LRN PM Newscall May 4

Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval is having a hard time connecting with his House members on a bill to prohibit drivers from handling a cell phone. Michelle Southern has the story…

Cut 1 (30) “…I’m Michelle Southern”

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Hurricane season is less than a month away, and the Governor says there’s no time to waste in getting prepared. David Grubb has more…

Cut 2 (35)…I’m David Grubb.”  

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A bill banning a driver from handling a cell phone while driving failed to pass in the Louisiana House. Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval’s legislation faced opposition from Amite Representative Robby Carter, who says not everyone drives a car with Bluetooth technology, but Huval says there are inexpensive accessories available that allow for hands-free cell phone use…

Cut 3 (11) “…your hands”

Huval says banning handheld cell phone use will cut down on distracted driving crashes. But Plaquemine Representative and Attorney Chad Brown is concerned this proposed law could lead to illegal searches…

Cut 4  (09) “..thank you”

Brown also questioned the enforcement of the proposed law. He says it would be difficult for an officer to determine if a person is holding their cellphone or some other object…

Cut 5  (12) “…phone charger”

The vote was 48-46 for the bill, but it needs 53 to pass.

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As part of National Hurricane Preparedness Week, Governor John Bel Edwards, his staff, and several other officials held a press conference to signal the state’s ramp up with hurricane season less than a month away.

Cut 6  (12) “…natural disasters.” 

Edwards stressed that while state agencies will do everything that they can to ensure that strong response plans are in place, what Louisianans do is even more important to successfully navigate hurricane season.

Cut 7 (12) “…natural disaster.” 

The governor says one of the lessons learned from Hurricanes Laura and Ida over the past two years, is just how quickly storms are forming and intensifying, and that time is no longer a luxury that the state has.

Cut 8 (08) “…the new normal.” 

For help in putting your plan together and up-to-date information throughout hurricane season, visit getagameplan.org.

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A bill to prohibit transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports in Louisiana cleared another legislative hurdle. Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed this measure last year, but Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell says the public overwhelming supports her legislation

Cut 9 (11) “…biological females.”

Mizell’s measure has been approved by the Senate and today passed out of the House Education Committee on a seven to one vote. One of the governor’s arguments is that the bill is in search of a problem that doesn’t exist in Louisiana. Peyton Rose Michelle with Louisiana Trans Advocates agrees…

Cut 10 (09) “…need attention”

In support of the proposal, the panel heard from retired women’s soccer player Anne Metz, who said her career ended when she was blindsided during a game by a biological male who self-identified as a female.

Cut 11 (11)  “…my head.”  (2x)

Metz says she has been diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. The bill heads to the House floor for final legislative passage.

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The U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to overturn the landmark Roe versus Wade case based on an opinion draft leaked to the media.  Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom coordinator Jessica Frankel says the nation’s highest court is going against popular opinion…

Cut 12 (10) “.is okay”  

A recent LSU poll found that 49-percent of Louisiana residents thought abortion should be illegal, while 46-percent say it should be legal. Frankel says for women considering an abortion, the three licensed clinics in the state are still open

Cut 13 (11) “…in Louisiana”

Senator Bill Cassidy a pro-life politician had this to say about the possible overturning of Roe versus Wade

Cut 14 (04)  “…I support”

Cassidy is concerned the draft opinion was released to the Politico. He says the person responsible for the leak must be found and held accountable

Cut 15 (07) “…institutions of government” 

LRN AM Newscall May 4

A recent surge in sextortion of children cases has the FBI on alert. David Grubb has more…

Cut 1 (35) “…I’m David Grubb.”

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A House committee rejects a bill that’s been called Louisiana’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Kevin Gallagher has more…:

Cut 2 (33) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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Attorney Lewis Unglesby says it’s an unreasonable response for state lawmakers to hold former State Police leader Kevin Reeves in contempt for not handing over certain information from his personal journals. Jeff Palermo has the story

Cut 3 (32) “…I’m Jeff Palermo.” 

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The FBI is warning parents of a rise in sextortion schemes targeting children in the Monroe, Alexandria, and Shreveport areas. The crime-fighting agency says it has received several reports of predators posing as children and coercing minors into sending them sexually explicit materials for the purpose of extorting money from them. Spokesperson Connor Hagan says prevention begins with a clear warning…

Cut 4 (11)  “…that they are.”

Hagan says an underage person should never send intimate or explicit photos or videos over the internet. He pointed out that many kids believe that using certain apps delete questionable content after a view and they are protected. Unfortunately, they are not.

Cut 5 (11) “…for financial gain.”

One of the barriers to identifying and catching predators is the embarrassment that the victims feel. Hagan offers advice to parents or guardians when dealing with a child who comes forward.

Cut 6 (12)  “…contact the FBI.”

If you know someone who may be a victim of sextortion, contact FBI New Orleans at 504-816-3000 and do not delete anything that could potentially be used as evidence.

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The House Education committee rejects a bill prohibiting teachers from discussing gender identity or sexual orientation in classrooms. A similar bill recently passed in Florida is dubbed by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill”. Bossier Parish Republican Dodie Horton says her bill is  straightforward…:

Cut 7 (12) “…state standard-slash-curriculum.”

Under Horton’s HB 837, teachers would not be allowed to discuss the topics of gender preference or sexual orientation with kids in grades K though 8. The bill drew opposition from several witnesses, like Brenna Wells, with the LSU School of Social Work and LGBTQ Studies, who feels the bill is mean-spirited…:

Cut 8 (12)  “…and their future.”

Committee member and New Orleans Representative Aimee Freeman says the language of Horton’s bill is “too broad” and does not need to be part of state statutes…:

Cut 9 (09)  “…cannot support this bill.”

