A Natchez resident started a petition for the town to secede from Mississippi after the governor signed a bill that allows people and businesses with religious obligations to deny service to gay people. Halen Doughty has more…
Three bills that would put limitations on the TOPS Scholarship Program failed to make it out of the House Education Committee today. Jeff Palermo has more…
A petition on change-dot-org is calling for Natchez, Mississippi, to secede from the state after legislators there approved a bill that allows individuals and institutions with religious obligations to deny services to gay people. Natchez resident Casey Hughes started the petition hoping the governor would not sign the bill, but he did yesterday. She says she wants to send a message to people who would visit the historic city.
Tourism is a huge industry in Natchez, as the town holds wildly popular events throughout the year that draw hundreds of thousands of people. Hughes says this bill could impact tourism.
Hughes says Natchez welcomes all kinds of people, even if the rest of the state does not. She says the petition was mostly a joke, but she wouldn’t mind if her town moved over to the Bayou State.
The petition has been signed by almost 700 people.
Legislation that attempted to prevent local governments from removing Confederate monuments failed in a Senate Committee today. The bill would create a statewide commission that would have to grant a waiver before a monument could be altered, moved, or renamed. Confederate monument supporter Leslie Tassin says monuments of Confederate soldiers are a history lesson…
Tassin says this issue is import now but is more important to future generations so they will have the opportunity to understand the history of Louisiana. He says historic monuments shouldn’t be torn down, new monuments should be built.
Opponents for the legislation believe it shouldn’t be up to the state what happens to city property. Democrats on the panel voted against the bill, while Republicans supported it. Author of the legislation Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell urged legislators to vote favorably to allow the monuments to educate future generations…
The House Education Committee rejected a proposal to increase the GPA a college student must achieve to keep their TOPS scholarship. It also said “No” to a bill to make a TOPS recipient pay back some or all of their scholarship if they fail or withdraw from school. New Orleans Representative Walt Leger says changing TOPS to a loan makes it less of an opportunity for students.
Kenner Representative Julie Stokes authored the proposal to make students who don’t graduate pay back their TOPS scholarship. She says a lot of students get to college and have too much fun, then they end up dropping out.
Hammond Representative Chris Broadwater proposed a bill that would make TOPS a partial scholarship, in which recipients would receive more money each year. That bill also failed to make it out of committee. Broadwater says lawmakers have to do something to save the TOPS program.
Two new Zika cases have been confirmed in Louisiana, bringing the total number to four – but DHH says they are all okay. Medical Director for the Louisiana Center for Community Preparedness, Dr. Frank Welch says this Zika confirmation is really a few weeks late, because the tests had to be sent to the Center for Disease Control for confirmation.
Welch says doctors have a much faster method for testing for Zika now. He says these cases were from people who had traveled to South America. Welch says only one in five people who contract Zika actually get sick, and the illness only lasts three to five days.
Welch says the mosquito that carries the Zika virus is active in Louisiana, but only in the summer. He says so far the only people who have gotten Zika were bit by mosquitos outside of the country.