LRN PM Newscall

After a delay in request for two missing Loranger girls, a lawmaker is calling for an overhaul of Louisiana’s AMBER Alert system. Mel Bridges has more.

Cut 1 (32)  “…I’m Mel Bridges.”

______________________________________

As Louisiana’s Ten Commandments law is making national headlines it also faces litigation. Brooke Thorington has more.

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

______________________________________

Baton Rouge Representative Dixon McMakin is calling for an overhaul of Louisiana’s AMBER Alert system after a delay in request for two missing Loranger girls. Baton Rouge Representative Dixon McMakin sent a letter to the governor saying the current system is tedious and overcomplicated.

Cut 3 (08) “…in Louisiana.”

Police records showed it took 3 hours to issue an alert after Erin and Jalie Brunett were reported missing last week. McMakin says part of the rework would make sure alert requests always go through to a real person.

Cut 4 (12) “…hour or two.”

In the letter, McMakin asked state police to work with legislators to improve the system and work internally to self-identify any part of the alert system that could use overhauling.

Cut 5 (10)  “…in place.”

Six-year-old Jalie was found alive in Mississippi but four-year-old Erin was killed by their kidnapper.

_________________________________________________________

Louisiana’s law requiring the Ten Commandments be posted in public classrooms is receiving national attention and groups like the ACLU say they plan to fight it in court. Author of the legislation, Haughton Representative Dodie Horton believes it will withstand the challenge.

Cut 6 (09) “…the test.”

Alanah Odoms with the ACLU of Louisiana says the law clearly violates the First Amendment and the law calls for a government-mandated version of the Ten Commandments.

Cut 7 (11) “…by this.”  

Horton expects the legal challenge will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court and she along with the governor are confident with the current conservative majority of justices the law will be upheld. But in the meantime…

Cut 8 (09)  “…in schools.”

Public schools, including colleges and universities that receive state funding, are required to post the Ten Commandments in the classroom no later than January 1, 2025.

Horton believes once the case is settled that other states will follow Louisiana’s lead on the matter.

_________________________________________________________

Governor Landry has signed legislation giving the Louisiana Workforce Commission the responsibility of spearheading state workforce changes and solutions. LWC Secretary Susana Schowen (sh-ow as in ouch-en) says Senate Bill 293…

Cut 9 (12) “…employers.”

LWC now has the power to align certain agencies and create a single point of contact in every region of the state to develop solutions to workforce needs. Schowen says these changes can only result in good things.

Cut 10 (12) “…workers are.”

Under the bill, LWC will also empower the Department of Education to expand access to high school and university internships and apprenticeships. Schowen says this bill is an important first step to fixing several issues in the state, not just economic ones.

Cut 11 (08) ” …get better.”

_________________________________________________________

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame will induct its 2024 class on Saturday night. Former Saints quarterback Drew Brees and LSU women’s basketball star Seimone Augustus are the headliners. Augustus was special even as a youngster as her games at Capitol High School drew big crowds…

Cut 12 (10) “…amazing people.” 

Brees is not the only former Q-B in the Class of 2024. Former McNeese star Kerry Joseph will also be enshrined on Saturday night. The New Iberia native led the Cowboys to the 1995 Division One-Double-A semifinals and turned into an M-V-P performer in the Canadian Football League

Cut 13 (10) “…before me.” 

The 2024 class also features great coaches. Tulane men’s basketball coach Perry Clark, former high school football coach Frank Monica and legendary Grambling Coach Wilbert Ellis, who won 701 games in 26 seasons as a head coach…

Cut  14 (11) “…win games.” 

LRN PM Newscall June 20

Legal challenges are already in the works, so we asked Loyola University Law Professor Dane Ciolino what he thinks will happen to the Ten Commandments law requiring them to be displayed in public school classrooms.

Cut 1 (29)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

______________________________________

After seven successful seasons in Lafayette, Gerry Glasco is leaving the Ragin Cajuns to be the new head coach at Texas Tech. has Sean Richardson has more.

Cut 2 (31)  “…I’m Sean Richardson.” 

______________________________________

The new law requiring public classrooms to display the Ten Commandments is already facing a legal challenge. Loyola University Law professor Dane Ciolino says while it violates the First Amendment; the bill was written to display them for historical not religious purposes.

Cut 3 (12) “…establishment clause.”

