Louisiana News
Subscribe To This Feed
Monroe-based Centurylink announces plans to bring high-speed internet to more than 24-thousand rural households and businesses in Louisiana.
 
Centurylink Senior vice-president John Jones says they have accepted money from the Federal Communications Commission to get this work done. 


"You're going to see some new markets enabled and you'll also see some faster speeds in existing markets," Jones said.
 
Jones says the company accepted about 500-million dollars a year for six years from the FCC to develop high-speed Internet service to one-point-two million Centurylink customers nationwide.
 
"It does not happen instantly, but it's incumbent on us to come up with a plan of how we are going to roll it out. That's going to take a little time," Jones said. 
 
Jones says they'll spend the next few months mapping out a plan to bring high-speed internet to rural areas and construction is expected to begin early next year. 
 
"We are excited about it, because it will help us complete most of our footprint in the state, unfortunately there will be some pockets that we quite can't get to."   
 
 
 
 
 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed
Former President George W. Bush spoke at Warren Easton High School today to emphasize how far public education in New Orleans has come since Hurricane Katrina. In his speech, Bush said nine in 10 public school students in New Orleans now attend a charter school and praised the good work done by these charter schools.
 
"According to a new report by the Cowen Institute, the percentage of New Orleans students graduating on time has soared since Katrina," Bush said. "The percentage of students who attended schools have scored greater than the state average has doubled." 
 
Bush said he and wife Laura visited New Orleans to salute the leaders of the city who have helped it and its schools progress since the tragic storm. After Katrina, Bush said educational entrepreneurs came together to help reform the school system.
 
"Isn't it amazing? The storm nearly destroys New Orleans, and now New Orleans is the beacon for school reform," Bush said.
 
In closing his speech, Bush spoke of the spirit in Warren Easton High and other schools in the New Orleans area that had to rebuild and reform. He acknowledged the New Orleans spirit was stronger than any Hurricane Katrina or storm like it.
 
"When I asked how students have overcome adversity, Lauren said, 'We teach our kids to be resilient. That's in the culture of this city.'"

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed
The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office seized nearly 200 pounds of cocaine--the largest in the parish's history--after receiving an anonymous tip about several suspicious packages. Commander Eric Becnel says there is an ongoing investigation with the United States Homeland Security New Orleans office because the wrapping of the cocaine is consistent with drug trafficking.
 
"We're attempting to determine how those drugs wound up in our parish," Becnel said.
 
After a field test and examination, the drugs were determined to be pure cocaine. Becnel says the sheriff's office estimates the street value of the cocaine to be $18 million. No arrests have been made as of yet. But he says the seizure has helped prevent the possibility of property and violent crimes that would have been fueled by the drugs.
 
"As we all know, drug addicts have to steal and support their habit," Becnel said.
 
Becnel says the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office is grateful to have a relationship and the support of the community. He says this relationship allows the public to notify authorities when there is suspicious activity in the parish.
 
"If it wouldn't have been for the honesty of this individual, who knows where those drugs would have wound up," Becnel said. 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed
Michelle Southern reporting.
Many people are reflecting back to 10 years ago when Hurricane Katrina descended on the Gulf Coast and caused catastrophic widespread damage. Families throughout the New Orleans area were displaced and people all over the state were opening their doors to evacuees.


Our Governor during that time, Kathleen Blanco, says the unbelievable recovery in the last decade shows the resiliency and determination of Louisianians.

"They are building safer. They are building stronger. They are building smarter," says Blanco. "Those are all the ingredients that we knew back 10 years ago that it would take to make this part of the state come alive again."

The immediate response efforts to the disaster by federal, state and local governments is widely criticized.

Blanco says following Katrina and Rita she instructed her staff to rewrite the disaster response. She believes Louisiana now leads the nation in knowing what to do before, during and after storms.

"We worked very hard to uncover every possible concept necessary to make our disaster response less chaotic," said Blanco.

Political leaders were shown on television clearly shaken by their surroundings and many of those who remained in New Orleans after the storm had no access to water, food or shelter.

Blanco says the thing she suffers from the most about the response is that they couldn't do enough, fast enough in a short period of time.

"No matter how many national guard soldiers I was adding to the mix, nothing was big enough," says Blanco. "Nothing was strong enough to alleviate the pain and suffering quickly."


0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed
The director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness says the state is in a better position to respond to a Hurricane Katrina like event. GOHSEP director Kevin Davis says one of the biggest advancements is a better relationship between the state and FEMA. Davis says he meets with the FEMA regional director on a regular basis.

