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News in Brief- March 20, 2019

News in Brief- March 20, 2019

Louisiana abortion rate continues to fall

NEW ORLEANS – The number of abortions performed in Louisiana dropped 8 percent from 2017 to 2018, and the abortion rate is at a 10-year low, according to numbers provided by the Louisiana Department of Health.

Unofficially, 8,048 abortions were performed in Louisiana in 2018. In 2017, 8,706 unborn babies were killed by abortion.

This is the fourth consecutive year abortion numbers have fallen in Louisiana.

While the total number of abortions has been made available, breakdowns on things such as gestational age of the baby, age of the mother, and race of the mother have not yet been released.

Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life said, "Every baby lost to abortion is a tragedy, but we can celebrate the 658 babies alive today who might have been aborted in 2017.”

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Saints, free agent OL Nick Easton agree to 4-year contract

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Saints and former Minnesota Vikings interior offensive lineman Nick Easton have agreed on a four-year contract.

Easton's agent, Joe Linta, confirmed the deal on Twitter on Sunday night. Easton became a free agent after spending the 2018 season on injured reserve, following neck surgery. He was Minnesota's starter at left guard in 2017, after being acquired in a trade with San Francisco in 2015.

Easton, who went undrafted out of Harvard, is a natural center who could fill the retiring Max Unger's spot in the middle for the Saints. The Saints also signed running back Latavius Murray away from the Vikings in free agency last week.

Easton's departure leaves the Vikings with only one guard, Danny Isidora, currently on the roster.

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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LSU board set to consider Orgeron raise, extension

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU coach Ed Orgeron is in line for a two-year extension to 2023 and a $500,000 pay raise to $4 million annually, plus incentives, under a proposal drafted by the university's athletic administration.

The proposal is subject to approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors at its meeting on Wednesday and was published Monday when the board's agenda was released.

The new contract also increases various performance-based incentives from a maximum of nearly $1.6 million per season to nearly $2 million.

LSU went 10-3 with a Fiesta Bowl victory over Central Florida this past season, which was Orgeron's second full season in charge since he took over after Les Miles' firing four games into the 2016 season.

The 2018 campaign was LSU's best in five years and improved Orgeron's overall record to 25-9 as LSU coach as either an interim or permanent basis.

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25