Due to an overwhelming number of calls, DSNAP enrollment has been extended. Brooke Thorington has more.
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Complaints about the work of insurance companies, particularly their adjusters, are keeping folks at the Louisiana Department of Insurance busy more than a month after Hurricane Ida. More from Dave Brannen.
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Extinction happens and Robert Dobbs with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says the ivory-billed woodpecker is among nearly two dozen birds, fish and other species that have now been declared extinct.
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Dobbs says the last confirmed siting of the ivory-billed woodpecker was in the Tensas River area in northeastern Louisiana. The extinction designation this week comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Dobbs says bird lovers haven’t given up altogether on trying to find the ivory-billed woodpecker since its mid-1940s disappearance, but haven’t had any luck.
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Dobbs says efforts need to be focused on making sure other species of birds and animals don’t disappear from the planet.
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The ivory-billed woodpecker was added to the endangered species list in the 1960s, before being declared extinct on Wednesday and joining a list of more than 900 extinct species worldwide.
Due to extremely high call volume, Louisiana has received approval to extend DSNAP. Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says they understand the frustration among callers, and they are pleased they’ve received federal approval to extend call-in days.
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Phase three will end October 9th and then those with the last names beginning with A-L can call in on October 11th. Surnames M-Z on October 12th and all names on October 13th.
Of the 110-thousand calls so far seeking DSNAP assistance, almost 81-thousand have been approved.
Walters says DSNAP eligibility is a combination of one’s income and disaster-related expenses. She says the anxiety related to a mindset of “I lost all my food, I should be able to get DSNAP,” has frustrated many callers.
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Before when DSNAP applicants would visit an office in person Walters says candidates came in on assigned days, but since they moved to a virtual process they’ve been inundated with calls.
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Walters says for the extended days they will receive assistance from DSNAP operators in Texas and Oklahoma to assist with call volume. She says their ultimate goal is to assist those who are eligible and to keep people from going hungry.
State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, the number one complaint his office is getting is the often slow response of insurance adjusters assigned to assess property damage.
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He says adjusters have up to 60 days to inspect a property, and that failures to initiate a loss adjustment within that time period or pay a claim within 30 days after proof of loss, can result in penalties against insurers, including fines of up to 100-thousand-dollars per violation.
Complaints about adjusters not responding quickly enough to policyholder complaints may seem puzzling when Donelon notes the number of them at work in the state.
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When opting to file a complaint with the Louisiana Department of Insurance, Donelon says you need to be able to relay what’s gone wrong with your attempt to get your property damage assessed and paid for.
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Contact ldi.la.gov for further information.
The Louisiana Health Department reported 872 new coronavirus cases today, it’s the lowest one-day total since early July. Ochsner Health Chief Medical Officer Doctor Robert Hart says the state is making good progress against COVID, but another surge is possible and vaccination rates will play a role…
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State officials say nearly 52-percent of the state’s population is vaccinated and over 61-percent of the state’s eligible population has completed the vaccine series.
In another positive sign, COVID hospitalizations have fallen below 900 for the first time since July 21st. Hart says with just over half of the state’s population vaccinated, the possibility of another surge exists…
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Hart says the fourth surge of COVID claimed thousands of lives and jammed their hospitals with COVID patients. It was the worst out of the four surges and Hart is hopeful the next surge is not as bad…
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