1 Person Killed as String of Tornadoes Leave Damage Across Louisiana and Mississippi

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WEATHER CHANNEL)

 

1 Person Killed as String of Tornadoes Leave Damage Across Louisiana and Mississippi

  • An extremely dangerous tornado barreled into northwest portions of Alexandria, Louisiana.
  • Damage was reported along a stretch of Highway 28 in Alexandria.
  • A tornado also caused damage in Edwards, Mississippi.
  • The sheriff says one person was killed in Vernon Parish, Louisiana.
  • People were reportedly trapped in homes northeast of DeRidder, Louisiana.

Tornado warnings exploded across parts of Louisiana and Mississippi on Monday afternoon, and reports of major damage began to emerge from both states.

As of Monday evening, the NOAA Storm Prediction Center had received 20 preliminary reports of tornadoes. Several of these were already confirmed by the National Weather Service.

A large and extremely dangerous tornado barreled into northwest portions of Alexandria, Louisiana, about 12:30 p.m. local time. The National Weather Service declared a tornado emergency for the area, which is home to about 47,000 people. A tornado emergency means there is a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage is imminent or ongoing.

Severe damage was reported at Hope Baptist Church and School on Louisiana Highway 28 south of the airport in Alexandria, KALB reported. No one was injured.

A tornado destroyed the Hope Baptist Church and School building in Alexandria, Louisiana, on Monday, December 16, 2019. No one was injuried. (Brian Emfinger/Live Storms Media)
A tornado destroyed the Hope Baptist Church and School building in Alexandria, Louisiana, on Monday, December 16, 2019. No one was injuried.

(Brian Emfinger/Live Storms Media)

Highway 28 was closed from Stovall Road to the Walmart in Alexandria because of tornado damage, according to the Alexandria Police Department. No serious injuries had been reported, the department tweeted, but some buildings had heavy damage.

(MORE: Severe Thunderstorm Outbreak Forecast, Including the Potential For Strong Tornadoes, Through Tonight in the South)

West of Alexandria, damage was reported in Vernon Parish. The parish Sheriff’s Office said there were reports of downed trees and power lines in the area. Sheriff Sam Craft told The Weather Channel one person was killed in their home by the tornado.

A tree lies across a home east of Rosepine, Louisiana, on Monday, December 16, 2019, after a tornado blew through Vernon Parish. (Facebook/Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office)
A tree lies across a home east of Rosepine, Louisiana, on Monday, December 16, 2019, after a tornado blew through Vernon Parish.

(Facebook/Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office)

Vernon Parish Chief Deputy Calvin Turner told The Associated Press, “We’ve got damage at lots of places. We’ve got a church where the fellowship hall is torn all to pieces. Some homes are hit. Right now we’re having trouble just getting to places because of tress that are down.”

In neighboring Beauregard Parish, people were trapped in homes northeast of DeRidder, Louisiana, Chief Detective Jared Morton of the Beauregard Sheriff’s Office told WAFB. He also said “major damage” was reported along the Beauregard/Vernon line and to businesses along U.S. Highway 171.

At least two homes were destroyed in Webster Parish, KTBS reported. Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton also said trees were blocking parts of at least three highways in the parish east of Shreveport, Louisiana. KTAL reported that mobile home was destroyed in the parish. The family that lived there was not at home when the storm hit.

Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s officials said they have received numerous reports of tornado damage in the eastern and northeastern portions of the parish, KIFY reported. Cars, structures and roads have all seen wind damage. No injuries have been reported.

More than 14,000 customers in Louisiana were without electricity as of 3 p.m. local time, according to poweroutage.us. Another 6,000 homes and businesses had no power in Mississippi.

In Mississippi, damage was reported from a tornado in Edwards, about 24 miles west of Jackson, Mississippi. The damage was near Mt. Moriah Road and Highway 467, WLBT reported. There were reports of trees falling on homes and across several roads.

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@MSEMA

Here’s a look at some of the damage caused by a possible tornado in the Hinds County town of Edwards. Photos courtesy of MEMA Drone Support.

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The National Weather Service said a tornado touched down shortly before noon in Newman, Mississippi, 12 miles east of Vicksburg.

About 2:45 p.m. a possible tornado touched down north of Liberty, Mississippi, in Amite County. The NWS said there were reports of injuries, damaged houses and people trapped in downed power lines.

