11:30 Newscast, April 25th, 2016

Standardized testing is underway in Louisiana this week and there is far less controversy surrounding the 2016 exams than in years past. That’s according to Hollis Milton, president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents. He attributes that, in part, to educators feeling better prepared since the testing is taking place later in the school year…:
CUT 9 (10) “the kids”
Milton anticipates there will be a much smaller number of students who opt of the test which is now called LEAP 2016.

The budget shortfall for the fiscal year that begins July 1st is down to $600 million dollars. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne told Senators that the gap, which was once $750 million dollars, dropped thanks to Governor John Bel Edwards’ planned Medicaid expansion that begins next fiscal year.

A 24-year-old Monroe woman is being evaluated at the Ouachita Parish Correctional Center after she kidnapped a newborn from St. Francis Hospital. Monroe Police Detective Chris Bates says Anquinisha Cummings entered a hospital room occupied by a woman and her 3-day-old infant, claiming that a mutual friend had sent her. Bates says after visiting for a couple of hours, the mother of the child went to the bathroom and came back to an empty room:
CUT 3 (08) “both gone”
He says the suspect took the child home. She later turned herself in to police and was charged with one count of aggravated kidnapping of a child.

Lawmakers decided not to take up the bill that would make it illegal for a business in the private sector to fire someone based on their sexual orientation. The measure, which was previously on the agenda in the House Civil Law committee today, reportedly did not have enough votes, but it’s expected to return to the table next week.