Horton says her bill isn’t intended to hurt or discriminate against anyone, but to assure children aren’t exposed to inappropriate adult topics…:

Cut 10 (07) “…instructional time.”

After hours of discussion, the committee voted 7-to-4 to reject the bill; ending its progress for the session.

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The emergence of a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion indicating the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision might soon be overturned has implications for Louisiana. Abortions would be illegal, under a 2006 “trigger bill”; written to kick in if the Justices ever took that action. Tulane University law professor Keith Werhan (pronounced “WER-han”) says Justice Alito’s draft has preliminary support with conservative colleagues on the High Court, but it’s not yet a “done deal”…:

Cut  11 (11)  “…gonna want that.”  

Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed the leaked draft IS authentic, and Werhan feels – if there are enough voted to reverse Roe V. Wade – that will eventually happen. He says the High court rarely goes back and overrules its own precedents. He says they more often seek to narrow precedent rulings, or revise them in some way..:

Cut 12 (08) “…opinion was drafted.” 

Werhan says having a justice’s draft opinion leaked to the press is rare and the Supreme Court will not take lightly…:

Cut 13 (08) “…a vigorous one.”

If the High court reverses Roe v. Wade, abortions would become illegal in Louisiana immediately.

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The lawyer for former State Police Colonel Kevin Reeves says a legislative committee investigating the fatal arrest of Ronald Greene has the information they need from the journals kept by Reeves. Houma Representative Tanner Magee has threatened to charge Reeves with contempt, but attorney Lewis Unglesby says that is an unreasonable response

Cut 14 (10)  “…confusion there”

Magee met with Unglesby on Monday to make copies of pages in the journal pertaining to anything written about the Greene case. Magee believes Reeves is acting in contempt for refusing to provide an entry dated June 17th, 2020 that mentioned the governor by name and police brutality. But Unglesby says it’s just a random discussion on police brutality

Cut 15 (08)  “…interested in.”

Unglesby says anything in the journals kept by Reeves pertaining to the Greene case has been given to lawmakers

Cut 16 (11)  “…the committee.”

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The homecoming of former LSU star Tyrann Mathieu has electrified New Orleans Saints fans, but perhaps no place is more proud of the “Honey Badger” than St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, where Mathieu’s athletic career began. School CEO Aulston Taylor says it’s been a long time coming, but it’s great to see a Purple Knight back in the Black and Gold.

Cut 17 (20) “ …coming back.” 

Mathieu wasn’t a superstar prospect coming out of St. Aug. and was overlooked by many of the top programs in the country. Taylor says his journey and perseverance serve as an example to the young men who walk the school’s halls today.

Cut 18 (21) “ …someone did that.” 

Community service has been a major part of Mathieu’s career, and he was nominated by the Kansas City Chiefs for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award last season, an honor that went to another former Tiger, Andrew Whitworth. Taylor believes that Mathieu will make a difference in his native New Orleans as well, just as he was taught at St. Augustine years ago.

Cut 19 (20) _“…young men.” 

LRN AM Newscall May 3

Legislation to require Louisiana schools to provide menstrual products for students advances to the House floor. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (33) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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Congressman Garret Graves says he’s still fighting to bring down spiking flood insurance costs for Louisianans. Kevin Gallagher has more…:

Cut 2 (34) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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House Bill 248, which removes Robert E. Lee Day and Confederate Memorial Day from the state’s official list of holidays, moves on to the Senate after gaining approval in the House. David Grubb has more…

Cut 3 (31) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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According to Money Geek, Louisiana ranks second in the nation among states with the most distracted driving fatalities. Head of Data Analytics Doug Milens says they created a rate of distracted driving deaths based on miles driven in each state…

Cut 4 (11)  “…and Kansas.”

The definition of distracted driving goes beyond looking at your phone, he says it includes things like eating or even having to correct a child’s behavior while driving.

Milens says they analyzed 2020 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and 2,880 people died in the U.S. in distracted-related crashes, despite the fact that Americans drove 344-thousand fewer miles.

Cut 5 (06) “…it’s flat.”

Distracted driving rates increased by 12-percent in the US in 2020.

The study found Louisiana and North Carolina had the most significant increase in distracted driving fatalities from 2019 to 2020. Milens says that coupled with high auto-insurance only adds insult to injury in the Bayou State.

Cut 6 (08)  “…tougher.”

Texting while driving is the most common distracted driving offense in Louisiana.

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A bill to require public schools in Louisiana to carry free menstrual products for students in either a restroom or an accessible location passes in House Education. While researching her legislation, bill author New Orleans Representative Aimee Freeman says she learned that many students experience “Period Poverty.”

Cut 7 (10) “…them back.”

Anaya Bhatia, Caddo Parish Magnet High School student and co-president of GirlUP an organization supporting the needs of female students, told lawmakers the legislation would help female students who have little access to menstrual products.

Cut 8 (12)  “…basic needs”

Bill co-author New Orleans Representative Jason Hughes says the cost for local school districts would average $500 for the first year to install dispensers. Hughes says if the toiletry needs of males are supplied in school restrooms, then they should also support the needs of females.

Cut 9 (11)  “…her with.”

The bill passed unanimously in committee and is scheduled to be heard on the House floor Thursday.

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Congressman Garret Graves says efforts are still underway to provide homeowners relief from new, greatly-increased flood insurance premiums. The National Flood Insurance Program’s “Risk Rating 2.0” has gone into effect, and Graves says it’s an undue burden on many. He says amendments have been drafted to provide temporary relief, but the Democrat majority in the U.S. House isn’t interested in fixing the problem…:

Cut 10 (07) “…offering the amendment.”

Graves says amendments to delay the new rates from being collected, are being blocked from proposal on the House floor. Risk Rating 2.0 sets flood insurance rates based upon a structure’s value and the flood history of its location, rather than the old system which used flood zone maps. Graves says it was supposed to lower rates for property owners…:

Cut  11 (09)  “…these increased costs.”  

