics. Wright says Hartwell will hit the ground running overseeing facility upgrades.

Cut 6 (08)  “…across campus.” 

Hartwell will be officially introduced at a 3:00 PM press conference at the ULM Library.

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State lawmakers convene a special session today, aimed at alleviating the state’s current property insurance crisis. Since the hurricane hits of 2020 and ’21, more than 20 private property insurers have either gone insolvent or left the state; forcing tens of thousands of property owners to the state’s last-resort insurer Louisiana Citizens. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says lawmakers will consider creating a $45-million incentive fund to help attract new insurers to write policies here…:

Cut 7 (07) “…immediate fix..”

Donelon says a similar incentive worked after Katrina & Rita caused companies to exit the state, and he believes it will work again…but lawmakers must act quickly…:

Cut 8 (10)  “…insurance marketplace.”

State legislators are of different minds on Donelon’s plan and how well it might work. Jonesboro Representative Jack McFarland (R) says the post-Katrina incentive fund did work, but brought the state only five new private insurers and two of those have already left. He says that begs questions…:

Cut 9 (10)  “…for hurricane damage.”

But Marrero Representative Kyle Green (D) says he supports Donelon’s incentive package…:

Cut 10 (08)  “…be voting for it.”

The insurance incentive plan is the sole item on the special session agenda. The session opens today and ends Sunday.

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After being wrongfully convicted and spending 36 years in Angola, Archie Williams captured the hearts of fans and judges on America’s Got Talent in 2020. And tonight, Williams is competing in AGT All-Stars. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after his memorable performance of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.”

Cut 11 (08)  “…was Elton John.”

While in Angola, Williams watched AGT and dreamed of being a contestant. That dream came true and his amazing story of redemption after being imprisoned for more than half of his life bought about much-needed hope during the pandemic.

Cut 12 (08) “…today.”

Williams’ life story and performance also inspired, the show’s most critical judge, Simon Cowell, to become a spokesperson for Innocence Project; the organization that helped free Williams. The Baton Rouge crooner is also focused on helping others who are wrongfully convicted.

Cut 13 (06)  “….in prison.”

You can watch him tonight on America’s Got Talent on NBC.

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Tonight’s game between the fourth-ranked LSU women’s basketball team and Tennessee is a sell-out as the Lady Tigers look to improve to 21-0 overall, 9-0 in the SEC. The Lady Vols are also undefeated in conference play. LSU’s Angel Reese says they enter tonight’s game with the right mindset

Cut 14 (10)  “…to win”

LSU is one of two teams still undefeated in women’s college basketball. Mulkey says she’s been impressed with how her team has bought into the value of rebounding and playing defense

Cut 15 (14)  “…can defend”

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Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs held off Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals in an epic AFC Championship game last night. K-C kicked a field goal in the final seconds to win 23-20 to advance to the Super Bowl for the third time in four years. Burrow gives the Chiefs credit…

Cut  16 (09)  “…down too” 

Burrow threw for 270 yards and a touchdown. But he was also intercepted twice and sacked five times. The loss denied Cincinnati a second straight trip to the Super Bowl. Joey B expects to be in the hunt again next year…

Cut 17 (19) “…come back stronger” 

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The top-ranked LSU baseball team has started full squad practices. It’s year number two for head coach Jay Johnson. Last year LSU really had to piece together a pitching staff as they lacked strong starting pitching. Johnson says this year he has a more well-rounded group…

Cut 18 (25) “…right now” 

The expectation is that this team will win LSU’s first national championship since 2009. Center fielder Dylan Crews says what others are expecting from this team is not added pressure for them…

Cut 19 (18) “..for sure”

One of the big additions to this team is third baseman Tommy White, who slugged 27 home runs last season at North Carolina State. White says this offense could generate a lot of runs…

Cut 20 (12)  “…get people on base” 

LRN PM Newscall January 26

Drug distribution charges against a Larose man have been upgraded to second-degree murder. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (31)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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A federal judge sentences 21-year-old Chance Seneca of Lafayette for attempting to kill a gay man he groomed on the dating app, Grindr. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 2 (32)  “….I’m Jeff Palermo” 

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Charges against 19-year-old Blayne Terrebonne of Larose have been upgraded after authorities say he sold 15-year-old female drugs in October that led to her death. Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office Captain Brennan Matherne says the victim thought she was taking Percocet, but toxicology proved otherwise.

