LRN PM Newscall April 26

After 850 nursing home patients were evacuated to a Tangipahoa Parish warehouse with poor living conditions during Hurricane Ida, lawmakers are responding with legislation. Brooke Thorington has more on one of those bills.

Cut 1 (34) “…I’m Brooke Thorington”

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Encouraging news as COVID cases in the state are at an all-time low…David Grubb has the latest numbers.

Cut 2 (36)…I’m David Grubb.”  

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After 850 nursing home patients were evacuated to a warehouse in Tangipahoa Parish during Hurricane Ida, resulting in more than a dozen deaths, legislation to give the state more oversite powers have been proposed in this session. Baton Rouge Representative Rick Edmonds’s bill gives the Department of Health more enforcement.

Cut 3 (10) “…approve the plan.”

House Bill 291 gives LDH the ability to reject questionable evacuation plans. Edmonds says Health and Welfare Committee members repeatedly asked who approved a plan to evacuate patients to a warehouse where patients’ bedding consisted of mattresses on the floor.

Cut 4  (09) “…and rejected.”

Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey asked if the legislation requires nursing homes to show proof of the ability to execute approved evacuation plans, for example, their finances and contracts for supplies. Edmonds welcomed Ivey’s input on the legislation.

Cut 5  (06) “…sir, thank you.”

Bill passed in the House with only one vote in opposition. There’s also Senate legislation that charges the State Fire Marshal’s Office with inspection of evacuation plans.

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The numbers on COVID infections in Louisiana are very encouraging. The latest figures show only 38 patients hospitalized statewide, with not a single patient currently on a chemical ventilator. State Health Officer, Dr. Joe Kanter likes what he sees.

Cut 6  (06) “…this pandemic.” 

Kanter says the numbers don’t mean there’s no longer a reason to take precautions and believes another surge is likely at some point, though Louisiana is in much better shape to face that when the time comes.

Cut 7 (14) “…is significant.” 

Individuals still have to assess the level of risk for themselves and their families. Vaccinations remain the best protection from COVID, and Kanter says if you haven’t gotten a booster, now’s the time to do so.

Cut 8 (11) “…these variants.” 

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The Louisiana Senate has overwhelmingly approved legislation that would criminalize the act of prescribing, distributing, or administrating abortion pills without an in-person visit with a licensed doctor. Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt says she wrote the bill because the current law prohibiting such activity is unclear…

Cut 9 (12) “…in Louisiana.”

Hewitt says businesses located out of the state and the United States are selling abortion pills online and mailing them to women in Louisiana for them to take at home without physician oversight…

Cut 10 (10) “…for women”

Hewitt says her legislation would apply criminal penalties to the distributor of the abortion pill, not the pregnant woman…

Cut 11 (12)  “…abortion industry” 

The bill moves to the House for its consideration.

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Baton Rouge Senator Regina Barrow will not move forward with a bill that would give judges the authority to sentence a convicted sex offender to surgical castration if the victim is under the age of 13. Barrow says she’s heard several different concerns, including what happens if the castration happens, but it turns out to be a wrongful conviction…

Cut 12 (12) “…convicted wrongly”  

Morgan Lamandre is the legal director for a group called sexual trauma awareness and response. Lamandre told the Senate Judiciary C Committee that surgical castration does not serve as a deterrent…

Cut 13 (11) “…more deadly.”

Barrow says she’ll study the issue and plans to file a surgical castration bill for child rapists next year. Baton Rouge area Senator Bodi White says he’s watched video that sex crime prosecutors have where young children are raped and he can’t wait to vote for this legislation…

Cut 14 (09)  “…threw up.”

###Corrected LRN AM Newscall for April 26### Cuts 1, 4-6 copy was change to reflect the bill passed

A bill to prohibit discrimination in housing based on gender identity & gender preference advances out of the House Commerce Committee Monday. Kevin Gallagher has more…:

Cut 1 (33) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

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A New Orleans wrestler becomes the first high-school athlete in the state to sign a deal for his name, image, and likeness. David Grubb has more…

Cut 2 (35) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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Legislation to address a technicality of insurance companies denying living expenses for policyholders because mandatory evacuations were not issued, passed in the House. Brooke Thorington explains

Cut 3 (34) “…I’m Brooke Thorington” 

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A House bill to prohibit discrimination in housing based on gender identity or sexual orientation advanced out of the House Commerce Committee Monday. Bill sponsor and New Orleans Democrat Representative Aimee Freeman says her HB303 parallels federal law already in place…:

Cut 4 (11)  “…with federal law.”

But committee members questioned why – if there is already a federal law – is a state statute necessary? Metairie Republican Representative Polly Thomas asks how a landlord or seller would determine a person’s gender preference or identity…:

Cut 5 (12) “…to be adequate.”

A motion was made to kill Freeman’s bill. That received a terse response from New Orleans Democrat Rep. Royce Duplessis, who pointed out that not one person who filed an opposition “red card” chose to come to committee and testify against Freeman’s bill. He calls that “embarrassing and frustrating”…:

Cut 6 (09)  “…you can kill a bill.”

Another motion was made to advance the bill out of committee, and it passed without objection; moving now to the House floor.

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Brother Martin’s Richie Clementi is one of the very best high school wrestlers in the state and he’s only a freshman. Clementi is 80-0 over the past two years, including winning the state championship in his weight class this past February. Now, he’s the first high school athlete in Louisiana to sign a deal to compensate him for his name, image, and likeness.

Cut 7 (06) “…these deals.”

