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News for Thursday 041918

By Dave Graichen

 

Deneise Means the manager of the Pitt Grill on Mac Arthur Drive announced yesterday they hope to have the restaurant back open this evening or Friday at the latest. Cleanup and rebuilding is underway to the restaurant, that after a car crashed in the  building Tuesday Night.  Means says she is thankful that no one, not even the driver who hit the building, was injured. But, Means herself had a very close call. She had just left her office moments before that car struck the building destroying her office..

 

Medical marijuana licenses for Monroe, Shreveport and Alexandria were awarded by the Louisiana Pharmacy Board Wednesday. The board also awarded a license for the southeastern Louisiana region Wednesday. Five licenses were awarded Tuesday.

Here in Alexandria The Medicine Cabinet Pharmacy, at 403 Bolton Ave, will be will be local dispensary. 

 

The full House will consider a budget today that funds TOPS, but includes deep cuts in healthcare and higher education. The budget has come under fire from leading Democrats, including Governor John Bel Edwards who says the cuts are a massive blow to crucial state services. But GOP House Delegation Chairman Lance Harris says the budget has one success, and that’s fully funding TOPS. Harris says the budget being discussed is not final, and a great tool for identifying where to start in a future special session.

 

The state’s legislative auditor has completed a sexual harassment survey of thousands of state workers and concluded that the state should do a better job of educating its workers on the issue. Auditor Daryl Purpera says without a standard procedure the issue may continue. Senators are working on legislation that would put in place anti-harassment training and policies. The audit also found that 77-percent of state employees never reported harassment they felt they experienced.

 

The full House has approved legislation that gives residents a chance to vote on whether fantasy sports betting should be legal. Currently, fantasy sports websites like Draft Kings and Fan Duel do not allow Louisiana residents to play their contests. River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot says his legislation legalizes it in parishes, if it’s approved by a majority of residents in November. The measure still needs Senate approval.

 

On a 97-1 vote, the House passed legislation that would permit companies like Uber to operate across the state, without needing to make local agreements. The bill, by Speaker Taylor Barras, would bring Louisiana in line with the vast majority of other state’s rideshare regulations. Barras says it’s a big benefit with a small price tag.

The bill moves onto the Senate.

 

The state education board approved a plan to include opioid abuse prevention education in Louisiana public school curriculum. Press Secretary for the Louisiana Department of Education Sydni Dunn says the program will be tailored to younger audiences, and is aimed at explaining the dangers of opioid abuse. Dunn says the education will be folded into existing substance abuse programs already in place at public schools.

 

Entergy customers should see a reduction in their electric bill starting in May and by the fall season, Entergy says average customers should save six bucks a month.

The savings are due to a trillion dollar federal tax cut, plus upgrades to Entergy’s infrastructure. Customers should see another drop of about two dollars a month after Katrina/Rita costs fall off their electric bills in October.

 

Sports..

 

The Pelicans are rolling back into New Orleans up 2-0 in their first round playoff series against the Trailblazers. Game three tips off tonight at 8pm with a potential series clinching game four on Saturday at 4pm. Airtime tonight 7:30p on 94.7 ESPN

 

After stomping the Seattle Mariners yesterday 7 to 1 the Houston Astros will attempt to do it again today.. air time 2:05 on 94.7 ESPN

 

The Tulane baseball team scored three runs in the ninth inning to complete another comeback win last night against LSU.

 

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News for Wednesday 041818

By Dave Graichen

 

A mess at the Pitt on Mac Arthur Drive last night as a car plowed into the front of the restaurant. Witnesses say the driver of the car struck another vehicle before hitting the restaurant. The driver then fled the scene of the crash but was captured a short time later by the APD.

 

The IRS is giving all taxpayers an extra day to file after its website went down on deadline day. The agency announced that individuals and businesses with a filing or payment that was due Tuesday now have until midnight Wednesday. It said no additional paperwork is needed to get the extension. The agency’s website for making payments and gaining access to other key services crashed amid the filing flood. The website appeared to be back to normal late Tuesday.

 

Efforts to change the state’s gun laws died in the House Criminal Justice Committee. A proposal to ban bump stocks, which was used by the Las Vegas gunman, was shot down by the panel. A measure to enact a 10-day waiting period before purchasing a gun was also voted down and so was a measure to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

 

The leaders at LSU’s medical schools urged legislators on the Senate Finance committee not to pass a proposed budget they say would devastate healthcare in Louisiana. LSU Health New Orleans Chancellor Larry Hollier says a budget moving to the House Floor would result in a mass exodus of medical professionals and would cut  funding for the five statewide residency programs by 43 percent. Hollier pleaded with legislators to go into a special session, so they can pass tax bills to fund a more responsible budget.

 

A Senate committee approves legislation that would prohibit abortions in Louisiana after 15 weeks from conception, but there are concerns the legislation could bring upon unintended consequences. Kaplan Senator Jonathan Perry urged the bill’s author to work on the language of the bill with an attorney, before bringing it up to the Senate floor. During discussion, an attorney said if “Roe versus Wade” is overturned, this legislation could actually weaken Louisiana’s pro-life laws.

 

Legislators expressed concern Tuesday with a potentially unfair application process the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy is conducting to determine which locations throughout the state are granted permits to distribute medical marijuana. The Pharmacy Board already has held hearings and was busy Tuesday awarding the first five regional licenses Tuesday for Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, Houma and Lake Charles. Licensing continues today for Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria and the north shore. The Governor-approved group is composed of 16 people from eight districts, and one public member.

 

It doesn’t look like sports betting will be legal in Louisiana anytime soon. A measure that would have allowed voters in parishes with riverboat and land-based casinos to decide whether sports bets should legally be taken in their parish, was rejected on a six-to-three vote in Senate Finance. Opponents are concerned about expanding gambling.

 

A bill allowing judges to inform juries about whether or not a victim in a car crash was wearing a seat belt died in a Senate Committee. The bill was promoted as potentially leading to smaller settlements in some cases, which would drive insurance rates down.

But the bill received opposition from Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti, who says the bill punishes victims with lower settlements in crashes that weren’t their fault. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, who supported the bill, could not guarantee that insurance rates would go down as a result of the bill.

 

A bill to ban drivers from using their phone with their hands while on the road failed to pass the House floor after an, at times, contentious debate. The legislation by Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval was inspired by the traffic deaths of a constituent’s child. Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey says the bill was unnecessary nanny state legislation.

 

The National Weather Service confirmed 20 tornadoes touched down in Louisiana between Friday and Saturday. The severe weather hit 13 parishes, and generated an EF-1 Tornado that was responsible for the death of a Bossier Parish infant.

 

The campaign for St. Landry Parish Congressman Clay Higgins reports the freshman U-S Representative has raised 218-thousand dollars in campaign finance dollars during the first quarter of the year and has 211-thousand dollars on hand. UL Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Higgins will need to raise a lot more. Republican attorney Josh Guillory and Democrat Phillip Conner, a physician from Lake Charles, are two candidates raising money to challenge Higgins this fall.

 

Sports..

 

Tonight, it’s LSU Baseball as the Tigers travel to Tulane . Tonight’s game begins a stretch of seven of the next eight games on the road. You can hear the game tonight starting at 7p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm

 

The New Orleans Pelicans are now up two games to nothing in the NBA playoffs.. They beat the Portland Trailblazers last night 111 to 102 in Portland. The Pels head home to the Smoothie King Center for game three tomorrow night.

 

Tonight the NBA playoffs continue as the Indiana Pacers visit Cleveland Cavaliers airtime 5:30p on 94.7 ESPN

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News for Tuesday 041718

By Dave Graichen

 

The National Weather Service confirms three tornadoes touched down in Acadiana Saturday morning. Parishes affected included Lafayette, St. Landry and St. Mary Parish, with the strongest tornado touching down north of Carencro. Debris cleanup is also ongoing in the northern parts of Bossier Parish, with most of the damage occurring  just north of I-20 near Red Chute. Also, a two-year-old was killed in Haughton when a tree fell on her mobile home.

 

The House Appropriations Committee approves a budget that would fully fund TOPS, while making cuts to education & healthcare.. Governor John Bel Edwards was quick to express his opposition to the proposed spending plan. Edwards says TOPS should be fully funded, but so should public colleges, health care for seniors and the disabled and public-private hospitals. He says this budget document is not worth the paper it’s printed on and it’s another reason why a special session is needed to replace expiring revenue.

The budget will be discussed by the full House on Thursday.

 

The full House takes up a bill on today that would prohibit you from holding a cell phone while driving. Jennifer Smith, the C-E-O of Stop-distractions-dot-org is pushing for this legislation. 15 other states and Washington D.C. currently have a similar law. Opponents to the bill, claim they need access to their phones at all times while driving. Many note the map feature is something they use on a regular basis while behind the wheel.

 

Louisiana has some of the highest insurance rates in the country. Experts say one reason why is large settlements that are paid out in civil cases. Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt has a bill that will be heard in Senate Committee on Tuesday afternoon that would give judges the authority to let juries know if a crash victim was not buckled up.

Hewitt says it’s less likely a crash victim will receive a large settlement if it’s known their injuries could have been reduced if they were buckled up.

 

Louisiana Congressman and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is back in the hospital for a series of planned surgeries on the gunshot wound he suffered during last summer’s shooting attack. He’s expected to remain hospitalized for several days and his doctors say he’s already eager to return to work.

 

U-S Army officials announce an investigation is underway into a fatal shooting that happened at a residence at Fort Polk. Private Jacob Malcolm of West Virginia was pronounced dead on Thursday night by the Vernon Parish coroner. He was only 18 years old. The U-S Army Criminal Investigation Command is investigating the circumstances of his death.

