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Local News

Good Morning... News For Friday June 19th, 2020

News for Friday June 26th, 2020

Compiled by Dave Graichen

Cenla Broadcasting

 

KALB TV Reports Central Louisiana State Hospital in Pineville is being affected by COVID-19.the LDH reports the hospital has had 71 patients test positive for the virus, and three patients have died. Four more are currently hospitalized. So far, 50 patients have recovered from the virus. An additional 42 employees have also tested positive for COVID-19.

 

The trend of higher COVID case counts and increased hospitalizations continues with 938 new positive tests reported state wide Thursday and 22 additional hospitalizations.

Louisiana has seen over 53,000 COVID-19 cases and 3,000 fatalities.

 

Shreveport Republican Alan Seabaugh is once again pushing his petition to end Louisiana’s state of emergency because of COVID-19.  Seabaugh needs the support of 53 other lawmakers in the House and says the spread mitigation restrictions have been extended too long.

 

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality warns residents with breathing issues to remain indoors as the Saharan Dust Cloud begins impacting New Orleans this afternoon. LDEQ Air Planning and Assessment Administrator Jason Myers says the dust can exasperate existing respiratory conditions. Wearing an N95 mask is recommended for those who have to go outside and have respiratory issues right now.

The dust hangs in the air and will add a haze to the sky, along with brightening up the sunset.

 

State workers will not be getting their scheduled pay raises if the budget remains it its current state. Senate Finance Committee members agreed to pause the raises and reconsider them later in the year, citing concern over the  “optics” of giving state workers a pay raise while so many private-sector employees have lost their jobs, but Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne notes that most of the workers who will be impacted don’t make a lot of money.

 

The City of Alexandria utility department is warning residents to be on guard for scammers who are calling customers and threatening to shut off their power unless they make an immediate payment. The City reminds all residents that it will not call customers asking them to make a credit card payment or wire money for bill payment and threaten to terminate services.  If you receive such a call, hang up and contact authorities.

 

The state education department released a plan Thursday on how public schools can reopen for the upcoming school year and do so without contributing to the spread of COVID-19. One of the guidelines calls for children in third grade and above to wear masks and students with a breathing condition could wear a face shield. The plan also calls for symptom monitoring of students when they arrive and throughout the day, including an initial temp check. Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Larry Carter says sick students need to be isolated quickly…

 

COVID-19 is impacting summer travel. The AAA travel forecast shows Americans will take far fewer trips this summer as experts expect to see a 15%  decrease compared to last summer. Driving sees the smallest decrease in travel volume, down 3.6% over the year. AAA spokesperson Don Redman says other transportation methods are taking a much worse hit. Cruise ship, rail, and bus travel are down by 86% over the year.

 

Louisiana’s first harvested batch of industrial hemp has been tested and is in compliance with rules for the crop.  State Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says the crop received the green light after being tested to make sure THC concentration level is below the legal limit of .3% Strain says in Louisiana there are over 100 people licensed as growers, processors, transporters, or seed sellers of hemp.

 

A 72-year-old Louisiana woman is in critical condition, but stable condition after being attacked by her two pit bulls on Thursday. A neighbor who call the sheriff’s office was also attacked and bitten. Both dogs were still attacking their owner when St. Tammany Parish sheriff’s deputies arrived at the woman’s home near Mandeville. The deputies shot the dogs after the dogs turned on them.

 

Sports..

 

Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins said on C-N-N today that football is a nonessential business and the coronavirus risk would have to be eliminated for him to feel comfortable playing football this season. Jenkins says he also doesn’t want to put his parents at risk of getting sick.

 

LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine says for high school football practice to start, Louisiana has to be in phase three of its reopening and it’s disappointing to see the increase in coronavirus cases. Bonine says they will not flip the fall sports season with the spring sports so that football can be played during the academic year. Bonine says there also no plans to push back the football season. That’s because they want to hold the Prep Classic December 11th and 12th.

 

The NFL’s Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Steelers on August sixth in Canton, Ohio has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony has been postponed to 2021.

 

ULM has announced football coach Matt Viator has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him on the Warhawk sidelines through the 2022 season. The extension reportedly does not come with a raise in pay. The USA Today reports that Viator’s base salary is 390-thousand dollars and he can receive 50-thousand dollars in bonuses.

 

Former McNeese baseball player and head coach Todd Butler has returned to his alma mater and will serve as the school’s new Senior Associate Athletics Director. Butler will oversee ticketing and game promotions operations, work on fundraising and serve as a liaison to the athletic corporate sponsorships. Butler earned his degree from McNeese in 1991 and was the head coach of the Pokes from 2001 to 2003. His last job was as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Missouri.

 

In girls high school basketball…former LSU star Temeka Johnson has been named the new head coach at John Curtis, replace Barbara Farris, who accepted an assistant head coaching job at Stetson. Johnson is leaving as head coach of McKinley in Baton Rouge.

 


Good Morning... News For Friday June 19th, 2020

News for Friday June 19th, 2020

 

Governor John Bell Edwards announced yesterday Louisiana is seeing a “concerning” rise in cases of Covid-19 and a recent uptick in hospitalizations in recent days, with the vast majority of new infections the result of community spread in cities across the state.

