News for Thursday August 6th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
The state is on a six-day streak of COVID hospitalization decreases, down as of noon yesterday by 16 to 1,471. Ventilator usage is down by 17 to 223. Nearly 1500 new cases were reported, bringing the state’s total to just shy of 126-thousand. Total fatalities: 3978, an increase of 41. Governor Jon Bell Edwards will hold an afternoon COVID press conference today. You can hear it starting at 2 on KSYL 970AM / 104.9FM
The start of high school football has been pushed back by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. Initially set for early September that date will now, tentatively, be at least October 8th, with an eight game season in the works. Championship dates have not been set but the playoffs reportedly could be extended into next year if need be.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and the Louisiana Department of Education have partnered to provide a million masks for schools. State Education Superintendent Cade Brumley says the masks will be washable and durable. Anyone entering a Louisiana school campus during the fall semester will be required to wear a mask.
Louisiana residents receiving unemployment will now have to begin applying for at least three jobs a week in order to keep their benefits. 600 dollar a week federal enhanced benefits are ending and Louisiana Workforce Commission Assistant Secretary Robert Wooley says negotiations are ongoing in Congress about a potential extension. Democrats want a full 600 dollar a week extension through the end of the year. Republicans are seeking a lower number, closer to $200. Wooley says if you apply for jobs through LAworks.net those applications will autofill in when you submit your weekly unemployment certification. Wooley estimates over 400,000 Louisianans are currently receiving benefits.
Senator Bill Cassidy proposes a second round of stimulus checks that would send 1,000 dollars to most Americans, instead of the previous 1,200 to working adults and 500 to their children. It may be 200 dollars less for some people, but Cassidy says a grand would still go a long way. The annual income limit to receive a check would still be 75,000 dollars for an individual.
The Colorado State Hurricane forecast team has once again upgraded its 2020 Atlantic hurricane season forecast, this time to extremely active. The 2020 hurricane season has already produced nine named storms and this latest forecast from CSU increases their projected storm total from 20 to 24. C-S-U researcher Jhordanne Jones says warm sea surface temperatures and very low wind shear in the tropical Atlantic are primary factors for the extremely active season. 2005 set the record for most named storms in one year with 27 and that includes Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Several thousand ExxonMobil Baton Rouge workers will see company contributions to a major retirement benefit halted in October in a decision that impacts the entire U.S. operations as the oil giant tries to cut costs, drawing anger from a union representing workers. ExxonMobil matches a 6% minimum employee contribution with 7% of the participant’s pay. The matching contribution will be suspended Oct. 1. The company did not say how much money that will save.
The Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction takes place tonight in Baton Rouge, recognizing those that have made significant contributions to the state’s ag industry. Louisiana Radio Network Farm Broadcaster Don Molino says the concept originated a few years ago when it became clear the industry wasn’t receiving enough praise.
This year’s class has four inductees. The annual ceremony was originally scheduled for March but got bumped back due to the coronavirus. Molino says the event will look different this year with a live stream, but it brings the event to a bigger audience than ever. The live stream starts at 7 PM on the Louisiana Radio Network Facebook page.
The Saints are giving their coaches, players, and other key personnel the opportunity to stay at the Loews Hotel in downtown New Orleans through the season opener in an effort to prevent a coronavirus outbreak within the team. Coach Sean Payton says unfortunately with this virus, you can easily get it from someone inside your home.