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Local News
  • 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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  • News for Friday 042718

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Concealed carry permit holders could bring a gun into a school or university building under legislation heading to the House floor. The controversial measure cleared the House Criminal Justice Committee on a narrow 9-8 vote. Erath Representative Blake Miguez says education groups might oppose this legislation, but responsible gun owners would applaud the passage of this bill…

     

    A domestic violence firearms bill cleared a House panel that further restricts possession of a gun by someone who is under a protective order. Currently it’s prohibited for an abuser to have a weapon, this bill prohibits among other things carrying a concealed weapon. The Senate approved measure now moves to the full House.

     

    The Louisiana Senate has backed a proposal that opens the door to school employees praying with their students during the class day. Senate Bill 512 by Sen. Ryan Gatti, a Bossier City Republican, would allow teachers and other workers to pray with students during the workday, if parents of every student in attendance submit a signed request and if the prayer is student-initiated. Current Louisiana law already allows school employees to attend and participate in student-led prayer events if they occur before or after their work day. The vote sent the measure to the House for consideration.

     

    Emails obtained by the Baton Rouge Advocate show Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler used his state email account for years to send sexually suggestive messages to a subordinate, including one exchange in which he told the woman he was attempting to "undress" her with his mind.  The state emails offer the first glimpse of Schedler's on-the-clock exchanges with Dawn Ross, a longtime employee who recently sued him for sexual harassment, claiming the secretary of state sent her love letters and then retaliated when she rebuffed his repeated advances.  The 68 year old Schedler has claimed he had a "consensual sexual relationship" with Ross.

     

    Aaron Neville confirmed the passing yesterday of Neville Brothers saxophonist  Charles Neville. Charles was the second oldest of the four brothers who, for three decades, formed the core of the Neville Brothers. His passing at 79 was the result of pancreatic cancer.

     

    The Louisiana House Education Committee on Thursday approved a proposal that provides students at two-year vocational and technical colleges with a path for transferring to four-year universities. Sen. Bodi White, R-Central, proposed creating the “TOPS-Tech 2Plus2 Award” to help a small number of students who did not qualify for TOPS in high school but performed well in community college. The bill has already passed the Senate and now goes to the full House.

     

    Louisiana now ranks second in the nation with the highest hit and run rate of fatal crashes per capita, according to a new survey from the AAA foundation. The national study concluded there is a hit and run fatality every minute in the nation. Don Redman with AAA says the report found most victims of fatal hit and run crashes are pedestrians and bicyclists and the lack of sidewalks on rural roads is a factor for Louisiana’s high fatal hit and run rate

     

    A Senate Committee approved a bill that would allow families to put video cameras in the nursing home rooms of loved ones. Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau expressed some concerns about the hacking vulnerability of live streamed cameras, but says ultimately the legislation is a win win for both residents, and nursing home owners.

     

    A woman was arrested for allegedly stealing a horse, and selling it for 1,000 dollars cash on the internet. 27-year-old Sarah Broussard of Scott was booked into the Lafayette Parish Jail. The horse was being housed in Lafayette Parish, while its owner lived elsewhere. Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says the owner had no clue the horse had been swiped.

     

    The Girl Scouts are seeking funding for a project that would prevent a lake in Tangipahoa from spilling into the Tangipahoa River. Girl Scouts East spokesperson Mary-Patricia Wray says if they don’t get the funding, it could lead to an ecological disaster. The Girl Scouts hope to be included in a House bill that currently has a Boy Scouts project, but does not yet include an application for a girl scouts project.

     

    A Senate-approved bill to allow foster kids to stay in the system until they turn 21, or graduate high school, which ever happens first, cleared a House committee. Currently, foster kids are forced out of the foster care program when they turn 18, regardless of their high school degree progress. Louisiana Budget Project Coordinator Dylan Waguespack says hundreds of kids are affected every year.

     

    The nation faces a truck driver shortage, and that could hurt your pocketbook. The American Trucking Association says they expect to see a 106,000 driver shortage by 2022. Louisiana Motor Transport Association Executive Director Chance McNeely says it’s resulting in longer delivery times and higher prices for consumers. The industry is facing a unique problem in that as the economy expands, more shipping is needed, but McNeely says the number of drivers appears to be dropping, just as demand has begun increasing.

