AM LRN Newscall Oct 26

Since the House Transportation Committee rejected the use of tolls to partially fund the project, construction of a new $2.1 billion I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge is rerouted. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (32) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”


The House Education Committee meets to hear the pros and cons today about a new BESE policy that would allow students who fail the graduation exit exam to still graduate through an appeals process. Teiko Foxx has more…

Cut 2 (33)  “…I’m Teiko Foxx.”


The election of the first US Speaker of the House from Louisiana makes history for the state and his hometown is especially excited. Colleen Crain has more…

Cut 3 (29) …I’m Colleen Crain.”


After the legislature’s House Transportation committee rejected a plan that involved the use of tolls to partially fund a new $2.1 billion I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge, interim State Transportation Secretary Eric Kalivoda says in the meantime they’ll focus on rehabbing the existing bridge.

Cut 4 (12) “…funding allows.”

Kalivoda says it could be decades before a new bridge is funded and constructed. So, the detour to rehabbing the existing bridge versus the previous plan…

Cut 5 (10) “…you go plan.”

As for funding, Kalivoda says there was $800 million lined up for the public-private partnership. Now he says a portion of those funds will go towards the existing bridge.

Cut 6 (11) “…in pieces.”

Kalivoda says the legislature set up an annual $40 million revenue stream for the Calcasieu Bridge, which is funded by sales tax from new and used vehicles. He says it will go towards building sections of the new bridge.


The House Education Committee will meet today to review the new graduation appeals policy approved by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The process provides seniors who fail the LEAP test with other means to graduate. Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley says we should not impose a government-sanctioned excuse for mediocrity.

Cut 7 (12) “…next level.”

Under the new appeals process, students who do not meet graduation requirements would complete a project or portfolio for their teacher to grade. If the students receive a passing grade, they will receive a diploma that will count toward their school’s accountability rating score.

House Education Chairman Lance Harris who opposes the policy believes it diminishes the value of the diploma and the timing for the process is off.

Cut 8 (12) “…overwhelming disappointment.” 

Appeals will be administered at the local school level, and students will still be required to take the LEAP assessment. BESE President Holly Boffy says the appeals process helps seniors who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills to graduate but struggle with taking exams.

Cut 9 (12)  “…high school.”

If House Education decides unfavorably towards the policy, then it would be up to Governor John Bel Edwards to make a final decision before he heads out of office.


History was made for Louisiana on Wednesday when Congressman Mike Johnson of Benton was elected Speaker of the House making him the first from the state of Louisiana. Benton Mayor, Shelly Horton, says the community couldn’t be happier…

Cut 10 (04) “…Johnson.”

The House of Representatives had been without a speaker for 3 weeks and Horton believes Johnson is the right man to bring the House together…

Cut 11 (11) “…right direction.” 

Johnson was the 4th to gain the nomination for Speaker when he was finally elected on Wednesday. After his nomination, his election happened quickly. Horton says Johnson is easy to know and describes his temperament and skill…

Cut 12 (10) “…skills.” 


Congressman Mike Johnson has been elected as the new Speaker of the House. Johnson is Louisiana’s first House Speaker. LSU-Shreveport Political Science Professor Jeff Sadow says Johnson topped three other Republican nominees including Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise

Cut 13 (12) “…voting behavior.”

The 51-year-old of Benton received 220 votes, three more than required to win the seat. Sadow believes this could make the Bayou State top tier for federal dollars.

Cut 14 (11) “…little more.”

Democrats criticized Johnson for former President Trump’s legal effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Sadow says pressing political issues will serve as early tests of Johnson’s ability to manage the GOP conference.

Cut 15 (13) “…continual resolution.”


Despite a 1-and-2 record in the Sun Belt, the Ragin Cajuns are still alive for a West Division championship as they get ready to visit South Alabama on Saturday. U-L Lafayette Coach Michael Desormeaux says they have five conference games left and they have to win them all…

Cut 16 (19) “…little bit.”

Zeon Chriss threw for just 106 yards last week in a loss to Georgia State. He also threw an interception in the end zone as U-L Lafayette was trying to score the winning touchdown. Desormeaux expects Chriss to have a good game this Saturday in Mobile…

Cut 17 (17) “…on Saturday.”


The Saints are getting ready to visit the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Indy features two really good running backs. Zack Moss who is second in the NFL in rushing yards and former Pro Bowler Jonathan Taylor. Coach Dennis Allen says they are a dynamic duo….

Cut 18 (14) “…deal with.” 

Saints wide receiver Chris Olave is practicing with the team after he was caught going more than 40-miles per hour on a city street in Kenner on Monday. Allen says they’ve talked to Olave about the poor decision he made…

Cut 19 (17) “…(x2) slow down.” 

Indianapolis lost its starting quarterback Anthony Richardson for the season, but Allen says Gardner Minshew is more than capable…

Cut 20 (15) “…the game.”