LRN AM Newscall April 19

A bill that would allow voters to decide on term limits for assessors is moving forward. David Grubb has more.

Cut 1 (33) “…I’m David Grubb.”

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A Senate committee today will discuss a proposed bill to end the death penalty in Louisiana. Kevin Gallagher has more…:

Cut 2 (34) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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Volunteers are showing their Love for the Boot this week and picking up trash in an effort to Keep Louisiana Beautiful.  Brooke Thorington has the dirt.

Cut 3 (33) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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New Orleans representative Mandie Landry says that tax assessors should be held to the same standard as the state’s legislators when it comes to term limits and her House Bill 288 would allow voters to decide if the state’s constitution should be amended to make that happen. Landry says it may be controversial, but it is necessary.

Cut 4 (12)  “…encourages and requires turnover.”

Landry says that Louisiana voters have shown overwhelming support for term limits in the past and that her bill leaves the decision in their hands.

Cut 5 (10) “…to them first.”

Attorney Brian Eddington spoke against the bill on behalf of the Louisiana Assessor’s Association, saying that the loss of institutional knowledge would outweigh any gains made in fairness and ultimately hurt taxpayers.

Cut 6 (13)  “…and repeatability.”

The measure passed House Ways and Means by a 7-6 vote.

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A bill that would end the death penalty in Louisiana is scheduled for discussion in a Senate Judiciary Committee today. Outspoken death penalty opponent and author of “Dead Man Walking”, Sister Helen Prejean (PRAY-zhon) says it’s time to do it because Louisiana hasn’t actually executed anyone in many years…:

Cut 7 (10) “…system in place.”

In 2010, Livingston Parish resident Gerald Bordelon became the last man executed in Louisiana, after he waived any and all appeals and ASKED to be put to death. Monroe Democrat Senator Katrina Jackson’s bill would simply end the practice. Prejean says public opinion on executions has changed and continues to turn…:

Cut 8 (13)  “…and he won!”

The bill also requires that state dollars saved by having no executions and no death row expenses be given to childhood education and literacy programs. Proponents of the death penalty argue that the punishment gives closure to families of murder victims. Prejean disagrees…:

Cut 9 (13)  “…for this so-called justice.”

If it reaches final passage, Senator Jackson’s SB294 would end executions for any person convicted after August 1, 2022, of 1st-degree murder, 1st-degree rape, or treason.

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It’s Love the Boot Week in Louisiana and Keep Louisiana Beautiful is kicking off its largest litter removal l effort with more than 250 cleanup and beautification events. Lt Governor Billy Nungesser says with more than twice the number of volunteers this year and says there’s plenty of trash for them to tackle.

Cut 10 (11) “…state up.”

Volunteers are picking up trash across 52 parishes this week and Dawn Cantrell with Keep Louisiana Beautiful says they pick up tons of plastic, like bags, takeout containers, and eating utensils. She says they’ve even picked up roofing shingles and tarps that weren’t disposed of properly.

Cut  11 (06)  “…imagine.”  

Because litter has become an ongoing issue a task force is looking at ways to reduce trash to help beautify the state year-round.

Vice-Chair of Keep Louisiana Beautiful Courtney Hornsby says while they’ve been able to pick up plenty of trash, she wants to know why individuals continue to litter.

Cut 12 (06) “…preventable.” 

Love the Boot Week events continue through Saturday. For more information visit KeepLouisianaBeautiful.org.

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After two loose dogs mauled another dog and dragged it to their owner’s home, it led authorities to the home and arrest of 24-year-old Derrick Johnson of Greenwood. Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Bia Rolan says it happened Friday evening after the owner of the dog that was attacked called them and while waiting for Johnson to return home…

Cut 13 (10) “…a gun.”

The marijuana smell from his car and a visible gun then prompted authorities to run his record. Rolan says Johnson’s prior convictions then allowed officers to secure a search warrant for the home.

Cut 14 (12)  “…$61,000.”

Rolan says if it wasn’t for Johnson’s dogs he would still be on the streets.

Cut 15 (08)  “…on there.”

Johnson was arrested for possession with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and dog at large charges.

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Midway through the season, the UL Ragin Cajuns are in a three-way tie for fourth place in the tough Sunbelt Conference, trailing Texas State by three games. Coach Matt Deggs’ team is finding its stride, having won six of its last seven ball games. Deggs says the Cajuns are primed to make a run in the second half of the conference schedule.

Cut 16 (17)  “…trip to Atlanta.”

The UL Ragin Cajuns take on LSU tonight in the annual Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic. UL returns to The Box for the first time since 2015. The Cajuns have had some good success against the Tigers of late, taking three of the last four matchups between the two programs. Deggs knows it won’t be easy slowing down the LSU offense, but he likes his club’s chances.

Cut 17 (17) “ …a good ball game.” 

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After dropping three straight to Arkansas in Fayetteville, LSU finds itself dropping in the standings. The Tigers sit fifth in the SEC West and Jay Johnson says his team has to start doing the little things to give itself any chance of competing with the big boys.

Cut 18 (20) “ …come out” 

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Former New Orleans Hornet dominated the Pelicans down the stretch in their game one loss to the Phoenix Suns. Coach Willie Green says there are things that he and his players can do to try to slow down the future Hall of Famer, but he is who he is.

Cut 19 (18) _“…what he does.” 

Game two of the best of seven series is Wednesday night in Phoenix.