In 1980 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a similar law in Kentucky was unconstitutional, but in 2022, Ciolino says the high court ruled in favor of a high school football coach in Washington who prayed with students on the field on the basis of history and tradition.

Cut 4 (12) “…Ten Commandments.”

Ciolino expects the law to be deemed unconstitutional and that  Governor Jeff Landry and Attorney General Liz Murril will appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is more conservative than in the past.

Cut 5 (12)  “…three years.”

The ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation say they plan to file a joint lawsuit against the measure.

_________________________________________________________

A $1 million gift from the family of Clifford Smith to Nicholls State University will create the William Clifford Smith School of Engineering set to start in August. Dean of the College of Science and Technology Dr. John Doucet.

Cut 6 (09) “…jobs elsewhere.”

Doucet says students will no longer have to leave the Bayou Region to pursue an engineering degree and after graduation, hopefully they get a job locally

Cut 7 (09) “…in the region.”  

Programs will include geomatics, energy engineering technology, and mechanical engineering which is also being offered in partnership with UNO.

Cut 8 (06)  “…University.”

Clifford Smith was an engineer, land surveyor and owner of the consulting firm T. Baker Smith.

_________________________________________________________

UL-Lafayette Softball head coach Gerry Glasco accepted an offer today to become the next head coach at Texas Tech. Host of the Locked-on Sun Belt Podcast Dave Schultz says he’s surprised Glasco is leaving.

Cut 9 (09) “…Oklahoma City.”

Glasco finished his seventh season with a record of 302-88. With Glasco’s departure, it’s likely some players will test the transfer portal.

Cut 10 (12) “…to be seen.”

UL-Lafayette starts the search for a new head coach and Schultz says because of the success of the program…

Cut 11 (09) ” …top people.”

While head coach, Glasco extended the Cajuns’ national-best Sun Belt series winning streak to 89 consecutive league series.

_________________________________________________________

The Louisiana Public Service Commission has ordered SWEPCO to issue 23-million dollars in refunds to its 240-thousand customers in 12 northwest Louisiana parishes. Commissioner Foster Campbell says SWEPCO customers deserve a credit, because of an accounting error

Cut 12 (08) “…to be.” 

Campbell says the credit will amount to 21-dollars per month for the average SWEPCO residental customer and it should appear on July, August and September bills.

Campbell says the P-S-C will also conduct service quality investigation on SWEPCO, because of frequent outages from storms…

Cut 13 (11) “…service better.” 

LRN PM Newscall June 19

A federal judge in Baton Rouge has been asked to issue an order that would prevent inmates at Angola from working on the prison farm when heat indices reach 88 degrees or higher.  Sean Richardson has more.

Cut 1 (31)  “…I’m Sean Richardson.”

______________________________________

Governor Jeff Landry vetoed House Bill 423 which sought to limit damages a jury can award to victims in auto accidents. Jeff Palermo reports it has resulted in Insurance Commissioner Tim Temple is asking for a special session to address the state’s insurance crisis. .

Cut 2 (31)  “…I’m Jeff Palermo.” 

______________________________________

A federal judge is considering whether to issue a preliminary injunction that would block Farm Line operations at Angola Prison when the heat index reaches or exceeds 88 degrees. Director of Civil Litigation at the Promise of Justice Initiative Lydia Wright…

Cut 3 (12) “…serious harm.”

Plaintiff Ronald Marshall says the brutality of the Angola Farm Line isn’t a secret and refusing to work would result in solitary confinement.

Cut 4 (08) “…day out.”

The state Department of Corrections says the work conducted on the Farm Line is in accordance with constitutional and industrial standards and policies are in place to make sure the inmates are safe.

Those policies include providing rest and water breaks every 30 minutes once a heat alert is issued. The D-O-C maintains this policy and the operation of the Farm Line, is constitutionally appropriate.

But Wright says Angola inmates should not be forced to work on the farm during hot summer months.

Cut 5 (07)  “…our trial.”

According to the filing, the officers who oversee the Farm Line used to ride horses, but no longer do. Prisoners contend that the practice was ended in order to protect the horses from the “blistering” heat.

_________________________________________________________

A group called Charge Ahead Partnership has yet to access 73-million dollars in federal funds that businesses could apply for to build electric vehicle charging stations. Ryan McKinnon is with Charge Ahead Partnership….

Cut 6 (11) “…help in that.” 

