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News for Friday 052518

By Dave Graichen

 

The State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating a fatality that occurred Thursday   morning at the Proctor and Gamble Plant in Pineville. Officials say an explosion involving a fork truck claimed the life of the driver and injured 6 other people. The man killed in the accident has been identified as 56 year old Allen Kendrick of Jena.  It's the first fatal accident in the plant's 49-year history.

 

There’s now a 70-percent chance over the next 24 to 48 hours we can see our first tropical system of the year. Invest 90L, the low-pressure system in the west Caribbean,  is starting to get a narrower prediction track, and more confidence that it will grow into a tropical depression or storm. State Climatologist Barry Keim says nasty weather could start to pop up nearby as early as Saturday, but Keim says they expect the system to really hit starting next week.

 

NOAA says their forecast for the upcoming hurricane season calls for a near-normal or above normal hurricane season and that means anywhere between 10 and 16 named storms. The federal government’s lead forecaster, Doctor Gerry Bell, says the severity of Atlantic hurricane seasons have been increasing since 1995.

 

Amidst increased Memorial Day weekend travel, Louisiana Troopers are partnering with Mississippi Highway Patrol in a new highway safety initiative called “Line to Line.” Trooper Dustin Dwight says more troopers on the road will hopefully reduce the number of crashes and help respond time. Trooper Dwight says the goal of the program is to keep motorists safe during increased travel times.

 

House GOP Caucus Chairman Lance Harris’s tax bill passed House Ways and Means and is on it’s way to the floor. The proposal would retain one third of the expiring penny sales tax, as well as a few other sales tax breaks, and cut government spending by 126 million dollars.  Harris’s legislation would raise 366 million dollars in revenue.

 

Harris says the proposal does not fill the 648 million dollar budget gap that has brought legislators into the second special session of the year. The Alexandria Republican says it’s time to start cutting government spending.

 

House Republicans voted down the administration’s favored plan, New Iberia representative Terry Landry’s tax bill, would have raised 543 million dollars. The special session ends June 4th.

 

The state Board of Regents has approved a license for a new medical school on the ULM campus. President Nick Bruno says its great news for northeast Louisiana and the entire state, because there’s a projected 19-percent shortfall in the number of physicians needed in the coming years.

 

An America’s Health Rankings has Louisiana ranked dead last in the nation for the quality of senior’s health. The report detailed the particularly perilous situation that many of Louisiana’s rural seniors find themselves in, relative to urban based elderly. Dr. Rhonda Randall with the United Health Foundation says after identifying two major problem areas, social isolation and obesity, she hopes the report can spur people into action. In the six years the report has been released, Louisiana has never ranked higher than 47th.

 

Red Snapper season is now underway, with a two fish bag limit and 16 inch catch minimum in place for anglers looking to head out on the waters. This season should be even more convenient than past years, as federal waters have been ceded to the state. The season will run seven days a week until 743,000 pounds are harvested.

 

In LSU Baseball, The Tigers beat South Carolina last night to advance in the SEC tournament. They will play next this evening around 6p, the looser of the Arkansas / Florida game, which will take place earlier in the day.

 

The Boston Celtics could wrap up the NBA eastern Conference finals tonight with a win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Gametime 6 pm on 94.7 ESPN

 

Last Night, it was the Houston Rockets coming alive and taking a 3 game to 2 advantage in the NBA West Finals. That series could be decided tomorrow night.   

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News for Thursday 052418

By Dave Graichen

 

The House Ways and Means committee held its first hearing of the special session and it became more of a gripe session. Republicans on the panel criticized the Edwards administration for vetoing a budget in the regular session, and expressed concerns about raising revenues, instead of finding savings. Democrats are also frustrated.

The state is facing a 648 million dollar shortfall that could lead to mass reductions in healthcare services, higher education funding, and TOPS.

 

As a way to generate revenue, the Edwards administration is also proposing the elimination of certain tax breaks enjoyed by specific industries and businesses.

 

Reports indicate that a consensus may be growing on plugging a portion of the budget shortfall by renewing half of the one penny sales tax that is set to expire. Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says the Edwards administration is not asking for an overall increase in taxes, because renewing just some of the expiring revenue would still be a tax cut relative to last year…

 

A Marshall Project report shows Louisiana saw its largest drop in prison population in a decade between 2016 and 2017. State Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc says  the good news is, a declining incarceration rate has not led to an increased crime rate in Louisiana. LeBlanc says it’s a testament to recent criminal justice reforms.

 

A big win for the Big Easy as the city has been awarded the 2024 Super Bowl. New Orleans officials say the last Super Bowl, in 2013, had a 480 million dollar economic impact, and Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President Jay Cicero confirmed that the city and state had to provide an economic incentive package to seal the deal.

 

Despite higher gas prices, AAA estimates nearly 42-million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend. That’s a five-percent increase from last year and the highest number of travelers in more than a dozen years. AAA Spokesman Don Redman says about 37-million travelers will hit the road…

 

LSU’s only Heisman winner, running back Billy Cannon, was laid to rest Wednesday, surrounded by friends, family, and fans. Several people spoke and gave their best memories of one of the greatest athletes in Bayou State history. Angola Warden Darrel Vannoy says after news got out that Cannon had died, the inmates took up a collection for his casket.

 

The state will hold a sales tax holiday this Saturday and Sunday for storm supplies to help folks get a jump start on their hurricane preparedness. State taxes will be reduced from the usual 5 percent to 3 percent. Department of Revenue Spokesman Byron Henderson says it’s a great opportunity to pick up some essentials.

 

On the air today..

IN LSU Baseball, the Tigers lost the 2ns round of the SEC to Florida 3 to 4. This afternoon, the Tigers meet 24th ranked South Carolina Airtime 1:30. KSYL 970 AM /100.3 HD3 FM

 

NBA Western Conference Finals Game 5  Golden State @ Houston 7p 94.7 ESPN Series tied at 2

 

The Boston Celtics Stomped the Cleveland Cavaliers last night 96 to 83 In game 5 of the eastern conference series. The Celtics could win the division Tomorrow night.

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News for Wednesday 052318

By Dave Graichen

 

The Pineville PD has released the name of the man who shot at one of their police officers Monday as 25-year-old resident Cedric Prevot of Alexandria. Prevot was pulled over on Hunter Street Monday before noon. Pineville PD say he then fired at the officer multiple times, without striking him, before leading police on a short chase. The chase ended when Prevot took his own life. No other information has been released due to the fact it is an ongoing investigation.

 

I-49 was closed for several hours yesterday after an 18 wheeler tanker truck overturned on the interstate near Cheneyville close to 3 in the morning. State Police, D.E.Q. and Hazmat were on the scene as the trucks load was offloaded to another tanker. Authorities say the driver of the 18 wheeler had moderate injuries and was sent to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

 

Authorities in Avoyelles Parish are on the lookout for three black males who were allegedly involved in a Monday night shooting on MLK drive in Marksville. A fifteen-year-old was hit during the gunfire and was brought to the hospital for treatment. The suspects, at last check, are still at large.

 

For the second time this year, the Monroe Police Department lost an officer while on duty. Twenty-six-year-old Ayrian Williams died Monday night in a car crash while responding to a call. Williams joined Monroe P-D last November after graduating from LSU and then serving as a Southern University Police officer. She was a native of New Orleans.

 

Gov. John Bel Edwards and CGI executive Dave Henderson announced the company will launch a significant expansion of its Lafayette IT Center of Excellence and create 400 new direct jobs, with CGI employment rising to 800 over the coming years. The jobs will be at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Research Park, and at a second Lafayette Parish site to be determined. Statewide, CGI’s employment will reach 900.

 

Another special legislative session is underway and lawmakers can now replace one-point-four-billion dollars in sales taxes that are set to expire June 30th. Those expiring sales taxes are at the heart of the impending fiscal cliff that threatens to wreck healthcare and higher ed. The session is set to run until June 4th. Another session could be called to give lawmakers time to fill the 648 million dollar budget gap.

 

The special session comes to an end June 4th, but there are already concerns whether two weeks is enough time to pass a budget and revenue raising measures in two weeks.

 

If you are heading to beach this Memorial Day weekend, you might want to keep an eye on the Gulf as forecasters are predicting a tropical weather system could impact the Gulf coast this weekend, anywhere from Louisiana to Florida. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring a tropical disturbance in the Caribbean.  Forecasters give the system a medium chance of developing into at least a tropical storm when it reaches the Gulf of Mexico later this week.

 

Vacation once held the luxury of being offline, but more workers are admitting they cannot stop checking into the office. A recent study by staffing firm Accountemps reports that 56-percent of vacationing workers check in with the office. Spokesperson Carrie Lewis says vacations are vital for successful employees, but disconnecting can be more stressful. There are different recipes for everyone, so Lewis advises we set our own limits.

