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  • News for Tuesday 032018

    By Dave Graichen


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


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


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


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


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


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

    Strain says the most pressing issue is outdated equipment.


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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


  • News for Monday 031918

    By Dave Graichen


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


  • News for Friday 031618

    By Dave Graichen


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




    On the air today…


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


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


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


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


  • News for Thursday 031518

    By Dave Graichen


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


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


  • News for Wednesday 031418

    By Dave Graichen


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


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


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


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

    1974 was the last time Louisiana had a constitutional convention.


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

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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


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


  • News for Monday 031218

    By Dave Graichen


    The first violent weather of the spring rolled through Cenla Sunday morning. Strong winds and heavy rain was responsible for the downing of trees and for the destruction of a home in Fifth Ward in Avoyelles parish. The family, in that home, was inside when it began to disintegrate. Luckily, no one was seriously injured.    


    The Alexandria Police Department has arrested two people for the murder of Joseph Roy on Bolton Avenue last Thursday. 33 year old Demarcus Scales and 32 year old LaToshia Thomas were arrested without incident on Saturday. Both will be charged with second degree murder. The victim, Joseph Roy, was the father of four.


    Early voting began Saturday for the March 24th election. You can early vote from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. all this week. In Rapides, you can vote at the Rapides Parish Courthouse downtown, or in Pineville at Kees Park. Early voting ends this Saturday.


    The regular session kicks off today, and Governor John Bel Edwards is hoping the legislature gets more accomplished than the special session that ended without a clear solution to the fiscal cliff. The special session was notable for its stark partisan divides, which Edwards says were the worst he’s seen in a decade. Legislators are not allowed to address revenue issues in this regular session, so the fiscal cliff will have to wait for another special session to be called afterwards.


    The regular session begins today less than a week after the special session crashed and burned. Fiscal cliff negotiations will be put on hold while a slew of other issues take center stage. There are several gun control bills filed. But Council for a Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin doesn’t see any of the measures to restrict who can purchase an assault rifle passing. 18 states raised their minimum wage this year, and a few major companies are following suite. Erwin says while the national landscape is tilting in favor of higher wages, he doesn’t see it happening in Louisiana.


    Governor John Bel Edwards released his legislative agenda aimed at improving the well-being of children and seniors. One of the bills included is West Monroe Representative Frank Hoffman’s proposal to reduce the requirements necessary for public school teachers to obtain tenure. Hoffman says the current requirements are unfair to educators.


    The removal of four Jim Crow-era monuments in New Orleans took center stage in the national media again Sunday night as "60 Minutes" used the drama surrounding the effort to take down the statues here last year as a springboard into debates over Confederate icons in other cities. There was really nothing new in the report. The interview was largely a condensed history of the four monuments’ removal for a national audience, most of which would be familiar to anyone who followed the efforts locally.


    With the onset of spring comes seasonal allergies and this year could be a very long season. For those who suffer from hay fever, it spells many weeks of sniffing, sneezing, watery eyes and post nasal drainage. Physician Dr. Peter Boggs says the allergy season started early due to record breaking warmth in February. But there is still a lot of pollen to go around.


    Four people are under arrest in connection with the deaths of a cow and three calves near the levee in St. Landry Parish. All four were charged with simple criminal damage to property and aggravated cruelty to animals.


    A Bossier City pastor was arrested on drug charges after deputies found Methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia at his house. Andy Harris was the senior pastor of The Church of the Cross in Haughton, and was charged with possession. Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Davis says Harris was being questioned about a separate investigation when the subject came up.


    Authorities in St. Tammany parish report a 5-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool in the backyard of his grandmother's home in Covington on Saturday afternoon. When the grandmother realized the child was missing she was not immediately alarmed because the child commonly liked to play hide and seek. The boy's mother arrived at the home a short time later, and they began searching for the child. They found him floating in an above-ground pool in the backyard.





    Spring football is underway at LSU and so is the competition to be the Tigers starting quarterback in the fall. Head Coach Ed Orgeron says soon to be junior Justin McMillan made a good first impression on Sunday, the first practice of spring. The LSU coaching staff is also looking for a featured running back to emerge in the spring. Orgeron says since there’s no Leonard Fournette or Derius Guice on the roster, they will be an offense that depends more on its passing game.


    LSU thundered its way to a series win Sunday, thrashing Hawaii 14-1 and setting a new season high with 17 hits at Alex Box Stadium. The Tigers started out the three game series on a sour not losing to Hawaii 4 to 2, but came back Saturday with a 5 to one win. The 11 & 6 Tigers play host Wednesday night to South Alabama..  


    After winning 10 in a row, the Pelicans have now lost two straight. Utah came into the Smoothie King Center yesterday and beat the Pels 116 to 99. During the 10 game win streak, New Orleans was averaging about 125 points a game, but in the last two, they’ve failed to score 100.


  • News for Friday 030918

    By Dave Graichen


    The country cares for St Jude Radiothon is going on right now on 100.3 KRRV Call 1-800-573-5425 to become a Partner in Hope! You can also become a Partner in Hope now by texting KRRV to 785833! Or visit the website at


    The search is on to find a replacement for Jon Grafton, the head of the England Authority. The Board of Commissioners has decided to hired a search firm, ADK Consulting Inc., at a cost of just under 35 grand to do just that. Grafton announced his resignation last month after 24 years on the job.


    Alexandria Police are investigating the apparent murder of a 42 year old man on Bolton Avenue. Police report the body was found shortly after 2 Thursday afternoon near Madison Street. Police closed a portion of Bolton Avenue for about an hour as they investigated. Other than saying the victim was shot, there is no word yet on any suspects or on the identity of the man.


    Early voting starts Saturday for the election scheduled for March 24. There are numerous issues on area ballots, including the Alexandria City Marshal race and a parish-wide tax renewal for the health unit in Rapides Parish as well as elections for Colfax mayor and Aldermen positions, Marksville aldermen positions and Bunkie police chief.


    Target and Walmart workers will see more money in their paycheck. Walmart says Associates in Louisiana will receive 13.7 million dollars in bonuses today, while Target announced it’s raising its minimum hourly wage to 12-dollars this spring and 15-dollars by the end of 2020. UNO Business Professor Mark Rosa says this is the effect of the recent federal tax overhaul.


    New Orleans Democrat Senator Troy Carter has filed a bill to raise the state minimum hourly wage to $9.50 for businesses with more than 50 employees by August 2019. 18 states started the year with increased wages and an additional 19 states adopted higher wages in 2017. Carter says in light of WalMart’s recent announcement of employee bonuses and Target raising their minimum wage, it’s time for Louisiana to step up.


    A State Trooper’s kindness has gone viral after he found a wallet on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras in New Orleans and personally paid to send it back to the owner. Senior Trooper Melissa Matey says Alexandria Master Trooper John Jett truly showed what being a state trooper is all about. The Reddit post showing the wallet and a personal letter from Jett has been viewed nearly 100-thousand times


    Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor will be bringing two constitutional amendments to the floor. Currently, State judges are not allowed to be elected after the age of 70. Claitor says it’s time to level the playing field. He has proposed a constitutional amendment that prohibits any person over the age of 70 from running for a statewide position or the legislature. Claitor also has also filed a constitutional amendment that would allow a person over the age of 70 to be elected as a judge. He says he’s filed the two to start a conversation. Several state lawmakers are already coming out against the ammendments.


    West Monroe Representative Frank Hoffman is proposing two bills as part of Governor John Bel Edwards’ plan to improve the well-being of Louisiana children. One bill would lower requirements for obtaining teacher tenure, and the other would reduce the percentage of a teacher’s evaluation that is comprised of growth in student achievement.


    Baton Rouge Representative Pat Smith wants to send some convicted criminals home if they have kids to take care of. It’s part of House bill 264 that would give judges more flexibility on deciding how to punish parents who have committed non-violent crimes. Smith says, if passed, it will be up to district court judges to determine how they serve their punishment.


    US Representative Clay Higgins is proposing two bills aimed at investigating and improving the quality of law enforcement protection at public schools. After the revelation that the school resource officer present at the Florida shooting fled, Higgins says it’s time to reevaluate just who is charged with protecting students.  His second bill would establish national training standards for SRO’s.


    Louisiana’s attorney general sued a local school board Thursday over a meeting disrupted by the video-recorded arrest of a teacher being roughly handcuffed on a hallway floor after she criticized the district superintendent’s pay raise. Attorney General Jeff Landry’s lawsuit accuses the Vermilion Parish School Board and its members of violating the state’s Open Meetings Law by stifling public debate at the Jan. 8 meeting.

    The suit asks a state court to nullify all actions taken by the board during that meeting, including its vote to raise the Schools Superintendent ‘s salary by roughly $30,000


    The Bonnet Carre Spillway in St. Charles Parish is in operation for the 12th time since the 1930s. Water from the rising Mississippi River is flowing into Lake Pontchartrain, Colonel Mike Clancy of the Corps New Orleans office says they are easing levee levels by opening eight of the 350 bays on the flood control structure.


    The NFL is reportedly looking into the some of the questions former LSU running back Derrius Guice received while speaking with teams at the Draft Combine. Guice told SiriusXM Radio he was asked whether he likes men and whether his mom sells herself.


    The Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Department is seeking information in finding persons responsible for the death of a cow and three calves at a levee near Port Barre.

    Anyone with information is urged to contact the Agriculture Department, Livestock Crimestoppers or the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office.


    People looking to eat healthy might be surprised to find out one of their best bets might be a crawfish boil. Not counting drinks, the boiled corn, potatoes, and crawfish comes out to a pretty balanced, low calorie meal. Nationally regarded Baton Rouge chef Holly Clegg says the mudbug is the perfect lean meat.




    LSU basketball  is out of the SEC tournament in game 1. They lost last night to Mississippi state 80 to 77


    LSU Baseball  hosts Hawaii for a weekend series beginning tonight at Alex Box Stadium. It’s the final non-conference series for the Tigers, before they begin SEC play next weekend against Missouri.


    The Pelicans won their tenth straight game Wednesday night as they defeated Sacramento 114 to 101. Anthony Davis left the game in the third quarter after rolling his ankle. X-rays taken were negative. New Orleans hosts the Wizards tonight. Hear the game starting at 6:30 on 94.7 ESPN.


  • News for Thursday 030818

    By Dave Graichen


    It is something the staff at our sister station KRRV does every year and it all begins today.. it’s the country cares for St Jude Radiothon. Every year the listeners of KRRV open their hearts and give to this great cause. To become a Partner in Hope please call 800-573-5425 if you can’t write the number down right now, you can go to any of the Cenla Broadcasting websites for more information. The Radiothon continues through tomorrow night at 6..


    The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is investigating whether a containment vessel at Clean Harbors Colfax, that was breached in heavy rain last week, may have contaminated some nearby creeks, ponds or groundwater in the area. The storm water runoff previously has been shown to contain higher-than-allowable amounts of toxins.


    An amended complaint was filed March 1 in a federal lawsuit that claims Louisiana College wouldn't hire a coach because of his Jewish heritage. The new evidence includes what appears to be a text message exchange between the man suing and the school's head football coach.  Joshua Bonadona's lawsuit is against the private Baptist college and its president, Rick Brewer.


    They call them copycats and there have been more than 600 of them across the country since the deadly shooting in Florida. They’re Teens making threats against their schools. Here in Cenla, a 15-year-old Avoyelles Parish student was arrested Tuesday while four more students were arrested Wednesday for making threats against three different Avoyelles Parish schools.


    A federal appeals court has scheduled a hearing next week to take a look at a judge’s order that stopped construction on the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Shelly Dick sided with environmentalists when she issued a preliminary injunction stopping the pipeline’s construction, after reviewing environmental reports that showed the pipeline could disrupt the local ecology, and increase the loss of Louisiana’s wetlands.