LRN AM Newscall April 18

At the Capitol today, the House Appropriations Committee is expected to approve a spending plan for next fiscal year. More from Kevin Gallagher…:

Cut 1 (31) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

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America shifts gears from Easter Sunday to Tax Monday, with today as the deadline for filing your federal return. David Grubb has tips for procrastinators…

Cut 2 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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The pay rate for Louisiana school bus drivers could increase next year, Brooke Thorington has more from the senator leading the charge.

Cut 3 (34) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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At the Capitol today, the House Appropriations Committee is expected to finish its work on the state’s annual budget, before sending it to the full House for debate. Committee Chairman and Houma Republican Representative Jerome Zeringue (zer-ANG) says the $38-billion House Bill 1 contains a lot of extra money, to be put to use…:

Cut 4 (12)  “…into the budget.”

Zeringue says HB1 will provide money for teacher pay raises, though the exact amount is yet to be determined. He says there is also enough money for early childhood education, public schools, vouchers, TOPS grants and for state colleges and universities…:

Cut 5 (14) “…backlog of issues.”

With all the additional one-time federal money flowing into the state, Zeringue says his committee has been careful to plan to use a chunk for building a new Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge, a new I-10 Bridge in Lake Charles and other infrastructure projects…:

Cut 6 (12)  “…as best we can.”

Zeringue says, after adding a few amendments today, he expects the Appropriations Committee will move HB1 to the House floor for debate.

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Today is the deadline to file your federal tax return. If you’ve been waiting until the last minute, you’re not alone. Metairie CPA John Theriot has advice if you are one of the 43 million Americans who procrastinate.

Cut 7 (09) “…file an extension.”

Theriot reminds filers that an extension doesn’t mean the IRS won’t be expecting your check if you owe, it’s more time to file, not to pay.

Cut 8 (09)  “…penalties and interest.”

Trying to send your return by mail today could be risky…especially if you’re dropping it in the nearest mailbox. Theriot says the best way to avoid taking that chance is by going online.

Cut 9 (13)  “…postmarked today.”

For E-file options and forms, visit irs.gov. The deadline to submit state tax returns is May 16.

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According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the unemployment rate for March in Louisiana reached its lowest point in 14 years at 4.2-percent. But economist Loren Scott says many employers continue to need employees and for some reason, people are not returning to the workforce.

Cut 10 (07) “…in April of ’20.”

And as inflation continues to rise, could it possibly reflect a change in the workforce? Scott was asked if retired individuals might feel the need to go back to work due to their lack of savings and could more individuals delay retirement.

Cut  11 (04)  “…unemployment rate.”  

Scott says some workers are reluctant to return to a work environment because of COVID, and for others, it’s a lack of affordable childcare. He believes many people saved their stimulus checks and child tax credit payments and are delaying a return to work.

Cut 12 (09) “…sock away.” 

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A bill to raise the compensation rate for school bus drivers will be heard in Senate Finance today. Bill author Covington Senator Patrick McMath says driver pay rates haven’t changed since the 1980s and we owe it to them and the children they transport, so they can properly maintain their vehicles.

Cut 13 (08) “…do that.”

Senate Bill 57 would raise the rate to a minimum of $1.47 a mile for buses with 48 passengers or less and a minimum of $1.76 a mile for buses with more than 48 passengers.

McMath says not only is the state experiencing a teacher shortage but also a shortage of bus drivers.

Cut 14 (08)  “…this help.”

Last year when similar legislation was introduced McMath says he voted against it and since he’s been enlightened about how the low pay rate is adversely impacting school bus drivers. And as a father of four children who ride the bus to school, McMath says it’s imperative that driver pay rates be increased.

Cut 15 (05)  “…in a pickle.”

The bill passed unanimously in Senate Education and also has the support of the Louisiana School Board Association.

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There’s just one more week left in spring practice for LSU as the Tigers will practice three more times this week before Saturday’s scrimmage. The Bayou Bengals are short on depth at some positions, but not at wide receiver. Coach Brian Kelly says he’s trying to build some grit with this group…

Cut 16 (19)  “…big catches late”

On the defensive side of the football, intensity has been lacking at times. The lack of depth is one possible reason and Kelly has also been preaching brotherhood to the players and it might be impacting tackling…

Cut 17 (18) “ …get them on the ground.” 

Defensive coordinator Matt House has been encouraged by the development of his defense and he says they are starting to identify some leaders…

Cut 18 (20) “ …come out” 

LRN PM Newscall April 15

The Louisiana Senate has passed legislation that addresses the teacher shortage by allowing retired teachers to return to the classroom without losing their benefits. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 1 (30) “…I’m Jeff Palermo”

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Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon cracks down on negligent providers following 2020 hurricanes. David Grubb has more…

Cut 2 (35)…I’m David Grubb.”  

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As churches prepare for Easter services this Sunday, large crowds are anticipated as this will be the first Easter since pandemic restrictions have been relaxed. LSU Chair of Religious Studies Dr. Michael Pasquier (Pass-kay) says parishioners could experience a sense of normalcy this Easter.

Cut 3 (07) “…two years.”

Pandemic restrictions and a general reluctance for some to attend large gatherings during the pandemic have decreased attendance at some churches along with tithings. Pasquier expects this Sunday the offering plate could be heavier than in years past with more people in the pews.

Cut 4  (11) “…and donations.”

Pasquier feels this Easter will be a memorable one as churchgoers are able to enjoy how the religious holiday was traditionally celebrated once again.

Cut 5  (11) “…joy to a lot of people.”

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State police arrest a 60-year-old man for negligent homicide because he was distracted by his phone and crashed, claiming one life and injuring another. Trooper Kate Stegall says it happened February 27th along the Clearview Parkway exit on I-10 in Metairie. She says the victims were outside their cars discussing a crash between their vehicles when Manuel Llorens approached.