Many schools in Mississippi and Alabama announced they would be closing early because of the weather. Mississippi State University in Starkville also announced it was closing at 2 p.m.

At around 5 p.m., a tornado was spotted and indicated on radar near Columbia in far south Mississippi. Another confirmed tornado from this storm struck near Laurel around 6:15 p.m.

In northern Mississippi a few miles from Tupelo, Guntown suffered storm damage, including significant damage to a church on the town’s northern side and an 18-wheeler blown off the road on Highway 45. It remains unclear whether this was caused by a tornado or straight-line winds.

A home was destroyed by a tornado in Sumrall, Mississippi, injuring at least seven people, according to the NWS.

A driver moves around a utility pole knocked down in Alexandria, La., Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, following a severe weather system went through the area. (AP Photo/Brad Kemp)
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A driver moves around a utility pole knocked down in Alexandria, La., Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, following a severe weather system went through the area. (AP Photo/Brad Kemp)
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6 States That Get the Least Snow

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

6 States That Get the Least Snow

If you love the sun and warmth, you are probably looking to avoid snow on your vacations at all costs. To secure the best odds of avoiding a chilly snowfall, consider planning a trip to one of the states below. These states receive the least amount of snow each year.

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Georgia

Georgia

Credit: Sean Pavone/ iStock

How much snow Georgia sees depends on what area you visit. Some locations in northern Georgia can see up to as much as three inches of snow each year. If avoiding snow is your goal, you are better off sticking to central and southern Georgia, where less than an inch of snow a year is the norm. The higher snow totals in northern Georgia are due to the Northeastern mountain region.

Mississippi

Mississippi

Credit: Sean Pavone/ Shutterstock

If avoiding snow is your goal, many areas of Mississippi are bound to deliver. The Gulf Coast and southern regions of Mississippi all see an average of half an inch of snow or less each year. Central Mississippi is most likely to get less than an inch of snow, but northern Mississippi can occasionally get up to two inches.

The Gulf Coast of Mississippi is a popular vacation destination. The winter months offer high temperatures in the 60s. Cities throughout the Gulf Coast, such as Biloxi and Gulfport, offer a variety of holiday events throughout the winter months. Are you a country music fan? Consider checking out Martina McBride’s The Joy of Christmas tour that kicks off in Coastal Mississippi each year.

Another great winter event in coastal Mississippi is Mardi Gras. While the event may be more commonly associated with Louisiana, Mardi Gras has a 300-year history on the Gulf Coast. There are numerous Mardi Gras events that take place beginning in January and into February.

Alabama

Alabama

Credit: Sean Pavone/ iStock

The Alabama Gulf Coast and southern Alabama are a great escape from winter flurries. Most cities in these regions average .2 inches or less of snow a year. When it comes to Mother Nature, however, surprises are always possible. Some cities in Alabama have seen record snowfall amounts of over 13 inches.

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Louisiana

Louisiana

Credit: Sean Pavone/ Shutterstock

Average snowfall throughout Louisiana is an inch or less, making this a consistently snow-free destination. Winter highs are likely to hover in the mid-60s. In addition to its temperate climate, Louisiana has one impressive draw for winter traveling: Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras has been openly celebrated in New Orleans since the 1730s. The Mardi Gras traditions began in France and then spread to French colonies. It was brought to New Orleans by a French–Canadian explorer in 1702. The traditions and celebrations have slowly grown overtime to become what New Orleanians call the “Greatest Free Show on Earth.”

The Carnival season begins on January 6, or King’s Day, kicking off a long stretch of celebrations and events. The date of Fat Tuesday changes every year and is always the day before Ash Wednesday. Bacchus and Endymion are two of the biggest parades of the season and happen the weekend before Fat Tuesday.

Florida

Florida

Credit: Sean Pavone/ Shutterstock

Summing up the average snowfall in Florida is pretty straightforward: none. In fact, it has only snowed in Florida 16 times in the entire 21st century. The reason snow is rarely seen in Florida is because the temperatures don’t drop low enough. The average high is in the mid-60s. The consistent weather and lack of winter precipitation make Florida a great destination for vacationing. In fact, Florida is the number one destination in the United States for Canadian transplants, and one in four residents in Florida are seniors.

Florida is home to a number of attractions that make it a desirable vacation destination. One of the most well-known is Disney World, and some of the winter months are the least busy at the park. Consider planning a trip in early to mid-December or January to mid-February. If you are looking for something a bit different, consider a visit to the Kennedy Space Center or Everglades National Park.