Graves says he and colleagues in flood and hurricane-prone areas continue working on possible solutions to the high cost of flood insurance. He says one proposed bill has some bipartisan support…:

Cut 12 (13) “…these rates together.” 

Graves says the ultimate solution is to build better storm and flood mitigation measures, so flood insurance is not a necessity.

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Southern University Laboratory School junior Kelsie Tillage was recently named a recipient of the Gold Congressional Award, the highest honor that Congress can bestow upon any civilian youth between the ages of 14 and 24 for initiative, service, and achievement.

Cut 13 (06) “…community as well.”

Since the inception of the award, there have been 5,000 gold medalists, and of those only 84 are from Louisiana, placing Tillage in a very exclusive company. Standing out is nothing new for her, however, as she’s a member of her school’s student government association, volleyball team, was named student of the year in her district, and completed hundreds of hours of community service, mostly focused on child literacy.

Cut 14 (10)  “…able to learn.”

Kelsie, who’s also earned the Duke Tip Scholar award and participated in the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, says she didn’t set out to earn any awards and that serving others is something she’s done throughout her life.

Cut 15 (10)  “…aircraft availability.”

Tillage maintains a 4.29-grade point average at Southern Lab and is dually enrolled in Southern University honors and AP courses. As far as career plans, Tillage says she’s still discovering her interests for now.

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Following their series win over Georgia, LSU baseball seems to have found its bearings. The Tigers have won six of eight and are climbing the power rankings. Cade Doughty capped the series with the Dawgs by blasting a walk-off home run in Sunday’s rubber match. He says there’s no time to look back with plenty of tough competition ahead.

Cut 16 (14)  “…get the job done.”

Stopping LSU’s offense has been job number one for opposing pitchers, no easy task against a lineup so deep and talented. Dylan Crews is batting .328 this season with 13 home runs for the Tigers and says he keeps his approach simple…

Cut 17 (16) “ …extend on really.” 

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The U-L Ragin Cajuns have won 10 of their last 12 in the Sun Belt Conference and sit three games behind Texas State in the standings. They’ll take on the Bobcats next weekend, but up first is UT-Arlington, and Coach Matt Deggs says his team won’t take the struggling Mavericks lightly.

Cut 18 (15) “ …can we play.” 

With just a couple of weeks to go in the regular season, the Cajuns are jockeying for position in the conference and in the RPI as they try to get back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2016. Deggs says the pressure is on, but he’s confident.

Cut 19 (20) _“…one of them.” 

LRN PM Newscall May 2

After a 13-year-old Shreveport teen was killed by a stray bullet in her home Sunday afternoon, her teachers and classmates are coping with her sudden loss. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (33) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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The Honey Badger is coming home. David Grubb has the latest on Tyrann Mathieu joining the Saints…

Cut 2 (34)…I’m David Grubb.”  

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The House Ways and Means Committee approves a proposal to begin phasing out a state temporary sales tax that’s set to expire in July of 2025. Prairieville Representative Tony Bacala’s bill would begin to phase out the .45-percent sales tax in July of 2023 to avoid a sudden drop in revenues…

Cut 3 (10) “…today.”

The measure heads to the House floor for more discussion. The .45-percent state sales tax generates 420-million dollars in tax revenues a year and Bacala says the Legislature needs to begin planning for that loss of revenue…

Cut 4  (11) “…talk about”

Bacala’s bill would drop the temporary sales tax rate to .3-percent in July of 2023 and then .15-percent in July 2024. The tax would completely disappear in July of 2025.

New Orleans Representative Matthew Willard suggested having a discussion on expiring .45-percent sales tax next year when there’s a fiscal session, but Bacala says the sooner legislators address it, the better…

Cut 5  (11) “…following year.”

The Ways and Means Committee approved a separate bill to take the money generated from this temporary sales tax and use it to pay for better roads and bridges until it expires in 2025.

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The school where 13-year-old Landry Anglin attended is in shock today after she was killed Sunday afternoon at her Shreveport home by a stray bullet. Police say a shooting between three vehicles outside the home led to her death. Caddo Middle Magnet School Principal Robin DeBusk says Landry always greeted everyone at school.

Cut 6  (09) “…at CMM.” 

DeBusk says students are aware of the tragic shooting and they have extra counselors at the school today for students and teachers. She says it’s been a tough day as they are trying to grapple with the sudden loss of their 8th-grade classmate.

Cut 7 (06) “…day today.” 

Anglin was a member of the school’s lacrosse team and DeBusk says she spoke with her mother after the shooting, and even in her profound grief, she asked the school to look after those who were close to her daughter.

Cut 8 (11) “…been doing.” 

DeBusk says the school plans to hold an event in her memory later in the school year.

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After a lengthy courtship, it looks like the Saints and former LSU standout safety Tyrann Mathieu will finally be joining forces. The NFL Network reports that the two-time All-Pro and Super Bowl champion has reached an agreement with the team. Kyle Mosley of the Saints New Network says it’s a long-awaited homecoming for both the New Orleans native and Saints fans.

Cut 9 (12) “…New Orleans Saints.”

The Saints lost both starting safeties this offseason, with the retirement of Malcolm Jenkins and Marcus Williams moving on to join the Baltimore Ravens. Mosley says the ball-hawking Honey Badger brings a lot of skills to the New Orleans defensive, both in his playing ability and his presence in the locker room.

Cut 10 (11) “…defensive backfield.”

New Orleans has ranked in the top 10 defensively each of the past two seasons, due in no small part to its secondary. Looking at what the Saints have added through free agency and the draft, Mosley thinks the group has the potential to be even better this season.

Cut 11 (12)  “…talented group.” 

