LRN PM Newscall February 24

In an effort to have children educated sooner, one lawmaker files a bill to make kindergarten mandatory in Louisiana.  Brooke Thorington explains

Cut 1 (31) “ …I’m Brooke Thorington.”  


Utilities reported to the Public Service Commission this morning on last week’s winter storm response. Matt Doyle has the story.

Cut 2 (29) …I’m Matt Doyle.”  


Currently, it is not mandatory to send your child to kindergarten in Louisiana, but one Senator wants to change that to get more children enrolled in pre-K education. Baton Rouge Senator and Chairmen of the Senate Education Committee Cleo Fields has pre-filed legislation to make kindergarten a requirement.

Cut 3 (10)  “…the state.” 

According to Louisiana’s Early Childhood and Education Commission, birth to five years of age is critical for brain development. Fields wants to aid educational outcomes for children as early as possible.

Cut 4 (11) “…first grade.” 

Fields says we need to concentrate on learning sooner so all children will have the advantage of pre-K and kindergarten education before, they walk into first grade. Fields says but first we must make kindergarten a requirement.

Cut 5  (11)  “…through twelve.” 

If the bill is approved children who turn age five on or before September 30th will be required to enroll in kindergarten.


Utility providers went before the Public Service Commission today to explain last week’s winter storm power outages and the poor communication to customers about those outages.

Entergy CEO Phillip May says Tuesday the grid faced significantly more demand than it had supply and they were given 30 minutes by a regulator to begin rolling blackouts.

Cut 6 (10) “…resort”

That super-regional regulator, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, operates an energy market in 15 states throughout the center of the country. Nearly all of those states were caught in last week’s polar vortex.

May says part of the problem last week was that they could not source enough natural gas to maintain a normal level of power production.

Cut 7 (10) “…supply”

Providers acknowledged that natural gas prices for February were far higher than they usually are, and that will be passed on to customers. Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta…

Cut 8 (09) “…before then”


Senator Bill Cassidy spoke with members of the media on a zoom conference to discuss his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.  Despite some criticism, Cassidy says he’s at peace with his decision.

Cut 9 (08) “…people objecting”

After Cassidy’s vote, the Louisiana GOP voted to censure him, but Cassidy says that’s only a small portion of the Republican Party and that a lot of Republicans say they respect his decision.

Cut 10 (11) “…went into it” 

In regards to how this vote will impact his political career, Cassidy says honoring his constitutional oath is more important.

Cut 11 (10) “…consequesnces.


A former well-known Monroe staple passed away Monday at the age of 72. Shirley was the sole elephant at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo for 22 years after she arrived in 1977.  As requirements changed for keeping elephants in captivity, Zoo Director Tom Pearson says they opted to let Shirley retire.

Cut 12 (12) “ …years.” 

Pearson says since elephants are herd animals, Shirley relocated to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee where she defied the odds as the Sanctuary’s oldest elephant after her previous circus life and then her residency in Monroe.

Cut 13 (08)“…circus.”

Pearson says at the Sanctuary, Shirley was able to roam vast the grounds with other elephants and had little human interaction. He says about 10 years ago however one of her former caretakers in Monroe, Solomon James, was allowed to visit on her birthday.

Cut 14 (11) “…thrilled”

At the time of her passing, Shirley held the record for the second oldest elephant in North America.