Hawaii

Hawaii

Credit: Shane Myers Photography/ Shutterstock 

Much like Florida, Hawaii’s average yearly snowfall is non-existent. It also boasts highs in the 80s and lows in the upper 60s. Weather like this should certainly make you consider saying aloha to Hawaii in the winter months. The only place you are likely to see snow in Hawaii is at the top of the state’s three tallest volcanoes.

The hardest decision about a winter trip to Hawaii is likely to be which island to visit. One big draw for Hawaii in the winter is surfing, with many popular competitions taking place along the North Shore in Oahu. Kauai, the Big Island, and Maui also offer great surfing opportunities in the winter months. If you are looking to avoid rain, consider visiting Oahu’s Waikiki Beach, Kihei on Maui, or Kona on the Big Island. These beaches are traditionally the driest during the winter season. No matter which island you choose, it is likely to be a pleasant tropical getaway in the midst of winter.

Louisiana Democrat, Gov. John Bel Edwards, Keeps Seat Despite Trump’s Opposition

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR NEWS)

 

Louisiana Democrat, Gov. John Bel Edwards, Keeps Seat Despite Trump’s Opposition

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards talks to media in Shreveport, La., Thursday. Saturday, Edwards, a Democrat, beat out Republican Eddie Rispone, who President Trump endorsed.

Gerald Herbert/AP

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, held on to his seat Saturday after a tough challenge from his Republican opponent, Eddie Rispone, a wealthy businessman and political newcomer who President Trump supported.

Edwards is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South and is not a typical Democrat. He’s a pro-Second Amendment gun owner who signed one of the country’s strictest anti-abortion bills this year.

This is the third and final gubernatorial election of 2019 and the second loss for President Trump who campaigned for all three candidates. The president was in Louisiana this week and framed the race as a personal referendum, urging voters to unseat Edwards.

About two weeks ago, Republican Tate Reeves won the open seat in Mississippi, but in Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshear ousted Republican incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin.

Edwards’ second term may be a bitter pill for Trump who had much invested in this year’s elections ahead of his own election in 2020.

5 Greatest Music Cities in the U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Greatest Music Cities in the U.S.

Music legend Elton John once said, “Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” Across the United States, there are several cities that are known for their vibrant music presence. Whether its country, rock and roll, or blues that feeds your soul, these cities are some of the best places in the world for music lovers.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

Credit: f11photo/Shutterstock

Music City. The Country Music Capital of the World. No matter what you call it, there is no question that Nashville is the epicenter of country music. Home of The Grand Ole Opry, the state’s capital is where aspiring country artists go to pursue their dreams and where many country legends have found their big break.

A visit to lower Broadway, aka Honky-tonk Highway, is one of the best ways to experience live music in the city. The street is lined with honky-tonk bars and has a constant flow of live music until 3 a.m. The street is known as the place where legends like Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson got their start. It has also been good to recent stars, including Dierks Bentley and Gretchen Wilson.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Ryman Auditorium are excellent ways to learn about the city’s musical roots, and Bluebird Cafe is where you will find dozens of songwriters performing. If you want to enjoy a country music festival, you can’t beat the CMA Fest, which takes place every year in June.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Credit: GTS Productions/Shutterstock

New Orleans is regarded as the birthplace of jazz. Known for its raucous festivals like Mardi Gras and the Jazz and Heritage Festival, the city knows how to throw a party. The city’s French Quarter echos with jazz, blues, and reggae. Bourbon Street is the center of the city’s nightlife and is where you will find the New Orleans Music Legends Park, the Hard Rock Cafe, and Skully’z Recordz.

The city has birthed some massive legends in music, including Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino. If you’re visiting the city, you can’t miss a visit to Preservation Hall. The Hall is rich with history and still hosts performances. The venue is popular, so if you’re looking to see a show, you need to get there early.

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas

Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Austin is known as the live music capital of the world. There have been many stories as to how the city got that title, but one reporter writes that it was a simple search for a slogan to use in an ad that garnered Austin its title. To bring more considerable attention to Austin, a group from the chamber of commerce decided to take out an ad in Billboard. When it came to choosing a slogan, they agreed that they would see just how many live music places they could find in the city. After adding up everything, they found that there were 70 locations within the city to see live music. This, they determined, was enough to deem Austin the live music capital of the world. The ad ran in Billboard with the slogan across the bottom, and Austin has held the title ever since.