 

A pilot study from LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center has shown there are noticeable, positive drop in blood pressure and blood sugar when restricting your eating to early in the day. The study had participants restrict eating to 6 hours a day, starting in the morning. The study however did not focus on how fasting effected individuals weight loss.

 

In LSU Baseball, The Tigers posted an 8-5 win over Mississippi State in the opening round of the SEC Tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The tigers advanced to play Florida at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon. Airtime 4p  on KSYL 970 / 100.3 HD3

 

On the air today..

Houston Astros vs San Francisco 12:35p 94.7 ESPN

 

SEC Baseball Tournament (If LSU Wins Tuesday)

LSU vs Florida 4p KSYL 970 / 100.3 HD3

 

The NBA Finals are back at square one as both series are tied at 2 game each. Last night the Houston Rockets beet The Golden State Warriors 95 to 92. Tonight, It’s the

NBA Eastern Confrence Finals Game 5 Cleveland @ Boston 6:30p 94.7 ESPN

 

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News for Tuesday 052218

By Dave Graichen

 

No identity has been released yet by Pineville PD on a person who shot multiple times at one of their officers Monday morning. The man then led the officer on a short chase. It all ended when the suspect apparently killed himself. The officer had pulled the  vehicle over on Hunter Street shortly before noon. It was then the suspect fired at the officer multiple times, but the officer was not struck.

 

Pineville PD report that woman lost control of her SUV after she hit the back of a pickup truck yesterday morning on Highway 165. Police say she was thrown from the vehicle while her child passenger sustained minor injuries. Both were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Their condition is unknown at this time.

 

The special session kicks off today, giving legislators two weeks to come to an agreement on how to handle a 648 million dollar budget shortfall that threatens to potentially devastate healthcare and higher education. A special session in February failed, and legislative attempts to craft a budget with 648 million in cuts were vetoed.

The budget gap, known as the “fiscal cliff” is the result of sales taxes that are set to expire July 1st.

 

A New Miss USA was crowned last night in Shreveport. She is Miss Nebraska, Sarah Rose Summers. Miss North Carolina and Miss Nevada rounded out the top 3.

 

The National Hurricane Center is watching a tropical disturbance that’s expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico this week. Forecasters only give the system a 20-percent chance of developing into a depression over the next five days. Danielle Manning in the National Weather Service office in Slidell says it’s still hard to figure out the track with this low pressure.

 

Louisiana educators are considering a statewide walk-out according to the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. Fifty three percent of educators said low teacher salaries was their top concern in a survey released by the group today. The survey of just over 3 thousand, 8 hundred federation members was not scientific, however, within the survey 61 percent support a statewide strike.

 

US Representative Clay Higgins’ bill that would require the US to collect information on how many school resource officers are in place in schools passed the House and is on its way to the Senate. The bill is one of two pieces of legislation aimed at improving school safety, the other being an attempt to establish national standards and best practices for responding to school shootings.

 

Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval’s distracted driving bill found a surprising amount of success, but ultimately failed to cross the finish line. The bill would bar drivers from touching their phone while on the road. Huval says the surprising momentum the legislation gained indicates a growing interest in safer roads.

Huval said he intends to reintroduce the bill next year.

 

New Orleans is the only city that has been invited to bid for the 2024 Super Bowl, potentially setting the stage for the Big Easy’s 11th time hosting the big game. Saints Owner Gayle Benson will pitch NFL executives on hosting Super Bowl 58 on Wednesday. Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President Jay Cicero says unlike past years, there’s no competing bids. New Orleans’s last Super Bowl was in 2013, where the power went out and the Ravens won.

 

Iberia Bank, the largest financial company based in Louisiana, is shuttering 22 branch locations this year in the state, and 296 locations across the Southeast. Iberia recently acquired Gibraltar Bank and Trust for 223 million dollars, leading to further closures and the laying off of 124 Gibraltar employees.

 

Overnight facilities at two Louisiana State Parks are reopening after they were damaged by the 2016 floods. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser announced that portions of the Lake Fausse Pointe State Park near St. Martinville opened Monday and newly renovated cabins at Chemin-A-Haut (Sha mana hall ) State Park near Bastrop will open Friday. Along with park restorations, Nungesser says his office is focusing on partnerships to improve the parks and bring back lost revenue from the floods.

 

Sports..

 

Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry reiterated they would like to see All-Star DeMarcus Cousins return to the team. Cousins is an unrestricted free agent and said last week he’s open to signing with New Orleans after July 1st, but hasn’t heard from the Pelicans front office in a while. Gentry spoke with reporters at the Saints Hall of Fame Celebrity Golf Classic.

 

The LSU baseball team’s season could be on the line today versus  Mississippi State in a single-elimination game at the SEC Tournament. The Tigers are on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament and a loss to a Bulldogs could burst their bubble. Coach Paul Mainieri will start left-hander Nick Bush on the mound. Airtime 4p KSYL 970 / 100.3 HD3

 

Tonight it’s the NBA Western Conference Finals Game 4 Houston & Golden State. The Warriors lead the series 2 games to 1. Airtime 7p 94.7 ESPN

 

Last night in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals It Was Cleveland over Boston 111 to 102 that series now tied at 2. They’ll play again tomorrow night.

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News for Monday 052118

By Dave Graichen

 

Latest job numbers show that more Louisiana residents are employed than ever before. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, just over two-million people were employed last month, an increase of 47-thousand from the previous April.  Executive Director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Ava Dejoie, says certain sectors of Louisiana’s economy continue to do well. The state’s unemployment rate fell nearly one-percent from April of 2017 to April 2018. Monroe was the only metro area to report a loss in jobs over the last month.

 

The regular session ended Friday evening with a special session set to start tomorrow. One notable piece of legislation to pass, is a bill that allows riverboats to expand on land. The “Hail Mary” of the session, New Orleans Senator JP Morrell’s unanimous juries constitutional amendment, found surprising success and is on its way to the November ballot. Wage related bills, such as equal pay for women, pay secrecy, and a minimum wage hike all failed to pass the legislature.

 

Shortly after the end of regular session Friday night, Governor John Bel Edwards announced he’s vetoed the budget approved by lawmakers, because of the cuts across state government in funding. So lawmakers will return for a special session tomorrow. They’ll be asked to raise at least 648-million dollars in revenue to make up for the loss in one-point-four billion dollars in temporary taxes that expire on June 30th.

 

As the regular legislative session ended Friday, Lawmakers failed to pass legislation that would extend the state’s operating license for Harrah’s New Orleans casino. Legislators were concerned over whether the state was getting a fair deal. A bill to restrict cell phone use while driving also failed to legislative approval.

 

Today is the funeral service for former First Lady Elaine Edwards, the onetime US Senator, actress, seamstress, and wife of Edwin Edwards. Elaine married Edwin in 1949, remaining married for 40 years, and three terms of her husband’s governorship.

 

The latest school shooting, this time at Santa Fe High School in Texas, has reignited the conversation around gun regulations. In response to the Parkland massacre, several bills were introduced in Louisiana that targeted firearms, but all were struck down. New Orleans Senator Troy Carter introduced three gun control bills. He says despite a lack of support in the capital this year, he’ll be reintroducing them next year.

 

The Miss USA finals are tonight in Shreveport. It’s an event that not only brings glamour to northwest Louisiana, but the pageant is also expected to produce a five-million-dollar economic impact. Fox Television will broadcast the pageant at 7 PM. It’s expected it will be seen in 60 countries.

 

The on-line restaurant delivery service Waitr, which is based in Lake Charles, has been sold to a Texas Billionaire, Tilman Fertitta, in a deal worth 308 million dollars. Waitr was founded in 2015 and has grown to 30 metro areas from Texas to South Carolina. Chris Meaux the company’s founder will continue as chairman of the board of directors. Meaux says the added infusion of cash will help the company grow.

 

The founder of the Cajun Navy 2016, Jon Bridgers of Walker, has been arrested on contractor fraud accusations. His lawyer Philip House says Bridgers insists it’s a contractual dispute wrought with miscommunication with a homeowner, who is rebuilding following the August flood of 2016…

 

Summertime is the most active season for door-to-door sales, and State Fire Marshal Butch Browning reminds everyone to be wary of home security sales fraud. The Better Business Bureau Southwest reports home security installation and sales ranks among one of the most problematic and reported industries in the country. Browning says report any suspicious sales activity.

 

Sports…

 

LSU has confirmed one of the true giants of the LSU universe has passed away. Billy Cannon, the only LSU player to ever win the Heisman Trophy, died peacefully at his family home on Sunday morning at the age of 80.

 

Ohio State graduate transfer quarterback Joe Burrow has announced he’s LSU bound. Burrow who visited the campus recently made his decision on Friday and he’ll compete with three other quarterbacks to be the starter this fall.

 

On air today..