Cut 6  (08) “…occurred.” 

Stegall says they are seeing more and more drivers distracted by their cellphones and causing serious crashes. She says it takes an average of four and a half seconds to read and respond to a message on your phone.

Cut 7 (11) “…eyes closed.” 

Stegall implores drivers to place their phone where it’s inaccessible or silence the phone when driving so they aren’t tempted to respond. She says even eating while driving can be distracting.

Cut 8 (10) “…the roadway.” 

49-year-old Chad James of Thibodaux was killed in the February crash.

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The full Senate has approved a bill that would allow certified teachers who retired before July 1, 2020, to return to the classroom without losing their state retirement benefits. Senate Education Chairman Cleo Fields says he’s trying to alleviate a teacher shortage…

Cut 9 (12) “..department of education”

State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley says the state is short about 25-hundred certified public school teachers. Fields says under his bill a retired teacher would have to wait 12 months before returning and local school districts would have to identify a critical shortage…

Cut 10 (10)  “…special education”

Bossier City Senator Barrow Peacock successfully amended the bill so that colleges can also re-hire retired nursing instructors over the age of 62 and with at least 30 years of service…

Cut 11 (09)  “…health care too”  

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Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced today that five homeowners insurance providers are facing fines of more than three-quarters of a million dollars based on their business practices in the aftermath of hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Zeta.

Cut 12 (08) “…improper activities.” 

The companies; United Property & Casualty, GeoVera, FedNat, Maison, and Allied Trust, were found to have 44 instances of practices noncompliant with state code, with one common thread for all five.

Cut 13 (12) “…they had suffered.”

Donelon says LDI takes its responsibility to protect consumers very seriously and is seeking additional oversight of insurance providers to ensure that homeowners are getting the protection they pay for.

Cut 14 (12)  “…for our program.”

If you have questions, concerns, or complaints about your provider, go online to ldi.la.gov or call 800-259-5300.

LRN AM Newscall April 15

LSU’s annual “Louisiana Survey” shows many people are concerned about coastal land loss but aren’t worried it will affect them personally. Kevin Gallagher has more…:

Cut 1 (35) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

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If you’re planning on boiling a few pounds of crawfish this weekend, David Grubb has good news for you…

Cut 2 (33) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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State Police release more details about the officer-involved shooting in Lafayette after the suspect barricaded himself inside his home. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 3 (33) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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LSU’s annual “Louisiana Survey” shows many people are concerned about coastal land loss, but aren’t worried it will affect them personally. Manship School of Mass Communications research director Mike Henderson says 85-percent of people surveyed fear that land loss is a serious problem…:

Cut 4 (11)  “…to future generations.”

The survey polled over 500 adult Louisianans of a variety of ages, genders and races. Henderson says another finding under the topics of coastal land loss was that two-thirds of respondents felt hurricanes hitting the Bayou State are stronger than ever, and their frequency is also increasing. Those storms often cause floods, but only about 40-percent said flooding was worse in recent years…:

Cut 5 (11) “…in the past.”

Dr. Henderson says the survey also asked about public policy to encourage mitigation against future hurricane and flood damage and losses…:

Cut 6 (13)  “…subsidizing elevation.”

However, he says, about 60-percent of respondents were solidly against property insurance rate increases in flood-prone or storm-prone areas. Find the report at “lsu.edu/manship/research”

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With the holiday weekend approaching, many folks will be either hosting or partaking in a good crawfish boil. LSU Ag Center professor Greg Lutz says after a slow start to the season, there should be plenty of good eating.

Cut 7 (12) “…and prettier.”

Lutz says that recent temperatures and some timely rainfall have provided a nice boost for the crawfish crop, and the supply should stay high into the peak of mudbug season this summer.

Cut 8 (11)  “…some years.”

As the summer rains keep the ground wet, oxygen levels will rise and crawfish will get more active. Lutz says that means fatter and tastier crawfish. So grab your favorite boil mix, plenty of paper towels, and get to it.

Cut 9 (09)  “…of the season.”

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As COVID cases are beginning to increase again in certain parts of the country and the CDC extends the public transportation mask mandate until May 3rd, closer to home, State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says case numbers along with hospitalizations remain relatively unchanged.

Cut 10 (12) “…concerned about.”

Kanter says they are seeing a slight increase in COVID infections via wastewater detection in Orleans Parish however it’s still too early to tell if it’s significant.

Cut  11 (10)  “…ups and downs.”  

Nationally new cases are up about 10% over the past week and the average number of hospitalized COVID patients nationwide has increased by a hundred. Kanter says they are keeping an eye on how things progress over the next few weeks and if they show signs of increasing severe illness.

Cut 12 (06) “…and deaths.” 

On Thursday the state reported 504 new COVID cases, 60 hospitalizations, and 3 three fatalities.

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State Police release more details about the officer-involved shooting in Lafayette early Thursday morning.  Trooper Thomas Gossen says when Lafayette Police tried to serve a warrant to suspect 18-year-old Trevon Bonner, he barricaded himself inside his home. Officers then used an armored vehicle to breach the door to give Bonner a phone so he could communicate with officers.

Cut 13 (10) “…striking Bonner.”

Bonner was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Officers were trying to serve an attempted murder warrant to Bonner after a 13-year-old girl was shot hours before his standoff with officers.

Gossen says it’s become common practice for state police to be asked to investigate whenever an officer-involved shooting takes place.

Cut 14 (08)  “…from there.”

Details that state police have released so far pertain to interviews with officers on the scene and body camera footage from the incident. Gossen says the investigation is ongoing.

