Louisiana News

Stories and interviews from across the state.

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Governor John Bel Edwards released his legislative agenda aimed at improving the well-being of children and seniors. One of the bills included is West Monroe Representative Frank Hoffman’s proposal to reduce the requirements necessary for public school teachers to obtain tenure. Hoffman says the current requirements are unfair to educators.


Hoffman says that the bill still won't make obtaining tenure a "piece of cake." He says that if obtaining tenure is an option, it needs to be "fair to the teachers." 


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The regular session begins today less than a week after the special session crashed and burned. Fiscal cliff negotiations will be put on hold while a slew of other issues take center stage. There are several gun control bills filed. But Council for a Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin doesn’t see any of the measures to restrict who can purchase an assault rifle passing.


Erwin says that despite the school shooting in Florida, it's "really hard to see legislation to limit guns" in Louisiana. He says that Louisiana is a "huge Second Amendment state." 


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The regular session kicks off today, and Governor John Bel Edwards is hoping the legislature gets more accomplished than the special session that ended without a clear solution to the fiscal cliff. The special session was notable for its stark partisan divides, which Edwards says were the worst he’s seen in a decade.


Edwards says, "The level of acrimony and distrust is beyond anything that I've seen in the ten years that I've been involved in state government."


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Louisiana's attorney general has filed a lawsuit accusing a local school board of stifling public debate at a meeting in January disrupted by the video-recorded arrest of a teacher being handcuffed on a hallway floor.

Attorney General Jeff Landry's lawsuit accuses the Vermilion Parish School Board of violating the state's Open Meetings Law at its meeting Jan. 8 in which a teacher criticized a district superintendent's pay raise.

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New Orleans Democrat Senator Troy Carter has filed a bill to raise the state minimum hourly wage to $9.50 for businesses with more than 50 employees by August 2019. 18 states started the year with increased wages and an additional 19 states adopted higher wages in 2017. Carter says in light of WalMart’s recent announcement of employee bonuses and Target raising their minimum wage, it’s time for Louisiana to step up.


Carter’s push to raise the wage in prior sessions have failed and he’s urging lawmakers to ask themselves one simple question.


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People looking to eat healthy might be surprised to find out one of their best bets might be a crawfish boil. Not counting drinks, the boiled corn, potatoes, and crawfish comes out to a pretty balanced, low calorie meal. Nationally regarded Baton Rouge chef Holly Clegg says the mudbug is the perfect lean meat.


Clegg says, "A three ounce serving of cooked crawfish is only seventy calories and fourteen grams of protein."


Clegg says crawfish is its own little multi vitamin.


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Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor wants to settle the argument over whether voters should have the opportunity to elect someone who is over 70 years old. State judges are not allowed to be elected after the age of 70 and Claitor has proposed a constitutional amendment that prohibits a person over the age of 70 from running for a statewide positon or the legislature.


Claitor says that if the one part of 70 year old age group is discriminated against, then the whole age group should be discriminated against "as opposed to just part of it."


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US Representative Clay Higgins is proposing two bills aimed at investigating and improving the quality of law enforcement protection at public schools. After the revelation that the school resource officer present at the Florida shooting fled, Higgins says it’s time to reevaluate just who is charged with protecting students.


According to Higgins, these bills would "mandate a nationwide cultural change" to protect children in schools. 


Higgins says the bill would give policymakers a comprehensive look at just how schools are being secured.


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A man who was 16 when he robbed and killed a man delivering pizza in New Orleans will spend 40 years in prison.

Nineteen-year-old Rendell Brown's sentence is the result of a plea deal announced in state court Tuesday. Brown pleaded guilty to armed robbery and manslaughter.

The victim was 35-year-old Richard "Chris" Yeager, who was killed after delivering a pizza in September 2014.

In court Tuesday were Yeager's parents, who testified about the pain of losing their son.

13-Year Sentence In Child Porn Case

Mar 7, 2018
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A New Orleans judge has sentenced a man to 13 years in prison on child pornography charges.

The Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office says in a news release that Dan Pittman Jr. had been convicted in February on 10 child pornography counts involving victims under the age of 13. He was sentenced Tuesday by state district Judge Arthur Hunter.

Prosecutors said Pittman was arrested at his New Orleans home in September 2015 after a six-month investigation by the Louisiana Attorney General's Cyber Crime unit.