While its origin story may have been a fluke, the city has embraced its title. The city now boasts over 250 live music venues. Popular spots include The White Horse, Mohawk, and The Continental Club. As for live music festivals, the Austin City Limits Music Festival and South By Southwest draw music lovers from around the country. The Austin City Limits Festival is one of the biggest music festivals in the country and takes place over two consecutive weekends, featuring big-name stars as well as up-and-coming artists.

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Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Tennessee knows music. While Nashville knows country music through and through, Memphis is the birthplace of rock and roll. Some of the biggest names got their start in Memphis, with none more prominent than Elvis Presley. The King of Rock’s home at Graceland is a popular attraction in the city, as is Sun Studio, where he recorded his first song. The Blues Hall of Famealso calls Memphis its home.

Beale Street is arguably the heart and soul of the city’s music scene and is attributed with playing a vital role in the strong blues scene in Memphis. BB King and Louis Armstrong were frequent residents of the street and the father of blues WC Handy’s home on Beale Street is open to visitors. Beale Street is also where you will find the Beale Street Music Festival.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington

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Washington state’s largest city is known for its early ’90s grunge scene and as the birthplace of Jimi Hendrix. And it continues to be a prolific producer of successful music acts.

Hip-hop artist Macklemore hails from Seattle, as does Death Cab for Cutie, and Modest Mouse. The city has an active festival scene with Bumbershoot, which takes place over Labor Day weekend. While the fall may be dreary, Seattle’s summers often feature 70 degree days, making the city a perfect destination for a summer festival.

The city also has a wide array of live music options. A trip to Belltown or Capitol Hill is a great way to catch some of the city’s up-and-coming acts. If you are looking for some music history, check out London Bridge Studio, where Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden have all had recording sessions.

3 Weird Facts About Louisiana

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

3 Weird Facts About Louisiana

Louisiana is a cultural melting pot that spreads inland from the Gulf of Mexico in the Deep South. It’s a state packed with pulsating cities, miles of sprawling prairies and wildlife-rich bayous. It’s famous for its jazz heritage, mouthwatering Cajun and Creole cuisine and the extravagant Mardi Gras of New Orleans. “Laissez les bons temps rouler” (“Let the good times roll”) is Louisiana’s state motto and you’ll feel the fun-loving spirit wherever you go. Here’s some more unusual facts about the state that you probably didn’t already know about.

It Has the Country’s Highest Alligator Population

Credit: Cheri Alguire/Shutterstock

Home to bayou wetlands, coastal marshes, lakes, rivers and swamps, Louisiana’s natural landscape serves as a natural habit for alligators. Currently, there are about two million wild American alligators in the state, which is about one for every two people. As a comparison, there’s around 1.25 million in the state of Florida. In addition to the wild crocodilians, Louisiana has over 300,000 alligators living on designated farms. You can get up close to these curious creatures that lurk beneath murky waters on boat and kayak tours in cities such as Breaux Bridge, LaPlace, Natchitoches and New Orleans. Just don’t steal one, because you could get a 10-year jail sentence.

It isn’t just alligators that are endemic. Breaux Bridge is known as the Crawfish Capital of the World.Crawfish theft also comes with an unwanted visit to the local jail. So, admire and eat the animals, but don’t take them home as souvenirs.

It is Home to the Tallest State Capitol in the U.S.

Credit: Felix Mizionznikov/Shutterstock

The Louisiana State Capitol dominates the skyline of Downtown Baton Rouge. It took only 14 months to build in 1932 at the expense of a modest $5 million. The Art Deco-style monument has 34 floors and stands 450 feet tall, thus making it the tallest capitol building in the country. That’s almost 163 feet taller than the emblematic United States Capitol in Washington D.C. In 1935, governor of Louisiana Huey Long was assassinated inside the capitol by physician Carl Weiss. Long’s tomb faces the landmark from the State Capitol Park.

To benefit from the capitol’s height, Long requested to have a private apartment installed on the 24th floor. He believed that the altitude would aid in combating his hay fever. On the 27th floor is a 350-feet-high observation deck open to the public and accessible via an elevator. Views from here reach across the rooftops of Baton Rouge, along the Mississippi River and over the Louisiana countryside.

