PM Newscall Dec 29

Anti-smoking experts say New Year’s is a great time to quit smoking. Marsanne Golsby has more.

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The Department of Transportation and Development has been awarded a $150 million federal Mega Grant to go towards the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge Project. Brooke Thorington has more.

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If quitting smoking is on your New Year’s resolution list, the Smoke-Free Louisiana Coalition has some tips for you. Randy Hayden says nicotine replacement products are among the most effective ways.

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Experts say nicotine is extremely addictive and causes strong withdrawal cravings but they don’t last forever

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The Smoke-free Louisiana coalition says they saw an eight-percent increase in Quitline calls during the year by individuals looking to stop using tobacco products or vaping. The number to call is 1-800-Quit-Now.

Experts say research shows that most smokers who are trying to quit have to make several attempts before they succeed, but Hayden says to keep at it. And he says quitting on a special day such as New Year’s Day can be effective.

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The Smoke-Free Louisiana Coalition has actively lobbied for workplace protections to keep workers from being exposed to secondhand smoke. Currently, more than 30 Louisiana municipalities have such protections.


A single-vehicle crash in Terrebonne Parish claims the life of a Houma man. State Trooper Ross Brennan says 29 year old Steven English was traveling at a high rate of speed on LA- Highway 15

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A toxicology sample is pending, however, Brennan says investigators believe impairment was a factor.

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Brennan says impaired, distracted driving, speeding, and not being properly restrained can be a recipe for disaster.

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The Department of Transportation and Development has been awarded a $150 million Mega Grant from the federal government to go towards the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge project. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says this is welcome news.

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As of today, Wilson says with this grant included the state is at $550 million and the project is estimated to cost $1.5 billion.

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Wilson says there are so many other projects across the country that Louisiana has to compete with for federal grants, so this particular allotment is significant. He also thanked Senator Bill Cassidy and Congressman Troy Carter for their support of the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Act.

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Wilson added that Louisiana’s entire Congressional delegation signed off on a letter requesting the funds in May.


Wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (BOO-tee) changes his mind and enters the NFL draft. The New Iberia native made the announcement hours after LSU said Boutte would not play in Monday’s Citrus Bowl but was enrolled for the spring semester. Hunt Palmer of the LSU Sports Radio Network and ESPN Radio in Baton Rouge has this reaction…

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Palmer says it’s unclear what led to the abrupt ending of Boutte’s career at LSU…

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Boutte is second on the team in receptions with 48. He also had 538 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Palmer LSU still has a lot of talent at wide receiver as the Tigers’ leading receiver returns next season, plus an emerging playmaker in Brain Thomas Junior…

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Plus former five-star prospect Aaron Anderson is transferring in from Alabama and incoming freshman wideout Shelton Sampson projects to be a big-time player for the Tigers.


The National Weather Service issues a  Flash Flood Watch for all of northwestern Louisiana. The watch area covers everything north of Natchitoches and west of Monroe. Areas of the state have the potential for severe weather today and tomorrow as a cold front enters the state from the west. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the storm prediction center has us in a marginal category, which is a one out of five of a severe weather threat.

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Keim says there will be scattered showers both today and tomorrow, and rain totals could be anywhere from one to two inches. He says conditions should settle down around Saturday afternoon.

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For New Year’s Eve and day, he says things should clear up with high temps in low 70s statewide.