    The Bonnet Carre Spillway will be opened for just the twelfth time today as the Mississippi River swells, and threatens to tops levees across southeast Louisiana. The spillway is expected to run at about half capacity for three weeks, and will drain the river into some of the 320 pods that are controlled by timber locks. Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Michael Clancy says the construction is old tech, but runs just fine.


    St. Tammany Sheriff Randy Smith has provided more details on the arrest of four people who are connected to the deaths of Raegan Day and Dustin Hartline. They were found in a Camaro submerged in water near the East Pearl River Boat Launch on Monday. The coroner determined both were shot in the head in what appears to have been a carjacking gone wrong..


    A bill has been filed in the regular session to legalize sports betting in Louisiana. The U-S Supreme Court could soon issue a ruling that legalizes sports betting across the country. New Roads Representative Major Thibaut says several other states are preparing to allow sports betting and he believes Louisiana should be prepared to regulate it to. Under Thibaut’s bill, sports betting parlors would be allowed at the state’s four horse racing tracks.


    West Virginia teachers won a five percent raise for all state workers after a nine day strike. In the wake of reports showing Louisiana teachers are paid 2,000 dollars less than the regional average, Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Larry Carter says if all other options are exhausted to get better conditions for teachers, he would support a strike. However, Carter says no local discussions have been had about a strike.


    Monroe based CenturyLink’s chief executive is retiring in May. Glen Post had originally said he would stay on until the end of the year. Post has served as CEO for 26 years of his 42 year career. President and COO Jeff Storey will take over after May 23rd. Under Post’s leadership, annual revenues went from 218-million in 1991 to 24-billion last year.


    Republican U-S Senator John Kennedy has sent out a statement praising House Republicans for saving Louisiana families, from what he calls, Governor Edwards’ tax increases. And Kennedy adds the fault lies with the governor and Democracts for refusing to fully embrace basic budget reforms.


    A Lafayette woman is facing criminal charges after she allegedly stole another student’s diploma during last December’s LSU graduation ceremony. LSU Police say Bianca White actually walked across the stage and accepted a purple diploma cover and graduation diploma that belonged to another student. When confronted that day, White said she gave the real diploma to another person. She’s finally been booked on several charges including theft.


    A pro-life movie that highlights the journey of Metairie native and current LSU law student David Scotton meeting his birth parents for the first time will premiere online tonight. Scotton, says “I Lived on Parker Avenue” tells the story of his adoptive parents and his journey to find his birth mom in Indiana and her choice of choosing adoption over abortion. The film will premiere on Scotton’s website at i-lived-on-parker-ave-dot-com tonight starting at 7pm.


    There is a new way to grocery shop in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas without leaving your home. California-based Instacart begins home delivery service for over 600-thousand Louisiana households starting today. Area Manager Ethan Mergen says you can let Instacart do all the work. They have teamed up with chains Albertson’s, Costco, CVS, Petco and Rouse’s Market. These two markets are their first ventures in Louisiana.




    LSU basketball begins play tonight in the SEC Tournament as they’ll tip it off against Mississippi State at 6 PM. The Tigers just beat the Bulldogs by 21 points. LSU can receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament if they win four games over the next four days. Coach Will Wade admits that will be tough for his team.

    ate at 6 PM. The Tigers just beat the Bulldogs by 21 points. LSU can receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament if they win four games over the next four days. Coach Will Wade admits that will be tough for his team.


  • News for Wednesday 030718

    By Dave Graichen


    The APD continues to investigate the death of a 54 year old man who was struck and killed while walking along Mac Arthur drive Monday night.. Fire department and ambulance personnel arrived and transported the man to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police have yet to release the victim’s name and the circumstances surrounding the incident.


    Authorities in St. Tammany Parish report the bodies of a man and a woman who had been missing since February 15th were found in a submerged car at the East Pearl River boat launch on Monday. The Victims have been Identified as 28-year-old Dustin Hartline and 20-year-old Raegan Elizabeth Day. The case is under investigation as a double homicide.


    With the special legislative session over, lawmakers are looking ahead to the regular session that starts Monday. The question is how the legislature will react to a highly fractured House after accusations of mistrust among members. Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey says he can’t see any scenario during the upcoming session where legislators pass a budget. Governor John Bel Edwards agrees that it will be difficult to pass a budget for next fiscal year in the regular session, because lawmakers will see the cuts will be too deep, without raising additional revenue. He says that’s why another special session is likely


    Now that the special session concluded without a solution to fill a one-billion-dollar budget shortfall in July, TOPS funding could be cut by 80-percent. There are nearly 48-thousand TOPS students. Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo says many parents can’t afford to send their kids to college without some financial help. Those college prospects are looking elsewhere to get their education. Rallo says if funding for Higher Education and TOPS is wiped out, it will hurt more than just the students, their families and faculty. It could cripple the state’s economy.


    Jefferson Parish Representative Kirk Talbot has filed a bill for the regular session, that would let voters decide in October if internet fantasy sports betting should be legal in Louisiana. Opponents might say they don’t want another mode of gambling to come to Louisiana, but Talbot says legalizing online sports betting would provide the state with another source of revenue… Louisiana is one of only a handful of states that doesn’t allow online gambling.


    The Manship School at LSU has created a game that lets taxpayers put forward their own plan on how to address the billion dollar fiscal cliff. “Solve The Budget” presents players with a list of budget items that can be cut or funded, and tax proposals that can be adopted to rejected to close the budget gap. Manship Dean Jerry Cepos is encouraging everyone to hop online and give it a try. The website is the information gathered on the site will be passed on to lawmakers.


    The Trump Administration is backing a plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The plan is aimed at making American metal production more competitive at home, but Director of State Projects at the nonpartisan Tax Foundation Scott Drenkard says as a port state, the proposal hits Louisiana particularly hard. The Tax Foundation estimates the tariffs would cost the US 9 billion dollars a year.


    Livingston Parish deputies have charged 27-year-old Chad Horsley with a hate crime. The Denham Springs man is accused of targeting a Muslim owned convenience store, while impersonating an East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputy. Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard says after being confronted with evidence, Horsley cooperated and admitted he picked that store for a reason.


    Work anxiety is causing sleepless nights and are taking a heavy toll on employees. According to new research from Accountemps, 44-percent lose sleep over work due to a number of factors including overwhelming workloads, looming business problems and strained co-worker relationships. The study identified 50-percent of respondents are overwhelmed with work and the amount of hours devoted to their job.


    Sports on air tonight….

    LSU Baseball @ Lafayette 6p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm

    New Orleans Pelicans @ Sacramento Kings 8:30p 94.7 ESPN


  • News for Tuesday 030618

    By Dave Graichen


    Another cold front will bring back cooler temperatures to Louisiana this week. Pierre C. Shadeaux, Louisiana’s rodent weather forecaster predicted an early end to winter back on ground hog day, but State Climatologist Barry Keim says the nutria’s prediction was premature. Temperatures will rebound somewhat by this coming weekend.


    After over two weeks of bickering, name calling and passing the buck, The Louisiana legislature on both sides informed the Governor, yesterday  they were going home without a plan in place to raise taxes to bridge a one billion dollar budget deficit.

    Governor Edwards has said if no compromise was found, TOPS education funding, health care and several other services would be drastically cut. The one-cent sales tax will fall off the books the end of June, causing the shortfall. Once the regular Legislative session starts next Monday March 12th, no tax bills will be able to be discussed.


    Leaders from both sides are pointing fingers after the special session crashed and burned after 15 days of failed negotiations, leaving the state with no certain path to solving the one billion dollar fiscal cliff. Republican Representative Cameron Henry says

    the governor failed to communicate exactly what he wanted, or how large of a shortfall that needed to be made up. But Edwards is placing the blame on House Speaker Taylor Barras who he says reneging on a deal that was cut before the special session started.


    The state legislature went home after spending 15 days in a special session and failing to find a solution to the one billion dollar fiscal cliff. Political analyst Clancy Dubos says legislators spent a lot of taxpayer money for very little return. The session is expected to cost the state nearly a million dollars, 50-to-60-thousand dollars a day.


    Vernon Parish Sheriff John Craft announced plans to close the Vernon Correctional Facility on March 31. Craft says they have thoroughly investigated every possible avenue to avoid closing the facility.  But, with the number of inmates they currently house, (201 as of Monday)  Craft says it is no longer financially feasible to remain open. The state currently pays $10 per day per inmate, which is much lower than most states. The budget that would start in July is looking at cutting the $10 a day figure in half.


    The Corps of Engineers is recommending opening the Bonnet Carre Spillway just outside of New Orleans this Thursday as Mississippi River levels are expected to steadily rise after several weeks of intense rains in the Midwest. Colonel Michael Clancy says the Mississippi is getting close to topping the New Orleans levee system. The river is currently at 14 feet. Once it reaches 15 feet, an forecasters say it will, recreation and work near the levees will be restricted.


    Louisiana drivers are getting a bit of a break with falling gas prices over the last few weeks. The statewide average for regular unleaded gas is $2.33 a gallon, but Triple A’s Don Redman says don’t get too comfortable with these lower prices as we move into the warmer months. Earlier this year, the projection was for $3.00 a gallon in Louisiana, but Redman says the increase won’t be as much as first thought.


    Baton Rouge Representative Edmond Jordan is seeking to introduce a bill that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana and set up a way to tax the sale of cannabis. Jordan says this legislation could help with the state’s constant budget deficits. Baton Rouge and New Orleans recently approved ordinances that decrease the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. He says making it legal statewide is the next obvious step.


    Rayne Police say they plan on arresting several suspects involved in the shooting of an 11-year-old girl. The child was shot in the leg and was treated and released at a local hospital. Authorities say the girl was an innocent bystander in a gunfight involving multiple people on Sunday afternoon.


    A man wanted for second-degree murder out of Iberia Parish has been arrested in Houston. Authorities say the U-S Marshal’s Violent Offender Task Force apprehended Akeam Daniels. He’s accused of fatally shooting 29-year-old Courtland Hall, who was dating the mother of his child. The incident resulted in an Amber Alert involving their two month old child, but the infant was found unharmed.


    Site Selection magazine ranks Louisiana eighth on a per capita basis, among states with the most new and expanded facilities in 2017. It’s the ninth consecutive year Louisiana has landed in the top 10. However, just last week, another study listed Louisiana dead last in the nation for it’s business climate.




    LSU’s Zack Hess has been named National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball Magazine. Hess struck out a career-high 13 in LSU’s victory over Toledo on Friday.


    The Pelicans Anthony Davis has been named the Western Conference Player of the Week. A-D averaged 34 points a game last week as New Orleans is currently riding an eight-game winning streak, which has moved them into fourth place in the Western Conference Standings. New Orleans faces the Los Angeles Clippers tonight. Airtime 8:30 on 94.7 ESPN.


    After 12 seasons, Dave Simmons is out as head coach at McNeese State. The Cowboys missed the Southland Conference Tournament after finishing with a 8-10 league mark.


  • News for Monday 030518

    By Dave Graichen


    So, how wet was February?  According to the National Weather Service February’s rainfall Louisiana set a record going back to the 1870’s. Flood warnings remain in effect for the Mississippi, Ouachita and Red Rivers until further notice.


    Partisan bickering is complicating efforts to address a one billion dollar fiscal shortfall. All hope appears lost that the state legislature will pass any tax measures in this special session to address a nearly one-billion dollar shortfall. A sales tax bill that would provide nearly 300-million dollars in revenues was defeated soundly for a second time last night. As you may suspect, Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for failing to do anything besides collecting a check for their efforts or lack thereof. .


