AM Newscall 07.31.19

Brooke Thorington talked to Louisiana Treasurer John Schroder about a new program that aims to return missing military medals to their rightful owners…

Cut 1 (30) “I’m Brooke Thorington ”


Senator Bill Cassidy releases a paid leave proposal for new parents. Kevin Barnhart has the story.

Cut 2 (31 ) “…I’m Kevin Barnhart” 


The Baton Rouge Area Chamber calls for a special session in 2020 for a renewed focus on infrastructure needs.  Matt Doyle has the story.

Cut 3 (30) “…I’m Matt Doyle”


Louisiana Tech is investing in building new residence halls and parking by fall of 2021 as the student body continues to expand year to year.

Louisiana Tech assistant VP for student advancement Dickie Crawford says 600 new beds will be created, along with a thousand new parking spaces in and around the campus.

Cut 4 (09) “…parking.” 

The new halls will mean Harper, Mitchell, and Cottingham halls will be discontinued by 2021.

Crawford says they’re having to pull off the aggressive expansion to meet the needs of a student body that has experienced significant growth in recent years.

Cut 5  (08) “…this year” 

Crawford says the old halls aren’t unsafe or falling apart, but they are outdated and with interest in the Ruston institution growing, they’re pushing to show a more modern face.

Cut 6 (09) “…newer.”

Tech experienced some damage to facilities during the tornado earlier this year, most of which was done to athletic fields and stadiums.


For years the Louisiana Treasury Department has returned unclaimed money to folks, and now they’re looking to do the same thing for lost military medals.

Louisiana has an above-average rate of military service, and Treasurer John Schroder says the proposal flew through the Legislature unanimously.

Cut 7 (08) “of them.”  (2x)

The legislation was sponsored by Abbeville Senator Bob Hensgens.

The law would allow the Department to collect lost medals and military paperwork from depositories and return them to the owner, or next of kin.

Cut 8 (06) “yet.”

That’s Schroder, who says they’ll have to get together and work out the details with banks, safety deposit box companies, and other groups before starting to process.

Generally, when the Department finds “unclaimed property”, they just send you a check, but Schroder says they’ll be learning how to take good care of these precious items before sending them out.

Cut 9 (09) “…paper”

The medals and paperwork would have to had to sit unclaimed for five years before they could be turned over to the state for distribution.


Senator Bill Cassidy releases a paid leave proposal for new parents.  Cassidy says with the plan, new parents would be allowed to take $5,000 advance on the child tax credit, reducing the $2,000 annual benefit to $1,500 for ten years after the birth or adoption of a child.  Cassidy says the proposal presents great benefits to families.

Cut 10 (11) “…that great expense.”

It’s a bipartisan effort as the Republican is working alongside Arizona Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema.  Cassidy says sometimes a new child may create a situation where a mother must quit working and survive on public assistance.

Cut 11 (09) “…return to work.”

Cassidy says the proposal will also improve the relationship between the parents and the child.

Cut 12 (11) “…bonding is more.”


The Baton Rouge Area Chamber releases their 2019 legislative and gubernatorial election platform that calls for a major focus on making south Louisiana competitive for business growth with reinvestment in infrastructure.  BRAC Senior VP of Economic Competitiveness Liz Smith says they’d like to see a special session called in 2020.

Cut 13 (11) “…can be competitive.”

Smith says the platform also lays out a plan to pay for infrastructure needs via a gas tax.

Cut 14 (11) “…to work every day.”

In addition to a new bridge to cross the Mississippi River in the Baton Rouge area, Smith says in order to make south Louisiana a more competitive super-region, a high-speed rail system is needed to connect Baton Rouge to New Orleans.

Cut 15 (13) “…things like hurricanes.”


Now that LSU football has its newly renovated operations building, LSU basketball coach Will Wade says the Tigers basketball practice facility needs a major upgrade. Wade says he’s met with Tiger Athletic Foundation officials and they’ve raised about 25-percent of what they need

Cut 16  (13) “…with our time”   

The 28-million dollar renovation to the football ops building gives players a chance to work out, eat, sleep, play video games, study and meet with coaches in one building. Wade says he’s looking for the same type of efficiency for his basketball players and recruits are looking for that as well

cut 17 (09) “the year”” 

LSU’s basketball practice facility opened in 2010. But Wade says it doesn’t include a weight room and he would like to improve the players’ locker room and office space for coaches. Wade says the upgrade will cost 15-million dollars

During his annual summer press conference, LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri explained why he decided to make a change with his hitting coach. Sean Ochinko was replaced in favor of Eddie Smith, who helped Tulane break several American Athletic Conference records. Mainieri says he wanted to hire someone with a gameplan on how to develop hitters…
Injuries to the pitching staff prevented the 2019 team from living up to its preseason number one ranking. Mainieri says they are in the process of converting one of their batting cages into a pitching lab that will help with development and look for red flags when it comes to possible injuries