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#News - New Orleans & South Louisiana

#News - New Orleans & South Louisiana

Brooms out: Pelicans sweep Portland, 1st playoff series win in a decade

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 10:17 PM PDT

The long wait is over, for the New Orleans Pelicans and their star forward.

The Pelicans defeated the Portland Trailblazers Saturday 131-123 to sweep their four game Western Conference opening round playoff series. It was the first series win for New Orleans since 2008, and first playoff series win ever for Anthony Davis.

Davis scored 47 points, and Jrue Holiday scored 41. The combined 88 points by the duo matches an NBA playoff record by a pair set by Boston’s JoJo White and John Havlicek in 1973.

Davis said he took advice from Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo, who won an NBA title with Boston in 2008.

“Build your legacy. Be great,” said Davis.

The Pelicans will play the winner of the Golden State/San Antonio series in the West semifinals. Golden State leads that series, 3-0, and can finish off the Spurs with a win Sunday afternoon.

The game will be televised live on WGNO at 2:30 pm.

Warriors guard Steph Curry, a two time NBA Most Valuable Player, hasn’t played in a game since March 23rd when he suffered a grade 2 MCL sprain.

Curry is practicing, and will be re-evaluated in one week.

LSU FOOTBALL: Not a sprint, but a marathon

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 08:36 PM PDT

Baton Rouge — The LSU football has a long way to go in order to make a run for the SEC Championship. The Tigers’ annual National L Club Spring Game gave Tiger fans a sneak peak at the 2018 Fighting Tigers. As the old saying goes, “It’s not a sprint, but a marathon” no clear front runner for the starting job at quarterback. Myles Brennan who saw backup duty in the first game of the 2017 season coming in late in the fourth quarter in a 27-0 win over BYU, was 11 of 23 for 113 yards and one touchdown. Former St. James Wildcat, Lowell Narcisse, showed to be more mobile and threw some deeps balls on Saturday going 6 of 13 for 205 yards and one touchdown. The impressive play happened with Narcisse connecting with former Destrehan Wildcat Justin Jefferson, younger brother of former Tigers Jordan and Rickey, for a 94-yard touchdown in the first quarter. The third quarterback entering his fourth season with the Tigers is Justin McMillan who proved to give both Brennan and Narcisse a run for their money.  McMillan threw for 216 yards one touchdown completed 14 passes off 29 attempts. McMillan ended the game with a 12-yard touchdown run to cut  the Purple team’s lead to one, 28-27. McMillan tried to connect with former Jesuit star Foster Moreau for the 2-point conversion, but the pass was incomplete.

“The theme for the summer is execution,” Orgeron said. “Our protection need to get better, we got some new guys, we’re going to have to chip and double team some guys,” Orgeron continued.

The Tigers will start their 2018 campaign on ABC, WGNO-TV, Sunday September 2nd against Miami at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium, a venue the Tigers have seen three times in nine seasons. LSU is 3-0 when playing inside AT&T stadium, opening the 2011 season with a 41-27 win over Oregon, beating Texas A&M in that same year 41-24 in the Cotton Bowl and defeating TCU to start the 2013 season with a 37-27 win.



Vehicle and electric bus demos in New Orleans

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 02:33 PM PDT

NEW ORLEANS -- People in New Orleans got a chance to experience a ride in a zero-emissions, quiet electric bus and an autonomous vehicle on Saturday on S. Peters and Lafayette Streets.

Transdev and the regional transit authority's offered free demonstration rides to the public on three electric buses and a self-driving bus in downtown New Orleans.  It's a part of celebrating earth day and city of New Orleans` tricentennial international week.

The private operating partner of the RTA and the RTA board are committed to purchasing environmentally friendly vehicles and adopting initiatives that help reduce the environmental impact on the city of New Orleans.

As part of its strategic mobility plan, the RTA and the community would like 75%of its fleet to be powered by low or no-emissions vehicles by 2030. Currently, 20 percent of the fleet meets this goal.