No word yet on whether Mathieu, who has worn number 32 throughout his career, will try to obtain number seven from Taysom Hill.

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The House Transportation Committee approves a bill that levies a road usage fee on owners of electric and hybrid vehicles and the money will go towards highway and bridge maintenance. State Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson says Louisiana relies on its gasoline tax to pay for road work and E-V and hybrid vehicle owners are not paying their fair share…

Cut 12 (09) “..not taking advantage.”  

The measure passed out of a committee on a nine-three vote but still needs full House and Senate approval. Haughton Representative Dodie Horton supports the measure. Horton says hybrids and E-Vs are using the same roads as other vehicles, but not paying as much in gas taxes…

Cut 13 (06) “…usage fee”

The legislation calls for electric vehicle owners to pay an additional $110 a year, while hybrid owners would pay a 60-dollar fee. Baton Rouge Representative Barbara Freiberg says the money would be collected when the owners of these types of vehicles file their state income taxes

Cut 14 (12)  “…filer.”

LRN AM Newscall May 2

A grand jury in East Feliciana Parish will hear the case against a couple accused of neglecting their adult daughter to death. More from Kevin Gallagher…:

Cut 1 (33) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

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A bill to test Louisiana students for reading proficiency before being promoted to 4th grade is set to be heard in the House this week. Brooke Thorington has more…

Cut 2 (34) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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The death penalty still has the support of most Louisianans, but could we see it put to rest anytime soon? David Grubb has the story…

Cut 3 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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An East Feliciana Parish grand jury will hear the case against a Slaughter couple accused of extreme neglect in the death of their 36-year-old daughter. 20th Judicial District D.A. Sam D’Aquilla (pronounced: duh-QUILL-uh) says Lacey Fletcher had developed a mental illness and became a shut-in; literally living on the couch in Clay and Sheila Fletcher’s home. He says she was found in early January – on that sofa – dead and in horrible conditions…:

Cut 4 (08)  “…jumped right on it.”

The parish coroner reports Lacey was found lying on the couch, surrounded in her own bodily waste. D’Aquilla says she had become a recluse, and her parents seemingly did nothing to help…:

Cut 5 (07) “…room of the house.”

He says Lacey had developed physical health issues, but had not been taken to a doctor in many years.

The coroner described Lacey’s condition when she was found as being “melted into” the sofa; her body covered in sores and ulcers. D’Aquilla says the smell in the Fletcher’s living room was unbearable. He says the investigation led to considering that 2nd-degree murder charges against Clay and Sheila Fletcher were called for…:

Cut 6 (13)  “…it’s just horrifying.”

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A bill to improve literacy rates in Louisiana will be heard in the House this week. Mandeville Representative Richard Nelson’s bill is modeled on a Mississippi law that prohibits students with reading deficiencies by the end of the third grade to be promoted to fourth grade. Nelson says since it was enacted in the Magnolia State in 2013…

Cut 7 (10) “…grade literacy.”

The bill allows the Louisiana Department of Education to determine testing qualifications for students and the criteria for promotion to the fourth grade. Nelson says when testing first went into effect in Mississippi the score was deliberately lowered so a large number of students would not be held back.

Cut 8 (11)  “…across the board…”

If the bill receives final passage, it would not go into effect until the 2023-2024 school year. Nelson says he expects the first year would most likely impact the greatest number of students. Testing would be administered more than once to would allow students another opportunity to improve their scores along with intensive training.

Cut 9 (14)  “…in our state.”

Nelson says one out of four fourth-graders in Louisiana can’t read on grade level.

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The state of Louisiana hasn’t performed an execution since 2010, though a majority of residents still support the death penalty in cases of murder, according to the 2022 Louisiana Survey. Dr. Michael Henderson of the LSU Public Policy Research Lab says that support is decreasing.

Cut 10 (08) “…13 points.”

Just over half of respondents said they favor the death penalty, a dip of seven percentage points from four years ago. Opposition rose four percentage points to 38 percent. Henderson says Louisiana is trending in the same direction as the rest of the country, and a major factor in that is the possibility of putting an innocent person to death.

Cut  11 (10)  “…kinds of crimes.”  

The death penalty is slowly being eliminated worldwide, with the US as the only Western nation that still applies it regularly, and it remains legal in just 27 states. Henderson says it may take a while, but if the national trend continues as it has, capital punishment could become a thing of the past within the decade.

Cut 12 (11) “…perhaps sooner.” 

A bill to abolish the death penalty died in a Senate committee earlier in the session.

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If you are planning a trip to California in the summer or fall, Allegiant Air announces they are offering 65-dollar one-way flights from Shreveport to Los Angeles and back from May 27th to November 14th. Shreveport Regional Airport Authority Mark Crawford on why Allegiant Air is offering a low air fare…

Cut 13 (10) “…each way”

The Los Angeles flights depart and arrive in Shreveport on Monday and Fridays.

Crawford says they are fortunate to have Allegiant Air as a carrier at their airport, because they also offer low fares to Orlando and Destin, Florida…

Cut 14 (12)  “…each way”

Crawford says they expect a busy summer but they do not have the number of flights going out and coming as they did before the pandemic…

Cut 15 (10)  “…aircraft availability.”

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The Saints ended up taking five players in the NFL draft and they hope they found their left tackle in the future by selecting Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning with the 19th overall pick. Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis says they’ve had success in drafting offensive linemen from small schools…

Cut 16 (25)  “…our coaches”

On the final day of the NFL draft, the Saints selected the reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year, Appalachian State linebacker D’Marco Jackson. He led the Mountaineers in tackles last season and had six sacks. Allen says there’s a lot to like about Jackson…

Cut 17 (21) “ …benefit us.” 

