Louisiana News
Subscribe To This Feed

Governor Edwards has signed the Blue Lives Matter Bill into law, which makes Louisiana the first in the nation to expand its hate crime laws to protect police, firefighters and EMS crews. Author of the legislation, Alexandria Representative Lance Harris says the new law allows prosecutors to seek tougher penalties against individuals who intentionally target first responders because of their profession.

“A misdemeanor is an extra fine up to $500, an extra 6 months in jail, and a felony is an extra $5,000 and an extra 5 years in jail,” Harris said.

Previous hate crime laws only included people on the basis of race, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or affiliation with certain groups. Harris says the legislation is long overdue.

“Animosity has been ratcheting up in some areas of the country and some areas of our society. So I think it’s only prudent that we put this kind of law in place,” Harris said.

President of the Louisiana NAACP, Ernest Johnson says this law is just a knee jerk reaction to the Black Lives Matter campaign and unnecessary.

“I haven’t heard of any police offices that have been killed as a result of people just hating the individual because the individual was a police officer and certainly not our firefighters,” Johnson said.

Five other states have tried to pass similar bills, but they all failed to pass. Johnson says he doesn’t think this bill will stand up in court. He says if you classify hate crimes by occupation, everyone should be included.

“The broad base would be, if we’re going to deal with those two professions, why not doctors, why not news reporters,” Johnson said.



Subscribe To This Feed
Earlier this morning the price of oil rose above 50 dollars a barrel for the first time since October. Executive Director at LSU’s Center for Energy Studies David Dismukes says this marks an important milestone and it might put an end to the job losses in this industry.

"It may stop, I would argue it would probably make a lot of companies think a little further before making additional layoff announcements but we're certainly a long ways from being out of the woods yet."

Crude oil was below 30 dollars a barrel earlier this year. Dismukes says the real challenge is to see if the increase is sustainable. He says the biggest catalyst for the uptick has been the recent fires in Canada.
"It's taken a lot of the tar sands production offline and has really cut a lot of the excess production that was out there are the market right now. There have been a few other interruptions in Nigeria and Libya that have helped to contribute to that."

Even with this increase, crude oil is still down 66% from the record high in July of 2008 where oil closed at $145 a barrel. Dismukes says with the higher prices, there’s less pressure for oil companies to make production caps or cuts. He says with oil trading at 50-dollars a barrel, it’ll be interesting to see if there will be an uptick in production.
"See if a lot of these drills and uncompleted wells that have been sitting around that are idle in many of the producing basins start to get kicked on at $50 increased cash flow for many of the operations."


Subscribe To This Feed

A report from the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums finds that the Baton Rouge Zoo is not at fault for the deaths of two giraffes who died in March. Zoo director Phil Frost says he requested an audit by the association because the giraffe deaths that occurred during a severe thunderstorm were very unusual.

“We would like someone from the AZA to come in and perform an audit on how we handled the situation and we wanted to make sure that if there was anything that we could learn and improve upon, we would do that.”

Frost says he’s proud the report shows zoo staff were professional and kept a cool head even with the circumstances. He says the Baton Rouge Zoo wanted to be professional and open during this situation because the public has a connection with these animals.

“We’re transparent as much as they can possibly be and if we’re going to celebrate the birth and let the public know about that, when we have a charismatic animal like a giraffe die, we’re going to let them know about that too.”

18 animals have died in the last year at the Baton Rouge Zoo. Frost says they’re working on getting more giraffes to the zoo but it could take a while because it’s not an easy process.

“Our blood lines and the blood lines that are in other zoos to determine which ones need to be represented and once that’s even decided it can be quite an ordeal of time in terms of when we ship during the hottest time of the year.”



Subscribe To This Feed

A Senate-approved bill that would allow patients to see physical therapists without a doctor’s referral also has the support of the House as it nears final passage. West Monroe Representative Frank Hoffman opposes the legislation. He says patients should see a doctor before seeing physical therapists, because doctors have more medical training.

“He would not be an expert to do those things, but he would have training, and of course the training is good for physical therapists, but nothing like doctors’ training,” Hoffman said.

