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Attorney General And Governor To Bring Litigation Against Opiod Manufacturers

Attorney General Jeff Landry and Governor John Bel Edwards have agreed to coordinate efforts to bring litigation against opioid manufacturers, who they feel are responsible for the epidemic that’s claiming hundreds lives every year. The A-G’s Chief Deputy Bill Stiles says the state seeks damages for costs incurred within the Medicaid program. Stiles hopes to expand the scope of the lawsuit into all state services effected, including corrections and family services. Stiles says the suit is in...

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Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is recuperating after breaking six ribs in a snowboarding accident over the Mardi Gras holiday.

The accident happened in Montana, where Landry was on vacation with his family. The Republican attorney general said he fell during whiteout conditions that rolled in while he was snowboarding down a mountain, making him unable to see his own boots.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Landry said his travel schedule - and his ability to talk - are limited because of discomfort. But he says he's been working from his home in Broussard.

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has hired a new deputy chief of staff, three months after the previous jobholder resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

The Democratic governor announced Tuesday that Adren Wilson will work as deputy chief of staff for programs and planning, filling the position Johnny Anderson left in November.

Anderson was accused of sexual harassment, 11 years after several women made similar accusations when Anderson worked for Gov. Kathleen Blanco and was a university system board chairman. Anderson denies wrongdoing in both sets of claims.

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Louisiana authorities say a 17-year-old faces terrorizing charges after schoolmates said he had a list of students he planned to kill and also had threatened some teachers.

Lafourche (luh-FOOSH) Parish Sheriff Craig Webre (WEB) says in a statement that the student told investigators he no longer had the list but remembered the names, and had planned to bring a shotgun to Thibodaux (TIB-uh-doh) High School to shoot specific students.

frankieleon / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Attorney General Jeff Landry and Governor John Bel Edwards have agreed to coordinate efforts to bring litigation against opioid manufacturers, who they feel are responsible for the epidemic that’s claiming hundreds lives every year. The A-G’s Chief Deputy Bill Stiles says the state seeks damages for costs incurred within the Medicaid program.

 

Stiles hopes to expand the scope of the lawsuit into all state services effected, including corrections and family services.

 

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Tangipahoa Parish School Board member Mike Whitlow is facing heavy backlash for posting a picture of a noose on his public Facebook page. The picture had the caption: “If we want to make America great again, we will have to make evil people fear punishment again.” Tangipahoa Parish council member  Louis Joseph says it was a bad idea.

 

Joseph says that kind of behavior is unacceptable for someone in a position of authority.

 

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Teacher salaries reached the Southern regional average in 2007, but Louisiana has fallen behind, as educators receive on average 17-hundred dollars less. And with a one-billion-dollar shortfall, it’s unlikely extra money will go towards the 47-thousand public school teachers. Legislative Director for the Louisiana Federation of Teachers Cynthia Posey says the pay is leading to fewer teachers.

 

Posey says teachers are in the profession to changes lives.  She says even though it isn’t all about the money, they have bills to pay and families to take care of.

 

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US Presidents pardon turkeys on Thanksgiving; Louisiana pardons a crawfish early in the crawfish season. Emile the crawfish will be allowed to live his life out peacefully thanks to Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser  who picked “Emile” to be pardoned for their “annual pardoning of the crawfish.”

 

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A bill to create a transparency tool called Louisiana Checkbook passed the House Appropriations committee, and may be considered on the house floor later this week. The program closely mirrors Ohiocheckbook.com, where Ohio residents are presented a detailed report about state expenses. House Speaker Taylor Barras says it’s a user friendly tool for the public.

 

According to Barras, the Louisiana Checkbook could be "...one of the most interactive tools for gathering the financial data of state agencies." 

 

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Automotive insurance rates are on the rise again, after the Louisiana Department of Insurance approved double-digit hikes last year for at least six insurance companies.  State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says there are several factors, including an increase in distracted driving.

 

The National Safety Council Reports that about "forty thousand people were killed" in automobile accidents. This is a six percent increase from 2015. 

 

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The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to vote today on a series of bills that would make changes to the state’s tax code as part of the effort to plug the billion dollar budget shortfall. Jackson Representative Kenny Havard says the current system, which provides tax breaks for businesses in certain industries, is unfair.

 

Harvard says that if the state doesn't give everyone tax exclusions, no tax exclusions should be given at all.

 

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ULM Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy Moves Toward Doctorate At ULM

The Occupational Therapy program at the University of Louisiana Monroe has begun working on a change from a masters to a doctoral program. In December 2017 the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors approved a letter of intent from ULM to develop the doctoral program. According to Dr. Patti Calk, associate director of the School of Health Professions, switching to a doctoral program would mean many changes for Occupational Therapy (OT) students. The program would be expanded to...

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