But Louisiana Department of Transportation spokesperson Rodney Mallett says the state has not received the 73-million dollars yet and there’s no deadline to spend the money. Mallett says the rules for this federal grant program also do not match their usual contracting methods, so there are few more hoops to jump through.

McKinnon says the program is intended to help small businesses get into the EV charging business, so he hopes the funds will get utilized soon…

Cut 7 (06) “…in Louisiana.”  

McKinnon says if there were more charging stations there would be more EVs on the road and that’s what the start-up funding is intended to remedy.

Cut 8 (11)  “…charging stations.” 

The Biden Administration has set a goal of 500-thousand charging stations by 2026.

_________________________________________________________

After Governor Jeff Landry vetoed the Collateral Source reform bill, Insurance Commissioner Tim Temple calls on the governor and legislative leaders to hold a special session to address the state’s high auto insurance premiums. Temple says legislation is needed to improve the legal climate…

Cut 9 (08) “…do it now.” 

Landry vetoed House Bill 423 which supporters say would limit the amount juries can award to car crash victims, but the governor said the reform proposal would result in accident victims not getting what they deserved.

Temple says Governor Landry’s leadership was vital to the property insurance reform achieved in the regular session and he looks forward to working him on legal reform as well…

Cut 10 (12) “…bring a solution.”

Temple says the Collateral Source rule needs to be reformed because current law is allowing for amounts that go way above medical costs from a wreck…

Cut 11 (06) ” …premiums.”

LRN Am Newscall June 19

A newly signed bill will go into effect January 1st, reducing the time a person can receive unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 12 to 20 depending on the state’s unemployment rate. Sean Richardson has more.

Cut 1 (32) “…I’m Sean Richardson.”

_______________________________________________

The first round of benefits will be added to EBT for the Summer EBT also known as Sun Bucks this week. Brooke Thorington explains…

Cut 2 (33)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

____________________________________________

Governor Jeff Landry vetoed the Collateral Source bill that would have allowed juries to determine damages for victims of accidents using actual medical costs versus costs billed by providers. Sean Richardson has more.

Cut 3 (33) “…I’m Sean Richardson.” 

___________________________________________

A newly signed bill that goes into effect January 1st will reduce unemployment benefits to twelve to 20 weeks depending on the state’s unemployment rate. Bill author, Jennings Republican Representative Troy Romero says 26 weeks is far too generous.

Cut 4 (12) “…employees.”

The legislation keeps unemployment benefits at $250 a week. Romero says unemployment is designed to be a safety net for adults who lose their jobs and it’s not intended to be a long-term benefit.

Cut 5 (11) “…important.”

The new law says a jobless individual can receive up to 12 weeks of benefits when the unemployment rate is below five-percent and as much as 20 weeks when the unemployment rate is above five percent. Romero says an individual can get an additional eight weeks of unemployment if they undergo workforce development training.

Cut 6 (10) “…for the State.”

The current unemployment rate in the state is 4.3 percent from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

___________________________________

The first phase of SUN Bucks, also known as Summer EBT, is being issued this week. Tim Jenkins with the Department of Children and Family Services says approximately 300,000 children between the ages of five and 18 who received SNAP during the 2023-24 school year will receive $120 on their card.

Cut 7 (10) “…be loaded.”

SUN Bucks is a federal program to help provide grocery benefits for eligible families during the summer months when children are not receiving meals at school.

The second phase of Sun Bucks benefits will begin in late July. He says those will include children…

Cut 8 (09) “…lunch program.” 

Those schools will be sending DCFS information to certify those students.

Phase 3 is for children who attended schools that offered free lunches for all students, but the individual student has not applied for EBT.

Cut 9 (09)  “…or phase 2.

To check your benefits, order a replacement card, apply, or other information concerning SUN Bucks visit dcfs.louisiana.gov

________________________________________________________________

Governor Jeff Landry signed off on legislation to allow judges the option to add surgical castration to a convicted sex offender’s sentence if the victim is under the age of thirteen. Baton Rouge Democrat, Senator Regina Barrow believes the bill she authored will deter such abuse against children.

Cut 10 (10) “…castration.”

The bill received bipartisan support in the 2024 Regular Legislative Session.

Judges already have the option to add chemical castration to an offender’s sentence regardless of the victim’s age, but this bill allows for surgical castration depending on the victim’s age. Barrow believes a permanent procedure is warranted when children are violated.