    A sort of “Re-do” bill has been pre-filed for the upcoming legislative regular session by Metairie Senator Conrad Appel. Senate Bill 31 disqualifies would be candidates from running for office after convicted of a felony for at least 15 years after they have served a sentence. Voters approved this legislation before, but the Louisiana Supreme Court tossed it out, because the version that appeared on the ballot was different than what legislators approved. So Appel wants to put it on the ballot again.


    A Monroe woman who pleaded guilty to attempted first degree murder of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Agent Tyler Wheeler was sentenced to a total of 120 years in prison. 32-year-old Amethyst Baird Rathore shot Wheeler during a traffic stop in Morehouse Parish last year leaving him for dead.   Rathore entered the guilty plea last October. There are three different sentences that will run concurrently.


    The Louisiana School Board Association is asking the state legislature for an increase of 70-million-dollars to provide better school security and increase safety measures. LSBA Executive Director Scott Richard says the increase would allow schools to put their local funds to better use. In light of the Florida school shooting that killed 17, all schools are on high alert. Even if the request is not granted, Richard says it’s a good time for schools to look over protocols currently in use.


    A new report finds the majority of Louisiana’s young people are un-fit for military service.  The Pentagon reports that more than 70 percent of Americans aged 17 to 24 cannot join the United States military – 26 million young Americans for various reasons. The percentage in Louisiana is 75 percent. The reasons, overeating, drugs and criminal records. Admiral David Callahan says this is a national security issue and the best way to address this problem is to properly fund early child care and education.


    A road crew in Cameron Parish made a grisly discovery. A severed human head was found inside of a bag alongside Louisiana Highway 27. Sheriff Ron Johnson says it appears the head has been there quite a while, with no other evidence at the scene.  Johnson says the coroner is trying to determine the age and sex.

  has ULM as the only Louisiana college to be ranked in the 100 Best Online Colleges, coming in at number 58. Online Programs coordinator Katie Dawson says the commitment to excellence the professors provide on campus spills over to the online program, which is a big part of the program’s success.




    LSU backed up multiple excellent pitching performances with just enough offense, knocking off Southeastern 4-2 Sunday to preserve its first undefeated weekend of the 2018 season. The (8-4) Tigers completed their three-game sweep of Toledo, Sacred Heart and Southeastern allowing just three runs the entire weekend.


    LSU basketball finished the regular season on a high note with a 78-57 win over Mississippi State on Saturday. Coach Will Wade’s team will play the Bulldogs again Thursday night in the 2nd round of the SEC Tournament.


  • News for Friday 030218

    By Dave Graichen


    A manhunt has been ongoing in south Natchitoches Parish for Rapides Prison escapee Brandon Clark. Authorities say the 39-year-old white male stole a 2018 Ford F-250 and led State Police and Rapides deputies on pursuit into Natchitoches Parish, where he ditched the vehicle and fled in the woods near the Marco -Lena areas.


    The Reverend Billy Graham will be laid to rest today in North Carolina.  There is a Louisiana connection. The 99-year-old evangelist will be buried in a coffin made by prisoners at Angola. Former inmate David Bacon says Graham was so impressed with the caskets they made for those who died while in prison, he ordered one on the spot.

    Bacon says his life wouldn’t be what it is today, had he not had the opportunity to meet Graham while he was at Angola. Graham’s wife Ruth, who died in 2007, is also buried in one of the Angola caskets.


    The House is set to try again today on passing tax proposals that will go towards closing a one-billion dollar budget deficit. A sales tax bill that would generate 300-million dollars annually was soundly defeated on Wednesday, but House Speaker Taylor Barras says that measure is still a critical part of addressing the fiscal cliff. Lawmakers are running out of time as the special session to pass revenue generating measures must end Wednesday night.


    Partisan politics are complicating state budget talks while the one billion dollar shortfall gets closer.  Chairman of the House Republican Legislative Caucus, Lance Harris, blames Governor Edwards for poor negotiating tactics. But, Republican Barry Ivey of Baton Rouge says GOP legislators simply are not willing to work with a Democratic governor.


    House Speaker Taylor Barras says the House will reconvene Friday to consider tax bills. He says there is some progress, but there is still plenty of work to do and stressed that the clock is ticking. The special session is nearly through it’s second week and it must end no later than next Wednesday.


    Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement agents are offering a 55-hundred-dollar reward for information about who killed two black bears last month in St. Mary Parish in the Atchafalaya Basin. Spokesman Adam Einck says the bears were about a half mile apart. There’s no evidence as to why they were killed


    A state Department of Children and Family Services report finds there has been a 77-percent increase in the amount of juvenile human trafficking victims aged 12 or less. Juveniles account for over 52-percent of the 681 identified victims in 2017.   Author of the report Walter Fahr says once a victim is identified, they ask qualified organizations to help provide services they need…


    Gus Mijalis (Muh-Jail-Us), a Shreveport businessman and noted close friend of former Gov. Edwin Edwards, has died. Mijalis family owned the Farmers Seafood Company which opened in 1918. Former Governor Edwin Edwards remembers Mijalis in an adversarial position when they first met. But things quickly changed and they became fast friends.  A memorial service is scheduled for Monday and the former governor says he will attend.


    A judge who halted the construction of the Bayou Bridge oil pipeline says her decision was designed to prevent further irreparable harm to wetlands.   U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick issued a temporary injunction after environmentalists, including the Louisiana Bucket Brigade expressed concerns about it’s effect on the economy and wildlife.  The line would pass through the Atchafalaya Basin between Lake Charles and St. James.


    Four months of construction work will begin Saturday on the I-10 bridge in Lake Charles. DOTD spokesman Rodney Mallet says 8.5 million dollar project will initially close the inside eastbound lane so crews can replace expansion joints on the nearly 60-year-old structure. Motorists are advised to use I-210 as a detour while work takes place.


    We will find out Sunday if two movies filmed in Louisiana will win an Oscar.  Mudbound was filmed in New Orleans and rural St. James Parish, while Logan was filmed in several locations including Amite, Ferriday, Hammond and New Orleans. Mary J. Blige, who recently received the key to the city of Baton Rouge, is nominated for best supporting actress and original song for “Mighty River” for the movie Mudbound.


    U.S. News & World Report has released it’s "Best States" rankings and again, Louisiana did not fare well. The yearly ranking "draws on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens," in a variety of categories like health care, education, and the state's economy. In all, Louisiana received 47th in health care, 49th in education, 44th in economy, 50th in opportunity, 44th in infrastructure, 48th in crime & corrections, 48th in fiscal stability, and 42nd in quality of life.




    The LSU lady tigers are in the SEC tournament this weekend. They’ll face Texas A&M this afternoon starting at 2pm. You can hear the game on KSYL 970am & 100.3 HD3fm.


    LSU baseball will play three different teams at Alex Box Stadium this weekend, starting tonight when they host Toledo out of the Mid-American Conference. Tomorrow, the Tigers play Sacred Heart and Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday. The entire series can be heard on KSYL 970 and 100.3 HD3


  • News for Thursday 030118

    By Dave Graichen


    Governor John Bel Edwards calls the next 24 hours critical for the state House to get behind tax bills to address a looming one billion dollar deficit. With one week to go in the special session, the House has yet to pass any revenue generating proposals.


    The special session called to address a looming one-billion budget shortfall is on the verge of getting nothing accomplished. The House overwhelming rejected a sales tax bill that would have generated an additional 300-million in revenues. The special session must end March 7th and it looks like there’s very little chance anything of substance can come out of this special session. There’s been some accusations that legislators were not willing to go along with substantial tax reform, because it would make Governor Edwards look good when he runs for re-election.


    Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards joined Republican state senator Sharon Hewitt in calling for Secretary of State Tom Schedler to step down. An employee in the Secretary of State’s office has filed a harassment suit against the official who oversees elections in this state. Edwards says the alleged harassment casts doubt on the integrity of the Secretary of State’s office. Schedler has no comment on the calls for his resignation.


    LSU President F. King Alexander announced Wednesday the adoption of recommendations made from the “LSU Task Force on Greek Life.” Alexander took a hard line by adopting the policies and adding some of his own. There will be no more grey areas, any hazing means mandatory expulsion. Alexander says the implementation could be as soon as immediate or wait until the fall semester.


    Ruston-based Hunt Forest Products and Tolko Industries will build a state of the art 115-million-dollar mill in the LaSalle Parish town of Urania. heart of the state’s 11-billion-dollar forest products industry. Mayor Terri Corley Corley says the sawmill will employee 110 people. Hunt is getting a performance based forgivable loan of one-million-dollars under the Economic Development Award Program. The proceeds will be used to construct a rail spur to the mill. Construction is expected to begin in April and operations will begin next year.


    A Mason Dixon Polling and Strategy poll finds that Democrat Governor Edwards has a 55 percent approval rating. 31 percent disapprove and 14 percent answered they were unsure. But Pollster Brad Coker says the high approval rating doesn’t mean he’ll be re-elected in 2019, if his opponents are either House Majority Whip Steve Scalise or Republican Senator John Kennedy. Republican Ralph Abraham has been weighing whether or not he will make a run for the state’s highest office. Coker says his poll finds the U-S Representative would not do well in a head-to-head matchup with Governor Edwards…


    Republican U-S Senator John Kennedy says he doesn’t plan on voting for any of the gun control bills that may come before the Senate in reaction to the deadly mass shooting at a Florida school two weeks ago. Kennedy says statistically gun owners are not the problem. Kennedy says if we enforced the laws on the books many of the shootings, including the one in Florida would not have happened.


    Walmart joined another national chain, Dick’s Sporting Goods, yesterday in announcing that they would no longer sell guns or ammunition to anyone under the age of 21.  The decision comes amid billowing pressure on political leaders and business executives to take action to stem gun violence. Walmart said it would make the policy change "as quickly as possible".


    State Senator Troy Carter has filed a bill for the regular session that raises the age to purchase an assault rifle from 18 to 21. Carter says this is in response to the Florida school shooting which killed 17. The New Orleans Democrat says he believes in the Second Amendment rights, but he doesn’t believe the founding fathers could have imagined semi-automatic rifles.


    The consequences for getting caught smoking pot in Baton Rouge could soon become less drastic. Police and city prosecutors would have the option of treating people they find with marijuana similar to those they catch speeding, with summonses and fines instead of jail time. The East Baton Rouge Metro Council voted Wednesday night to overhaul its marijuana penalties to make them essentially mirror a New Orleans law adopted in 2016.


    The Mississippi River is rising because of heavy rains to the north, with forecasts suggesting that it might swell enough to require opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway later in March. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local levee authorities have already begun twice-weekly inspections of the levees in the New Orleans area as they brace for a river that could crest at about 17 feet in New Orleans by the third or fourth week of March.




    Last night, LSU rallied in regulation, but couldn’t  pull it out in OT against South Carolina; The tigers lost 83-74 upnext, LSU plays host to Mississippi state Saturday..


    LSU Baseball.. the tigers lost last night to South Eastern Louisiana 5 to 4


    Good night last night for the Pelicans. The defeated San Antonio 121 to 116


    On Air Tonight…


    NBA Philadelphia @ Cleveland 6:30p 94.7 ESPN



  • News for Wednesday 022818

    By Dave Graichen


    Local authorities arrested a 14-year-old Pineville high student yesterday after a tip led to the discovery of a BB pistol in his backpack. The pistol was rendered safe and the juvenile was taken into custody by the SRO. The case was turned over to the Sheriffs Juvenile Detective for further action.


    The House of Representatives was quiet Tuesday as members are taking as one lawmaker termed it, a “mental health day” off. Fingers have been pointing all over the capitol in explanation of why the budget crunch cannot be fixed.  Baton Rouge Black Caucus member Ted James says his caucus will not cow-down to pressure of putting a financial burden on the poor by passing a sales tax bill. Jonesboro Republican Jack McFarland says a day off was necessary so all sides can take a deep breath as the deadline to pass revenue generating bills to close a billion dollar deficit is a week away.