Friendly Powersports Slidell and Clementi agreed on a four-figure deal that will allow the young wrestler the opportunity to focus on improving without having to miss a practice or workout to go to work, a choice that Clementi says a lot of young athletes have to make.

Cut 8 (12)  “…at tournaments.”

Clementi’s father, Rich, says NIL is a benefit to athletes in all types of sports, not just football or basketball, and believes that more student-athletes may be able to stick with sports like wrestling with the potential avenues for financial support that weren’t available in the past.

Cut 9 (12)  “…overall process.”

Clementi has already received a second offer for a NIL deal, with more potentially to come.

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The Senate Finance Committee approves legislation that would double the fine for speeding on the I-10 Atchafalaya Basin Bridge between Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Senate President Page Cortez is seeking lawmakers’ approval to use cameras to issue speeding tickets based on how fast it takes a vehicle to get from one end to the other…

Cut 10 (05) “…the exits.”

The speed limit on the 18-mile bridge is 60 miles per hour for cars and 55 miles per hour for trucks, so if a car does the speed limit, it should take 18 minutes to get across the bridge. Vehicles that make it across faster than 18 minutes could receive a speeding ticket in the mail.

Cortez’s legislation needed Senate Finance approval because it will cost the state to put up additional speed limit signs and cameras. The Lafayette lawmaker says the goal is to slow motorists down

Cut  11 (12)  “…off of it.”  

Violators would get two warnings and then face fines for a third violation. Shreveport Senator Barry Milligan likes the measure as one of his friends who was a police officer was killed after stopping a motorist on the bridge…

Cut 12 (11) “…the bill.” 

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The Louisiana House approves a bill requiring insurers that offer loss of use of coverage to provide two weeks of evacuation living expenses to policyholders even if a mandatory evacuation is not called. The legislation is in response to Hurricane Ida which rapidly intensified and didn’t allow for a government-ordered mandatory evacuation Metairie Representative Laurie Schlegel’s bill will keep insurance companies from denying such coverage in the future.

Cut 13 (10) “…(x2) be triggered”

State Farm denied policyholders who had the coverage, two weeks of additional living expenses, on the technicality that a mandatory evacuation wasn’t enforced.

Pollock Representative Gabe Firment opposed the bill because he says it’s a reaction to a rare occurrence and worries when a mayor in one area of the state calls for an evacuation it could impact insurance rates in other parts of the state.

Cut 14 (10)  “…and Monroe.”

Both Schlegel and Kenner Representative Joseph Stagni reiterated that the bill does not create additional coverage it only forces an insurance company to pay expenses of those who have the coverage. Stagni says he received numerous calls from constituents who were denied such expenses.

Cut 15 (10)  “…this is needed.”

The bill passed on a 68 to 31 vote.

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Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, and Jonas Valanciunas grab the headlines, but Pelicans rookie Herb Jones has quickly made a name for himself this postseason. Jones leads all rookies in minutes during the playoffs and has had to guard nearly every player on the Suns’ roster. McCollum says he’s never seen a rookie quite like Herb.

Cut 16 (19)  “…get from him.”

During the Pelicans’ Game Four win Jones blocked three shots, all of them coming on three-point attempts, making him the only player over the last two seasons, both regular and playoffs to accomplish that feat. McCollum says there isn’t an area of weakness in Jones’ defensive arsenal.

Cut 17 (19) “ …the length.” 

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Coming off of their sweep of Missouri this past weekend, the LSU Tigers have won four in a row heading into tonight’s contest with intrastate foe UNO. Coach Jay Johnson says the Tigers are still improving, but he liked the way they handled themselves at the plate and in the field against Mizzou.

Cut 18 (18) “ …keep working.” 

Johnson says the team is better than it has been, and if the Tigers can get a bit healthier he believes they can make some noise during the final weeks of the regular season and heading into the SEC tournament.

Cut 19 (18) _“…keep working.” 

 

LRN PM Newscall April 25

A bullet fired into an Alexandria home has killed a teenage girl. Jeff Palermo has the latest on the investigation…

Cut 1 (31) “…I’m Jeff Palermo”

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The first of six public meetings get underway Monday evening on potential sites for a new I-10 Mississippi River Bridge connecting LA 1 to LA 30. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (32)…I’m Brooke Thorington.”  

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Alexandria Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old girl who died when a bullet entered her home on Monroe street last night. Lt. Lane Windham says Kaliyah Turner was rushed to a local hospital…

Cut 3 (07) “…the hospital.”

Windham says Turner was in her bedroom when several bullets entered her home…

Cut 4  (05) “…innocent bystander.”

Windham says they do not have any suspects at this time….

Cut 5  (12) “…killed her.”

If anyone has information, they are urged to contact the Alexandria Police Department.

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State Police are investigating a deputy-involved shooting in Assumption Parish after sheriff’s deputies tried to make a traffic stop Sunday morning of a stolen Ford pickup. Trooper Ross Brennan says after a short pursuit the driver 26-year-old Rhett Thibodeaux of Larose, stopped the vehicle.

Cut 6  (10) “…units.” 

Brennan says when Thibodeaux’s truck went into reverse and hit two of the units behind him, one of the deputies fired their gun at the truck.

Cut 7 (10) “…his injuries.” 

The Ford pickup was reported stolen out of Lafourche Parish and Brennan says evidence gathered at the scene is being processed at the State Police Crime Lab and the investigation is ongoing.

Cut 8 (07) “…download it.” 

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This evening the first of six public meetings allowing residents to provide input for the potential Mississippi River Bridge LA 1 to LA 30 connector is being held.  DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says public meetings are vital so they can narrow down the ten potential bridge sites to two or three locations.