Cut 15 (07)  “…the better.”

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The New Orleans Pelicans are already on their way to Los Angeles to prepare for Friday’s elimination game against the Clippers. A win puts the Pels in the playoffs for the first time in four years in a matchup with the Phoenix Suns. After beating the Spurs Wednesday night, coach Willie Green let the squad know, he’s not ready for this run to end.

Cut 16 (19)  “…pack a bag.”

The Pelicans Big 3 of Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, and Jonas Valanciunas combined for 81 points against the Spurs and they will have to come up big again versus LA. The X-factor for the Pels could be rookie forward Herb Jones, who has played well beyond his years. Ingram, for one, wouldn’t be surprised.

Cut 17 (14) “ …all year.” 

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Spring football has concluded in the Sun Belt Conference…In Lafayette, the Ragin Cajuns are in transition. After leading the U-L to its best season in program history, Billy Napier is now the head man at Florida and Mike Desormeaux has big shoes to fill. The first-year head coach is excited about this year’s group of players and looks forward to seeing if they can build on last season’s success.

Cut 18 (19) “ …do it though.” 

At UL-Monroe, Terry Bowden enters his second season leading the Warhawks. Last season was full of upheaval with more than 20 players joining the team during the summer through the NCAA transfer portal. Bowden says there’s much more continuity this season and that should make his team more competitive in a very tough league.

Cut 19 (15) _“…starting for us.” 

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LRN PM Newscall April 14

Legislation to increase awareness and require screenings of postpartum depression passes in the Louisiana House. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (30) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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A proposal to double speeding fines on the 18-mile Atchafalaya Basin Bridge received Senate committee approval today. Jeff Palermo reports cameras could be used to catch speeders…

Cut 2 (31)…I’m Jeff Palermo”  

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In Lafayette, a 13-year-old female is fighting for her life after being shot last night and authorities say the suspect, 18-year-old Trevon Bonner, was killed hours later after an exchange of gunfire with police at his home. Lafayette Police Sgt. Robin Green says a neighbor of the female victim heard the original gunshots.

Cut 3 (06) “…called 911.”

She is listed in critical condition at a local hospital and State Police are investigating the officer-involved shooting of the suspect Bonner.

State Police Trooper Thomas Gossen says when Lafayette Police tried to serve a high-risk arrest warrant for attempted second-degree murder on the suspect, Bonner remained inside his residence and officers tried to negotiate with him to surrender.

Cut 4  (07) “…his injuries.”

As to what motived the original shooting that remains under investigation.

Gossen says state police are overseeing the investigation of the use of force and reviewing body camera footage involving the SWAT team and the exchange of gunfire with Bonner.

Cut 5  (08) “…into the home.”

Lafayette Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact them.

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A bill to require healthcare providers to offer postnatal care and to screen patients for signs of postpartum depression passes unanimously in the Louisiana House. New Orleans Representative Royce Duplessis’ says House Bill 784 was written with input from a task force studying maternal mental health.

Cut 6  (10) “…our children.” 

Robin Gruenfeld with the New Orleans March of Dimes says the bill is about preventing infant and maternal mortality, and that postpartum depression is more common than you think.

Cut 7 (10) “…both parents.” 

Stonewall Representative Larry Bagley shared with lawmakers how postpartum depression impacted his wife and that it eventually led to her suicide. He says postpartum depression impacts women from all walks of life.

Cut 8 (08) “…existence is.” 

The bill now advances to Senate Health and Welfare.

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The Senate Transportation Committee approves a bill that would double the fine for a speeding ticket on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, which means the penalty would be 350-dollars. Senate President Page Cortez says speeding is a major issue on the bridge that connects Lafayette and Baton Rouge

Cut 9 (12) “…standing still”

The legislation would also double the fine for truckers who use the left lane to travel, instead of using it as a passing lane.

The measure also gives the state the ability to issue speeding tickets with the use of cameras. State Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson…

Cut 10 (09)  “…you down.”

The proposal also calls for more signage, informing motorists of the speed limit and limited use of the left-hand lane by truckers. Cortez says driver behavior needs to change wrecks, injuries, and deaths on the bridge have more than doubled during the past decade…

Cut 11 (06)  “…correct lane.”  

Under the proposed law, drivers would receive a couple of warnings before they are issued a speeding ticket.

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A 1-12 start. No Zion Williamson all season long. And still, the New Orleans Pelicans are just one win from making the playoffs after beating the San Antonio Spurs last night, 113-103. Brandon Ingram was riding high after the win…

Cut 12 (10) “…it’s a blessing.” 

CJ McCollum did his part, scoring a game-high 32 points for the Pelicans. Since his arrival, he has embraced his role as a veteran leader and has embraced the city of New Orleans. He told fans last night that this is just the beginning.

Cut 13 (12) “…in our future.”

First-year head coach Willie Green has been the one constant for the Pelicans this season as the team climbed out of the cellar and back into contention. Green says the team showed how much it’s grown with last night’s performance.

Cut 14 (12)  “…for our program.”

The Pelicans face the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night with the winner taking on top-seeded Phoenix in the Western Conference Playoffs.

LRN AM Newscall April 14

Be on the lookout for new political ads urging public support for getting a new Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge under construction. More from Kevin Gallagher…:

Cut 1 (32) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

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Loading your Easter basket with Elmer Candy is a  longstanding tradition. David Grubb has the latest from the local confectionary as the holiday weekend approaches.