     

    Congratulations to the city of Natchitoches.. the Southeast Tourism Society announced yesterday that the Natchitoches Christmas was the festival of the year.

     

    Sports..

     

    NFL Draft Day 2 5pm 94.7 ESPN

     

    LSU will attempt to pick up the pieces of their weekend series tonight after an 11 to 2 loss last night to Ole Miss. Game two is tonight 7p on KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm

     

    Saturday Night.. Pelicans @ Golden State 9p 94.7 ESPN  (NBA Playoff Round 2)

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  • News for Thursday 042618

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Come to find out Albert Micklus, the suspect in a weekend home imvasion, was indeed armed and dangerous. The RPSO says Micklus had a loaded AR-15 when a Rapides Parish Sheriff K-9 found him hiding in a bunk bed of a Hoyt Road homeowner's travel trailer. Deputies took the 29-year-old Boyce man into custody around 5 p.m. Tuesday. He faced additional charges Wednesday in the case.

     

    In this case, he wasn’t really dangerous,  just stupid.. Kevin Warden, an inmate at detention center 3 walked away from the facility yesterday but was captured a short time later. The RPSO reports warden was assisting deputies pulling items out of outside freezers when he took off. Warden will be charged with simple escape as well as possible other charges.

     

    The House Criminal Justice Committee approves a constitutional amendment that calls for all 12 members of a criminal jury to agree on the guilt or innocence of an accused person. Current law only requires 10. The bill’s author, New Orleans Senator J.P. Morrell, cited 180 year old documents to make his point why convictions in felony should be unanimous. Louisiana and Oregon are the only two states without Unanimous jury requirements.

     

    A man wanted in Ouachita Parish shot and killed himself Tuesday night after being stopped by a Georgetown Police Department officer. According to a release from the department, Officer Scott Nugent stopped the man around 11 p.m. on U.S. Highway 165. Nugent discovered that the man was wanted on a warrant in Ouachita Parish. When Nugent told the man of the warrant he sped off and drove into LaSalle Parish. The Olla Police Department set up a road block near Hardtner Medical Center. The man fired two shots from his car, then shot himself. He died at the scene. None of the officers fired their weapons. No one else was injured. The man’s name has yet to be released.

     

    A Senate-approved bestiality bill that’s been grabbing headlines passed unanimously through a House committee. The bill would update bestiality laws, and codify them as only applying to acts between man and animal. Some opponents argue the bill is an attempt to protect homosexual behavior.

     

    Secretary of State Tom Schedler told a Senate committee his office is looking at improving its anti-harassment policies. Schedler, who was accused of sexually harassing an employee in a recent lawsuit, was forced to discuss his agency’s policies during harsh questioning. Lawmakers are working on anti-harassment legislation in this session.

     

    The state legislature decided they would protect residents from Tangipahoa from themselves and decided not to give residents there the opportunity to vote on whether they want a riverboat casino in their parish. DiamondJacks Casino and Resort in Bossier City is interested in moving its license to a site near Hammond But religious leaders object. The Senate and a House committee have killed bills that would call for a local option referendum..

     

    The House Education Committee passed a proposal that would require schools provide a 30 minute recess break to students. Currently schools must have 30 minutes of physical activity, which is covered in many districts by PE class. Houma Representative and sponsor Beryl Amedee says recess is crucial to a child’s educational development.

    But the legislation received opposition from the Louisiana Association of Principles, who raised concerns that it would cut back on classroom time. Executive Director Debra Schum says schools would struggle to accomplish this under current class time requirements.

     

    Festival season is kicking off in Louisiana. This weekend may be the busiest, with huge celebrations in New Orleans and Lafayette. In New Orleans it’s Jazz Fest and in Lafayette it’s Festival International De Louisiana. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser says thousands of tourists will be in the state and he hopes their visit will lead to more tourism

     

    Baton Rouge police say a two-year accidentally shot his eight-year-old brorther inside a vehicle. Detectives say the boys’ father left the loaded handgun unattended when he got out of the car. The child was shot in the arm, but the injury is not considered life-threatening.

