LRN AM Newscall March 27

Is Almond “milk” actually milk? Matt Doyle talked to one Louisiana lawmaker who’s got beef with almond advertisers…

Cut 1 (30) “I’m Matt Doyle.”


Ralph Abraham’s gubernatorial campaign has funded a poll that shows him pulling closer to Governor Edwards distancing himself from fellow GOP candidate Eddie Rispone.  Kevin Barnhart has the story.

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Louisiana received 82 million dollars in federal funds to fight the opioid epidemic in 2018, a 71 percent increase from 2017. Matt Doyle has more.

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The Louisiana Dairy Industry is having a cow over the rise of almond “milk”, saying the label is not accurate, so Delhi Senator Francis Thompson has filed a bill to prohibit non-dairy products from describing themselves as milk. Thompson says the false advertising tricks some into buying the less nutritious dairy alternative.

Cut 4 (10) “…cows milk.”

A cup of Almond milk is lower in calories and higher in calcium than a cup of two percent dairy milk, but contains less protein and other nutrients.

In North America, almonds are almost exclusively grown in California, and Thompson says the west coast product is damaging local industry by misleading Louisianans about what they’re actually buying. The Senator says the bill would help protect local farmers.

Cut 5 (08) “…our milk.”

It’s estimated there are now fewer than 80 dairy operations in the state, which features a declining dairy cow population that could approach 8,000 in the near future.

And while Thompson’s bill only specifically addresses “milk”, the Senator says it’s not the only labeling dispute that he’s considering pursuing. The Delhi Democrat says products like cauliflower “rice” and lab grown “steak” need to change their labeling.

Cut 6 (10) “…beef”


A new poll on the governor’s race shows John Bel Edwards at 44%, but Republican challenger Ralph Abraham not far behind at 33%. Abraham’s campaign funded the survey.  UL Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says the poll also shows Abraham with a 23-point lead over fellow Republican candidate Eddie Rispone, who is at 10%.

Cut 7 (10) “…Democratic Governor.”

Cross says Rispone has a tough job in gaining familiarity among voters, saying he’s got deep pockets but has not spent much on his campaign yet.

Cut 8 (10) “…focused message.”

Cross says he believes the numbers are quite accurate, stating Edwards’ approval has been as high as 56%, but Edwards certainly has work to do to keep his spot in the Governor’s Mansion.

Cut 9 (10) “…election to him.″

13% of those polled are undecided.


Three men are behind bars following accusations they managed to heist over 100 iPhones from a Best Buy in Baton Rouge. Investigators says the alarms sounded in the overnight hours at the Millerville Road store. East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s detective Major Willie Stewart says the total cost of the phones was over six figures.

Cut 10 (09) “…didn’t recover them”

An SUV seen on security footage was later spotted at a hotel where the arrest was made yesterday. Stewart says investigators believe the trio may be a part of a bigger group that may have hit other Best Buy locations, including a store in Lake Charles, on the hunt for iPhones.

Cut 11 (09) “…the same group”

Stewart says two of the suspects are from California while the other is from Georgia and all three are facing a slew of charges.

Cut 12 (07) “…of state warrants.”


Louisiana received 18 dollars per person in federal funding to fight the opioid epidemic last year, for a total of 82 million dollars from over 50 different revenue streams according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. Chief medical adviser Anand Parekh says the majority of those funds went to high population parishes like Orleans and East Baton Rouge, but…

Cut 13 (08) “…ratesz.”

That 82 million was a 71 percent increase in funding over 2017, as the feds OK’d a substantial increase in funds to treat the growing epidemic.

State Medicaid enrollees made 1,858,000 emergency department stays from June 2017-18, and Parekh says 40% of those with opioid use disorders are on the government-run health insurance. He credits Governor Edwards’ Medicaid expansion with getting treatment into areas hardest hit by the epidemic.

Cut 14 (07) “…treatment.”

Medicaid spent a projected 28 million dollars on opioid treatment drugs and naloxone in 2018.

Total opioid deaths rose from 346 in 2016 to 415 in Louisiana for 2017, and Fentanyl deaths in particular increased from 2.0 deaths per 100,000 in 2016 to 3.6. Parekh says one way to get that number to come down would be addressing addiction in the inmate population.

Cut 15 (10) “…re-entry.”

Louisiana’s rate of 9.3 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2017 was noticeably lower than the southern regional average of 14.1.


The LSU men’s basketball team leaves for Washington D-C today where they’ll take on the Michigan State Spartans on Friday night in the Sweet 16. The Spartans have a hall of fame coach in Tom Izzo, who has a 52-20 record in NCAA Tournament games. LSU Interim Head Coach Tony Benford on playing the Spartans…

Cut 16  (14) “in transition” 

If LSU can keep winning in the NCAA Tournament, the national attention will only grow, since the Tigers are playing without suspended head coach Will Wade. But Benford is not concerned about the spotlight getting brigther…

 cut 17 (17)   “every day” 

LSU is a six point underdog heading into Friday’s game. Benford says the underdog role doesn’t bother them….

Cut 18 (20)      we will be ready”