 

A report from the Reilly Center at LSU’s Manship School says Louisianans have a pretty favorable view of their local media. 78 percent of those polled said they trust their local media’s information a lot, or some. Public Policy Research Lab Director Mike Henderson says local media also got high marks in getting the facts right. Henderson says maintain trust between the media and public is critical for preserving our system of governance.

 

In an effort to improve traffic flow in Baton Rouge, a House committee passed a bill that requires 18-wheelers to stay in the right lane from 4 to 7 PM every weekday while traveling on the interstate in East Baton Rouge. The measure heads to the House floor for more discussion.

 

 

Sports..

 

The Pelicans can take a commanding two games to none series lead tonight when New Orleans faces Portland in Game 2 of their best of seven playoff series. Head Coach Alvin Gentry says it was great to win Saturday, but the immediate goal is to advance to the Western Conference semifinals.  Here the game tonight 9pm on 94.7 ESPN

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News for Monday 041618

By Dave Graichen

 

A 2-year-old girl in Haughton was killed Saturday morning when severe storms caused a tree to fall on her family's RV. The girl was sleeping at the time. Four adults, as well as a 15-month old child were also in the RV at the time; none were hurt.

 

Tax day has arrived and a survey from offers.com finds most Louisianans wait until the very end to file. Some 53 percent wait until the day before or the final day to file. Offers-dot-com’s Carson Yarbrough says most people don’t want to pay their taxes and some say they would go to extreme measures to avoid doing so. According to the I-R-S, the average person who qualifies for a refund will get over 31-hundred-dollars.

 

An LSU Public Policy Research Lab survey finds a majority of Louisiana residents support two of Governor John Bel Edwards’ major policy issues – criminal justice reform and Medicaid expansion. Of those surveyed, 61-percent say they support the sweeping changes made last year. 69-percent of the respondents approve of Medicaid expansion, which took effect in June of 2016. Some 430-thousand Louisiana residents enrolled in the government funded health insurance. Henderson says since the approval ratings are high on these two major policy changes, it could help the governor get re-elected…

 

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to approve a budget today for next fiscal year that will contain 648-million dollars in cuts from the current fiscal year. When the budget process started, lawmakers had a nearly billion dollar budget deficit, but an increase in tax collections has led to a much smaller fiscal cliff. Governor Edwards is pushing the legislature to end the regular session early, so a special session can begin in May to approve tax bills that can lead to more revenue and reduce the budget gap.

 

The House Judiciary Committee failed to advance a bill that would have created an oversight committee for the state’s 41 district attorneys. The bill is done for this session.

 

Did you know that switchblade knives are illegal in Louisiana? The state legislature is taking steps to get that ban off the books. It’s been against the law to own or posses a switchblade knife, except for law enforcement officers, since the 1950s. A bill to repeal the ban was approved unanimously by the House today and heads to the Senate for more discussion.

 

The police officer who shot and killed Alton Sterling during a struggle has appealed his firing. Attorney John McLindon filed the appeal of a local civil service board on behalf of Blane Salamoni who shot Sterling nearly two years ago. McLindon says Salamoni wants to clear his name. If the termination is thrown out, Salamoni could become a police officer in another jurisdiction.

 

State officials have talked about spending billions of dollars on redirecting sediment carried by the Mississippi River to rebuild the state’s vanishing coast. However, a study out of Tulane says the diversions will produce new land, but not fast enough. Lead author of the report Elizabeth Chamberlain says their findings doesn’t mean river diversions shouldn’t be utilized at all, but it’s important the river diversions are positioned in areas that have the greatest land building potential.

 

Sports…

 

The No. 19 LSU baseball team trailed Tennessee 7-3 entering the top of the ninth inning, but the Tigers rallied to score six runs, highlighted by a three-run walk off homer by freshman designated hitter Daniel Cabrera, to secure the series sweep, 9-7, Sunday evening in Alex Box Stadium.

 

It was a tough weekend at home for the Houston Astros, as they lost 2 of three to the Texas Rangers. The Astros kick off a three game series on the road in Seattle against the Supersonics tonight 8:35 on 94.7 ESPN.

 

Round One Game one of the NBA Playoffs Saturday night the Pelicans got past the Portland Trailblazers 97 to 95. Game two is tomorrow night in Portland.

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News for Friday 041318

By Dave Graichen

 

The northern half of the state is under a slight to enhanced risk of severe weather today and the risk for severe storms shifts to southeast Louisiana for tomorrow. State Climatologist Barry Keim says a strong cold front will once again bring us chilly air for the weekend and along with that the possibility of large hail, strong winds and twisters. He says flash flooding is also a concern.

 

Early voting for April 28 elections starts Saturday. Here in Rapides Parish drainage, fire protection, schools and a runoff for Alexandria city marshal are among the items on the ballot.

 

The revenue shortfall the state is facing has declined from 994-million-dollars to 648-million-dollars, as a result of the state collecting more income taxes due to the federal tax overhaul. House Speaker Taylor Barras says the extra money would likely go for higher education and the TOPS program.  But, Governor Edwards is proposing using the additional 346-million-dollars for several programs including 25-million-dollars to fully restore the higher education budget, 50-million-dollars going towards TOPS, 20-million for Sheriff Departments to house inmates and another 20-million for the D.O.C. Remaining funds would go to health care programs, senior citizen programs and other state projects.

 

The proposed Federal Farm bill contains work requirements for able-bodied 18 to 59-year-olds who receive SNAP benefits. A beneficiary would have to work or be enrolled in a work training program at least 20 hours a week. Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham says the requirement will filter out persons who choose to take advantage of the welfare system. Exemptions would be given to caretakers with children under six-years-old, pregnant women and those mentally or physically disabled.

 

The House Health and Welfare committee heard hours of testimony on a statewide smoking ban that would include casino’s and bars. The bill by Opelousas Democrat Dustin Miller was voluntarily yanked, so he can work on the language of the measure. If passed it would virtually ban smoking in just about every public building in the state. Miller says he will bring the bill with the revised language back in two weeks.

 

A stand-off in the Caddo Heights neighborhood resulted in the death of a woman and the injury of a Shreveport police officer Thursday Morning. According to media reports, a shooting suspect, 36 year old Jonathan Robinson is in custody. The officer was shot in the arm and his injury was not life threatening.

 

For the second time in the last five months, a family from Acadiana has claimed a Powerball jackpot prize. Louisiana Lottery spokesperson Kim Chopin says an attorney came in this week to claim a 56-million dollar prize that was won by a Lafayette family and last fall they had a winner from Eunice.

 

The largest free outdoor festival in Louisiana, the 47th Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival is expected to draw up to 300-thousand people this weekend. There will be food, music and rides for everyone to enjoy. Spokesperson Donald Lanier says since there is no cover charge, it has led to a very successful outdoor festival year after year. So if you are bored and don’t know what to do, Lanier invites everyone to Ponchatoula for a full weekend of fun

 

Individuals suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, chronic pain, severe muscle spasms and P-T-S-D would be able to receive a prescription for medical marijuana under legislation that was approved by the full House. The bill is sponsored by Baton Rouge Representative Ted James. In 2016, the state legislature set up the framework for the legal dispensing of medical marijuana and 10 different conditions would be eligible for a prescription. James bill will add to that list and he hopes it will result in more people using medical pot, instead of  pain killers.

 

Former Saints special teams standout Steve Gleason is under considering for the Congressional Gold Medal. Gleason is battling A-L-S and has been a leader on efforts to develop and provide technology for those suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

 

The 19th ranked LSU Tigers begin an SEC series versus Tennessee tonight at Alex Box Stadium. Zach Hess will start on the mound tonight for LSU and freshman Ma’Khail Hilliard will get the ball on Saturday. Hear all three games this weekend on KSYL 970AM & 100.3 HD3FM tonight’s game starts at 7:30

 

The Houston Astros begin a three game home stand hosting the Texas Rangers game one of the series is tonight starting at 6:35p 94.7 ESPN

 

The New Orleans Pelicans begin play in the NBA playoffs tomorrow night against the Portland Trailblazers. It’s a late game starting at 9p on 94.7 ESPN

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News for Thursday 041218

By Dave Graichen

 

State police report A 71-year-old Winn Parish woman died Wednesday afternoon after she and another man exchanged gunfire with deputies in the Chee Chee Dam area of Winn Parish. Winn Parish Sheriff's deputies had gone to the area to serve a civil arrest warrant on 50 year old Kendall Lemoine. But, When the deputies arrived, the two were "standing outside the residence both armed with guns. Shots were exchanged, resulting in both subjects being shot. Betty Lemoine died at the scene. Kendall Lemoine was taken to an Alexandria Hospital  with critical injuries.

 

State Police report a Ferriday Man Killed in Two-Vehicle Crash Thursday morning on US 65 just south of Clayton, Louisiana.  Troopers say an 18 wheeler swerved from the lane of traffic and struck a Pickup on the side of the road, killing that vehocles driver 57 year old Richard McLain. McLain died from injuries sustained in the crash.  A passenger in the pick-up, 56-year-old Louis White of Clayton, received moderate injuries.  Impairment is not suspected.  A routine toxicology sample was taken.  This crash remains under investigation.

 

The Pineville City Council approved a zoning variance Tuesday that clears the way for a new Dollar General store on Louisiana Highway 107. The store, which will be approximately 9,100 square feet, will be located near the intersection with Stilley Road.