Under the current law, patients must get a diagnosis from a doctor before seeing a PT. Hoffman says if physical therapists missed something in a patient’s diagnosis, they could seriously hurt that person, even paralyze them.

“That wouldn’t be a normal situation, but if it happened just once out of a thousand, that’s a real problem,” Hoffman said.

Ville Platte Representative Harvey LeBas is the House sponsor of the bill. He says Louisiana is one of only 7 states with this kind of law. He says because of this, PT grads are leaving Louisiana.

“We are currently losing approximately 20% of our recent graduates to other states,” LeBas said.

LeBas says physical therapists have the necessary training to see patients and take care of them.

“Let’s use them. They’re trained. They’re treated and know how to handle people, and they know how to recognize the disease states,” LeBas said.

The measure passed in the lower chamber on a 65-33 vote and heads back to the Senate for concurrence on House language.



Subscribe To This Feed

The bill to ensure that all TOPS students get at least part of their scholarship award is moving closer to final legislative passage. The legislation would go into effect in the case the legislature is not able to fully fund the popular scholarship program. Currently, 51,000 students receive TOPS. Hammond Representative Chris Broadwater says without this bill 13,000 students could lose their scholarships because of funding issues, which would be bad for the state’s economy.

“If you want to dry up development and expansion of business in the state of Louisiana, that’s a great way to do it,” Broadwater said.

Broadwater says this bill is needed to make sure that all TOPS students have the opportunity to go to college. He says this could keep more Louisiana students in the state.

“You provide every one of those individuals the hope of completing that college education and fulfilling one of those great jobs we have here in Louisiana and keeping our children at home,” Broadwater said.

Under current law, if TOPS is underfunded, students with the lowest GPA and ACT scores would be dropped from the program. Broadwater says a better route is if lawmakers decreased the amount of each award, instead of taking the entire award away from some students.

“Instead of eliminating the hope of 13,000 individuals, you provide the roughly 51,000 individuals who are on TOPS and say we will pay 75% of your tuition this year,” Broadwater said.

The measure passed the House and now heads back to the Senate so changes made to the bill can be approved.



Subscribe To This Feed

The nonprofit group Rebuild Louisiana is raising money that will go towards getting public support for Governor John Bel Edwards’ legislative agenda. It’s expected the governor will call a special session next month to address a $600 million budget shortfall. Chairman of Rebuild Louisiana, Mary Olive Pierson says the group is raising money because there are plenty of what she calls “hard heads” in the legislature.

“We have decided that maybe if we educate the public that votes for the hard heads, that they could then educate their representatives to what they really want,” Pierson said.

Several republican lawmakers have said a second special session should take place later in the year, after taxes were raised in the first special session. Pierson says Rebuild Louisiana is raising money through social media, direct mail, and every available outlet so they can spread their message through all popular mediums. She says one of their biggest concerns is the state budget. But she says they’re pushing for several issues.

“We’re certainly interested in Medicaid expansion. We’re interested in equal pay. We’re interested in minimum wage, and those are just the big ticket items,” Pierson said.

Pierson says they are concerned about some items that have already been defeated, such as equal pay for men and women. She says the fight isn’t over yet, because after this session, there will be another special session, and her organization will continue to push for their concerns.

“We’re not a one trick pony, and so we’re just going to continue to fight and educate people until we get a better decision on some of these issues,” Pierson said.



Subscribe To This Feed

An LSU AgCenter scientist has discovered a new way to reduce the sodium content in food. Marvin Moncada developed nanosalt, which is salt in a powder form that is about one-thousand times smaller than kosher salt.

Moncada says nanosalt is a natural alternative to reducing the amount of salt content in foods.

“You decrease the particle size, you increase the saltiness perception because you have more surface area to cover.”

Moncada says The CDC recommends individuals eat 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day but most people in the US eat double the amount. He says they’re still in the lab stage but expects tests to be conducted with consumers shortly.

“It’s possible that in the near future we can have this alternative out there in the market for the consumer.”

Moncada says hopefully we can lower the cases of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases by reducing the sodium content in some foods.

