News & Information

News & Information

The Cajun Navy wasted no time. Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas Coast on a Friday. By Sunday, hundreds of boats were on their way to Texas. I passed a supermarket parking lot two days after the storm hit, and a large contingent of boats and trailers were lined up to head for the Lone Star State. As this column is being written, thousands of Louisianans are offering help. That’s what many Texans did for us here in the Bayou State exactly twelve years ago. Those of us living on the Gulf Coast remember the fear and concern that enveloped our world as a lady named Katrina changed many of our lives forever. In looking back, many Louisianans felt that maybe New Orleans really was a city that care forgot, and the whole Gulf Coast was thrown in for good measure. This human tragedy has haunted the Bayou State ever since. Two days before Katrina attacked, I was hosting a local radio program in Baton Rouge and was interviewing a key official with the National Hurricane Center in Miami. “Katrina has turned in a much more northerly direction, with a beeline for New Orleans. We are saying a possible Hurricane 4, and you folks are going to have some big problems up there.” I was stunned. “What? We’ve had no warning of this. You’re telling me it’s going to come right towards New Orleans?” The next morning, with Katrina only a day away, I called my sister, living at the…
The Category 4 hurricane that hit southeast Texas Friday evening is expected to cause “widespread devastation” to the area. Torrential downpours are expected to continue as power outages, floods, raging waters, and the potential for tornadoes threaten coastal and inland residents. Hurricane Harvey, although weakening, is expected to hover over the next few days bringing more deadly conditions. After the initial flooding and torrential downpour subside, Hurricane Harvey will put thousands of residents at risk for major health issues. In addition to drowning, falls and other deadly injuries, victims of Harvey may endure the following: Malnourishment Many of those who did prepare for the storm may not have stored plenty of food, especially healthy fresh food. Those trapped in their homes may find the food they did store contaminated by flood water. Infectious disease The World Health Organization states that floods bring water borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, leptospirosis and Hepatitis A. Vector borne diseases include Zika, malaria, dengue hemorrhagic fever, yellow fever, and West Nile. Mosquitos initially get washed away during the storm, but the resulting puddles of water take weeks to dry and make ideal breeding grounds for insects. The water gets dirty pretty quickly. People touching the flood water need to wash their hands thoroughly before eating or preparing food. Moreover due to the moisture that seeped into walls and floors of houses, mold can grow and cause a variety of respiratory issues among other physical ailments. Massive disinfecting needs to take place before coming…
With his last three swings in Toronto on Sunday, Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton likely erased any doubts of his ability to hit Major League pitching -- the final step in securing his place amongst the stars of Major League Baseball. New Twins’ president Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine have little reason to worry about signing Buxton to a long-term deal as early as this offseason, and that’s not an overreaction to Sunday’s three swings. This was originally published at FoulPlaybyPlay.com, a community for foul-mouthed sports fans and bloggers. The Three Swings Falvey and Levine can probably stop worrying about Buxton’s bat. Baseball Prospectus editor Aaron Gleeman’s “life is devoted to posting positive Byron Buxton stats,” and he couldn’t keep up with Buxton on Sunday. You don’t need stats to see that Buxton has “turned a corner” as they say. Even ignoring those last three swings you can find an at-bat that proves Buxton’s progress. His first plate appearance of the game came with two outs in the first inning with runners on first and second. Resisting his younger self, he didn’t try to pull a fastball that was on the outer half of the strike zone despite it being elevated. Instead, he drove a hot grounder up the middle for a single that scored the first run -- the perfect approach given the situation and pitch. That might say more about his progression at the plate than the three swings. In the top of the fourth,…