Cut 9 (09) “…public response.”

Tonight’s meeting is in Baton Rouge at the library on Bluebonnet from 5 until 7. For a listing visit DOTD-dot-la-gov and search Mississippi River Bridge LA 1 to LA 30 connector.

Wilson says with ten potential sites that the Coast Guard has also provided guidance on, they are now asking the public for their thoughts

Cut 10 (12) “…this bridge.”

And while Wilson is inviting the public for their input on the potential location for the two-billion-dollar bridge, he also wants the public to voice where they don’t want the bridge to be constructed.

Cut 11 (12)  “…should be.” 

Wilson says they expect to narrow down sites to two or three locations and then conduct more in-depth studies on those locations.

For a list of meeting sites visit http://wwwapps.dotd.la.gov/administration/announcements/announcement.aspx?key=29706

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The House Civil Law Committee approves legislation that gives Louisiana citizens the right to accept or reject any form of health care. Abita Springs Representative Larry Frieman says he authored the constitutional amendment after seeing some people lose their job over not getting the COVID vaccine…

Cut 12 (12) “…health care.”  

The measure passed on an eleven to one vote, Lake Charles Representative Wilford Carter was the lone member to vote against the measure. He says current law prohibits the firing of an employee for race, age, gender and disability and this proposal would add a fifth basis for why you can not be fired…

Cut 13 (07) “…is doing.”

Frieman says the legislation does not prohibit an employer from instituting a vaccine mandate. He says this legislation is intended to give citizens a legal right to reject to any medical treatment…

Cut 14 (08)  “…or care.

Updated LRN AM Newscall for April 25 ###Pelicans sound added###

A bill to allow sexual assault victims to receive a copy of their forensic medical exam is expected to be heard in the Louisiana Senate today. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (33) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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Senator Cleo Fields has a bill on the table that would require cable and internet service providers to provide rebates after disasters. David Grubb has more…

Cut 2 (35) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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An LSU student-founded outdoorsman’s company wins big in a prestigious business plan pitching competition. More from Kevin Gallagher…:

Cut 3 (31) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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A bill to allow a sexual assault victim, if requested, to receive a copy of their forensic medical exam is scheduled to be heard in the Louisiana Senate today. Bill Author, Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell says she was shocked to learn this was even an issue after hearing testimony from former LSU students who claimed they were sexually assaulted.

Cut 4 (10)  “…her report.”

The bill was amended in committee that only a component adult victim may request a copy of the exam from the healthcare provider who performed the examination. Mizell says a copy must be provided to the patient no later than 14 days after the request is received.

Cut 5 (12) “…like that.”

STAR (Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response) Legal Director Morgan LeMandre says it’s about your medical health and victims of other crimes, for example, a gunshot wound, are able to have a copy but not victims of sexual assault.

LeMandre says she and Mizell were told at a sexual assault oversite commission meeting why victims are denied a copy of the report….

Cut 6 (12)  “…through something (right).”

If passed the bill is a companion piece of legislation to Shreveport Representative Thomas Pressly’s, House Bill 313, granting crime victims certain rights.

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After a disaster strikes outages are likely, and paying for your internet or cable that is not working should not be another burden for consumers, says Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields. His Senate Bill 352 would fix that.

Cut 7 (10) “… have to pay.”

Fields says he’s not interested in punishing companies, but in making the process of recovery easier. To emphasize that, he proposed amendments to the bill that limited the scope of when the rebates would take effect and who would be subject to them.

Cut 8 (11)  “…are not metered.”

Fields says currently a customer needs to contact their cable or internet provider in order to receive a refund if they experienced an outage after a hurricane or severe weather. The Baton Rouge lawmaker believes these refunds should occur automatically if the outage lasts more than 24 hours.

The proposal also puts cable and internet providers under the regulatory authority of the Public Service Commission.

Lauren Chauvin, executive director of the Louisiana Internet and Television Association, says they issued millions of dollars in refunds after Hurricane Ida and the bill calls for too many restrictions on service providers…

Cut 9 (12)  “…on our members.”

The amended bill passed through Senate Commerce, with Fields pledging to work on the wording of the legislation before he brings it up for a vote in the Senate.

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An LSU student-founded sportsmen’s charter business wins big in a business plan competition. Logan Meaux is the founder of Mallard Bay, which he describes as a marketplace for booking guided hunting and fishing trips with reputable charters and outfitters. He says they recently were in the Rice University Business Plan Competition, and won over $200-thousand…:

Cut 10 (14) “…pitching in the finals.”

Meaux is the son of WAITR delivery app founder Chris Meaux. He says problems with booking a hunting trip for his dad inspired him to build Mallard Bay from the ground up. In existence for less than a year, Meaux feels Mallard Bay did remarkably well in the prestigious business pitch competition…:

Cut  11 (11)  “…across North America.”  

Only 42 teams competed in the Rice competition, and Mallard took home the fourth largest amount of investments; totaling about $215-thousand. So what’s next for Meaux, his business partners and Mallard Bay? Perhaps an appearance on “Shark Tank?”…

Cut 12 (10) “…gonna go from here.” 

More online at “MallardBay.com”

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Trailing by two at halftime, the eighth-seeded Pelicans outscored top-seeded Phoenix 69-52 in the second half on their way to a 118-103 victory on Sunday night to even up their opening-round series at two games each. Brandon Ingram scored a game-high 30 points, becoming the first player in franchise history to reach that mark in three straight playoff games.