"I see Tony the administrator probably three, four times a month in meetings and we go through all our training exercises together."

Davis was the president of St. Tammany Parish during Hurricane Katrina. He remembers the difficulty in communication, especially after the storm blew through. He says the state now has equipment to combat situations when cell service is nonexistent.

"We've had towers go down recently and again we just mobilize our trailer to that location and bring it all back up."

Where to shelter evacuees was a huge issue during Katrina. Davis says since then they have identify enough shelter to house individuals in Louisiana, if there’s a need to evacuate the New Orleans area. He says their sheltering plan is very specific.

"Plaquemines Parish will go to Monroe. We've already had meetings there in Monroe. They will bring there 600 to 700 people, we'll help them in transportation."

 
 
 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Visitation is today for fallen State Police Trooper Steven Vincent, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this week. Due to tremendous support, the location of the visitation has been moved to the Lake Charles Civic Center Rosa Heart Theater. Calcasieu Parish Police Juror Tony Stelly says he watched Vincent grow up and he will be greatly missed by everyone.

“When you have a tragedy like this that is just so horrendous. It just makes everyone just stop and think. It just a very, very, very horrible thing to happen to such a good bunch of people.”

The funeral service will take place Saturday at noon at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in Lake Charles. Stelly expects many people to come out and pay their respects at the visitation and funeral. He says Vincent’s reputation was like gold in his hometown of Iowa because he was such a caring person.

“It’s simply because the young man was raised right, he was raised that family is number one.”

Stelly says Steven comes from a great family who is widely respected and the community will do whatever they can to make this time easier for the Vincent’s.

“But the young man comes from really, really good people and we’re going to stand behind that family and we’re going to give them whatever support they need to get through this.” 

 
 
 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Before even coaching his first LSU football game, Coach Les Miles was forced to deal with the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. 10 years ago the Ohio native came to Baton Rouge as the brand new football coach with big shoes to fill. Miles says looking back at that time, the landfall of Hurricane Katrina proved to be one of the strongest moments in Louisiana history.

“I just want you to know, there is no way I could’ve anticipated that and neither could our team. They volunteered their time and our doctorial staff, and I was really fortunate to be here and witness it.”

Miles says at first he didn’t realize summers weren’t always like this and major hurricanes weren’t so common. Miles says he still held practice during this hectic time, but would let the athletes out early to donate their time to assist those flown to the P-MAC for medical treatment.

“Probably the most visual name tag I saw was volunteer. It was a special time, I thought that the state showed great strength and commitment.”

Miles says the community went above and beyond their duties to help those in need. He says many of his players housed their displaced family members in small dorms, but it was a time where he learned what was most important in life.

“I can remember taking the field with the Tigers when they were worn out because they weren’t sleeping at night. It was a very difficult time and it was a great time.”

 
 
 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed
Michelle Southern reporting.
10 years ago thousands of people were evacuating out of the New Orleans area as Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on Louisiana; and it was chaos. So in that time how has the state improved efforts to make such a large scale evacuation more smooth?
 
Department of Transportation spokesman Rodney Mallett says they now contract with bus services.

"So we can get buses down to help us," says Mallett. "We've worked with the Department of Education so we can get school buses and the Louisiana National Guard to provide personnel as well to help in the evacuation."

At the time Katrina approached, there was no real mechanism in place to get so many citizens safely out of harms way -- but Mallett says now there is. 

He says one of the important things they've learned in dealing with past contraflow situations, is to work closely with our neighbors.

"Mississippi and Texas and throughout the Gulf Coast so that we work together," says Mallett. "We have a meeting with those guys each year to go over contraflow plans."

Mallett says they have also expanded the Motorists Assistance program so that in a mass evacuation situation, there would be more vehicles out on the road to help out vehicles that get stranded in travel lanes.

He also says they have since added traffic cameras on interstate systems in metropolitan areas.

"So that we can monitor anything that is going on and provide that information via tweets and emails and websites to the traveling public," said Mallett.
 
Click here to see a video from DOTD which outlines the plans in greater detail. 



0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed
The St. Landry Parish town of Sunset is mourning the loss of Police Officer Henry Nelson.  35-year-old Harrison Lee Riley is accused of shooting and killing Nelson in the line of duty Wednesday while responding to a domestic disturbance.  


Sunset Mayor Charles James says the town will get past this tragedy.
 
"It's a mark on our spirit, at this point, and something that we can't explain and that's understandable because such evil is not explainable." 

Riley is also accused of stabbing three women in the incident, killing 40-year-old Shameka Johnson.  James says this incident has really shaken the town of approximately 3,000 residents.