At some point Congressional Democrats have to start wondering if things could have turned out any better for them had they won the 2016 Presidential Election. I’ve already said once that it couldn’t be worse for Republicans, and except for the hundreds of judges Donald Trump is appointing all over the country, things are really going Democrats’ way. Congressional Democrats will reap the benefits of Trump’s record low approval rating and compulsive terrorizing of his own party members come the 2018 midterm elections. When Trump said he would “drain the swamp,” I didn’t think he was talking about members of his own party. If that was his goal, it’s the only thing he’s done really well. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s approval rating in Kentucky is 18 percent. He won’t be back, but a Democrat won’t take his seat either. That’s okay as long as Democrats preserve their seats most likely to switch parties (there are eight) and pick up at least three seats. The seats most likely to be within reach are in Nevada, Arizona or Texas. The Democrats are going to gain seats in the House. Congressional minorities pick up seats when their opposition occupies the White House. 270ToWin has 14 seats as tossups, and every tossup Democrats win after the first will be a House seat gained. While Democrats winning the 24 seats to take a House majority is a longshot, FiveThirtyEight says House Democrats have a “historically strong position.” Despite Republicans holding the incumbency advantage by…
22,186 cases of swine flu have been reported in India, with the death toll reaching 1094. This is a four-fold rise in deaths from last year. The hardest hit areas appear to be Maharashtra with 437 deaths followed by Gujarat with 297 casualties. What is the Swine Flu? Swine Flu is the H1N1 Influenza A virus. It originated in pigs before infecting humans. Current swine flu is not contracted from swine but passed between humans. How deadly is Swine Flu? The 2009 Swine Flu pandemic killed over 12,000 people in the US, and 200,000 people worldwide. Many who die, do so from viral or bacterial pneumonia, although dehydration can also play a role. Is the current outbreak in India the same virus that caused the 2009 pandemic? No. In 2009 the predominant strain of H1N1 was the California strain. This was replaced last year with the Michigan strain. Do we have a vaccine against the Swine Flu? Yes. In the US, the trivalent and quadrivalent flu vaccines have included H1N1 since 2010. These vaccines would include the following strains (according to the CDC): an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)–like virus, an A/Hong Kong/ 4801/2014 (H3N2)–like virus, and a B/Brisbane/60/2008–like virus (Victoria lineage) with an additional B virus called B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata lineage) for the quadrivalent vaccine. Currently the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends changing the Northern Hemisphere flu vaccine to: For H1N1, an A/Michigan/45/2015-like virus For H3N2, an A/Hong Hong/4801/2014-like virus For B, Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (belonging to the Victoria lineage) with an additional…
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ruled that Texas’s new voter I.D. law is invalid and made it sound like any similar voter I.D. law would be ruled the same. It’s the fifth time a voter I.D. law has been ruled invalid, and it’s because the laws were created with “discriminatory intent.” Since this law’s predecessor was created with discriminatory intent, all reincarnations of said law would also be created with the intent of taking voting rights from people without access to photo I.D. services. Judge Ramos has basically said for a third time, “These are not anti-voter fraud laws. These are anti-voter laws.” You might wonder why someone wouldn’t have a photo I.D, but in a lot of places they’re prohibitively expensive. In Texas, acquiring a photo I.D. can cost between $78 and $390 (“The High Cost of ‘Free’ Photo Voter Identification Cards,” p. 54). How? Even if the photo I.D. is free, the trip to the DMV isn’t. Some people have to take a bus or cab to visit the nearest grocery store, and the closest DMV is likely further from home than food. If they don’t have a birth certificate, that’s another document they have to pay to get. If they can’t find their marriage certificate and took their partner’s name, they’ll need to acquire that document, too. Judge Ramos went so far as to suggest Texas elections be subjected to Department of Justice oversight, which hasn’t been the case since 2013, when the Supreme Court gutted…
Democrats and Republicans agree on something. Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton defended current first son Barron Trump, who was bullied by the Conservative publisher The Daily Caller, for wearing a T-shirt and jean shorts aboard Air Force One. Melania Trump, whose big First Lady focus is to put an end to bullying, thanked Clinton for defending her son on Twitter. Why a publisher bullying a minor is wrong First of all, a media outlet, and a Conservative one at that, publishing anything about any of the President’s children is not just in bad taste; it’s wrong -- and not because they’re the Conservative President’s children. Historically, the President’s children have been off limits to the media, but the only minors who should be targets of the media are high school athletes and high school achievers. The only time a minor warrants a published word is when said minor has done some good for her community. No one wants to read about how poorly the home team played or which minors were caught in possession of drugs the day before the game. You can still publish that athletes were held out of lineup as punishment for poor behavior, but a sports reporter’s focus should stay on the field or court and with the kids who did show up to represent their high school that day. People want to read about how the kids hung in there despite overwhelming odds, and how much money the volleyball team raised for local cancer survivors,…
