LRN AM Newscall December 30 ###Updated newscall with soundbites on the passing of Luke Letlow###

After a historic number of jobs lost and more of the working poor applying, approximately 39 percent of the population in Louisiana has Medicaid coverage now. Brooke Thorington has more.

 Cut 1 (30) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”


The Alexandria Senior High football team is competing for their first state championship in school history when they take on top-seeded Carencro tonight.  Taylor Sharp has the story.

Cut 2 (31) “…I’m Taylor Sharp.” 


A committee advising the CDC has laid out its recommendations for what groups should be next to get their COVID vaccinations in 2021. Matt Doyle has the story.

Cut 3 (31)  “…I’m Matt Doyle.”  


Medicaid enrollment increased by 208-thousand in Louisiana this year alone and now approximately 1.8 million receive Medicaid benefits or 39-percent of the state’s population. Louisiana Budget Project Executive Director Jan Moller says the pandemic’s effect on the economy forced many to seek coverage.

Cut 4 (09) “…insurance.”

Medicaid enrollment in Louisiana been increasing since 2016 when Medicaid expansion allowed the working poor to qualify for coverage. Moller says with the pandemic highlighting the importance of medical coverage it also prompted those with low-paying jobs to seek coverage.

Moller says another reason more people are on Medicaid because early in the pandemic Congress passed The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act.

Cut 5 (10) “…coverage.”

Moller noted in addition to a historic number of jobs lost during the pandemic, thousands also dropped out of the labor force to take care of children at home when schools closed or went virtual. He says Medicaid is serving its purpose.

Cut 6 (12) “…supposed to do.”

According to the state department of health, approximately 160-thousand currently covered by Medicaid are ineligible and the department is working with the federal government on how to end coverage once the federal public health emergency ends.


Alexandria will be looking to make history tonight when they take on Carencro for the state championship.  A win would give the team their first state title in school history.  Head coach Thomas Bachmann says his team making it to the title game proves the doubters wrong.

Cut 7 (13)  “…be done.”

Bachmann says establishing a culture and setting high expectations has been vital to his team’s postseason run.

Cut 8 (11) “…accomplish.”

Bachmann credits his team’s success this season to the number of leaders he has on this year’s squad.

Cut 9 (08) “…character.”


With Phase One of COVID vaccinations underway to frontline healthcare workers, nursing home staff and residents, many are wondering who’s next up to get their shots in 2021.

A CDC advisory committee suggests group 1B should cover frontline essential workers and those over 75. Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says the state is crafting its own plan, but…

Cut 10 (04) “…recommended.”

Group 1C covers the rest of essential workers and those over 65, plus people with health conditions that can lead to more severe COVID-19 cases.

Those 1C and 1B groups include hundreds of thousands of Louisianans. Kanter says it’s likely the percentage of our population in those groups will be higher than the national average.

Cut 11 (04) “…metrics.”

Governor Edwards says those with end-stage renal disease who receive regular dialysis treatments have already begun receiving the vaccine ahead of their CDC recommended schedule.

Unfortunately, Kanter says we can’t pinpoint an exact date yet for when the state will move out of Phase One vaccinations and into Phase 1B.

Cut 12 (06) “…we get.”


Congressman-elect Luke Letlow has died from COVID-19 at the age of 41. Letlow, who was was elected to Louisiana’s 5th Congressional district earlier this month, died at Ochnser-LSU Health Shreveport last night after spending ten days in the hospital. Louisiana’s Congressional delegation is devasted. Senior Senator Bill Cassidy released a video message on Twitter…

Cut 13 (12) “…in your prayers.”

Letlow’s death came on a day when the state surpassed seven-thousand confirmed COVID deaths. Cassidy says COVID can kill anyone…

Cut 14 (06) “…it can.” 

Letlow was set to be sworn in next week, as he was replacing Ralph Abraham. He leaves behind a wife and two young children. Cassidy asks residents to pray for the Letlow family…

Cut 15 (08)“…we should do.”


The New Orleans Saints will wrap up the regular season on Sunday as they travel to take on the Carolina Panthers.  Despite the team’s success this year, quarterback Drew Brees says, they need to fine-tune some things before the playoffs.

Cut 16 (11) “…the field.”

Brees believes a good performance on Sunday is vital because he wants the team to be playing its best once the post-season arrives.

Cut 17 (10) “improve.”

The Saints have locked up a spot in the playoffs but are still fighting for the number-one seed.  Linebacker Demario Davis says the team has been in a playoff mindset for weeks now and needs to win on Sunday.

Cut  18 (12) “…the playoffs.”