LRN PM Newscall September 1

There’s big economic news to report for a rural part of north Louisiana. Jeff Palermo has the story,…

Cut 1 (31)  “…I’m Jeff Palermo”


Morgan City’s Shrimp and Petroleum Festival begins today, and organizers are excited it’s back after a two-year absence. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 2 (31) I’m Brooke Thorington.”  


WestRock has broken ground on a 97-million dollar expansion at its paper mill in Hodge. The paper mill has been a major employer in Jackson Parish for 90 years as it’s responsible for 450 direct jobs. State Representative Jack McFarland says the facility is also a driver of economic activity for surrounding parishes

Cut 3 (11) “…wood chip community” 

McFarland says the 97-million dollars will expand and modernize the facility which produces high-quality container board used in manufacturing containers…

Cut 4  (05) “…decade or two.”

The mill began operations in 1928.

The governor’s office says the company is expected to utilize the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program and the initial start-up of the new wood processing equipment is scheduled for a year from now. McFarland thanks WestRock for securing jobs and supporting contractors who rely on the mill

Cut 5  (11) “…as well”

Construction is expected to continue into 2024, with a final completion date to be determined.


Morgan City is gearing up for the first Shrimp and Petroleum Festival since 2019. The festival was canceled the last two years due to the pandemic and Ida. Carrie Stansbury, Executive Director of the Cajun Coast Visitor’s Bureau says the annual event celebrates two of the state’s largest industries.

Cut 6 (07) “…culture of our community.” 

The festival includes continuous music, plenty of seafood, along with arts and crafts. Stansbury says Sunday however is their traditional day.

Cut 7 (07) “…fireworks at night.” 

Stansbury says the oldest charted harvest festival in the state began as an event to pay homage to shrimpers with the blessing of their boats and has grown to also honor the oil & gas industry.

Cut 8 (06) “…gas industry.”

The 87th annual festival kicks off today and wraps up on Labor Day.


The first week of the college football season kicks off tonight and two new sports betting parlors open today in Louisiana. Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns says there’s the Caesars Sportsbook at Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans and last night he toured the DraftKings sportsbook at the Golden Nugget in Lake Charles…

Cut 9 (10))  “’s huge.”

Johns says the L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge is expected to open its Barstool sportsbook soon and the Caesars Sportsbook opened at Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City last night…

Cut 10 (10) “..their market” 

Johns says they’ve issued 17 sportsbook licenses and they expect three more to come on line over the next year or so.

He says in the first half of this year one-point-four billion dollars in legal sports bets were made, which has generated 16.5 million dollars in tax revenue for the state.

Cut 11 (12)  “…that goal.”

Johns says most sports bets are made on a person’s phone or computer, with mobile sports betting accounting for 80-percent of the sports betting business.


There was a fatal shooting last night in Lafayette. Lafayette PD Sgt. Robin Green says the victim was only fifteen.

Cut 12 (08) “…drug transaction”  

Green says the suspect fled the scene in an unknown vehicle prior to the officers’ arrival. She says they hope to make an arrest soon. She also says detectives are having better luck than usual with getting help with the case.

Cut 13 (07) “right now”