Cut 2 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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Two bills to ensure the safety of nursing home patients during natural disasters pass unanimously in Senate Health and Welfare. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 3 (30) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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West Baton Rouge Parish Senator Rick Ward has a new 30-second TV ad and short video out; urging public support for funding a new I-10 Mississippi River bridge at Baton Rouge. The Port Allen Republican says the billion in one-time federal money is coming to the state from the Infrastructure Law, for the pandemic, and for recent disasters. He says $500-million needs to be earmarked ONLY for the bridge, and other infrastructure projects. And if those who see the video agree…:

Cut 4 (07)  “…so we can get it done.”

Ward has been quite vocal on the need to allocate funds and build a third bridge in the Capital Region. His video urges taxpayers to contact their local senator and representative to stress the desire to fund the project. Ward says the temptation for lawmakers to squander all that federal money on pet projects is great..:

Cut 5 (12) “…to something else.”

Ward’s message can be seen as a TV ad in cities across the state, but he says it is also available for viewing on social media…:

Cut 6 (07)  “…it’s up on Twitter.”

Traffic congestion in Baton Rouge is ranked as one of the worst bottlenecks in the U.S. Ward says a third bridge is badly needed to allow some traffic to bypass the city and alleviate traffic jams. He worries legislators will miss out on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get it done.

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Ponchatoula-based candy maker Elmer has been producing sweets for nearly two centuries, but 2022 has presented some challenges as the company ramped up for Easter, says CEO Rob Nelson.

Cut 7 (11) “…pecan egg supply.”

Nelson says the company worked overtime to make and distribute its delicious wares. Even if the supply is a little light this Easter season, the demand has remained high.

Cut 8 (09)  “…our area here.”

Though taste is a very personal thing, most candy lovers have a favorite treat. Which Elmer confection is the most popular? Nelson says it’s a two-horse race.

Cut 9 (09)  “…popular pieces.”

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Two bills to ensure the safety of nursing home patients during natural disasters pass unanimously in Senate Health and Welfare. Senate Bill 33 requires all long-term care facilities to have generator power. Mark Berger, Executive Director of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association says while most facilities have generators large enough to support their heating and cooling systems…

Cut 10 (07) “…their peers.”

The generator must be permanently installed and large enough to power the life safety systems, electrical components of the water and sewer systems, medication and refrigeration systems, heating and cooling, and other specific functions of the facility. They must also have enough fuel to support the generator for at least seven days. Berger estimates approximately 25 facilities do not meet standards in outlined in the bill.

If a nursing home facility fails to comply with the new generator standards, St. Martin Parish Senator Fred Mills’ bill could result in loss of certification from the department of health.

Cut  11 (09)  “…that license.”  

The generator legislation, along with Senate Bill 167 which tasks the State Fire Marshal’s Office with the inspection of nursing home evacuation plans was created after 15 patients died during a mass evacuation to a warehouse in Tangipahoa Parish during Hurricane Ida. Covington Senator Patrick McMath applauds the bill.

Cut 12 (10) “…State Fire Marshal.”

State Marshal Butch Browning also addressed lawmakers and voiced his support of Senator Kirk Talbot’s bill in which his office would be tasked with reviewing and inspecting annual evacuation plans.

Cut 13 (04) “…a lot easier.”

Both bills advance to the Senate.

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When Monroe Senator Stewart Cathey, Jr. introduced Senate Bill 93 to members of Governmental Affairs Wednesday, he warned them his bill could metamorphosis into divisive legislation.

Cut 14 (09)  “…state butterfly.”

Cathey told committee members that the Gulf Fritillary (frit-ah-lar-ee) is the only butterfly indigenous to the Bayou State. Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt expressed relief knowing that other butterflies would not flutter to unseat the Gulf Fritillary’s designation due to its native status.

Cathey impressed his colleagues with his expanding vocabulary.

Cut 15 (06)  “…studies butterflies.”

During his introduction, Cathey told lawmakers the bill had been molting for some time because it’s part of a campaign promise he made years ago.

Cut 16 (11)  “…first for me.”

Hewitt along with other committee members approved the bill and it flies to the Senate.

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When Mike Denbrock was hired as LSU’s offensive coordinator, he knew he had some work to do trying to turn around a team that finished 11th in the SEC in yards and 12th in points last season. The Tigers were a bit overwhelmed at the start of spring practices, but Denbrock says everyone has started to adjust to where the bar has been set.

Cut 17 (22) “ …of one another.” 

Coach Brian Kelly has always been demanding of his quarterbacks, and Denbrock said that for this group it’s been like drinking from a fire hose at times, though he sees the traits he’s looking for from the next leader of the LSU attack.

Cut 18 (18) “ …all looking for.” 

LRN PM Newscall April 12

A survey conducted by LSU finds two-thirds of Louisiana residents believe the state is headed in the wrong direction. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 1 (32) “…I’m Jeff Palermo”

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A bill to allow non-felons 21 and older to conceal carry passes in House Criminal Justice. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (34)…I’m Brooke Thorington.”  

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More than three years after the shooting death of LSU basketball player Wayde Sims, 23-year-old Dyteon Simpson of Baker has been convicted of second-degree murder. Video of the shooting was critical to the case, as jurors saw the fatal confrontation from multiple angles. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore applauded his prosecutors for their work and thanked the jury for reaching a guilty verdict.

Cut 3 (12) “…actually was.”

Moore said ultimately though he believes justice was served, there is no joy to be taken from yesterday’s verdict. At least two families will have to live with the aftermath of that night forever.

Cut 4  (12) “…losing a son.”

Sims’ parents were emotional as the verdict was read and his father Wayne, who played for LSU during the late 1980s and early 90s, spoke on the family’s behalf.

Cut 5  (12) “…best we can.”

Simpson faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison and did not testify in his own defense.