The variance was needed because a part of the proposed store property was zoned for residential use only. It will be the fourth Dollar General Store in Pineville.

 

In Washington, the announcement of House Speaker Paul Ryan decision not to seek re-election has sparked debate over who might be the next Speaker. New Orleans area Congressman Steve Scalise’s name has popped up for consideration. Political analyst Clancy DuBos says if it were up to President Trump, Scalise would have the job. Scalise told the Associated Press that now is not the time for people to talk about what titles they want.

 

The legislative session is one month into it and lawmakers are nowhere close to passing any meaningful legislation. Political observers say the milk-toast session has had very little highlights so far. Jeremy Alford of LaPolitics.com says the main goal at this point is still to wrap up the regular session early, so they can immediately return in a special session to deal with the budget. But he says there doesn’t seem to be much urgency.

 

The Revenue Estimating Conference meets this morning to give an update on how big the revenue shortfall is for next fiscal year. Previous estimates put the deficit around a billion dollars, but Governor John Bel Edwards says it’s likely the R-E-C will recognize an additional 300-million dollars in revenues, because the state is collecting more income taxes as result of the federal tax overhaul. Edwards says even if the shortfall is reduced to 700-million dollars, a special session is needed to pass a tax plan to fund critical priorities.

 

Senator John Kennedy wants to hold Facebook and it’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg accountable for any breach in privacy. He is testifying before House Energy and Commerce Committee about a data breach affecting as many as 87-million Facebook users by a data firm with ties to President Trump’s campaign.   Kennedy, who apparently believes he is speaking for all Face Book Users, says any trust that users placed in Facebook is no more after this incident. Kennedy also feels Facebook pushes it’s own political agenda.

 

Speculation continues over who will run against Governor John Bel Edwards as we are 18 months out from the primary. Two Republicans have come to the forefront, U.S. Senator John Kennedy and U.S. Senator Ralph Abraham. Both say they are exploring the idea of running. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says based on what Kennedy has said in the last few months, indicates to him Kennedy will make a run for the Governor’s Mansion. But, if he plans to, he needs to make his intentions known soon. Abraham has also been critical of Edwards and seems poised to start a campaign. But Pinsonat says if Kennedy decides to run, he’ll be the main GOP challenger…

 

The House Criminal Justice Committee voted down a bill seeking to end the death penalty in Louisiana. Bossier City Representative Raymond Crews says there needs to be severe consequences for first-degree murder and raping children under the age of 13. The vote failed on a 10-8 vote, but a similar bill is still alive in the Senate.

 

The state Senate unanimously approved legislation requiring public schools to display “In God We Trust” in their buildings. The proposal also calls for educators to teach students about the motto. Schools would be required to have the motto displayed by the 2019-2020 school year. The measure heads to the House next.

 

The Advocate newspaper reports the state Ethics Board has cleared four State Police troopers who were disciplined for taking a side trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon when they drove to a conference in San Diego. The ethics board says it was former State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson who told them to make the over night stops.

 

The House Criminal Justice Committee approves legislation that would allow fantasy sports players in Louisiana to collect money if they win contests hosted by groups like Fan Duel and Draft Kings. Gretna Representative Joseph Marino says each parish will have a chance to decide if they want to authorize fantasy sports wagering. Several religious groups across the state have already come out against the bill. The measure heads to the House floor for more debate.

 

A Tulane study finds grade school students can benefit from yoga classes to help them manage stress and anxiety. Principal author Alessandra Bazzano (Ba-zon-no) says P.E. time has been reduced at schools nationwide, the study showed that students, no matter what age, need to be allowed other activities that take them out of the classroom…Bazzano says more schools are participating in yoga sessions and their research finds it can improve a child’s well-being and emotional health…

 

Sports..

 

Chicago has decided not to match the Saints offer for wide receiver Cameron Meredith, which means the free-agent will join the Black and Gold on a two-year deal worth 10 million dollars.

 

It was a heart breaker of a game yesterday as the Astro’s Lost to The Minnesota Twins 9 to 8. The Astros have the day off today before starting a three game series at home Friday against the Texas Rangers..

 

The Pelicans last night crushed the San Antonio Spurs 122 to 98 in the last regular game of the season.  That brings us to game 1 of the NBA playoffs. Saturday Night in Portland against the Trailblazers.

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News for Wednesday 041118

By Dave Graichen

 

Louisiana students performed poorly on the National Assessment of Education Progress exams. The state’s fourth-graders had the worst math scores in the nation and finished 49th in reading. Eighth graders didn’t perform much better, 50th in math and 48th in reading.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards and state Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee unveiled a report on the economic impact of Medicaid expansion. Edwards says according to the LSU report, Louisiana is saving 317-million dollars in state money and providing medical care to those who can’t afford it… The report says Medicaid expansion through the infusion of one-point-eight billion dollars in federal dollars has created over 19-thousand jobs in the health care sector, resulting in  nearly three-point-six-billion-dollars in economic activity.

 

The number of eligible graduates in Louisiana achieving TOPS reaches an all-time high. More than 19,200 senior high school students qualified for at least one scholarship, up from 18,373 in 2016. But, Superintendent for the Office of Student Opportunities Ken Bradford says there is a problem for TOPS candidates. Bradford says if TOPS funding is cut due to a  one-billion-dollar budget shortfall, a lot of high school students hoping for a scholarship may be disappointed. Bradford says many graduating seniors are ready to attend a college or university, the hope is that they can afford it…

 

The Louisiana Senate overwhelmingly rejected Tuesday legislation that would ban the sale of assault weapons for those under age of 21. State law already forbids the sale of assault weapons to 18 year olds and it's already illegal for people younger than 21 to purchase handguns from licensed dealers. Senate Bill 274 would have made illegal the sale of assault weapons to people under the age of 21

 

A bill to eliminate the death penalty in cases of first degree murder, child rape, and treason has cleared a senate panel. New Orleans Senator J.P. Morrell’s legislation would apply to offenses after August 1st. Catholic Bishop Shelton Fabre (FOB) testified in favor of the measure. Capital crimes would receive a life prison sentence under the legislation approved by the Senate committee.

 

A bill to allow the state’s 15 licensed riverboats casinos to expand their gaming operations on to land and change the rules regarding gaming space has been sitting on the Senate floor for over two weeks, but a vote in the upper chamber could happen today. Senator Troy Carter says many senators are concerned about the numerous pieces of legislation that seek to expand gambling…

 

A bill to extend foster care benefits in Louisiana from 18 years old to as much as 21 years old in some cases was passed by the Senate Finance Committee.  The money committee agreed to the legislation, even though it will cost the state an additional million dollars. Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti says it’s a tragedy that a foster child gets put on the street once they turn 18. Gatti believes that most 18-year-olds will stay in foster care if benefits are extended to 21. One-million-dollars from the BP settlement would be used to finance the extension. The bill next heads to the Senate floor.

 

A Senate bill that requires juveniles to wait until they are 18 before getting married cleared committee today. Current law allows kids to get married with their parents consent as early as 12 years old. Ginger Lecompte is with Women United she says 70 percent of child marriages don’t.

 

Lawmakers are considering making it illegal for drivers to hold a phone as a measure cleared the House Transportation committee. Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval says the legislation allows you to use a hand free device to talk on the phone, but the measure prohibits the use of holding a phone. The bill heading to the House floor calls for a 125-dollar fine for first offenders and after a third violation your driver’s license could be suspended.

 

The department of wildlife and fisheries wrapped up a two year investigation resulting in one man and one juvenile being charged with numerous crimes. 25 year old Kaenon Constantin and an un-named juvenile have been charged with violating the endangered act by killing two endangered whooping cranes, hunting from a public road, and obstruction of justice. Constantin faces 65 thousand dollars in fines and up to ten years in jail.

 

A lawsuit, being brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center, claims Louisiana authorities have illegally detained a teenage boy for nearly one year after his arrest on a burglary charge. The suit seeks the 15-year-old boy's immediate release from a juvenile detention center in Monroe. The boy was 13 when he was arrested in 2016.

 

On air today..

The Houston Astros and the Minnesota Twins in game three of their series.. 11:35 om 94.7 ESPN

 

New Orleans Pelicans vs San Antonio Spurs 6:30p 94.7 ESPN

 

In LSU Baseball, the Tigers shout out LA 2 to 0. Up next, a three game home stand against Tennessee.

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News for Tuesday 041018

By Dave Graichen

 

The RPSO reports reports criminal scammers are at it again and local citizens are being targeted by phone calls threatening them with arrest and prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts. The sheriff’s office says people are being instructed to get a "Green Dot Visa card" to pay the $1,495 fine.  Tommy Carnline the public information officer with the Sheriff’s office says remember, the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office or any other law enforcement agency will never attempt to collect any monies and instruct anyone to get a "Green Dot Visa Card."

 

A Ville Platte man who led law enforcement on two chases within days before being captured Monday is being held on multiple charges . 36 year old Samuel Lee was taken into custody after a chase ended in Pine Prairie just before 11:30 Monday morning . Lee had been sought since he led officers from multiple agencies on a chase in a stolen vehicle into Rapides Parish on Sunday morning. Authorities are still looking for Ashley Lamb, who police say fled from the Saturday chase into some woods here in Rapides Parish.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards is continuing his pledge to end the regular legislative session early, so a special session can begin to take up revenue raising measures that he says are needed to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. But chairman of the House Republican Legislative delegation, Lance Harris, says we’ll have a better idea on how much money the state has available to spend when the Revenue Estimating Conference meets Thursday. Harris says the House Appropriations Committee plans on approving a spending plan for next fiscal year next week.