“We test that this alternative can work in topping foods such as cheese crackers, such as chips, and maybe fries.”



Subscribe To This Feed
LSU has had many dramatic victories at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, but none took as long as Wednesday night-Thursday morning's 5-3 win over Florida in 14 innings.  
Jordan Romero snapped an 0-for-18 stretch with a single into right field to snap a 3-3 tie in the top of the 14th.
Nine-hole hitter Cole Freeman added a bloop single for a much needed insurance run in the 14th. 
LSU was one out away from ending this game in nine innings, but Gators second baseman Deacon Liput, singled through the right side of the infield to tie the game at three off of relief pitcher Hunter Newman. 
The Gators had a 2-0 lead going into the 8th inning, but the Tigers scored three times in that inning.

Florida starting pitcher A.J. Puk kept LSU's bats quiets for most of the night. The possible number one draft pick threw seven shutout innings, until he ran into trouble in the 8th inning.
Florida relief pitcher Dane Dunning was also very good. He tossed 4.1 innings, allowed one hit, one run and struck out four.
For LSU, Alex Lange started and tied a season-high with 11 strikeouts. Lange had trouble locating his curveball early and gave up two runs in the 1st inning. Once Lange settled down, he was dominate.
Jesse Stallings (3-0) is the unlikely hero. The sophomore from Grant Parish pitched five shutout innings, his longest outing of his career to get the win. Stallings gave up two hits and walked five and worked out of a bases loaded jam in the 11th inning.
Stallings got Florida left fielder Nelson Maldonado to pop out in the infield. The next batter, Deacon Liput, lined out to LSU third baseman Chris Reid, who touched the runner at third base for the final out of the inning.  
Here's how the Tigers scored in the 8th inning, freshman right fielder Antoine Duplantis started the rally with a one-out double down the left field line.
Jake Fraley followed with a single to center field. During that play, Florida catcher Mike Rivera took the throw from the outfield, but threw the ball back away trying to get Fraley out at second base. The throwing error allowed Duplantis to score, who had stopped at third base on the single.  
Fraley advanced to third base on the error, with Kramer Robertson coming to the plate. The Tigers clutch shortstop hit a chopper up the middle to Florida shortstop Dalton Guthrie. Fraley went on contact and was ruled safe at the plate on a bang-bang play. Replay showed that Fraley may have not gotten his foot on the plate, but the scoreboard was tied at two a piece. 
Robertson stole second base and advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Bryce Jordan drove home Robertson on a grounder up the middle to give LSU a 3-2 lead.
The victory puts LSU in the winner's bracket and they'll face Mississippi State in the late game on Thursday night. But the Tigers will need their rest after this 5-hour, 7-minute contest. 


Subscribe To This Feed

AAA expects over 38 million Americans will travel over the Memorial Day weekend, the highest number of travelers since 2005. Spokesperson Don Redman says it’s due to low gas prices, which are currently around $2.10 a gallon for regular gasoline. He says these are the lowest gas prices we’ve seen in 11 years.

“The cheaper gas prices that we’re seeing this year and even cheaper than last year is really fueling the family budget, allowing people to get out and travel like they haven’t done before.”

Redman says from January until now, Americans have saved about 18 billion dollars that would usually go into their gas tanks. He warns drivers to be careful because a lot of travelers will be on the road this holiday weekend.

“This becomes a deadly time of the year with that many new travelers on the road all trying to reach their destination at the same time. If you can leave earlier do so, if you can stay later, do that as well, try to avoid some of these big rush hours.”

Redman also says over 2 million Americans will travel by plane this Memorial Day. He says the average price of a ticket for the top 40 domestic flight routes is 26 percent cheaper this holiday.

“When some of those contacts were purchased several years ago, jet fuels were much higher and now it has come down and some of those contracts are up for renewal, that’s why we’re seeing some of those prices.”



Subscribe To This Feed

Louisiana has joined several states seeking to block the Obama administration’s transgender bathroom policy in public schools. The federal government says public schools must allow transgender students to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity, or risk losing federal funding. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry says the President does not have the legal authority to require children to share locker rooms and bathrooms with children of the opposite sex.

