LRN PM Newscall December 31 2020

Starting Monday, more Louisianans will be eligible to get a Moderna COVID vaccine. Matt Doyle has the story…

Cut 1 (30) “ …I’m Matt Doyle”  


Casinos in Louisiana were cold in 2020 with the pandemic and competition from other states.  Brooke Thorington has more.

cut 2 (32) ….I’m Brooke Thorington.”  


State Fire Marshal spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue urges residents to practice fireworks safety tonight. She says never light fireworks when you are impaired and light them on a steady non-combustible surface for example concrete or asphalt.

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With rain in the forecast, some might attempt to light fireworks from a garage, carport, or patio, Rodrigue says that’s a bad idea, you should light them 200 feet away from property.

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Rodrigue says never allow children to handle fireworks, even sparklers.

Disposal of fireworks is also important, but sure to wet them down after use and put them away from anything flammable.

Cut 5  (11) “…catch fire.” 


2020 will be remembered for the COVID-19 pandemic and hurricanes. State Climatologist Barry Keim says Hurricane Laura left a major mark on the state when it made landfall in Cameron Parish on August 27th as a strong Category four with 150 miles per hour winds

Cut 6 (09) “..170 years.”

Laura caused massive destruction in southwest Louisiana and significant wind damage in central and north Louisiana. At least 28 deaths in Louisiana were attributed to Laura. Keim says there was also Hurricane Delta in the second week of October and Hurricane Zeta made landfall in Terrebonne Parish a few days before Halloween

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Keim says it’s highly unlikely the 2021 hurricane season will match what we saw this year…

Cut 8 (14) “…improbable.”


Starting Monday, a very limited supply of vaccine doses will be available for Louisiana residents 70 years and older and additional healthcare workers. Governor John Bel Edwards says this new “Group 1B” includes about 640,000 people on top of the 250,000 people who are currently eligible.

Cut 9 (09) “..simultaneously”

That expanded group of healthcare workers includes schools of allied health students, residents, and staff, home healthcare workers, ambulatory, outpatient, medical, dental, and behavioral health clinic workers.

About 100 pharmacies across the state will receive Moderna doses, but Edwards says if you’re in Group 1B you’ll have to get an appointment to receive one…

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They will release the names of those pharmacies, along with contact information on the Louisiana Department of Health website Monday.

Edwards warns this is just the beginning of vaccinations for this new group so it may take you a while to get an appointment to receive one.

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He notes once we receive more vaccines the next group up will be essential workers like teachers and grocery store employees.


The Louisiana casino industry had a difficult 2020 with forced closures for almost two months, reduced capacity and one casino shut its doors for good.  Louisiana Casino Association Executive Director Wade Duty says this will result in a loss of taxes revenues for the state

Cut 12 (09) “…100-million.” 

Non-gaming losses include revenue from concerts, restaurants, and bars at casino venues. Duty says even with the gaming numbers showing a rebound of 75 to 85-percent since reopening, being unable to offset non-gaming revenue, the industry continues to struggle.

Cut 13 (07)“…sectors”

Diamond Jacks in Bossier City was the casino that closed this year and the Isle of Capri in Lake Charles has yet to reopen from hurricane damage. Duty says casinos are anxious for legal sports betting to take place in Louisiana, but the state legislature has to establish regulations and a tax structure.

Cut 14 (10) “…realistic one.” 

Duty says Louisiana casinos were suffering from competition in neighboring states before the pandemic and COVID restrictions only added to the downturn. He also says many players, especially seniors have been reluctant to return to casinos since they reopened.