LRN PM Newscall February 28

For the first time, the Board of Regents is requesting level-funding for the 22-23 fiscal year, that’s TOPS enrollment is down. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (33) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”


We’re entering a perfect storm for high prices at the pump. David Grubb has more.

Cut 2 (33)…I’m David Grubb.”  


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.”

Berthelot says in addition to the regular Krewes that roll in Lafayette they also held a COVID heroes parade honoring those who helped them get through the pandemic.

As for Fat Tuesday, Berthelot says they’ll have three parades rolling and things kick off at 10 am with King Gabriel and culminates with the Independent parade.

Cut 4 (08) “…tomorrow.”

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.

Cut 5 (11) “…back strong.”


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…

 Cut 6 (08) “…on the shoulder.” 

Neither Ceasar nor Thorn were wearing restraints at the time of the accident, nor was the driver of the Expedition. She and several passengers were transported to the hospital with reports of minor to moderate injuries. Gossen says it is unknown alcohol played a factor…

Cut 7 (08) “…remains to be seen.” 

The driver of the Expedition could face charges as well as the crash remains under investigation. Gossen said the vehicle had exceeded its occupancy limit and questions remain about seat belt and child restraint usage.

Cut 8 (09) “…results are pending.” 

This is the fourth fatal crash, with a total of six deaths, investigated by Troop I since the start of 2022.


A decrease in enrollment and TOPS participation among Louisiana public colleges and universities raises concerns among Board of Regents members. Higher Education Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed says for the first time ever they’re not asking for more TOPS funding this year. As for why enrollment is down, Reed believes it’s multifaceted.

Cut 9 (11) “…challenges.”

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.” 

A survey indicates a decrease of almost 3-percent in fall 2021 undergraduate enrollment and 3-percent fewer TOPS-eligible recipients were paid for fall 2021 enrollment.

Reed says this isn’t necessarily a Louisiana problem and the National Clearing House estimates a million fewer college students in the nation right now.

Cut 11 (09)   “…floods, etc.”  

The Regents and Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance will continue to monitor the issues and LOSFA plants to hold focus groups among high school and college students to better understand their challenges.


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

Cut 12 (10) “…a gallon.”  

With this conflict coming on the heels of the pandemic, the pace of production has not been able to keep up with demand as countries try to get back to normal. DeHaan says it’s only made a bad situation worse.

cut 13 (12) “…anytime soon.”

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.

Cut 14 (7)  “…in recent years.”