Cut 11 (10) “…actually stop.”

Barrow says she hopes the new law sends a message, loud and clear, of what can happen to individuals who sexually abuse children in Louisiana…

Cut 12 (07) “…lifestyle change.” 

The law applies to both male and female offenders and requires a medical expert to determine if the procedure can be safely performed on the offender.

______________________________________________

Governor Jeff Landry vetoed the Collateral Source bill that would allow juries to determine damages awarded for victims of accidents using actual medical costs versus the initial costs billed by providers. Governor Landry…

Cut 13 (12)  “…health insurance.”

Landry says the Collateral Source doctrine protects those who have obtained health insurance and receive benefits. Landry believes this bill would take away and give the benefits to the uninsured.

Cut 14 (09)  “..coverage.”

State Senator Greg Miller says he’s disappointed but believes Landry wants to be fair to everybody and plans to author legislation once a compromise has been reached.

Cut 15 (12)  “…four years ago.”

Louisiana Association of Business and Industry CEO Will Green says a key part of the insurance reform package was the Collateral Source bill and Landry’s veto is incredibly disappointing and believes his reasoning is flawed.

Cut 16 (11) “…you whole.” 

The bill passed the House in a 88-10 vote and 25-14 vote in the Senate.

LRN PM Newscall June 18

Republican Congressman Garret Graves of Baton Rouge publicly spoke for the first time since announcing he will not run again after a new map redrew the district he represents. Mel Bridges has more.

Cut 1 (32)  “…I’m Mel Bridges.”

______________________________________

The PSC will vote tomorrow on a proposal to refund SWEPCO customers $23 million. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (33)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

______________________________________

Republican U-S House of Representative Garret Graves of Baton Rouge publicly spoke for the first time today since announcing he will not seek a sixth term in Congress after a new map dramatically changes the sixth district that he currently represents. Graves says he was thinking about running for either district six or district two, but ultimately…

Cut 3 (12) “…try that.” 

The congressional district map approved last month creates two new majority-Black districts by redrawing some districts, including stretching district 6 from Caddo to East Baton Rouge Parish. Graves says that’s unfair to those he represents.

Cut 4 (10) “…thrown out.” 

Graves says he doesn’t think any representative will be able to fairly represent the needs of all the different areas in the new district 6. In fact, Graves says he plans to take a break from politics altogether.

Cut 5 (07)  “…level set.”

Congressional elections will be held in November using the new districts.

_________________________________________________________

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s temporary restraining order against a woman who photographed Cantrell and her then-bodyguard Jeffrey Vappie (rhymes with happy) sharing dinner and wine while on duty at a French Quarter restaurant has been thrown out. Anne Breaud (Brohd) says she snapped the pictures of the two from her own balcony due to safety concerns.

Cut 6 (09) “…at me.” 

Breaud shared the photos with media outlets and watchdog groups, one of which filed a complaint with NOPD against Vappie. Vappie was then investigated and taken off the mayor’s security detail. Justin Schmidt, who represented Breaud in court, says while today was a victory for his client, the case sparked a bigger question than the photographs.

Cut 7 (09) “…citizens.”  

The information in question included Breaud’s social security number, date of birth and photograph, which appeared on Cantrell’s petition unredacted. The judge dismissed Cantrell’s temporary restraining order against Breaud and denied her a permanent restraining order, which Schmidt says is a good thing for both his client and free speech.

Cut 8 (10)  “…you for it.” 

Breaud is pursuing a counterclaim against Cantrell to figure out how the mayor got that sensitive information.

_________________________________________________________

Because SWEPCO overcharged customers $23 million, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell says he is proposing a plan for the utility provider to issue refunds. He says the average customer would receive a credit of $62, to be divided over three billing periods July, August, and September.

Cut 9 (06) “…to do.” 

Twelve northwest parishes were impacted by the overcharge. Campbell says once SWEPCO discovered the error they contacted him.

Cut 10 (07) “…(x2) the people.”

Campbell says the refund for businesses that use a large amount of wattage will be substantial.

Cut 11 (11) ” …(x2) thousands of dollars.”

Campbell says the PSC will vote on the refund proposal at Wednesday’s meeting.

_________________________________________________________

Louisiana Tech student Olivia Grace George has been crowned as Miss Louisiana 2024. George beat out 32 other women to win the award

Cut 12 (09) “…is key.” 