     

    Smoothie King is moving its corporate headquarters from New Orleans to Dallas. It means the loss of 60 jobs for the Crescent City. Greater New Orleans Inc C-E-O Michael Hecht says the city has had its share of economic wins lately, but this is a bit of a blow. The Smoothie King Center, home of the Pelicans, will retain its name.

     

    legislation that would allow a family to install a surveillance camera inside a nursing home room so it can keep tabs on their loved one is moving closer to final passage. The House approved member received backing from the Senate Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday . Senators say they will work on tightening the language of the bill.

     

    State Police has arrested a Morehouse Parish Deputy for alleged inappropriate sexual contact with an inmate at the detention center in Bastrop. 50-year-old Terry Davis is facing a charge of malfeasance in office.

     

    Cuban tree frogs have moved into New Orleans, and are now threatening to muscle out the locals according to the US Geological Survey. The frogs are invasive, and are suspected to have hopped a ride to the Crescent City on palm trees imported from Florida. Ecologist Brad Glorioso says it’s a threat to the state amphibian, the green tree frog. Plus avoid touching the frogs. The Cuban frogs, which can grow as large as your fist, have a built in protection system. When touched,  it causes a burning sensation in the touchee..

     

    Sports..

     

    The first round of the NFL drafts begins this evening.. Hear live coverage beginning at 6pm on 94.7 ESPN

     

    The LSU Tigers begin a three game series this evening @ Ole Miss.  Catch all three games on KSYL beginning with tonight’s game airtime 7:30p KSYL 970am / 100.3

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  •  

    News for Wednesday 042518

    By Dave Graichen

     

    The search is over.. after eluding authorities since Sunday,  29 year old Albert Micklus was captured Tuesday afternoon on Hoyt Road in the Cotile Lake area.  The search  started when authorities say Micklus broke into a Boyce home Sunday morning, shot the homeowner and kidnapped a woman. The woman was found later in the day unharmed. The homeowner was treated for non-life threatening injuries. Authorities believe Micklus may have had some help. Rapides Sheriff Detectives on Monday arrested his mother, 54-year-old Dolores Micklus, and booked her into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.

     

    This week marks the halfway point of the regular legislative session and it’s unclear whether the Senate will take up the House approved budget that is disliked by the Edwards administration because of its deep cuts to health care services. The governor is calling for a special session and to pass tax bills to close a 648-million dollar deficit.

     

    The state senate has approved legislation that would prohibit abortions 15 weeks after conception. It passed on a 31-3 vote and now moves to the House for its consideration. Mississippi also passed a 15-week abortion ban, but a federal judge has temporarily blocked the state from enforcing that new law.

     

    The switch to make Louisiana juries come to unanimous decisions will face a tough test in the House Criminal Justice committee today. Currently only 10 out of twelve jurors have to agree if someone is guilty of a crime. A proposed constitutional amendment seeks to make all felony convictions unanimous.

     

    The House approved Max Gruver Act moved a step closer to becoming law today when it passed out of a Senate panel. The proposal strengthens the criminal penalties for hazing. It’s named after the LSU student, who died last fall in a suspected hazing incident involving large amounts of alcohol. Currently, hazing is just a misdemeanor crime.

     

    The state Senate on Tuesday approved a bill pushed by Louisiana’s riverboat casino industry to allow its 15 floating casinos to operate land side and have more slot machines. SB316 now goes to a state House committee for a hearing. The legislation would permit the boats to operate within 1,200 feet of their designated berth site and would replace the longtime cap of 30,000 square feet of gambling space with a limit of 2,365 gambling positions.

     

    The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Stuart Kyle Duncan to a lifetime New Orleans-based seat on the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, overcoming objections from Democrats and liberal groups.