After baby hears for first time in viral video, mom works to empower other parents

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 10:08 AM PDT

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The emotional video shows Baby Charlotte, or Charly as she's affectionately known, go from fussing, to a smile, to almost crying as she hears her mother's voice for the first time.

The moment, possible thanks to Charly's cochlear implants, has been viewed more than 12 million times on YouTube.

"I could see in her eyes and her face that she was really, really happy," Christy Keane told WTKR.

When Charly was born, she failed her first hearing test. Christy, who was formerly a NICU nurse, didn't think anything of it. She chalked it up to fluid in the ears. But four days and more failed tests later, Christy and her husband learned Charly was born profoundly deaf.


"I cried, I didn't understand and I didn't know what life was going to look like," said Christy.

But that attitude quickly changed after doing some research. Christy decided she would do whatever it took to improve Charly's future.

"We're choosing to do cochlear implants for her and we're doing total communication, so we're learning to sign and she's going to hopefully develop beautiful spoken language as well with those resources," said Christy.

However, that decision was met with some criticism online since Christy openly shares Charly's journey on Instagram. But Christy knew in her heart she was making the right decision for Charly and encourages other parents to do what they think is right, regardless of what the critics say.

"She is deaf, even with the cochlear implants. That doesn't cure deafness. As soon as she takes off the external device, she's deaf and always going to be. I just want to make sure she has all the resources to feel comfortable talking and communicating with people in any situation," said Christy.

Sharing Charly's journey with others has also been tremendously positive, Christy said.

"It's special she's touching so many people. She's meant to be who she is, just the way she is," Christy said with a smile.

Christy Keane

Christy has become a hearing loss advocate and posts plenty of videos and photos of her two daughters to her Instagram account, which has more than 80,000 followers.

"Other people reach out to me and say how she's changed their lives or made their day or they just found out their kiddo is going deaf or is deaf and seeing her journey has made them feel more positive about the experience and cope with it," said Christy, who embraces every message and loves being part of a deaf culture that's still new to her. "It feels like a huge responsibility, but I love it. And I hope any parent who finds themselves in that position comes to me."


Locally, Christy said she couldn't have gotten this far and remained this positive without a great support system. The Virginia Hearing Aid Loan Bank donated Charly's current hearing aids and once Charly gets her cochlear implants, she'll give them back. CHKD has helped Christy set up speech therapy for Charly and that's where her implant surgery will be performed. All of this is inspiring Christy to do even more for the community.

Christy will be hosting a story time session for both deaf and hearing children at Hooray, a children's entertainment center in Virginia Beach May 2 at 10:00 a.m. She hopes parents will bring out their children, deaf or hearing, and see the two aren't very different at all.

New Orleans Tricentennial Dog Parade canceled Sunday due to threat of thunderstorms

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 10:01 AM PDT

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Tricentennial Dog Parade set for Sunday at City Bark has been canceled.

Gambit announced the cancellation on the parade’s Facebook event page.

“For the safety of the dogs, their owners and event vendors, we are sorry to announce that we have decided to cancel 😥 the New Orleans Tricentennial Dog Parade due to a high chance of thunderstorms on Sunday morning,” the announcement said.

People who had already registered with their dogs will be receiving information via email about a “virtual” costume contest and an upcoming #NOLA300 Yappy Hour. 

Woman lost 2 sons in same night to opioids; fighting the crisis is now her life’s work

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 09:55 AM PDT

Watch Video

GRANGER, Ind. – “Everything just kind of seemed like a blur that day,” Becky Savage said. “Your mind is not really meant to process something that extreme.”

The day Savage is describing is June 14, 2015.

Her two oldest sons, Nick and Jack, were celebrating at high school graduation parties the night before. The boys returned to the family’s Granger, Indiana home about 12:30 a.m. and checked in with their mom, who had been waiting up.

