LRN AM Newscall February 22

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson shares plans for a years-long widening of I-10 through Baton Rouge; set to get started soon. More from Kevin Gallagher…:

Cut 1 (35) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.”


When an Alexandria funeral home was unable to find nearby relatives to assist with a 94-year-old Air Force veterans’ funeral, the baseball team in Menard stepped up. Brooke Thorington explains.

Cut 2 (33) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 


Governor John Bel Edwards announced that Louisiana has an action plan in place for spending $600 million in federal funds to aid in the recovery from Hurricanes Laura and Delta. David Grubb has more…

Cut 3 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.” 


A major project to widen Interstate 10 through Baton Rouge calls for even more lane closures and congestion for an already-congested stretch of highway. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says work will begin soon on Phase 1 of the 5-phase project, and when  fully underway motorists will have to endure long periods of lane closures through the construction zone. He says it simply cannot be avoided…:

Cut 4 (12)  “…for about 14 months.”

Wilson says the plan is to eventually have 4 lanes in both directions – east and west – from LA 415 to the I-10/12 split/merge. He says the overall plan is to make things as aggravation-free for commuters as possible; both on the interstate and on the alternate routes…:

Cut 5 (15) “…taken advantage of.”(2x)

Wilson says advance planning work on widening I-10 through Baton Rouge will begin soon; relocating underground infrastructure. Heavy construction will begin in 2024. He says the project is scheduled to be completed in 2027. In the meantime, he says DOTD is advancing plans to offer commuters in Ascension Parish the option of a commuter train with park-and-ride…:

Cut 6 (14)  “…relying on their vehicle.”


When an Alexandria funeral home was unable to locate nearby relatives of a 94-year-old Air Force veteran who passed away earlier this month, they contacted the baseball coach at Holy Savior Menard High School to see if he could help. Coach Jordan Marks says considered it an honor and volunteered six seniors on his team to serve as pallbearers for Ralph Lambert’s service.

Cut 7 (10) “…happy to do it.”

And since the February 8th funeral, Marks says he heard from several members of the community thanking him and his players for stepping up.

Cut 8 (10)  “…worth reading.”

Lambert served in the Air Force from 1950 to 1971 and was buried with full military honors. Marks says not only was it a true act of service for someone they never met but it was also a way for players to honor members of their own family who served in the military.

Cut 9 (10)  “…for sure.”

*Holy Savior Menard played Sacred Heart in their season opener Monday night.


Louisiana has submitted its action plan to the feds for spending $600 million in federal aid in the recovery from Hurricanes Laura and Delta. The state proposes using the grant money for homeowner assistance, creating affordable housing, and other programs. Nearly $200 million would be dedicated to infrastructure needs. Pat Forbes, executive director of the Office of Community Development, says those dollars remove a tremendous burden from local governments.

Cut 10 (11) “…that match instead.”

Now the state will conduct a series of forums to get input from the public. Forbes says this is something the state has been actively doing over the last 18 months, but additional comment is needed to comply with HUD regulations and to further guide spending priorities.

Cut  11 (12)  “…what they think.”  

Forbes says this is just the beginning as lawmakers at both the state and federal levels continue to fight for additional dollars to accelerate the state’s rebuild.

Cut 12 (12) “…a full recovery.”

To read the plan or to see the full schedule of public forums, visit


Grand Isle Councilman Elgene Gary, faces sexual battery charges related to the assault of two minors over the span of several years. Louisiana State Police Trooper Ross Brennan says the alleged incidents happened at Gary’s home in Grand Isle.

Cut 13 (10) “…Jefferson Parish.”

78-year old Gary turned himself in Monday and was booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on two counts of felony sexual battery.

Brennan anticipates that more charges may be forthcoming, and they are asking the public for assistance.

Cut 14 (11)  “…these families.”

Gary was also a former police lieutenant, and one of three Grand Isle police officers in 2016 dismissed from office and booked for malfeasance.

As for a time period for when the alleged sexual batteries took place, Brennan says it’s an active case and they are encouraging any other possible victims to come forward.

Cut 15 (09)  “…right now.”

You can contact the Louisiana State Police Special Victim’s Unit at 504-310-7011.


Entering the season, expectations for LSU’s baseball offense were sky-high. The Tigers did nothing to lower those after posting a program-record 51 runs in their opening series against Maine. Cade Doughty did his part, with five extra-base hits, including two home runs and 12 RBI on his way to winning SEC Player of the Week honors. He likes where the Tigers are right now in their approach at the plate.

Cut 16 (10)  “…strive for.”

Opposing pitchers have plenty to worry about as LSU rolls out multiple All-American candidates in its lineup each night. What makes the Tigers even scarier is that they’re still learning first-year coach Jay Johnson and each other. After batting .571 over the weekend, Doughty says there’s more he’s capable of if he sticks to the basics.

Cut 17 (11) “ …pitch to drive.” 

LSU is back in action on Wednesday at Louisiana Tech, which swept Wichita State in its opening series.