     

    The narrow 50-47 vote broke down almost entirely along party lines. The 46 year old  Duncan  has been a lightning rod for criticism from liberal groups since President Donald Trump tapped him for the job. A Baton Rouge native and LSU law school graduate, Duncan has built a national reputation fighting a host of social-conservative legal battles and argued a number of prominent cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

     

    A proposal to strengthen the state law against bestiality is facing unexpected opposition from conservative lawmakers who see it as an underhanded move to strike the state's unconstitutional ban on sodomy.  Republican Senator Ryan Gatti says the bill was written because the far left wants to undermine other laws that protect family and traditional values that the people of Louisiana hold dear. Gatti was one of 10 Senators who voted against the bill.

     

    Festival International begins today in Lafayette, a five-day music festival that features music groups from over 20 countries. The festival attracts 300-thousand people every year and has an estimated economic impact of 49-million dollars. Marketing director Carly Viator says there’s no other festival in Louisiana you can attend for free and hear music from across the globe. The festival, which is the largest of it kind in the country,  continues through Sunday.

     

    LSU announces House Majority Whip Steve Scalise will deliver the keynote address at LSU’s commencement on May 11th. The Louisiana Congressman will also deliver the commencement speech for the LSU Law Center on June 1st. Scalise is an LSU alumnus.

     

    A Senate-approved resolution made it out of the House Transportation committee that will study whether LSU should start classes after 10 AM to ease the morning traffic congestion in Baton Rouge. State Representative Steve Carter says it’s a concept local downtown businesses have discussed as well.

     

    Sports..

     

    LSU Head Football Coach Ed Orgeron said today on a Shreveport radio station that they’ll probably play two quarterbacks next season. Coach O says they will name a starter by the end of fall camp. The three QBs vying for an opportunity to start didn’t separate themselves during Spring practice.

     

    In baseball, The LSU tigers shutout  Lamar last night 8 to nothing.  Up next a three game series at Ole’ Miss. That starts tomorrow.

     

    In the mood for some lunchtime Baseball.. this afternoon the Houston Astros @ LA Angels. The Astros are trying to save some face in this series. The have lost two of the three games.  airtime 12:35p 94.7 ESPN

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  • News for Tuesday 042418

    By Dave Graichen

     

    You may have heard the helicopters flying overhead last night. It’s all part of the ongoing search for a Boyce man suspected of shooting a homeowner and kidnapping a female early Sunday. The RPSO considers Albert Micklus armed and dangerous and asks anyone with information to contact their office..

     

    Five fired Rapides Parish Sheriff's deputies will be arraigned on May 16. The five were terminated after a complaint was filed by an inmate complaining of excessive force. At their arraignments, the defendants will enter pleas to the charges against them. Future court dates might be set at that time.

     

    A proposal to increase fees for hunting and fishing licenses failed to get the necessary 70 votes yesterday to pass the House. The legislation would raise an additional six-point-eight million dollars a year for Wildlife and Fisheries, who says the increase is necessary to help sustain the department for years to come.  The vote on the bill was 54-27. It needs 70 votes to pass, because it’s a fee increase. The measure can be brought up again.

     

    The Senate Finance Committee has begun discussions regarding the House approved budget that calls for a 20-percent cut in TOPS and it will result in deep cuts to health care services. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne asked the panel not to pass this budget and wait to approve a spending proposal when revenues can be raised in a special session…

     

    A measure that could free up several hundred million dollars in state spending that is set by law and cannot be adjusted in the annual budget progress narrowly cleared its first hurdle Monday. In a 6-4 vote, the Senate Finance committee approved a slightly watered-down version of a bill that would reclassify the funds in the Treasury. It now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

     

    US Senator John Kennedy is asking Louisiana officials to cancel state contracts with Citigroup and Bank of America after the banks announced that they would enforce restrictions on companies that sell firearms. Kennedy says  the restrictions are a form of political discrimination. Governor John Bel Edwards responded to Kennedy’s divestment request saying: “The only contract with a direct cost to the state was signed by Kennedy himself during his tenure as state treasurer. This contract is  with Bank of America.” As such, the governor called for “less posturing on the issue.”