The next morning, as Savage was picking up laundry in Jack’s room, she noticed that he wasn’t stirring as she tried to wake him.

“He was unresponsive. I called 911, and I remember hollering for Nick, for him to come up, and how he never came.”

Nick, her eldest son, was downstairs sleeping in the basement with friends.

The first responders arrived and tried to resuscitate Jack, and then Savage noticed one of them going downstairs to the basement.

“I had no idea at that point what they were doing in our basement. And then I remember one of them coming up and asking for a coroner. That’s the last thing that I remember that day.”

A tragic consequence

The boys were pronounced dead. Both had accidentally overdosed on hydrocodone and alcohol. Someone at one of the graduation parties had passed around the prescription pills.

Savage says the boys had never been in trouble with drinking or drugs. They just happened to make “a bad choice that unfortunately cost them their lives.”

For the next year, the Savage family — Becky, husband Mike and two younger sons, Justin and Matthew — worked on healing and picking up the pieces. They did not discuss their loss publicly until Becky was asked to speak at a local town hall about underage drinking.

“I had never spoken publicly before, and I was assured there would be maybe between 15 and 20 people there. So, I agreed to do it, and over 200 people showed up. It was just overwhelming.”

That’s when the family realized the impact their story could have on others.

Keeping their memory alive

After their first speaking engagement, more speaking requests came in. The Savage family decided to turn their tragedy into a positive force.

They started the 525 Foundation, named after the boys’ hockey numbers (Jack’s 5 and Nick’s 25) in order to share their story and prevent “another family from having to endure the pain” they experienced.

Savage now estimates that she has spoken in front of 2,300 students. She was also invited to testify before a US Senate committee dealing with the opioid crisis. The determined mother hopes to influence lawmakers to create stricter laws around prescription drugs. She also wants to spread awareness about the abuse of medication.

“We’ve talked to our kids about drinking, but we had never talked to them about prescription drugs, because it wasn’t even on our radar.”

As the Savage family continues to spread their message, they are finding that they are not alone.

“In different communities, there are still people who are unaware of the dangers. After I get done talking to them, the first thing they say is they’re going to go home and clean out their medicine cabinets.”

Taking it to the streets

One of the biggest ways the Savage family and the 525 Foundation are making a difference is by trying to help clean up their own community. They’ve teamed up with local law enforcement to hold pill drop-offs, where people can safely dispose of unused prescription drugs to prevent them from getting into the wrong hands.

After only three of these events, they’ve collected over 1,500 pounds of pills.

“If you think about how much one pill weighs, that’s a lot of pills collected. And when you think that one of those pills could take a life, that could potentially be a lot of lives saved.”

Savage hopes to install permanent pill drop-off boxes across her community soon. In the meantime, she continues to spread her message to protect other families and keep her sons’ memories alive.

“By me telling their story, they’re still able to make a difference in the lives of others. There can’t be a better goal than that.”

Teen raises over $10K to pay off other students’ debt, combat ‘lunch shaming’

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 09:39 AM PDT

SUMMIT, N.J. — A New Jersey high school student has raised thousands of dollars to pay off the lunch debts of students at other schools after she says she was disturbed by the so-called "lunch shaming" she saw at her previous school, according to the Jersey Journal.

"Students are put to work. So they have to clean tables and mop the floors to pay for their lunch," 16-year-old Keertana Talla, who now attends Kent Place School in New Jersey, told WPIX. Talla started a fundraising campaign to raise awareness about school lunch shaming. "There is no need to embarrass kids in public. It's not their fault."

WPIX interviewed Talla last year when she was just getting started. She's since exceeded her fundraising goal.

On Thursday night, she donated $10,000 to Englewood Public Schools to pay off students' lunch debts.

Talla is now looking for other schools to make donations to and she is expanding her efforts. She has started an organization for other students to join.

She said she wants to "raise awareness" so other students can create their own campaigns to raise money for classmates in their own districts.

You can find out more at www.lunchcrisis.org.