LRN AM Newscall for June 27

Co-founder of an advocacy group for the health and wellbeing of women says the inability to have an abortion in Louisiana will have rippling effects. Brooke Thorington has more

Cut 1 (32) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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Lt. Governor Bill Nungesser is in Alaska for the annual meeting of the Aerospace States Association. More on that from Kevin Gallagher…:

Cut 2 (30) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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For the past 45 years, Louisiana adults over the age of 24 have been denied access to their original birth certificates, but that ends on Aug. 1. David Grubb has the story…

Cut 3 (33) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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The co-founder of Lift Louisiana, an advocacy group for the health and wellbeing of women, says the reversal of Roe vs Wade will heavily impact those who don’t have the means to travel to states that permit abortions. And Michelle Erenberg says state lawmakers have done nothing to assist those individuals either.

Cut 4 (11)  “…this time.”

Erenberg says without access to safe and legal abortions in Louisiana the state will see more women and children living in poverty.

Cut 5 (12) “…rippling impacts.”

She believes it will only worsen the state’s maternal mortality rate which is already third in the nation and lead to an increase in deaths among Black women who already suffer from pregnancy related complication four times greater than white women.

Despite the ruling Erenberg says Lift Louisiana will continue to fight for abortion access and support those who may be criminalized for self-managing their own abortions and those who help people seek abortions.

Cut 6 (07)  “…and rights.”

For more information visit LiftLouisiana.org

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Walmart employees who receive medical coverage in Louisiana now have access to doula services. Doula Program Lead for Walmart Nancy Jester says last year they launched a pilot program in Georgia and due to its success, they’ve expanded the benefit in three other states including Louisiana.

Cut 7 (09) “…birthing mothers.”

Doulas provide continuous emotional, physical, and informational support to mothers before, during, and after childbirth. Jester says mothers who have used the program give it positive reviews.

Cut 8 (10)  “…their outcome.”

Louisiana is second in the nation behind Mississippi for the highest infant mortality rate.

Jester says Walmart is absolutely committed to helping their associates have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies and believes providing such a service will recruit future employees..

Cut 9 (10)  “…other employers.”

In addition to Louisiana, doula services for Walmart associates are also available in Indiana and Illinois.

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Lt. Governor Bill Nungesser is in Alaska for the annual meeting of the Aerospace States Association. Fifteen states with connections to the aerospace industry are represented at the conference, starting today at the Pacific Space Port Complex on Kodiak Island. Members of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness are also there and Nungesser says he was one of only handful of state Lt. Governors invited…:

Cut 10 (08) “…opportunities for Louisiana.”

The Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans is Louisiana’s contribution to the aerospace industry. Nungesser says conference attendees will discuss workforce development, public-private partnerships in aerospace and optimal uses of aerospace facilities, and how they can be applied to other endeavors…:

Cut  11 (11)  “…in their states.” 

Nungesser says discussions will also include weather & climate, wildfire fighting technology and more…plus a keynote address from NASA astronaut Harrison Schmitt. He says information exchanged should go well beyond rockets and space exploration…:

Cut 12 (07) “…play a part in this.” 

The conference starts today runs through Wednesday.

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Governor John Bel Edwards has signed House Bill 450 into law, which will allow adopted people in the state to obtain copies of their original birth certificates once they reach the age of 24. The legislation was sponsored by Rosepine Representative Charles Owen, and after lots of discussions, it passed through both houses overwhelmingly…

Cut 13 (09) “…1977.”

Since 1977, state law had required an adopted person to get an attorney, appear before a judge, and then justify the reason for needing their birth certificate. Owen says the barriers for any individual to find out about themselves were just something he had to attempt to take down.

Cut 14 (12)  “…it was wrong”

Owen says it was an incredibly difficult decision, considering the opposition he faced from groups who argued the bill would discourage women from giving babies up for adoption. To him, the legislation is about fairness and he has gotten tremendous feedback from those who now have an answer to the question, “where do I come from?”

Cut 15 (09)  “…signed this.”

Under previous law, adopted people were the only Louisiana residents denied the right to access their original birth certificates. The new law goes into effect on Aug. 1.

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LSU’s Myles Brennan was one of several college quarterbacks at this weekend’s Manning Passing Academy on the campus of Nicholls State in Thibodaux. Brennan is preparing for sixth season at LSU and says he never thought his college career would take the winding road that it has…

Cut 16 (17)  “…what’s ahead.”

When preseason camp starts in August, Brennan will battle with Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels and redshirt freshman Garrett Nussmeier to be the starter in 2022. Brennan has big goals for his final season at LSU…

Cut 17 (17) “ …I can” 

Brennan admits it has been a big transition from the Ed Orgeron coaching staff to new head coach Brian Kelly…

Cut 18 (12) “ …fired up” 

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The nation’s top high school football recruit for the Class 2023, Newman quarterback Arch Manning, ended speculation on his college choice when he committed to Texas last week. His uncle, Peyton Manning, gave his nephew some advice…

Cut 19 (17) _“…when you know, you know.” 

Arch Manning announced his verbal commitment with a six-word Tweet on Twitter. Peyton Manning liked how Arch publicized his commitment…

Cut 20 (12) “ …in high school” 

 

LRN PM Newscall June 24

The US Supreme Court reversal on abortion is an emotional one on both sides of the issue. Brooke Thorington has more on ruling the closer to home.

Cut 1 (35) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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LSU women’s basketball has received a verbal commitment from the top player in the nation. David Grubb has more…

Cut 2 (35) “…I’m David Grubb.”  

