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A new report shows food insecurity in Louisiana is on the rise as a result of inflation and a cut in federal benefits like the child tax credit. Whitney Thomas reports

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Sugar cane experts say Louisiana’s huge sugar cane industry was hit hard by the recent hard freezes. Marsanne Golsby reports.

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Wastewater samples in Shreveport indicate there’s about to be a spike in COVID cases. Brooke Thorington explains.

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Hunger Free America says food insecurity is surging in Louisiana because of inflation and the expiration of the child tax credit and free school meals. Hunger Free America CEO, Joel Berg, says more than 470-thousand Louisiana residents are living without enough food and with the cuts to federal aid, their paychecks are not enough to keep enough food on the table.

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Berg says the number of people without enough food over a seven-day period spiked by 26% in Louisiana, and 30% nationwide between October 2021 and October 2022.

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Residents in need can contact the national hunger hotline at 1-8-6-6 3 Hungry. Berg says he’s also encouraging the public to help fight hunger…

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LSU Ag Center experts say the recent freezes were disruptive to the sugar cane industry. Sugar cane specialist Kenneth Gravois says the crops now being harvested experienced what he calls a killing freeze.

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However, he says ten of the eleven sugar cane mills in Louisiana are still processing cane, and 85 percent of the cane in the fields has already been harvested—and he adds that despite the freeze, the quality of the sugar being processed is still very good.

Cut 8 (09)  “…the crop.”

He says ideally, the weather will remain cool to refrigerate the mature cane that hasn’t been harvested yet. In addition, he says 90 percent of the new crop is already in the fields. Gravois says experts just tested soil temperatures to assess the health of that crop.

Cut 9 (10)  “… don’t freeze.”


Recent wastewater samples from Shreveport show an increase in COVID in northwestern Louisiana. The Center for Excellence for Emerging Viral Threats at LSU Health Shreveport has been monitoring samples. Director of Viral Genomic and Surveillance Dr. Krista Queen…

Cut 10 (11) “…sick yet.” 

Queen says people in the area should practice social distancing, wear face masks, and clean their hands more often because they could be spreading COVID and not know it yet.

She says when individuals are infected the virus begins replicating in their body even before they know they are sick.

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Queen says the increase of the virus in wastewater is similar to this time last year when because people tend to gather more for the holidays and also spread viruses.

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Even though the wastewater samples are from Shreveport, Queen says it’s indicative of the area in terms of community spread.


With the New Year comes a significant change in corporate taxes for Louisiana. A tax reform package passed by lawmakers in 2021 reduces the state’s corporate franchise tax; a tax paid on companies’ capital. Tax attorney and consultant Jason Decuir says the difference is relatively little (.025 percent) but there is also a built-in exemption that will benefit smaller businesses…:

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Decuir says this is a first step in eventually getting rid of corporate franchise taxes altogether…:

Cut 14 (07)  “…starting this year.”

Decuir says there are also triggers calling for further reductions if Louisiana’s revenue hits certain benchmarks, which IS projected to happen. He says this is an important step in becoming a friendlier environment for business and competing with our Gulf south neighbor states…:

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The Saints are getting ready for this Sunday’s game against the Eagles in Philadelphia. New Orleans is not sure who they will see at quarterback. MVP candidate Jalen Hurts did not play last weekend because of a shoulder injury, so Gardner Minshew started and nearly led the Eagles to a win over Dallas. Saints Coach Dennis Allen on getting ready to face the high-flying Eagles offense…

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The Saints enter the game with a six-and-nine record and need to win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Philadelphia has the best record in the NFL at 13-and-2. Allen says the players understand the challenge in front of them…

Cut 17 (16) “…handful for sure” 

It doesn’t look like former Saint C-J Gardner Johnson will play in this game. The Eagles safety remains on injured reserve but is still tied for first in the NFL with six interceptions. New Orleans traded Gardner Johnson to Philadelphia before the season started and Allen says they have no regrets…

Cut 18 (15) “…moved forward.”