 

NBA Eastern Confrence Finals Game 4 Boston @ Cleveland 6:30p 94.7 ESPN Boston leads the series 2 games to 1

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News for Friday 051818

By Dave Graichen

 

The new Love’s Travel Stop near Boyce is now officially open. The store is located off Interstate 49 at Rapides Station Road. It includes more than 10,000 square feet and an Arby's restaurant and will employ approximately 50 people. The store will be open 24 hours a day and will offer food and other convenience store options, as well as amenities geared toward professional truck drivers.

 

State Police report  24 year old Timmy Boone of Elmer was killed early Thursday morning when he lost control of his truck on Twin Bridges Road. Troopers say Boone  ran off the road hitting several trees. Boone was not wearing a seat belt. He died at the scene.

 

An annual audit of the Alexandria city marshal's office found former Marshal Terence Grines allegedly paid himself a supplement to buy clothing and took more than $1,000 from office funds. The Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office is reviewing the audit's findings. Grines resigned as marshal last year after his arrest following a multi-jurisdictional investigation that revealed he was selling opiates.

 

Authorities in Ferriday report a woman who was assaulted at a car wash last week has died from her injuries. The May 9 attack of Teresa Poole was captured on security video. That video led to the arrest of a suspect, who has been charged.

 

The House approved Senate changes to the budget, that fully funds healthcare, but slashes higher ed, funding for state agencies, and cuts TOPS by 30 percent. the Democratic Caucus opposed the passage of the budget, calling the cuts included immoral. They argued the legislature should wait until the special session, where revenue could be raised to fill the 648 million dollar budget gap.

 

Three anti-hazing bills are on their way to the governor’s desk following last fall’s death of LSU freshman Max Gruver. The house voted 88 to 1 in favor of final passage of house bill 78 otherwise known as the Max Gruver Act. East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore testified in favor of the measure to give the current laws more teeth. Moore says a companion bill to force mandatory education for university fraternities and sororities should help  stop dangerous hazing.

 

If you are traveling east on Interstate 10 this weekend and crossing the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, be prepared for some roadwork and some long delays. The Department of Transportation will close the eastbound inside lane at seven o’clock tonight until noon on Sunday. The westbound inside lane will also be closed for part of the weekend.  DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett says the 50 year old plus bridge is in dire need of replacing some on-ramp concrete.

 

A new jet airplane interior modification plant is coming to Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles. Citadel Completions announced the company will make a nearly 180-million dollar investment in a plant that will customize Jet airplanes of any size. The average salary will be around 80 thousand dollars a year. Citadel is already hiring as they plan to employ 250 workers.

 

The Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services kicked off a new Foster Parent Recruitment Campaign as part of Foster Care Month, an annual push to increase awareness of the importance of the foster care system. Child Welfare Manager Christy Tate says 7,868 children were a part of DCFS’s foster care program last year, with only 2,250 certified foster homes available. Tate says they need more eligible families to participate.

 

On Air Today..

Houston Astros vs Cleveland Indians 6:35p 94.7 ESPN

LSU Baseball @ Auburn 6:30p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm

 

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News for Thursday 051718

By Dave Graichen

 

Agents with the LDWF report the recovery of a body Wednesday found floating in Bayou Pierre near the border of Natchitoches-Red River parishes.  Officials hope an autopsy will identify the body and determine the cause of death. It is believed to be the body of a female.

 

State education officials say since 2012, there has been a 15-percent increase in the number of high school graduates entering college each fall. Department of Education spokesperson Sydni Dunn says high school programs geared toward college credits have helped the numbers grow. A record 23,500 public high school students from the Class of 2017 enrolled in college last fall.

 

Two republican legislators admit they were involved in a fist fight early Thursday  morning at a downtown Baton Rouge bar. Lafayette Representative Stuart Bishop and Houma Senator Norby Chabert apologized to their colleagues.  Chabert is reportedly upset with Bishop for blocking his legislation in the House Natural Resources Committee.  Chabert told the USA Today Network that he loves Stuart like a brother and sometimes brothers fight.

 

The House has gutted a Senate bill that would have allowed teachers to participate in student-initiated prayers during school hours. Shreveport Representative Alan Seabugh says the legislation by Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti would have prompt lawsuits. The bill heads back to the Senate.

 

Heading to the governor’s desk is legislation that would allow students to bring bulletproof backpacks into public schools. Baton Rouge Representative Patricia Smith voted against the legislation, because of concerns that students in poorer areas would be unable to afford the same protection allowed to students in more affluent school systems. Bulletproofing a backpack can cost anywhere from 50 to 400-dollars.

 

A recent US Supreme Court decision allows gambling to happen in all 50 states. Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones anticipates one day state legislators will pass legislation, so that it can be regulated in Louisiana. Jones believes believes legalizing sports betting in Louisiana will cut back on the black market that exists around sports wagers.

 

Kenner Representative Julie Stokes announced she’s running for Secretary of State. Stokes was also a candidate in last year’s State Treasurer’s Race, but backed out after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards held his monthly talk show yesterday, where he touched on a series of legislative topics. Edwards took the opportunity to reiterate his support for the 15 week abortion ban, a rarity for a prominent Democratic official. The Governor praised efforts in the Legislature to improve a bill to renew Harrah’s contract, after the initial version came under heavy fire from statewide political officials. Governor Edwards’ signature will not be needed on a constitutional amendment requiring unanimous verdicts in felony trials, as the decision for final passage will be left up to the voters in November. Edwards says he hopes the people will put the item into law.

 

The Senate agreed to a bill that would renew Harrah’s contract with the state for twenty more years, contribute 20 million dollars a year to state coffers, build a 350 million dollar hotel, and provide a lump sum payment of tens of millions upfront. New Orleans Senator Karen Carter Peterson says if Harrah’s agrees, it’d be a huge investment in the state.

 

Sports..

 

LSU baseball wraps up the regular season with a three game series that starts tonight against Auburn. The Tigers are 14-13 in the SEC and it’s believed LSU has to finish with at least a .500 record in league play in order to receive an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. But LSU is 3-and-13 away from home this season. Airtime 6:30 on KSYL 970 / 100.3 HD3.

 

The NBA Western Conference Final is tied at 1 all since Houston Defeated Golden State last night 127 to 106 Game three of that series will be Sunday evening.

 

Boston has a 2 to 0 lead in the Eastern Conference Final. They play next Saturday Night.

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News for Wednesday 051618

By Dave Graichen

 

The RPSO reports a suspect who was being perused in a car reported taken without the owner’s permission committed suicide Tuesday. The unidentified suspect would not stop for deputies, and a chase began. It continued onto La. Highway 112, then to La. Highway 121 where spike strips were put down. Deputies say upon approaching the vehicle, a single shot was heard. It was then Deputies found the suspect dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound . An investigation is ongoing.

 

The Governor’s administration and GOP legislators continue to exchange barbs over the decision to mail program cancellation warnings to 37,000 Medicaid patients. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne pushed back, arguing that the feds require Medicaid recipients to be informed of program cancellations ahead of time. Dardenne says with a real threat from House lawmakers to cut these programs, it would have been wrong to wait any longer. A special session that could replace the expiring revenue at the heart of these budget cuts is set to be called next Tuesday.

 

The Senate approved a 28-billion dollar spending plan for next fiscal year that Governor John Bel Edwards has no plans of endorsing, because it reduces money for public colleges, eliminates the food stamp program, and allocates fewer dollars for child welfare and TOPS. It’s hoped the hole in the budget can be filled later this month in a special legislative session.

 

Public School teachers are digging into their own purses and wallets when it comes to paying for school supplies for their students. A new survey released says teachers are spending about 250 dollars a year on notebooks, pens, and other supplies without reimbursement. The study also found that teachers in high-poverty schools were more likely to spend personal money on school supplies. Teachers who spend their own money for supplies are able to take a $250 federal tax deduction.

 

A recent 5-cent rise in gas prices puts the state average at $2.59 a gallon.  AAA fuel analyst, Don Redman, says multiple factors are all conspiring against the consumer. Redman says recent withdrawal from the Iran deal has negatively affected the market.  Redman says in addition to increased sanctions, increased energy demands will affect national and global prices. Redman has some good news though, he does not project that Louisiana will reach 3-dollars a gallon during the summer.

 

The House passed a 15 week abortion ban bill with amendments on a 78-9 vote, clearing one of the last hurdles before it arrives on the Governor’s desk for his likely approval. The Senate has already approved one version of the legislation. Denham Springs Representative Valerie Hodges says the legislation’s enactment is contingent on the results of a legal challenge to a similar bill in Mississippi. The bill heads back to the Senate.

 

A bill that would allow riverboat casinos to come up out of the water passed is heading to the governor’s desk. The legislation would “modernize” riverboat casino regulations, allowing them to expand onto land near where they are berthed, and it changes the rules on gambling space. The vote was 54-41

 

It was called the “Hail Mary” bill when Senator J.P. Morrell filed it in March, but unanimous jury verdicts are a public vote from becoming reality in Louisiana. The mood shifted rapidly once the legislation was taken up, gathering major support from liberal groups, and neutral opinions from D-As. Louisiana is just one of two states that do not require unanimous verdicts. Voters will get to decide in November.