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Abortions are now illegal in Louisiana as a result of the U-S Supreme Court’s historic decision that overturned the Roe versus Wade ruling made nearly 50 years ago that guaranteed a women’s right to terminate their pregnancies. USA Today Network reporter Greg Hilburn says the governor recently signed a law that would ban abortions in this state if the nation’s highest court struck down Roe v Wade….

Cut 3 (07) “…or incest.”

Hilburn says the only real exception is to save the life of the pregnant woman

Cut 4  (06) “…like that.”

Other exceptions include if its ectopic pregnancy or if the child can not live outside the womb.

Hilburn says doctors or others who assist in an abortion face up to 10 years in prison and if it’s a late term abortion the sentence could be as much as 15 years…

Cut 5  (07) “…last week.”

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Today’s reversal of Roe v Wade is an emotional one for both sides of the abortion issue.  President of the Louisiana Family Forum, and pro-life advocate Gene Mills says Louisianan’s trigger laws essentially closes the state’s three abortion clinics.

Cut 6 (12) “…post Roe Louisiana.” 

New Orleans Representative Aimee Freeman who is pro-choice, says the ruling is a major setback for women’s rights and will have devastating consequences.

Cut 7 (12) “…our country.” 

Recent legislation passed in Louisiana can hold a physician liable should they assist a woman with miscarriage and Freeman fears this will keep some medical providers from treating some women out of fear of criminal charges.

While abortion rights activists say the ruling reduces women’s options when it comes to their health and future, Mills however feels differently.

Cut 8 (12) “…in Louisiana.” 

Freeman says she worries for the future of her two daughters and recalls stories her mother shared with her before abortion was legalized in the US.

Cut 9 (09) “…moving to?”

Due to trigger laws in 26 states, today ruling effectively outlaws abortions in half of the country.

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LSU President William Tate is touting a 27-million dollar donation from Shell USA, the largest gift from a for-profit partner in the university’s history. Tate says the funds will establish the LSU Institute for Energy Innovation, dedicated to advancing reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible energy.

Cut 10 (12) ” …and solutions.” 

Tate says Shell is the founding partner of the LSU Institute for Energy Innovation and that its commitment extends beyond the scientific mission of the institute and into the growth of Louisiana’s workforce as well.

Cut 11 (12)  “…energy industry.” 

Tate shared much of the credit for the partnership coming together with leaders in the state legislature, which allocated funds for the Pentagon initiatives during the session. He says that commitment made LSU more attractive to corporate entities like Shell and believes this merging of scholarship and workforce development is the first of many as other companies realize the university’s potential.

Cut 12 (11) “…really big time.”  

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Louisiana is in an early summer heat wave of record proportions. Weather stations across the state report record-setting and record-breaking high temperatures. State Climatologist Barry Keim says scorching weather is here for the next few days, at least…:

Cut 13 (10) “…100 and 110.”

Keim says warm, moist air from the Gulf is colliding with hot, dry air over Louisiana; a combination that means clear skies and unrelenting sun…:

Cut 14 (09)  “…cool things down.” 

Many parts of Louisiana are in drought conditions and several parishes have enacted outdoor burn bans because of it. Keim says, not to worry, the parching heat can’t go on forever…:

Cut 15 (13) “…we see every summer.” 

###Updated newscall to reflect last night’s vote in the U-S Senate on a gun control bill###

U-S Senator Bill Cassidy is one of 15 Republican Senators to vote for a gun control bill last night that passed the U-S Senate on a 65-33 vote. Kevin Gallagher spoke with Senator Cassidy prior to the vote….

Cut 1 (29) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

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To address the ongoing teacher shortage lawmakers passed a few bills, including a pay raise but one advocacy group says more can still be done. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (33) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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Carbon monoxide poisoning is an unseen danger, particularly during hurricane season. A new law seeks to lessen the risk for families across the state.

Cut 3 (37) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy was one of 15 Republican lawmakers to vote for a new gun control bill last night that received approval in the Senate. Cassidy says, despite what critics say, it is good legislation. The bill was introduced after the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. He says the measure includes more stringent background checks for gun buyers, and will also take steps to make schools safer…:

Cut 4 (09)  “…access to mental health.”

Cassidy says if the bill had been passed before Uvalde the tragedy may have been prevented, because the bill will allow a background check to include one’s record of juvenile offenses. He says current law doesn’t do this…:

Cut 5 (12) “…those records are sealed.”

Cassidy says no one with a clean criminal record need worry this bill threatens their Second Amendment rights.

He says the bipartisan legislation will help make schools harder for intruders to infiltrate. He says the mental health portion of the bill will not only help with potentially violent kids, it will also benefit kids who may be thinking of hurting themselves. Cassidy says any reasonable thinking person would see the good in the legislation…:

Cut 6 (09)  “…they are wrong.”

Louisiana’s junior U-S Senator John Kennedy voted against the bill.

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Lawmakers passed several bills to help address the ongoing teacher shortage in the regular session this year. Barry Erwin President of the Council for a Better Louisiana says he wishes teachers had been given a larger pay raise but he’s hopeful a college scholarship program will foster students to enter the profession.

Cut 7 (07) “…some of the bills.”

And the legislature changed measures to allow retired teachers to return to the classroom and they are still able to collect retirement.

Erwin says the teacher shortage is real and there are more things that can be done, for example, remove the red tape educators have to deal with on a regular basis. He also believes we need more programs to attract high school students to enter the field.

Cut 8 (10)  “…in high school.”

Another issue Erwin says facing the teaching profession is the growing political mindset to vilify educators and accusations of indoctrinating children.

Cut 9 (12)  “…teaching as a profession.”

