LRN PM Newscall May 21

Starting in July a budget airliner will begin offering direct flights out of New Orleans to ten midsized cities in the South and Midwest. Matt Doyle has the story.

Cut 1 (30) “ …I’m Matt Doyle.” 


A $30-million buyout program to assist a Lake Charles neighborhood is now underway. Brooke Thorington explains.

Cut 2 (32) …I’m Brooke Thorington.”  


Governor Edwards says the state is considering implementing a vaccine incentive program similar to efforts in other states.

The number of new vaccinations per week has fallen precipitously from a mid-March high. Edwards says they’re looking into ways to get skeptical Louisianans off the fence…

Cut 3 (10)  “…vaccinated” 

A significant decline in new vaccinations is being seen across the country. Nationwide between April 11th and May 11th the average number of weekly vaccinations is down 50 percent.

Ten states have so far adopted incentive programs ranging from lotteries to free beer and even a 100 dollar savings bond. Edwards says they’re carefully studying those efforts.

Cut 4 (12) “ that” 

Alabama held a mass vaccination event where people who got vaccinated were entered into a raffle for a chance to drive two laps on the Talladega Superspeedway.

Edwards says whatever incentive program they come up with will be on top of ongoing outreach efforts…

Cut 5  (11)  “…ongoing”


Senator Bill Cassidy toured parts of Lake Charles this morning to check on the area after widespread flooding Monday and ongoing hurricane recovery efforts. As for helping southwest Louisiana get more federal assistance, Cassidy says he has met with a key person in the Biden administration in hopes of getting the President to sign off.

Cut 6 (09) “…sign it.”

Cassidy says he still sees plenty of standing water in Lake Charles and is aware of the possibility of more flooding in the immediate future. When asked who is against sending aid to the area and what the hurdles are…

Cut 7 (10) “…the need.”

Cassidy says it’s a matter of keeping the issue at the forefront and educating other lawmakers about the magnitude of damage. The state experience three hurricanes in 2020, two major winter storms in February, and now flooding.

Governor Edwards has requested an additional $3-billion for the area and Cassidy says he’s meeting again with a key decision-maker in the Biden administration.

Cut 8 (10) “…working hard.”

Cassidy shared that two staff members who just purchased homes in Baton Rouge flooded this week.


The National Hurricane Center is monitoring a disturbance that has a medium chance of developing into a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico. National Weather Service in Lake Charles meteorologist Alex Donato says it’ll likely make landfall in Texas or possibly in southwest Louisiana

Cut 9 (8) “…most likely scenario”

Forecasters say the system could produce heavy rainfall which is why a flashflood watch is in effect through tonight for the western half of Louisiana. Donato this is one of two disturbances the National Hurricane Center is monitoring. The other is way out in the Middle of the Atlantic…

Cut 10 (4) “…average this year”


Breeze Airways will begin offering cheap direct flights out of Louis Armstrong in New Orleans into ten mid sizes cities across the Midwest and South.

CEO David Neeleman, who founded Jet Blue, says the flights are inexpensive and often take less than two hours to get to their destination.

Cut 11 (09) “…hub”

Flights to Charleston will begin July 8th with flights to Louisville, Fayetteville, Richmond, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Akron, Columbus, and Huntsville beginning July 15th and 16th.

The Louisiana Department of Economic Development estimates the new routes will create 261 new direct jobs and 877 new indirect jobs throughout the region.

Cut 12 (08)    “…visitors” 

Neeleman says he’s already hearing good things from South Louisianans…

Cut 13 (10)“…much”


Governor Edwards announces a $30-million buyout program for a Calcasieu Parish neighborhood that has flooded on multiple occasions. Police Jury President Brian Abshire says the funds will be used to purchase homes at fair market value in the Greinwich Terrance neighborhood of Lake Charles.

Cut 14 (13) “…record flood” 

The buyout program is completely optional and Abshire says while he understands relocating and leaving your home is extremely emotional…

Cut 15 (09) “…repair your home.” 

Abshire says many of these residents were in the midst of renovating their homes from the hurricane and were impacted again by flooding Monday.

Homeowners will be approached about the buyout program there is no need to register. Abshire says once the majority of the neighborhood is purchased it will be turned into a green space.

Cut 16 (06) “…the future.” 

The 50-year old neighborhood has approximately 300 homes.