George was a first runner-up in the 2023 Miss Louisiana Competition. George plans to pursue a career as an educator and during her time as Miss Louisiana she wants to help students grow their love for learning…

Cut 13 (08) “…take care of us.” 

Her community service initiative is “Knowledge Empowers Youth to Do More – Education is KEY.”

LRN AM Newscall June 11

A Louisiana community college will kick off a first-in-the-state wind turbine program this fall. Mel Bridges has more.

Cut 1 (30) “…I’m Mel Bridges.”

_______________________________________________

Sharks off the coast of Florida attacked three women with one woman losing her left arm.  Sean Richardson has more from a shark expert in New Orleans.

Cut 2 (35)  “…I’m Sean Richardson.” 

____________________________________________

There have been recent incidents where car owners have gone after car thieves and the outcome in one case in Baton Rouge was deadly. Brooke Thorington has more from a self-defense expert..

Cut 3 (31) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

___________________________________________

Nunez Community College in Chalmette is set to kick off a first-in-the-state associate’s program training students as entry-level wind turbine technicians. Dean of Instruction Reggie Poche (Po-shay) says there’s plenty of room for the program to grow

Cut 4 (09) “…Mexico.”

Nunez has the first wind-energy related degree program in Louisiana after approval from the Global Wind Organization. Poche hopes this program will push the state to modernize its energy sector, since…

Cut 5 (09) “…this country.”

Besides hands-on training for a field with above average pay, Poche says there’s another reason to consider becoming a wind turbine technician…

Cut 6 (09) “…program.”

The program is set to begin in the Fall 2024 semester.

_______________________________________________

Three shark attacks off Florida coast last week sent three women  to the hospital.  Two of the women suffered arm and leg wounds and the third lost her left arm. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas curator Kristine Grzenda.   

Cut 7 (12) “…go to the beach”

Grzenda says globally there are only around 7,200 shark attacks annually so while the chances are rare you still need to remain alert at the beach.

Cut 8 (12) “…chord with us.” 

Dusk and dawn are the most likely times for shark attacks says Grzenda, but most of the time it’s a case of mistaken identity.

Cut 9 (09)  “…very costly one.”

Grzenda says when you’re at the beach remember you’re in their environment.

________________________________________________________________

Bacteria that cause strep throat and some hospital-acquired infections may save millions of lives. LSU Biological Sciences Professor, Roger Laine is working on cancer treatments using polysaccharides isolated from two different bacteria to destroy tumors. They work by attaching to receptors in the capillaries that feed the tumors…

Cut 10 (09) “…the tumor.”

Laine says treatment with the polysaccharides, CM101 and PS1, shows promise with minimal side effects because they target the blood supply and not the tumor itself which also prevents the tumor from becoming resistant to treatment.

Cut 11 (09) “…being affected.”

The use of polysaccharides for cancer treatment has been researched with some success as far back as 100 years but didn’t progress due to lack of understanding, technology, and funding. Laine’s work has been called profound with the potential to save countless lives.

Cut 12 (06) “…blood vessels.” 

______________________________________________

With car theft on the rise in Louisiana, there have been cases where car owners have tried to either confront the thieves during the theft or later when they track down their vehicle. In some cases, the car owner has been injured or even killed. Self-defense expert Dave Newman says it’s best not to confront them whatsoever…

Cut 13 (08)  “…or dead.”

Newman says if you find yourself witnessing a car theft, try to document as much as you can, for example, record the incident….

Cut 14 (10)  “…(x2) because of GPS.”

Then contact the police once you are out of harm’s way and give them as much information as possible.

Newman says it’s not a smart move to go after your vehicle if you can track it.

Cut 15 (11)  “…short answer.”

If you go after a thief or try to retrieve your vehicle and use a gun to do so, he says you can be found as the aggressor and face charges yourself. He says to let the police handle it but follow up with them on the whereabouts of your vehicle.

_______________________________________________________

The Saints begin a three-day mandatory minicamp today. The team has been going through O-T-As and the media on hand has been able to see a new offense get installed. Ross Jackson, host of the Locked on Saints Podcast, says new offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak has players moving before the snap…

Cut 16 (16) “…helps a lot.” 

Jackson says several players have shown signs of developing during O-T-As. He says wide receiver A-T Perry has looked good…

Cut 17 (20) “…can be.”

