AM Newscall 03.05.19

Why catch beads when you can run around and try to catch chickens?  That’s what is happening to celebrate Mardi Gras today in Eunice.  Kevin Barnhart has the story.

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The man who allegedly shot LSU Basketball player Wayde Sims says he’s “totally remorseful”, and wants a lower bail. Matt Doyle talked to a legal analyst about his chances…

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 Next year those who suffer from addiction in Louisiana will have the ability to check out treatment facilities with a Yelp like rating. Matt Doyle has more.

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While many may associate Mardi Gras with catching beads, in small towns like Eunice, the focus is on chasing chickens.  Participants will dress in costume as part of a 12-mile chicken run, with some on horseback.  Captain of the Eunice Mardi Gras Pat Frey says the country version of the Mardi Gras has been going for 123 years.

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Frey says a when it comes to gumbo at the Eunice Mardi Gras, they do it big.

Cut 5 (08) “…after the run.”

There are a few limitations on the run.  You have to be 18 to participate and have to be in costume.  Frey says there run happens regardless of the weather conditions, and they expect about 800-1000 join in on the festivities.

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The Louisiana Department of Health is concerned about people catching more than just beads as the flu virus is widespread in the state.   Assistant state health officer, Doctor Joseph Kanter, says the latest numbers indicate that 11.8% of healthcare visits are for flu-like symptoms.

Cut 7 (04) “is only 4%.”

Kanter encourages those celebrating Fat Tuesday to take extra precautions in avoiding the spread of the virus.

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The flu shot takes about a week or two to hit its full effectiveness.  Kanter says it appears that flu season is right around its peak, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get vaccinated if you haven’t already.

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The man who stands accused of fatally shooting LSU Basketball player Wayde Sims is seeking a reduction in his bail of 350,000 dollars. This comes from a brief from 20-year-old Dyteon Simpson, who claims he’s “totally remorseful”. So, is that likely to result in a lower bail that Simpson could potentially post?

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That’s legal analyst Franz Borghardt who says such changes, historically, are incredibly rare.

Borghardt says even worse for Simpson’s case, the letter itself and the claim of remorse may actually hurt his case for a lower bail, because it sounds awfully close to admitting to committing a fairly heinous crime.

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Simpson described himself as a father of a five-month-old who is “very productive and independent.”

Borghardt says bail is not meant to be a punitive measure, but rather a tool used to keep a potential flight risk or public safety threat contained until the proceedings are completed.

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Sims was allegedly shot by Simpson near the Southern University campus in Baton Rouge after Sims reportedly stepped in to defend his friend in a fistfight last year.


Louisiana is joining a pilot program that will give those seeking addiction treatment the ability to see the “ratings” of a treatment facility on a range of different services they provide. Department of Health Communications Director Bob Johannessen says Shatterproof will fill in prospective patients on the facility’s capabilities, compared to their needs.

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Johannessen says the ratings are Yelp esque, but not determined by online, public participation. The Office of Behavioral Health will work with Shatterproof to determine the ratings.

Participation in the rating system from addiction treatment centers is voluntary, but Johannessen says chose to participate likely are doing so for a good reason…

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The pilot program will last two years, and includes New York and Massachusetts.

Johannessen says addiction is a difficult struggle, but having this kind of information available will make at least one part of the recovery process easier to handle.

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The rating system will go live in 2020.


The LSU baseball team went from being ranked number one or two to not even in the top ten in a couple of the major college baseball polls following their three losses in Texas. Coach Paul Mainieri says it was a bad weekend at the ball park…

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The Tigers were not very competitive on Friday and Saturday against the Longhorns.  In game two of the series, freshman pitcher Landon Marceaux allowed six runs and failed to get past the second inning. Mainieri says he still has faith in the promising right-hander…

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Mainieri says there were some positives from the weekend. He says getting sophomore right-hander Ma’Khail Hilliard back on the mound for the first time this season, after experiencing shoulder soreness was a plus…

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