Erwin says mentoring programs have also been helpful in recruiting more young people to choose teaching as a career.

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According to WalletHub Louisiana is ranked fourth in the nation as the best state for a summer road trip. WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzales says the ranking looked at the most fun, scenic, and wallet-friendly road trip destinations.

Cut 10 (12) “…roadtrip destination.”

Gonzales says when it comes to cost the Bayou State ranked second in the nation on road trips.

Cut  11 (12)  “…right now.” 

She says one way to save money on road trips is the use an app like GasBuddy to find the best price on gas and to also book your hotels directly through a chain’s website or app.

And WalletHub says Louisiana ranked first in the nation in their summer road trip survey when it comes to driving laws. Gonzales says when it comes to driving laws Louisiana is a bit on the strict side.

Cut 12 (10) “…a state.” 

She also noted that Louisiana however did not rank well when it comes to the quality of roads and bridges

New York topped the list followed by Minnesota and Texas.

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Governor Edwards has signed House Bill 293 into law. Proposed by Metairie Representative Stephanie Hilferty, it requires carbon monoxide detectors in all one or two-family homes sold or leased. It also requires any home with a generator installed to have a detector as well. Hilferty says a carbon monoxide detector likely saved the lives of her family during Hurricane Ida.

Cut 13 (10) “…would have happened.”

Hilferty worked closely with former State Fire Marshal, and current director of the National Association of State Fire Marshals, Butch Browning in crafting the language of the legislation. Both see the bill as an important and evolutionary step for the state in making homes safer.

Cut 14 (09)  “…of the code.”

Four people in Louisiana died and nearly 150 made trips to the emergency room due to carbon monoxide poisoning during and after Hurricane Ida. Hilferty says that the low cost of purchasing a carbon monoxide detector for your home is far outweighed by the added layer of protection for you and your loved ones.

Cut 15 (08)  “…can save lives.”

The new law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

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As predicted by many, the New Orleans Pelicans selected 6-7 guard Dyson Daniels out of Australia with the eighth pick in the NBA Draft. Daniels says he’s excited to join the Pelicans and ready to get to work.

Cut 16 (12)  “…this is crazy.”

Daniels spent last season playing for the NBA’s G-League Ignite squad, where he averaged 11 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals per game. He credits his experience in the G-League with getting him into the lottery and onto the Pelicans.

Cut 17 (19) “ …for sure.” 

LSU forward Tari Eason won’t be moving too far from Baton Rouge. Eason was taken by the Houston Rockets with the 17th overall selection. Eason was known for his scoring with the Tigers, but says he takes pride in shutting people down, too.

Cut 18 (12) “ …as a player.” 

LRN PM Newscall June 23

An attorney for nursing home operator Bob Dean responds to the criminal charges his client is now facing as a result of last year’s botched hurricane evacuation plan. Brooke Thorington has more

Cut 1 (31) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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The Louisiana Conservative Caucus is calling for the Louisiana Legislature to hold a veto override session. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 2 (33) “…I’m Jeff Palermo.”  

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Nursing homeowner Bob Dean is facing criminal charges for the 2021 evacuation of seven of his facilities to a Tangipahoa Parish warehouse during Hurricane Ida. More than a dozen patients died shortly afterward. Among the charges is cruelty to the infirm and Dean’s attorney John McLindon says his client was unable to travel to Louisiana due to the storm.

Cut 3 (07) “…a look at it.”

An attorney representing Dean against civil charges said the 68-year-old businessman is unable to travel due to dementia but McLindon would only say Dean’s health is an issue.

In addition to eight felony counts of cruelty to the infirm, Dean is also charged with five counts of Medicaid Fraud and two counts of obstruction of justice. McLindon says his client posted bond and has returned to his home in Georgia, but Dean has been ordered to return to Louisiana for court.

Cut 4  (08) “…court appearance.”

McLindon says during the evacuation employees of Dean did the best they could under the circumstances and the warehouse was not in the original predicted path of Ida. He says Dean and his employees were simply following the approved Louisiana Department of Health emergency plan.

Cut 5  (05) “…was fine.”

The Tangipahoa Paris Sheriff’s Office says Dean’s $350,000 bail conditions include an ankle monitor, surrender of his firearms and passport, and a mental evaluation. Dean is also facing criminal charges in Georgia after firing a weapon on another person’s property in which Dean lost his thumb.

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Today marks 50 years since the signing of Title IX, which expanded athletic opportunities for females. Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes, a Minden native who went on to star in basketball at UNO, before serving as athletic director at Dillard University for almost 20 years, and is now commissioner of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference, says she is a proud beneficiary of that legislation.

Cut 6 (12) “…one of those girls.” 

Prior to the passage of Title IX, only one percent of college athletic budgets went towards women’s sports. Though there has been tremendous progress, the overall playing field is still far from level. Dr. Barnes says political and educational leaders have to maintain a commitment to equality.

Cut 7 (12) “…in general, deserve.” 

Dr. Barnes has kept her end of the deal.  Earlier this year she was named one of the 100 Influential Black Women in Sports by Sports Illustrated and Empower Onyx for her work in mentoring other young women who are pursuing careers in athletics. She looks forward to an even brighter future for the next generation.

Cut 8 (10) “…part of life.” 

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The Louisiana Conservative Caucus, which is 42 members in the state House, is pushing for a veto override session. Governor Edwards vetoed 22 bills from the 2022 regular session and Caucus Chairman and Winnfield Representative Jack McFarland says there are several different proposals the governor rejected, which has lawmakers calling for a veto override session…

Cut 9 (08) “…education bills”

Lawmakers have until July 16th to decide whether they want to hold veto override session. Ballots will go out to lawmakers on July 1st.