Cut 13 (13) “…look good”

It was an electric weekend in New Orleans, with sold out crowds making their presence felt in both games. Pelicans coach Willie Green says it was something special.

Cut 14 (11)  “…behind us.”

After scoring 31 points in game three, Chris Paul was held to four by the Pelicans, on just 2-of-8 shooting. Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado also forced Paul into three turnovers, one more than he had in the entire series coming in. It got testy between the two in the second half, Alvarado says it’s just basketball.

Cut 15 (11)  “…difficult for him.”

Game five of the series is Tuesday night with game six back in New Orleans on Thursday.

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LSU and Louisiana Tech held spring games on Saturday and both schools are undecided at starting quarterback. In Ruston, TCU transfer Matthew Downing, redshirt senior Parker McNeil and freshman Landry Lyddy are competing to be Q-B 1. Bulldogs coach Sonny Cumbie says it would be hard to name a starter right now

Cut 16 (06)  “…have to do that today.”

Going into spring, many believed it was between Myles Brennan and Jayden Daniels to be the starting quarterback. But Garrett Nussmeier showed he should be considered as well as he threw for a game-high 136 yards and a touchdown. Following the spring game, Tigers Coach Brian Kelly admitted there’s less clarity on who will be the starter…

Cut 17 (17) “ …on the team” 

Jack Bech led the wide receivers with six catches for 56 yards and two touchdowns. Kelly is impressed with the soon-to-be sophomore from Lafayette and calls him deceptive…

Cut 18 (20) “ …that today” 

After a slow start on Saturday, LSU got the running game going. Tre Bradford led the way with 85 yards rushing, Armoni Goodwin had 71 yards on the ground and Josh Williams scored twice and had 51 yards rushing. John Emery also got four carries for 24 yards. Kelly knows they have holes on the team but not at running back…

Cut 19 (20) _“…in this league” 

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After getting swept last weekend at Arkansas, LSU baseball returned home this past weekend to sweep Missouri. Tigers Coach Jay Johnson likes the look of his line-up with freshman Josh Pearson leading-off…

Cut 20 (22) “ …this weekend” 

LSU hosts UNO on Tuesday and then Georgia this weekend.

LRN PM Newscall April 22

Baton Rouge Police say a four-year-old died after being forced to consume a bottle of whiskey and her relatives are behind bars. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (33) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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A bill staking New Orleans’ claim as the birthplace of Rock and Roll is headed to the house floor. David Grubb has more…

Cut 2 (35)…I’m David Grubb.”  

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After a four-year-old Baton Rouge toddler was allegedly forced to drink alcohol and found unresponsive Thursday morning, her mother and grandmother are charged with first-degree murder. BRPD Spokesperson L’Jean McKneely says when officers arrived the family had already attempted to revive China Record by placing her in a tub of cold water.

Cut 3 (11) “…later die.”

The coroner says China Record’s blood alcohol concentration was a deadly point-six-eight-zero. McNeely says the victim’s grandmother 53-year-old Roxanne Record and mother 28-year-old Kadjah Record were both charged, even though the investigation indicates the grandmother forced the child to drink the whiskey.

Cut 4  (10) “…unconscious.”

McKneely says this is just one of many heartbreaking cases where a child’s life ended due to abuse. He says they are trying to raise more awareness of available resources to help those in such situations. McKneely encourages the public to contact them.

Cut 5  (08) “…available.”

The case remains under investigation. Both women are being held in the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail and bond amounts have not been listed

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Houma Representative Tanner Magee considers himself a music aficionado, and as one, something has bothered him for a very long time…the fact that the city of Memphis lays claim as the home of rock and roll. A trip to the legendary Sun Records studio years ago has inspired him to propose HB 889, which would create a rock and roll museum in New Orleans.

Cut 6  (12) “…comes to Memphis.” 

The Dew-Drop-America’s Rock and Roll Museum would celebrate and promote the city and state’s rich musical heritage, as well as the social, cultural, and economic history of rock and roll music near the site of one of the most famous music clubs and hotels in the country.

Cut 7 (12) “…just music.” 

Magee says cities like Memphis have built up cultural tourism sites, leading to increased revenue and that it’s time for Louisiana to start doing the same.

Cut 8 (09) “…all these things.” 

The pill passed House Municipal and now heads to the floor for further debate.

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Should Louisiana increase the number of medical marijuana pharmacy licenses? That’s a debate underway in the ongoing legislative session. Current law provides for the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy to issue no more than ten, but Gretna Representative Joe Marino has a bill to increase the limit to 25…

Cut 9 (12) “…access to it.”

The House Health and Welfare Committee has approved Marino’s bill and a full House vote is scheduled next week.

The legislation does not have the full support of the governor. John Bel Edwards says the framework for dispensing medical marijuana is still relatively new in Louisiana and adding more licensee holders could be unfair to the existing ones…

Cut 10 (10)  “…problematic”

Edwards believes it would be better to keep the number of licensed medical marijuana pharmacies to ten….

Cut 11 (11)  “…to have too.” 

Houma Representative Tanner Magee has a bill that’s passed House Health and Welfare that would allow current marijuana pharmacy license holders to have satellite locations.

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Today marks 30 years since the multi-state, big money Powerball lottery game debuted, and Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Kim Chopin says the anniversary comes with one of the game’s top twenty jackpot amounts…:

Cut 12 (09) “…for Saturday’s drawing.”  

The estimated Powerball jackpot for Saturday night’s drawing is at just over $400-million. Chopin says ticket sales always soar when jackpots get this high…:

Cut 13 (08) “…for two dollars.”

