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Brees defends the reputation of the NFL

The NFL's image is suffering because of the Ray Rice domestic abuse case and now Vikings star Adrian Peterson is facing child abuse charges. Saints Quarterback Drew Brees says unfortunately the perception is NFL players beat their wives and children but that's only a handful of cases in a league that has 17-hundred players.

"There's a lot of guys (NFL players) that are doing a lot of great things and they represent all the great things about humanity and what its like to be a leader and great member of your community."
Brees is considered one of the faces of the NFL. He says with the league is taking a lot of P-R hits, he understands the importance of demonstrating how to represent the NFL in a positive light on and off the field.
"I'm going to be the husband, father that I am, the best I can be. I do understand the platform I'm on, being in this position."
Brees says the Rice and Peterson cases provide examples for other players that there are consequences for poor decisions away from the field.
"It's caused discussion, which I think is healthy and it gets guys on the right path."
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Louisiana's prison population on the decline, but still the highest in the US

A federal report says Louisiana's prison population fell two-percent last year, but the state still has the highest incarceration rate in the US, well ahead of Mississippi who is second.
Dr. Peter Scharf, with the Justice and Public health institute at the LSU Health Sciences Center, says there's an effort to lower the prison population, but it will take time. 

"We're trying to dig out of hole that occurred way before many of us got involved," Scharf said.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Louisiana's prison population in 2013 was at 39-thousand, a drop of nearly nine-hundred people from 2012. Scharf anticipates the state's incarceration rate will continue to decline, but it will take time to get it at more acceptable level.
'There's a backlog of people with very long sentences."
Scharf says the department of corrections has put programs in place to help recently released inmates stay out of jail and there's been a push in the legislature to lower sentences for certain crimes. He says the mindset on how to punish criminals is changing and that should help lower the prison population. 
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Boustany: Bills limiting IRS power pass House

Michelle Southern reporting.
The US-House has passed three bills by Louisiana Congressman Charles Boustany that spotlight recent IRS controversies and would ultimately limit the power of the federal agency. Boustany says House Republicans learned a woman was forwarding emails from her official IRS email account to a personal account to conduct business.

He says this should never be happening.

"So the first bill prohibits officers and employees of the Internal Revenue Service from using personal email accounts to conduct any official business," said Boustany.

Boustany, who is the chair of the oversight subcommittee of the tax-writing House Ways and means Committee, says safeguards must be put in place to ensure that the public's trust is not breached.

He says another issue he wanted to address was that some denials of tax exempt status were not subject to appeal which he thinks is wrong.

"And so the second bill amends the tax code to provide for the right of an administrative appeal in the event of an adverse determination with regard to tax exempt status of certain organizations," Boustonay said.

Boustany says the third bill would permit release of reports about investigations into unauthorized leaks of taxpayer information to the victims.

He says Americans are demanding higher ethical standards from public servants and they plan to continue to expose the rot at the core of the IRS's culture.

"And they need to be fully accountable and I'm going to continue to bring sunshine to this agency," said Boustany.

The Senate still needs to approve the bills.

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LSU looks to keep shutout streak going against Miss State

LSU heads into Saturday's SEC match-up with Mississippi State riding a streak of 31 straight possessions without allowing a point. The Tigers also lead in the SEC in four defensive categories--- total defense, pass defense, scoring defense and pass efficiency defense. Defensive Coordinator John Chavis says the defense is playing with a lot of confidence.

"I think our players are doing a good responding to the situations they are in and recognizing what they need to do. There's a bunch of young guys who are a big part of it. You feel really good that they are able go out there to hold up and continue to play well as a defensive unit." 
Chavis says his defense still has room to get better and that starts with better communication between players while they are on the field.
"It starts with communication. It makes it even more difficult for young kids with fast tempo offenses, but that's the nature of the beast that's what we deal with it week after week."
The Tigers host Mississippi State this Saturday. The Bulldogs are averaging nearly 44 points a game and Chavis says his defense will be tested.
"It's a game that you have to play your best."  
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Louisiana tops nation for number of single people

Michelle Southern reporting.
According to a new report with data compiled from the US census, Louisiana has the most single people in the nation. The Martin Prosperity Institute study found 55.7% of adults here are nor married. Demographer Greg Rigamer says this could be because after Katrina and the BP Oil spill, Louisiana got a big boost in job opportunities.

"You know very often it's someone who is coming to just get a job," said Rigamer. "And the New Orleans area in particular is very attractive to younger people."

Rigamer says there has also been a significant increase in the number of people here between the ages of 20 and 29.

"You look at this influx of young people coming in, it's really not surprising we have a high number of unmarried adults," said Rigamer.

New Orleans topped the list as the metro area in the US with the highest number of single people at 58%.

Rigamer says many people think of The Big Easy as a great place to live, but many people don't associate it as a place you'd come start a family.

LSU Professor of Sociology Tim Slack says there is also growing number of people in the nation who are single and living alone.

"This is a real departure from the past when most people traditionally lived in family households," said Slack. "And this is a trend we're seeing nationally."

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