McFarland says not only are Republican lawmakers upset the governor vetoed religious freedom and personally liberty bills, but so is the public….

Cut 10 (07) ” ..for it.” 

McFarland says conservative legislators are also looking to override the governor’s vetoes on criminal justice reform bills and the legislation that provided state-funded education options for certain students.

Cut 11 (11)  “…individually” 

A veto session is automatically scheduled after the regular session, it only takes a majority vote in either the House or Senate to cancel the veto session.

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It’s National Hydration Day. Louisiana Department of Health’s Regional Medical Director for the Greater New Orleans area, Doctor Shantel Hebert-Magee, says drinking eight to ten glasses of water daily can do wonders for the human body…

Cut 12 (08) “…joint mobility.”  

Hydration will be the key through the weekend as Louisiana is facing several consecutive days of temperatures near 100-degrees. Hebert-Magee says staying hydrated helps regulate body temperature and it helps with electrolytes…

Cut 13 (09) “…heart disease issues.”

Hebert-Magee says there are some who don’t like the taste of water, but there’s ways to improve the taste…

Cut 14 (10)  “…provide flavor” 

LRN AM Newscall June 23

After two years apart, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation reunites to celebrate 100 years of service this weekend. David Grubb has more.

Cut 1 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.”

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Entergy says the oppressive heat could translate into the highest power usage on record this week. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (32) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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Louisiana nursing home owner Bob Dean faces criminal charges related to residents’ deaths that occurred in the days after Hurricane Ida. Kevin Gallagher reports…:

Cut 3 (29) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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The state’s largest general farm organization, The Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, is holding its 100th Annual Meeting and Centennial Celebration this weekend in New Orleans. This is the first time the meeting will be in-person since 2019, due to the pandemic. Communications director Avery Davidson says the federation is as strong as ever.

Cut 4 (13)  “…across the state.”

During the convention, Davidson says members will focus plenty of attention on the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill as the agriculture industry continues to deal with the high costs of fuel, the scarcity of fertilizer, and attempts to address disaster recovery here in Louisiana.

Cut 5 (11) “…in that debate.”

The Federation continues to grow in both size and influence. Davidson says over the past 50 years membership has increased from roughly 30 thousand to more than 136 thousand across the state. Further evidence of their clout is the number of political heavyweights that will be in attendance…

Cut 6 (13)  “…and they vote.”

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The oppressive heat in Louisiana this week will be responsible for the highest power usage on record, that’s according to Entergy. Utility spokesperson David Freese says one way to save on your bill is to set your thermostat to 78 degrees.

Cut 7 (12) “…per the household.”

Freese says every degree below 78 can add three percent to your bill.

Heating and cooling can account for more than 50 percent of your power bill. Freese says there are some other steps besides adjusting your thermostat that you can take to help reduce usage. Like closing blinds and curtains to reduce sunlight in your home, closing vents in unoccupied rooms, and running fans.

Cut 8 (08)  “…utility bills.”

With the current heat wave responsible for air conditioning units running almost nonstop, Freese says they’ve been in communication with utility partners to assist the power grid should they be unable to meet demand and so far they don’t anticipate any issues.

Cut 9 (08)  “…ahead of time.”

For more energy-saving tips visit Entergy’s website.

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In an effort to reduce the burden of high gas prices on Americans President Biden is asking congress for a temporary gas holiday, by removing federal gas taxes for 90 days. Louisiana Congressman and Democrat Troy Carter says while he praises the effort he believes the administration should be looking at long-term solutions to lower prices.

Cut 10 (09) “…produce fuel.”

Carter says we should also be looking at ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Republican Congressman Mike Johnson says Biden’s attempt to lower gas prices temporarily is a desperate political attempt to help Democrats in the mid-term elections and he’s ignoring the long-term solution.

Cut  11 (06)  “…half baked idea.” 

Johnson also fears the temporarily removal of the federal gas tax will increase demand without increasing supply.

Carter says he plans to vote in favor of the proposal and he believes the temporary removal of the 18.4 cents federal tax on gas and the 24.4 cents on a gallon of diesel will help, but the administration needs to think long-term.

Cut 12 (08) “…the pump.” 

Johnson says however he along with most Republicans will most likely support the measure because the party is against higher taxes but he doesn’t believe the tax cut will be extremely effective.

Cut 13 (11) “…single American.”

Johnson says Americans would save roughly 3.6% at the pump if the tax removal is approved as gas prices average $5 a gallon nationwide.

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State Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office announces the arrest of Bob Dean, the owner of seven Louisiana nursing homes, who ordered residents evacuated for Hurricane Ida to unfit conditions in a Tangipahoa Parish warehouse. Over a dozen people died as a result. Legal analyst Tim Meche says the first thing he noticed about the A.G.’s press release Wednesday was what information was missing…:

Cut 14 (12)  “…released on bond”

Dean currently lives in Georgia. He is charged with 8 counts of felony Cruelty to Persons with Infirmities, 5 counts of Medicaid Fraud and 2 counts of Obstruction of Justice. The A.G.’s office also says more charges could be pending. Meche says this looks bad for the 68-year-old Dean…:

Cut 15 (09)  “…almost a life sentence.”

The arrest and charges against Dean come after a joint effort by the A.G.’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the state Bureau of Investigations. Meche says this case has a lot more developments sure to occur, but he feel that Landry’s office could have more forthcoming in their announcement…:

Cut 16 (11)  “…for the public to know.”

