Louisiana

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Louisiana residents can buy supplies to prepare for hurricane season at a lower state sales tax rate this weekend.

 The Louisiana Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday is Saturday and Sunday, with lower tax rates for flashlights, batteries, portable generators and other emergency supplies.

 Eligible items will be charged a 3 percent state sales tax, rather than the full 5 percent rate. The tax break applies to the first $1,500 of eligible purchases. 

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A prisoner at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola is facing murder charges in the alleged beating death of his cellmate, one in a string of inmate-on-inmate attacks at the facility. 

The Advocate reports 37-year-old Wilbert Carter was rebooked on a count of second-degree murder in the death of 62-year-old Willie Brunner.

 West Feliciana Parish District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla says jailers found Brunner - who was serving a life sentence for a 1983 killing - March 24 on the floor of his cell. He died April 23. 

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Louisiana State Police say 13 people have been arrested in connection with an insurance fraud scheme involving staged automobile crashes.

 A news release says Thursday's arrests followed an investigation that began with complaints from insurance companies. 

Investigators say the scheme involved a group of people who regularly participated in reporting fictitious automobile crashes, bogus injuries and property damage in southwestern Louisiana.  

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Authorities say a man tracked to a hotel where he was with a runaway 14-year-old girl remains jailed on accusations of sexual contact with the teen.

 The Times-Picayune reports 34-year-old Malcom Baker was booked Monday on three counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile. Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato says Baker was at a Terrytown hotel with the girl reported missing from New Orleans.

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The leader of the Louisiana House says he doesn't expect lawmakers to pass tax hikes this session to fill a looming, mid-2018 budget gap. Instead, Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras believes a special legislative session is inevitable to address the shortfall.

A more than $1 billion budget hole is projected when temporary sales taxes passed by the Legislature expire on June 30, 2018. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards wants lawmakers to pass tax measures to close the gap. 

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36-year-old Kevin Gray and 36-year-old Josekeitha White were booked Monday and charged with partnering with a craps dealer to swindle a value estimated between $500 and $5000 from Treasure Chest Casino. State Police say their alleged accomplice, 49-year-old Anthony Thompson, was arrested in February.

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A lawmaker fears Louisiana's domestic violence protections could be declared unconstitutional if his colleagues refuse to widen the safeguards to include same-sex couples.

  Rep. Patrick Connick wants to remove the requirement that a victim be of the opposite sex of the alleged offender to be considered a victim of domestic violence.  

 The Marrero Republican's bill narrowly passed the House, but fell six votes short Tuesday in the Senate. Seven senators were absent, including five Democrats   

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A Kansas food distributor has recalled nearly 100,000 pounds of precooked sausage products that might contain metal. 

The recall was announced Wednesday by Armour Eckrich Meats in Junction City. 

 

The Food Safety and Inspection Service says the recall includes more than 8,000 cases of 16.6 ounce packages of "Eckrich Smok-y Cheddar Breakfast sausage, Naturally Hardwood Smoked." The labels have the case or UPC code and a "27815 17984" with a use-by date of Aug. 17. The products also have the number "EST. 3JC" inside the USDA mark of inspection. 

The Louisiana Attorney General’s office believes that a Minden woman may have stolen $400,000 from elderly patients at a nursing home.

Stephanie Hays, 49, of Minden has been arrested. She is accused of gaining access to the financial assets of a resident.

The Attorney General’s office say she had Power of Attorney and withdrew money from a bank account, retirement plan and proceeds from the sale of a home.

There are also allegations of forged retirement checks, missing social security payments pension payments, and German reparation payments.

OPSO.net

Sheriff Jay Russell and members of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office are mourning the loss of a Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Deputy in the line of duty early this morning, Sunday, April 30, 2017. 

Deputy Justin L. Beard, age 26, was killed in a one vehicle traffic accident while responding to a burglar alarm during a severe thunderstorm. 

Deputy Beard had been employed by the OPSO for 3-1/2 years and assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division. 

He is survived by his wife and 3 young children. 

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