 

One of Angola’s most restrictive housing units, Camp J, has been closed due to the facilities crumbling infrastructure. The cells at Camp J were used to house inmates in solitary for 23 hours a day. Department of Corrections Secretary James LeBlanc says the camp was no longer safe for use. Camp J housed 400 inmates at its peak.

 

On The Air…

Last night in the NBA eastern finals the Boston Celtics Beat The Cleveland Cavs 107 / 94 to take a 2 game lead in the series. Game three is Saturday evening..

 

NBA Western Conference Finals Game 2  Golden State @ Houston 7p 94.7 ESPN. Golden State won game one of the series.

 

LSU defeated Northwestern State, 9-5 last night, in the final home regular season game of the season!

 

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News for Tuesday 051518

By Dave Graichen

 

Former Gov. Edwin Edwards' first wife, Elaine Edwards, has died. She was married to Edwards during all three of his terms as governor. Edwin Edwards' biographer, Leo Honeycutt, confirms that Elaine Edwards died of respiratory problems Monday morning at the home of daughter Victoria Edwards in Denham Springs. He says she had been in failing health for the last couple of years. Elaine Edwards is survived by their four children. She was 89.

 

A House bill that allows some convicted felons while serving probation and parole to get their voting privileges back cleared the Senate and Governmental Affairs committee Monday. The bill restores voting rights five years after he or she is released from prison.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards has called for a special session to begin on May 22nd. The current regular session is set to end on Friday and then legislators will return to Baton Rouge a few days later for a special session to address the fiscal cliff. Because of expiring sales taxes, legislators are unable to fully fund health care, public colleges and TOPS. Edwards is hoping the legislature adopts his revenue plan that would keep a portion of an expiring penny sales tax, while eliminating sales tax exemptions for certain industries. The special session must conclude June 4th.

 

The US Supreme Court has ruled that states outside of Nevada are now allowed to permit sports gambling. Neighboring states such as Arkansas and Mississippi approved legislation that would allow the gaming to take place, but Louisiana denied legislation that would have put the issue up for voters this fall. Its estimated that the new, unrestricted, sports gaming industry will be worth 7.1 billion dollars a year.

 

A constitutional amendment requiring a unanimous jury conviction for all criminal trials passed the House to applause on an 82-15 vote. The amendment would bring the state in line with 48 other state’s conviction requirements. The item heads to the ballot, and will need 50 percent plus one vote of the popular vote to go into effect.

 

A bill that would renew the state’s contract with Harrah’s New Orleans Casino passed a Senate Committee on a 4-3 vote. The legislation, which was heavily amended, is a 20 year contract with a ten year renewal option. Caesar’s Entertainment, who owns Harrah’s, sent their regional president Dan Real to argue for the contract renewal. Real argued that the tens of millions of dollars the casino has agreed to pay to the state, and large number of employees they employ would be irreplaceable.

 

Louisiana’s deadline for filing your state taxes is today. Those who do not file in time will be subject to a 5% of tax due penalty for each 30 days of delinquency. As of May 12, 2018, LDR has distributed  1,145,124  state individual income tax refunds.

 

The Webster Parish School District has settled a lawsuit with the ACLU that alleged that they created a coercive environment that subjected students to school sponsored Christian religious activities. ACLU Staff Attorney Bruce Hamilton says they received complaints from a Webster Parish student’s family that the activities had been ongoing for some time. The school has argued that the religious ceremonies were student initiated and led.

 

A gas leak in St. Mary Parish sent residents and officials scrambling Monday morning. The leak forced the closures of two schools, amidst a frantic effort by firefighters, police and ambulance personnel to evacuate everyone from the area. Initial investigations indicate the incident occurred in the Baldwin area after a tractor hit a natural gas valve. Officials have given the all clear to return.

 

Authorities say a Sorrento man was killed when his Dad wrecked a boat they were in Saturday night on the Amite River. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesperson Adam Einck says 53-year-old Patrick White was operating a 20-foot aluminum vessel when it slammed into a river wall. The impact killed 27-year-old Caleb White. Patrick White has is facing numerous charges, including vehicular homicide.

 

On Air …

 

Last night it was the Golden State Warriors over The Houston Rockets  119 /106 in game 1  of the Western Conference Finals..  

 

Tonight, we move east.. NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 2  Cleveland is at  Boston. The Celtics took the first game of the series.. Tonight’s coverage begins at  6:30p  94.7 ESPN

 

LSU Baseball vs Northwestern 7p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm

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News for Monday 051418

By Dave Graichen

 

Senate Finance approved a budget that cuts nearly 25 percent in funding from most state agencies, but restores much of the funding to healthcare, specifically public-private partnership hospitals, that was lacking in a House backed spending plan. Chairman Eric Lafluer says the committee is well aware that the state cannot operate at these funding levels, and the budget is just a showcase of how impossible 648 million dollars of cuts would be.

 

There are indications from both the Governor and legislative leaders that this will be the final week of the regular session. The chambers have 120 hours to come to a resolution on gaming issues, unanimous juries, a 15 week abortion ban, and possibly a budget.

 

Louisiana residents who want to engage in fantasy sports playing is one signature away from it. The Senate cleared a bill that gives voters in each parish the right to decide if they wish to move forward on fantasy sports playing.

 

A constitutional amendment requiring unanimous jury verdicts in all felony trials is scheduled for a vote in the House today. Louisiana is one of two states that does not require unanimous jury decisions. Legal analyst Tim Meche says Louisiana’s outlier verdict system influences DAs to charge suspects with crimes that have longer sentences, just to have a better chance at conviction. The amendment would have to survive a popular vote before being put into law.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards endorsed a state-wide anti-cancer initiative called “Taking aim at Cancer in Louisiana.” The goal is to improve early detection, improving patient care and treatment, an ultimately improve patient out-comes. The United Health Foundation has provided 500-thousand in grant money to the Louisiana Cancer Research Center to develop a strategy to improve care.

 

Students Graduating from LSU Friday were treated to a commencement speech by Alumnus U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise. Scalise spoke for about 45 minutes in front of 4000 graduating students. He spoke extensively about his journey following a nearly fatal shooting on a baseball diamond in Washington D.C. and the support he received from the University during his recovery. He says he will forever be indebted to those who helped him during his rehabilitation. Scalise is also scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the LSU law school graduation in June.

 

A Senate Committee will review a controversial bill that would renew Harrah’s Casino’s contract for another 30 years. The bill has received opposition from statewide leaders like Senator John Kennedy who say Louisiana should hold out for a better deal, and legislators concerned about a provision that would cut the capital out of future negotiations. Political Analyst Clancy DuBos says he doesn’t see the bill passing in its current form, unless Harrahs is willing to put up more on its end of the bargain.

 

Sports..

 

Tonight, It's game one of the NBA Western Conference Finals with The Golden State Warriors @ The Houston Rockets. Game time 7p 94.7 ESPN

 

Yesterday in game one of the of the Eastern Conference Finals, it was The Boston Celtics in charge as they defeated The Cleveland Cavaliers 108 to 83. Game two of that series tomorrow night.

 

Saints Coach Sean Payton says as of right now, they do not plan on signing a veteran running back with Mark Ingram set to miss the first four games because of violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances. But Payton says they will not close the door on possibly bringing back future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson.. Payton says they have guys on their roster that can fill the void of Ingram’s absence.

 

LSU got a much needed 7-3 victory on Sunday to keep hope alive they can make the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers are now 14-13 in the SEC heading into the final SEC series at Auburn. The coach says a series victory against Auburn should be enough to receive an at-large bid.

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News for Friday 051118

By Dave Graichen

 

Governor John Bel Edwards punched back against lawmakers who criticized his decision to mail nursing home eviction warnings resulting from a potential Medicaid cut, and who are stalling on approving the 648 million dollars in revenue needed to fund healthcare and TOPS. Edwards says he supports renewing a portion of the expiring penny sales tax to close the budget gap.

 

Two Louisianans have put together a petition that’s gathered nearly 13,000 signatures asking to state not to remove the 37,000 Medicaid recipients from the program in light of letters sent out warning that budget cuts could eliminate their programs. One of the petition’s creators, social worker Andrea Centofanti says the letters are a blow to people who already have a lot to deal with. Centofanti says even the potential for a loss of coverage reflects very poorly on the state.

 

Louisiana’s four-year high school graduation rate has reached an all-time high of 78-percent. The rate has increased 11-percent over the last decade, but Superintendent of Education John White warns the percentage could drop next year, because of tougher academic requirements. The national high school graduation rate was 84-percent for the class of 2016.