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A New Orleans area senator defers his bill to ban single-use plastic bags after hearing opposition from grocery store owners. Marrero Republican Patrick Connick says his measure is an effort to reduce litter, but Ascension Parish businessman Brandon Trosclair says the bill is not a solution to the state’s litter problem…

Cut 6  (10) “…out there” 

Trosclair didn’t like that Connick’s bill singled out grocery stores for the state’s litter problem

Cut 7 (09) “…the place.” 

After hearing the opposition and recognizing he didn’t have the votes for the bill to get out of committee, Connick decided to defer his legislation but remains committed to cleaning up the state

Cut 8 (12) “…this legislation.” 

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66-percent of the adults who participated in an LSU Public Policy Research Lab poll say the state is heading in the wrong direction. LSU Manship School associate professor Doctor Michael Henderson says only 26-percent say the state is heading in the right direction

Cut 9 (06) “…2004″

Just over 600 adults participated in the online survey. Henderson says respondents say the economy, education, and infrastructure are the most important problems…

Cut 10 (07)  “…disconnect.”

Henderson says the concern about crime more than doubled from 10 percent last year to 24 percent this year. He says confidence in state government to solve the problems dropped to 25-percent, the lowest point since 2004…

Cut 11 (07)  “…about 2010″  

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On a ten to three vote, the House Criminal Justice Committee approved legislation to allow non-felons 21 and older to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. Baton Rouge Rep. Denise Marcelle voted against it and says issuing gun permits is vital to know who has the legal right to carry.

Cut 12 (13) “…poor people.” 

Oil City Representative Danny McCormick is the author of the measure and says people should not have to pay for a permit to conceal carry.

Current law requires gun training in order to receive a permit, and St. Martinville Representative Marcus Bryant expressed concern about removing instruction.

Cut 13 (07) “…real crazy.”

Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo rationalized support of the bill that if criminals can conceal carry why not those who haven’t broken the law.

Cut 14 (12)  “…criminal has”

When asked if he had support from law enforcement, McCormick responded he had local support and that he had not spoken with State Police. LSP Superintendent Col Lamar Davis spoke in opposition saying legal conceal carry puts law enforcement at a disadvantage and the training one receives with their permit is invaluable to keep others safe.

In closing statements, McCormick says the state constitution is specific about a citizen’s right to bear arms.

Cut 15 (09) “…strict scrutiny.” 

The measure heads to the House floor for more discussion.

LRN AM Newscall April 12

A nearly one billion dollar investment in clean fuel is being made in central Louisiana. David Grubb has more.

Cut 1 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.”

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Bills to allow you to conceal carry a handgun in Louisiana without a permit are scheduled to be heard in committees today, despite being vetoed last year. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (33) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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A new UNO survey shows Governor John Bel Edwards’ approval numbers have taken a nosedive. More from Kevin Gallagher….:

Cut 3 (33) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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Monday, Cleco announced the company will invest nearly one billion dollars to reduce carbon emissions at the largest of its nine electric generation units here in Louisiana. CEO Bill Fontenot says the work done at the Brame Energy Center in Lena will be an economic catalyst, creating 30 to 40 direct jobs and an average of 1100 construction-related positions over a three-year period.

Cut 4 (12)  “…economic development.”

Fontenot says Cleco has already secured $9-million in federal monies to help pay for the project and says there are multiple streams of revenue that will be tapped to keep it moving forward, meaning consumers won’t see rate changes.

Cut 5 (13) “…sequestering carbon.”

Governor John Bel Edwards touted the announcement as another milestone as Louisiana looks to develop and attract more clean energy options. Fontenot says Cleco’s commitment to reducing emissions isn’t new, and this project could actually accelerate its own timelines.

Cut 6 (12)  “…by 2050.”

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Two bills to allow you to conceal carry a gun without a permit in Louisiana will be heard in legislative committees today. Last year Governor Edwards vetoed the legislation citing public safety concerns because the bill did not call for gun training. Oil City Representative Danny McCormick says he’s not giving up on constitutional carry in Louisiana.

Cut 7 (11) “…amendment rights.”

McCormick’s bill, House Bill 37, says anyone who is 18 or older and not prohibited from possessing a firearm under any federal or state law, can carry a concealed firearm. McCormick says having to take a gun course and then pay the state a fee for a permit is unfair.

Cut 8 (11)  “…be a problem.”

West Monroe Senator Jay Morris’ legislation, Senate Bill 143, requires an online hour course on gun safety, McCormick’s legislation removes the requirement that a person must possess a permit issued by the state.  McCormick says he trusts citizens of the state and their right to bear arms.

Cut 9 (10)  “…those rights.”

McCormick’s bill will be heard in House Criminal Justice and Morris’ bill in Senate Judiciary C Tuesday.

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A new University of New Orleans research poll shows falling approval numbers for Governor John Bel Edwards. UNO political science professor Dr. Ed Chervenak says fewer than 40-percent of persons surveyed said they approve of the job Governor Edwards is doing…:

Cut 10 (12) “…the death of Ronald Greene.”

The governor’s approval is split along racial lines; with 55-percent of blacks ranking him favorably, compared to 31-percent of whites. Chervenak says there is also a divide on Edwards based on age…:

Cut  11 (13)  “…towards the governor.”  

A similar poll conducted in 2020 showed Edwards with 56-percent approval. Chervenak says it’s not uncommon for a governor to see approval numbers wane as the years wear on, however…:

Cut 12 (13) “…magnitude of the drop.”