This far from the biggest Powerball jackpot ever. That was a $1.6-billion sum awarded in January 2016 to winners in California, Florida and Tennessee. Chopin says it’s still good to observe three decades of Powerball with a chance for someone in Louisiana to become a millionaire…:

Cut 14 (09)  “…that multi-state game.”

LRN AM Newscall April 22

The state’s $38-billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1st has passed the House of Representatives. Kevin Gallagher has more…:

Cut 1 (34) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

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Law enforcement will increase their enforcement of seat belt use in pick-up trucks. Kevin Gallagher has the story…

Cut 2 (30) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher” 

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The Pelicans’ success has more birds of a feather flocking together, as fan groups sprout up and meet up to watch the team. David Grubb has more…

Cut 3 (35) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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The full House of Representatives passes the $38-billion state budget bill. The legislation is the state’s spending plan for fiscal year that starts July 1st. Speaking on the House floor, Appropriations chair and Houma Republican Jerome Zeringue (zer-ANG) says House Bill 1 makes good use of one-time money for the pandemic and from the federal CARES act…:

Cut 4 (13)  “…one-time expenses.”

The budget bill has no significant cuts for any department, fully funds higher education, TOPS grants and includes pay raises for teachers and school support staff. On the floor, Lafayette area Republican Rep. Blake Miguez (MEE-gez) asks Zeringue about the nearly half-a-cent temporary sales tax increase; passed in 2016 to address a fiscal cliff. He worries a growing a state budget ignores the impending loss of revenue when it expires…:

Cut 5 (12) “…in the next term.”

Zeringue says he and other budget architects DID take lowered sales taxes into account…:

Cut 6 (11)  “…all things considered.”

HB1 passed the chamber by a vote of 94-4 and now moves to the Senate Finance Committee for review.

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Governor John Bel Edwards is dismayed the Louisiana House does not back his proposal to put 500-million dollars towards a new Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge. Edwards says thanks to state surplus dollars and federal infrastructure dollars the state can finally make a significant payment towards a project that could cost 2-point-5 billion dollars…

Cut 7 (04) “…shining now”

Many lawmakers are reluctant to put 500-million dollars towards a construction project that’s still several years away from happening. Officials have yet to decide where the bridge will be built. But Edwards says a 500-million dollar commitment will show the federal government the state is serious about building this bridge…

Cut 8 (10)  “…our state”

The governor is also disappointed the House did not support his proposal to give law enforcement and firefighters a 100-dollar a month increase in pay by using state dollars. Edwards says he’s not sure why the House didn’t appropriate the supplemental pay increase in a funding bill sent to the senate…

Cut 9 (12)  “…on there.”

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The “Buckle Up in Your Truck” highway safety campaign begins Saturday and runs for the next week. Louisiana Highway Safety Commission spokesperson Mark Lambert says law enforcement agencies will focus on making sure pick-up truck drivers and their passengers are buckled up….

Cut 10 (11) “…your seatbelt”

Lambert says they are targeting pick-up trucks because these vehicles are more likely to roll over in a crash…

Cut  11 (08)  “…even death.”  

Lambert says surveys also show drivers and passengers are less likely to buckle up when they are in a pick-up truck….

Cut 12 (12) “…65-percent.” 

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The success of the New Orleans Pelicans has led to a surge in popularity for the franchise. Rel Myers, co-founder of The Pels 12 fan group, says fans are meeting up to support the team and local businesses as well.

Cut 13 (11) “…local economy.”

Over the past few weeks, as the team moved closer to the playoffs, Myers says the franchise has reached out to her group and others to provide support for the growing fanbase.

Cut 14 (10)  “…as well.”

As the Pelicans return home for Game 3 tonight, Myers says The Pels 12 will be out in full force, and she expects New Orleans to show up and show out as only it can.

Cut 15 (09)  “…in that first round.”

Both games three and four have already sold out.

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One of the big factors for the New Orleans Pelicans in their push into the postseason has been the play of the team’s young role players. Coach Willie Green says his staff has done an excellent job in preparing them for this moment.

Cut 16 (18)  “…big-time results.”

All-Star guard Devin Booker is likely out for the remainder of the series, a major blow for the top-seeded Suns. Green says Phoenix, which went 5-2 without Booker this season, is still very dangerous.

Cut 17 (17) “ …as such.” 

Pelicans guard CJ McCollum is making his ninth straight playoff appearance and has stressed to his teammates the importance of taking care of business in this pivotal game three.

Cut 18 (15) “ …of this game.” 

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Saturday is the LSU Spring game and there will be several new Tigers on the football field for the fans to watch. Cornerback Mekhi Garner is now wearing purple and gold after playing for the Ragin Cajuns and he loves his new coach…

Cut 19 (17) _“…favorite coaches.” 

There are a lot of new names in LSU’s defensive secondary. Safety Joe Foucha transferred in from Arkansas and he says they’ll need the summer to bond…

Cut 20 (19) “ …as one” 

LRN PM Newscall April 21

Governor John Bel Edwards and state leaders rode on a passenger train from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, a concept talked about for a long time. Michelle Southern has more…

Cut 1 (31) “…I’m Michelle Southern.”

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There’s surprising new data on voter confidence in elections and media. David Grubb has the story.

Cut 2 (35)…I’m David Grubb.”  

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Governor John Bel Edwards rode a passenger train from Baton Rouge to New Orleans as he continues to promote the possibility of a commuter rail line. Before boarding the train, Edwards says a rail line connecting the Red Stick with the Big Easy would do wonders for southeast Louisiana…

Cut 3 (10) “…Saints games.”