    Will the state House come to an agreement on solving a looming one-billion dollar budget deficit as a result of expiring state sales taxes? It’s believed Democrats will agree to a bill that would place the state sales tax rate above four-percent, if Republicans agree to income tax bracket changes or cutting a tax break for middle and upper income wage earners who itemize their deductions. Governor John Bel Edwards met with legislative leaders yesterday and remains optimistic a deal can be struck before the special session ends a week from today.


    State and local officials are keeping an eye on rising river levels along the Red River, Ouachita and Mississippi Rivers. Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bossier, Caddo, Grant, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita and Rapides parishes are under a state of emergency. GOHSEP spokesperson Mike Steele says the declaration allows the state to coordinate response efforts with local officials. River flooding is also a concern in southwest Louisiana. The Calcasieu River at Oberlin is six feet above flood stage and flooding is also anticipated in Kinder.


    Rep. Terry Landry, former head of the Louisiana State Police, plans to co-author a bill with Rep. Helena Moreno to ban the sale of assault rifles in Louisiana. Landry, a democrat from New Iberia, admits the bill is a long shot in the Sportsman's Paradise.


    Congressman Steve Scalise is remembering the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, as they resume classes today, two weeks after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz went on a shooting rampage, killing 17 people. Scalise says today will not be easy for students returning to a place where such a horrific tragedy occurred. Scalise is frustrated the FBI did not investigate Cruz after getting reports from others about his violent nature. 


    A former school principal at a Christian school in Franklin Parish has been indicted by a grand jury on eleven counts of sexual misconduct. District Attorney Mack Lancaster says 41-year-old Stephen Couch of Winnsboro was a teacher, later a principal, at the Tabernacle Christian School in Winnsboro when the crimes occurred. Lancaster says the crimes with the male victims who attended the school, stretch back years. All the victims were aged 14 to 18 at the time the offenses occurred.


    The state Department of Agriculture and Forestry is teaming up with the LSU AgCenter to fight citrus canker disease.  The disease is spread by wind driven rain, causing lesions on the leaves and fruit.  It was first found in the state in 2013 at City Park in New Orleans.  State Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says there is no cure right now, but hopes their research will produce results to slow the disease. The citrus economy has an over six-million-dollar impact to the Louisiana economy annually.


    The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s office has released the names of three people arrested in last Friday’s shooting on the Southeastern Louisiana campus that left two people injured. One of the individuals is on the S-L-U basketball team.




    Tiger Baseball in a game heard Last night on KSYL, The Tigers beat Grambling 10 to 3


    LSU has confirmed there is no active investigation on the Tiger basketball program after Yahoo Sports reported there was an NCAA inquiry to learn more about Coach Will Wade’s recruiting efforts across the country.  Wade says the press will say what they want to say, and as the leader of the program, he can’t let that distract him from doing the job at hand. LSU stated they continue to stand for full compliance and partnership with the NCAA and the SEC.


    On the air tonight..


    The Pelicans @ San Antonio. Air time 7p on 94.7 ESPN.


    LSU Basketball @ South Carolina 5p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm


  • News for Tuesday 022718

    By Dave Graichen


    An Alexandria couple has been charged with attempted murder after police say their newborn baby was discovered in a trashcan last week. Alexandria Police were called to the 1700 block of Bush Ave. when emergency personnel, who had been summoned to a report of a miscarriage, discovered the baby. The baby is still on life support.  Detectives determined that the baby had been placed in the trash by its parents, who waited an hour before calling for help.  30 year old Thelma Kirkland and 31 year old Carl Hall were arrested Friday and have been charged with attempted first degree murder.


    A local Pastor is branching out.. James Greer, a local businessman and pastor of Journey Church, upon approval of the England Authority, appears to be the new owner of the Parc England Hotel and the Bistro on The bayou Restaurant. Greer recently won an auction for the leases on Properties. It’s expected the Authority Board Of Commissioners with give the green light at their Thursday meeting. If it is, Greer said, he will move forward quickly with a full reopening of the hotel.


    A slew of last minute amendments added to some revenue generating bills in the House Ways and Means Committee has bogged down the special session. Shreveport Representative Alan Seabaugh tacked a number of changes that did not go well with Democrat Marcus Hunter. Hunter says the amendments are so in-digestible that this group of legislators might as well just go home. The congressional black caucus is refusing to back a vote until the amendments are removed. The House has recessed until Wednesday.


    Ag Commissioner Mike Strain is warning livestock and farm equipment owners in north Louisiana to be prepared for flooding.  Heavy rain is forecast for today and tomorrow  and those living near a creek or river need to be prepared in case it becomes necessary to move livestock and equipment to higher ground.   Meanwhile the Governor has declared a State of Emergency for Avoyelles, Beaurgard, Bossier, Caddo, Grant, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita and Rapides Parishes.


    For the first time in 14 years, a new chairman is at the helm of the Louisiana Republican Party.  Louis Gurvich was elected Saturday in a first round victory winning 97 of the 177 votes.  One of the first things Gurvich will begin working on is to find a Republican opponent to run against Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards in 2019. 


    The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is facing a budgetary crisis.  After years of operating as a self-sufficient agency, the predicted annual  budget of 19.8-million-dollars will not be enough to keep up.  Cole Garett, Executive Counsel for the LDWF, says they are proposing a bill in the regular legislative session to get rid of most of the current 117 different licenses.  By raising some fees, this will help them get matching federal funds . LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet says they hate to increase the fees, but it’s the only way they can remain solvent in the future…



    A parent group at Bowling Green School, a K-12 in Franklinton is using a gun raffle that includes two AR-15s to raise money for a program to keep seniors safe on graduation night. 30 guns in total will be given away. But Executive Director of the Louisiana Violence Reduction Coalition Victoria Coy says while she supports Project Graduation efforts, she can’t get behind putting more weapons in the community. Coy says putting on a gun raffle, especially one with assault rifles, undermines the parent group’s objective of keeping their children safe.


    There has been an increase in the amount of organ donations from opioid addicts.  In Louisiana, there has been a 40 percent increase in the last two years.   Louisiana Organ Procurement Association spokesperson Kirsten Heintz says the opioid crisis is now colliding with another health crisis.  That of the need for life saving organs. There are nearly 21-hundred recipients on the list who need a donation in Louisiana. 




    Yahoo Sports reports NCAA Enforcement officials have looked into LSU Basketball Coach Will Wade’s recruiting tactics. But a source says the inquiry has stalled because of a lack of on-the-record specifics. The report says the investigation into Wade began shortly after he was hired last March.  Tiger Rag Editor Cody Worsham says so far it doesn’t look like LSU is any significant trouble.


    Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson is said to be in stable condition as he continues to battle the flu. He was admitted to Ochsner Medical Center last week.


    On Air Tonight..


    College Basketball Florida @ Alabama 5:30pm 94.7 ESPN


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


  • News for Monday 022618

    By Dave Graichen


    Louisiana College President Rick Brewer has denied claims that he refused to sign off on hiring a football coach because of the man’s Jewish heritage. Brewer says he was not nearly as upset as he was hurt by the allegation.  Joshua Bonadona sued LC and Brewer on Wednesday, accusing them of violating his civil rights. The suit claims that Coach Justin Charles told Bonadona that Brewer refused to approve his hiring because of what Brewer called his “Jewish blood.”


    Two tax bills that will help the state overcome a looming one billion dollar budget deficit are heading to the House floor. Some Republicans were seeking to make permanent a quarter of a temporary one-cent sales tax. But Shreveport Representative Alan Seabaugh didn’t like the permanent part, so he changed the legislation so a quarter of the temporary one-cent sales tax stays until mid-2021. The measure also temporarily eliminates some sales tax breaks.


    Former prison Avoyelles Prison warden Nate Cain and his ex-wife are asking a federal judge to throw out information key to their indictments for making fraudulent purchases on the Avoyelles prison's dime, arguing that the evidence was illegally obtained. Nate Cain, the eldest son of legendary retired Louisiana jailer Burl Cain, and his ex-wife have asked that evidence obtained from the inspector general's search warrant be suppressed.  The Cains' attorney, John McLindon, said the judicial system has not yet expressly ruled on the legality of search warrants filed by the Inspector General. Nate Cain resigned as warden in May 2016 amid multiple investigations and newspaper articles exploring nepotism and possible misconduct, some of a potentially criminal nature.


    Long time Louisiana Republican Leader Roger Villere relinquished his role Saturday after 14 years.  When he took over as GOP Chair, the only Republican statewide official was the late Secretary of State Fox McKeithen. Now it has completely flipped the other way. Villere says there’s also been an increase in registered Republican voters…


    Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator is asking the Caddo Parish School Board, to allow some faculty and administrators to carry guns on campus.  Most Caddo Parish schools have a security guard or a resource officer, but he feels it’s not enough.  Prator says schools are an open door to criminals with weapons. Teacher union groups oppose Prator’s proposal. President of the Red River United Union, Jackie Lansdale, says teachers are there to educate students and going beyond that to protect students is more than what they signed up for. Prator says school staff that would be allowed to carry guns, must undergo several hours of training to make sure they can handle a weapon in a crisis situation.


    Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor is proposing a bill that would fine reckless drivers for creating potentially dangerous wakes while driving through flooded areas. The bill would add a new specification to existing law that would fine drivers up to 500 dollars, with potential for 90 days in jail. Claitor says the legislation was inspired by flood horror stories from his constituents. The bill would also extend these laws to watercraft used during flood situations.


    Planned Parenthood wants a federal judge to force Louisiana’s health department to allow its New Orleans clinic to perform abortions.  The Associated Press says the lawsuit filed claims the Edwards’ administration, through the Louisiana health department, has put up unconstitutional roadblocks to prevent them from moving forward.  The lawsuit challenges as unconstitutional both the delays in approval of the abortion clinic license and a 2016 law pushed by Edwards to block Medicaid financing for entities that perform abortions in Louisiana.


    A Baton Rouge Federal judge has closed the valve on construction of the Bayou ridge crude oil pipeline through the Atchafalaya Basin. The lawsuit was at the request of environmental groups opposed to the project. U.S. District Court Judge Shelly Dick issued the order Friday halting all work on the pipeline until quote…”the issue can be tried on its merits.”


    Taxes are down 14 percent for utility companies in the wake of the federal tax overhaul, but Louisianans haven’t seen lower rates. The Public Service Commission says they anticipate lower rates as a result, but Commissioner Lambert Boissierre says you could be waiting until summer to see the change. Boissierre says the new tax structure means the PSC will have to redo its previous analysis that it sets every six months to a year for rate changes.


    A recent report by the LA Times states that an actor in the popular series Breaking Bad was investigated by New Orleans police last year for sexual assault.  Dean Norris was investigated after a woman said he sexually assaulted her. Prosecutors decided not to file charges, a spokesman for the Orleans Parish DA’s office says there wasn’t enough evidence to merit prosecution.


    For the second straight Sunday, LSU was blown out at home. Texas trounced the Tigers 11-1 to prevent a three-game sweep by the Tigers. LSU won the first two games of the series by scores 13-4 and 10-5.


  • News for Friday 022318

    By Dave Graichen


    A 15 year old Rapides Parish Student was arrested yesterday and has been charged with five counts of terrorizing and one count of obstruction of justice for allegedly sending threatening emails to several schools in the parish. Authorities are not saying what school the teen attended or because of his age, his name. The student is believed to be responsible for emails threatening Alexandria Senior High School, Bolton High School and Northwood High School.