 

52 percent of the high school class of 2017 qualified for TOPS this year, a nearly 1,000 student increase over the class of 2016.  Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White says TOPS needs to be maintained, even with its large price tag.

 

It will be easier to recall an elected official in Louisiana, if the Governor signs a bill into law that has cleared the legislature. A 31-1 senate vote sent HB 54 by Mandeville Representative Paul Hollis to the governor’s desk. The bill lowers the threshold on how many signatures are needed to have a recall election held. A similar bill failed to get legislative approval last year.

 

A bill strengthening laws against animal sexual abuse or bestiality passed the House unanimously and heads back to the Senate for final passage. Conservative Christian groups oppose it, because they say it could undermine Louisiana’s unconstitutional anti-sodomy law. 

 

The Movie “Class Rank”, which was shot here in Cenla, opens nationwide at select theatres across the country, including the Grand here in Alexandria, this weekend. Scenes were shot at Bolton High School and other locations in the area. The movie will also be available On Demand and by Digital Download beginning today.

 

An off-duty Slidell police officer, Dennis Neyland, aided the release of a kidnapped 83-year-old woman in Downtown Baton Rouge on Wednesday afternoon. Baton Rouge Police spokesperson, Sergeant L’Jean McKneely  that after the victim was forced to withdraw 800 dollars in cash from the ATM, Neyland saw the woman was in distress and ended up fighting off the suspect, 42-year-old Tamikia Raymond, who was arrested on the spot.

 

Louisiana public schools could soon be required to display “In God We Trust” in their building as a result of legislation that’s close to final legislative passage. The bill would also require schools to teach students about the slogan. It would go into effect with the 2019-2020 school year.

 

The push to trigger a constitutional convention is picking up steam, as this year’s version of the bill gained a majority vote in the House, but not the two thirds needed for passage. The convention is aimed at rewriting the rules on Louisiana’s finances.

 

The National Retail Federation anticipates an increase in spending for Mother’s Day. Spending is expected to reach $23 billion in 2018, a 61% increase since 2009. People between the ages 35-44 are projected to spend the most, averaging $224

 

Heart wrenching testimony was presented in favor of a bill that would make it illegal to touch your phone while driving. The bill passed  the Senate Transportation committee.

 

The LSU Tigers have a chance to build on their late season push to make the NCAA Tournament. After taking two of three from the best team in the SEC West, Arkansas, the Tigers host the worst team, Alabama. The Crimson Tide are 6-and-18 in league play, but Coach Paul Mainieri says Bama is more than capable. 

 

On air tonight..

 

Houston Astros vs Texas Rangers 6:35p 94.7 ESPN

 

LSU Baseball vs Alabama 7:30p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm

 

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News for Thursday 051018

By Dave Graichen

 

The state will send out letters today to 37-thousand elderly and disabled people, warning them the Medicaid programs which pay for their care could be eliminated on July 1st. The state has a 648-million dollar revenue shortfall for next fiscal year and the House approved budget reduces funding for several health care services. Gov Edwards says he’ll be holding a press conference today to address the pending cuts. Republicans say the letters are going out too soon, because there’s still time to find the funding by July 1st.

 

The house committee on administration of criminal justice advanced a bill Tuesday creating the crime of coercing abortion. The new crime would carry a sentence of up to five years and a five thousand dollar fine if someone threatened violence toward a woman who did not get an abortion. The measure now goes to the full house.

 

Two medical marijuana bills passed the Senate with amendments and are headed to the House. One bill would add additional categories, such as PTSD to the already existing list diseases medical marijuana is eligible to treat, and the other would allow the treatment to be given to autism patients.

 

The days of seeing a smiling face when you place your food order is slowly coming to an end.  It’s being called the “Experience Of The Future”. McDonald's locations across the state are, or will soon be, installing Self Order Kiosks that allows customers to order their food on a touchscreen. It’s planned that by 2020 all McDonalds nationwide with have the devices up and online. Here in Cenla, the McDonalds on Highway 28 east is installing their units this week. Company officials say the Kiosks are not being put in place to replace employees, Just to enhance the customer experience.. 

 

Western Global Airlines will invest three million dollars in a new facility in Shreveport, which could lead to 170 direct jobs. Louisiana Economic Development estimates that an additional 308 new jobs will be created by the facility run by the Florida based company. Secretary Don Pierson says they’ll take over the former Continental Express Jet hangar.

 

A study for the Louisiana Chemical Association shows the industry is responsible for nearly 80-billion dollars in annual sales and is the number one provider of jobs in Louisiana’s manufacturing sector. The Louisiana Chemical Association says it can remain a cornerstone of the state’s economy if it continues to have state support. That support in the form of the Industrial Tax Exemption. Governor Edwards has taken steps to tighten the tax exemption program, so it leads to more job creation. He’s also given local governments more say in who should receive it.

 

Livingston Sheriff Jason Ard is re-opening the case in the disappearance of Barbara Blount. The then 58 year old went missing in the middle of the day on May 2nd, 2008 and has never been seen again. Back then a dozen or so volunteers combed the woods surrounding her house in Holden, Ard says it’s time to stir the pot again. Ard says it’s possible someone lured Blount out of her home and dumped her body somewhere else.

 

A Thibodaux man was arrested and released on bail Tuesday after allegedly battering one woman, and running another over. 20-year-old Kip LeBlanc was charged with Aggravated Second Degree Battery and Domestic Abuse Battery. A Lafourche Sheriffs Spokesperson says it started with an argument, and turned brutally violent.

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News for Wednesday 050918

By Dave Graichen

 

The APD has Identified a suspect fled from U.S. marshals who were trying to take him into custody late Monday afternoon in Alexandria, triggering an almost five-hour standoff when the suspect barricaded himself inside a business. Authorities say 34-year-old Patrick Murry of Alexandria, who was wanted by Louisiana State Probation and Parole for a violation stemming from an aggravated assault charge.

 

In the market for a Hotel and convention center.. One of Alexandria's more recognizable hotels will be auctioned later this month as part of bankruptcy proceedings. The Baymont Inn and Suites and Convention Center will be up for bids on May 17 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The minimum bid is $1.04 million. The current owners are a group of local doctors.

 

State Police report 63 year old John Brady of Alexandria died yesterday morning in East Baton Rouge parish when he collided with an unmarked Baton Rouge PD vehicle. The initial investigation indicated Brady crosses the center lane of the highway, striking the police vehicle. Neither Brady nor the police officer  were wearing seatbelts. The officer survived the crash with moderate injuries.

 

State Farm auto insurance customers will see a three percent decrease in their rates this summer, despite soaring numbers of distracted driving accidents that helped the nation set a record number of road deaths. That number works out to about 43 dollars a customer a year. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says it could be a sign that insurance rates will be on their way down for the next few years. Donelon says the savings are not really the result of federal tax reform, but a better than expected series of results for insurance companies.

 

A Senate-approved bill to allow teachers to pray with students during the school day is close to final passage after clearing the House Education Committee. The legislation would require that all students present have a signed form from their parents before the teachers can participate in the student initiated prayer.

 

Those looking to get hitched quick are in luck, a bill is on its way to the governor’s desk for signature that would reduce the wait time for marriages from 72 to 24 hours, but under current law a judge or justice of the peace can waive the waiting period. The legislation by Carencro Representative Julie Emerson would go into effect August 1st if signed.

 

Oil prices in the U.S. have climbed over the 70 dollar mark for the first time since 2014. But Gifford Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, says numerous lawsuits filed by local governments in south Louisiana seeking money for coastal restoration has had a chilling effect on the industry. Briggs says it’s not all bad as non-direct jobs are on the increase since the prices began going up.

 

If you were hoping to make a little money on the side as a Lyft or Uber, it wont happen this year. A bill setting up statewide rules and expanding service to rural parishes for Uber and Lyft has died in a Senate committee for a second straight year. Lyft Public Policy Manager Jonathan Buckner tried to reassure lawmakers that the service is safe, and offers multiple ways to ensure a trustworthy ride around town. But Metairie Senator Danny Martiny objected to the legislation because it sets up different rules for Uber and Lyft than taxi cab operators.

 

It’s high times in New Orleans this week as the annual MJBiz conference kicks off today. 70 experts and 275 companies will be represented in the marijuana industry conference that’s in it’s 7th year. Cassandra Farrington is the CEO of Marijuana biznews daily which reports on the cannabis industry. Louisiana is expected to begin offering medical marijuana to patients later this year. The state has licensed nine dispensaries and LSU and Southern universities are in charge of growing medicinal cannabis that will be given to patients in an oil or pill. Farrington says they will discuss Louisiana’s role in the marijuana industry.

 

Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, and the New Orleans area are under ozone warnings due to unseasonably warm weather that could temporarily lead to more polluted air. DEQ Environmental Sciences Manager Vivian Aucoin says those with respiratory problems, whether chronic or acute should try to stay indoors for the duration of warning, as the outside air could be harder to breathe.