Cut 3 (11) “…second-degree murder.” 

On October 27th, deputies first responded to a 16-year-male in Galliano that showed signs of an overdose, and the very same day Matherne says they received a call about the 15-year-old female.

Cut  4 (10)  “…suspected overdose.” 

Investigators quickly determined the two incidents were related.

Matherne says detectives identified Terrebonne as the suspect and originally charged him with drug distribution.

Cut 5 (09) “…our office.”

Terrebonne was taken into custody Wednesday and his bail was set at $500,000.

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A Lafayette man has been sentenced to 45 years in federal prison for kidnapping and attempting to murder a gay man as part of a hate crime scheme. U-S Attorney Brandon Brown says Chance Seneca used the dating app, Grindr, to groom his victim and in 2020, he handcuffed his victim inside a Lafayette home and tried to dismember him…

Cut 6 (07)  “…changed his mind” 

The victim is 21-year-old Holden White who says the attack has left him with no feeling in his hands, a limited voice and permanent scars.

Brown says Seneca became fixated with the idea of killing gay men and he was fascinated with serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer who murdered over a dozen gay men…

Cut 7 (07)  “…quite some time” 

Brown says hate crimes are a top priority for the D-O-J and they take these kind of cases very seriously…

Cut 8 (11)  “…ever gets out.” 

The 21-year-old Seneca has already served 2 1/2 years of his 45-year sentence.

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Many elected officials from Louisiana are in the nation’s capital for Washington Mardi Gras, but House Speaker Clay Schexnayder says it’s not all fun and games. Schexnayder says there are economic development meetings with the goal of bringing more manufacturing jobs to the state

Cut 9 (08) “…get it done” 

Over the next three days, Schexnayder says there will be several different dinners featuring Louisiana cuisine and also plenty of social events at night

Cut 10 (11) “…hazardously” 

The Advocate newspaper’s D-C news correspondent Mark Ballard says a big topic of discussion is whether Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves will run for governor.

Cut 11 (11)  “…Garret Graves”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has reportedly selected Graves as the chairman of the Republican leadership.

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New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell responded to allegations she had a sexual relationship with a New Orleans Police Officer assigned to be her body guard. Those claims were made in divorce papers by the estranged wife of NOPD officer Jeffrey Vappie. Cantrell says this is a personal matter for the Vappie family

Cut 12 (03) “…of yours.”

A Fox 8 TV investigation has produced video of Vappie spending hours together during the day and some late nights at the city-owned apartment near Jackson Square. Cantrell has said the allegation of an affair involving a member of security team is false and she expects more accusations

Cut 13 (08) “…all pronouns.” 

 

LRN AM Newscall January 26

Three Louisiana teachers received a $25 thousand dollar award for their outstanding educator skills. Whitney Thomas reports.

Cut 1 (32)  “…I’m Whitney Thomas.”

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The annual Washington D.C. Mardi Gras gets underway today. Kevin Gallagher reports on the must-attend event for movers, shakers and candidates for office…:

Cut 2 (34)  “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

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The Department of Justice says the Louisiana Department of Corrections is violating the 14th Amendment by holding inmates beyond their release date. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 3 (29) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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Three south Louisiana teachers are $25 thousand dollars richer for receiving the Milken Educator Award which goes to about 40 elementary educators across the country every year. The three recipients are Prairieville teacher Elise Frederic, Port Allen’s Dereka Duncan, and Lafayette Parish teacher Corrie Campbell. Frederick won the award for her innovative teaching skills with first graders. 

Cut 4 (12)  “…appreciate it.”

