LSU’s new head football coach Brian Kelly received a warm welcome at the Baton Rouge airport Tuesday. About 50 people were on hand when the former skipper of the Fighting Irish touched down in Tiger Country.
Teacher pay is on the mind of the man who heads up the state’s teacher’s union. More from Dave Brannen.
News of the highly transmissible Omicron COVID variant of COVID has Ochsner health officials on alert and advising the public on how to prepare. Brooke Thorington has more.
The man who’s been Mayor of Pineville since 1999 is stepping down. Mayor Clarence Fields announces he will not seek re-election next year to a seventh term in office. The 66-year-old Fields says he was recently diagnosed with a vision problem and – but for that – he would have likely wanted to run again…:
Fields was first appointed to that office in 1999; succeeding Leo Deslatte when he resigned from office. He was formally elected in 2000 and has served ever since. Fields says, after almost 25 years of service, he looks forward to spending more time with his children and grandchildren. He says the decision to stand down was a difficult one…:
Fields was a 2021 inductee into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame and is credited with revitalizing Pineville business, leading improvements to the Rapides Parish city’s infrastructure & recreational departments and bringing new commercial and residential developments. He says his sixth term in office ends June 30, 2022…:
The announcement and arrival of LSU’s newest hire Brian Kelly as head football coach is met with excitement and shock as about 50 of the purple and gold faithful gathered at the Baton Rouge Airport to greet the former Norte Dame coach. After two mediocre seasons, the news of Kelly at the helm renews hope in the program.
After the news of Lincoln Riley being hired by USC and Billy Napier to Florida, Tiger fans were growing anxious when a new coach had not been named after the final game of the regular season Saturday. For some, the hire came out of the blue.
While some questioned if LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward would be able to bring in a big name after high-profile candidates made commitments elsewhere, landing Kelly has restored their faith in Woodward.
Kelly will be officially announced at a noon press conference today.
With Louisiana ranking 12th in teacher pay among the 16 states in the South, Larry Carter, who heads up the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, is sounding off about the need for the state to at least reach the regional annual salary average of just over 55-thousand-dollars.
Carter says it will be up to the governor, state lawmakers and educators to work together to see that the state allocates the additional state funding. The current average pay for the more than 40-thousand teachers in the state is just over 51-thousand-500-dollars and that’s helping to lead to teacher shortages in some school districts.
The President of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers says the state needs to get to work on upping the pay of the tens of thousands of teachers in the state. Larry Carter says the average pay is just over 51-thousand-500-dollars, thousands below the southern regional average of more than 55-thousand. That’s helping fuel a teacher shortage in the state. He says teachers surveyed didn’t rank pay as the most important issue:
Still, Carter says the battle will go on for higher pay with the hope that Governor Edwards can get teacher pay increased to the regional average by the end of his second term in January 2024.
Carter says while strides with Governor Edwards’ support have been made to improve teacher pay in Louisiana, it still falls far short of regional average pay for instructors in 16 southern states.
The highly transmissible Omicron COVID variant from South Africa is a growing concern among health officials. Ochsner Health Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention, Dr. Katherine Baumgarten says fortunately the vaccines can be tweaked easily if needed.
Ochsner Director of Hospital Quality Dr. Sandra Kemmerly says preliminary data from Israel shows the Pfizer vaccine retains adequate efficacy against the Omicron variant. She says when news of the new variant broke over the holidays it was a reminder that the pandemic is far from over.
By prepared, Kemmerly touts vaccines and booster shots for those 18 and older who were fully vaccinated more than six months ago. And because it takes 14 days to receive the full benefit of the vaccines, health providers encourage you to get boosted sooner than later and before the Omicron variant reaches Louisiana.
Kemmerly says while studies of Omicron are ongoing there has been an alarming increase in hospitalizations in South Africa, but the nation also has a vaccination rate of only 30-percent.
To date the Omicron variant has not been detected in the US, however, cases have been reported in Canada.
Saints Coach Sean Payton has yet to name a starter for tomorrow night’s home game against Dallas. Taysom Hill is expected to start as he’s been taking the first-team reps at Q-b, but he’s also battling a foot injury. Payton says the injury is getting better….
Hill was a full participant in practice yesterday according to the team’s injury report. Running back Alvin Kamara was limited, but Mark Ingram was a full participant for the second straight day after missing last Thursday’s game. Ingram expects to play against the Cowboys and hopes his running mate Kamara will join him…
The Saints are looking to break a four-game losing streak when they face the Cowboys. Payton says every NFL season has its bumps in the road…