 

Jerry Stovall’s number 21  jersey will be retired this fall as the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame committee unanimously approved the move. Stovall joins two other LSU legends as members of the retired jersey club, Billy Cannon and Tommy Casanova. Stovall was a unanimous All-American in 1962 and was drafted in the first round by the St. Louis Cardinals where he would play for 9 years. At LSU, he was known as “Mr. Everything,” playing halfback, defensive back, kick returner and also handled punting duties.

 

Tangipahoa Parish authorities arrest a 25-year-old Hammond man, who is accused of killing a five-year-old child in a hit and run. Deputies say Davonta Abron’s vehicle struck a child at an intersection in Hammond and then fled the scene. He was taken into custody early Tuesday  morning.

 

The season is over for the New Orleans Pelicans as they lost the deciding game last night to Golden State 113 to 104 

 

Saints running back Mark Ingram has been suspended for the first four games of the season after testing positive for PEDs, leaving a gaping hole in a Black and Gold offense. Ingram will miss crucial early season divisional matchups against Tampa and Atlanta, returning in time for the Washington game.

 

Some afternoon and evening baseball today..

 

This afternoon at 2 it’s the Houston Astros @ Oakland A’s 94.7 ESPN

And this evening it’s LSU vs McNeese 7:00p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm

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News for Tuesday 050818

By Dave Graichen

 

Authorities say the U.S. Marshals were attempting to serve a warrant to a suspect, late yesterday afternoon, when gunfire was exchanged between the suspect and police. Authorities say at that point the suspect then barricaded himself in the Sherwin-Williams store. The APD closed Mac Arthur drive between Elliot and Jackson streets for several hours. The incident ended peacefully around 10pm when the suspect turned himself in.  There’s still no official word on who the suspect is or on the warrant marshals were trying to serve.

 

The parents of a baby who was found in a trash bin back in February are now facing murder charges. The Alexandria Police Department was notified on Friday that the child had died after being on life support since the incident.  The parents, 30-year-old Thelma Kirkland and 31-year-old Carl Hall, were arrested in the Rapides Parish Detention Center, where they both have remained since their arrests on Feb. 23

 

The Senate Finance Committee heard testimony Monday from disability advocates who are raising the alarm over the House passed budget that would place deep cuts in healthcare starting July 1st, including the slashing of programs for the disabled. Ville Platte Senator Eric LaFluer says the cuts would eliminate services for over 45 thousand developmentally disabled patients. The Senate Finance Committee is expected to approve a budget later this week, but approving additional funding will have to wait until a special session.

 

The Louisiana Department of Health will begin mailing eviction notices to 37,000 mostly elderly residents of nursing homes who may lose Medicaid coverage under a House passed budget. The House backed spending plan slashes hundreds of millions in healthcare spending. LDH Deputy Secretary Michelle Alletto says anyone who receives the letter needs to act fast and apply for other programs.

 

Louisiana is now on a six year run of record breaking tourism numbers as the state saw 500,000 more visitors in 2017 than it saw in 2016, for a total of 46.7 million visitors. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser says a lot of these great results come down to a big push to bring in more folks from outside the U-S. Tourism also brought in 1.8 billion dollars in local and state tax revenue in 2017, a 4.5 percent increase over 2016.

 

Army officials are now acknowledging they've investigated reports of child-on-child sexual assaults at Fort Polk. The disclosure comes amid an Associated Press report. New documents released to AP show Army criminal investigators opened at least four cases at the western Louisiana base, concluding three were true.

 

78.5 million dollars in unclaimed property has been deposited to its rightful owners this year by the Louisiana Treasury Department. The success is the result of the department’s effort to upload 100,000 new names to the database that finds the heirs to property and other assets held by the state. Treasurer John Schroder says the big publicity push is paying dividends. Louisiana ranks 32nd in the nation for unclaimed property returns. Schroder hopes next year they can rank higher.

 

We are 15 months away from qualifying for the 2019 Louisiana Governor’s race. Speculation is that Republican U.S. Senator John Kennedy will challenge Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards. Pollster John Couvillon says another potential candidate is Republican U.S. Representative Ralph Abraham from Richland Parish. Couvillon says Abraham’s biggest weakness is that he’s from north Louisiana. Couvillon says the big challenge for Governor Edwards is that there are 41,600 fewer Democrats registered to vote now compared to when he was elected.

 

A two vehicle crash near Sorrento on Interstate 10 killed two children Sunday night. State Police say the driver of the vehicle who struck the victim’s car was arrested and charged with negligent homicide, negligent injuring and reckless operations.  All passengers involved in the crash were not restrained.

 

Starting this week, chain restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters and vending machines are required to display calories counts for the food they sell. Many fast food chains began displaying the caloric information years ago, but LSU Health Sciences Center Doctor Henry Nuss says the jury is out on whether it will have an impact on dietary patterns.

 

A Shreveport officer has been placed on paid leave after a profanity laced video emerged of Gary Thomas screaming at a male after responding to a noise complaint.

Thomas was arrested in 2017 for domestic violence against his wife, which led to his firing. He was later reinstated by the municipal fire and police civil service board.

 

Lafayette Police announce the arrest of four juveniles on charges of terrorizing and Disturbing the Peace for an alleged “Flash Mob” style disturbance. Authorities say these individuals caused a large crowd of festival goers to suddenly run in fear from the downtown area on April 28th. Police credit additional crime cameras for helping them identify the juveniles involved.

 

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser has an interesting idea to fix up the French Quarter: turn it into a state park. Under the plan, the Vieux Carre would be designated state park land, which would allow lawmakers to allocate additional resources to clean its streets, and increase security. Nungesser says the escalating crime problem in New Orleans is dampening enthusiasm for visiting one of Louisiana’s most iconic landmarks, and it’s a problem that goes back decades.

 

Down now three games to one, the New Orleans Pelicans are back in Oakland tonight to play Golden State. It’s a late game with airtime starting at 9p tonight on 94.7 ESPN

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News for Monday 050718

By Dave Graichen

 

An unusual seismic event shook the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday morning when a 4.6 magnitude earthquake occurred about 120 miles southeast of Grand Isle. The strongest vibrations reported in Slidell, Walker and Baker.

 

Friday, Judge Harry Randow sentenced 50 year old Terrance Grines to three years in prison at hard labor, but suspended two years. The former Alexandria City Marshall was also was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and a $2,500 Fine. Prior to being sentenced, Grines apologizing, saying he neglected to deal with his demons.

 

LaToya Cantrell takes over New Orleans today after 8 years of Mitch Landrieu holding the reigns. Political Analyst Clancy DuBos Cantrell takes over a city with big issues to tackle, but a more stable budget and economy than it had eight years ago, but  arrives in office with a potential major scandal in the making. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is investigating the former city council member for potential misuse of a city credit card. DuBos says it’s an investigation that casts a pall not just over her, but many city officials.

 

The regular session must end in a month, but the belief at the capitol is it will end in mid-May, so lawmakers can pass tax bills to address a 648-million dollar shortfall. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says legislation that has nothing to do with the budget is close to final legislative passage, so the regular session could end in a couple of weeks. The House passed a spending plan that would enact deep spending cuts in healthcare, potentially ending public-private partnership hospitals. Pinsonat says it remains to be seen if the Senate will act on the proposed budget or just wait for an anticipated special session.

 

The state posted the slowest gross domestic product growth in the nation in 2017 at minus-point-two-percent. It’s the second straight year Louisiana had a decline in the real G-D-P, but Louisiana’s Gross Domestic Product Growth for the fourth quarter of 2017 was two-point-two-percent, which could be a positive sign.  LSU Economist Doctor Loren Scott credits the industrial expansion boom that’s ongoing in Lake Charles and Baton Rouge.

 

Louisiana has been given full control of Red Snapper waters from the feds for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Biologist Harry Blanchet says Blanchet says part of the reason the state has been given authority over both waters is that early projections indicate that anglers won’t have a lot of success fishing in the federal waters this season. This year’s season will kick off Friday, May 25th, with a total allocation of 743,000 pounds allowed to be harvested

 

A study is out revealing overwhelmingly that most workers and managers believe that what you wear to work has a big impact on your chances of getting that big promotion. 80 percent of managers and 86 percent of workers feel that clothing affects your promotion chances. OfficeTeam District President Brandi Britton says the old adage “dressed for success”  is still true. Another finding in the report was that while people still believe dressing up helps you move up, the definition of what “dressing up” is has loosened in recent years. Britton says that’s because employers are scrambling to find high quality workers.

 

College football attendance has dropped four straight years nationwide, but LSU officials says they’ve only seen a one percent drop in non-renewals for season tickets this year. Despite not having a 10-win season since 2013, Tiger fans are not giving up their season tickets. Tiger Athletics Foundation President Rick Perry says if anything, tickets are becoming even more sought after.

