1:30 LRN Newscast February 28

Mardi Gras has been a welcome boost to the state, especially in the metro-New Orleans area but also in the Hub City, where President of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, Ben Berthelot says they’ve seen an influx of tourists, and hotel occupancy is up.

Cut 3 (11) “…Mardi Gras back.”

Like other areas of the state, Berthelot says the pandemic has severely hurt the hospitality industry and he’s hopeful now that carnival season has been such a boost to the industry that it’s just the beginning for 2022.

A two-vehicle crash last night in Acadia Parish has claimed the lives of two men.  20-year-old Derrick Ceasar Jr. and 20-year-old Tywon Thorn, both of Crowley were pronounced dead at the scene. State Trooper Thomas Gossen says their Buick Century crossed the center line and slammed head-on into a Ford Expedition. It is unknown at this time whether either or both of the drivers were impaired at the time, and toxicology reports are pending.

Cut 7 (08) “…remains to be seen.”

A decrease in enrollment and TOPS participation among Louisiana public colleges and universities raises concerns among Board of Regents members. Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed says for the first time ever they’re not asking for more TOPS funding this year. TOPS recipients can delay enrollment for up to one year and Reed says they want to find out as to what’s keeping students from enrolling or even possibly postponing their higher education.

Cut 10 (09) “…off track.”

As the Russia-Ukraine crisis continues, so does the steady rise in fuel prices. According to Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for gasbuddy.com, concerns about overseas oil production and increasing demand should keep prices up for a while.

Cut 12 (10) “…a gallon.”

DeHaan warns drivers to be prepared for some tough months ahead as the U-S enters a perfect storm that could push gasoline prices up by anywhere from 25 to 75 cents by Memorial Day. Louisiana currently averages $3.35 per gallon, up 97 cents from a year ago.