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A disease that’s killing deer is the rise in Louisiana

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A disease that’s killing deer is the rise in Louisiana


Two years after it was first discovered in Louisiana, state wildlife officials have detected seven additional cases of Chronic Wasting Disease, a fatal illness that has afflicted deer in more than 30 states.

There have now been 19 confirmed Louisiana cases of the disease, officials said Friday. CWD affects the nervous systems and brains of deer, elk moose and reindeer and can lead to erratic behavior, drooling and emaciation.

It is not believed to be a threat to humans or domesticated animals.

Biologists from Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have been on alert for the disease after a case was discovered in Mississippi’s Issaquena County in 2018, just across the Mississippi River from Tensas Parish. Two years before that, the disease had been found in a deer in Arkansas.

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With its first confirmed case in January 2022, Louisiana joined a growing club of more than 30 states that have detected the disease. 

Once this disease is discovered, it is extremely hard to eradicate, said Krysten Schuler, a Cornell University researcher who studies wildlife diseases.

“The best way to stop it is not to get it in the first place,” Schuler said.

The disease is easily transmitted among deer, elk and moose, but slow acting, she added.

“When a deer gets infected, it usually takes a year or two to die,” Schuler said. “It’s more likely to be killed by something else” like a predator or a car.

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For a few years after the disease enters a population, the primary impact will be slowing deer population growth, Schuler said. But if the disease progresses, it can have a much greater effect on deer numbers.

After the discovery of the disease in 2022, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries declared an emergency and designated a CWD “control area,” which includes all of Tensas Parish and parts of Madison, Franklin and Concordia parishes.

Hunters in the control area are prohibited from hunting over bait such as grain or salt and are forbidden to take whole deer carcasses out of the area. They are free to transport deboned meat or other parts of the carcass under certain conditions.

Officials also put out coolers for hunters to drop off samples of the deer they killed for testing.

Since July 2023, state officials have collected approximately samples, the majority of those from deer killed by hunters. Five samples had been confirmed positive as of Jan. 23, with more expected from samples collected before Jan. 31, which was the end of deer season in the northeast part of the state.

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All of the positive cases have been in Tensas Parish.

Despite its prevalence, Chronic Wasting Disease is largely mysterious to researchers, Schuler said.

“It’s hard,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of tools.”

Chronic Wasting Disease is caused by a mutated protein known as a prion, she said, and is the first known prion-caused disease in free-ranging wildlife. Other prion diseases include scrapie, which infects sheep, and mad cow disease.

The prion can be shed in saliva, urine or feces, Schuler said. Using grain or salt to lure deer can help the disease spread, she said, likening it to a salad bar where diners just lowered their faces into the serving bowls and ate.

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“The pile of bait is problematic,” she said.



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Louisiana

Troy takes down Louisiana 87-73

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Troy takes down Louisiana 87-73


LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Christyon Eugene had 18 points in Troy’s 87-73 victory over Louisiana on Wednesday night.

Eugene also had eight rebounds for the Trojans (20-10, 13-4 Sun Belt Conference). Tayton Conerway scored 15 points and added six steals. Victor Valdes had 13 points.

Kobe Julien led the way for the Ragin’ Cajuns (17-13, 9-8) with 21 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Brandon Hardy added 15 points for Louisiana. Hosana Kitenge recorded 13 points, six rebounds and three steals.

The Trojans hit 38-of-42 free throw attempts, something head coach Scott Cross was impressed to see from his team.

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“To be able to hit as many free throws as we did on the road is a phenomenal tribute to our guys for being locked in mentally. To start 30-30, I don’t know if I have ever been part of something like that,” Cross said after the game. “That’s guys being really locked in mentally. We played hard. We played solid defense. Did a pretty good job of rebounding the ball.”

___

The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.



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Basketball Games on TV in Louisiana: Channel Info & Live Streams – February 29

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Basketball Games on TV in Louisiana: Channel Info & Live Streams – February 29


If you’re a basketball fan in Louisiana, there is women’s college and high school action on Thursday, February 29 — scroll down for how to watch the 10 games.