 

The Pelicans are one game away from elimination from the NBA playoffs after Kevin Durant scored 38 points in Golden State’s 118-92 win over New Orleans to take a commanding 3-1 lead. Golden State can close out the series on their home floor on Tuesday night.

 

With LSU’s NCAA Baseball tournament chances on the bubble, the Tigers fought hard this past weekend and picked up a huge series victory over 4th ranked Arkansas. LSU closed out the series on Sunday with a 7-5 win.

 

After losing their weekend series the Houston Astros are looking for a fresh start tonight in Oakland as the begin a three game series against the A’s. Airtime 8:30 on 94.7 ESPN..

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News for Friday 050418

By Dave Graichen

 

A bill barring drivers from touching their cellphones while on the road is on its way to the Senate after narrowly escaping the house. . The anti-distracted driving legislation was inspired by the uptick in distracted driving road deaths in recent years. The bill passed with 53 votes.

 

The “Adoption Option” bill that would require abortion clinics to provide information about the adoption process to women seeking abortions is nearing final passage. The legislation would also mandate the creation of a state website with information about adoption. The bill has received little opposition in the legislature.

 

Students who had the GPA, but were a few points shy of qualifying for TOPS in high school could get another shot at the scholarship under a bill that is almost to the governor’s desk. The legislation would allow students who scored 17, 18, or 19 on the ACT, but have a 3.2 GPA after two years in college to collect TOPS for their last two years.

 

The top aide to Secretary of State Tom Schedler denies knowing about sexual harassment allegations against his boss until a lawsuit detailing the accusations was made public. Kyle Ardoin says the accuser never came to him with any problems. Ardoin is set to take over the office when Schedler’s resignation takes effect Tuesday.

 

Louisiana now meets the highest standard of air quality according to EPA standards. Governor John Bel Edwards says the success is the result of notable increases in air quality in the Baton Rouge area parishes. DEQ Environmental Scientist Vivian Aucoin says its great news for quality of life in the Bayou State.

 

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is set to end his second term Monday after 8 years in charge of the Crescent City. Landrieu guided the city through a tumultuous post Katrina recovery period, but political analyst Clancy DuBos says nationally he’ll be most remembered for his part in the removal of the confederate . Mayor-Elect Latoya Cantrell will replace Landrieu.

 

The mother of a Claiborne Parish boy who disappeared a month ago has been arrested on charges unrelated to the child’s disappearance. Shelia Phillips is being held in jail while search teams continue to comb the area around her house where she says her 4-year-old son disappeared. Shelia was arrested on a drug charge. Her husband, Demarcus Gilbert, was arrested for stealing scrap metal two weeks ago.

 

The State Fire Marshal’s office believes a cell phone is responsible for a fire that injured a one-year-old child in Jeanerette. Spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says a 14-year-old resident told detectives he was sleeping in a room with his little sister, when he awoke to use the bathroom, he smelled smoke and saw the mattress on fire. Detectives learned it was an I Phone 6 that caught fire.

 

The Department of Corrections says Angola guards thwarted an attempt by an inmate who tried to escape. Authorities say the inmate who was serving a life sentence for aggravated rape, ran away from the farm line, shots were fired, but he was eventually tackled by officers.

 

Jeff Davis Parish authorities say they arrested nine people who were protesting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline . Deputies say the protesters were mingling around heavy equipment, causing a safety hazard for themselves and the construction workers. They were cited for trespassing.

 

Sports..

 

The LSU baseball team can turn its season around, if they can take this weekend’s series versus fourth ranked Arkansas. Coach Paul Mainieri’s team is in a slump, while the Razorbacks are one of the top teams in a loaded SEC. But, on the plus side, The Tigers have won 12 of their last 13 SEC regular-season series versus Arkansas. Tonight’s game starts tonight at 7:30 on KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm

 

The Pelicans take on the Warriors at home for game three of the series tonight, looking to grab their first win in this series. They’ve lost their first two games by an average of 14 points, after beating the Golden State in their last regular season matchup.  Airtime tonight at 6:30p on 94.7 ESPN.

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News for Thursday 050318

By Dave Graichen

 

You’ve waited long enough, Alex River Fete’ officially begins this evening.. Alexandria's signature festival promises a festive mix of music, food, culture and other activities, sandwiched around the annual Louisiana Dragon Boat Races on Saturday.. The festival takes place in downtown Alexandria through Sunday. 

 

Grant parish authorities report the recovery of a stolen trailer and two ATV’s. All three had been reported stolen from the Prospect community. The  GPSO found the items at Mud Fest. A teen and a minor have been charged.

 

Charges are pending after an Oklahoma man riding a bicycle was killed early Wednesday when he was hit by a pickup truck in Winn Parish. The State Police report the crash happened shortly before 7am on U.S. Highway 167, north of Dodson. It’s believed the bicyclist was well on the shoulder of the road when he was hit. He died at the scene.

 

We could be looking at the possibility of doing away with “Daylight Savings Time” here in Louisiana. Rep. Mark Wright of Covington presented a proposal to the House Commerce Committee this week that would create a task force to study the impacts of Daylight Saving Time. That proposal was passed favorably to the House floor. Wright and the proposal's author, Rep. Julie Stokes, feel the change in hours is unhealthy and can even lead to injury.

 

A bill that would allow students to wear bulletproof backpacks in public schools is set for final passage after clearing the House Education Committee. The legislation, inspired by the Parkland, Florida Shooting, received unanimous support. West Monroe Republican Mike Walsworth says something needs to be done about the lack of safety for school children.

 

The House Criminal Justice Committee approved Senator John Milkovich’s 15 week abortion ban bill 9-8, after it passed with little opposition in the Senate. The bill mirrors an effort in Mississippi that’s been halted in federal court, but pro-choice activists note that there are differences. They say Louisiana’s law imposes stiff criminal penalties for providers, and does not allow exceptions for fetal abnormalities. The law would not go into effect unless a federal appeals court rules favorable on the challenge to Mississippi’s 15 week abortion ban.

 

Two bills that would expand access to medical marijuana are close to being put into law after moving through the full House, and now being passed by a Senate committee. One bill would allow some children with autism, if prescribed, access to the treatment. The other bill would add other new conditions to the ten already in place, including PTSD, to the list of those who can be prescribed the oil or pill based treatment.

 

The Senate has approved legislation that puts policies in place for state government to follow in sexual harassment cases. The measure heads back to the House to see if they agree on Senate changes.

 

A Senate bill that would allow riverboat casinos to move onto land was approved by a House committee Wednesday despite objections by the Louisiana Family Forum, who say the legislation is expansion of gaming, because it would allow these floating casinos to have more machines.  Despite the opposition, The measure is heading to the House for final passage.

 

A concealed carry on campus bill passed the House. The bill allows school visitors with a concealed carry permit to possess a firearm while on campus, but does not allow school officials or students with a permit to carry. Campuses include K through 12, and universities.

 

The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office has arrested a 50-year-old man on bigamy charges. Spokesperson Casey Rayborn Hicks says Chaffie Brown had a wife in Baton Rouge and in LaPlace, who he married in 1993. Hicks says Brown married another woman in 2013. Property tax records indicate Brown owned a home in St. John and in East Baton Rouge.

 

Sports..

 

Could the LSU baseball team not make the NCAA Tournament this year? D-1 Baseball-dot-com’s latest projection for the Field of 64 does not include the Tigers who have a record of 26-19, 10-11 in the SEC. D-1 Baseball-dot-com writer Kendall Rogers says LSU’s dismal 3-and-12 road record also does not help their case. LSU begins an eight-game homestand on Friday starting with a three game series against Arkansas.

 

Baseball at lunchtime.. it’s Houston Astros playing host to the New York Yankees today at 12:35p on 94.7 ESPN.

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News for Wednesday 050218

By Dave Graichen

 

Secretary of State Tom Schedler notified the governor yesterday that he will resign, effective May 8th. Schedler is facing a lawsuit from an employee, who claims the statewide elected official sexually harassed her for a number of years. In a letter to John Bel Edwards, Schedler decries a “tabloid approach to an incredibly serious allegation”. In March, Schedler described the lawsuit as “unfair. Once Schedler’s resignation is effective, First Assistant Kyle Ardoin will run the department until a special election is held this fall.

 

A single-vehicle wreck in Grant Parish claimed the life of a Pollock man Tuesday morning. Louisiana State Police report 37 year old Chad Maxwell lost control of his pickup truck on highway 123 just north of Dry Prong, drove off the left side of the road, and crashed into a tree. Authorities say Maxwell, who was not wearing a seatbelt dead at the scene.

 

The RPSO reports four people, two adults and two juveniles, have been charged in two separate burglaries at Fred's Grocery in Tioga,  back on April 6 and 21. Deputies report surveillance cameras recorded the suspects in masks. 19-year-old Seth and 17-year-old Damion Johnston were charged with three counts of simple burglary.