Milk is the state’s official drink

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With a fun-loving and party-fueled lifestyle, one would be inclined to think that an alcoholic beverage would be Louisiana’s official drink. But in 1983 it declared milk as its state beverage. Curiously, of the 29 U.S. states and territories that have declared an official drink, 21 have chosen milk or a milk-flavored beverage. In Louisiana there are currently 106 grade A dairy farms, and the state produces over 170,000 gallons of milk per day.

In alcoholic terms, the Sazerac, a potent mix of rye whiskey, bitter and absinthe, is popular statewide and the official cocktail of New Orleans. Antoine Peychaud, a refugee from Saint-Domingue (modern-day Haiti) and the creator of Peychaud’s Bitters, invented the cocktail at his French Quarter pharmacy in the 1830s.

My Gripe About Georgetown University ‘Slave Reparations’ Being Charged To Students

My Gripe About Georgetown University ‘Slave Reparations’ Being Charged To Students

 

Earlier this evening I read an article on the web site of ‘Newsone’ along with that of CBS and the New York TImes about an event going on at Georgetown University that I personally am not in favor of. Back in the year 1838 the University was deep in debt and the Jesuit Priest who was in charge of the University at the time sold 272 slaves (Black Folks) to a Louisiana Plantation which gave the University the means in which to pay off their debt. There are a lot of people who say they are descendants of these 272 former slaves alive today who say that the University should have to pay these descendants $1 billion in “reparations,” what do you think about this issue?

 

Here is my take on this issue. It is said that the University has a $1.5 billion endowment fund that the University could supposedly access if they so chose to do so. So, if this is true should the University by either choice or by law take a billion dollars from that fund and use it to pay this to the descendents of those 272 slaves? My belief is that the University can pay it if they choose to, its their money, not mine, yet I do not believe that they should in any way be forced to do so. The University (in my opinion) pulled a total B.S. move when it came to this issue, they totally passed the proverbial buck completely onto the current and future students at the School. The University had the students vote on whether to pay the ‘reparations’ cost via a $27.20 added fee to every student every semester. The voter turnout was said to be %58 and that %66 of those who did vote said yes but now it seems that a lot of the Black students feel that they shouldn’t have to pay it. Seems like some voted yes with the belief that they themselves would be/should be exempt. Should they be? I don’t know, do you?

 

To give you more information to help you with your decision I offer you the main reason that I said no and still do to the University paying these descendents one billion dollars. Via the information from CBS News and the New York Times if you took the amount the University received for those 272 slaves and computed it into today’s currency the amount would be $3.5 Million, not one Billion. So, my opinion is that the University shouldn’t “have” to pay the descendents anything as the event was 181 years ago, at least a minimum of nine generations ago. If this type of thing became a law that they had to pay for this then I believe that every White, Black and Asian person in the U.S. today should have to leave this Country right now, no if and or but about it. Why would I say such a ridiculous thing you may think yet my answer is simple, they are called Indians or NATIVE AMERICANS! Should not everything be turned over to the “Red Man” who settled here first? There is one thing that I do believe though and that is if the University were to be forced by law to pay these reparations that the amount should not be more than the $3.5 million I mentioned earlier.

 

Now, for the last part of this article, a new twist for you to consider which might help you in your decision-making. Just as I was setting down to write this article to you I came across an article in “Teen Vogue” about this very issue and I would like to share some of their words with you. First in their article they said that the amount in today’s dollars would equal $3.3 Million instead of the aforementioned $3.5 Million. Their article also stated that the University says the amount collected each year would be about $380,000. Their article also stated the following which is a quote. “The money would go toward the education and health care programs in Louisiana and Maryland where according to the New York Times many of the 4,000 known living descendents of those slaves live today.” Personally I don’t have any problem with that program accept that I do not believe that the current and future students should have to pay that bill. If anyone was to be “forced” to pay out that $380,000 dollars per year it should have to be the University but I do not believe that any law should ever force them to have to pay that. The biggest reason for me saying this the fact that in 1838 slavery was legal in this country and by the laws of the time the University did not do anything legally wrong in selling their slaves. There is nothing about slavery that I agree with, the laws of the land at that time were wrong and thank the Lord they were changed. Yet when a person or business does not break the law in their actions the law should NEVER be allowed to punish descendents by making them pay for the LEGAL actions of their descendents.

