Associated Press

www.arkansasonline.com/photos/2016/mar/17/462171/

An attorney for an Arkansas death row inmate whose lethal injection was halted by a judge says there's little for the state to be proud of in the same ruling that allowed several other executions scheduled for this month to move forward.

Assistant federal public defender John Williams said Thursday that attorneys for Jason McGehee were pleased with U.S. District Court Judge D. Price Marshall Jr.'s order blocking McGehee's April 27 execution.

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A chemical manufacturer is moving its headquarters from Houston to Lake Charles.

 

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Lotte Chemical USA announced Thursday its headquarters will be located with its $1.1 billion chemical plant under construction in the city.

 

The two facilities will create 130 new jobs with an average annual salary of more than $80,000 plus benefits, according to the governor's office. Fifty of the jobs are tied to the headquarters move. The plant is expected to start operations in 2019.

 

http://www.osfa.la.gov/landing/TOPSindex.htm

Louisiana lawmakers, struggling with budget shortfalls, are again looking to restructure the TOPS college tuition program to lessen costs.

 

Proposals include boosting the grade point average required to get the award or steering more of the money to needy students. Another measure would require students who receive TOPS to work in Louisiana after college or repay some money spent on their tuition.

 

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The Senate has cleared the way for a Friday confirmation vote on President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, the Senate voted 55-45 to successfully block Judge Neil Gorsuch, denying Republicans the 60 votes they needed to move forward. Republicans then voted to eliminate the 60-vote threshold, allowing them to proceed to the Friday vote with a simple majority.

gov.louisiana.gov

Gov. John Bel Edwards is returning to Washington to talk about last year's massive flooding in south Louisiana.

Edwards will testify Wednesday morning before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The committee is holding a hearing on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's response to the August floods that hit the Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas.

The Democratic governor's office says Edwards plans to talk about where the federal government's response has been helpful to the state and where federal regulations have slowed recovery efforts.

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Authorities say a 14-year-old boy riding his skateboard was struck by a car and thrown into a canal in Metairie.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato said that the boy is currently listened in "grave" condition after the accident occurred Monday evening. Fortunato says a 29-year-old woman was driving her vehicle when she hit the boy.

Fortunato says charges have not been filed against the woman. The woman told investigators she thought she hit something in the roadway, but didn't know what she hit.

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Gov. John Bel Edwards is backing legislative proposals aimed at reducing opioid deaths in Louisiana.

 

The governor's office announced Tuesday that Edwards supports legislation to limit first-time prescriptions of opioids for acute pain to a seven-day supply for adults, with some exceptions.

The measure by New Orleans Rep. Helena Moreno and River Ridge Rep. Kirk Talbot also would restrict all acute pain prescriptions of opioids for children to seven days.

lifecarehealthpartners.com

A hospital closure in Ruston will affect all 167 employees.

New LifeCare Specialty Hospital of North Louisiana issued a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification — or WARN notice — Tuesday to announce the closure.

 

The company says the layoff will begin around April 15 with the final termination on or around June 3.

LifeCare Specialty intends to offer employees severance benefits to help decrease the impact of the mass layoff on their employees and the Ruston community. Further details were not released.

Six of the eight Arkansas inmates scheduled to die this month want a judge to delay their executions so they can seek a deeper review of their clemency requests.

A federal court hearing is scheduled Tuesday on the inmates' attempt to delay the executions. The state said in court papers filed Monday that a delay would effectively halt the executions because a key lethal drug expires April 30.

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As Louisiana struggles with budget woes, lawmakers are realizing millions remain socked away in savings accounts that agencies, boards and commissions never told them existed.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Eric LaFleur has been trying to get an accounting of what's out there.

In the legislative session that starts Monday, LaFleur is proposing to make it tougher to create these escrow accounts and special bank accounts, to require more uniform policies governing them and to enact tighter tracking of them.

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