    City of Alexandria utility customers have recently reported receiving fraudulent calls from individuals claiming to be City representatives inquiring about utility rebates and rebate credits and asking for personal information. The City reminds all customers that it will not call customers asking them for personal or credit information or to make a credit card payment or wire money for any fees or bill payment.


    Gridlock continued at the Capitol Thursday as state lawmakers did not move any closer to closing a nearly one-billion dollar budget deficit that’s caused by expiring sales taxes. Medicaid reform bills that House Republican leaders are pushing failed to get out of a committee. Legislation that would raise revenues are also not moving.


    Medicaid reform legislation was pulled from consideration in the House Health and Welfare Committee before it could be voted on, maintaining the special session’s current run of inaction. The bill would have implemented work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Opelousas Democrat Dustin Miller says the proposal was similar to Kentucky’s Medicaid reform that is currently estimated to cost that state roughly 300 million dollars to implement. Hoffman says the Medicaid program is burdened by a noticeable amount of unemployed people who lack the motivation to work, but Miller says the numbers don’t back that up.


    In the wake of the Florida school shooting that left 17 dead, Chalmette Representative Raymond Garafalo is planning to reintroduce a bill in the regular session that would allow school educators to carry weapons on campus if they have proper training. In the wake of recent threats and attacks, Garafalo says allowing guns in the classroom may prevent future mass school shootings. Garafalo says faculty who choose to voluntarily carry, would be trained appropriately.


    A high school student was arrested and two other elementary school students have been suspended from their respective schools in LaFourche Parish for alleged threats.  Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Lt. Brennan Matherne says a 15-year-old male threatened to kill a South Lafourche High School teacher.


    Secretary of State Tom Schedler faces accusations of sexual harassment. A lawsuit filed in state court in Baton Rouge alleges that Schedler sent a female state worker love letters, made sexual advancements and gave her unwanted gifts, including sex tapes. Defense attorney Jill Craft says her client was punished after she rebuffed his repeated advances.


    An LSU study paid for by the waterway and shipyard industries found that the downturn in oil prices resulted in a loss of 21-thousand jobs and 1.4 billion dollars in wages from 2014-2016. The closure of the Avondale Shipyards in Jefferson Parish resulted in five-thousand lost jobs alone.


    There are some big Louisiana Lottery winners that haven’t claimed their prizes, which are in some cases at least 50-thousand-dollars.  Lottery spokesperson Kim Chopin says they are seeking a winner who matched four of the five white ball numbers on September 2nd.  Their ticket is about to expire. So what happens to the unclaimed lottery winnings?  Chopin says there are roughly between nine and 11-million-dollars in unclaimed money annually that can be won again.




    Two college baseball powerhouses meet this weekend at Alex Box Stadium as 14th ranked Texas visits 22nd ranked LSU. Tigers Coach Paul Mainieri says he has a lot of respect for the Longhorn program and their six national title. Texas is 3-1 on the season, while the Tigers are 2-and-2. Zack Hess will start on the mound for the Tigers tonight.. airtime 6:30 on KSYL 970am / 100.3 hd3 fm


    In Basketball.. LSU has a chance to build on its NCAA Tournament resume on Saturday when they visit Georgia. It’s a winnable game for the Tigers who is trying to become one of the 68 teams in the Big Dance. But Coach Will Wade says has asked his team not to focus on the tourney talk. LSU has lost five straight road games. Wade says they’ve been competitive in most of those contests, but he says they are not finishing…


    In NBA action, the Pelicans Play host to the Miami Heat tonight. Airtime 6:30p on 94.7 ESPN.


  • News for Thursday 022218

    By Dave Graichen


    Governor John Bel Edwards yesterday addressed the issue of gun control in the wake of the latest mass shooting in Florida. The Governor said he would like to see a more robust background check system for firearm purchases and would like to see a purchasing ban for those on the No-Fly list, those who commit violent crimes, and have a history of mental illness. Edwards also came out against aftermarket additions that alter the capabilities of legally purchased rifles.


    The special session grounded to a halt yesterday after a vote on a tax reform bill that would have kept a quarter of the one penny sales tax intact, and remove some of the special sales tax exemptions for specific industries was postponed indefinitely. LaPolitics-dot-com publisher Jeremy Alford says it was the bill with the most momentum, and its failure could tank the entire session. Lawmakers were optimistic heading into the capitol Monday, but Alford says the political realities of an impending election and a bitter partisan divide didn’t take long to grind the session to a halt.


    Police are reporting copycat type incidents throughout Louisiana since the mass school shooting in Florida.  LSU Pediatric psychologist Joy Osofsky (Oh-saf-ski) says there is a danger that kids are becoming star stuck by these killers, relishing that they are in control. The latest threat was made against Northwood High School in Blanchard in Caddo Parish…


    State Police is asking the public not to share unsubstantiated threats through social media.  Senior Trooper Dustin Dwight says they encourage citizens to report suspicious activity, but they ask the public not to share unsubstantiated threats through social media because it creates chaos and panic. Dwight says if you do see a threat and if it’s viewed as an imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1.  If there is more investigation needed, other agencies will step in.  He says citizens are more scared than usual right now.


    The State Department of Education is launching the “Be Irreplaceable. Be a Teacher” campaign.  It’s an effort to convince high school and college students to make a career in the teaching profession.  But Teacher of the Year Kim Eckert says it’s a challenge to bring in new teachers to Louisiana due to lower teacher pay.   She’s urging teachers to speak openly with lawmakers and education officials and it starts with this campaign…


    A bill to require Medicaid patients to pay a copay if they use an emergency room for non-emergency treatment is expected to be heard Today in a House committee. Supporters say visits to the E-R for minor medical issues drives up health care costs, but opponents say the bill will result in low-income individuals not getting the care they need.


    Next week it’s the girls state high school basketball championships in Alexandria and the week after it will be the boys turn in Lake Charles. But the LHSAA is having trouble having enough basketball referees during the season. Assistant Executive Director Keith Alexander says unfortunately rowdy fans can prevent some from wanting to be a ref.


    Owner of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Tom Benson is in the hospital.  The 90- year old has flu like symptoms and is in ICU, but is resting comfortably.


  • News for Wednesday 022118

    By Dave Graichen


    We’ve been telling you for some time now that this is a very deadly flu season. That claim was confirmed by Rapides parish Coroner Jonathan Hunter this week. Hunter confirmed that The flu has claimed the lives of at least six people in Rapides Parish alone since October. Rapides Regional Medical Center is reporting 230 confirmed flu cases between October 2017 and January 2018, compared to 98 between October 2016 and January 2017. Best defense is still to get the shot.


    Schools in Evangeline Parish were closed yesterday because of social media threats. Officials say the schools have been cleared. A 15-year-old was arrested for posting one of the threats. All in all, Six threats were reported.  All school campuses in Rapides Parish were placed on "soft lockdown" Tuesday morning while authorities investigated a potential email threat.


    Four parishes in northwest Louisiana, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne and Webster, are under a flash flood watch through Thursday morning.  Forecaster Brandi Hughes, with the National Weather Service in Shreveport says several inches of rain are possible.. And more rain could be coming.  Hughes says the long range forecast looks wet for the next several days, which could add to already swollen creeks and rivers.


    The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to vote today on a series of bills that would make changes to the state’s tax code as part of the effort to plug the billion dollar budget shortfall. Jackson Representative Kenny Havard says the current system, which provides tax breaks for businesses in certain industries, is unfair. But Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey says he’s concerned that the current push to fix the fiscal cliff by taxing business will hurt the state’s economy. He says it could result in jobs heading out of state. No agreement has been reached on a detailed proposal to solve the fiscal cliff, as legislators have shied away from specifics in the first two days of the special session.


    Automotive insurance rates are on the rise again, after the Louisiana Department of Insurance approved double-digit hikes last year for at least six insurance companies.  State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says State Farm Insurance accounts for 30 percent of Louisiana insured drivers and it’s customers are paying on average ten-percent more starting this month. Donelon advises motorists to shop around if they think their rates are too high.


    New data is out that shows salaries for Louisiana public school teachers is 17-hundred dollars less than the Southern Regional Average. Legislative Director for the Louisiana Federation of Teachers Cynthia Posey says it’s disappointing to see this, when ten years ago, educators were paid about the same as other southern states. Posey hopes lawmakers can stabilize the budget, so more money can be available for teacher salaries.


    A bill to create a transparency tool called Louisiana Checkbook passed the House Appropriations committee, and may be considered on the House floor later this week. The program closely mirrors, where Ohio residents are presented a detailed report about state expenses.


    Tangipahoa Parish School Board member Mike Whitlow is facing heavy backlash for posting a picture of a noose on his public Facebook page. The picture had the caption: “If we want to make America great again, we will have to make evil people fear punishment again.” Whitlow says the post was not racially motivated, he says it was about criminal justice.


    Governor John Bel Edwards and Attorney General Jeff Landry have agreed to coordinate efforts in the State of Louisiana’s litigation against opioid manufacturers.

    Under this agreement, the Attorney General’s office will take over primary responsibility for the suit filed by the Louisiana Department of Health in the 19th Judicial District Court. Furthermore, the AG’s office will lead the efforts with other state agencies and departments to pursue all claims Louisiana has as a result of the opioid crisis.


    Emile the crawfish will be allowed to live his life out peacefully thanks to Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser  who picked “Emile” to be pardoned for their “annual pardoning of the crawfish” in New Orleans yesterday.


    After poor starting pitching performances in the series loss to Notre Dame, LSU Coach Paul Mainieri is making changes to his weekend rotation. Mainieri says Zack Hess will start on Friday against the Texas Longhorns, instead of Caleb Gilbert. Thibodaux native Cam Sanders will start on the mound tonight against UNO. Airtime 6p on KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm.


  • News for Tuesday 022018

    By Dave Graichen


    Recent above normal temperatures are making it feel more like Spring, but a pesky front is expected to move into North Louisiana starting this evening, which State Climatologist Barry Keim says will bring the temperatures closer to normal in that area for the remainder of the week and along with that the good chance for rain through the weekend.


    Governor John Bel Edwards addressed the legislature, calling on the state’s governing body to put party politics aside to fix the impending fiscal cliff that triggers July 1st after a series of sales taxes expire. If no deal is struck, TOPS, higher Ed, and healthcare would see massive cuts. Edwards says it’s time to put party aside for the future of the state.


    The governor called on lawmakers to adopt his plan that would reduce the state sales tax, and replace the funds by widening the tax base, removing certain business sales tax exemptions, and compressing income tax brackets. Edwards says funding popular state programs should be every legislator’s objective.


    The Senate Democratic Caucus offers a solution on solving the one-billion dollar shortfall. Chairman Troy Carter proposes compressing income tax brackets, removing sales tax exemptions that benefit some businesses and expand the sales tax base, so certain services are taxed. But anti-tax critics say proposal would raise income taxes on the middle class.


    LSU president F. King Alexander is calling on legislators to find a budget solution that funds higher ed and TOPS by the end of the February special session.

    Alexander says there was a noticeable impact the last time the state failed to properly fund TOPS in a timely manner. He says if lawmakers wait until June to solve the one billion dollar fiscal cliff, the damage will already have been done for the 2018-2019 school year.


    At least three Louisiana schools received social media threats over the weekend, with Ville Platte High receiving one Monday morning. That threat forced a lockdown for several hours.  Dutchtown and Ponchatoula High Schools were threatened in social media over the weekend. 


    North Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham made no bones about his intentions to take a hard look at running for Governor. On the day when Governor John Bel Edwards took center stage at the capitol and opened the special legislative session, Abraham took a swipe at his potential opponent while speaking to the Baton Rouge Press club.

    Abraham says in the days of lightning fast social media,  Louisiana voters are less likely to consider where a candidate is from and more likely to hear his message.