Duncan was honored for teaching her fifth graders to challenge themselves beyond expectations, and now they’re dreaming of careers beyond their imaginations.

Cut 5 (13) “…of Louisiana.”

Campbell’s award recognized her ability to do whatever it takes to give her third graders the best learning environment as possible.

Cut 6 (14)  “…more engaging.” 

All teachers who received the award were completely surprised by the huge honor. Students were able to attend the award ceremony as well.

(For photos and videos visit www.milkeneducatorawards.org/educators/view/elise-fredric)

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The annual Washington D.C. Mardi Gras gets underway today. The event has become a staple for political folk who want to “see-and-be-seen,” network and fund raise.  “LAPolitics.com” publisher Jeremy Alford is in the nation’s capital, and says un-official events started Wednesday, but the Big Show begins this evening…:

Cut 7 (13) “…events take place.”

In addition, he says, there is any number of unofficial receptions, luncheons, and cocktail parties…where deals can be made. Alford says the events all lead to the big celebration, which brings the sights and sounds of a Mardi Gras parade indoors…:

Cut 8 (09)  “…classic Carnival style.”

Lobbyists, lawmakers, and candidates all rub elbows in full formal attire; bringing a bit of Louisiana to the capital city. Alford says a great many people running for office this fall will be in attendance, and it’s not just to “Let the Good Times Roll”…:

Cut 9 (07)  “…raising money.”

Alford says if a person intended to announce a run for office this fall, this would be the place and time do it.

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The Department of Justice says it’s a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment when the Louisiana Department of Corrections holds inmates past their release date. Baton Rouge Defense Attorney Lindsay Blouin (blu-in) agrees and says the pandemic revealed a number of deficiencies within the criminal justice system that should be fixed.

Cut 10 (06)  “…update their status.”

The DOJ says there’s an obligation to incarcerated persons and taxpayers not to keep someone confined longer than they should be. Blouin says the extra days are costly.

Cut 11 (09)  “…thousands of people.”

The ruling says for more than a decade the DOC has been on notice for its over-detention problem and has failed to correct it. Blouin is optimistic the DOC will finally receive adequate funding to modernize its computer system.

Cut 12 (09) “…issues fixed.”

The DOC released a statement they are reviewing the DOJ report and cannot provide a response until the report is reviewed.

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Authorities arrested a 15-year-old female who allegedly called in bomb threats into a restaurant in Opelousas and five schools in St. Landry Parish. Deputy Chief of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office Eddie Thibodaux says they got involved yesterday when a bomb threat was made towards Northwest High School. He says the school was evacuated and the search failed to find any devices, and students were allowed to return to class.

Cut 13 (10)  “…received one.”

The final bomb threat was for the Washington Career Center. McAlister’s restaurant in Opelousas also received a bomb threat on Tuesday night.

Thibodeaux says the searches stretched their resources and it wasn’t until after 2 o’clock yesterday that every school was cleared. Multiple agencies responded and Thibodeaux says some kids might think it’s a fun prank the consequences are not amusing.

Cut 14 (10)  “…the departments.”

Thibodeaux says when they have to respond to pranks it diverts their attention away from real emergencies. He urges parents to explain to their children it’s not something to take lightly.

Cut 15 (10)  “…false alarms.”

The minor is charged with three counts of terrorizing in Opelousas and three additional charges are expected from the parish.

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UL-Lafayette men’s basketball returns to the Cajundome tonight and they look to extend their winning streak to seven games as they host the Troy Trojans. Coach Bob Marlin’s team is coming off a 60-51 at Texas State and  he says Troy presents his team another tough challenge…

Cut  16 (12)  “…type game” 

Troy leads the Sun Belt in field goal percentage defense, three-point shooting defense and scoring defense, allowing 62 points a game. Marlin’s team is one of three in the Sun Belt tied for first place with a six-and-two league record…

Cut 17 (18) “…good basketball.” 

Tip off is at 7 PM.