Sign up for Fubo, Max, ESPN+, and NFHS Network to make sure you don’t miss out watching a single basketball game.

Louisiana Women’s College Basketball Games Today

Nicholls Colonels at Northwestern State Demons

SE Louisiana Lions at Incarnate Word Cardinals

Houston Christian Huskies at McNeese Cowgirls

New Orleans Privateers at Texas A&M-CC Islanders

No. 9 LSU Tigers at Georgia Bulldogs

Louisiana High School Basketball Games Today

Girls Basketball

Stream Live Game Time Location
Woodlawn High School at
Huntington High School
Watch on NFHS Network 1:00 PM CT Hammond, LA
Bunkie High School at
Lafayette Christian Academy
Watch on NFHS Network 2:45 PM CT Hammond, LA
Liberty High School at
John Curtis Christian School
Watch on NFHS Network 4:30 PM CT Hammond, LA
Parkway High School at
Walker High School
Watch on NFHS Network 6:15 PM CT Hammond, LA
Mandeville High School at
Denham Springs High School
Watch on NFHS Network 8:00 PM CT Denham Springs, LA

© 2023 Data Skrive. All rights reserved.

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Bill allowing permitless concealed carry in Louisiana heads to the governor's desk for signature

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Bill allowing permitless concealed carry in Louisiana heads to the governor's desk for signature


BATON ROUGE, La. — A bill allowing Louisiana residents, 18 and older, to carry a concealed handgun without a permit received final approval from lawmakers Wednesday.

After years of GOP-led efforts for permitless concealed carry, the bill is poised to become law with Gov. Jeff Landry signaling that he plans to sign the legislation. Upon the Republican’s signature, Louisiana would become the 28th state that allows people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, according to the U.S. Concealed Carry Association. However, it would be only one of a handful of states where the law would apply to those as young as 18.

The proposed law will allow eligible people to carry guns hidden in their clothing without having to pay for a government permit, having their fingerprints taken or completing a firearm training course — which are all currently required.

Legislators also greenlit a bill that would provide a level of immunity from civil liability for someone who holds a concealed carry permit and uses their firearm to shoot a person in self-defense.

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Under the permitless concealed carry bill, those who legally own a gun would still be restricted from carrying it in certain areas, including schools, churches, police stations, courthouses and the Capitol.

Supporters of the legislation, which was brought forth during a special legislative session that Landry called to address violent crime in the state, routinely describe the measure as a “constitutional carry bill” — arguing that the current permitting requirements are unconstitutional.

However, this session, proponents of permitless concealed carry also put a particular focus on a need and right for citizens to protect themselves against criminals who ignore laws, saying that “evil is everywhere” and “police alone can not protect us.” This session, lawmakers are considering a slew of “tough-on-crime” policies during their short session — ranging from expanding death row execution methods, charging 17-year-olds as adults and eliminating the opportunity of parole for most jailed in the future.

“People are getting raped, murdered, carjacked and assaulted,” said Louisiana state Rep. Mike Johnson. “A vote for this bill today gives the citizens of Louisiana the right to defend themselves.”

Deep South Democrats, some of whom own guns and have gone through the process to obtain concealed carry permits, say that while they support the Second Amendment, they have concerns over a lack of training that would be required for those wishing to carry a gun. In addition, they opposed the age for the bill being 18.

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Opponents of the bill pointed to Louisiana’s high rate of gun violence that they feel could worsen with the bill. The state had the country’s second-highest rate of gun-related deaths in 2021 with 1,314, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The figure includes suicides and homicides.

In addition, some police departments and the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police have opposed the bill — saying that removing the process could “increase the likelihood of firearms ending up in the possession of those who pose a danger to themselves.”

Law enforcement officers also worry the legislation could increase the number of dangerous situations they face.

Louisiana has been close to enacting a permitless concealed carry law before. In 2021, the GOP-dominated Legislature passed a bill that was vetoed by then-Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat. At the start of this month’s special session, Gov. Landry told lawmakers, “Now, you have a governor who will sign it.”

If the bill is signed by Landry, the law would take effect on July 4.

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