 

In Acadiana health officials say the number of new cases is alarming.. Likewise the Lake Charles and Alexandria regions are seeing poor trends as well. While the Governor says he is not currently considering moving backward in the phased reopening, he declined to say whether he’s considering moving some regions into Phase 3 but not others.

 

The Louisiana House has unanimously approved a bill that will result in the state sending grocery store employees, bus drivers, nurses, EMS workers and other first responders with a 250-dollar check for hazard pay. Those who make less than 50-thousand dollars will be eligible. Federal coronavirus relief aid will pay for the one-time bonus checks for those who were required to work when the COVID crisis began. The measure still needs Senate approval.

 

Governor Edwards signs a gun bill targeting local gun restriction ordinances. The legislation was opposed by the mayors of Baton Rouge and New Orleans who objected to it because it would prohibit local governments from establishing gun-free zones in parks, playgrounds, and other public areas. Edwards doesn’t see the legislation to be controversial. It was one of three gun rights bills Edwards authorized.

 

A Senate-approved measure creating a policing policy task force written by Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields clears a House committee and the Senate approved measure heads to the House floor for more discussion.  Law enforcement supports the resolution.

 

A survey from the Louisiana Association of United Ways finds that 47-percent of residents say their child care situation changed after the stay at home order. President of the group Sarah Berthelot says for some individuals the change was so great they had to quit their job. Half of the respondents also expressed concern about child care availability in the near future.

 

28-year-old Cordale Richard was arrested thursday in the shooting deaths of 21-year-old Aliza Gabriel and 20-year-old Tanasa Francis at a large party in Raceland Sunday. Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Lt. Brennan Matherne says Richard was involved in a fight at the party, and once the police arrived he allegedly began firing indiscriminately into a crowd. Detectives say Francis and Gabriel were innocent bystanders.

 

Interim LSU President Tom Galligan announced yesterday that the university will hold its summer commencement ceremony online due to uncertain circumstances surrounding Louisiana's recovery from the initial spread of coronavirus. The virtual ceremony will be broadcast on LSU's Facebook page at 10 a.m. on Aug. 7. In related news, LSU expects to begin Phase 3 of its return to campus plan on June 29.

 

The LSU Board of Supervisors will vote today to decide if they will rename the Troy H. Middleton Library. Interim President Tom Galligan met with black student leaders following weeks of nationwide demonstrations in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd to discuss ideas and “concrete steps to make real change at LSU. One of the steps black student leaders proposed was removing Middleton’s name from the library. Troy Middleton was president of the university from 1951-1962 and supported racial segregation.

 

A Calhoun man is in the Ouachita Parish correctional center charged with 400 counts of child porn and 100 counts of sexual abuse of an animal.  40-year-old Keith Taylor is accused of being in possession of, and possibly distributing, inappropriate content online.

 

Border patrol agents seize 2,000 counterfeit designer face masks shipped into the port of New Orleans from China and Vietnam. No information right now as to whether the masks were functional, but they were seized for bearing the counterfeit trademarks of Burberry, Supreme, Gucci, and Chanel on the front of them.

 

Medical experts in the United Kingdom indicate that a steroid treatment has provided a glimmer of hope in treatment of COVID-19. Dexamethasone appears to cut the risk of death for ventilator patients by a third. Tulane Medical Center pulmonary care Dr. Joshua Denson says he has used this therapy to treat a handful of COVID patients.

The steroid also appears to cut the risk of death for patients on oxygen by a fifth.

 

 

Sports..

 

The NCAA has approved a six-week preseason plan for college football that allows for additional hours of supervised weight training and conditioning, plus walk-thru practices that will start on July 24th. Preseason camp would start on August 7th.

 

Doctor Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says there’s a chance that football might not happen at all this season. Fauci told C-N-N that football players need to be isolated from others and tested regularly. He says for it to work they need to play in a bubble environment like the N-B-A is setting up.

 

The University of Texas says 13 of its football players have tested positive for the coronavirus or are presumed positive. These 13 players are self-isolating and 10 more players identified through contact tracing are also in self-quarantine. LSU will host the Longhorns on September 12th.

 

LSU men’s basketball associate head coach Greg Heiar has announced on Twitter that he’s left the program. Heiar has been at LSU the last three seasons. He is credited with helping to develop Tremont Waters and Skylar Mays and he’s also known as a good recruiter. The Advocate reports that Bill Armstrong has been promoted to associate head coach and Kevin Nickelberry will be promoted from the support staff to the coaching.

 

Former LSU Tiger Tremont Waters has been named the NBA G League Player of the year. Waters averaged 18 points in 36 games for the Maine Red Claws, a develoopment team for the Boston Celtics.

 

McNeese men’s basketball coach Heath Schroyer will also serve as the interim athletics director. McNeese President Doctor Daryl Burckel says a change is needed to address the current needs of the department and the uncertainty of the upcoming academic year and to maixmize the effectiveness and efficiency of the department staff.


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