     

    Governor John Bel Edwards and Formosa Petrochemical Corporation announced an agreement to build a 9.4 billion dollar facility in St. James Parish. Once the ten year project is completed, officials say it will generate 1,200 full time jobs with an average pay of 84,500 dollars a year. 8,000 construction jobs are expected to be created while the facility is built.

     

    Huge economic development news as Formosa selects a site in St. James Parish near the Sunshine Bridge to build a nine-point-four billion dollar chemical manufacturing complex. State Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says the 24-hundred acre site is branded as the Sunshine Project and it would create 12-hundred jobs.

    Pierson says construction should begin next year.

     

    Starting Today, The Louisiana Department of Health will offer free S-T-D testing and treatment at parish health units around the state. Assistant State Health Office Doctor Parham Jaberi says go to L-D-H’s website to find out when the parish health unit in your area is participating. Testing here in Rapides parish will be this Wednesday at the parish health unit on Coliseum Blvd.

     

    A 15-year-old boy was found dead by deputies in a mobile home Sunday in Paradis (Par A Dees), and his mother is in critical condition. The child’s father is the suspected killer. Deputies found the boy, and his mother, both with multiple gunshot wounds. A spokesman with the St. Charles Parish Sherriff’s office says the boy’s father, Ed Veillon Jr. has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

     

     

    Sports..

     

    Despite getting swept at South Carolina, LSU remains a game back of the division lead in the SEC West. The Tigers are 9-9 in league play, while the Rebels and Razorbacks are 10-8. LSU is at Ole Miss this weekend.

     

    Tonight it’s LSU tiger Baseball as they play host to Lamar 7p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm

     

    Tonight, it the Houston Astros @ LA Angels 6:35p  94.7 ESPN

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  • News for Monday 042318

    By Dave Graichen

     

    The search continues for 29 year old Albert Mickulas who the RPSO reports allegedly broke into a residence early Sunday morning, shot the home owner and kidnapped the female that was with the victim.  The victim was transported and treated at a local hospital for superficial injuries. He has since been released from the hospital. The Kidnapping victim was discovered unharmed early Sunday evening.

     

    Louisiana had three months run of good jobs numbers with unemployment down to 4.4 percent. According to March employment figures, 46-thousand people have joined the workforce over the last 12 months. Workforce Commission Executive Director Ava Dejoie (DAZE-WW-AH) says that puts us number one in the nation for adding new jobs.

     

    A House floor vote is scheduled today on a proposal to raise the cost of a basic resident hunting and fishing license by a few dollars. Wildlife and Fisheries officials say the increase is needed to offset a 65-million dollar loss in state funding since 2009. Political analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the proposal is having a difficult time passing, because it needs 70 votes from the 105-member House

     

    A bill that would allow riverboat casinos to expand onto land is scheduled to be heard by the full Senate today, after being pulled from consideration last week. The bill would remove restrictions for Louisiana’s 15 floating gambling halls. Louisiana Casino Association Executive Director Wade Duty says more profitable casinos means more revenue for the state. Duty says Louisiana is the only state that requires casinos be seaworthy, and that’s holding back the local industry.

     

    The chairman of Senate Finance has no desire to approve the budget the House passed last Thursday. Ville Platte Senator Eric LaFleur says he can’t support a spending plan that would kick 46-thousand elderly and disabled people from nursing homes. But Republicans on the panel have a different view. Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt says the legislature should pass a budget, so they have a better idea on where the budget gaps exist.

     

    Legislation that lets public school teachers pray with students cleared the Senate Education committee. The bill would further existing law that allows school employees to volunteer to supervise voluntary student-initiated, student-led prayer. Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti introduced the law that he says will make it easier for the kids to do what they want to. The measure moves to the Senate floor.

     

    U.-S. Senator John Kennedy says he’s asked the Trump administration to give full consideration to the inclusion of Chinese crawfish and shrimp in additional tariffs.

    He added that a higher tariff on Chinese crawfish and shrimp would help our seafood industry, which has a 2.4 billion dollar impact on Louisiana’s economy. Earlier this month, President Trump asked the U.-S. Trade Representative to consider whether 100-billion dollars in additional tariffs would be appropriate.