Dean is being sued in civil court over the deaths. His attorneys argue he’s not mentally competent at this time to stand trial. Meche says that argument will likely come up in criminal proceedings against Dean as well.

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The New Orleans Pelicans made the playoffs last season, but find themselves with a top ten selection in tonight’s NBA Draft. The top four players on the board seem set, but after that, it seems like anyone’s guess. Jake Madison, host of the Locked on Pelicans podcast, says it appears the Pels have plenty of interest in one player in particular.

Cut 17 (20) “ …versatility on defense.” 

One of the major factors in New Orleans turning its season around was the improvement of the Pelicans’ defense. If they select Dyson Daniels, who played last season for the NBA’s G-League Elite squad, Madison says they’ll get a highly-skilled and versatile defender with room to improve offensively.

Cut 18 (19) “ …in Fred Vinson.” 

The Pelicans have 14 of their 15 roster spots already filled, and they have three picks in the draft, including two second-round selections. There has been speculation that New Orleans may be looking to move a couple of players, and Madison says it’s more likely the Pels trade back to unload Jaxson Hayes or Devonte Graham than it is that they move up to snag one of the top players on the board.

Cut 19 (17) _“…be made there.” 

It’s been quite some time since Pelicans fans have been as optimistic heading into the draft. It seems like a new day in New Orleans and Madison says David Griffin and the rest of the front office are in an enviable position.

Cut 20 (13) “ …them to make.” 

 

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LRN PM Newscall June 22

A recent operation by the Central Louisiana Violent Crime Abatement Teams results in over 150 arrests. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (33) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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Louisiana Tech and the Baltimore Ravens are mourning the sudden death of linebacker Jaylon Ferguson. David Grubb has more…

Cut 2 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.”  

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Louisiana has received more than $100 million in federal housing assistance to assist over 20-thousand residents with past rent dating back as far as April 2020. Gina Campo, Deputy Executive Director with the Office of Community Development says the program will assist those who are in danger of being evicted.

Cut 3 (09) “…guidelines.”

Campo says to be eligible for the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Programtotal the total household income must be at or 80 percent below the area median income. Parishes with populations over 200 thousand are running their own rental assistance programs and the state program is for the remaining 57 parishes.

Cut 4  (06) “…people as possible.”

The application process is completely paperless and Campo says homeowners affected by COVID who are behind on their mortgage may also be eligible through the Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Fund program.

Cut 5  (06) “…is there.”

Again, the website is laCOVIDhousing.com

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In a collaborative effort over a two-week period, the Central Louisiana Violent Crime Abatement Team made just under 200 arrests after a very successful detail. Master Trooper Casey Wallace says several law enforcement agencies worked together to identify and apprehend a number of criminals.

Cut 6  (11) “…byproduct of the arrests.” 

Wallace says due to the increase in violent crime 19 different law enforcement agencies in the central part of the state sat down and shared information and they were able to devise a plan to apprehend as many violent offenders as possible.

Cut 7 (11) “…and did.” 

And since the mass arrests, Wallace says they are already seeing a positive impact in the area. Wallace says hospitals and ambulances in central Louisiana have reported a notable decrease in weekly drug overdoses.

Cut 8 (07) “…to one.” 

The operation also seized a number of illegal drugs including methamphetamine, PCP, ecstasy, fentanyl, and more than five thousand dollars in drug-related currency.

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The NFL was rocked this morning by the news of the death of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson at the age of 26. Ferguson, who was born in Zachary, played his high school ball at West Feliciana before attending Louisiana Tech, where he earned the nickname “Sack Daddy” while racking up an FBS-record 45 sacks in his career. His coach at West Feliciana, Robb Odom is in shock…

Cut 9 (13) “…light up a room.”

Odom says Ferguson was one of the building blocks of the West Feliciana program as it climbed from contending during his high school career to winning the 3A state title in 2017. Ferguson set the tone in the locker room and on the field, serving as a leader and role model for his teammates.

Cut 10 (12) ” …the community.” 

Jaylon Ferguson is survived by his son and two daughters and his wife Doni Smith. Odom says in a short time Ferguson left a strong legacy as both a competitor and as a man.

Cut 11 (10)  “…a better person.” 

A Baltimore police spokesperson called the death “questionable,” but said there were no signs of foul play or trauma to his body. An autopsy is still pending.

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Governor Edwards has signed legislation that requires every nursing home in the state to have an emergency preparedness plan approved by the state Department of Health. Baton Rouge Representative Rick Edmonds says it’s in response to last year’s botched evacuation involving seven nursing homes owned by Bob Dean…

Cut 12 (11) “…happen again.”  

Over 800 nursing home residents were evacuated to a warehouse in Tangipahoa Parish prior to Hurricane Ida’s landfall and over a dozen residents who spent time at the ill-equipped facility died shortly after the event.

Edmonds says previous says law required nursing homes to have an emergency preparedness plan, but it did not require approval from L-D-H….

Cut 13 (06) “…the inspection.”

Edmonds says nursing home operators will now be required to update their emergency plans and submit such plans to the LDH emergency preparedness manager for approval no later than March 1st every year…

Cut 14 (10)  “…transparency” 

The Louisiana Nursing Home Association supports the legislation.

LRN AM Newscall June 21

You may be double-checking your calendar, but today is the first official day of summer. David Grubb has more on the rising temperatures that await…

Cut 1 (35) “…I’m David Grubb.”

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While folks are watching their wallet and their gas tank this summer, state tourism is adjusting its promotional campaigns also. Brooke Thorington explains.