 

Emotional testimony is expected in the House Transportation committee today as a bill will be heard, requiring drivers to use only hands free communication devices. Suzanne Salter from will testify in favor. Salter says her daughter was killed in 2014 by a teenage driver who was texting at the time of the fatal crash.. Salter says the doesn’t say you can’t talk on a cell phone while driving, it just can’t be in your hand. Currently state law says you can’t text while you drive.

 

To listen to the political pundits you would think Louisiana has one of the highest tax rates in the country.. Truth is, it is quite the opposite. A 24-7 Wall Street report shows Louisiana is one of the least taxed places to live in the country. Louisiana taxpayers are tied for fifth in the least amount of taxes paid to local and state governments when compared to other states, Paying just 8-percent of their income to state and local governments.

 

The full Senate approves a bill to allow children to wear bulletproof backpacks at school. Believe it or not, It’s currently illegal to wear body armor on school property. The author of the bill is West Monroe Senator Mike Walsworth who says he filed the bill after a shooting at a Florida school shooting killed 17 people. The measure moves to the House for more discussion.

 

Gas prices usually rise in the spring time as refineries shut down operations to switch from a winter grade gasoline to a summer grade. Triple-A fuel analyst Don Redman says the price at the pump has increased 11-cents over the last month, but much of that increase occurred in the weeks leading up to Easter weekend. The current statewide average is $2.44 a gallon. Redman says there could be a slight increase in the price when the summer driving season arrives.

 

The Senate approves a bill that makes it clear bestiality is illegal in Louisiana. There is a law that says people can’t have sex with animals, but it’s unenforceable, because it’s contained in legislation that was ruled unconstitutional in 2003, because it criminalized sex between two males or females. Morrell says its important the state has a way to arrest someone for bestiality. Morrell says the law protects thoes who have to touch animals in private areas, because they are either a doctor or for scientific research.

 

Legislation that increases penalties for teachers who engage in sexual relationships with students is set for a hearing in a Senate committee today. Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti says it makes such an offense a felony and it also expands the law to include coaches and team managers and doctors. Gatti says under this law a teacher could face a prison sentence between 5 and 40 years.

 

A case of measles is confirmed Monday by Louisiana state health officials. A traveler from the United Kingdom was hospitalized over the weekend in New Orleans. Test results for measles came back positive. The virus is known to be highly contagious with symptoms that can include high fever, runny nose, followed by red spots on their skin. The Louisiana Department of Health says the best protection against measles infection is vaccination.

 

Sports..

 

A promising start to the week for the LSU baseball team ended with a thud, as the Tigers dropped the final two games of their road series against Texas A&M to finish the week 2-2. The top-25 rankings took notice of those final two games, as the Tigers dropped across the board. LSU fell two spots in Baseball America's rankings to 19. Four in Perfect Game's to 22 and six in D1 Baseball's to 23. Tonight, the tigers play host to  LA Tech. airtime 7p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm  

 

After taking three games from the San Diego Padres over the weekend and the first of a three game series from the Twins last night, the Astros continue their series  in Minnesota tonight It’s the Astros and the Twins. Airtime 6:35 on 94.7 ESPN.

 

The New Orleans Pelicans clinched their spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a 113-100 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night . The Pelicans will be heading to the playoffs for the first time since the 2014-15 season and improved their record to 47-34 with one game left in the regular season.

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News for Monday 040918

By Dave Graichen

 

State Police report that a single vehicle crash Saturday night claimed the life of a Trout woman. The accident occurred shortly before eleven Saturday night, on highway 8 near Fishville, when 37 year old Misty Clark lost control, left the highway and struck a culvert. Authorities say Clark, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The full Senate could hear arguments today on a bill that would strip local jurisdictions of the ability to mandate real estate developers set aside a certain portion of their housing as lower rent. Metairie Senator Dan Martiny, the bill’s sponsor, says affordable housing initiatives should be voluntary, not mandatory. Martiny says rent prices and housing availability should not be subject to local control.

 

An LSU survey finds 70-percent of state residents believe women face a lot or some discrimination in society and that’s a seven-percent increase from a year ago. LSU Public Policy Research Lab director, Doctor Michael Henderson, says most Louisiana residents agree gender inequality is a real problem in this state.

 

Louisiana is receiving a 1.2 billion dollar block grant from the federal government to construct flood protection projects in southeast Louisiana. There’s been a push for this funding after the 2016 August flood caused an estimated 8.7 billion dollars in damage. Baton Rouge Congressman Garret Graves says the block grant will go right to the state and skip the red tape. Graves expects the money to be available by summer.

 

Authorities have charged a juvenile with attempted carjacking after he allegedly tried to steal an unmarked State Police unit in New Orleans last week. Sergeant Jared Sandifer says an on-duty trooper was sitting in the vehicle at the time and fired his weapon at the teen after he tried entering the vehicle. No one was injured..

 

That wasn’t the case in Baton Rouge Sunday morning when a man attempted to break into a vehicle in an apartment complex parking lot and was shot and killed by someone sitting inside the vehicle who then took off. Surveillance video showed the 18 year old man attempting to break into several vehicles before picking the one that cost him his life. Authorities say they have no suspects yet in the case.. 

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has yet to detect any cases of chronic wasting disease in Louisiana deer. L-D-W-F Deer Program Manager Jonathan Bordelon says they’ve tested 188 deer in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas Parishes after C-W-D was found in a buck just five miles away from the Louisiana-Mississippi border. Bordelon says C-W-D is a neurodegenerative disease and it causes irreversible brain damage and infected deer can spread the disease even before symptoms develop.

 

On Air Today..

The New Orleans Pelicans merely held their ground on Saturday night by tallying a crucial 126-120 road win over the Golden State Warriors in Oracle Arena. But with two games remaining, the Pelicans are just a single victory from cinching their first playoff berth since 2015. Tonight the Pels are at LA to play the Clippers.. Airtime 9pm on 94.7 ESPN.

 

In LSU baseball it was a tough weekend as the Tigers lost the series to Texas A&M. Up next, the Tigers will meet LA Tech tomorrow night. Airtime 7p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm

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News for Friday 040618

By Dave Graichen

 

The RPSO has arrested a  Deville man and charged him with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, after he allegedly fired a shot gun at a vehicle carrying his child and the child’s mother. Authorities say no one was injured. 35 year old Dewayne Terrell was arrested after an investigation by detectives and crime scene investigators. He remains in jail on a half million dollars bond.

 

Colorado State Researchers predict above average activity for the upcoming hurricane season, but nothing like the historic 2017 season that devastated the Gulf. 14 named storms are predicted for this year, below the 17 named storms last year. Dr. Michael Bell says there’s a one in three chance the Gulf Coast gets hit this season.

 

A bill that would force students who lose TOPS to repay the value of the scholarship passed a house committee on an eight to five vote. The legislation by Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo would charge students who drop out, or lose eligibility while in school. But New Orleans Representative Joseph Bouie says the bill targets working class students who often times lose eligibility after a few years when bills start piling up. The bill heads to House Appropriations.

 

A bill that expands illnesses that medical marijuana can be prescribed for clears a House Committee. State Representative Ted James bill adds Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, muscle spasms, and intractable pain to the list of illnesses that Doctors will use to determine is a patient is eligible to be prescribe medical marijuana, when it becomes available in Louisiana.  A separate bill that would legalizing the use of medical marijuana for children with autism passed on a 71 to 21 vote.

 

A renewed bid to give colleges and universities limited authority to raise tuition again failed in the Louisiana House. The measure, House Bill 418, fell on a vote of 16-75.

Under current rules, colleges and universities have to win approval from the Legislature to boost tuition. The bill would allow the LSU Board of Supervisors and other governing boards to increase tuition up to 10 percent per year, and not more than 20 percent in four years.

 

The Cajun Navy Relief will hold their first Search and Rescue Games on Saturday in Henderson Bay in the Atchafalaya basin. The games are being used as a training exercise and how to handle disaster rescue scenarios for dispatchers and onshore dispatchers. Spokesperson Amy Jones says they will be able to train on newer equipment that is vital for search and rescue operations.

 

Wrestlemania 34 will be held Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.   It marks the first time WWE has visited the Crescent City since 2014.   Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says the last event drew 75,000 fans from 50 states and 36 countries.

 

Baton Rouge Police officer Howie Lake was back at work Thursday for the first time in nearly two years. He was one of the two officers involved in the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling. Since that time he was on paid administrative leave and then served a three-day suspension starting on Monday. It’s unclear what his role will be on the force going forward.

 

The Governor announced yesterday Louisiana will get $1.2 billion in federal flood-control funds. A number of long-stalled U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects in the state, including the Comite River Diversion Canal, New Orleans-area flood protection projects or parts of the Morganza to the Gulf levee system, could get funded through the massive federal allocation. Just which projects will be in line for the funds remains unclear. State officials are waiting for details from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the agency handling the grant, on exactly how the dollars can be spent.

 

Baton Rouge Representative Steve Carter has filed a bill on behalf of the governor’s office that’s designed to prevent hazing on college campuses. Carter says the legislation requires colleges and universities to provide hazing education and prevention during orientation.

 

Lakeview residents living along Canal Boulevard in New Orleans say their cars are getting hit for speeding tickets by a nearby traffic camera. The only problem? Their cars aren't moving. A WWL-TV report says one resident estimates he's been tagged about 10 times in the last seven years. A still image from the traffic camera in question even shows the man’s car parked outside his home in the latest so-called offense, where the camera picked up his license plate instead of that of the car that was speeding. City officials say the ticket has been dropped and the city's contractor will reinforce and train their technicians in proper vehicle identification techniques.

