AM LRN Newscall March 25

Everyone in Louisiana over the age of 16 will be eligible to sign up for a vaccine appointment come Monday. Matt Doyle has the story.

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State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says he’s worried that overall the state’s progress in fighting the spread of COVID-19 has stalled. Matt Doyle has the story.

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More than 70 percent of dentists report an increase in patients with teeth grinding and clenching issues. Brooke Thorington talks to the Chair of Endodontics at the LSU School of Dentistry.

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Beginning Monday everyone in Louisiana over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Governor Edwards says this means any Louisianans over 16, regardless of occupation or health status, can make an appointment to get vaccinated Monday.

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Louisiana is one of nine states where anyone over 16 is eligible.

Edwards says this final expansion of criteria for adults and older teens is the result of a significant increase in the number of vaccines being sent here by the feds.

Cut 5 (07)“…doses.”

As of now, 16 and 17-year-olds are only eligible to receive a Pfizer vaccine.

Governor Edwards says we can really see the light at the end of the tunnel now and the only hurdle remaining is making sure everyone actually takes the vaccine.

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The state’s weekly allocation has more than doubled since it first started getting the vaccine in late December.


Louisiana’s progress in lowering the spread of COVID has stalled out and begun to slowly tick back up, largely due to increased community spread in the Lake Charles region.

State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter says Region Five has nearly doubled its percent positivity rate, which is now over ten percent, and has seen average new daily cases increase for five straight weeks.

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Kanter says he’s worried the increase is being driven by the prevalence of the more infectious and deadly UK variant.

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Kanter says he knows Lake Charles residents have had an incredibly difficult past 12 months, and COVID may not be at the top of their priority list, but…

Cut 9 (09) “…vaccinated.”

Region Five has the lowest vaccination rate in the state at only nine percent.


An American Dental Association survey finds more than 70 percent of dentists are reporting an increase in patients with teeth grinding and clenching problems. LSU School of Dentistry Chair of Endodontics Dr. Mark Odom says it is an emotional response to an increase in stress from the pandemic.

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Odom says some grind their teeth or clench their jaws in their sleep and in addition to possibly cracking or chipping teeth they can experience headaches and soreness in their jaw.

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Odom says if you are experiencing symptoms see a dentist about being fitted for a guard or splint that you can wear to ease pressure before you chip or crack a tooth. In the meantime, you can also put hot-cold compresses on your jaws.

Cut 12 (08) “…bites.”

Sometimes side effects of medication to help you deal with stress can cause muscle tension which Odom says can lead to teeth clenching.


In response to mishandlings of sexual misconduct incidents on college campuses, the Louisiana Board of Regents discussed their responsibility to help keep students safe. Higher Education Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed says they also sent a letter to all the board chairs of the management boards.

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Reed says the Board of Regents is very concerned and disheartened after reading the Husch Blackwell Report of LSU’s failure to handle sexual misconduct incidents and when one university fails, we all fail.

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Earlier this month the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus held a hearing to allow universities and victims to speak about sexual misconduct. Reed says they made a list of things they heard did a review of their own policy.

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Reed says this is an opportunity to see where there are gaps in Title IX offices and correct them in addressing sexual misconduct.


The La Tech basketball team will take on Conference USA rival Western Kentucky in the NIT tonight at 9 p.m.  These teams played each other in early January, which each team winning once during a two-game series in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Tech coach Eric Konkol says the familiarity should make for a good game.

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Guard Taveion Hollingsworth leads the Hilltoppers in scoring at 17 points per contest.  Konkol says his team needs to prevent Hollingsworth from getting to the foul line.

Cut 17 (13) “…away from it.”

When the Bulldogs and Hilltoppers battle it out on the hardwood, it will be broadcast on ESPN 2.  Konkol says playing on a big-time stage is a great opportunity

Cut  18 (16) “…represent everybody.”