     

    While the Federal tax deadline passed last week, the Louisiana individual income tax deadline is May 15th. The Louisiana Department of Revenue has already issued over 400,000 individual income tax rebates to those who have sent in their returns. Filing state taxes electronically is faster with refunds typically being sent out within 60 days. Those filing paper forms should get their refund within 98 days.

     

    A probation officer was fired and arrested on Friday for sexual battery. 28 year old, Sirrena Martin of St. Gabriel was reportedly having sex with an inmate. According to the Department of Corrections, Martin was turned in by another corrections officer. Martin faces counts of sexual battery, malfeasance in office and introducing contraband into a penal institution.

     

    The volunteer firefighter who stands accused of setting a house fire that killed his wife and her service dog has had his charges upgraded to First Degree Murder, along with his existing charges of Aggravated Arson, Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, and Aggravated Cruelty to Persons with Infirmities. Police say Richland Parish volunteer Kenneth Fulford set his house alight, to “end his ailing wife’s suffering” last Monday.

     

    A new supplement wrapped up testing at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and claims it can help improve gut health that is lacking in most modern diets. New Orleans Native Dr. Mark Heiman says there’s a lot of research showing Americans are lacking the proper bacteria in their stomachs.Heiman says between processed foods and low carb diets, people are losing out on nutrients are that crucial to helping your body stay healthy, slim, and regular.

     

    A 41-year-old Slidell woman faces up to ten years in prison after she was found guilty of using another woman’s I-D to get a job as a human resources manager, a job that paid her six figures. Diversified Food and Seasonings knew something wasn’t right when Cindy White wasn’t able to do the jobs she claimed to do on her resume, which she stole from LinkedIN and got the rest of the victim’s identity from another website.

     

    Four former LSU students pleaded not guilty in the Maxwell Gruber hazing case. 20 year old Matthew Naquin faces negligent homicide charges, Sean-Paul Gott, Patrick Forde, & Ryan Isto were charged with hazing. Naquin faces up to five years while the other three are facing 30 days. All four were indicted last month by an east Baton Rouge parish grand jury for the alcohol related death of Maxwell Gruber in September. District Court Judge Beau Higginbotham has set a September trial date.

     

    Sports..

     

    After the Spring Game, it remains unclear who will be the Tigers starting quarterback when LSU faces Miami in the season opener.  Head Coach Ed Orgeron says Justin McMillan had the best performance out of the three candidates on Saturday. Orgeron says the offense as a whole has to execute better.

     

    The Pelicans took care of Portland in four games and its on to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. 

     

    Tough weekend in LSU baseball.. South Carolina swept the weekend series against the tigers.  LSU dropped to 24-17 overall and 9-9 in conference play.

     

    The Tigers are in third place in the SEC Western Division, but just one game behind division leaders Ole Miss and Arkansas (both 10-8).

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  • News for Friday 042018

    By Dave Graichen

     

    Authorities say more arrests are expected after the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Office charged 10 people in burglaries and thefts in the Bordelonville and Moreauville areas.

    All in all seven adults and three juveniles were charged. The APS says the arrests  cleared 14 property crime cases in the parish. The burglaries and thefts from homes and vehicles began around January.

     

    The U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command investigating the killing of an 18-year-old soldier at Fort Polk. A Lake Charles newspaper now reports the gunshot wound that claimed his life was not self-inflicted. Private Jacob  Malcolm of Hedgesville, West Virginia, was fatally shot on April 12 in a residence at the base. Malcolm enlisted in Feb. 2017 and was serving as an infantry rifleman.

     

    The House narrowly passed a budget that would fund TOPS at 80% and maintain higher ed funding, but would implement deep cuts in healthcare funding, potentially ending public-private partnership hospitals that care for the poor. The proposed spending plan goes to the Senate Finance Committee who will meet Sunday. It’s possible the Senate may not even vote on a budget, and wait on a special session.

    House GOP Chairman Lance Harris says the budget is the best they could do with the funds they have available.