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Though the season has come to an end for the New Orleans Pelicans, the team gave fans several memorable moments as they climbed up the standings and into the playoffs. Perhaps, the most memorable was coach Willie Green’s impassioned plea to this team to keep fighting as the Pels overcame a double-digit deficit against the Clippers to clinch their spot in the postseason.

Cut 18 (18) “ …all season.” 

As the Pelicans turned their season around, the fan base swelled and made the Smoothie King Center one of the loudest arenas in the NBA. VP of basketball operations David Griffin said the bond between the team and the fans was unlike anything he had experienced.

Cut 19 (20) _“…all the way through.” 

LRN PM Newscall April 29

Former American Idol winner and Louisiana native Laine Hardy was arrested Friday after LSU Police received a complaint, he allegedly put a listening device in a student’s room. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (32) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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A special House committee investigating the death of Ronald Greene hears from a high-ranking State Police Trooper who admits there was a cover-up. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 2 (33)…I’m Jeff Palermo”  

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Former East Carroll Parish Sheriff, 84-year-old Dale Rinicker was arrested Thursday in West Monroe after he was asked to leave a convenience store for allegedly making lewd comments to female employees. Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Glen Springfield says after multiple requests to leave the store deputies arrested Rinicker for trespassing.

Cut 3 (11) “…of uniform.”

Even though Rinicker threatened officers during the arrest Springfield says he was taken to the Ouachita Correctional Center and charged with Criminal Trespass and two counts of Resisting an Officer.

Cut 4  (08) “…and resisting.”

In 1997 Rinicker pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks from a manager of a private prison in Providence.

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The Saints officially entered a new era Thursday, conducting its first draft without Sean Payton and first with new head coach Dennis Allen. New Orleans traded picks 16, 98, and 120 to Washington to move up and grab wide receiver Chris Olave, and took offensive tackle Trevor Penning at 19. Allen says both players fit the mold of what the Saints are looking for.

Cut 5  (10) “…great team players.”

The Saints say they are not in a rebuild and the expectation is to contend for the playoffs in 2022. Allen says having a strong foundation already in place helps in the decision-making process as they look to build on it.

Cut 6  (12) “…who we got.” 

The Pelicans saw their season come to an end  Thursday with a loss to the Phoenix Suns in game six of the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs. After the game, head coach Willie Green shed tears on the court as he congratulated the Suns and consoled his players. He says his emotions were swirling

Cut 7 (12) “…coming to a close.” 

It was a miraculous season in many ways for the Pelicans, who went from one of the worst teams in the NBA to become a media darling as they battled the Suns. Coach Green says the experience his young team gained this season is something they have to apply as they prepare for next year.

Cut 8 (12) “…getting ready.” 

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Multiple bills concerning abortion rights have been discussed during this legislative session, and it remains a polarizing topic in the state. However, Dr. Michael Henderson of the LSU Public Policy Research Lab says there’s been slow but steady growth in support for legal access.

Cut 9 (12) “…access to abortion.”

In the latest release of data from the 2022 Louisiana Survey, 46 percent of Louisianans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, with 49 percent taking the opposing stance. In 2016, only 40-percent said abortion should be legal, while 55-percent said it should be illegal. Henderson says when compared to the rest of the nation, Louisiana stands out with those figures.

Cut 10 (09) “…on abortion.”

Like so many issues, opinions seem to fall along political party lines. Henderson says that while Republicans have remained fairly consistent in their attitudes, Democrats who support legal access rose from 51 to 74 percent since 2016.

Cut 11 (07)  “…across the country.” 

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A high-ranking State Police trooper confirms L-S-P was involved in a cover-up to hide the facts surrounding the roadside death of Ronald Greene in 2019. Lt. Colonel Kenny Van Buren gave the admission during lengthy questioning by state lawmakers

Cut 12 (14) “…answers too.”  

Greene’s family was originally told he died as a result of a car crash following a high-speed chase, but body camera video of his arrest shows he was severely beaten by troopers.

Retired Captain Mark Richards told the legislative committee looking into Greene’s death he was ordered to block the crash report from being distributed, which he says is not normal protocol.

Cut 13 (13) “…before”

Richards believes the alleged coverup goes all the way to the top.

Baton Rouge Representative Edmond Jordan says State Police should do more to uncover the truth…

Cut 14 (12)  “…the coverup.”

The special House committee investigating the circumstances surrounding Greene’s death is expected to have more meetings.

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LRN AM Newscall April 29

There’s plenty of anticipation in the Big Easy as Jazz Fest returns after being silenced by the pandemic since 2019. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (32) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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A bill mandating equal pay for women who do the same work as men is halted in a House committee. Kevin Gallagher has more…:

Cut 2 (34) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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A New Orleans grand jury has indicted four teenagers for their alleged roles in the carjacking and murder of Linda Frickey. David Grubb has more…

Cut 3 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival finally returns to the Fairgrounds today after being silenced by the pandemic, and with headliners like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks, and Erykah Badu; Jazz Fest Producer Quint Davis says the one thing he’s looking forward to the most is the audience.

Cut 4 (06)  “…waiting for.”

With opening weekend competing with Festival International, Garth Brooks, and the State Fair Davis says he’s not sure attendance records will be broken but he is positive once the gates open it will be memorable, similar to the first Jazz Fest after Katrina, but this time it’s been absent for three years.

Cut 5 (05) “…festival’s back.”

And not only is Jazz Fest going to be memorable for the crowd this year, Davis says it’s going to be extremely special for the musical acts also. He says they were overwhelmed with requests to play the festival this year.

Cut 6 (08)  “…live people.”

Jazz Fest will take place over seven days, beginning April 29th to May 1st and then on May 5th until the 8th.  For more information visit NOjazzfest.com.

