LRN AM Newscall

Vice President Mike Pence visits Mount Pleasant Baptist Church today, one of the three churches recently torched in St. Landry Parish.  Kevin Barnhart has the story.

Cut 1 (33) “I’m Kevin Barnart”


Loosening of regulations set following the 2010 BP oil spill may lead to the Gulf of Mexico being more attractive for drilling. Kevin Barnhart has the story.

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Dolphins off the coast of Mississippi are dying in alarming numbers, and a marine biologist says Mississippi river pollution and the Bonnet Carre spillway are largely to blame. Matt Doyle has more.

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Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Lafayette this afternoon and will visit Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, one of the three churches recently torched in St. Landry Parish. Pence will meet with community and church leaders. Southwest Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins believes the way law enforcement and the church community faced the situation stands out to the Vice President.

Cut 4 (10) “…horror was handled.”

Pence, speaking at the White House during a National Day of Prayer event, says the world condemns the recent attacks at religious buildings.

Cut 5 (12) “…churches in Louisiana.”

The churches have seen an outpouring of support with a GoFundMe page raising over $2 million in donations for the rebuilding efforts. Higgins credits the church communities faith as their greatest resource but says the churches can expect support on the federal level as well.

Cut 6 (11) “…as they rebuild.”



The loosening on regulations based on rules written following the 2010 BP oil spill may make the Gulf of Mexico more attractive to those looking to establish offshore rigs.  Tulane Energy Institute Professor Eric Smith says among those rules was a requirement to break down blowout preventers after every drilling program.

Cut 7 (12) “…the blowout preventer.”

Smith says the new rules will reduce the number of times a rig has to open up a blowout preventer for inspection, as well as expands who can conduct the inspections when they take place.

Cut 8 (10) “…by federal inspectors.”

Smith describes the rules set following the oil spoil as overly harsh and now that they’ve been loosened, it opens the Gulf of Mexico to being more competitive with other deep water drilling sites around the world.

Cut 9 (09) “…that were unworkable.″

Ecologists are sounding the alarm about a huge increase in the number of dead dolphins being found off the coast of Mississippi, and are pinning the blame partly on the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway in March.

Institute for Marine Mammal Studies President Dr. Mody Solangi says 28 dead dolphins were found in April, and 55 since January.

Cut 10 (11) “…months.”

The Spillway floods Lake Pontchartrain with Mississippi River water to relieve pressure on New Orleans levees. That water eventually drains out of the Lake to the Mississippi Sound.

But Solangi says it’s not just the Spillway at fault. In previous decades, the spillway’s opening wasn’t as devastating, but the Mississippi River has grown so polluted that dumping that water into the gulf is disastrous.

Cut 11 (11) “…used to.”

Solangi says local marine life is not adapted to the polluted river water that floods the coast when the Spillway opens, and that’s having a terrible effect all the way down the food chain.

Cut 12 (08) “…seen.”

Solangi says that includes a significant, and growing threat to one of the most endangered species on earth, sea turtles.


The Harrah’s Casino 30 year license extension effort rolled through the House and is on it’s way back to the Senate, where it died last year.

In return for a substantial extension, House Speaker Taylor Barras’ bill asks for Harrah’s to invest 325 million dollars dollars to upgrade the facility, including building a new hotel…

Cut 13 (06) “…amenities”

The bill does not expand the gambling floor space for the facility.

The agreement also calls for the gaming house to up it’s payments to the state by tens of millions of dollars relative to the last deal, Barras says that includes an minimum yearly payment to the state from Harrah’s of 65 million dollars, that increases over time…

Cut 14 (12) “…expenses”

This year’s version pays the state 130 million dollars more over the length of the deal than last years, which collapsed amid disputes over allegations it was too generous to Harrah’s.

The bill reportedly has Senate President John Alario’s backing, and was appraised to be at market value, compared to the payments the state would have received had they opened the contract to bids. Barras says it’s a great deal for the Crescent City.

Cut 15 (10) “…historically”

The bill calls for Harrah’s to also make an upfront payment once the agreement is struct, 7.5 million to New Orleans, and 17.5 million to the state.


The 14th ranked LSU baseball team begins an important weekend series against 15th ranked Ole Miss tonight. The two teams have identical 13-8 records in the SEC, two games back of Arkansas for first place in the West division. Tigers Coach Paul Mainieri says his team will have to play their best, because the Rebels swept Texas A-and-M last weekend…

Cut 16  (11) “…good arms” 

Mainieri says the Rebels like to steal bases, they’ve swiped 76 bags on the season…

 cut 17 (10)   “curtail it”