     

    Governor John Bel Edwards says the proposed state budget that was approved by the House is a non-starter, and if it reaches his desk, he’s not signing it. The budget maintains higher ed, and funds TOPS at 80 percent, but includes steep cuts to healthcare that could shutter public-private hospitals that care for the poor. Edwards says it’s a budget unworthy of the people of Louisiana. Edwards says there’s only one way forward now under the state’s constitution: and that’s returning to a special session where additional revenue can be generated to replace the 648 million dollars that are missing from the current budget. Reports indicate lawmakers are planning on returning for a special session in mid-May.

     

    The Senate Education committee rejected a House approved measure that attempted to end what is known as lunch shaming. State Representative Patricia Smith’s legislation would prohibit public schools from penalizing students or embarrassing them if their parents have failed to pay for school lunches.

     

    The state House approves legislation supporters say will help the Cajun Navy and other volunteer groups have a greater impact during a disaster. The legislation gives the Cajun Navy access to state equipment and training. The measure heads to the Senate for its consideration.

     

    The State Fire Marshal has arrested a Richland Parish volunteer firefighter in connection with a mobile home fire that injured his medically disabled wife. Kenneth Fulford was booked into parish prison on multiple offenses. State Fire Marshal spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says it’s unfortunate one of their own was charged.

    The victim’s service dog was killed.

     

    Hall of Fame Quarterback Brett Favre is in a new PSA addressing dangerous behavior behind the wheel. Property Casualty Insurance Vice President of State Government Relations Joe Woods worked with Favre to bring the PSA to life. He says his organization is pushing to increase penalties for drivers who use their phone while driving. Distracted driving was responsible for over 700 Louisiana deaths in 2016.

     

    A ceremony is being held today for a Korean War Veteran from Ferriday whose remains are being returned home after 68 years. 19-year-old Sergeant Lester Walker was deployed to Korea with an anti-air craft weapons battalion.

     

    A seven year old policy barring inmates from talking to the media about their cases has been lifted by the Louisiana Department of Corrections after a challenge from the ACLU. ACLU Staff Attorney Bruce Hamilton says the gag order was a gross violation of inmates civil rights. The suit was brought on behalf of Darold Hines, an Angola Inmate, who was denied the right to speak to LSU reporters who were investigating his case. Hamilton says just because they are prisoners, doesn’t mean they don’t have rights.

     

    Sports..

     

    The LSU baseball team begins a three-game series tonight at South Carolina. The road has not been friendly to the Bayou Bengals as they are 2-8 away from Alex Box Stadium. LSU will start Zack Hess on the mound. Airtime 6:30 on KSYL 970 / 100.3 HD3

     

    The Pelicans could walk away with their first round of the NBA Playoffs.  That after their   119 to 102 win over the Trailblazers last night.. Just one more game and they are on to round 2. That chance will come tomorrow afternoon at 4.

     

    Same scenario for the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs. Golden state leading that series 3 to nothing. The Raptors go in to tonight’s game with a 2 to nothing advantage as does the Boston Celtics over the Bucks.

     

    It’s one all as Round one of the NBA playoffs continue tonight with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Indiana Pacers Airtime 5:30p 94.7 ESPN

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  • News for Thursday 041918

    By Dave Graichen

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

    The bill moves onto the Senate.

     

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

     

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

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

     

    Sports..

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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  • News for Wednesday 041818

    By Dave Graichen

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Sports..

     

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

     

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

     

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

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  • News for Tuesday 041718

    By Dave Graichen

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

     

    Sports..

     

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

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  • News for Monday 041618

    By Dave Graichen

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Sports…

     

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

     

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

     

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

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  • News for Friday 041318

    By Dave Graichen

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

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  • News for Thursday 041218

    By Dave Graichen

     

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Sports..

     

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

     

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

     

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

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  • News for Wednesday 041118

    By Dave Graichen

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    On air today..

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

     

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

     

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

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  • News for Tuesday 041018

    By Dave Graichen

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Sports..

     

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

     

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

     

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

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  • News for Monday 040918

    By Dave Graichen

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    On Air Today..

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

     

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

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