    The State Transportation Department will begin work on the I-10 bridge in Lake Charles on March 3rd. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett says they will replace the expansion joints on the bridge, initially closing one eastbound lane. Mallett says this work is part of a large scale job they plan to perform. The project is expected to be completed in four to six months.


    Sad story out of Pointe Coupee Parish as a female employee at False River Academy was killed when her 74-year-old husband accidentally pinned her between his truck and a school bus. 66-year-old Edith Atkinson died from her injures at a local hospital.


    A 71-year-old Louisiana inmate serving a life sentence for the fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy was denied parole Monday by a three-member panel of the state’s parole board. Henry Montgomery just turned 17-year-old when he fatally shot an East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy in 1963. He received a parole hearing thanks to a US Supreme Court ruling that juvenile homicide offenders should have an opportunity at parole.


  • News for Monday 021918

    By Dave Graichen


    The Town Talk is reporting a shortage of substitute school bus drivers in Rapides Parish has become so severe that there are days the district isn't providing transportation for some students. according to Director of Transportation Velt Edwards the shortage has been a growing problem for about three years. Among the factors compounding the issue is the district's dependence on substitutes to drive routes full-time. Some of those substitutes are quitting after a year or more of performing the same job as salaried drivers, while making $67 a day with no benefits.


    The special state legislative session kicks off today to address a one billion dollar budget shortfall. Lawmakers have until March 7th to find a fix to the looming fiscal cliff or else cuts will occur in the areas of higher education and health care. Governor Edwards is calling for the replacement of the expiring sales taxes with permanent tax reform that would eliminate certain deductions for businesses, and the GOP wants spending reductions. Political analysts have warned the special session could be a political minefield, with Republicans attempting to make sure the governor does not leave with a “win” that could propel him to another term in office.


    Louisiana is taking more taxes out of workers’ paychecks. The state constitution allows for it, if the federal government lowers their tax brackets, which they did last month.  Baton Rouge area CPA Brandon LaGarde says The state tax wage adjustment is automatic as it is built into the Louisiana Constitution.  LaGarde says your employer has nothing to do with the change. LaGarde says the federal tax break outweighs the state’s updated tax withholding tables, meaning you still take home more than you did last year.


    Governor Edwards and state lawmakers are in Baton Rouge for the special session to find a solution to the looming fiscal cliff that threatens to gut popular programs like TOPS. The governor is seeking tax reform, and Republicans want spending reductions. Erath Representative Blake Miguez says the GOP caucus is demanding the creation of the Louisiana Checkbook. He says the program would increase transparency, and would closely resembles Ohio’s  Along with implementing Medicaid copays, tighter eligibility, and work requirements, Miguez says he also wants to see a state spending cap that is tied to private sector economic performance.  

    Democrats say they will not allow a full renewal of the expiring one penny sales tax, as they feel it unfairly targets the poor.


    Springtime is acceptance letter season for most college bound high school students, and the state’s budget uncertainty is causing many to rethink whether they want to attend school in Louisiana. LSU president F. King Alexander is calling on legislators to find a budget solution that funds higher ed and TOPS by the end of the February special session. Alexander says there was a noticeable impact the last time the state failed to properly fund TOPS in a timely manner. Alexander says if lawmakers wait until June to solve the one billion dollar fiscal cliff, the damage will already have been done for the 2018-2019 school year.


    Many Americans are swimming in debt and getting in deeper than ever. One report suggests total household debt has risen to 13-trillion-dollars for 2017.  Louisiana appears to be America’s capital of past due debt, with almost half of its residents in debt that has gone into collections.  Professor of Economics at Xavier University of Louisiana Dr. Jose Bautista says a lot of workers aren’t making enough money. Another reason credit debt is so high is the lack of a savings account. Dr. Bautista says most are left with no choice but to use credit cards for emergencies, but it starts a slippery downhill slide. Medical bills are a large part of financial distress, especially if there isn’t enough insurance coverage.  Dr. Bautista says get coverage to cover all your medical needs…


    Debates are raging about school safety in the wake of the Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead by a mental unstable teen. Since the shooting, calls for increased mental health treatment in school have grown louder, But Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Larry Carter says when state budget cuts come in, one of the first things on the chopping block tends to be social work programs. Carter says along with an increased investment in counseling programs, we need to be taking a look at improving the layout of schools to improve security.


    The Baton Rouge police officer shot by a man described as mentally ill  a week ago is out of the hospital. Doctors say he should fully recover.  Cpl. Shane Totty was admitted  after sustaining a gunshot wound from Eugene Thomas Jr. Thomas is charged with four counts of attempted first degree murder, attempted first degree murder of a police officer and a felon in possession of a firearm.


    Rough start to the baseball season, as the LSU Tigers lost two of three from Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish clinched the series victory with an 11-3 drubbing of LSU. The Bayou Bengals had a dramatic come from behind victory on Friday, but it was all downhill from there. Coach Paul Mainieri says it’s hard to find any positives…


  • News for Friday 021618

    By Dave Graichen


    Richland Parish Congressman Ralph Abraham has introduced a bill to allow rural communities direct access to more than two-billion-dollars in FAST ACT grant funding.  The money can be used to build better highways, bridges and utilities including broadband internet.  Abraham says the money is available for these projects but current FAST ACT dollars are not making it to rural Louisiana. His bill would allow local governments to apply for FAST ACT dollars without much red tape.


    In response to the 2017 death of LSU student Maxwell Gruver, Lafayette Representative Nancy Landry is proposing a bill that would increase legal penalties for campus hazing related incidents. She says the current penalties of a 100 dollar fine or less and 30 days in jail isn’t enough for such a dangerous activity…


    The latest campaign finance report for Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry shows he has one-point-two million dollars on hand. There’s speculation Landry will run for governor in 2019. Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards reported five million dollars in his campaign account earlier this month.


    LSU and GB Sciences Louisiana has found a location to grow medical marijuana that can be distributed to patients who have specific conditions. Director of the LSU AgCenter’s Therapeutic Cannabis Program Ashley Mullens says a 36-thousand square foot warehouse near Highland Road and Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge will house the plants. Mullens says medical cannabis should be available to patients in late summer.


    Hollywood superstars Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson will be in Louisiana over the coming weeks filming a movie called Highwaymen which details the chase for Bonnie and Clyde. Tom Hanks’ World War Two movie will also soon start shooting in Baton Rouge. Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment Chris Stelly says the state’s reformulated film tax credit incentive is encouraging movie producers to reconsider Louisiana.


    Most persons are happy with their jobs.  A recent Bankrate-dot-com survey finds the average worker rates their job satisfaction at a seven out of ten.  And half of those gave a rating of at least eight.  And there is no surprise in this stat, the survey found higher income earners with higher average levels of workplace happiness.


    Some crawfish crazies are heating up over the higher prices and smaller size of the crop this year. LSU Ag Center Professor Greg Lutz says suppliers aren’t trying to rip you off, farmers are just having a hard time finding enough crop after the historic winter to justify pulling their traps. Lutz says the crawfish survived the winter just fine, but the little fellas are just taking some extra time to develop. Lutz says if you don’t want to pay the inflated prices, give it a few weeks, the cost of a boil should be returning to normal.


    The Young Leadership Council partnered with ArcGNO this carnival season to collect beads and recyclables on the parade routes through uptown New Orleans. After a story revealed that the city removed more than 64 tons of beads from a five block stretch of St. Charles, YLC Recycles Project Leader Hannah Kincannon says it’s a public safety issue. About 200 people worked the ground, passing out recycling and collection bags over the programs two weekends. Kincannon says two and a half tons of Mardi Gras beads were collected on the first day alone.


    LSU’s Paul Mainieri begins his 12th season as the head coach of the Tigers tonight as the Bayou Bengals host Notre Dame. Mainieri says opening day always brings out some anxiety, because there are a lot of unknowns. We will have the entire three game series starting tonight at 6:30 on KSYL 970 am / 100.3 HD3 fm


  • News for Thursday 021518

    By Dave Graichen


    The Louisiana Department of Health is extending its free flu shot drive after initially planning to end the program Monday. Immunization Director Dr. Frank Welch says they were excited to extend the program after a very successful two week run. This year’s flu shot has been criticized for having a potentially lower than normal effectiveness. Welch says despite some claims to the contrary, getting the flu shot is still a great idea.


    A series of Mardi Gras day shootings in New Orleans left three dead and five injured. None of the shootings occurred on an active parade route. New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison says the shootings shouldn’t mar an otherwise positive carnival season. Harrison says despite Tuesday’s shootings, there’s been a decrease in violence in the city thanks to increased police efforts.


    Three Cenla restaurant managers were cited after allegedly selling swai fish and calling it catfish.  Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesperson Adam Einck says Robert Fant, Mollie McDowell and Michael Rhodes all of Pineville, used the swai fish at Rosie Joe’s and Debarges’s Crawfish in Alexandria and Crazy Cajun in Tioga. Truth of the matter, most people can tell the difference between the two.


    Catholics are cutting back on eating meat for the Lenten season, in most places, that’s a sacrifice, but for spoiled bayou Catholics, it’s not too tough. Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board member Chalin Delaune says there’s a good supply of seafood, but the cold weather could keep crawfish prices high.


    Shreveport Police are looking for a man who is robbing elderly women and assaulting them with a baseball bat.  The robberies started in late January and have continued since.  Detective Richard Turpen says since the attacks started, police have become more concerned since the suspect has been acting more aggressive. Turpen says a few of the victims have been able to describe their attacker, but the description police are working with isn’t much since the attacks are from behind


    The LSU Vet School is providing care for a goose who was pierced with an arrow.  The wounded goose was found near the LSU Lakes and captured by Wildlife and Fisheries crews. Since there is no identification on the goose, they will not give the goose out for adoption.  Spokesperson Julie Thomas says once he has recovered, he will live in the wild again. Officials do not know by whom or where the goose was shot.


    Livingston Parish deputies have arrested three men in connection with the death of a 19-year-old female. The body of Emily Rodgers was found Tuesday in a wooded area off Catfish Landing Road in Maurepas (more-a-pa).


  • News for Wednesday 021418

    By Dave Graichen


    The State Police report  an accident yesterday morning on Highway 28 east of Gardner killed 79-year-old Imogene Jones of Ball. Troopers say she was traveling in the wrong lane when she struck a pickup truck head on. The driver of the truck, 45-year-old Joseph  Bordelon of Alexandria sustained moderate injuries and was taken to Rapides Regional Trauma Center.


    The Louisiana Family Forum is honoring the top ten Louisiana couples married the longest on this Valentine’s Day.  For the third year in a row, the longest married couple is Lawrence and Varrie (Very) Player of Benton, married for 83 years.   The second longest married couple is Wallace and Gladys Menard of Duson married for 79 years.


    A survey ranks Louisiana 49th in well-being. The Bayou State only finished ahead of West Virginia in the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index. Researcher Dan Witters says their survey found many in Louisiana are not proud of where they live or believe they are living in the good place. Witters says the Bayou State also ranks low in their index, because about a quarter of those surveyed admit not having enough money to buy food for their family. Witters says they asked Louisiana residents if they felt safe and secure in their community and most said no.


    The National Federation of Independent Businesses says the Small Business Optimism Index set a record in January, with small business owners saying now is a good time to expand.  Louisiana NFIB Director Dawn Starns says they have found owners are enthusiastic about investing the extra money they are getting from federal tax reform into their business. Starns says while it might be a good time to expand because of less federal taxes and regulations, small business owners are concerned about finding qualified workers for open positions.


    A survey by offers-dot-com finds the average consumer will spend 55-dollars on Valentine’s Day this year. Spokesperson Sarah Hollenbeck says many will get their sweetheart something for their sweet tooth.