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The House Labor Committee votes down a bill to demand all employers in the state give equal pay regardless of gender. Speaking for his bill, Marrero Democrat Representative Kyle Green says his bill seeks to extend equal pay mandates for government workers – passed in 2013 – to include everyone…:

Cut 7 (13) “…for women of color.”

But Caddo Parish Republican Representative Dodie Horton wondered if Green was aware the state already has a 2013 non-discrimination law that achieves the same thing…:

Cut 8 (13)  “…national origin, disability…”

Horton says passing a redundant bill will probably not help close the gender pay gap.

Bossier City Republican Representative Raymond Crews agrees that women already have a state law under which to address a gender pay inequity. He says employers who arbitrarily pay men more than women are only hurting themselves…:

Cut 9 (14)  “…at a higher rate.”

By a vote of 3 “yeas” to 7 “nays”, the bill fails to pass and is dead for the session.

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A grand jury in New Orleans has indicted four teenagers on charges of second-degree murder in the death of Linda Frickey, who died after the teens allegedly carjacked and dragged her down a street last month. Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams says all four will be tried as adults.

Cut 10 (11) “…not enough.”

Frickey died on March 21 after being forced from her car and dragged for the length of a city block. While discussing the indictments, Williams relayed the thoughts of Mrs. Frickey’s family, whom he has been in contact with since the arrests.

Cut  11 (11)  “…asked for it.”  

The carjacking occurred in the middle of a weekday afternoon and has been viewed as particularly brazen and brutal. Williams says that nothing will undo the tragedy, but his office is determined to bring some justice to the Frickey family and the community.

Cut 12 (11) “…horrible murder.” 

If convicted on an adult charge of second-degree murder, each juvenile would face a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

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Two high-ranking state police officers and a retired officer appeared before the House committee investigating the 2019 State Police custody death of Ronald Greene Thursday. Lt Col Chavez Cammon, who was then over internal affairs, acknowledged that officers involved in Greene’s arrest should be held responsible.

Cut 13 (13) “…held accountable.”

In past hearings, some LSP personnel have told committee members they could not answer questions due to an active investigation. Lt. Col Kenny VanBuren, Deputy Superintendent Bureau of Investigations told lawmakers there have been no indictments, no arrests so, therefore, there are no pending judgments. VanBuren said he would answer questions about the case and that…

Cut 14 (07)  “…no idea.”

The committee is also questioning how much Governor John Bel Edwards knew about the Greene case and when he knew it. Kenner Representative Debbie Villio asked Cammon if he ever spoke with former LSP Commissioner Calvin Braxton about the Greene case with the intent it would be relayed to the Edwards Administration, he said he did not.

Cut 15 (12)  “…make those statements.”

On April 7th Third District Attorney General John Belton told committee members a grand jury will be convened to consider charges against troopers involved with Greene’s death.

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Two of the Saints biggest needs heading into the NFL draft were at wide receiver and offensive tackle and they addressed both areas in the first round. New Orleans traded up to take receiver Chris Olave with the 11th pick. The former Ohio State standout joins former Buckeye Michael Thomas in the wide receiver room

Cut 16 (13)  “…going.”

With the 19th overall pick, the Saints selected Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning. Penning is known for having a nasty side…

Cut 17 (17) “ …get ready to compete.” 

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The New Orleans Pelicans led by 10 at the half, but ultimately fell to the Phoenix Suns, 115-109, losing their opening round playoff series four games to two. It was a tough conclusion to a season that took the Pels from a 1-12 start to pushing the NBA’s top team nearly to the limit. Herb Jones gave his thoughts on the journey.

Cut 18 (18) “ …did this year.” 

Like his mentor Monty Williams, Pels head coach Willie Green was able to lead New Orleans to the playoffs in his first season on the bench, something that seemed impossible just two months ago. Jones explained how the team fed off of Green’s positive energy during its postseason push.

Cut 19 (18) _“…off his energy.” 

Jose Alvarado came off the bench to score 11 points to go along with four assists, three rebounds. and two steals. Following the loss, the undrafted rookie, who went from two-player to a major contributor, talked about the influence Willie Green had on him this season…

Cut 20 (17) “ …the whole time.” 

LRN PM Newscall April 28

The Senate votes down legislation requiring cable and internet providers to provide refunds to customers without service for over 24 hours during a declared disaster. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 1 (30) “…I’m Jeff Palermo.”

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Efforts to raise the state’s minimum wage failed to get the support of the House Labor Committee. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 2 (33)…I’m Jeff Palermo”  

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The Louisiana Public Service Commission made headway this week in an effort to help close the digital divide in North Louisiana. Northeast Louisiana Power Cooperative will be the first utility co-op to supply internet service to their customers, PSC Chair Lambert Boissiere says it’s historic…

Cut 3 (09) “…internet existed.”

Boissiere says this will help individuals who lacked broadband and also businesses that need access to remain competitive in Northeast Louisiana.  He says federal infrastructure grants laid the groundwork for the private-public partnership.

Commissioner Foster Campbell says Northeast Louisiana Power Co-Op will supply broadband for members in seven northeast parishes.

Cut 4  (09) “…the poorest.”

According to the 2022 Louisiana Survey about three-fourths of homes in the state have broadband internet access.  LSU Public Policy Research Director Mike Henderson says of the remaining 25-percent who don’t, 40-percent say it’s not available and 60-percent say it’s too expensive.

Cut 5  (06) “…to them.”

And while the approval of the state’s first co-op to provide broadband access to rural northeast Louisiana is significant, Henderson says for areas of the state that have the service it’s a premium that many can’t afford.

Cut 6  (11) “…the cost.” 

The Louisiana Survey polled 508 adults from February 21st to March 14th.

