LRN PM Newscall July 21

The BA-dot-5 variant is keeping the current surge of COVID in Louisiana on track to becoming one of the longest. Brooke Thorington explains.

Cut 1 (34) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”


The Louisiana Bond Commission withholds funding for the New Orleans water and sewerage board over the city’s threat not to enforce state laws that ban abortions. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 2 (34) “…I’m Jeff Palermo.”  


With news of President Biden testing positive for COVID today it’s also reflective of case counts and coronavirus hospitalizations on the rise in Louisiana. State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter says the Bayou State is still in its sixth surge that started about two months ago and it’s on track to be one of the longest upticks in cases.

Cut 3 (07) “…transmissible variant” 

Kanter says the current surge would have most likely ended had it not been for the BA-dot-5 variant.

Today the state reports more than 34-hundred additional COVID cases but Kanter says that’s not necessarily reflective of the actual amount of COVID circulating in Louisiana.

Cut 4  (07) “…to testing.”

And while the BA-dot-5 variant is highly transmissible Kanter says it’s not necessarily virulent and hospitalizations remain low, at 747 when you compare them to case counts.

And after 28 months Kanter says COVID fatigue has definitely set in.

Cut 5  (11) “…get it again.”

According to John Hopkins School of Public Health symptoms of the BA-dot-5 include sore throat, and fatigue, but they are less likely to report fevers and/or loss of taste and smell


Senator Bill Cassidy’s bicameral bill to provide the state bigger revenue shares of offshore energy developed passed the U.S. Senate Energy committee this morning. Cassidy says it’s called the Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies & Ecosystems Act, aka RISE…:

Cut 6 (10) “…restore that coastline.” 

Cassidy says the bill will lift a cap on state revenue sharing (currently at $375-million a year), and create a revenue sharing mechanism for offshore wind energy..:

Cut 7 (11) “…other coastal states.” 

The bill is co-authored by Rhode Island Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Ten other senators have signed on as co-sponsors. Cassidy says the bill would remove limits on how much annual revenue sharing can flow into the state, and that money can be put to important use…:

Cut 8 (12) “…to natural resources.”

Cassidy says the bill is essential for rebuilding Louisiana’s coast and protecting against Gulf storms.  It goes next to the Senate floor.


The Louisiana Bond Commission has voted to withhold 39-million dollars in non-cash line of credit for a sewerage and water board project. It’s in response to city officials pledge they would not enforce state laws that ban abortion. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin serves on the Bond Commission is in full support of withholding the money

Cut 9 (12) “…be impeached.”

A representative from Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office made the recommendation to withhold the money in response to New Orleans city officials saying that abortion laws would not be enforced. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne voted against delaying this funding…

Cut 10 (09) “…correct vote” 

State Treasurer John Schroder is the chairman of the Bond Commission and voted to withhold the non-cash line of credit, but expressed his displeasure that the Attorney General’s office is using the Bond Commission to send a message to a city….

Cut 11 (11)  “…to get on.”

The Bond Commission will consider again next month whether to release the 39-million to the Sewerage and Water Board plant. A Baton Rouge judge has blocked the law the state’s abortion ban from going into effect.


Today it’s northeast Louisiana under an excessive heat warning as heat indices are reaching 114-degrees. State Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says this excessive heat has been helping to burn up the land, literally…

Cut 12 (11) “…getting dry”   

Strain says corn and soybean farmers are working to make sure their crops do not burn up in this heat…

Cut 13 (12) “..of the heat”

Some parts of the state are seeing rain cooling showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Strain says that causes another problem, mosquitos…

Cut 14 (12)  “…eastern encephalitis.”