Chervenak says the governor’s job approval was higher among women than men; with 42-percent of women rating him favorably, to only 34-percent of men surveyed. Nearly a third of all surveyed answered “don’t know” to the approval question.

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A one-vehicle accident in Central involving 11 children results in the driver, Laticia Brothers, who is also the mother of all the children, facing cruelty charges. Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran says when officers arrived on the scene after 10 PM Sunday night along Sullivan Road, they noticed an SUV had flipped several times.

Cut 13 (09) “…by AirMed.”

The remaining children were taken to a local hospital treated and released. The children range in ages from 4 to 16.

Corcoran says because no one was wearing a seatbelt, 34-year-old Brothers of Baton Rouge faces 11 charges of cruelty to a juvenile, 11 counts of child not restrained, driving under suspension, and without insurance.  He says it’s a miracle no one was killed.

Cut 14 (11)  “…back of the vehicle.”

Brothers was issued a summons for her arrest because she went to the hospital after the accident. Corcoran says everyone has been released from the hospital and the injuries were minor considering the severity of the crash. He says when children are in your car it’s your responsibility to keep them as safe as possible.

Cut 15 (05)  “…can happen.”

The Advocate reports that in 2015 the state removed Brother’s nine children from her home after they were found with little food and no beds.

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Fresh off of LSU’s first SEC road sweep in nearly five years, head coach Jay Johnson had plenty of good things to say about his Tigers, starting with a pitching staff that seems to be coming together…

Cut 16 (20)  “…a great job.”

One of LSU’s biggest hurdles this season has been its defense. But the Tigers have been better with the glove as of late, something Johnson has taken notice of as well.

Cut 17 (12) “ …really, really well.” 

Johnson had lots of praise for outfielder Josh Pearson, who was named conference Co-Freshman of the Week after batting nearly .500 with two home runs and a double over four wins. He says the breakthrough week wasn’t a big surprise.

Cut 18 (17) “ …I came here.” 

The Tigers face Lamar on Tuesday night before traveling to Fayetteville for a three-game set with first-place Arkansas beginning on Thursday.

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LRN PM Newscall

A pre-pandemic report indicates 57 percent of Louisiana’s children live in households below the ALICE threshold. Brooke Thorington explains.

Cut 1 (34) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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The clock is ticking as the deadline to file your federal taxes gets closer. David Grubb has more on what you can do if you’re feeling the pressure.

Cut 2 (35)…I’m David Grubb.”  

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A report, conducted before the pandemic, indicates that 57-percent of Louisiana’s children live in households below the ALICE threshold. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. Edy (Edie) Addison with the Capital Area United Way says the study took a deep dive into who these children are.

Cut 3 (10) “….are working.”

Addison says the report is concerning because ALICE households often earn too much to qualify for public assistance like food stamps or SNAP and that having two working parents doesn’t guarantee financial stability.

In an effort to help, Addison says the Capital Area United Way is issuing grants to organizations that can assist the ALICE population with accessing existing resources.

Cut 4  (09) “…needs met.”

For many of these families, Addison says the means to apply for benefits is hindered. She says one way you can help is if you have a computer and internet access is to allow someone to use it to apply for services.

Cut 5  (11) “…their household.”

Research indicates that 42 percent of Louisiana families below the ALICE threshold in Fall of 2021 often didn’t have enough for their children to eat.

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Inflation has already hit consumers hard at the grocery store, as they try to stretch their food dollars further and further. They’ll have to stretch a bit more as the price of eggs, a staple for Easter, is also on the rise. Louisiana Ag Commissioner Mike Strain…

Cut 6  (10) “…February 8.” 

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the major reason for the price spike is an outbreak of avian flu that has affected 24 states and more than 46 million birds. Strain says measures and guidelines are in place to help stem the tide.

Cut 7 (12) “…with their flock.” 

Strain hopes that by acting quickly, a much bigger outbreak can be avoided.

Cut 8 (12) “…100 million birds.” 

USDA figures indicate the average cost of a dozen eggs is up to $2.88, and the price of poultry has risen as well. The Centers for Disease Control reports that bird flu does not infect people.

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We’re less than a week away from the deadline to file your federal taxes. If you haven’t gotten started, Catherine Rowe of the Louisiana Society for CPA’s says you’re not alone and there’s something you should consider…

Cut 9 (12) “…your documentation together.”

Rowe reminds filers that an extension doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay…so make sure you know if you owe Uncle Sam before you ask for additional time.

Cut 10 (12)  “…that tax due.”

Rowe says that most filers dealing with only W-2s don’t need much tax advice, but with payments and credits that you may have received over the past year, it’s important to find out what you don’t know.

Cut 11 (12)  “…loss of a refund.”  

The last day to file your taxes is April 18. If you filed an extension, you have until October 15. However, if you owe taxes, they must be paid by the April deadline.

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A Lafayette Police officer is said to be fighting for his life after he was involved in a two-vehicle crash on the Basin Bridge in Iberville Parish yesterday morning. State Police spokesperson Taylor Scrantz says Lt. Todd Alcorn was off-duty and driving a personal vehicle when he struck a bridge rail and lost control…

Cut 12 (07) “…Malibu” 

Scrantz says Alcorn is in critical condition at a Baton Rouge hospital and the driver in the other vehicle sustained moderate issues. He says they believe Alcorn was impaired at the time of the wreck…

Cut 13 (10) “…charges pending.”

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Governor John Bel Edwards was in Rapides Parish today for Cleco’s announcement that the energy provider will invest 900-million dollars to significantly reduce carbon emissions. Edwards says the innovative technology plan will take place at their electric generation unit in Lena…

Cut 14 (07)  “..incredibly important”

According to the governor’s office, Cleco secured a nine-million dollar Congressional appropriation to help defray the front-end costs. Cleco also plans to use federal government tax credits and there will be private equity investment. Edwards says Cleco will not ask ratepayers to help fund this project

Cut 15 (07) “…important.” 

