9:30 LRN Newscast Jan 2

Congressman-elect Luke Letlow was to be sworn into office tomorrow to represent the 5th Congressional district, but due to his life being cut short from COVID his family is holding funeral services for him today at 2pm. Services will be at North Monroe Baptist Church and all COVID restrictions will be in place, his family is requesting attendees to wear masks. Governor Edwards has ordered flags be flown at half-staff today in memory of 41-year-old Letlow who died on Tuesday.

The Louisiana Department of Family and Children services distributed more than $674 million in food stamps last year due to the pandemic and three hurricanes. Deputy Assistant Secretary Jean Guinta says to keep staff and recipients safe they made some changes.

Cut 14 (10) “…the need.” 

She says other states have asked for guidance and are modeling their distribution process now after Louisiana’s.

2020 was the busiest year on record for the Louisiana National Guard, guard spokesperson Noel Collins says in addition to the demands of the pandemic and an unprecedented hurricane season for the state, the guardsmen are involved in overseas missions.

Cut 8 (10) “…this year.”

The city of Lake Charles endured two hurricanes last year and Mayor Nic Hunter says in addition to housing for residents a large factor for the city to recover is major employers’ commitments to stay and rebuild.

Cut 11 (08) “…rebuilding.”

Overall, Hunter says he’s optimistic about the recovery of Lake Charles because its residents and business community are very resilient.