 

Sports..

 

LSU Tiger Baseball tonight as the tigers are in College Station for game two of a three game series against Texas A&M. Airtime 6:30p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm

 

The New Orleans Pelicans are on the road tonight @ Phoenix to play the Suns. You can hear that game starting at  8:30p 94.7 ESPN

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News for Thursday 040518

By Dave Graichen

 

Two children, ages seven and eight, in Bastrop were killed in a home fire Wednesday morning. The parents were able to escape the blaze and authorities believe the mother sustained injuries trying to rescue her children.

 

The House Criminal Justice committee shot down a proposal to allow certain teachers or school staff to carry weapons in school. Chalmette Representative Raymond Garofalo says his bill would only allow teachers to possess a gun after extensive training. He says gun free signs on campuses are invitations to kill. Shreveport representative Barbara Norton argues that she would be more concerned for her grand-daughters life, if the bill passes and teachers are allowed to carry guns to schools.

A bill to allow concealed handgun permit holders to carry guns on college campuses also failed to get out of committee Wednesday.

 

The state Senate has passed a measure that would let voters decide if Louisiana should move to unanimous jury verdicts for a conviction in felony trials. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell says unanimous verdicts were a foundational part of the American justice system. Louisiana is one of two states that allows 10 of 12 jursits to agree on a guilty verdict. The measure still needs House approval.

 

Monroe Representative Marcus Hunter has filed legislation to pave the way for a riverboat casino to come to Monroe. The state has 15-licensed riverboat casinos and for a casino to be located on the Ouachita, the license would have to move from another location in the state. But Hunter wouldn’t say what gaming operator is interested in moving to northeast Louisiana. Ouachita Parish voters would have to okay a casino in Monroe.

 

The House Governmental Affairs committee approved a bill to make it easier to recall an elected official. Covington Representative Paul Hollis’ measure would lower the required number of signatures from voters in larger cities and parishes to trigger a special election. Hollis says it’s nearly impossible to recall an elected official now. The bill now moves to the House Floor.

 

Slidell police have charged 24-year-old Zachary Brooks with negligent homicide and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, after his four-year-old son drowned in a pool. Chief Randy Fandal says the home was in a deplorable condition and Brooks was doing drugs at the time of the drowning…

 

LSU Health New Orleans has released a first of its kind report that allows Louisiana residents to see if people in their local area are more or less prone to cancer. Louisiana Tumor Registry broke the state up into 1,148 sectors, and compared their rate of cancer to the state average. Wana know if your home is in one of those problem areas? Check out the full map and report by googling Louisiana Tumor Registry 2018.

 

New Orleans Representative Helena Moreno’s bill to allow surveillance cameras inside nursing home patient rooms passed unanimously in the House. Moreno says her legislation will not only give residents and their family peace of mind, but it will protect employees also.The patient’s family would be responsible for cost of installing the video camera.

 

Sports..

 

After a big 10 to 1 win over Nicholls State Tuesday night,  LSU will travel to Texas A&M for a three-game series beginning tonight in College Station. Hear all three games on KSYL 970 & 100.3 HD2. Tonight’s game starts at 6:30p

 

The Houston Astros wrapped up a three game series yesterday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles  with a 3 to 2 win. Thus sweeping the series.. the Astros have the day off today before beginning a three game home series against San Diego and the Padres on Friday.

 

The Pelicans Blew Out The Memphis Grizzlies last night in New Orleans.. the final 123 to 95.  The birds leave the nest for their next match up tomorrow night against the Phoenix Suns.

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News for Wednesday 040418

By Dave Graichen

 

The Louisiana NAACP plans to protest daily at the offices of Attorney General Jeff Landry in an effort to convince the A-G to allow a grand jury to hear the evidence in the Alton Sterling Shooting. State Director Michael McClanahan expects groups to get larger and remain camped out for longer stints. Landry announced a week ago, the officers involved in the shooting of Sterling would not face criminal charges. While at the same time releasing, what many believe to be incriminating video of the officers involved, for the first time.

 

The personal-finance website Wallethub names Louisiana as the most stressed state in the nation. Spokesperson Jill Gonzales says many in Louisiana swim in credit card debt and pay high interest rates. Then there’s the high percentage of population living below the poverty line, its divorce rate, crime rate and fewest number of psychologists per capita…

 

A House committee will hear a bill today by Baton Rouge Representative Rick Edmonds that would require the state to provide adoption information to women considering abortion. Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Ben Clapper says women seeking to terminate their pregnancy at abortion clinics would receive this information. Clapper says both pro-life and pro-choice Louisianans should be able to get behind the bill.

 

A Governing Magazine Report says Louisianan’s saw a 2.9 percent increase in per capita income last year. The report says the big parts of that gain were the state’s 8.3% increase in benefits received due to the Medicaid expansion. However, the inflation rate, or how much less a dollar buys you, rose two percent last year. So in the end, we are less than 1% ahead of the game.

 

The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Louisiana kicked off it’s Smoke Free Louisiana Campaign, as Opelousas Representative Dustin Miller filed legislation to ban smoking in bars and casinos statewide. A smoking ban for restaurants has been in effect since 2007. Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death nationwide as an estimated 480,000 die nationwide each year from either smoking or breathing second-hand smoke.

 

A measure heading to the Senate floor would prohibit the sale of assault weapons to those under the age of 21. It passed out of a Senate committee on a four to three vote and New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison was on hand to testify in support…

 

Ville Platte Senator Eric LaFleur is not moving forward with legislation that would allow 18 to 20-year-olds purchase alcohol if they’ve been educated on the dangers of drinking too much. State officials say lowering the drinking age puts the state in jeopardy of losing federal funds. LaFleur says his bill is an attempt to curb underage binge drinking.

 

A bill that would give voters a chance to legalize sports betting at gaming establishments passes out of a Senate committee. The proposed legislation sets up the opportunity to place bets on sporting contests at any facility that currently has gaming, including bars and restaurants with video poker machines.

 

A bill prohibiting inmates guilty of first or second degree murder from receiving medical furloughs passed out of a Senate committee. Legislation passed last year that allowed convicted murderers the opportunity to get released from prison temporarily for medical reasons. The bill heads to the Senate floor.

 

Saints Quarterback Drew Brees and his wife Britanny have filed a lawsuit against a San Diego jeweler claiming the business scammed them out of nine-million dollars over a seven year period by grossly over charging them for diamonds. An attorney for the jeweler says his client did nothing wrong. According to the suite, the diamonds were supposed to appreciate in value, but did not.

 

Sports..

 

LSU is hosting it’s pro day today for 25 NFL hopefuls. The former Tigers will start the day off with some measurements, before moving on to weight tests, speed and agility drills, and positional work. LSU Analyst Mike Detillier says it’s a great opportunity for some unheralded talents to show scouts what they’ve got.

 

After a big 10 to 6 win last night, It’s an early day of baseball today as the Houston Astros finish out a three game home stand against the Baltimore Orioles airtime 12:35 on 94.6 ESPN

 

Tonight New Orleans Pelicans will take on the Memphis Grizzlies hear the game 94.7 ESPN airtime 8pm

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News for Tuesday 040318

By Dave Graichen

 

A deadly two vehicle crash Late Friday claimed the lives of two people. The APD reports the crash happened on the Broadway Avenue / I 49 overpass. It’s reported the female driver of one of the vehicles was pronounced dead at the scene. A six-year-old who was a passenger in the vehicle died a short time later.. No other information has been released by authorities yet..

 

Charges are pending in a two-vehicle crash that killed a Ferriday woman Sunday afternoon. State police say 28 year old Michael Higgins of Monterey was eastbound on La. 568 when he lost control and crossed the center line and struck a vehicle being driven by 72 year old Betty Johnson.  Johnson, who was not wearing a seat belt, died at the scene. Higgins, who was wearing a seat belt, sustained moderate injuries.

 

A suspect has been arrested and charged with first degree murder in connection to a weekend shooting in Natchitoches. Police spokesperson Kelly Parks says 21-year-old Jaquarious Ardison of Campti shot Jamel Haskett after an argument at a Shop Right on Saturday night. Haskett was shot multiple times.

 

A suspect involved in a reported domestic disturbance in New Llano (New Lan-no) was shot dead by a Vernon Parish Sheriff’s deputy on Easter Sunday. Sheriff Sam Craft says 60-year-old Bobby Hinton tried to shoot an unidentified sheriff’s deputy moments after he arrived on the scene.

 

A gun control bill will be heard in Senate Judiciary C today that would raise the minimum purchasing age for assault weapons to 21. New Orleans Senator Troy Carter, calls himself a gun enthusiast, but says his legislation is one step forward in curbing gun violence. But Louisiana Shooting Association Lobbyist Wade Duty says the bills are flawed, because it’s not so easy to determine what constitutes an assault weapon. He also says it’s not fair that 20-year-olds can serve in the military, but would be barred from purchasing assault weapons.

 

 

Louisiana will receive 5.8 million dollars from the federal Election Assistance Commission to purchase thousands of new voting machines as part of a proposed 50 to 60 million dollar plan to overhaul the state’s aging voting equipment. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says we have a looming crisis with our decade old voting booths.

Bids will begin for the new machines May 1st.