Joining Edwards on the “inspection” train ride were executives from Amtrak, Kansas City Southern, and Canadian Pacific. Canadian Pacific says it’s committed to providing a passenger rail service between B-R and NOLA. Louisiana Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson was also on the trip…

Cut 4  (11) “…action plan.”

Edwards says Louisiana needs to allocate 25-million dollars to show the federal government that it’s serious about the project, but the Legislature has yet to commit to that level of spending…

Cut 5  (11) “…that important.”

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Election security remains a hot topic around the nation, but according to the 2022 Louisiana Survey conducted by LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab, 88 percent of voters across the state, regardless of party, believe that Louisiana’s elections are conducted fairly and tallied accurately. Here’s Dr. Michael Henderson.

Cut 6  (12) “…pretty widespread.” 

Henderson says there is disagreement on what voting is, and who should be voting. More than three-quarters of Republicans polled see voting as a privilege, while more than 80 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of Independent voters view it as a fundamental right.

Cut 7 (12) “…shouldn’t be restricted.” 

A surprising area of consensus among all groups is a decreasing level of confidence in the media. While distrust of national outlets isn’t unusual, Henderson says just over half of respondents say they trust their local news source, a 27-percentage point drop from four years ago.

Cut 8 (11) “…and Independents drop.” 

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Union Parish authorities are seeking a murder suspect, who escaped from a work release program after fatally stabbing a man this morning. Union Sheriff Dusty Gates says the alleged killer was on a prison work-release crew at Foster Farms in Farmerville…:

Cut 9 (10) “…fled the scene.”

Gates says 48-year-old Bruce Causey is from Baton Rouge. He reportedly attacked a co-worker; stabbing him several times. That victim was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital. Gates says Causey is at large and could be headed for safe haven back home…:

Cut 10 (05)  “…Barton Rouge area.”

WBRZ in Baton Rouge reports Causey has a record of violent crime arrests going back 30 years.

Gates says Foster farms has hired work-release labor at their chicken processing plant for many years, and nothing like this has happened before. He says the victim was a 53-year-old Black male, but cannot divulge more until his family is notified. Gates says all that’s known at this time is an argument between the men triggered the violence…:

Cut 11 (08)  “…motive behindit.” 

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Once again a proposal to raise the minimum wage has been rejected at the State Capitol. The Senate Labor Committee voted against a constitutional amendment that would increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.25 an hour on January 1st. Monroe Senator Stewart Cathey says if you require businesses to raise wages, they’ll raise prices on consumers…

Cut 12 (11) “…to live”  

The measure failed on a four to one vote. The only “Yes” vote came from the author of the proposal, Baton Rouge Senator Regina Barrow, who tried to increase the minimum wage in Louisiana for the first time since 2009…

Cut 13 (12) “…decent living”

Vice President of Government Relations at the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry Jim Patterson made the argument a higher minimum wage could lead to higher prices for consumers and fewer jobs for low-wage earners…

Cut 14 (10)  “…would be.”

 

LRN AM Newscall April 21

After learning from a constituent that Robert E. Lee and Confederate Memorial Day were still listed as official holidays, a young New Orleans lawmaker vowed to change it. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (34) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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A transgender sports ban bill is poised to pass the state legislature again and it looks like it will get vetoed again. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 2 (30) “…I’m Jeff Palermo” 

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Two suspects have been arrested for burglarizing and setting fire to the home of Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. David Grubb has more…

Cut 3 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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A bill to remove Robert E. Lee and Confederate Memorial Day from the list of legal holidays in the state advances unanimously in House Judiciary. Bill Author New Orleans Representative Matthew Willard says he was unaware the legal holidays were still on the books until a constituent let him know.

Cut 4 (11)  “…those two.”

Willard says it was very emotional as a young black man to see the two holidays still recognized. Willard said he made a vow to remove the holidays in Louisiana as a way to honor his late grandfather, Dr. Elliot Willard.

Cut 5 (08) “…change that.”

While the holidays are no longer formally observed in Louisiana, they remain listed as official holidays. Willard implored members to show compassion for how these holidays impact himself and others like him.

Cut 6 (10)  “…affect you.”

The bill now moves to the House floor.

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Governor John Bel Edwards’ position on a bill that would ban transgender girls from competing in female sports has not changed. Edwards vetoed the legislation last year, but the Legislature is poised to approve it again. Edwards still believes the bill is unnecessary as he says there has not been an incident of a non-biological female playing a women’s sport in Louisiana.

Cut 7 (08) “…to it”

Supporters of the transgender sports ban bill, which passed the Senate this week, point to transgender swimmer Lia Thomas who won an NCAA women’s title in the 500-yard freestyle. But Edwards says there are bigger issues facing Louisiana…

Cut 8 (08)  “…one of them.”

Edwards says the Louisiana High School Atheltic Association already has a rule in place that prevents transgender athletes from competing. The governor used his veto pen last year on this bill and it survived an override an attempt and he could use his veto authority again…

Cut 9 (11)  “…haven’t changed.”

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The man and woman who allegedly burglarized and set fire to Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser’s home have been arrested. Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Shawn Domingue said that Robert Kelly and Angela Goodfellow, both of Slidell, were apprehended in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Wednesday.

Cut 10 (12) “…to the crime.”

Last Thursday, Kelly and Goodfellow allegedly kicked in the back door to the home, stole what they could, and started a fire in the kitchen. Domingue says at this time authorities don’t believe that Nungesser was specifically targeted.