LRN AM Newscall April 11

A bill to create Education Savings Accounts, to help give parents more school choice options, clears the House Education Committee. Kevin Gallagher reports…:

Cut 1 (35) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”

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In an effort to make the drive along the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge much safer, one Senator is proposing legislation to significantly increase speeding fines. Brooke Thorington explains.

Cut 2 (32) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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The second in command at State Police is on administrative leave as an internal investigation looks into why his cell phone was cleared of data as facts of the 2019 in-custody death of Ronald Greene began coming out. Kevin Gallagher has more from a special House committee looking into Greene’s death…:

Cut 3 (31) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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A package of school choice bills has cleared the House Education Committee, but must also pass muster in the top House money committee. Key among them, bills to create Education Savings Accounts (ESA’s) to help parents with funding for school options other than public school. Pelican Institute for Public Policy CEO Daniel Erspamer (ER-spay-mer) says ESAs are good policy solutions that are already benefitting thousands of families around the country…:

Cut 4 (11)  “…to that opportunity.”

But Louisiana School Superintendents Association executive director Michael Faulk says the state already has a school vouchers program, and this will mean less state funding for local school systems. He says the ESA’s won’t be everything proponents promise…:

Cut 5 (08) “…for a full year.”

The Education Savings Accounts bill, known as House Bill 33, would create the accounts, establish funding and rules for the Department of Education to oversee accountability. Erspamer says the Pelican Institute is behind the idea of public education funding following the child; not the school. He says the bill would give parents – on average – an extra $5500 yearly for kids’ education choices…:

Cut 6 (13)  “…to every family.”

Approved by the House Education Committee last week, the bill also has to pass fiscal scrutiny in the House Appropriations Committee before it can get a debate on the House floor. What will it actually cost taxpayers? And can that expense fit into the budget? Faulk says those fiscal uncertainties are the problem with ESAs…:

Cut 7 (08) “…are actually gonna do it.”

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Senate President Page Cortez files legislation in an effort to reduce wrecks on the 18-mile long Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. Cortez says he’s seen multiple 18-wheelers fail to drive in the righthand lane even though signs are posted and there are other vehicles weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds.

Cut 8 (03)  “…do something.”

The Lafayette Republican’s bill will increase speeding penalties to up $2,500 for those going over the legal limit and increase speed limit signage and signs for truckers to drive only in the righthand lane. Cortez says the bill includes clear signage so motorists are well aware of the price they’ll pay if they speed.

Cut 9 (08)  “…high fine.”

The speed limit on the bridge is 60 miles per hour for cars and 55 for trucks. Cortez says speeders are putting others in extreme danger along an area that’s difficult for emergency crews to respond to because it’s above water. And not to mention the frustration it creates when a crash stops traffic.

Cut 10 (10) “…being killed.”

Cortez says he’s talked with DOTD leaders about the legislation, and they suggested more cameras along with the bridge. Cortez says he’s open to any suggestions to deter drivers from speeding on the bridge.

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New Orleans Democrat Karen Carter Peterson has resigned from the Louisiana Senate, ending a 23-year career in the legislature. Peterson says she needs to focus all of her energy on her struggles with depression and gambling addiction. On Thursday, she spoke about her recovery on the Senate Floor

Cut  11 (10)  “…for a long time”  

Peterson says she’s not afraid to talk about her battles with addiction in the hopes it helps someone else…

Cut 12 (10) “…with the disease.”

But on Saturday, the Advocate reported that Peterson’s abrupt resignation is because she’s under a federal investigation because of financial issues linked to her gambling. Political analyst Clancy Dubos says he’s not sure what’s Peterson’s future, but she helped raise the glass ceiling for what women can accomplish in the state politics, becoming the first woman to lead the Louisiana Democratic Party…

Cut 13 (13) “…domestic violencc”

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Houma Representative Tanner Magee, who chairs a special House committee investigating the 2019 State Police custody death of Ronald Greene, says it was an appropriate decision by Colonel Lamar Davis to put L-S-P’s second in command on administrative leave.  Magee says Lt. Colonel Doug Cain should not be actively working if he’s under investigation for having his cell phone data cleared…:

Cut 14 (07)  “…all day long.”

Cain is under scrutiny for having his state-issued cellphone’s memory wiped in 2020, as facts about Greene’s death while being arrested by Troopers in Union Parish began coming to light. Magee says Cain’s appearance before the committee – wherein he refused to answer direct questions due to an internal investigation – made things look bad for State Police…:

Cut 15 (08)  “…avoid answering questions.”

Magee feels Cain and other players in the Ronald Greene story should have been under an LSP internal investigation months ago; not just recently. He says the whole thing has “been bizarre from the get-go”….:

Cut 16 (06)  “…hide the ball”

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The LSU football team is halfway through spring practice and head coach Brian Kelly is still a long way from announcing a starting quarterback. Kelly says the four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster can play at LSU, but only one can start…..

Cut 17 (20) “ …skill set is.” 

Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels spoke with the media for the first time on Saturday since arriving in Baton Rouge. Daniels on why he left A-S-U for L-S-U…

Cut 18 (19) “ …to come.” 

Daniels and sixth-year senior Myles Brennan are battling for the starting spot next season. Daniels says it’s his goal to be Q-B 1, but if not he’ll still try and help the team win…

Cut 19 (19) _“…national championship”