"There isn't a situation where something of this magnitude takes place and it doesn't effect the whole community because everyone pretty much knows everyone."

Riley faces charges of first degree murder of a police officer, first degree murder, and attempted first degree murder.  James says he knew Nelson since he was a child and he will be someone who won't be forgotten.

"A very good gentleman, very gentle, very patient and he was effective.  He did his job well." 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

The East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office and Capital Area Human Services are teaming up to raise awareness about the growing heroin and synthetic marijuana problem in the area. Coroner Dr. Beau Clark says his office has already seen 24 heroin overdose deaths so far this year. He says the message of this campaign is clear.

"The premise of the campaign is that heroin is deadly and synthetic marijuana is poison and certainly we don't want the coroner to be the last ride."

He says at this rate, East Baton Rouge Parish could surpass the record of 35 heroin overdose deaths recorded in 2013. Clark says it’s not a coincidence that this campaign is being launched at this time of year.

"So if we look at the few years of statistics we have, it's the fall time seems to be where we see a drastic increase in the number of overdoses."

He says they’ve seen an uptick of heroin overdoses in the fall over the past few years. Clark has confirmed three deaths this year directly from synthetic marijuana use, but those are much more difficult to determine with current testing methods. He says the ultimate goal of this campaign is to save lives.

"Two types of scenarios that I see that ultimately result in death that are completely 100% preventable by not using heroin and not using synthetic marijuana."

 
 
 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture says its new mobile pet shelter is ready for use. Commissioner Mike Strain says the tractor trailer can be used to evacuate up 55 domesticated animals in the event of an emergency.

“It is a state of the art mobile pet shelter and it has cages, just like in my veterinary clinic, backup generator, battery power, washing station, climate control, it is well lit, it has stairs and ramps.”

Before the mobile shelter, they were loading pets into 18-wheelers to transport them during natural disasters which was very difficult and not as safe. He says if a natural disaster strikes and you can’t take your pet with you, when you come to an evacuation point, LDAF will provide safe transportation to a mega pet shelter.

“We’ll be using those responses to have a place where we can treat animals on site and deal with any specific emergency such as a hurricane, tornado and others.”

Strain says 40,000 of the $80,000 needed to complete the project was donated by veterinary foundations. He says they want to ensure all animals are safe and well taken care of in the event of an emergency.

“It is part of our duty at the Department of Ag and Forestry, we are responsible, amongst many other things, for the evacuation and treatment of pets and animals during emergencies.”

 
 
 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed
Michelle Southern reporting.
Former President George W. Bush visits New Orleans today to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina which political observers say was the low point of his presidency. Many blame Bush's administration for not getting aid to the people of Louisiana fast enough. 


LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says when people think about Katrina, they think "Bush Administration."

"Their perception is that they were very slow to respond and when they did it wasn't effective or timely," said Hogan.

Hogan says in some ways it seems strange that Bush would come back after being so chastised about what he did and did not do following the storm, but no matter what he is eternally tied to the event.

He says it's not unusual for presidents and former presidents to commemorate tragedies.

"These are points in their presidency that draw attention to them, whether or not it's beneficial," said Hogan.

Hogan says Katrina happened a few years after 9/11, and many people were very optimistic about the state of the country. He says after the storm that perception of the Bush administration almost completely dissipated.

"That he was not necessarily as confident as his followers and supporters wanted people to view him as," said Hogan.
 
 
 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Researchers at the University of Louisiana Lafayette New Iberia Research Center are testing an Ebola vaccine for wild apes. The Research Center says Ebola is one of the leading killers of gorillas and chimpanzees. Division Head of Research Resources at the center Jane Fontenot says the vaccine is similar to a rabies immunization and this testing could benefit future vaccinations in humans and other wildlife.

“With the recent Ebola crisis, it’s even more relevant than ever so this really is a great program to benefit chimps in the wild.”

Fontenot says there have been other wild ape vaccination programs in the past, but were difficult to complete because they required three different shots over a span of time. But she says now they are testing an oral vaccine in a controlled environment.

“While we’re doing the study we’ll be able to monitor the chimpanzees very carefully. We’ll be able to assess whether there are any ill effects with the vaccine. Everything from food intake to activity levels.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa took the lives of about 11-thousand people. The global effort is led by Apes Inc., President Dr. Peter Walsh who says this testing could help pave the way for an oral vaccination for humans.

“We’ll take the vaccine, we’ll put it in a bait that the animal will eat, then the gorillas and chimpanzees will be protected from the Ebola virus and so if it’s successful we’ll go out and start trialing it in Africa.”