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Louisiana Tech is at UAB tonight. The Bulldogs are 11-9 overall, 4-and-5 in Conference USA as they’ve reached the halfway point of the 20-game league schedule. Tech is in a four-way tie for fifth in the league standings. Coach Talvin Hester says he’s looking for his team to be more consistent…

Cut 18 (17) “…had it” 

Tech lost to UAB earlier this month in Ruston 81-74. Hester says they need to rebound better this time, after giving up 21 offensive rebounds to the Blazers in the first meeting…

Cut 19 (16) “…boxing out”

LRN PM Newscall January 25

Baton Rouge Alcoholic Beverage Control Board member Scott Wilfong discusses the fallout after the alleged rape and death of an underage LSU student linked to Reggie’s bar.

Cut 1 (33)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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It’s National Passenger Safety Week and passengers are being encouraged to speak up. Whitney Thomas reports.

Cut 2 (32)  “…I’m Whitney Thomas.”

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The Tigerland bar where 19-year-old student Madison Brooks was with four men who are facing rape charges, has had their liquor license suspended by the state.  Baton Rouge Alcoholic Beverage Control board member Scott Wilfong says while the state investigates Reggie’s Bar, it’s out of their hands.

Cut 3 (08) “…take action.” 

It’s not the first time Reggie’s has been cited for serving minors. Wilfong says it happened a few years ago but the board’s current policy is three or more violations in a calendar year a hearing is held.

Cut  4 (12)  “…the license.” 

Wilfong says Reggie’s isn’t the only bar that’s been cited for serving minors, he says it’s an issue parish-wide. He believes bars should not allow anyone under the age of 21 to enter and that would have a huge impact on underage drinking.

Cut 5 (10) “…the age to 21.”

Wilfong says he’s talked with three members of the metro council and believes they will consider such a proposal of raising the entrance age along with other measures to curtail underage drinking.  The state Alcohol & Tobacco Control board will hold an emergency meeting next month to decide the fate of Reggie’s, after evidence from the investigation is presented.

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In his weekly media availability, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy was asked about classified federal documents recently found in President Biden’s office in Philadelphia, and in two homes in Delaware. Cassidy says there’s no good reason for a former Vice President to have such files in his personal possession…:

Cut 6 (08)  “…different residences. Period.” 

Some of the Biden documents date back to when he was in the U.S. Senate. Cassidy says he’d like a proper investigation, and he is OK with waiting for that before any further judgement of the President…:

Cut 7 (13)  “…realize they’re there.” 

The Biden documents discovery comes after the President and Democrats railed against former President Trump about a smaller number of document found in his Florida home. This week, even more federal documents were found in former VP Mike Pence’s home. Does Cassidy feels all should be receive equal scrutiny…:

Cut 8 (14)  “…safe, secure environment.” 

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It’s National Passenger Safety Week and State Police is urging passengers to speak up for their safety when in a dangerous driving situation. Trooper Ross Brennan says vehicle passengers make up 62-percent of traffic fatalities nationwide and the best way to reduce that number is for passengers to make sure everyone in a vehicle is buckled up 

Cut 9 (08) “…properly restrained.” 

Brennan says passengers can also be an extra set of eyes for a driver. 

Cut 10 (11) “…hazardously” 

Brennan says he wants passengers to know they have the power to promote safe driving practices and prevent unsafe ones by speaking up and enforcing better habits.

Cut 11 (11)  “…the nation.”

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New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell says Mardi Gras Krewes will be able to use their full parade routes this year, after COVID and lack of law enforcement officers, forced them to abbreviate their routes. Cantrell announce this morning that the city has secured enough law enforcement officers for Mardi Gras this year.

Cut 12 (12) “…traditional routes.”

Cantrell says it wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of multiple first-responder agencies, like the Sheriff’s Association. She says the city has entered into an agreement to provide funding for much-needed outside law enforcement for carnival season.

Cut 13 (07) “…we know it.” 

The parade route for Endymion will be altered due to ongoing renovations at the Superdome.