LRN PM Newscall January 13

A study by personal finance website WalletHub ranks our state among the worst in which to raise a family. Jeff Palermo has that…:

Cut 1 (30) “…I’m Jeff Palermo.”


The Omicron variant has yet to peak in Louisiana and Governor Edwards says COVID is having a greater impact on children now. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (32)…I’m Brooke Thorington.”  


A new report from the personal finance website “WalletHub” ranks Louisiana among the worst states in which to raise a family. WalletHub data analyst Jill Gonzales says factors like health & safety, education, costs of child care, poverty, child mortality & more were considered…:

Cut 3 (07) “…raising a family.”

The WalletHub study compared all 50 states across 51 key socio-economic indicators of family-friendliness. Gonzales says Louisiana’s performance in these area are why it ranks Third Worst as a place to raise a family…:

Cut 4 (12) “…to zone in on.”

Gonzales says families should view the report if they are considering moving their family to the Bayou State for a job opportunity…:

Cut 5 (15) “…be a little bit better.”

To see the report, go to “”


The state health department reports 2,081 COVID hospitalizations today; an increase of 82 from Wednesday. Governor John Bel Edwards says hospitalizations among children from the Omicron variant are also on the rise and he wantsd to dispel any rumors that COVID is not impacting children.

 Cut 6 (11) “…than Delta surge.” 

Edwards says some of those children admitted are between the ages of zero to four, which are not eligible to be vaccinated.

The state is also tracking COVID re-infections, Edwards says those cases are available on the Department of Health’s COVID Dashboard. LDH is also in the process of analyzing those cases and will soon share the percentage of reinfections among the unvaccinated.

Cut 7 (10) “…start of the pandemic.” 

According to the CDC, 60-percent of reinfections from September to December in the US are among the unvaccinated.

Edwards continues to remind the public of the importance of being fully vaccinated and boosted with the Omicron variant. He says statistics show that being inoculated is in your favor.

Cut 8 (11) “…to die.” 

Edwards also encouraged indoor masking to decrease COVID transmission in a concerted effort not to overwhelm the health care delivery system. When asked about reinstating the mask mandate Edwards says the topic will be discussed with hospital leaders next week at their weekly meetings.


Central Louisiana authorities have arrested two people in connection with the kidnapping and murder of 27-year-old Deven Brooks. Ball Police Cheif Marshall Deen says Brooks was taken from his home earlier this week in Ball and his body was discovered two days later along the Red River…

Cut 9 (09) “…kidnapping”

Two people arrested for Brooks’ death are Terrance Lavalais and Jamaria Randle. Both are 21-years-old and from Alexandria. Deen says they believe Brooks knew one of the suspects, but they are not sure of an exact motive…

Cut 10 (12)  “…the murder”

Brooks’ body was found on Tuesday. Officers say he was shot in the head. Deen credits good collaboration with the Alexandria Police Department in making an arrest so quickly…

Cut  11 (12)  “…theres.”

Lavalais and Randle are both charged with second-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping. Bond has been set at 400-thousand dollars for each.


A Lake Charles man and woman are arrested after detectives discovered one-million dollars’ worth of illegal narcotics in their possession. Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso says the combined anti-drug task force arrested 43-year-old Caleb Barfield and 30-year-old Kimberly Breaux last week.

Cut 12 (11) “…that also.”  

Among the drugs seized were 170 grams of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, Lake Charles Police Chief Shawn Caldwell explains what a lethal dose of fentanyl is.

Cut 13 (10) “…rice worth of fentanyl.”

With the seizure of such a large amount of illegal drugs, both Mancuso and Caldwell credit the task force with saving numerous lives. Caldwell says the number of drug overdose deaths has doubled in the parish.

Cut 14 (11)  “…are OD-ing.” 

The two face a plethora of drug charges including intent to sell, possession of illegal firearms, and in the presence of a juvenile. Barfield’s bond was set at $803-thousand and Breaux’s at $59 thousand. She was released on bond Friday.


The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked President Biden’s vaccine mandate on private businesses. The mandate would have required employees with over 100 workers to mandate the COVID vaccine or weekly testing. Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy says today’s ruling rejects federal government overreach…

Cut 15 (06) “…this decision.” 

Cassidy he advises people to get the COVID vaccine, but….

Cut  16 (05) “..Supreme Court agrees”