 

Severe weather is expected across much of Louisiana as a strong cold front is expected to move through tonight. State climatologist Barry Keim says the entire state is under a risk of tornadoes. Keim says the next 24 hours will be critical as the cold front enters the state and will drop temperatures by as much as ten degrees in some areas for Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to rebound by the latter part of this week.

 

A group is rallying for justice in the Alton Sterling case. Several protesters have marched into Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office asking that a special grand jury choose the fate of officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake. After an internal BRPD investigation, Salamoni was fired and Lake was suspended for three days. Videos released by Landry’s office show Salamoni yelling obscenities at Sterling, then shooting him at least six times.

 

A bill that calls for a statewide referendum to legalize sports betting in Louisiana will be heard in a senate committee today. Metairie Senator Daniel Martiny says the argument against his legislation is that it expands gambling, but it can help generate a stable revenue source for state government. Martiny also has a bill up for discussion that calls for a statewide referendum to legalize internet gambling. The referendum elections on these two bills would be held in November, if they pass the state legislature.

 

Louisianans for Prison Alternatives is actively lobbying the legislature to not only maintain the 2017 justice reforms passed but to enact even more measures to reduce the prison population by 50-percent over the next 10 years. Colleen Gielskie (gel-skie) is looking to have the three strike and mandatory minimum sentencing laws changed.

 

Baton Rouge Police investigators have decided against charging a man in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old. Sergeant L’Jean Mckneely says the teenager pointed a gun at a 25-year-old and tried to rob him, as he walked out of a convenience store. The man pulled his gun and fired at the would be robber, killing him. Mckneely says they are turning over their evidence to the District Attorney’s office, leaving open the possibility that the D-A could pursue charges…

 

Sports..

 

LSU Baseball Head Coach Paul Mainieri is not happy about the team’s RPI rating of 81. The Tigers have tumbled down the NCAA’s rating index despite an 18 and 11 record. Mainieri says he’s befuddled by the extraordinarily low rating. LSU is 1-4 on the road so far, one of the worst road records in the SEC. LSU takes on Nicholls tonight.

 

The Houston Astros continued their winning ways last night as they defeated the Baltimore Orioles 6 to 1. Tonight, game two of that three game series.. airtime 6:35 on 94.7 ESPN

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News for Monday 040218

By Dave Graichen

 

A settlement has been reached in the civil lawsuit against two law enforcement officers that have been convicted criminally in the death of a six-year-old autistic boy during a traffic stop in Marksville in 2015. An attorney for the family of Jeremy Mardis says he can’t disclose the terms. Derrick Stafford was sentenced to 40 years, while Norris Greenhouse is serving 7-and-a-half years behind bars.

 

Baton Rouge Representative Pat Smith’s legislation that would prevent schools from taking lunches away from students with unpaid school debts is moving to the House floor. Smith says her legislation would prevent schools from publicly rejecting lunches for students, and stop them from “shaming” kids whose parents are either negligent or unable to afford the meals.

 

The parents of Maxwell Gruver, who died last year in an alleged hazing incident at LSU, are expected back at the state capitol to show support for a bill that would stiffen criminal penalties for those found guilty of hazing. The “Max Gruver Act” passed through committee without objection and is set to be heard today on the House floor. Gruver’s father Steve says this is the bill will save lives.

 

Work has begun on a major road and bridge renovation project on Interstate 10 from LA 347, the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge to LA 77 in Grosse Tete west of Baton Rouge. Construction will run day and night to have the project finished by June 2019. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallet says a lot of work needs to be done. The most disruptive periods will occur at night, and some lane closures are expected later in the process.

 

Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul has announced that officer Blane Salamoni has been fired, while Howie Lake has been suspended for three days after an internal review into the shooting of Alton Sterling. Paul says Salamoni violated the use of force policy and displayed poor temperament. Graphic body camera video has been released and it shows a violent struggle before Salamoni fired six gun shots into the body of Sterling.

 

Former LSU football head coach Les Miles is dipping his toes into the Louisiana film industry, looking to take his distinctive character to the silver screen. Patrick Mulhearn a Senior Director at Louisiana Economic Development says the transition from pigskin to productions should be smooth for the Mad Hatter. Miles will appear in a film inspired about the 1986 Challenger explosion called Angry Men.

 

It’s a sad reality, there are thousands of Louisiana families who have a loved one suffering with Alzheimer’s disease. Adrienne Mullens, with the Alzheimer’s Association Louisiana Chapter, says they estimate there are 232-thousand people in Louisiana who care for someone with Alzheimer’s. Mullens says they are calling on the state legislature to provide assistance for those families who miss hours at work to care for Alzheimer patient.

 

 

Sports..

 

In LSU Tiger Baseball, the tigers won their weekend series against Mississippi State, taking two of the three games.. Tomorrow night, the Tigers play host to Nichols state.

 

The Houston Astros took 3 out of 4 over the weekend from the Texas Rangers.. Tonight, the Astros open a three games series at home against the Baltimore Orioles. You can hear the games starting at 6:45 tonight 94.7 ESPN

 

Lafayette High School is receiving financial assistance from Shaquille O’ Neal to help renovate their weight room. The school is looking to raise 42-thousand dollars and head football coach Rob Pool says Shaq has come forward and has pledged to help attain that goal with a financial contribution. O’ Neal’s donation will come during a South Louisiana Giving Day Event, which is May 10th.

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News for Wednesday 032118

By Dave Graichen

 

State police report the body of a Ville Platte man was discovered Monday morning more than 24 hours after he died in an early Sunday morning single car crash on U.S. Highway 167 near the St. Landry and Evangeline parish line. Sunday morning around 3am state police, responding to a call, found an unoccupied Silverado in a ditch against a fence. I wasn’t until Monday morning around 9 the body of 24 year old William Morein was found. Morein wasn't wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

 

Congratulations going out today to Jimbo & Ms Sandy the owners of a Central Louisiana Landmark.. Tunk's Cypress Inn on Kincaid Lake today marks its 40th anniversary.

 

A Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday passed a bill that would allow citizens to vote on whether Louisiana should require unanimous juries for felony convictions. Currently, only 10 of 12 jurists are needed to convict someone of a felony. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell argued that research done by the Innocence Project, a group that helps overturn wrongful convictions, proves unanimous juries help safeguard civil liberties.

Louisiana and Oregon are the only two states that do not require a unanimous jury.

 

2016 flood victims are now eligible for a bigger tax break. If you lost more than 500 dollars that wasn’t covered by insurance or government grants, you can deduct the difference from your 2016 income tax return. Some residents could see a significant refund. That’s according to Baton Rouge area CPA Bryan Lagarde.  Lagarde suggests flood victims to get the help of a tax preparer to help amend your 2016 tax returns.

 

A House bill to establish a rebate for first time home buyers in Louisiana passed the Ways and Means Committee. Baton Rouge Representative Paula Davis told the committee that young people are strapped with a heavy economic burden these days that this could help. Monroe Representative Jay Morris says the state doesn’t have money to fund the 15-million-dollar rebate plan.

 

A Senate committee approved legislation Tuesday that gives riverboat casinos the opportunity to move on land. Lake Charles Senator Ronnie Johns says his legislation is not an attempt to expand gaming. The measure allows the 15 riverboat casinos to conduct gambling activities within 12-hundred feet on land from where the riverboat is berthed. The bill, facing opposition from religious leaders, now heads to the Senate Floor.

 

Senate Judiciary B has passed a proposal to the Senate floor that would allow a local vote to be had on permitting river boat casino to be built in Tangipahoa Parish. The potential casino would be built along the Tangipahoa River, near the Robert exit on I-12. If it passes through the legislature, a parish wide vote would be held on the matter.

 

Alexandria Representative Lance Harris has reached out to his constituents with a Facebook video to remind them the state republican party is watching the budget. Harris is the chair of the House Republican Delegation. Republicans have insisted the actual deficit is closer to 700-million dollars. The Revenue Estimating Conference is expected to finalize a number in the coming weeks.

 

Legislation to prevent an abortion after 15 weeks of a pregnancy is waiting for debate in the Louisiana legislature. A federal judge has granted a temporary restraining order preventing a similar Mississippi law from going into effect. Shreveport Senator John Milkovich says he still plans on going through with his legislation.

 

A bill that increases the penalty for hazing by increasing fines and jail time goes before the House Criminal Justice Committee today. Three students responsible for the suspected hazing death of LSU student Maxwell Gruver were indicted last week and the maximum penalty they face is a 100 dollar fine and up to 30 days in jail. Lafayette Representative Nancy Landry says it’s not enough. A fourth person was indicted on negligent homicide.

 

Sports..

 

The LSUA Generals were one dunk away from winning the NAIA chanpionship last night. But, it just wasn’t meant to be.. Graceland defeated the Generals in overtime 83 to 80. Congratulations to the guys for an incredible season..

 

LSU and Tulane meet for the 314th time on the baseball diamond tonight as the Tigers host the Green Wave. Airtime 7pm on KSYL 970 AM / 100.3 HD3 FM

 

Tonight, it’s a makeup game for the Pelicans after being rained out by a leaky roof earlier in the year. The Pels host the Indiana Pacers. Airtime 6:30p on 94.7 ESPN.

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News for Tuesday 032018

By Dave Graichen

 

The Senate Finance committee will soon discuss legislation that would provide the families of teachers and school employees with 250-thousand dollars if they are killed while performing their duties at school. Families for first responders like fire and police officers are covered by a similar law.

 

A Senate Committee hears a constitutional amendment today from New Orleans Democrat J-P Morrell that will require a jury’s verdict in a felony trial to be unanimous for conviction. Louisiana and Oregon are the only states that allows for ten out of twelve jurors to agree on a guilty verdict.