“There’s nowhere in Title IX that grants the federal government the authority to do what it claims it can do in that letter,” Landry said.

The lawsuit was filed in a federal courtroom in Texas. The White House has no comment on the suit. Landry says the federal government continues to direct education policy to the detriment of Louisiana students and he will not allow Washington wreak further havoc on our schools.

“This is an effort to protect those children and those parents from what they believe is a harmful policy,” Landry said.

Landry says if there are any attempts from the federal government to make good on their threats to withhold federal funding, the schools should contact his office so they can take legal action. He says Louisiana has joined 10 other states in an effort to get a judge to declare the directive unlawful.

“In reviewing the law and the Constitution, we have all come to the same conclusion, and so we do believe we will have some success in the federal courts,” Landry said.



Subscribe To This Feed

The adult smoking rate in the US is falling faster than is has in the past 20 years based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 50 years ago, roughly 42% of adults in the US smoked, and that rate has now fallen to about 15%. Renee Underwood with the state Department of Health and Hospitals says currently there is no state specific data on smokers. She says their department launched a statewide campaign last year to help people kick their tobacco habits.

“The campaign has reached over two million Louisiana residents with a focus on the northern half of our state, where smoking prevalence is higher among both youth and adult populations,” Underwood said.

The smoking rate in the US typically drops by less than 1% a year, but in 2015 the rate decreased by 2%. Underwood says she hopes campaigns like the Louisiana Tobacco Quit Line have helped reduce the number of smokers. She says the state quit line has helped more than 16,000 smokers just in the last year.

“The quit line offers free phone counseling and nicotine replacement therapy to callers 13 years of age or older,” Underwood said.

Underwood says DHH also partners with other organizations, such as the Louisiana Public Health Institute and the American Cancer Society, to reduce the number of people who start smoking and to get smokers the resources they need to quit.

“We also work in partnership with several statewide and national organizations to coordinate strategies that prevent young people from becoming smokers, eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke, and promote cessation services,” Underwood said.



Subscribe To This Feed

A bill to require municipalities to post warning signs 500 feet ahead of red light cameras has just received final legislative passage. New Orleans Senator Troy Carter says red light cameras should be about safety, not collecting revenues.

“If those that push for red light cameras truly want public safety, then they would be fine with posting signs and giving people an opportunity to be noticed that in fact there is a red light camera coming up,” Carter said.

Carter says the bill is also about giving people who do run red lights due process.

“If a sign is not posted, then the motorist has the opportunity to challenge that and go to court and then the ticket is inadmissible and cannot be collected,” Carter said.

Carter says if someone is truly for public safety, they would support the proposed law, but if they want to trick people into paying fines, they would hate the bill. Carter says public safety should trump revenue enhancement.

“At the end of the day, we want to prevent people from running red lights period for public safety. We don’t want to trick them and just continue to collect fines,” Carter said.

The measure now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.



Subscribe To This Feed

A bill to help parents keep up with who their kids are talking to online is heading to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. Metairie Representative Cameron Henry says his bill requires sex offenders to register any email addresses or online user names, as they would with a phone number or address. He says kids are playing online games and talking to strangers on the internet, and this will help parents make sure their children aren’t talking to predators.

“They have to register once a year. He will have to, on the form that he fills out, will have to put any screen names he has, his email address, if he has a static IP address,” Henry said.

The measure passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate, and Governor Edwards is expected to sign the bill. Henry says sex offenders have a whole new way to find victims, thanks to online games and social media sites.

“Where a sex offender maybe used to go to parks and things like that to try to find victims, now they’re literally doing it in your living room through these online games,” Henry said.

Henry says a data base will be established through state police so parents could log into a site or call troopers to see if the person their child is talking to is really a sex offender. He says the penalty for not registering would be the same as not registering a vehicle or new address.



Subscribe To This Feed

A new website, BayouOpportunity.com, has just been launched to help workers in the oil and gas industry find new jobs, as unemployment in that sector continues to rise. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says this new site could help people who have lost their jobs in this industry.

