News for Wednesday August 19th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Louisiana drops below ten percent positivity for the first time in weeks, putting us out of the White House’s red zone of states. The new number sits at 9.4 percent, and tracks with the 640 new COVID-19 cases being reported Tuesday. The number of fatalities has increased by 28 and the hospitalization rate decreased by 22. The governor is live and taking calls for a full hour this afternoon taking your questions.. It’s ask the Governor 2p on KSYL 970 / 104.9.
LSU football Coach Ed Orgeron says a couple of his players tested positive for COVID-19 when the team began preseason camp on Monday. Orgeron says the infected players must isolate at least 10 days after a positive test before they can return. Orgeron credits LSU’s director of wellness, Shelly Mullenix, for putting a solid COVID-19 mitigation plan in place. Orgeron says he’s confident they’ll play this season and he says it’s the right thing to do. He’s also excited to see the students back on campus.
In a reversal, the Trump Administration is now excluding 67,000 of the state’s 450,000 unemployment recipients from the upcoming round of 300-dollar federally enhanced weekly benefits. Governor Edwards says each recipient must now receive at least 100 dollars in weekly unemployment from the state to qualify. Last week Edwards told reporters that the Labor Department had ruled that as long as the state averaged over 100 dollars of weekly benefits per recipient everyone would qualify. The Governor wants it to be known that this was not the state’s decision to exclude those 67,000.
The House Governmental Affairs Committee meets today to discuss Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s plan for the November Presidential election and December run-offs. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Sam Jenkins of Shreveport says he does not like that the plan has greater restrictions on who can vote by mail from what was allowed during the summer elections. The only COVID-related reason for requesting an absentee ballot for the November and December elections is that if you test positive for the virus during early voting or before Election Day. Governor Edwards says he will reject Ardoin’s plan as he calls it woefully inadequate.
Invest 98 could be the set to become Tropical Storm Laura within the next few days. State Climatologist Barry Keim says it remains to be seen if these systems will reach the Gulf of Mexico, but conditions are ripe for them to become a real threat. The mid-Atlantic based system would be the earliest L named storm to ever form. Another system, Invest 97, is being watched in the eastern Caribbean.
All qualifying small businesses can now receive grant money from the Main Street Recovery Program. The Legislature set aside $275 million from the CARES Act for the Louisiana Main Street Recovery Program and small businesses that had not received previous funding were prioritized. That restriction was lifted this week.
Small businesses can apply for a Quick Relief grant of up to $5,000 or an Itemized Cost Reimbursement grant of up to $15,000.
The slogan for the Democratic Party virtual National Convention is “Build Back Better.” Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk says it’s a roadmap to a better economy system. The Louisiana GOP says the Biden-Harris ticket is too left-wing to be allowed to win. Handwerk says they’ are pitching the two this week as moderates, not progressives.
The LSU football team will begin defense of its national championship on September 26th when they host Mississippi State. The Tigers will then travel to Vanderbilt, host Missouri and visit Florida on October 17th. LSU is scheduled to meet Alabama in Tiger Stadium on November 14th. Both teams will have a bye week heading into the matchup.
Louisiana Tech announced today that it will kick-off its season by visiting Baylor on September 12th. The Bulldogs will begin Conference USA the next week when they visit Southern Miss and Tech will return to Joe Aillet Stadium on September 26th to host Houston Baptist for the home opener.
The Saints have started practicing in pads as the season opener against Tampa Bay is less than four weeks away. New Orleans reported for training camp in late July but used the last three weeks getting ready for physical contact. The Saints are already dealing with an injury to a starting offensive lineman. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says Pro Bowl Guard Andrus Peat broke his thumb and the timetable on when he will return is unclear. Peat may need surgery, but he has not been ruled out for the season opener. Nick Easton took Peat’s place at practice yesterday.