Jackson says when it comes to rookies, he’s been impressed with sixth-round pick defensive tackle Khrstian Boyd from Northern Iowa…

Cut 18 (16)  “…that position.”

LRN PM Newscall June 10

A bill that would lift licensing requirements to braid hair is dead in this year’s legislative session. Mel Bridges has more.

Cut 1 (30)  “…I’m Mel Bridges.”

______________________________________

Considering Louisiana has among the highest property and auto insurance rates in the country, insurance coverage for your pet here is the most affordable. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (31)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

______________________________________

This year’s edition of the KIDS COUNT Data Book shows the pandemic had an unprecedentedly harmful effect on student learning. Annie E. Casey Foundation President Lisa Hamilton says this report shows a higher percentage of Louisiana students suffered from trauma than students nationwide.

Cut 3 (10) “…nationally.” 

Hamilton says what’s interesting is that Louisiana did not see as many students who were chronically absent as the rest of the country.

Cut 4 (08) “…nationally.” 

Though the report found 30% of all students nationally were chronically absent from 2019 to 2022, nearly double pre-pandemic rates, Hamilton says Louisiana students are staying in school, and it shows.

Cut 5 (09)  “… on time.”

Hamilton says there are still pandemic funds out there that could help schools catch students up.

_________________________________________________________

A bill that would lift licensing requirements to braid hair did not make it through this year’s legislative session. Bill sponsor Mike Bayham of Chalmette says the bill is important to promote jobs in Louisiana.

Cut 6  (08) “…entry. ” 

The current rules say braiders must have at least 500 hours of education, which can cost as much as 20 thousand dollars. Critics of the bill say the hours are essential for education and safety. Bayham says they are cost-prohibitive and unnecessary.

Cut 7 (06) “…job.”  

Though the bill failed in the House Commerce Board, Bayham intends to bring the bill back next year, when he says the conditions are more favorable.

Cut 8 (08)  “…push this.” 

In addition to this legislation, a separate lawsuit against the licensing process is going through appeals.

_________________________________________________________

Even though Louisiana ranks among the country’s highest property and automobile insurance rates, you’d be surprised to learn that when it comes to pet insurance, Bayou State is ranked the most affordable. Dayna Drake with MarketWatch Guides says the statewide average to insure your pet is $36 a month.

Cut 9 (07) “…national average.” 

The national average is $46 a month. The price of pet insurance varies depending on the type of pet, breed, and coverage. Insurance for dogs costs more compared to cats.

Drake says location is a driving factor for costs, and Louisiana’s lower cost of living is reflected in veterinary costs. She also credits a state law for pet insurers.

Cut 10 (12) “…the vet.”

Like humans, routine care for your pet, she says, is best so any disease or illness can be caught early. Among the types of things pet insurance will pay for, depending on your coverage are…

Cut 11 (10) ” …vet visit.”

Drake says pet insurance in general does not cover pre-existing conditions or procedures that are considered elective.

LRN AM Newscall June 9

NFIB jobs report say only 18 percent of small business owners are planning to increase compensation for workers. That’s the lowest since 2021. Sean Richardson has more.

Cut 1 (34) “…I’m Sean Richardson.”

_______________________________________________

Governor Jeff Landry has signed Marrero Senator Patrick Connick’s bill that would strengthen penalties against food establishments that do not clearly label imported seafood. Colleen Crain had more.

Cut 2 (34)  “…I’m Colleen Crain.” 

____________________________________________

When you’re making your hurricane plans, don’t forget to include your pets. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 3 (32) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

___________________________________________

Small business compensation plans fall to the lowest levels seen since 2021 according to the NFIB jobs report. Only 18 percent of business owners plan to increase compensation in the next three months. NFIB State Director Leah Long says this is concerning.

Cut 4 (08) “…going through.”

Long says, “It’s not that people aren’t willing to work… it’s finding the skilled qualified workers.”

Cut 5 (10) “…in a small business.”

One industry that is having trouble filling job openings is construction down one point from April and Long says its going to take more than higher wages.

Cut 6 (10) “…in the state.”

Forty-two percent of small business owners reported job openings they could not fill in May, up two points from April.

_______________________________________________

A surge of imported shrimp and crawfish is flooding restaurants and grocery stores and customers are being misled to believe the product is locally caught. Marrero Senator Patrick Connick’s Menu Law aims to strengthen protection for consumers

Cut 7 (11) “…in this bill.”