 

The RPSO reports it was social media that led to the arrests of two people in connection with two burglaries were reported on April 15 at a Dollar General store and Holloway Outdoors. Arrested were 23-year-old Haily Box and 33-year-old Benjamin Neal Aycock, both of Pineville. Both were arrested and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.

 

A House backed bill that would remove the requirement that florists be licensed was shot down in a Senate committee six to one. The bill was part of the governor’s licensing reform legislative agenda. Floral wholesaler Audrey Lemoine says removing license requirements would flood the marketplace with cut rate work from retailers. Louisiana is the only state in the nation requiring florists to be licensed. Supporters say the licensing requirement keeps some from earning a living as a florist.

 

U.S. Senator John Kennedy is asking the state legislature to hold off on voting a bill that extends Harrah’s New Orleans Casino’s contract with the state for 30 years. Kennedy says media reports that Harrah’s is considering selling the property so the state could unwittingly increase Harrah’s selling price by extending the contract. Kennedy sought the delay after a published report that indicated Harrah’s allegedly signed an agreement with another entity to purchase the casino, hotel and parking garage

 

Legislation to give voters an opportunity in November to decide if fantasy sports gambling should be legal in their parish is one step away from final passage. A Senate committee approved River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot’s proposal on a six to one vote. Online fantasy sports gambling is legal in 19 states.

 

The US House passed a bill that would allow Louisiana residents impacted by the 2016 floods to become eligible for grant money, even if they received low interest loans to help with their recovery. Baton Rouge US Representative Garret Graves, the bill’s sponsor, says this opens up recovery money to thousands. The bill received near unanimous support in the House. Now they wait to see if the Senate approves.

 

The Sabine Parish Coroner’s office says 35-year-old Jessie Clavier of Many was crushed by a six-thousand pound aluminum boat. Clavier was performing maintenance on the boat while it was hoisted in the air by a trackhoe when the boat fell on him.

 

The former Baton Rouge police officer involved in the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling now faces a battery charge for allegedly slapping a handcuffed man during another arrest a month before the shooting of Sterling. Attorney John McLindon believes the battery charge is a ploy to embarrass his client, Blane Salamoni. Salamoni has been fired from the force for his conduct during the Sterling shooting. He is appealing his dismissal.

 

Sports…

 

The Golden State Warriors are now up two games in the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs. The Pelicans Lost last night 121 to 116. The good news is Game three of the series is Friday night in New Orleans

 

It’s baseball tonight as the Houston Astros play host to the New York Yankees Airtime 6:35p 94.7 ESPN

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News for Tuesday 050118

By Dave Graichen

 

University Hospital and Clinics in Lafayette has notified 770 employees that they could be laid off, and the facility shut down under proposed spending plans that slashes state funding for public-private partnership hospitals. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says they aren’t the only jobs at risk. Dardenne says the public-private system was created after Charity Hospitals were dismantled under the Jindal Administration, and focus on covering the underinsured. Dardenne says legislators need to find a budget solution sooner rather than later, as the indecision is stressing out the industry.

 

House GOP Chairman Lance Harris is defending the House budget despite its cuts, saying it’s just the first step in a long process that he expects will involve a special session starting on May 18th to fill the 648 million dollar funding gap. The GOP has resisted replacing the expiring revue that will hit July 1st, and as a result he says the legislature will likely not increase income taxes to replace expiring sales taxes. Harris says he sees two options for funding those healthcare priorities: keeping a piece of the expiring one cent sales tax, and eliminating sales tax deductions for certain industries in an anticipated special session.

 

A Rapides Parish State Trooper and 3 others have been arrested on various charges as part of a six month investigation into payroll fraud. The four men allegedly claimed bogus hours and wrote fraudulent tickets as part of highway safety program funded by district attorneys.

 

Baton Rouge Police is searching for an LSU cop who is wanted on a charge of second-degree battery after he allegedly hit a woman and then held her captive for several hours. B-R-P-D Sergeant Don Coppola says the victim survived the assault, but there was extensive injuries to her face.. The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Samuel Ellis the Third.

 

Australian-based Syrah (See ra) Resources has selected Vidalia in Concordia Parish as its preferred site for a 25-million dollar graphite facility. The plant will make materials for batteries in electric vehicles and other products. Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft says the project means 25 new jobs for his town. Syrah Resources expects to start hiring later this year.

 

Over 900 farmers and ranchers are receiving grants averaging 9900 dollars for disaster recovery efforts resulting from the 2016 floods. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says it’s long overdue. Strain says the grants will fill a reimbursement gap for farmers who’ve suffered damages that were uninsured.

 

Cameron Parish Sheriff Ron Johnson is working with Texas authorities to find out if there’s a connection to a severed head found near Calcasieu Lake and another severed head found near Houston. Johnson also wonders if a female body found in 2016 in Cameron is connected as well. Investigators are still trying to determine the identities of the severed heads.

 

Sports..

 

It’s game 2 of the second round of the NBA playoffs tonight as the New Orleans Pelican Visit the Portland Trail Blazers. New Orleans is down one game in the series. After tonight, the game moves to New Orleans for games 3 and 4. Tonight’s broadcast begins at 9p on 94.7 ESPN..

 

The Houston Astros began a three game homestand last night against the NY Yankees by taking game one 2 to 1. They’ll play again tonight.

 

Its final exams week for the LSU Tigers and Coach Paul Mainieri says his team can use a break from the baseball diamond. The Tigers Begin a three game home stand Friday night against Arkansas..

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News for Monday 043018

By Dave Graichen

 

After narrow race during Saturday's Spring Municipal Election, Jerome Hopewell came out on top as Alexandria's new City Marshal. The final count came down to just 137 votes between Hopewell and Interim City Marshal Ricky Rachal.

 

Bunkie has a new police chief. Challenger Scotty Ferguson defeated incumbent Bobby Corner with 63 percent of the vote.

 

State Police report a single vehicle crash early Sunday morning claimed the life of a Deville man. Troopers say the crash happened around 4 in the morning on highway 8 neal LA 492 when 18 year old Benjamin Williford lost control of his vehicle and let the highway striking some trees. Williford, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene.  His only passenger, who was wearing a seatbelt, received minor injuries. Routine toxicology tests are pending.

 

A Senate-approved bill that would double, and in some cases, increased tenfold the fines associated with soliciting prostitutes passed a House committee nine to six. The bill would not change the current penalty of up to six months in jail for soliciting. Sponsor Franklinton Senator Beth Mizel says it attacks human trafficking at its root. The bill moves to the House for final passage.

 

There’s only two months left in the fiscal year, and doubts are growing as to whether a spending plan for next budget year can be approved in the current regular session. A 648-million dollar budget gap is forcing lawmakers to consider deep cuts in state spending. LaPolitics.com Publisher Jeremy Alford says we’re approaching uncharted waters. Lawmakers are constitutionally barred from raising revenue in this regular session to plug the budget gap, and Alford says that means the safe money is on a special session starting up next month, where revenue issues can be considered.

The House passed budget includes massive cuts to healthcare, which administrators warn would lead to the end of public-private partnership hospitals

 

A longtime employee of the Secretary of State’s office says she received unwanted sexually charged emails, gifts and advances by the man leading the agency Tom Schedler, for at least a decade. Dawn Ross gave to the Louisiana Radio Network an internview that detailed harassment accusations including claims that she was banished from the office. Ross also said that the Secretary of State even went as far as moving into a townhome located in the same complex where she lived. Schedler has previously said he will not resign, but this will be his last term as Louisiana’s Secretary of State.

 

The Advocate newspaper reports that a man will shot to death early Saturday morning in Baton Rouge. 23 year old Ricard Alberto Agular was gunned down at between 3:30 and 4 am on Jade avenue. It was reported that the victim was outside an apartment when two men wearing hooded sweatshirts approached him and demanded money.

 

The Louisiana Red Cross is joining a national push to install smoke detectors in homes around the country. “Sound the Alarm” has Red Cross volunteers visiting homes to install alarms. Greater New York Regional CEO Josh Lockwood says many homes still lack a working smoke detector. Lockwood volunteers will give crucial fire safety tips.

 

Sports..

 

The Saints 2018 draft has a Louisiana flair to it this year as the Black and Gold selected two local products, running back Boston Scott in the sixth round and offensive lineman Will Clapp in the seventh round. Clapp is the first former Tiger drafted by New Orleans since defensive tackle Al Woods in 2010. Scott is a former Louisiana Tech running back, who walked on at the Ruston school after a stellar prep career at Zachary High School.

 

The Pelicans are down one game to nothing in their best of seven Western Conference playoff series with Golden State after a 123-101 loss in Oakland on Saturday night. Head Coach Alvin Gentry says despite getting blown out on Saturday, there’s no panic in the Pelicans’ locker room. Game Two is tomorrow night at 9:30.

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