 

Today marks the start of spring in Louisiana. Our winter produced two snow events and a warmer than usual February. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the La Nina effect will dictate our weather the next few months, as it pushes all the rain and colder temperatures to the north. A very rainy February left the Mississippi, Ouachita and Red rivers inundated. Keim says the record rainfall amounts will benefit many.

 

That new car in the neighbor’s driveway probably has you thinking that their tax return came in, but if you’ve filed and are getting worried about where your money is, the Department of Revenue wants to remind you not to worry, it’s on its way. Spokesperson Byron Henderson says even if you filed on day one, your return won’t technically be late until the end of this month. Those who filed a paper return could have to wait up to 14 weeks.

 

Marksville Representative Robert Johnson is the new House Democratic Caucus Chairman. The third-term legislator says his caucus has to look beyond short-term problems – including the massive budget deficit. Johnson says the key to a better Louisiana is a united House, one not separated by party lines. Johnson replaces Gene Reynolds who stepped down at the end of the latest special session.

 

Budget hearings continued Monday in the House. Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain expressed concern about not having enough money to fight wildfires across the state.

Strain says the most pressing issue is outdated equipment.

 

Shreveport-Bossier will play host to both this year’s Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants, with Miss USA confirmed for May 21st. It’ll be the first time both pageants have ever been held at the same location back to back, and Miss USA will air live on FOX at the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum.

 

A four-year-old girl on Monday did not get dropped off at her Baton Rouge elementary school as usual and instead spent all morning asleep on her school bus until she was discovered asleep under a tree in a nearby parking lot. The bus driver was fired, and an internal investigation is still ongoing.

 

Mississippi's governor signed a law Monday banning most abortions after 15 weeks' gestations, the tightest restrictions in the nation. House Bill 1510's only exceptions are if a fetus has health problems making it "incompatible with life" outside of the womb at full term, or if a pregnant woman's life or a "major bodily function" is threatened by pregnancy. Pregnancies resulting from rape and incest aren't exempted.

 

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s book about removal of four Confederate Monuments comes out today. It’s called “In the Shadows of Statues.” The outgoing mayor told WWL TV he never expected the statue controversy to be stirred up for so long and he said he’s not using the book as a launch towards a run for president.

 

A Ruston man has been arrested and charged with 7 counts of attempted second degree murder after allegedly plowing his truck into a crowd of people Saturday night.  Two people suffered minor injuries. 47-year-old Jason Rockett was arrested later that night.

 

Sports…

 

The LSUA Generals are heading to the NAIA Finals after the defeated William Penn last night 84 to 75. Tonight they’ll face the Graceland Yellow Jackets starting at 6:45.

 

It wasn't a happy night for LSU basketball coach Will Wade as his first season ended with a 95-71 loss at Utah in the second-round of the NIT. LSU finished the season 18-15.

 

Tonight, the New Orleans Pelicans face off against the Dallas Mavericks.  Airtime 6:30p on 94.7 ESPN

 

New Saints linebacker Demario Davis is thrilled with the opportunity to play for a winning organization. The Mississippi native says playing close to home was also a huge factor in his decision to ink a deal with the Black and Gold. He told reporters on a conference call that he plans to be an aggressive player.

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News for Monday 031918

By Dave Graichen

 

It is official, The Alexandria Downtown Post Office will cease operations at the end of May. The branch is located inside the federal courthouse on Murray Street. A spokesperson from the U.S. Postal Service says they have no plans to open another Post Office downtown. Instead, customers will be diverted to the main office, located on Odom St.

 

A report from America’s Health Ranking says the rates of maternal mortality and teen suicide have risen over the last two years in Louisiana, but the good news those numbers are expected to improve due to a big drop in the uninsured rate among women. United Health care Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Peters says we are one of the worst states when it comes to taking care of expecting mothers. The uninsured rate for women 18-40 was down 34 percent. Peters attributes this to the Medicaid expansion in 2016.

 

A bill that would prevent businesses from requiring employees to sign agreements blocking them from going to court over sexual harassment claims passed the House Labor Committee. The proposal by Representative Robert Johnson is part of a nationwide effort, Johnson says victims stand a better chance to reach a favorable conclusion if they seek litigation for sexual harassment claims instead of potentially more company friendly options. He says when human dignity is on the line, a judge needs to be called.

 

Only 46 percent of LSU Health New Orleans graduating medical students participating in the National Resident Match Program this year chose to remain in Louisiana. That is down from 49 percent staying in state last year and 64-percent in 2012. Dr. Steve Nelson says it’s a trend that could cost Louisiana some great doctors. National studies find a high number of physicians set up their permanent practices in areas where they complete their residency program. Nelson says a decline of 18 percent in the last five years is a concern and it’s up to the legislature to provide a stable source of funding for higher ed…

 

Louisiana is two million dollars short on its funding for voucher students this year. The money is appropriated every June, and covers the cost of state students to attend charter and private schools, instead of public schools. Department of Education spokesperson Sydni Dunn says if the legislature doesn’t come up with another two-million dollars to fill the shortfall for this academic year, schools that are educating voucher students would be on the hook to pay for their educational expenses.

 

Despite talk of budget cuts to public colleges and TOPS, a record 23-thousand students have applied for entry at LSU for the academic year that starts in August. The school’s chief enrollment officer, Jose Aviles, says they  hope for an incoming freshman class of 58-hundred, but TOPS funding is a factor.

 

Rodney Arbuckle has retired as sheriff of DeSoto Parish. Arbuckle says he’s looking forward to being around his granddaughters and spending time outdoors. Arbuckle has served as sheriff for 17 years. Chief Deputy Jayson Richardson has been appointed as the new sheriff.

 

Details of Tom Benson’s last will are coming out. According to the Advocate newspaper, Benson made it clear in 2015 that his daughter or grandchildren would never receive another penny from him. Mr. Benson has also left all of his property to a trust and he also made it clear that he wanted his wife, Gayle, to run both the Pelicans and the Saints. Visitation for Benson will take place Wednesday from 10 AM to 7 PM and Thursday 8 AM through 1 Pm at Notre Dame Seminary. A private funeral will take place Friday March 23rd, from noon until 1 PM at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.

 

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the family of Victor White against Iberia Sheriff Louis Ackal and a deputy. White was fatally shot when handcuffed inside a patrol car in 2014. The coroner ruled it a suicide, White’s family disagreed. Terms of the settlement are not known.

 

A federal appeals court rules construction can resume on the Bayou Bridge pipeline in the Atchafalaya Basin. Environmental groups were successful in getting a federal judge to issue a preliminary injunction. Rising water in the swamp could lead to another work stoppage.

 

Sports..

 

LSU faces Utah tonight in the second round of the NIT. The Utes are 20-11 on the season and Tigers Coach Will Wade says they are very good on the defensive end of the floor. LSU has lost seven straight road games. Wade says his young team is still trying to learn to win away from the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.  Here the game this evening on KSYL 970 AM & 100.3 HD3 FM

 

The LSUA Generals advanced into the FAB Four over the weekend in the NAIA tournament with decisive victories over Peru State College Friday and Georgetown College on Saturday. Tonight the Generals will face 4th Ranked William Penn University. Airtime 7:45 on 94.7 ESPN.

 

LSU freshman right-hander Ma’Khail Hilliard gave up his first two runs of the season in the first inning, but that was it, as Hilliard pitched a six solid innings to help the Fighting Tigers beat Missouri 7-5 in the rubber match of the three-game series. Coach Paul  Mainieri says it’s nice to take the series, but they have to play better to win on the road at Vanderbilt next weekend…

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News for Friday 031618

By Dave Graichen

 

Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson has passed away at the age of 90 from complications of the flu. Benson bought the Saints in 1985 after building a car dealership and real estate empire that started in San Antonio, and expanded to his hometown of New Orleans. When the team went up for sale in 1984, then governor Edwin Edwards says he had one priority: finding a buyer who would keep the team in town, and he found that man in Benson. Edwards considered Benson a friend, and the two worked together to make the team a staple of Louisiana culture.

 

A well known and loved teacher at Brame Middle School has died. Erin Smith taught eighth-grade science and coached cross country at Brame four years. The 33-year-old died Tuesday of apparent heart complications after collapsing during a run.

 

According to data released yesterday, Louisiana's debt load has continued its steady rise, hitting another record for how much the state owes for each resident and outpacing the national average. The latest debt report presented to the Bond Commission showed Louisiana carried a debt load of $1,558 for every man, woman and child in 2017. That’s  an increase of $19 per person from the prior year and a more than 30 percent rise from a decade ago.

 

The governor dropped by the Senate Labor Committee yesterday to testify on behalf of bills he says would help Louisiana families. He spoke for bills that would raise the minimum wage, mandate equal pay for women, and allow employees to openly discuss pay with other employees without retribution. The equal pay proposal would expand the Louisiana Equal Pay Act to private employers. The Governor says the gender pay gap in Louisiana, one of the widest in the country is a disgrace. The bill was passed 6-1

 

The committee also passed a minimum wage hike to 8.50 along party lines. Edwards says right now, 7.25 can barely buy you enough to eat.

 

The Louisiana survey from the LSU has found 50-percent of respondents believe the state is headed in the wrong direction, a 10-percent increase over last year. The poll of 850 residents also found 60-percent believe elected officials should work with other elected officials they disagree with for the better of the state.