In 2019 a law was passed to force restaurants to print on their menu if the product was imported and that year restaurants had 2600 violations with zero resulting in fines. Connick says that was due to the law being a non-critical violation and the new law would strengthen penalties making it a critical violation.

Cut 8 (12) “…two thousand dollars.” 

Now any establishment serving seafood must quote clearly display the country of origin in a manner that is easily visible to the consumer unquote. Connick says the restaurant association, retailers and importers voiced their concerns, but this is the right thing to do.

Cut 9 (12)  “…Louisiana hopefully.”

The law will take effect on January 1st.

________________________________________________________________

In addition to making your hurricane plans for you and your family don’t forget about the four-legged members of your family.  LSU School of Veterinary Medicine spokesperson Ginger Guttner says Katrina taught to Louisianas never to leave their pets behind.

Cut 10 (12) “…driving around.”

Websites like petswelcome.com and bringfido.com can help you find pet-friendly hotels.

Guttner says to pack enough pet food for one week, and if you have a cat don’t forget litter and a litter box. Also, make sure you pack their medications and their monthly flea and tick medications.

And if you haven’t already, Guttner says now is the time to have your dog or cat microchipped

Cut 11 (11) “…come off.”

If your pet is already microchipped make your contact information is up-to-date.

Other things you should have readily available if you must evacuate are proof of vaccinations and rabies tags.

And remember to be patient with your pet when you have to leave your home. Guttner says they can tell when you’re stressed and a new environment for your pet could bring out behavioral issues.

Cut 12 (10) “…extra stops.” 

Even if your dog is housetrained, the stress of evacuating could cause them to have accidents.

For a list of hurricane preparedness visit LouisianaRadioNetwork.com

https://lsu.edu/vetmed/disaster_prep/tips_pet_owners.php

______________________________________________

College athletic departments are preparing for the likelihood of paying their athletes a total of 22 million dollars as a result of a historic antitrust case between the NCAA and two former college athletes. LSU Executive Deputy Athletics Director Verge Ausberry says they are just waiting for terms to be finalized

Cut 13 (11)  “…year to year.”

Ausberry expects LSU will remain competitive once revenue sharing between athletic departments and athletes becomes a reality…

Cut 14 (12)  “…look.”

The money that will go to the athletes will come from the massive TV deals that major conferences have agreed to with ESPN and Fox, plus other sources of revenue.

One potential new source is sponsor logos that will be permitted on football fields this year.

Schools will also look to cut costs. Texas A&M has already laid off more than a dozen staff members. Ausberry says LSU is looking to schedule more in-state schools for non-conference football games because it’s not as costly

Cut 15 (11)  “…range.”

LRN PM Newscall June 7

As the crawfish season is coming to an end, just how bad was it? Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (28)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

______________________________________

Governor Landry has signed legislation that prohibits transgender individuals from using restrooms, locker rooms and sleeping quarters at public schools and jails that do not match their biological sex. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 2 (33)  “…I’m Jeff Palermo.” 

______________________________________

The Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office has been featured on the A&E show “Murder at the Motel”. The episode tells the story of twenty-eight-year-old Sonya Ortego’s (or-ta-go) murder at the Dees Motel by Jackie Pruitt on March 24, 2016. Chief Deputy Jared Morton describes the scene.

Cut 3 (11) “…all over the walls.” 

Pruitt was traveling through town for a court date the following day and rented a room for the night. Morton says the motive for the murder remains unknown.

Cut 4 (06) “…at all.” 

Deputies found Pruitt at the courthouse where they questioned him and acquired a search warrant for his car and found the victims cellphone covered in blood. Morton noticed blood on his vehicle and scratches on his body. He was arrested and DNA obtained matched the victim.

Cut 5 (11)  “… at the hotel.”

Pruitt was convicted of first-degree murder in 2017.

You can watch “Murder at the Motel” on A&E or stream online now.

_________________________________________________________

Crawfish season is winding down, and to say it was an unpredictable one is an understatement.  LSU Ag Center Crawfish specialist Mark Shirley says towards the end of the season, April and May, supply increased in some fields, but that wasn’t the case for every crawfish farmer.

Cut 6  (11) “…those fields. ” 

At the start of the season, things looked extremely dire due to the summer drought and extreme heat. December through February Shirley says supply was down around 90 percent. In May supply increased, but Shirley says it was only 40 to 50 percent compared to other Mays.