 

 

‘Please stop having children you aren’t willing to raise’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER)

 

Sen. John Kennedy: 

Imagine that you’re the parents of four children under the age of eight. Your home is strewn with stuffed animals and sippy cups. And, if you’re a couple named Colby and Lacey (a real couple from Utah), you keep drug paraphernalia next to the bassinet and smoke heroin in front of your children.For the life of me, I don’t know why anyone who is an addict would decide to become a parent and bring an innocent child into his or her sick drug den. My only conclusion is that some parents figure someone else will raise their children while they do drugs, drink, party, commit crimes, Snapchat, plant fake crops on FarmVille, and do anything but parent. They’d rather have the latest and greatest iPhone than help their children figure out eighth-grade algebra.

Thankfully, that’s not most parents in Louisiana, but it describes too many.

Life is precious. Anyone who’s looked into a newborn’s innocent eyes should realize how incredible it is to be blessed with a new life. That couple named Colby and Lacey allegedly gazed into their newborn’s eyes and then rubbed drugs into the child’s gums to hide the fact that she had been born addicted to heroin. Nurses say some parents do this all the time to hide their infant’s withdrawal symptoms.

Here’s my advice to couples like Colby and Lacey: Stop having children if you don’t plan to raise them.

A lack of good parenting sense isn’t just a problem for Colby and Lacey. Last month, an eight-year-old girl tested positive for cocaine in Baton Rouge, La., after a relative brought her to the hospital because her mother refused to do so. When authorities located the mother, she had cocaine and drug paraphernalia in her possession.

My heart aches for that child. At eight years old, you should be playing games, painting your fingernails purple, getting glitter on everything, and learning how to bake cookies. The last thing you should be doing at that age is testing positive for cocaine.

I don’t know that mother’s story, but I do know that she failed her child.

Too many parents are failing their children these days in Louisiana. Thousands of children are in the state’s foster care system. A woman in West Monroe was just honored for mothering 100 foster children over the years. Think about that: That one woman had to do the parenting for countless parents.

Too many people treat parenting like it’s the 20th item on their to-do list. Their social life, drug habit, and sleep schedule matter more to them than their children do. Talk to teachers and they’ll tell you: Children show up unbathed, unfed, and unprepared at school when they show up at all. Sometimes the system catches them and shuffles them into a foster home. Tragically, sometimes the system fails them like their parents did.

It’s not fair to those children, and it’s certainly not fair to our communities. Those children grow up broken. They don’t glue themselves together and get a scholarship to Louisiana State University. They often drop out of school, do drugs, commit crimes, and hold down minimum-wage jobs. They’re flushed down the toilet before they’re potty trained, and then taxpayers are left to take care of them.

Studies of high-performing schools tend to find a common thread: parental involvement. Those same studies show that the more interest you have in your children’s education, the better they do in school. The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory found that a family’s income does not determine how well kids score on tests or how often they show up for school. The determining factor is parental involvement.

Abraham Lincoln is a good example of the benefits of parental involvement. Lincoln easily could have died an illiterate farmer. He grew up on the frontier, where schoolteachers made sporadic appearances and lost his mother at a young age. An uneducated woman named Sarah Bush turned the tide for him. Sarah married Lincoln’s father and encouraged a rather feral Lincoln to nurture his love of reading. She thrust books in front of him. She ensured that he had a comfortable home and treated him like he was her natural child. That’s good parenting, and it helped shape Lincoln into one of this country’s greatest presidents.

But you don’t have to raise a future president. You just have to raise a child who has a little common sense, graduates from high school and stays off the road that leads straight to prison and drug addiction.

We launch public awareness campaigns to encourage people to recycle their soft drink cans, stop smoking and wear seat belts. Maybe we need to launch campaigns to encourage people to raise their children. Most Louisiana parents don’t need that encouragement. But if we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that some do.

Having children is a blessing. Treat your children like the blessings they are or don’t have them at all. Our foster care system and jails already are at capacity. There’s no more room at the inn.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., was elected to the Senate in 2016. You can follow him on Twitter: @SenJohnKennedy

Grambling State University: 2 shot dead on campus

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Grambling State University: 2 shot dead on campus

(CNN)Two men were shot dead Wednesday morning at Grambling State University in northern Louisiana, authorities said.

They were discovered in a courtyard between two dormitory buildings, both suffering from gunshot wounds, according to Stephen Williams, a spokesman for the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The gunman fled the scene.
Based on preliminary information gathered at the scene, the shooting followed an altercation that started inside one of the adjacent dormitories,Williams said.
Developing story – more to come
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