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A bill to require automatic refunds to a customer if their cable or internet is out for more than 24 hours during a declared disaster is dead for the session. The Senate rejected the proposal on a 23-15 vote. Houma Senator Mike Fesi is concerned this proposal could actually result in higher cable and internet bills

Cut 7 (12) “…be a problem.” 

Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields argued customers should never be forced to pay for a service they do not receive. But River Ridge Senator Kirk Talbot says just because your cable is out on your television, some providers offer other ways to watch…

Cut 8 (10) “…on your phone.” 

There’s a push to increase broadband internet in rural areas and Minden Senator Robert Mills expressed concern this measure could impact those efforts…

Cut 9 (06) “…with this”

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LSU cornerback Derek Stingley is a strong candidate to be taken in the top 10 of the NFL Draft, which starts tonight. Stingley has been on the NFL’s radar since he stepped onto the LSU campus in 2019. His coach at Dunham High School in Baton Rouge, Neil Weiner, says he’s been hearing from teams for years looking for inside info on the budding star.

Cut 10 (08) “…would reach out.”

Stingley has been considered a first-rounder since he dominated the SEC as a freshman for the 2019 national champions. Weiner said that he has always been ahead of his time, dating back to his earliest workouts in the summer before his first year at Dunham.

Cut 11 (12)  “…13-year-old.” 

By Stingley’s third year of high school, he was already one of the most sought-after athletes in the country and Weiner says he knew that Stingley had the ability to reach the NFL and become one of the best in the game. Tonight, Derek Stingley Jr. should take the first steps on that journey.

Cut 12 (10) “…state of Louisiana.”  

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Once again the House Labor Committee voted down proposals to increase the minimum wage. Bossier City Representative Raymond Crews says he’s concerned that increasing the minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour will result in job losses…

Cut 13 (10) “…the workplace.”

Baton Rouge Representative Denise Marcelle disagrees that a higher minimum wage will lead to fewer jobs…

Cut 14 (09)  “…jobs are there.”

Marcelle believes raising the minimum wage will lead to more people entering the workforce and she had a proposal to increase the minimum wage to 12-dollars an hour…

Cut 15 (12) “…at your job” 

As we’ve seen in years past, business groups lobbied against minimum wage hike proposals. Jim Patterson with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry on why the state should not raise the minimum wage…

Cut  16 (08)  “…their businesses“

Updated LRN PM Newscall ###additional copy for corporal punishment story###

An elderly Slidell man was hospitalized after being attacked by a squirrel. David Grubb has more.

Cut 1 (35) “…I’m David Grubb.”

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The World Meteorological Organization has retired Ida from the rotating lists of Atlantic Hurricane names. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 2 (30)…I’m Jeff Palermo”  

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A Baton Rouge man who was found not guilty by reason of insanity after driving his speeding truck into the back of a 51-year-old woman’s car, killing her as a result has been released from a state mental facility. 21-year-old Jack Jordan’s attorney James Manasseh says his client has met all the conditions set forth by the hospital.

Cut 3 (11) “…or himself.”

Jordan was 19 years old when he drove his vehicle 90 miles per hour into the back of 51-year-old Stephanie Payne’s SUV in 2019. Jordan told authorities God told him to commit suicide but killed Payne in his attempt. Manasseh says when one pleads guilty by reason of insanity, they still have to meet conditions set forth by the Judge.

Cut 4  (12) “…anticipated.”

Manasseh says even though Jordan has been released, he still remains under supervision, and his medication is also monitored. Manasseh says Jordan has weekly meetings with psychiatrists, and probation officers and is no longer allowed to drive.

Cut 5  (08) “…supervision.”

Manasseh says Jordan will essentially be on probation for the remainder of his life.

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When a dog bites a man, that’s not news, but how about when a squirrel bites a man? Authorities say a 78-year-old Slidell man sustained significant injuries in a squirrel attack. It all started Wednesday morning, says Slidell Police Department spokesman Daniel Seuzeneau (Soos-ih-no), with a call to 9-1-1.

Cut 6  (12) “…the man’s hand.” 

Seuzeneau says emergency responders quickly made their way to the scene as the man attempted to fend off the squirrel. When they arrived the victim was attempting to choke the squirrel but he wasn’t able to get a grip on the animal.

Cut 7 (12) “…of that attack.” 

The gentleman was transported to a nearby hospital to be treated for significant injuries, though he is expected to make a full recovery. ER doctors have requested to examine the squirrel to test for any possible diseases. The cause of the attack is unknown, and in general, they aren’t common.

Cut 8 (10) “…start a study.” 

This is the second reported squirrel attack in Slidell this year. The first happened in February during a Mardi Gras parade where three people were injured.

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The House Education Committee approves a bill that bans corporal punishment in public schools. Metairie Representative Stephanie Hilferty says children should not be physically punished by the principal or teacher…

Cut 9 (13) “…in school”

No one on the House Education Committee objected to the bill. It has the support of retired educator and Baton Rouge Representative Barbara Freiberg….

Cut 10 (06) “…school system”

Executive Director of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents, Michael Faulk, says he knows of 19 school districts in Louisiana that have a school board policy allowing corporal punishment…

Cut 11 (10)  “…discpline” 

This same bill failed to pass in the House last year as it failed on a floor vote of 48 to 49.

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The House Criminal Justice Committee approves legislation that would require convicted drunk drivers who had a blood alcohol content of .15 to have an interlock device system installed on their vehicle for two years. The bill’s author is Covington Representative Mark Wright…

Cut 12 (08) “…others from”  

The interlock prevents individuals from starting a vehicle if they have been drinking. Wright is admitted recovering alcoholic and knows individuals with a drinking problem are chronic drunk drivers…

Cut 13 (08) “…of it.”

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre owns a company that sells interlock devices and there are concerns his business could profit from the passage of this legislation. The Ethics Board has ruled that Webre can not sell his interlock devices in LaFourche and Thibodaux Representative Bryan Fontenot says if lawmakers have questions they can bring Sheriff Webre to the capitol in the future

Cut 14 (11)  “…about Craig Webre.”