Cut  11 (10)  “…Plaquemines Parish.”  

Most of the items taken from Nungesser’s home have been recovered, though for the lieutenant governor, having that duo off the street and behind bars is a greater relief than getting back some memorabilia.

Cut 12 (12) “…off the streets.” 

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Oil City Representative Danny McCormick’s bill to allow non-felons to conceal carry a gun without a permit passes in the House 64 to 27. Last year Governor Edwards vetoed the legislation due to the removal of the training requirement to conceal carry. McCormick filed the same bill this session.

Cut 13 (06) “…open carry.”

In committee, the bill was amended, and the age was raised to 21 and older, but bill co-author Rosepine Representative Chuck Owen immediately presented an amendment lowering the age back to 18. Baton Rouge Representative Denise Marcelle voted to raise the age to 21 and older in committee.

Cut 14 (12)  “…their word?”

The amendment failed and the age remains 21 and older to conceal carry.

Then the bill was amended again to have State Police offer online free training that is optional to conceal carry.

McCormick says training is not required for open carry and it shouldn’t apply to conceal carry.

Cut 15 (08)  “…my objection.”

The amendment for State Police to offer free optional instruction passed unanimously. The bill advances to a Senate committee.

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Walker Howard is the most highly touted quarterback recruit at LSU since Russell Shepard and he could be the foundation that Brian Kelly’s Tigers are built on. For now, he’s another freshman trying to adjust to life away from home and the difference between high school and college competition.

Cut 16 (15)  “…to compete.”

Howard has established a strong relationship with another freshman, five-star left tackle Will Campbell. The two committed to LSU in early 2021 and their friendship has grown since. Campbell has wowed in practice with his work ethic and could make a push to join the starting group by this fall.

Cut 17 (17) “ …he’s the best.” 

With three more experienced quarterbacks ahead of him on the roster, Howard has had to shift his focus to making the most of his limited on-field reps and strengthening the mental aspects of his game.

Cut 18 (13) “ …tough sometimes.” 

Both Howard and Campbell are early enrollees, arriving on the LSU campus in January to get a head start on their careers. Campbell says it was the best decision for him to give him a leg up in preparing for the toughest conference in college football.

Cut 19 (14) _“…everything like that.” 

Offensive line coach Brad Davis has been instrumental in getting Campbell up to speed. Campbell says they have two very different, but very important relationships when they are on and off the field.

Cut 20 (13) “ …every single day.” 

LRN PM Newscall April 20

A proposed constitutional amendment that sought to place term limits on sheriffs was soundly defeated in a House committee today. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 1 (31) “…I’m Jeff Palermo.”

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Following a game two upset win, the New Orleans Pelicans have tied their first-round playoff series with the Suns. David Grubb has more…

Cut 2 (34)…I’m David Grubb.”  

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A bill to raise awareness about hunger among students at Louisiana colleges and universities advances in House Education.  Bill author, Baton Rouge Representative Barbara Freiberg says as much as 40-percent of college students have food insecurities. University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson says the bill creates a task force to assist those students in need.

Cut 3 (09) “…a win-win.”

While serving as President at Northwestern State, Henderson says seven years ago a group of students asked if they could start a food pantry on campus to assist students in need. Two weeks later they needed more space due to demand.

Cut 4  (10) “…aware of it.”

The bill will designate colleges as a Hunger-Free Campus if they meet certain criteria, which include the presence of a food pantry and surveys of students to determine the level of food security on campus. Henderson says the bill also raises awareness among students who are eligible for SNAP benefits.

Cut 5  (10) “…of resources.”

The bill now moves to the House floor.

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An effort to place term limits on sheriffs was soundly defeated in House Judiciary. The proposed constitutional amendment sought to limit sheriffs to no more than three consecutive full terms. Longtime St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne says the legislation is not needed because there’s a 25-percent turnover among the state’s sheriffs every four years.

Cut 6  (11) “…important thing.” 

New Orleans Representative Mandie Landry is the author of the legislation. She’s a big believer in term limits for elected officials because she says it allows for different people and ideas and it doesn’t allow one person to become entrenched…

Cut 7 (06) “…to address” 

In Louisiana, the governor is term-limited and so are state legislators.  Pineville Representative Mike Johnson having term limits on lawmakers is one thing, but many voters like their current sheriffs…

Cut 8 (12) “…people decide” 

The constitutional amendment was voted down nine to two.

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The Pelicans have evened their NBA playoff series with the Phoenix Suns at one game apiece. Brandon Ingram was stellar last night, posting a near triple-double with 37 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. Prior to the season, BI promised the Pelicans would not miss the playoffs this year, and he has delivered all year.

Cut 9 (12) “…for us.”

Ingram has been historically good so far with 55 points, 16 rebounds, and 13 assists in his first two playoff games, second only to Oscar Robertson in playoff history. Larry Nance Jr. says Ingram is the real deal, and the Pels will go as far as he can take them.

Cut 10 (11)  “…rocking with him.”

The Pelicans will return home to the Smoothie King Center on Friday night for Game 3. CJ McCollum played for the Trail Blazers in 2018 when the Pelicans swept Portland in dominating fashion, and he’s glad that this time he’ll be wearing the home colors.

Cut 11 (12)  “…do nice things.” 

Game time is set for 8:30 pm.

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Almost four years after 26-year-old Heikeem Hebert was killed in Abbeville police make an arrest after the crime lab linked the weapon to a suspect who was already in jail on unrelated charges. Abbeville Police Spokesperson Johnathan Touchet says 36-year-old Daniel Simon of Erath was their suspect the whole time.

