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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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Louisiana's average score falls on ACT college entrance exam

Louisiana's average score falls on ACT college entrance exam

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's high school student performance on the ACT college readiness test declined in the latest scores and remains below the national average.

Figures released Wednesday by the Iowa group that administers the test show the latest average composite score among all states was 20.8 for the 2018 high school graduating class.

Louisiana's average was 19.2 , down from 19.5 a year earlier.

The test measures how students perform in English, reading, math and science. A perfect score is 36.

In 20 states where all or nearly all high school graduates took the ACT, 13 states had a higher average score than Louisiana. Minnesota led with a 21.3 average.

In Louisiana, 53 percent of graduates were deemed to meet the English readiness benchmark, while only a quarter met science and math benchmarks.


Louisiana's first legal medical marijuana crop to be picked


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The first legal crop of medical marijuana in Louisiana is set to be harvested this week. Times-Picayune reports the licensed grower working with the Louisiana State University Agriculture Center, GB Sciences, expects to start the drying process by next week.

The company says it could have product packaged and ready to ship by the middle of next month. However, regulations have made it unclear when medical marijuana will be commercially available in the state.

The agency that regulates the medical marijuana program, the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry, has not identified an independent, third-party lab to test the product before it ships to dispensaries.

This testing is a requirement of the program, and the agency expects proposals from labs this month.

Information from: The Times-Picayune,


Organizers: 2018 Essence Festival has $280M economic impact

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Essence Festival organizers in New Orleans say this year's event had a record-breaking economic impact on the city.

Essence Communications CEO Michelle Ebanks announced Wednesday that growth in festival attendance, which reached more than 510,000 this year, sparked a $280 million impact on New Orleans and the state. That's the highest fiscal input in the event's 24-year history.

Ebanks says the four-day festival has emerged as the leader in size and economic significance among the country's largest live events and is a top destination for tourism during the Fourth of July weekend.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell says the 2018 festival generated "tremendous economic activity for the city — money that went to our large and small businesses."


New interchange between I-49, I-220 officially opens


SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Officials celebrated the opening of a new interchange between Interstate 49 and Interstate 220 in Louisiana.

The Shreveport Times reports Gov. John Bel Edwards and other officials celebrated the opening of the new interchange between I-49 and I-220 in north Shreveport on Wednesday.

Contractor PCL Construction began work on what was called the I-49 North Segment K2 project in 2014 at a cost of $142 million. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development also recently completed adjacent I-49 Segments J and K1, which totaled $81 million.

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says they've delivered a piece of infrastructure that opens the door for improved movement of goods, services and people very safely. He says that translates to a local and state economy that reaps benefits through a modern transportation system.