LRN AM Newscall January 4

Laws aimed at lowering auto insurance rates through lawsuit reform went into with the new year. Matt Doyle spoke with a supporter of the reforms…

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Congressman-elect Luke Letlow was laid to rest on Saturday and a special election for the now vacant seat will be held in March. Matt Doyle has the story.

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Beginning today more Louisiana residents are eligible to be vaccinated. Brooke Thorington explains.

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A new law that supporters say will lower auto insurance rates went into effect with the start of the new year. The tort reform legislation was approved during the June special session. Louisiana Association of Business and Industry CEO Stephen Waguespack backed the changes…

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The law lowers the “jury trial threshold” from 50,000, by far the highest in the nation, to 10,000 dollars.

The legislation sought to lower auto insurance rates by saving insurers money in court settlement costs. Waguespack says Louisiana is no longer an outlier…

Cut 5 (08) “..courtrooms”

Opponents argue the changes will make it more difficult for victims of vehicular or business negligence to win a fair settlement in court.

Opponents also pointed out the law does not require insurers to lower rates, and in hearings, insurers refused to commit to doing so if it were implemented. Regardless, Waguespack is optimistic prices will drop.

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A special election will be held in March to fill the now vacant 5th Congressional District seat left open after the passing of Congressman-elect Luke Letlow. ULM Political Science Professor Dr. Joshua Stockley says Alexandria Representative Lance Harris, who lost to Letlow in a December runoff, has to be seriously considering a second run…

Cut 7 (07)  “…Republicans.”

Another potential favorite would be Congressman Ralph Abraham, should he want to return to the seat he just retired from.

Stockley says it’s hard to pinpoint another likely competitive candidate for the seat outside of Harris or Abraham.

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Ouachita Police Juror Scotty Robinson, who received the third most votes of any Republican in the November 3rd primary, is also a potential contender for the seat.

Stockley says the problem for any new candidate is they’ll only have two months to run up enough name recognition to win in the state’s largest and advertising inefficient district.

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Letlow’s funeral was held Saturday in Monroe. He was set to be sworn in Sunday.


Beginning today more people are eligible to be vaccinated for COVID in Louisiana. Governor Edwards made the announcement last week and over the weekend many people visited pharmacies ahead of doses arriving. People over the age of 70 and those on dialysis can now be vaccinated. Edwards says adverse side effects of the vaccine are rare.

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Others now eligible are schools of allied health students, residents, and staff; and home agency patients and personnel, and those who work in ambulatory and outpatient health care.

Edwards says even for those who’ve received one dose of the vaccine,  we all still need to follow mitigation efforts like masking because we are still in a critical state of the pandemic.

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Studies show that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are now available in the US, are highly effective and Edwards stressed that fact for those on the fence about being vaccinated.

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For a list of pharmacies where the vaccine is available visit and you must make an appointment to be inoculated.  To receive the maximum protection of the vaccine you must receive two doses.


2020 was an unprecedented year for the Department of Family and Children Services as more than $674 million was distributed in emergency food stamps. Deputy Assistant Secretary Jean Guinta has the breakdown.

Cut 13 (13) “…EBT benefits.”

And $92.6 million in hurricane disaster SNAP benefits was also distributed.

Jean Guinta says to keep staff and recipients safe they made changes in the distribution of SNAP benefits last year.

Cut 14 (11) “…the need.” 

And because of the success of the virtual program, Guinta says other states have asked for guidance and are modeling their distribution process after Louisiana’s.

From March to December of 2020, Guinta says demand for SNAP benefits increased 26-percent. She credits the work of her staff for meeting the unprecedented demand.

Cut 15 (12)“…these families.”

The department also secured waivers to allow recipients to use their benefits to purchase hot or prepared foods. Guinta says that aided hurricane recipients while they were living in hotels or without a kitchen to prepare food.


The Saints completed a sweep of NFC South opponents and is the second seed in the NFC playoffs after a dominating 33-7 win over Carolina. New Orleans won despite having five players on the reserve-COVID-19 list, including their top two running backs Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray. Coach Sean Payton was asked the COVID issues

Cut 16 (13) “…team win.”

The Saints starting free safety Marcus Williams also did not play, but New Orleans still intercepted five passes. Defensive end Trey Hendrickson says he’s not surprised they didn’t miss a beat

Cut 17 (18) “this thing.”

Saints Quarterback Drew Brees was in rhythm from the start and threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Emmanuel Sanders needed eight catches to get to 60 catches on the season, which would result in a 500-thousand bonus. Sanders had nine catches on the day

Cut  18 (16) “…be out there.”


The Pelicans continue their four-game homestand tonight as they host the Indiana Pacers. New Orleans has won two in a row and they are coming off a 120-116 win over the Raptors. Recently acquired guard Eric Bledsoe had a good game with 19 points and 10 assists. Coach Stan Van Gundy on Bledsoe trying to fit in

Cut 19 (19) “…more comfortable”


 The LSU basketball team fell to 1-1 in SEC play as they lost to Florida in Gainesville, 83-79. Field goal percentage was the key stat, as the Gators shot 50-percent from the field, while the Tigers shot 41-percent. LSU Coach Will Wade says his team missed a lot of shots near the rim

cut 20 (20) “….to finish.”