“A great place for some of our folks who are in the oil and gas industry that have been displaced from their current job and are seeking employment, it’s a great place to start,” Pierson said.

Pierson says they will also hold a career fair in Schriever this June to help people get new jobs and find training opportunities in the oil and gas sector. He says they hope to have upwards of 30 employers at the event. Pierson says the new website also has information about the job fair.

“Going to BayouOpportunity.com will get you prepared to attend the job fair that’ll be conducted on the 10th of June between 9 and 1 at Fletcher Technical Community College,” Pierson said.

Pierson says you don’t have to be a welder or a pipefitter to find a job at BayouOpportunity.com or the job fair at Fletcher Technical Community College. He says there’s lots of opportunity in this field.

“Obviously there’s project management positions, administrative positions, engineering, other factors that all go into this massive amount of investment that’s coming to Louisiana,” Pierson said.



Subscribe To This Feed

PETA has sent a letter to LSU calling for them to end the live mascot program once Mike VI passes away. Lewis Crary, a captive wildlife specialist with PETA, says wild animals are not meant to live in captivity on a college campus.

“The biggest tribute that LSU could pay to Mike VI would be to make sure that no more tigers are forced to live lives of deprivation just to make a few live appearances each year,” Crary said.

Crary says if LSU genuinely cares about tigers, they can donate to big cat sanctuaries or conservation efforts. But he says locking up another tiger is not the way to promote team spirit.

“Confining another tiger for its entire life on a university campus is cruel to the tiger, does nothing for the species, and teaches students that it’s okay to imprison wild animals for human entertainment,” Crary said.

LSU issued a statement in response to the letter, saying this is not the time to discuss football or a new mascot. Mike’s attending vet Dr. David Baker says they’re just worried about Mike’s wellbeing.

“I’m just not focused on that right now. I’m focused on Mike’s treatment plan,” Baker said.



Subscribe To This Feed

The state Department of Children and Family Services says a Baton Rouge mother took the appropriate steps when she left her newborn baby at a fire station, instead of abandoning the child. Assistant Secretary of Child Welfare Program Rhenda Hodnett says the child was placed in the arms of a fireman and then transported to Woman’s Hospital for a checkup. She says the mother will face no charges.

“It is completely anonymous. As long as the child is found to be healthy, free from abuse and neglect. It’s a safe alternative to any other way of abandoning a child.”

Hodnett says newborns up to 60 days old can be relinquished in the hands an employee at an emergency care facility. She says hospitals, police stations, and child advocacy centers are examples of locations where a child can be handed over.

“Since 2004, 44 infants have been relinquished using the Safe Haven law.”

Hodnett says the baby must be placed in the hands of an official, the newborn cannot be left on the door step or somewhere in the building. She says at that time, the mother is issued a card with a number to call if she wants to provide additional information.

“She also has the option at that time to provide some information, particularly medical information that would be helpful for us in caring for that child.”



Subscribe To This Feed

After finishing second to Atlanta to host the Super Bowl in 2019, some are wondering if it’s time for a new stadium in order to attract another Super Bowl. This is the second straight time New Orleans has lost to a city that was in the process of building a new stadium. Former-governor Kathleen Blanco, who sits on the LSED board, which oversees the Dome, says Louisiana does not need to build a new stadium to host a Super Bowl.

“That’s a very expensive project, and I don’t think that Louisiana’s financial circumstances right now would allow for that discussion,” Blanco said.

Blanco says they are always looking at ways to keep the Mercedes-Benz Superdome up to date. She says football fans will enjoy the new high definition video board that will be in place for the upcoming season. She says keeping the 40-year-old building in top notch condition takes a lot of money.

“We will continue to make investments in improving the Dome, and that is unless the legislature takes more money out of our coffers. It takes a lot of money to keep these buildings in good shape, to keep them updated,” Blanco said.

The NFL has now awarded Super Bowls through 2021. Blanco remains optimistic that the Mercedes Benz Superdome will be able to host at least one more Super Bowl.