Cut 2 (35) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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Governor Edwards vetoes bills creating Education Savings Accounts to help kids behind in reading and with other learning challenges. Kevin Gallagher has more…:

Cut 3 (29) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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Though the temperatures may have indicated otherwise, today is the first official day of summer. State climatologist Barry Keim says get used to the sweltering temperatures because they aren’t going anywhere.

Cut 4 (10)  “…this past week.”

Keim says this month could be an all-timer when it comes to daily and monthly thermometer readings, and encourages people to stay safe by limiting their time outdoors, staying hydrated, and making sure that homes are properly insulated.

Cut 5 (12) “…be smart about it.”

Temps should top 100 several times over the next few days as the heat wave continues to roll on. Keim says high-pressure systems across the Eastern US have made it harder to sustain any cloud cover or generate the afternoon showers that help bring temperatures down, leading to Louisiana becoming one giant oven…

Cut 6 (13)  “…even dangerous.”

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Due to gas prices impacting summer travel, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says they’ve made a few marketing tweaks for tourism and so far, they appear to be working. He says they’ve scraped their One Tank Get Around Louisiana campaign and changed it to a half-tank of gas.

Cut 7 (07) “…tank of gas.”

And they’ve also been running promotions a bit closer to home in neighboring states. Nungesser says the campaigns include state parks and other great things to do and see in Louisiana. He says the Staycation promotion that worked so well during the pandemic is also in play this summer.

Cut 8 (07)  “…with that.”

But Nungesser says they are also putting long-term promotions into play, especially since COVID test requirements have been lifted for international travelers visiting the US.

Cut 9 (12)  “…as soon as possible.”

Nungesser says despite gas prices there’s still pent-up demand to travel and state parks are on track for another record-breaking year.

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Governor John Bel Edwards has vetoed bills to create so-called Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). The bills were intended to assist students who have special educational needs or are behind on reading skills. Daniel Erspamer (pronounced: ER-spay-mer), with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy calls the vetoes a disappointment…:

Cut 10 (13) “…be serving them.”

In his statement on the vetoes, Edwards says the bills labels are a “misnomer” and the bills don’t establish any accounts for parental savings at all. Edwards says they would potentially sap public school funding away to give to private school students, despite the authors’ good intentions. Erspamer says ESA’s are successful and beneficial to students who are a bit behind their peers…:

Cut  11 (14)  “…all over the country.” 

Louisiana is among the worst states in the U.S. for education, and literacy among kids is a particular problem. Erspamer says the Governor’s veto is a sad development, but he doesn’t see this as merely partisan politics…:

Cut 12 (15) “…kids…need…help.” 

Erspamer says the bills will be back in future legislative sessions and they’ll eventually become law, because ESA’s do help.

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Though the Super Bowl won’t be back in New Orleans for another two-plus years, the 2025 New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee is already hard at work. Now, the committee has released a Request for Qualifications, or RFQ, for local graphic designers and firms to help create the logo and visual brand identity as it moves down the road to Super Bowl 59. Here’s Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation CEO Jay Cicero…

Cut 13 (12) “…for this RFQ.”

All firms wishing to submit must do so before July 1st as the RFQ is just the first step of a multi-stage process which will end with one group or individual chosen to help brand the organization preparing for a record-tying 11th Super Bowl to be played in The Big Easy. With the amount of interest a job like this is sure to draw, Cicero says there’s no time to waste.

Cut 14 (11)  “…a lengthy process.”

While the RFQ does not require a design, Cicero says there’s a distinct flavor that the committee and the NFL will be looking for during the submission process once the field of applicants is narrowed.

Cut 15 (12)  “…we can be proud of.”

For more information visit g-n-o-sports-dot-com.

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LRN PM Newscall June 17

A consumer advocacy group once again observes an anniversary by sending a business lobby a tiki torch. Brooke Thorington explains.

Cut 1 (35) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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Dads take center stage this Sunday, though a new survey shines a light on just how difficult it is for Louisiana’s working fathers. David Grubb has more…

Cut 2 (35) “…I’m David Grubb.”  

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In an effort to hold the president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry accountable for a promise he made two years ago, Eric Holl with Real Reform Louisiana sent Stephen Waguespack another Tiki Torch. Holl says in a radio interview Waguespack said tort reform would lower auto insurance rates.

Cut 3 (12) “…go down.”

Holl says since House Bill 57 passed two years ago, auto insurance rates have actually increased. He says in 2020 rates rose 19 percent and announced rates for 2022 could increase as much as 15 percent.

Cut 4  (12) “…for them.”

Because Waguespack was not amused with the personal delivery of a tiki torch last June 17th, Holl says he opted to have Amazon handle the delivery this year, but Waguespack has yet to deliver on his promise.

Cut 5  (09) “…that promise.”

Efforts to reach Waguespack have gone unanswered.

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This Father’s Day you may want to forget about getting Dad a tie or a wallet and instead maybe hand him a copy of the classifieds. A new survey by Wallethub-dot-com says that Louisiana is the worst state in the country for working dads. Communications director Jill Gonzalez says the rankings speak for themselves…

Cut 6  (14) “…struggled the most.” 

Just how bad do Dads have it here in the Bayou State? Gonzalez says Louisiana has almost a perfect storm of conditions to make a work-life balance nearly impossible and few support systems in place for getting it back, particularly in mental and physical health.

Cut 7 (10) “…in Louisiana.” 

The bottom of the survey rankings are dominated by Southern states, where insured rates are lower for workers, childcare costs exceed the quality of care, and men are being overworked, leaving too many in inactive lifestyles outside of their jobs. Gonzalez says Louisiana could learn from the states at the top of the rankings and start enacting policies more friendly to fathers.

