LRN PM Newscall May 3rd

Vice President Mike Pence says the way religious leaders are working towards rebuilding the St. Landry Parish churches burned down by a suspected arsonist is inspirational. Connor Ferrill has the story…

Cut 1 (31) “I’m Connor Ferrill”


The flagship newspaper of New Orleans, The Times Picayune, has been purchased by their Baton Rouge rival, The Advocate. Matt Doyle talked with a veteran reporter about the papers’ merger…

cut 2 (30) I’m Matt Doyle”  


Vice President Mike Pence says he’s inspired by the faith that continues to be shown in St. Landry Parish where three historically black churches burned down by a suspected arsonist. Pence made his comments in the front of the ruins of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas

Cut 3 (11) “…express that to you ”

The son of a sheriff’s deputy, 21-year-old Holden Matthews, has been charged with setting fire to the churches. An extensive investigation led by the State Fire Marshal’s office led to Matthews’ capture and Pence applauded the hard work of the investigators…

Cut 4 (11) “…to justice” 

Over two-million dollars was raised on GoFundMe to pay for the rebuild the churches. Pence says he’s glad to hear construction will start soon on new places of worship…

Cut 5 (14) “…the country”


New Orleans’ historic newspaper, The Times Picayune has been purchased by their Baton Rouge based rival, The Advocate.

Manship School Professor Len Apcar, a 40 years veteran journalist who’s worked at the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, says the merger will increase the quality of reporting in the Crescent City.

Cut 6 (08) “…years.”

The Advocate received it’s first Pulitzer Prize for it’s reporting on the history of Louisiana’s non-unanimous jury verdict law that was overturned at the ballot box last year.

The Advocate has published a daily paper in New Orleans since 2012, and the merger will use “brands and features of both publications” starting in June. Apcar thinks the new publication will feature the strengths of both of the previous papers.

Cut 7 (08) “…merger.”

The Picayune traces it’s roots back 182 years, and gained widespread acclaim for continuing to report on Hurricane Katrina online even as the paper’s building was surrounded by water.

Employees of the Picayune and it’s online service,, have been given 60 days notice that they will be fired, and it is not certain how many, if any of them will be retained in the new publication. Some say it’s a sign of an increasingly unfriendly job market for would-be journalists, but Apcar is optimistic.

Cut 8 (11) “…work out”


Legislation that would require Louisiana businesses to provide employees with paid leave to deal with family or medical issues cleared its first legislative hurdle. The Senate Labor committee approved the measure on a 4-to-1 vote after hearing about the benefits of the proposal. This new dad believes its a great idea

Cut 9 (11) “…exception..

The measure heads to Senate Finance, because it requires a small payroll tax paid by both the employee and employer. The revenue would  create a fund within the Louisiana Workforce Commission to provide the temporary paid leave.

Bossier City Senator Barrow Peacock says businesses could be left paying higher taxes, if there’s not enough money to cover all the requests for paid family leave

Cut 10 (08) “…that difference”

Peacock was the only “no” vote in Senate Labor. Dawn Starns state director of the National Federation of Independent Business also object to the measure…

Cut 11 (08)   “…about that.”


The LA Wallet app, which allows Louisiana drivers to present their license on their smartphone, is now free, but only until the end of May.  The app normally requires a $5.99 fee to activate a license.  OMV field administrator Paige Paxton says the offer is not just a 30-day free trial.

Cut 12 (06) “…of their license.”

The decision to make LA Wallet available for free for a limited time comes after recent safety concerns involving rideshare programs like Uber and Lyft, as now riders can scan the app to confirm they are in the vehicle with the correct driver.

Paxton says the app is accepted at many locations in place of a traditional physical identification card.

Cut 13 (12) “…couple of elections.”

Paxton says law enforcement will also accept the app as a valid ID, but she recommends drivers keep their physical ID on them just in case their brush with Johnny Law intensifies.

Cut 14 (07) “…at that time.”

Louisiana is the first state to allow the use of a smartphone app as a picture ID.  Currently TSA does not accept LA Wallet, but looking at how they will eventually be able to begin accepting the app.