LRN PM Newscall May 20

A bill prohibiting the handheld use of a phone when driving finally makes passage out of the house. Brooke Thorington has more.

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


 NOAA is once again predicting an active hurricane season. Erik Picolli reports on how many storms we could see in 2021…

Cut 2 (29) …I’m Erik Piccoli.”  


A bill prohibiting the handheld use of a cellphone when you’re driving makes passage out of the house. Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval’s bill would impose a $25 fine for the first offense and $50 for a second violation.

Cut 3 (11)  “…make a call” 

The use of a handheld device is already prohibited in school zones in Louisiana.

Rep Huval has brought similar legislation in the past and Baton Rouge Representative Denice Marcelle says she supports the bill now because it prohibits police from pulling one for handheld phone use to search their vehicle.

Cut 4 (07) “..with me” 

Use of a Bluetooth and speakerphone is not prohibited in this bill, only handheld use of the device. Oil City Representative Danny McCormick feels the law would hurt criminal justice reform and create a negative interaction between the police and the public.

Cut 5  (11)  “…oppose the bill”

The vote was 76-21 and the bill now heads to the Senate. If the legislation passes Louisiana would join 24 other states with similar laws.


Lumber prices have more than tripled over the year amidst a pandemic-driven surge in new home construction and renovation.

LSU Forestry Economist Joseph Chang says new home construction is up about 30 percent from last year and there are more remodeling projects in the works as well.

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Last year lumber prices were clocked at around 354 dollars per thousand feet of lumber. As of May 18th that number is up to 1,264 dollars, down from the year’s high of 1,686 earlier this month.

Chang says folks hoping to build or buy new homes are really feeling that lumber price increase…

Cut 7 (07) “…buying”

Despite the increase in lumber prices timber prices for landowners in Louisiana’s expansive forestry industry haven’t changed much due to a major decline in the number of sawmills over the last 15 years.

Chang says his sense is that the price is eventually going to decline, but the question is when…

Cut 8 (11) “…fall”


The NOAA Climate Prediction Center predicts another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Acting NOAA administrator Ben Friedman says between 13 to 20 named storms are expected to form and between six and ten will become hurricanes.

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NOAA’s lead season hurricane forecaster Matthew Rosencrans says several factors have been combined for them to predict another active hurricane season…

Cut 10 (10) “…West African monsoon” 

NOAA says El Nino conditions are currently in the neutral phase. When there’s an El Nino it suppresses tropical activity in the Atlantic Ocean. Rosencrans is concerned about the possibility of a La Nina forming later in the hurricane season…

Cut 11 (11) “…predicted ranges”

A record 30 named storms formed in 2020.


Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s not looking to continue his political career after his term ends in 2024.

Edwards says he does not anticipate that he will continue in public life as an elected official once his second term ends.

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Edwards says he’s also not considering running for any other office before this term ends, such as the US Senate race next year.

Cut 13 (12)“…term”

Edwards says there have been no conversations about him leaving Louisiana to join President Biden’s cabinet, but…

Cut 14 (10) “…consider”