    Chronic wasting disease in deer has been detected in Mississippi and Louisiana wildlife officials are concerned the fatal disease will end up in the Bayou State. A four-year-old buck was found dead of C-W-D near the Louisiana border. State Wildlife Veterinarian, Doctor Jim LaCour says East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parish landowners should curtail supplemental feeding of deer. C-W-D is similar to mad cow disease and L-D-W-F is working with Mississippi wildlife officials on sampling and containment. LaCour says there’s no evidence C-W-D can infect humans, but there are concerns about eating deer that had the disease.


    Global sports entertainment leader Topgolf is coming to Baton Rouge in late 2018.  The ten-million-dollar entertainment venue will feature 15-hundred square feet of private event space and 72 climate controlled hitting bays.  Spokesperson Caroline Jerome says it is the ultimate family experience. It will bring 325 jobs to Baton Rouge.


    The Baldwin Police Department was heavily damaged and a prisoner was injured after a fire yesterday afternoon.  State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says it will be a while before normal operations can resume as the police department sustained quite a bit of damage. Browning says they continue to conduct interviews and will talk with the jailed man when he has sufficiently recovered.


    Panola Pepper and Providence Foods founder Grady Wyly “Bubber” Brown Sr. will be laid to rest today.  The 83-year-old from Lake Providence died Saturday.  Panola Pepper was founded in 1983 so that Brown’s farmhands would have work through the winter.  Lake Providence Mayor Bobby Amacker says he made the first batch on his mother’s stovetop. Amacker says Brown’s death leaves a big hole in the community


  • News for Tuesday 021318

    By Dave Graichen


    It’s Fat Tuesday and there’s big parades in south Louisiana and Mardi Gras activities in Shreveport as well, but unfortunately there’s a chance of rain. State Climatologist Barry Keim says you might need a poncho. Keim says temperatures are expected to reach in the upper 60s in New Orleans, but it will be a little cooler in southwest Louisiana for their Mardi Gras festivities. Keim says after today we’ll see high temperatures get into the 70s.


    Over a million visitors will be enjoying Mardi Gras in New Orleans this year, but it’s not the only place to celebrate the last day before Lent. The town of Mamou will keep the chicken run tradition alive this year and in Lafayette parades will run throughout the day.


    The federal government has declared this year’s flu season as the worst breakout since the 2009 swine flu epidemic. Estimates say nearly half a million people around world will die from the flu this year. State Health Secretary Rebeka Gee says if you’re concerned about potential mercury in the flu vaccine, you’re misinformed. There is none.. Gee says there is a lot of misinformation about vaccines and the flu. She says get trustworthy advice from your doctor.


    Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser is celebrating Mardi Gras, he’s just not in Louisiana.  He’s helping to promote Louisiana’s new travel tourism slogan “Louisiana: Feed Your Soul.”  The new brand is being promoted in several states, including the Nation’s capital. Atlanta, Dallas and Houston are also participating in helping to roll out the new brand with food trucks and King Cake.


    An 83-year-old grandmother is the first Louisiana Lotto jackpot winner for the year. Louisiana Lottery Spokesperson Kim Chopin says Josephine Prendergast of Gonzales thought she won only 600-dollars.  Prednergast was quite surprised when she found out at the lottery office she won 525-thousand-dollars. Ms Prendergast said first thing she was going to do was stop and get a good cup of coffee.. The ticket was bought at a store in Breaux Bridge and they will get a reward for selling the winning ticket.


    A man is under arrest after allegedly firing shots at a Baton Rouge Police Department officer and some family members.  Cops located 34-year-old Eugene Thomas Junior about 15 minutes after the initial shooting and Sgt. Don Coppola says that’s when the suspect started shooting at the officer. The officer was rushed to the hospital where he is expected to make a full recovery.


    A Shreveport woman was arrested and charged with exploitation of persons with infirmities and felony identity theft after an investigation by Caddo Parish deputies. 37-year-old Dorothy Edwards was a caregiver for a disabled 65-year-old-woman and is accused of stealing more than 20,000 dollars.


    Rayne Police have arrested 41-year-old Raushe Turner after he allegedly stabbed a woman multiple times inside a vehicle. Turner was charged with attempted second-degree murder. Authorities did not say why the attack occurred and did not provide an update on the victim’s condition.


    The man who brought flavor to Louisiana in the form of Panola pepper has died. Bubber Brown died Saturday at 83 years old. Brown began Panola back in 1983 to give his workers year-round work. The company operates in East Carroll Parish just outside of lake Providence.


    An invasive species of snail is posing a threat to crawfish harvests. The apple snail is indigenous to South America, and can devour vegetation crucial to the development of Louisiana crawfish. An abundance of apple snail shut down a 220 acre farm in Acadia Parish. LSU Ag Center Agent Mark Shirley says so far, there is no solution to the problem. The invasion is being blamed on aquarium owners who decided to dump the snails into the water way.


    The LSU Tigers have another tough test on the road tonight in the SEC as they visit Alabama. The Crimson Tide is coming off a 28-point win over at the time 15th ranked Tennessee. LSU is coming off an 82-66 victory over Ole Miss. Airtime 7:30 on KSYL 970am & 100.3 HD3.


  • News for Monday 021218

    By Dave Graichen


    The weather decided to cooperate Sunday allowing the 25th annual Alexandria Mardi Gras Association Krewes Parade starts on schedule. A few small sprinkles of rain were felt early on, but not enough to dampen the spirits of spectators. Saturday’s Children’s parade was not so lucky. Heavy rains Saturday morning forced officials to call the event off..


    Governor John Bel Edwards has called for a special session to start on February 19th.  The 17-day special session is being called to address a one-billion-dollar fiscal cliff facing the state starting July 1st when a one-cent sales tax drops off the books.  His plan calls for structural changes to the budget and tax policy. He is proposing to replace 994-million-dollars to keep TOPS and healthcare funded.  The GOP has said the Governor’s excessive spending needs to stop. However, they have not made any solid suggestions as to where those cuts should be made.


    Legislative leaders are optimistic the February special session will end with a deal to fill the one billion dollar budget gap that’s the result of the expiration of sales taxes in July. The session will begin February 19th, and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Gene Reynolds says the two sides are getting close on an agreement. Governor Edwards has pushed for replacing the expiring one cent sales tax by eliminating certain sales tax deductions that benefit certain businesses.


    Attorney General Jeff Landry filed a lawsuit against the Corps of Engineers alleging that the Corps expanded the Intracoastal Waterway in Vermillion Parish beyond the borders set in a 1920s agreement.  He says even though there are agreements that allow states to construct new waterways, Landry says those states wouldn’t have allowed the Corp to over expand. The Governor says he’ll review the suit, but is concerned Landry did not consult with him, or the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.


    Out of the eight members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation, only three of them voted for the spending bill that reopened the federal government after a brief shutdown. US Representative Ralph Abraham was one of those three yes votes, because he says it increases federal funding for our military. Senator John Kennedy voted against the measure, because he says the bill increases the federal debt.


    Governor John Bel Edwards and State Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson are in Washington to discuss infrastructure plans with the Trump Administration. Reports indicate the President could soon unveil a massive new infrastructure spending plan. Wilson says today’s roundtable discussion is a great opportunity to bring attention to the state’s aging infrastructure. The reports indicate the President could be seeking as much as 1.5 trillion dollars in new infrastructure spending.


    Mangers and operators of Raising Canes attended a conference recently in Baton Rouge, celebrating the company’s success since opening their first store near the LSU campus in 1996.  CEO Todd Graves had an exciting announcement for attendees.  Some big expansions are taking place. 80 new locations are planned for this year.  Stores are also operating overseas in the Middle East.


    A Monroe man has designed a product called Streamleash to help you have better control of your dog. Ian Blaylock says as a runner, if his dog quickly ran in one direction, he would lose his balance and control of his pet. So far, the Kickstarter project has raised 21-hundred-dollars.  Blaylock says orders made through the website will begin being delivered in May.


    Al Wester, the first radio voice of the Saints, whose local and national broadcasting career spanned more than 60 years, died last week in a New Orleans hospital. Along with broadcasting the Saints games from 1967-70, Wester was the sports director at WDSU-TV for several years beginning in 1952 when he came to New Orleans from Greenville, South Carolina. Al Webster was 93.


  • News for Friday 020918

    By Dave Graichen


    Many Mardi Gras revelers will keep one eye on the parades and one eye on the skies as threatening weather may put a damper on their celebrations  The National Weather Service says rain, heavy at times, is predicted for southeast Louisiana. Here in Cenla, the forecast calls for a 90% chance of rain Saturday and an 80% chance on Sunday..


    Here in Cenla we will keep our fingers crossed in the hopes mother nature cooperates.  This afternoon  it’s the 2018 Hixson Classic Cars and College Cheerleaders Parade. It  rolls in downtown Alexandria staring at 4:30 p.m. and will travel down  Murray street to, Fifth, then to Jackson, Third and St. James.


    Saturday The Alexandria Mardi Gras Association Children's Parade starts at 10 a.m. and follows the same downtown route as the Cars and Cheerleaders Parade.


    Mardi Gras at the Alexandria Zoo is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Sunday, The 25th annual Alexandria Mardi Gras Association Krewes Parade starts at 2 p.m.  


    There will be an expanded presence of state police troopers in New Orleans as Mardi Gras ramps up for the final weekend. They have committed 165 troopers to working the French Quarter and the metro area. Senior Trooper Melissa Matey says they will perform a variety of assignments. Last year, State Police and New Orleans Police confiscated dozens of firearms along parade routes.


    A Tioga man who had been facing 50 counts of pornography with juveniles pleaded guilty to one reduced charge on Monday and avoided jail time. Terry Lee Adams Jr. pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obscenity and the 49 other charges were dropped. Adams was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $495 in a plea deal.


    A 27-year-old Mansura man was arrested for distribution of child pornography on Wednesday. Dustin Novo is being held at the Avoyelles Parish Detention Center on a 100,000 dollar bond. State Police spokesperson Scott Moreau says deputies were tipped off about a month ago. A warrant for Novo’s residence was served, and after a search of the premises, he was arrested and charged.


    House Republicans are looking at renewing at least some or all of the temporary one cent sales tax as a way to address a looming one billion dollar shortfall. But the governor says he will not support any plan that maintains the current sales tax rate, which is currently five-cents.


    Today is the deadline for Governor John Bel Edwards to call a February special session to address the looming one billion dollar budget hole resulting in the expiration of sales taxes. The governor said he would not call the session without an agreement in principle on a fiscal cliff deal, but publisher Jeremy Alford says the governor is being pushed to call the session. Because it’s a revenue issue, the fiscal cliff can only be addressed in a special session.


    The Humane Society of Louisiana has a facebook page where you can adopt horses that appear in Mardi Gras parades this week. H-S-L Director Jeff Dorson says 19 horses are up for adoption this year after 17 horses were adopted last year, keeping them from heading to a slaughter house. The facebook page is New Orleans Mardi Gras Horses Available for Adoption.


    Governor Edwards will be in Washington D-C on Lundi Gras for a White House event to discuss President Trump’s plans to improve infrastructure. Edwards, along with Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson, will participate in a roundtable with federal, state and local leaders.


    Mandeville Representative Paul Hollis has filed legislation that would make it easier for voters to recall their elected officials. Currently, 33 percent of registered voters in districts with more than 100,000 voters must sign the recall petition before a special election is triggered. Hollis says his bill would cut that number down to 20 percent. If adopted, Hollis says it’ll still take a serious effort to unseat an official. Hollis had a similar bill that failed in the legislature last year.