 

Shreveport Senator John Milkovich’s legislation that would give teachers more freedom to decide how to handle bullies in public schools passed through the Senate Education Committee. Milkovich says it’s time to stand against schoolyard abusers. Milkovich says the bill was inspired by a meeting he had with two parents whose daughters had committed suicide. The Senator says the parents reported the bullying several times to the school, but after months, nothing had been done. Milkovich says his legislation would provide educators with new avenues for dealing with classroom abusers.

 

The man convicted in the road rage shooting death of former NFL player Joe McKnight was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday. 56-year-old Ronald Gasser was facing 40 years for his manslaughter conviction. Legal Analyst Tim Meche says the publicity around the case led to a longer sentence. Gasser shot and killed McKnight at a traffic light in Jefferson Parish in 2016.

 

An East Baton Rouge grand jury has indicted four young men in the alleged hazing death of Maxwell Gruver. Ten people were originally charged, but the grand jury declined to act on several of those. Matthew Naquin was indicted on negligent homicide and three others were indicted on a hazing charge.

 

Senator John Kennedy has co-sponsored the WOOFF act which stands for welfare of our furry friends act.  He’s aiming to curtail the deaths of animals on airlines like the one last Monday on a United flight. Kennedy says he expects to get some answers from the airline that was responsible for the dog’s death. But Lamar White, publisher of bayou brief says Kennedy is looking for some cheap publicity.

 

Sports..

 

On the air today…

 

LSUA  faces Peru State College today In the NAIA Tournament  in Kansas City 12 noon 94.7 ESPN

 

In baseball, LSU plays host to Missouri tonight in the 1st of a 3 game SEC series.  7:30p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm

 

Houston Astros vs NY Yankees 5:20p 94.7 ESPN (Spring Training)

 

Spicy comments were made in the postgame press conferences following LSU’s 84-76 win over UL Lafayette in the first round of the NIT. Tigers Coach Will Wade took exception to what Cajuns Coach Bob Marlin said before the game, Marlin says he stands by the comments he made on Monday when he said the Cajuns should have hosted the game, because they had the better season and had more wins.

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News for Thursday 031518

By Dave Graichen

 

Several Louisiana schools took part in a national walkout against gun violence at 10 AM yesterday. It lasted 17 minutes in honor of the 17 people killed in a south Florida school shooting a month ago. Here in Alexandria / Pineville, students came together as one in solidarity with victims and survivors of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, Holding assemblies and moments of silence.

 

The severe flu season in Louisiana has relented, as health officials report fewer cases, than in late December and January. Over one in ten doctor visits were flu related at one point. State Immunization Director Dr. Frank Welch says it’s now down to 3.5 percent. He credits an aggressive flu shot drive for the decrease. The CDC says the flu season can last as late as May. Welch says if you have so far avoided the flu, don’t count yourself out just yet.

 

A somber Tom Schedler spoke for the first time yesterday since allegations of Sexual harassment were brought against him. Schedler says since this suit is in litigation, he can’t comment on it now, but assures the public that the truth will eventually come out. Schedler has admitted to having a relationship with the victim, but insists he didn’t harass or stalk her. Governor John Bel Edwards and even some in his own party have asked Schedler to resign as Secretary of State immediately.

 

Public Service Commission staffer Hunter Coleman is being hailed as a hero, after he dove into cold water in  Shreveport to pull a motorist out of vehicle that crashed into a pond on Monday night. Four people, including three children, were saved, but the driver died at nearby hospital. Coleman says he doesn’t remember much, from the heroic effort. He also says several neighbors jumped in and helped as well..

 

US Senator John Kennedy is urging the pardon board not to grant a medical furlough today to convicted killer Clyde Giddens, who was convicted in the brutal murder of Urline Bamburg in Red River. Giddens was sentenced to life in prison in 1964 after pleading guilty. Kennedy says the crime is so grotesque that Giddens does not deserve a second chance. Giddens has a chance at freedom as part of the 2017 Louisiana criminal justice reform package that allows for inmates with “limited mobility” to apply for a medical furlough that would set them free if approved.

 

An Opelousas woman is in jail after allegedly killing her uncle because of his “constant chattering.”  St. Landry Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says 49-year-old Melissa Ann Credeur (Cra-ter) initially accused, John Ray Gautreaux, of raping her while she slept. Guidroz says he had some contact with her recently when she admitted to some mental issues, which he says may have led to this murder.

 

A Denham Springs man was arrested on 130 counts of possession and distribution of child pornography. 56-year-old Jesse Sloane was located by state police a couple of months ago after a video reported shared by Sloane involved juvenile porn. The case remains under investigation and more charges are pending.

 

Sports..

 

Now that Saints QB Drew Brees is sticking around, he has confirmed he was offered more money to play elsewhere. Brees says he wanted to make sure the team had the financial flexibility to build a roster capable of making the Super Bowl. Brees new two year deal is worth 50 million dollars with 27 million guaranteed the first year.

 

Yesterday was the first day of free agency in the NFL and the Saints were busy. The Black and Gold reportedly signed free agent linebacker Demario Davis to a three-year contract. The six year vet had 97 solo tackles and five sacks with the Jets last season.

 

In basketball, LSU advanced to the second round of the National Invitational Tournament yesterday with an 84 to 76 win over Louisiana Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns. The Tigers will face Utah UC Davis in Round Two..

 

In LSU Baseball, The Tigers Beat South Alabama Last Night 9 to 4. Friday they travel to Missouri for a three game SEC matchup.

 

For the third straight season, the LSUA men's basketball team will enjoy an extended stay in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship Tournament. They defeated Lewis & Clark yesterday 77 to 71. Up Next, Round 2 and a TBA team. You can hear the game Friday afternoon at 12:15 on 94.7 ESPN.

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News for Wednesday 031418

By Dave Graichen

 

Baton Rouge area Law enforcement are saddened over the death of a Zachary firefighter and reserve police officer Christopher Lawton, while on duty in an hit and run Monday night. Authorities have arrested two suspects who allegedly ran the 41 year old officer over in a Wal Mart parking lot in Baker.  Lawton was in the process of making an arrest when he was struck.

 

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne is warning lawmakers they can NOT cut their way to a balanced budget for next fiscal year. Dardenne testified in front of the House Appropriations Committee today and reiterated the governor’s call to wrap up the regular session in early May, so a special session can be called to raise revenue to close a large budget gap. House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry has expressed optimism they can pass a budget while making large cuts.

 

If the legislature decides to cut its way through the billion dollar budget gap, private health care providers warn the consequences would be dire. If the Department of Health sustains the kinds of cuts being discussed, public-private facilities would be on the chopping block. Our Lady of the Lake President Scott Wester says those cuts would mean the end of their partnership with the state, LSU, and LDH. Wester says that would end care for tens of thousands of patients with a variety of health issues. Wester says the cuts would also damage rural hospitals and nursing homes.

 

House and Senate committees will meet Wednesday to discuss legislation that would trigger a constitutional convention. Much of the interest is due to the state’s current law that restricts cuts to only higher ed and health care when faced with a budget deficit.

1974 was the last time Louisiana had a constitutional convention.

 

The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled that Type 2 charter schools are public schools and can continue to receive Minimum Foundation Program funds from the state.

There are 42 Type 2 charter schools in Louisiana. The ruling reverses a decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals that Type 2 charters do not meet the state constitution's definition of public schools. Louisiana Superintendent John White applauded the ruling.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards was in St. Joseph yesterday to unveil a new water plant. The small town in Tensas Parish had been under a perpetual public health emergency declaration because of brown colored tap water and without running water for more than a year. The project cost over 8-million dollars and it was funded by state and federal dollars.

 

A federal appeals court in New Orleans heard arguments Tuesday on whether construction should resume on the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in the Atchafalaya Basin. Environmental groups argue the project will result in irreversible environmental damage. The company says they have received blessing from the Corps of Engineers to construct the pipeline in the swamp.

 

Louisiana State Police say a 12-year-old shot and killed his seven-year-old brother in Lake Providence Monday. Trooper Michael Reichardt says the two youngsters were together when the shooting occurred. They are still investigating how the older juvenile got a hold of a weapon. Six children were at home at the time of the shooting while their mother was at work.

 

Authorities report 43-year-old Ricardo Diaz shot and killed 31-year-old Lydia Johnson in Walker, then led police on a chase to the Mississippi River Bridge where he jumped to his death. Both left behind seven children. Livingston Sheriff Jason Ard says sadly this case ended in tragedy even with a protective order in place.

 

Sports…

 

Quarterback Drew Brees has agreed to a reported 50-million-dollar, two-year-deal, with the Saints. Saints radio color analyst Deuce McAllister says in actuality it’s a one year deal as there’s a team option after the first year. Sources say Brees will receive 27-million dollars in guaranteed money.

 

The Ragin Cajuns basketball team seems ready for tonight’s 6 PM N-I-T match-up between UL-Lafayette and LSU. This will be the 47th meeting on the hardwood between the two south Louisiana schools, but it’s the first time they’ve played each other since 2009 hear the game this evening starting at 5:30 on KSYL 970 AM & 100.3 HD3 FM.

 

The 16th ranked LSU baseball team hosts South Alabama tonight in its final non-conference game before SEC play begins. LSU will begin conference play on Friday when they host Missouri.

 

The LSUA Generals are in the NAIA Tournament  in Kansas City. Today they’ll meet Lewis & Clark. You can hear the game starting at 10:45a on 94.7 ESPN

 

The New Orleans Pelicans are back in the winning was.. they defeated the Charlotte Hornets last night at the Nest by a score of 119 to 115. The Pelicans play next, Thursday night, in San Antonio against the Spurs..

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