 
 
 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

President Barack Obama visits New Orleans today and he’ll visit areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago. Between the Obama and Bush administrations, a reported 71 billion dollars in federal money was allocated to assist recovery efforts in the region. UNO Political Science professor Ed Chervanek says while the federal money helped, the recovery didn’t accelerate until Mayor Mitch Landrieu got into office.

“He brought in people who had contacts with the federal bureaucracy and I also think it helped having Senator Mary Landrieu in the senate, helped kind of grease the wheels getting the federal government to move.”

Chervanek says the federal government did supply billions of dollars to the recovery but is also responsible for the damage to New Orleans because of an inadequate flood control system. He says President Obama did the best he could to aid in the rebuilding of the Crescent City.

“So I think the Obama administration was attempting to make amends on that particular issue and that it seems that FEMA has been much more cooperative under the Obama administration than it was under the Bush Administration.”

Chervanek says Obama wants to make New Orleans a showcase of his administration to separate his administration for Bush’s. He is surprised former President George W. Bush is coming on Friday and says he would’ve thought Bush would stay away.

“I think it is one of the biggest regrets of his presidency and it basically changed the character and tenor of his presidency and that his approval rate dropped significantly and never really recovered after that.”

 
 
 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed
Another Louisiana policeman has been shot dead in the line of duty. Sunset Police officer Henry Nelson was killed while responding to a domestic disturbance. 
 
(suspect pictured: Harrison Lee Wiley Junior) 


St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says the suspect, Harrison Lee Wiley Junior of Arnaudville, fatally shot Nelson in the front yard of the home and then stabbed three women he was arguing with.

"One he killed at the scene, two were transported later to the hospital," says Guidroz. "One of those two is in critical condition at a Lafayette General Hospital."

The other fatal victim has been identified as 40-year-old Shameka Johnson, who is a sister of Grand Coteau Mayor Shaterral Johnson. Guidroz says Officer Nelson was fatally shot in the front yard of the home where the stabbings occurred.

"A fight ensued between the officer and the suspect," says Guidroz. "The suspect had a gun and shot the officer."

One of surviving victims is Wiley’s wife, Courteny Jolivette, who was airlifted to a hospital in Alexandria.  Wiley is in police custody, but not before he barricaded himself inside a nearby convenience store. 

Guidroz says they believe Wiley was on some sort of illegal narcotic, but they are not sure what.

"Anybody that's armed with a weapon and on this particular type of drug like bath salts just gets it into his mind that he will hurt you," said Guidroz.
 


0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed
Michelle Southern reporting.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission has approved the merger of Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana. The single utility company will be called Entergy Louisiana and the consolidation will take effect in October. Entergy Louisiana President Phillip May says they anticipate this will mean up to $140 million in savings to customers.


"We are willing to guarantee $107 million dollars in credits to our customers on their bills," said May. "Customers should be able to see that as early as December 1st."

May says the merger of the two Entergy units will save customers at least $107 million dollars over nine years, which translates to an 11-dollar savings for the average customer in the first year.

He says this larger and more financially strong company will allow them to better obtain capital required to improve systems.

"To upgrade our grid, replace our aging power plants and make them more efficient," said May.

May says the combined company expects to invest more than $5 billion dollars in upgrades over the next four years to boost industrial load growth and meet the demands of our growing economy.

He says this means more major business customers will be attracted to the state.

"Louisiana is experiencing an industrial renaissance and this business combination will provide us with the strength to invest and attract those customers to Louisiana," said May.
 
 
 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office says accused cop killer Kevin Daigle has additionally been charged with murder in the death of the man he was living with at the time. 


54-year-old Blake Brewer of Moss Bluff was found dead in his home after the incident in which Daigle allegedly shot and killed Trooper Steven Vincent. 

Sheriff Tony Mancuso says Daigle was driving Brewer's truck when he shot Trooper Vincent in the head. Prior to that, he says investigators believe Brewer was shot in the torso by the suspect in his home with a shotgun.

"Although we have not gotten any scientific results yet, possibly the same shotgun that was used in Trooper Vincent's death was used to kill Mr. Brewer," said Mancuso.

State Police has charged Daigle with first degree murder of a police officer and there is no bond. For Brewer's death Daigle is additionally charged with 2nd degree murder, theft of a motor vehicle and possession of firearm by convicted felon with a $1.6 million dollar bond.

Mancuso says they believe Brewer had let Daigle stay at his home.

"Daigle would wander from place to place and live certain places for so much time and at this particular time he'd been staying with Mr. Brewer as his friend," said Mancuso.