    Drax Biomass is relocating its headquarters from Atlanta to Monroe, in what Governor John Bel Edwards is hailing as another big win for Louisiana’s economy. Drax already operates two wood pellet manufacturing facilities and a shipping operation in the state. Monroe Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Sue Nicholson says that means 150 good paying jobs are on the way.


  • News for Thursday 020818

    By Dave Graichen


    Pineville-based Cleco Corporate Holdings has acquired South Central Generating LLC, which includes nine utility cooperatives and eight generating assets in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, totaling one-billion-dollars.   Spokesperson Jennifer Cahill says they will be able to significantly increase the scale of their operations in Louisiana with the ability to provide over 35-hundred megawatts of power in all three states. The sale is expected to close by the end of the year.


    More on that Alexandria daycare center that was shut down by the state this week.  The Department of Education shut the doors at Jumpin’ Jacks Development Center after receiving several reports of children escaping or nearly escaping the facility.  DOE Spokesperson Sydni Dunn says a complaint from a parent in December was the final straw. Dunn says the center failed to report 55 incidents of non-compliance over the last two years.  There were lesser violations, but the amount of them served sent up a lot of red flags. Providers who have had their licenses revoked are ineligible to apply for another license for two years from the date of the revocation.


    The TOPS task force formed five months ago to find a long term solution to funding the scholarship program has decided against endorsing a single position, and instead is submitting a series of proposals for the legislature to consider. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish says he hopes the results will help legislators when voting on potential changes to TOPS in the upcoming regular session.


    24-7 sports ranks LSU’s recruiting class as 15th best in the nation. The worst ranking for LSU since 2005, which was Les Miles first class. Tiger Rag Associate Editor James Moran says Orgeron’s staff did well in adding depth to the offensive and defensive lines, but signed just one five-star prospect Wednesday.


    Governor John Bel Edwards says FEMA has agreed to his request to help ease the financial burden of flood survivors living in Temporary Housing Units. Starting March 1st, rent for the units will be reduced to $50.00 a month which will last through the new deadline of May 14th when the program is scheduled to end.   Edwards says he will continue to request extensions as needed.


    The Coast Guard rescued four people from the Lower Atchafalaya River south of Patterson yesterday after an emergency landing of a twin-engine plane.  Petty Officer Lora Ratliff says the pilot made a valiant effort trying to avoid the emergency landing, but realized he couldn’t make it to an airstrip. One person suffered a minor injury. 


    The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans is considering whether or not a 2016 Louisiana law that would ban women under 21 from dancing naked at strip clubs is too broad in its application. Opponents are concerned that the law was so vaguely written that it could outlaw 18, 19, and 20-year-olds from some theatrical or ballet productions that involve nudity. Proponents argue that the law protects young women from sex trafficking. The court has not indicated which way it is leaning.


    A biologist at LSU is working to develop biodegradedable beads in a push to stop the environmental damage that occurs after millions of pounds of beads end up in landfills every year. His solution involves growing large ponds of algae that will develop oils that can be refined into degradedable material. Four to five million pounds of beads are thrown every carnival season.


    Once every few years, holidays important to Louisianans fall in the same week.  This year, Mardi Gras will be Tuesday, February 13th and Valentine’s Day will fall on the next day.  It may prove to be interesting for restaurants to get couples to eat out on the second most popular holiday.  Erika Burns with the Louisiana Restaurant Association says if you are considering taking your sweetheart out for dinner Wednesday, it’s best to make sure you have a reservation so you’re not left out.



  • News for Wednesday 020718

    By Dave Graichen


    It’s going to be an upside down day with weather in the Bayou State.   It’s a type of day that occurs once in a while when a cold weather front moves through.  State Climatologist Barry Keim says many areas in Central and south Louisiana will see their high temperatures early in the day and temps will fall throughout the day. After some wet weather today, a dry day is on tap for Thursday.  Then Keim says another front is moving in just in time to put a damper on Mardi Gras weekend.


    The Louisiana Department of Education on Tuesday revoked the license an Alexandria child care center, Jumpin' Jacks Development Center on Metro Drive, after receiving a complaint from a mother who said her child nearly escaped from the child care center.  The parent explained it was not the first time such an incident had occurred. The center, which has a history of noncompliance, failed to report the critical incidents. The state also terminated the center’s public funding.


    Can you imagine opening your water bill to find that you owe more than $40 thousand dollars?  Up to 60 Pineville residents have had that experience after a computer malfunction sent out bogus bills. Chief of Staff Rich Dupree says something went wrong, when information from a meter-reading device that wasn't working properly, had to be manually entered into the billing system. The problem has been resolved. But, city officials say anyone with concerns are welcome to contact the utility office.


    With a one billion dollar state budget gap looming, Governor John Bel Edwards has a self-imposed Friday deadline on whether he will call for a Legislative special session before the regular session starts on March 12th. A group of 14 bipartisan senators have sent a letter to Governor Edwards urging him to call a special session this month, so legislators can solve the shortfall the state faces on July 1st. Port Allen Senator Rick Ward says solving the fiscal cliff now will make it easier for legislators to pass a budget in June. Governor Edwards is expected to make a call for a special session by Friday.


    Workers are starting to see a difference in their paychecks. The federal tax reform bill has kicked in, giving the average worker an additional one-point-six-percent more in take home pay. But not everyone is seeing the increase just yet.  Co-owner of Metairie based Crescent Payroll Solutions Sanders Offner says some of the income tax bracket changes are just getting to some employers.


    U.S. Republican Senator John Kennedy has joined Democratic Senator Tom Carper of Delaware in introducing the Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act.  Kennedy says in 2015, the Social Security Administration made nearly ten-billion-dollars in improper payments. After contacting the Social Security Administration as to why they couldn’t share their dead person’s database with the Treasury Department, Kennedy was told they didn’t have the legal authority to do so.  Kennedy says this bill will allow them to trade that information, stopping the waste of billions of dollars.


    Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey is proposing legislation for the regular session that would require state agencies to publish all of their expenditures online for the public. The measure would create a “Louisiana Checkbook” that Ivey says it’s all about transparency. The proposal seeks to replicate, where all Ohio state expenditures are logged, and available to view using a user-friendly interface. Ivey says an online checkbook would provide citizens with the ability to keep a close eye on every single transaction the state makes.

  surveyed thousands of adults asking their opinion on Valentine’s Day gifts that may have some of you scrambling for the receipts. Chief Communications Officer Natasha Rachel Smith says according to their results, materialistic gifts are out, and quality time is in.


    Investors are concerned with the recent drop in the Stock Market.  Monday’s drop of 1,175 points of the Dow Jones Industrial average was the biggest one day point decline and percentage wise the largest loss in six years. Financial analyst Fred Dent says if you find yourself concerned about your portfolio, don’t sell out.  He says it’s a good time to talk with a financial adviser to reevaluate your portfolio.


    Search crews recovered the body of a St. Martinville man from Bayou Amy Tuesday  morning in St. Martin Parish.  LDWF enforcement agents and the St. Martin and Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Offices recovered the body of 54-year-old Richard Pellerin. Officials were notified about a capsized vessel found in the Bayou.  Upon recovery there was no personal flotation device found on the body.


    The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says a student at Barbe High School brought a weapon to school Tuesday.  The 15-year-old boy brought the firearm that belonged to a sheriff’s deputy, identified as a family member.  The weapon was taken without the deputy’s knowledge.   The juvenile was arrested and the sheriff’s office is conducting an internal investigation in reference to the firearm.


    A Krewe of Oshun horse rider was given a citation for animal cruelty after he were filmed abusing his horse Friday during the uptown Mardi Gras New Orleans parade. SPCA Communications Director Alicia Haefele says the video was a disturbing example of animal abuse. The horse is in good condition and is being transferred to SPCA control.


    Today marks National Signing Day, but it’s not like how it used to be. LSU signed 21 players during the first ever December signing period and they will likely sign four more players today to complete the 2018 recruiting class.



  • News for Tuesday 020618

    By Dave Graichen


    Investigators with Louisiana State Police and the Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office were at the town of Ball's offices Monday morning, reviewing records of former police chief Nate Ussery. Ussery resigned on Friday night amid an unspecified investigation by an unidentified agency or agencies. A statement from Louisiana State Police said it was asked to "assist the District Attorney's Office with a potential complaint against Ussery.  "The matter remains ongoing and active."


    In a rather unusual day Monday two Rapides parish inmates took off from their work crews. This first inmate was captured within an hour of walking away from his crew in Pineville. The second, Richard Allen Morris, who walked away from his work crew at the Pentecostals of Alexandria, was captured later in the day without incident. Officials are now investigating whether or not the two cases were connected.


    State Immunization director Dr. Frank Welch says the flu outbreak has eased up somewhat over the past week.  He says people getting their flu shots have helped.  And those that are sick are heeding the advice to stay away from others. But he says even if you have recovered from the flu, you are not out of danger. With three different strains reported in Louisiana, you still have the chance of catching the flu again. The best protection still is the flu shot. If you haven’t gotten it, you should.


    One man died and another hospitalized after a Mardi Gras parade route shooting in Jeanerette on Sunday. Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Major Wendell Raborn says there are a lot of potential witnesses, but no one has come forward with any information. There is no word on the condition of the second person shot.


    Shreveport police say a Good Samaritan trying to help in an accident on I-20 was killed Sunday afternoon.  A major accident had occurred in the westbound lanes between a tractor trailer and a pickup truck.   The pedestrian stopped to help, attempting to cross both eastbound lanes of traffic when he was struck and killed.   The victims in the initial accident were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.


    President Trump has asked Congress to pass a one-point-five-trillion-dollar infrastructure funding bill.  But will Louisiana see any of those dollars if it passes? State Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson is worried because Louisiana doesn’t have enough state transportation dollars to match what the federal government might be willing to offer. The state currently has a backlog of 13-billion-dollars in infrastructure repairs and projects.


    The stats are very slow in coming. But, it appears Louisiana’s number of work related fatalities decrease in 2016.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows there were 95 fatalities, down from 112 in 2015.  Injury rates also saw a decline from 5.8 per 100,000 full time workers in 2015 to 5.0 in 2016.   Most of the fatalities occurred in trade, transportation and utilities.


    State Police arrest a 20-year-old Kaplan man for a hit and run crash that killed two high school students. Sergeant Jared Sandifer says Tyler Meaux was driving a Ford F-150 and heading the wrong way on U-S 167 Sunday night when he slammed into a Honda Civic, carrying four teenagers. Sandifer says they believe Meaux was drunk. Those killed are identified as 16-year-old Alana Duhon of Abbeville and 15-year-old Sydney Colomb of Maurice.


    A Port Allen high school volunteer has been accused of having sex with a 15-year-old-student. Reports say the 30-year-old Ronald Barbier has been charged with one count of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile and five counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile. The reports say Barbier worked as an athletics volunteer. Barbier is being accused of communicating with the minor through social media.


    The LSU Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences has developed a new treatment for heart disease using antioxidants from red wine. Research has indicated that having a glass of red wine could be good for your heart, but with Professor Tammy Dugas’s program, even the sober can get those benefits. Dugas developed a stent that can be inserted into arteries that releases antioxidants directly into problem areas.

    Experts have recommend having two glasses a day to start noticing the heart health benefits.


    Many Entergy Louisiana customers have suffered sticker shock after seeing their most recent bill, following the extreme cold snap in late December and January.  For many, the normal storm restoration fee went up.  Entergy says they are working with customers to set up payment arrangements if they are having problems paying for their last bill.


    The LSU men’s basketball team is in a five-way tie for eighth place in the SEC standings as they get ready to play Florida tomorrow night in Gainesville. The Tigers are 13-9 overall, 4-6 in the SEC and Coach Will Wade says his team still has an opportunity to make a postseason tournament. LSU is coming off a 94-86 win over Arkansas.


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