###Updated AM Newscall with Pelicans Postgame###

The anticipation for Festival International is at an all-time high as the global musical event returns to Acadiana tonight after a two-year absence. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (31) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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A bill seeking to repeal the state’s 2016 Raise the Age law will go to the full Senate for debate. Kevin Gallagher reports it would mean more juveniles could tried as adults…:

Cut 2 (33) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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Entergy renews its effort to make renewable energy accessible to its customers next month. David Grubb has more…

Cut 3 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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The largest free international music festival kicks off tonight in Lafayette and after a two-year absence organizers of Festival International are tuning up for record-breaking crowds. Spokesperson Brad Cradeur says there’s plenty of anticipation for the five-day festival to get underway.

Cut 4 (08)  “…tons of fun.”

For this year’s festival which features musical acts, crafts, and food from all over the globe, there’s a new cashless payment system. Cradeur says you can register for an account ahead of time on their website FestivalInternational-dot-org

Cut 5 (10) “…bank account.”

If you’ve never attended the event Cradeur says it’s hard to explain in a few words just how distinctive the event is for Acadiana. He says he can’t think of any other place in the world where you can experience such a gamut of music in less than a tenth of a mile.

Cut 6 (10)  “…something years now.”

Festival International normally attracts up to 300,000 attendees over the five-day period but organizers expect to eclipse previous records in attendance this year.

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A bill to repeal Louisiana’s 2016 “Raise the age” law passes a Senate committee without objection. The law assures all persons under 18 who commit serious crimes are tried in juvenile court. The bill seeks to make that age limit 17. Speaking for it, state Attorney General Jeff Landry, who referenced a terrible New Orleans carjacking last month, in which a woman was dragged to death. The persons arrested were all minors…:

Cut 7 (10) “…tried as adults.”

The “Raise the Age” law was part of a criminal justice reform package, pushed by Governor John Bel Edwards during his first year in office. Passed in 2016, it took effect in March 2019, and provides that – for court and trial purposes – “child” means anyone under 21 who commits a crime before age 18. Monroe Senator Stewart Cathey’s bill would return that definition to “before age 17”. Eighteenth JDC District Attorney Tony Clayton says it’s time to get rid of “Raise the Age”…:

Cut 8 (15)  “…with the rest of us.”

Among those opposing the bill was Rachel Gassert, with the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights. She says the 2016 law merely stops the automatic routing of 17-year-olds through the adult court system, and she says the measure is unnecessary…:

Cut 9 (09)  “…question is relevant.”

Passed without objection by Senate Judiciary B committee members, the bill moves to the Senate floor.

_______________________________________

Soon Entergy customers will have the option to match some or get all of their electricity usage from renewable energy sources. Director of regulatory affairs Elizabeth Ingram says the Green Select program starts in May with customers able to choose from receiving 25 to up to 100 percent of their power from facilities like the Capital Region Solar site in West Baton Rouge.

Cut 10 (08) “…renewable sources.”

The Entergy Green Select program makes renewable energy available to people who rent their homes or are unable to install solar panels. Customers will have to pay a slight surcharge depending on which tier they select.

Cut  11 (11)  “…per kilowatt hour.”  

Ingram says roughly 30 percent of the energy supplied to customers comes from clean sources and Green Select should help increase that number as Entergy looks to reduce its carbon emissions by 50 percent over the next eight years from where they were in the year 2000, with a net-zero emissions goal by 2050.

Cut 12 (11) “…to bring customers.” 

For more information, you can visit renew-dot-entergy-dot-com.

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Louisiana Gaming Commission Chairman Ronnie Johns says sports gamblers wagered $628.3 million in the first five months of the expansion for online betting.

Cut 13 (10) “…it works”

Johns says it works well enough that sports wagering has generated $7.4 million in tax revenue for Louisiana.

Johns says while the commission was under lots of pressure to get online sports betting up and running ASAP, he says it wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation of several agencies.

Cut 14 (11)  “…we did.”

Instead of rushing online gaming, Johns says he’s relieved they took the time to ensure it launched smoothly…

Cut 15 (06)  “…pleased with.”

Casinos brought in $53.8 million from sport betting from November to March.

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The NFL Draft kicks off tomorrow and for the first time in a while, there won’t be a lot of LSU Tigers taken early. One player who should hear his name called on day one is cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. While his LSU career was cut short by injury, draft expert Mike Detillier says Stingley still has everything needed to be a star at the next level.

Cut 16 (18)  “…in 2019.”

After playing 15 games for the 2019 national champs, LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. appeared in only 10 games over the last two seasons. Stingley came back with a fantastic pro-day performance that has likely lifted him back into the top 10 of the draft. Detillier says the health questions will follow Stingley until he proves he can stay on the field.

Cut 17 (16) “ …NFL season.” 

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The New Orleans Pelicans fell behind early and never recovered, losing 112-97 to the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of their playoff series. The Pels had more turnovers than assists and trailed by as many as 18. Brandon Ingram scored 22 points on 7-of-19 shooting. He says his team has to be better, and it starts with him.

Cut 18 (18) “ …we’ll be fine.” 

Now down three games to two, the Pelicans face elimination in Game 6. Ingram says he’ll be ready to step up in front of the home crowd on Thursday night and hopefully send the series back to Phoenix.

Cut 19 (15) _“…defensive end.” 

The Pelicans have trailed by double digits at halftime in all three losses. Coach Willie Green says they have to be ready to play from the outset against the best team in the league.

Cut 20 (13) “ …really good team.” 

The series returns to New Orleans on Thursday for Game 6. Tip-off will be at 6:30 pm.