Chuck Smith

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years'  experience to Red River Radio  having started out as a radio news reporter and moving into television journalism as a newsmagazine producer / host,  talk-show moderator, programming director and managing producer and news director / anchor  for commercial, public broadcasting and educational television.  He has more recently worked in advertising, marketing and public relations as a writer, video producer and media consultant.   In pursuit of higher learning,  Chuck studied Mass Communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles.   He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.

LOUISIANA COVID 19  DECLINES -  Louisiana  reported 26 more COVID-19 deaths Tuesday,  bringing the state's death toll to  4,195.

A GRIM MILESTONE -  Louisiana has reached a grim milestone as  Governor John Bel Edwards announced yesterday the total number of Covid-19 related deaths in the state has surpassed 4,000.   The most recent total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is more than 127,000, with 4,028 confirmed deaths, 1,457 hospitalizations, and over 89,000 recoveries. While the numbers are somber, Edwards explained there is some good news as Covid-19 seems to be trending downward.

CONCERNS OVER  REOPENING -  A lot of schools are scheduled to reopen in a few weeks and in Arkansas- it’s August 24th.  However not everyone is on board with that start date. During a meeting of the Arkansas legislative Education Caucus in Little Rock yesterday members of the Arkansas Education Association -- told state lawmakers it is unsafe for schools to return to in-person learning as Arkansas continues to struggle to limit the spread of the coronavirus.  Carol Fleming is the president of the AEA.

ARKANSAS COVID CASES RISE  -    More than 49,000 Arkansans have tested positive for Covid-19. Governor Asa Hutchinson announced on Friday the state saw more than 1,000 positive cases in a single day.  The Covid-19 death toll in Arkansas stands at 544.  During his daily briefing from Little Rock, Hutchinson said he believes the spread of COVID-19 in Arkansas is under control despite the rise in cases.

LOCAL AUTHORITY - Texas State health officials say over  9,100  new  Covid-19 cases have been reported  along with 245 new deaths. This brings Texas’ total Covid cases to over 451,000 and more than 7,200 deaths.  Schools reopening during the  Coronavirus  pandemic has created controversy as there has been some confusion as to who has legal authority to say when schools can reopen.  Speaking at a Texas Division of Emergency Management Warehouse in San Antonio yesterday Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said who has the final say. 

THREE MORE WEEKS - Governor John Bel Edwards announced yesterday that even though Louisiana has seen some progress regarding Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, he'll continue Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate and the business restrictions he enacted to combat the coronavirus outbreak for the time being.  The Covid-19 mitigation rules were set to expire this Friday but will continue until August 28th.  Edwards explained there are fewer people showing up at Hospital Emergency Rooms with Covid-19 symptoms.

NW LA DIGITAL SURVEY- As working and online-learning becomes more common these days – thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic – having high-speed digital access to the internet is crucial.  The Caddo Parish School system seeks to identify areas without adequate internet access and is asking citizens to take part in the Northwest Louisiana Digital Survey which was launched earlier this week.

Otis Ellis is Chairman for The Digital Infrastructure Committee and explains how the citizens of Caddo can participate.     

FEWER SURPRISE MED BILLS - There has been a huge drop in the number of Texans calling state regulators over getting a surprise medical bill in the past six months.  A  new law requires medical providers and insurance companies   to figure out payment disputes among themselves.  Before Senate Bill 1264 went into effect, consumers were often sent a surprise bill when medical providers and health insurance companies couldn’t agree on how much a medical service should cost.

COVID-19 LOUISIANA-  Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards  said there may be early hopeful signs of a possible COVID-19  plateau in the state,.  During his Covid-19 update yesterday,  Edwards  reported that there were 1,121 new Covid-19 cases in the Louisiana  bringing the total cases reported to 111,038.  While yesterday’s  total new cases  was the lowest number since July 6th, Edwards explained: "One day does not a trend make,"Edwards explained. "Hopefully we will stay moving in that direction moving forward."

HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS -  A new program to help small businesses recover from the Coronavirus impact has started accepting applications today.  The Main Street Recovery Program has launched a website to help Louisiana small businesses determine if they’re eligible to receive up to $15,000 in grant money, the funds are coming from $275-Million dollars set aside to reimburse businesses for Covid-19 related expenses.    State  Treasurer  John  Schroder has been getting the word out via zoom meetings with various groups around the state.  I caught up with him recently during s