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News in Brief- June 6, 2018

News in Brief- June 6, 2018

TV preacher: Asking followers to believe, not pay, for plane

DESTREHAN, La. (AP) — A prosperity gospel televangelist says he's not asking followers to pay for a new $54 million jet, but to join him in "believing" in God for it to come.

The New Orleans Advocate reports that Jesse Duplantis' latest message came in a new video posted Saturday to his church's website.

It would be the Louisiana-based ministry's fourth plane. Duplantis says he gave the first two to other ministries and would donate the current one if he gets a new one.

He said he wasn't upset by news coverage of his May 21 video. He said he's excited to get so much press.

Duplantis also said many people have called to say they want to "get involved in that new plane you're believing for."


Louisiana spending plan to pay down debts signed into law

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana is using millions of unbudgeted cash from the last two budget years to pay down state debts.

A spokesman for Gov. John Bel Edwards said Friday that the governor has signed the spending plan into law.

Nearly $89 million will pay down a debt owed to managed-care companies that oversee services for most Louisiana Medicaid patients. More than $50 million will pay off legal judgments against the state.

Another $12 million will lessen state retirement debt. More than $21 million will pay FEMA for part of Louisiana's share of ongoing disaster recovery efforts. Other dollars will cover the state's obligations to economic development commitments.

The money includes a surplus left from the budget year that ended June 30 and unspent money from this year.

House Bills 874:


National rig count rises by 1 to 1,060; Oklahoma gains 2

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by one this week to 1,060.

At this time a year ago there were 916 active rigs.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday that 861 rigs drilled for oil this week and 197 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Oklahoma added two rigs, and Colorado, Texas, and Wyoming each added one.

Louisiana lost two rigs. New Mexico and North Dakota each lost one.

Alaska, Arkansas, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, and West Virginia were unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May of 2016 at 404.


Report: 110 Confederate monuments removed in US since 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — It took generations to erect all the nation's Confederate monuments, and a new report shows they're being removed at a pace of about three each month.

The study — released Monday by the Southern Poverty Law Center — shows that 110 Confederate monuments have been removed nationwide since 2015, when a shooting at a black church in South Carolina energized a movement against such memorials.

The number — which includes schools and roads that have been renamed in California, a repurposed Confederate holiday in Georgia, plus rebel flags and monuments that have been taken down in Alabama, Louisiana and elsewhere — represents a relative handful compared with the more than 1,700 memorials that remain to hail the Southern "lost cause."

Many of the Confederate monuments that are now controversial were erected in the early 1900s by groups composed of women and veterans. Some honor generals or soldiers; others bear inscriptions that critics say wrongly gloss over slavery as a reason for the war or portray the Confederate cause as noble.

The Old South monuments are supported by groups including the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which is erecting new memorials even as others are removed.


Aw, shucks: Virginia man downs 480 oysters to claim crown

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Virginia man has slurped down 40 dozen oysters to claim victory at this year's World Oyster Eating Championship in New Orleans. Times-Picayune reports Darron Breeden ate 480 of the bivalves in eight minutes in Sunday's Oyster Festival event.

About 4,000 south Louisiana oysters were prepared and shuttled tray by tray to a table laden with hot sauce, beer and other drinks. The seven contestants hunched over the checked tabletop as judges in striped shirts kept careful count, turning over a new number with each dozen consumed.

As time ran out, Breeden stretched his stomach, which would soon be encircled by the oyster-festooned championship belt. Defending champion Michelle Lesco of Arizona won second place with 27 dozen oysters, while New Orleans native Adrian Morgan came in third with 26 dozen.

Information from: The Times-Picayune,


Time to renew your Louisiana fishing and hunting license 


BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reminds all sportsmen that all 2017-18 recreational fishing and hunting licenses will expire on June 30. Licenses for the 2018-19 seasons are available for purchase beginning June 1 and are valid until June 30, 2019.

Licenses can be purchased in several ways, online at, at local license vendors or at LDWF offices.

Earlier this year, the department transitioned to a new license sales system with added conveniences for outdoor enthusiasts. The new system allows license holders to reprint copies of their license during the year at no charge, create login information, and eventually the option to auto-renew.

If assistance is needed with online purchases, contact the 24-hour help desk at 888-362-LDWF (5393). For other licensing questions call the license office at 225-765-2887 or 225-765-2898, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Anglers are also invited to take part in the agency’s Free Fishing Weekend this Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10. The weekend is an opportunity for Louisiana residents and visitors alike to fish Louisiana waters without an otherwise required fishing license.

While a fishing license is not required, all fishing regulations, including size, season, catch limits and gear restrictions will remain in effect.