 
 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed
A new poll by Triumph Campaigns shows Republican David Vitter and Democrat John Bel Edwards neck and neck in this year's governor's race.  The telephone survey of over 2,000 respondents shows Vitter leading with 31-percent of the vote followed by Edwards with 30-percent.


Pollster Justin Brasell says they kept this survey focused solely on the governor's election to really get a good look at the race.
 
"Rather than asking all the questions we normally ask about other statewide races, we wanted to keep the survey as short as possible so we could get a lot more respondents, get the margin of error down."

Republicans Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle come in with 14-percent and 13-percent respectively.  The survey has a margin of error of 2.1-percent.  Brasell says the big question is whether Dardenne and Angell can do enough to shake this race up.

"Is anyone able to spend enough money to overcome Senator Vitter or change the dynamic where Senator Vitter is headed to a runoff with Edwards?  We'll just have to see."

The survey shows that 11-percent of respondents are undecided.  Brasell is not sure what kind of impact this will have on October's election.

"Certainly there's still some people uncommitted who are leaning one way or the other and could still change their minds, but it's still a pretty big lead for Vitter and Edwards at this point."

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed
The Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish deviates from the state party in endorsing incumbent Buddy Caldwell in this year's Attorney General's race.  The Republican Party of Louisiana threw their support behind former congressman Jeff Landry.  


East Baton Rouge GOP chairman Woody Jenkins on the endorsement.
 
"Well, really Buddy Caldwell has an exemplary record when it comes to standing up for conservative values and we've cited 12 different things that he has done."

He lists the AG's attempt to block Obamacare and filing suit to lift the President's moratorium on drilling in the Gulf as a couple of examples.  Jenkins says this endorsement is in no way a criticism of Landry.

"Based on experience and based on philosophy we feel like Caldwell is a great conservative doing a fine job as Attorney General and deserves to be re-elected."

Jenkins says when you have more than one Republican running for a political office a difference of opinion like this could happen.  There are three Republicans running for the AG's office, including Martin Maley.  Jenkins says Caldwell's litigation experience is a real plus.

"He got the BP oil settlement, $8.8 billion for the state of Louisiana, which is actually the largest judgement in history, anywhere." 

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

The Louisiana National Guard, which played a huge role during the Hurricane Katrina response, has dedicated an exhibit to the destructive storm at their Jackson Barracks museum in New Orleans. Captain Heather Englehart says one of the biggest parts of the exhibit is a Huey helicopter used to save thousands trapped on rooftops.

"That helicopter was one that was kind of famed or known for having one of its skids go through the rooftops during Katrina.”

Englehart hopes the exhibit shows the soldiers’ spirit of hope and determination to help during Katrina and the rebuilding efforts that took place. She says the National Guard flew in around 32-thousand guardsmen to Louisiana to rescue those stranded during the flooding.

“Wow, this thing was so much greater response wise then I ever could’ve imagined. The engineered search and rescue, the engineer operations, commodity distribution. It was so wide spread.”

Englehart says the 10th anniversary exhibit will be open for the next year but they’re working to keep a permanent display in the museum for years to come. She says the Katrina display has interactive stations where visiting survivors can share their memories of Katrina, as well as, large photos and paintings of the destruction and flooding along with other discovered artifacts.

“We do have an amazing collection on loan to us from the state museum and some larger than life panels and some other items that came in, local artists around that area we’ve been able to exhibit, as well.”

 
 
 

0
comments



God Bless America!

970 KSYL On Air Now
George Noory
George Noory
12:00am - 6:00am
Coast To Coast AM
KSYL News

The KSYL Morning Report

Monday Thru Friday 7:10a

 

With Host

Dave Graichen

Click Player To Listen


 

The CBS World News Roundup

Click The Logo to listen

 

Kdixie.com

Non-Stop

Commercial Free

Oldies

The Best Of The 60's & 70's

 

Now On Air At 93.1 HD3

Or Click The Logo Above

To Listen.

 

State Wire
On Twitter
North Rapides Business & Industry Alliance

Weekends

 

All Weekend Long

It's a

Political Free Zone!

Kim Komando, The "Weekend" Roundup, Leo Laporte (The Tech Guy!), Art Bell, The Real Estate Show, Bill Handel, Chef John Folse "Stirin' It Up" , Doug Stephan's Weekend, The Pet Show & When Radio Was!.

Leo LaPorte

LEO LAPORTE

THE TECH GUY

SATURDAY / SUNDAY

1 TO 5PM

Resources

LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services