Cut 12 (08) “…attempted first-degree murder.” 

Simon was already behind bars for numerous charges including two counts of domestic abuse battery, aggravated assault, and aggravated flight from an officer.

Hebert was shot to death driving near the intersection of S. East St and 7th Street and Touchet says a large amount of evidence was collected from the May 2018 crime scene and sent to the Acadiana Crime Lab.

Cut 13 (06) “…to do.”

Touchet says detectives are relieved for the victim’s family they were able to make an arrest.

Cut 14 (08)  “…an arrest.”

Simon is being held in the Vermilion Parish Correctional Center.

AM LRN Newscall April 20 ##updated with Pelicans sound###

A bill to end executions in Louisiana meets defeat in a Senate committee Tuesday. Brooke Thorington reports…:

Cut 1 (36) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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Insurance. You hope you don’t need it, though you’ve got to have it. But are Louisianans satisfied with what they’ve got? David Grubb has more…

Cut 2 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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In March $232 million was wagered on sports in Louisiana, and the state’s gaming chairman says it was a slam dunk for the Bayou State. Brooke Thorington explains.

Cut 3 (30) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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A bill seeking to end the death penalty in Louisiana meets defeat in a Senate committee. Monroe Democrat Senator Katrina Jackson argued for her bill before the Judiciary C panel, saying Louisiana is only one of 27 states that still sentenced people to death and it should stop…:

Cut 4 (15)  “…have in their hands.”

Louisiana has not executed anyone since 2010, and the state’s last death sentence was handed out on 2020. The state has difficulty in buying the drugs used for a lethal injection execution, and so Jackson feels it’s time to put an end to the punishment altogether. She says, if you cannot agree with a moral argument, consider a fiscal one…:

Cut 5 (05) “…13-plus-million dollars a year.”

But there was doubt among committee members. Franklinton Republican Senator Beth Mizell worries Jackson bill forgets the rights of the survivors of a capital crime…:

Cut 6 (13)  “…a right to ask for.”

Jackson argued that too many people in Louisiana have been sentenced to death; only to have their conviction overturned later. She says some were actually executed, then found to be innocent later. Baton Rouge Republican Bodi White – who could not support the bill – says that was an earlier, less-enlightened time. He points to the state’s recent decision to end non-unanimous jury verdicts as a safeguard against a mistake…:

Cut 7 (09) “…get a guilty verdict.”

Voted down by a 5-to-1 vote, the bill is defeated for this session.

________________________________________

The LSU Public Policy Research Lab continues to release its findings from the 2022 Louisiana Survey. Insurance, something nearly everyone deals with in one form or fashion, is the focus of the latest report. Associate professor Michael Henderson says the numbers reveal just how many people have had to file property claims while the state deals with repeated weather events.

Cut 8 (08)  “…significant number.”

Attitudes among those who have filed claims are split about evenly among those satisfied and dissatisfied with their insurance provider’s response, but Henderson says that overall the survey shows…

Cut 9 (10)  “…things are going.”

Perhaps it’s two years of weather events or the lingering effects of a pandemic that hasn’t gone away…No matter what, Henderson says that there’s a general dissatisfaction consistent across a number of areas of the 2022 Louisiana Survey.

Cut 10 (11) “…be getting better.”

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$232 million in sports betting was wagered in the Bayou State last month, which translates into more than $5 million in tax revenue. Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns credits March Madness for the impressive numbers and says the Final Four in New Orleans even attracted new customers.

Cut  11 (10)  “…Superdome.”  

Johns says both online and retail March sports wagering in Louisiana ranked 8th among states with legalized sports betting and ranked third when you compare to those states per capita.

With only a few months of legalized sports betting under the belt in Louisiana, Johns says he’s extremely impressed with how things are progressing, and no major technicalities with online wagering.

Cut 12 (10) “…of March.” 

Predicting which months will be more profitable than others Johns says is hard to do with Louisiana sports betting still in its infancy, but he does anticipate the numbers will increase dramatically in the fall.

Cut 13 (09) “…once again.”

In addition to out-of-state wagers in New Orleans for the Final Four, Johns says technology indicates a significant number of Texans crossed the state line near Lake Charles and Shreveport to place bets last month.

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The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which was vetoed last year and received opposition from transgender advocates passed in the Senate on a 29 to 6 vote Tuesday. Franklinton Republican Senator Beth Mizell’s bill prohibits transgender females from competing against women. Mizell says the legislation has wide support.

Cut 14 (07)  “…believe in.”

On the Senate floor, Alexandria Democrat Senator Jay Luneau spoke in opposition, because the Louisiana High School Athletic Association already has regulations prohibiting transgender females from competing against biological females and it’s not an issue in Louisiana.

Cut 15 (11)  “…State of Louisiana.”

Mizell responded to Luneau’s statement about LHSAA and says they told her the legislation merely clarifies the language in their policy.

Cut 16 (07)  “…right now.”

Last year Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed the legislation saying the bill was mean-spirited and a solution looking for a problem.

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The New Orleans Pelicans beat the Phoenix Suns 125-114 to even their playoff series at one game each. Brandon Ingram put on a show, finishing with 37 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. Here’s head coach Willie Green on where this performance ranks in Ingram’s career.

Cut 17 (12) “ …on display tonight.” 

It was an unlikely victory for the Pelicans, with the worst record in the playoffs, over the team with the best record in the league. Green has been praised all season for his part in turning the Pels’ season around, but he says the credit shouldn’t come to him.

Cut 18 (20) “ …do it every game.”