16:30 LRN Newscast April 22, 2016

The suicide rate in the US has increased by 24% from 1999 to 2014. That’s according to a report by the National Center for Health Statistics. The report finds the suicide rate of women increased by 45-percent and males increased by 16-percent. LSU Health New Orleans Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Michelle Moore says the gap is narrowing between the genders.

cut 14 (08)  “of people”

Moore says there isn’t a specific reason for the number of suicides going up.

The Humane Society of Louisiana is helping law enforcement address animal cruelty by holding seminars to teach officers what to do if they come across an animal that’s being mistreated. Executive Director of the Humane Society in Louisiana, Jeff Dorson says social media is helping them prosecute more cases of animal abuse.

cut 10 (08) “quickly”

The Louisiana Highway Safety commission starts its “Buckle Up In Your Truck” campaign today. Executive Director of the commission, John Leblanc says 25% of the registered vehicles in Louisiana are pickup trucks, and wearing a seat belt in these vehicles reduces the chance of fatality in an accident.

CUT 4 (07)  “a crash”

Leblanc says 8 people have been killed in pickup truck accidents in the state since March.

The oil and gas industry continues to see more job losses in the state. LSU economist Loren Scott says the state is losing jobs at the rate of about 21-thousand a year. And he says a lot of big companies are planning to stop drilling in the Gulf.

CUT 8 (08) “very heavily”

Scott says the low gas prices are really hurting the industry.