Cut 7 (11) “…production year.”  

As for the outlook for the next mudbug season, Shirley says farmers are cautiously optimistic.

Cut 8 (11)  “… next year.” 

Shirley says even though supply increased in April and May, for the most part, folks in south Louisiana were able to enjoy them. Out-of-state eateries went without mudbugs this season.

_________________________________________________________

Governor Jeff Landry has signed what has been called the bathroom bill. The legislation prohibits a transgender individual from using a bathroom or locker room at a school that does not match their biological sex. Denham Springs Representative Roger Wilder says his legislation is designed to protect females, especially young girls…

Cut 9 (10) “…uh oh” 

Director of the Louisiana Trans Advocates, Peyton Rose Michelle, says this law will  only create more fear in the transgender community about bathrooms.

But Wilder says women should not have to worry about a biological man, who is now a transgender woman entering a bathroom

Cut 10 (05) “…their gender.”

The legislation also extends to bathrooms and sleeping areas at prisons and domestic violence shelters. It passed in the Houston on an 80-17 vote and in the Senate the vote was 29 to 10 in favor. Wilder says there was strong support for this measure

Cut 11 (04) ” …guidelines.”

After signing the bill, Governor Landry said in a statement that he’s proud to sign House Bill 608 which protects women’s safety and reinforces the very definition of what it means to be a woman.

LRN PM Newscall

A 2022 law to put speed cameras on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge to prevent crashes was repealed by the legislature this session. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (31)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

______________________________________

Lake Charles remains the Youth Sports Capital of Louisiana after they secured hosting rights with LHSAA for an additional two years.  Sean Richardson has more.

Cut 2 (32)  “…I’m Sean Richardson.” 

______________________________________

A bill to repeal a law that would have put speed cameras on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is welcome news to St. Martin Parish Sheriff Becket Breaux.  In 2022 when lawmakers were discussing the option of speed cameras to reduce speeding and prevent crashes, he responded by…

Cut 3 (07) “…by 25-percent.” 

Breaux, who also worked as a state trooper, says in his experience speeding is not the main cause of crashes. He says it’s motorists driving slower in the left lane, distracted drivers…

Cut 4 (10) “…on the bridge.” 

Among the problems speed cameras present is that they cite the owner of the vehicle, not the person driving, Breaux says. And they can’t detect human and drug trafficking or give motorists discretion for speeding.

Breaux says monies collected from speeding fines also help fund things like the Indigent Defense Board and Crimestoppers. When a speed camera issues a fine those monies aren’t distributed to other agencies…

Cut 5 (11)  “… goes on.”

When the original legislation passed two years ago, Breaux says the process moved too fast and the opinions of others were not considered.

_________________________________________________________

Lake Charles has secured hosting rights for boys basketball, swimming, softball and baseball high school championships for an additional two years. Senior Vice President of Sports at Visit Lake Charles Erick Zartler says they couldn’t be happier…

Cut 6  (07) “…staple here. ” 

The 2025 state high school baseball tournament will have a new format as the top three divisions in select and non-select will move to a best out of three championship series, instead of winner take all…

Cut 7 (12) “…Lake Charles.”  

Over the course of the year around 45 to 50 thousand people head to Lake Charles for high school championship events and Zartler says that brings a huge economic impact

Cut 8 (06)  “…hotels full.” 

The state swim meet will be in November with basketball state championships taking place in March, followed by softball and baseball tournaments in May.

_________________________________________________________

Governor Jeff Landry has declared today as “Secure Your Load for Road Safety Day.” Louisiana Highway Safety Commission spokesperson Greg Fischer says it’s important for motorists to properly secure items to prevent them from becoming traffic hazards.

Cut 9 (10) “…their loads.” 

Objects as common as two-by-four pieces of wood or a suitcase can create a lethal problem on the road. Fischer urges contractors and landscapers to take that extra time to make sure everything is secure.

And before you hitch that boat to your vehicle, Fischer says you need to secure objects in your vessel.

Cut 10 (12) “…or death.”

Fischer says you might not think a suitcase can do a lot of damage if falls from your car while you’re driving on the interstate, but it can…

Cut 11 (11) ” …on impact.”

He says taking the time to secure your load is the safe, legal, and considerate thing to do.