Cut 8 (13) “…why not Louisiana.” 

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Choosing a major in college can be very stressful.  UL-Monroe VP of Enrollment Management Lisa Miller says the university is making that process easier by utilizing a new tool called MyMajors, which aligns students with degree programs based on their strengths, talents, and interests.

Cut 9 (12) “…versions of themselves.”

Incoming students take the MyMajors online assessment during their orientation and before exploring UL-M’s degree programs during breakout sessions. Miller says the response has been very exciting and the impact on students is easy to see.

Cut 10 (13) ” …something much greater.” 

Interest assessments aren’t new, though the MyMajors program is unique in that it provides students with a list of 10 majors at UL-M that might be good options for them, allowing academic advisors to provide additional information and guidance, which Millers says hopefully leads to greater confidence in degree paths, as well as higher retention and graduation rates.

Cut 11 (11)  “…degree programs.” 

MyMajors is free and is not only open to ULM students, but to anyone interested in pursuing a college degree. You can complete the quiz and get your own report at u-l-m-dot-mymajors-dot-com.

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Legislators have until Monday to submit a court-ordered congressional map that has two Black-majority districts instead of one that was passed by the Republican majority in February. On Thursday House Speaker Clay Schexnayder asked Federal Judge Shelly Dick for a deadline extension.

Cut 12 (09) “…we have.”  

Schexnayder says there are a number of new maps that have been submitted for consideration including three in the House.

Schexnayder says some of the maps submitted by Republican lawmakers do not have two Black minority districts as instructed by Judge Dick and they are merely placeholders and can be amended if needed. He says this is only the beginning of the judicial process because the map that passed in February has yet to be ruled on in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Cut 13 (12) “…compare them.”

House Governmental Affairs is meeting now to consider four maps that have been filed and Senate Governmental Affairs meets at 1 pm to continue discussions on a bill that was debated in committee for almost five hours Thursday.

Cut 14 (12)  “…unnecessary.” 

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LRN AM Newscall June 17

Senate Governmental Affairs debated one of the two congressional map offerings for almost five hours on Thursday. As the court-imposed June 20th deadline to submit a new map looms. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (40) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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Another property insurance company exits Louisiana; leaving thousands seeking coverage…with the hurricane season already underway. Kevin Gallagher reports…:

Cut 2 (30) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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State offices are closed today for the first official observance of Juneteenth. David Grubb has more on the meaning of the day…

Cut 3 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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As the June 20th court-imposed deadline lingers, Senate Governmental Affairs debated one bill for almost five hours on Thursday. Committee members voted to hold Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields’ bill over for debate until Friday. Fields’ bill has two Black-majority districts instead of one. He says delaying the vote is a slippery slope on the existing timeline.

Cut 4 (08)  “…Federal court.”

Committee Chair, Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt, who also has a congressional map bill in the special session, countered when Fields when reminded members of the looming deadline

Cut 5 (07) “…our job.”

Amendments to Fields’ legislation were discussed in committee, one that will negate Field’s map if the courts ultimately rule that the enacted map with only one Black majority is legal. Fields voiced his frustration.

Cut 6 (08)  “…bad advice.”

House Governmental Affairs meets at 9 AM Friday where four congressional maps are on the docket.

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Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon addresses homeowners’ worries after another property insurance carrier cancels tens of thousands of policies, with hurricane season already  underway. Donelon says Lighthouse Excalibur is the latest in a series of companies to declare insolvency…:

Cut 7 (08) “…a new policy.”

Donelon says Lighthouse is the latest property insurer to cancel or non-renew policies in the wake of three strong hurricanes in 2020 and a major storm, Hurricane Ida, last fall. He says Lighthouse customers have until the end of the month to secure new coverage. Donelon says that’s not ALL of the bad news, though…:

Cut 8 (10)  “…Southern Fidelity Insurance Company.”

Donelon says Lighthouse Excalibur, and now Southern Fidelity, make five companies to exit the state…:

Cut 9 (12)  “…and Lighthouse.”

Donelon says displaced customers can seek assistance getting new coverage by calling the Department of Insurance, or visiting their website at “ldi.louisiana.gov.” He says some may need to use the state’s last-resort property insurer, Louisiana Citizens.

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State offices are closed today for the first official observance of Juneteenth, which became a legal holiday in Louisiana last year. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers reached Galveston, Texas, and relayed the news that the Civil War had ended and that the Emancipation Proclamation had freed all those enslaved there two and half years earlier. Baton Rouge Rep. Larry Selders sponsored the legislation and recalls its passage vividly.

Cut 10 (11) “…part of it.”

While Juneteenth celebrations have been held throughout the state for years, many still don’t know the history of the holiday. Selders says the importance of the Juneteenth lies in the awareness and education it generates for citizens of all races.

Cut  11 (09)  “…kids to know.” 

Selders says he’s proud that the state eliminated holidays celebrating the Confederacy through legislation during this past session. He says that many didn’t know they existed, just as they didn’t know the history of Juneteenth, and believes we can reckon with the worst of our shared past while working toward a better future.

Cut 12 (08) “…hopefully they will.” 

Federal offices will be closed on Monday.

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A bipartisan gun safety bill is up for consideration in the US Senate. The bill calls for background checks and billions in funding for community mental health centers. When asked about his thoughts on the legislation on his monthly radio call-in show “Ask the Governor” Governor John Bel Edwards applauds the legislation.

Cut 13 (09) “…Uvalde.”

The bill also calls for extensive background checks for those 18 to 21 wishing to purchase a gun so their juvenile records can be reviewed for violations that would prohibit them from owning a firearm. Edwards who supports Second Amendment Rights is in favor of background checks.