The report released Monday revealed the 41 year old pro-golfer had the following in his system when he was found asleep in his car on the side of the road while the lights were on and turning signal was flashing: Ambien, Xanax, Dilaudid, Vicodin and Delta-9 carboxy THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Woods had undergone spinal fusion surgery weeks prior. Vicodin is a narcotic made of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. It is used for pain and most commonly prescribed post-operatively. Dilaudid is hydromorphone, a stronger narcotic. Xanax is a benzodiazepine used for sedation, relaxation and to lower anxiety. Ambien is a hypnotic type of sedative used for sleep and works within 15 minutes of ingestion. Delta-9 carboxy THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. None of these medications are to be used while driving. Additionally none should ever be used in combination. The respiratory depression of one narcotic combined with the sedative effect of the benzodiazepine or hypnotic could cause death. Woods entered a plea of not guilty to DUI, as alcohol was not involved and a mixture of medications was to blame, but it's been reported a deal was made among prosecutors including a lesser charge of reckless driving and a stint in a “diversion program.” Last month Woods stated he completed a private intensive program on his own. On Monday he stated, “Recently, I had been trying on my own to treat my back pain and a sleep disorder, including insomnia, but I realize now it was a mistake to do…
The views and opinions expressed below are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the GCN Live newsroom. A guest editorial follows. “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act!”-George Orwell What a last couple of weeks it has been, America! The Communists are doing their best to stir up domestic insurrection from Charlottesville to the tearing down of national statutes. Our neutered, stand-by president posted the following on Twitter: “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statutes and monuments.” “…Can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson- who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish.” …the beauty is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!” Wow, the former plant and foreign criminal Barack Hussein Obama is being pointed to as the responsible party for the present turmoil while the current president acts as if he is not the Commander and Chief. All the while, the media is keeping you diverted from the statue of KKK member Robert Byrd and friend of Hillary Clinton which stands in the halls of Congress, and Vladimir Lenin’s statute in Seattle, Washington. They are telling on themselves America. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ1cbhnmVHo And to think that these people are busy at work calling you law-abiding American citizens everything in the book from haters to right wing extremists to…
A few months ago I wrote about how sports fans can save more than 50 percent on their cable and internet bills without missing their favorite teams’ games. Much of the savings came in the form of cutting cable and switching to online streaming services like MLB.TV and NHL.TV -- both operated by BAMTech. Well, Disney is now the majority owner of BAMTech. So instead of enticing cable-cutting sports fans to re-enter the cable fray, ESPN will rely upon a stand-alone streaming service it intends to launch early in 2018. The move to streaming is a big one for the “worldwide leader in sports,” as ESPN has long depended on cable subscribers paying $9 per month for its four channels -- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the SEC Network. But the network has lost 10 million subscribers to cable-cutting since 2010. That’s over $1 billion in lost revenue, which resulted in the termination of around 100 online journalists and television personalities. ESPN executives hope to maximize revenue by meeting the needs of both cable-subscribing and cable-cutting sports fans, and apparently they know who’s who. ESPN’s acquisition of majority ownership in BAMTech gives them access to the cable-cutting sports fans it’s lost, who are generally fans of sports not often televised nationally. ESPN will now get 75 percent of revenues from MLB.TV, NHL.TV and MLS Live, the Major League Soccer streaming service. Also available via the ESPN streaming service will be the typical collegiate games available on the WatchESPN app, but not…