“I think we’ll be fine in the future. I mean, anything can happen down the road, but I do believe we have a great property right now,” Blanco said.



Subscribe To This Feed

A report from the Tulane University Cowen Institute says if the legislature is forced to reduce state funding for TOPS cuts, they hope students most in need of financial assistance are protected first. Policy director Vincent Rossmeier says the program has increasingly awarded scholarships to students who are coming from families, who could otherwise afford college.

“Right now, 40% of students, who received TOPS scholarships last year, were coming from families who were making $100,000 or more.”

Rossmeier says TOPS is an excellent vehicle for students who can least afford to go to college to manage the costs. He says if legislators raise the academic requirements for students to achieve a TOPS scholarship, it will leave a lot of college worthy students with no way of paying for college.

“If you raise the ACT score by just one point for the requirement, we found it would reduce the eligibility based on 2015 numbers, by 28% of students statewide.”

The report also found raising the minimum GPA from 2.5 to 2.7 would reduce the eligibility of 22 percent of students in Louisiana. Rossmeier says TOPS was originally designed to help low-income students afford higher education, so the Cowen Institute favors need-based changes if cuts are made to the program…

“You want to ensure that students have the ability to afford college and hopefully they’ll stay in state long term and help the economy grow. Education is the main vehicle to long term economic prosperity.”



Subscribe To This Feed

Congressman Ralph Abraham has introduced legislation that seeks to combat what he says is executive overreach on the issue of transgender bathrooms in public schools. President Obama issued a decree that public schools must let transgender students use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity, or risk losing federal funding. Abraham says the President can’t threaten to withhold money that is appropriated by Congress.

“For me, this is not only a social issue, but it is a constitutional issue. Congress is the one that are empowered to enact laws. It’s not the president,” Abraham said.

Abraham says his bill clarifies the term “sex” to refer to a person’s biological sex, not their gender identity. He says a person’s gender shouldn’t be based on how they feel that day, and he says he’s tired of the President pushing his liberal agenda before he leaves office.

“I’m tired of less than 1% of the population dictating what the other 99-point-whatever of us have to do, as far as laws are concerned,” Abraham said.

Abraham says the term “sex” has been widely interpreted to refer to biological sex for 40 years, and his bill reduces the ambiguity suddenly surrounding the word. He says he expects a positive response to the bill.

“We’ve already got some co-sponsors. We expect it to gain traction. The bill was just dropped basically last night, and I expect a real good response to it,” Abraham said.



Subscribe To This Feed

A House-approved bill that would punish so-called sanctuary cities by making it difficult for them to borrow money for construction projects was defeated in a Senate committee. The legislation was designed to force New Orleans and Lafayette to follow federal immigration laws. New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison spoke out against the bill.

“NOPD will always work with federal immigration officials when there is a criminal warrant. Despite what politicians in Baton Rouge are saying, this policy does not make New Orleans a sanctuary city.”

Supporters of the legislation said this bill would help keep cities safe from illegal immigrants. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand spoke out in opposition about the unintended consequences this measure brings to his community.

“And I resent the fact when people come in here and testify before this body and say that I’m making the streets of my parish unsafe.”

Normand says this Sanctuary City legislation is not needed and makes no sense.

“Don’t come down here with some overarching bull sh*t Republican philosophy from Washington DC and I’m a Republican and I’ve deported more people per capita in this country, in any county in the country, and tell me how to do my business.”



God Bless America & Our Home Louisiana !

Alexandria, LA
Thunderstorms 76°F
  • 91% humidity
  • Winds at 14 mph
Full Forecast
970 KSYL On Air Now
George Noory
George Noory
11:00pm - 11:59pm
Coast To Coast AM

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




Commercial Free


The Best Of The 60's & 70's


Now On Air At 93.1 HD3

Or Click The Logo Above

To Listen.


State Wire
North Rapides Business & Industry Alliance



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!.

New Shows!

Rudy Maxa’s World

Now A Full 2 Hours

Saturday 12 to 2p




Dr. Ronald Hoffman

Intelligent Medicine

Saturday 2 to 4p



LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services