Cut 14 (10)  “…long ago.”

The gun safety bill however does not raise the age from 18 to 21 for those wishing to purchase AR-15 style rifles. Edwards believes the age limit to purchase certain types of guns should be raised.

Cut 15 (11)  “…then either.”

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The Saints wrapped up minicamp yesterday by working indoors to escape the heat. The team had total participation in minicamp and Dennis Allen thinks they laid a great foundation heading into training camp next month.

Cut 16 (21)  “…2022 season.”

Allen says overall he’s been very happy with how the organization has handled the offseason and while he’s excited about the talent on the field and the sidelines, he knows the Saints’ work has just begun.

Cut 17 (18) “ …not satisfied.” 

The expectations in New Orleans are high after last season’s disappointment. Allen knows where the bar is and says the Saints are keeping their focus on continuing to improve each day.

Cut 18 (20) “ …in those areas.” 

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LRN PM Newscall June 16 *Updated Copy for Cut 8*

Lawmakers are debating over Congressional Maps in Senate Governmental Affairs after a court-imposed deadline of June 20th remains in effect for a map with two majority-Black districts. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (36) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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Shreveport Police and the FBI are asking for help in the search for those responsible for the death of Shamia Little. David Grubb has more…

Cut 2 (37) “…I’m David Grubb.”  

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Lawmakers are discussing two Congressional maps in Senate Governmental Affairs this morning, in an effort to meet the June 20th court-imposed deadline. In discussions over Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields’ map, Slidell Senator, and committee chair Sharon Hewitt, who also has a map up for discussion, criticized Fields’ map with two Black-majority districts because it spilt a community in her own district.

Cut 3 (15) “…your plan.”

Jared Evans, with the Legal Defense Fund, endorsed Fields’ Congressional map.

Cut 4  (10) “…called for”

Fields’ map differs from the current enacted map that was approved by the majority-Republican legislature earlier this year. Hewitt believes the current map meets the guidelines set forth by the Voting Rights Act with only one majority Black district.

Cut 5  (12) “…and state law”

With a third of the state’s population Black, Fields says the Congressional map should reflect and allow for proper representation of minorities. He argued that the current map approved by the majority Republican legislature is not fair.

Cut 6  (10) “…not right.” 

US Judge Shelly Dick denied a request from Senate President Page Cortez and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder for a deadline extension to redraw the current congressional map. The deadline of June 20th remains in effect.

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At around 2:20 Thursday morning, five juveniles escaped from the Bridge City Center for Youth. The Office of Juvenile Justice went into an immediate lockdown and notified law enforcement. OJJ spokesperson Nicolette Gordon says law enforcement was able to apprehend some of the suspects shortly after the escape…

Cut 7 (08) “…at-large.” 

Gordon says three of the juveniles were caught around 8:30 this morning, and Thursday afternoon the 17-year-old was apprehended, while the 16-year-old remains at large. The BCCY has established a temporary command center to assist in collecting and distributing information to aid in their capture.

Cut 8 (11) “…Information Database.” 

Authorities are unable to release greater detail about the escapees due to their ages. Law enforcement has received full information on both.

At this time, just how the juveniles were able to get out of the facility remains unknown. Gordon says that staff is trained to remain aware of potential escape attempts, and there are numerous mitigation efforts at these facilities. However….

Cut 9 (10) “…chance that we get.”

If you have information that could help, OJJ asks that you call your local law enforcement or the command center at 504-401-3359.

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Today the FBI announced that it is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of any individuals responsible for the homicide of Shamia Little. The 17-year-old was found deceased about 11 months ago near a park in Shreveport from a single gunshot wound. Special Agent Doug Williams spoke to the media…

Cut 10 (13) ” …the Little family.” 

Shamia Little was last seen alive the night of July 6, 2021, and since that time finding credible information or witnesses has been a problem for both the Shreveport Police and the FBI. Williams says that maybe the reward will provide motivation for someone to come forward.

Cut 11 (11)  “…leads for us.” 

Shreveport Police Chief Wayne Smith says his team has exhausted every lead and that no new information has been brought to law enforcement since last year. Smith pleaded with the public to do everything that they can as well.

Cut 12 (10) “…please help us.”  

Crimes Stoppers is offering an additional three thousand dollars for information. If you have information related to the homicide of Shamia Little, please call 1-800-CALL-FBI or visit tips-dot-fbi-gov.

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A crime & corruption watchdog group calls for review of a Tangipahoa Parish case wherein a rape victim was ordered to pay child support to her alleged attacker. Metropolitan Crime Commission director Rafael Goyeneche says the victim was just 16 when the attack occurred, and the man she accuses found out she’d had a child five years later…:

Cut 13 (11) “…proved his paternity.”

Crysta Abelseth (pronounced: ABLE-seth), who is now 32, maintains the sexual contact with John Barnes sixteen years ago was not consensual. Barnes discovered he had a child with Abelseth in 2011, and a DNA test confirmed he was the father. Goyeneche says she did lodge a complaint, albeit years after the alleged crime…:

Cut 14 (12)  “…hasn’t been investigated.” 

This year, Tangipahoa Parish Judge Jeff Cashe gave Barnes full custody of the now-16-year-old daughter and ordered Abelseth to pay him child support. Those court records are sealed. Goyeneche says Barnes could be guilty of rape, but – if he is the confirmed father of a child by a then-16-year-old – he should be investigated at least for Canal Knowledge of a Juvenile; not rewarded with child support…:

Cut 15 (13) “…should take place.” 

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