Louisiana News

Stories and interviews from across the state.

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A Senate-approved bill to allow foster kids to stay in the system until they turn 21, or graduate high school, which ever happens first, cleared a House committee. Currently, foster kids are forced out of the foster care program when they turn 18, regardless of their high school degree progress. Louisiana Budget Project Coordinator Dylan Waguespack says hundreds of kids are effected every year.

 

Waguespack says, "it's about 150 to 200 youth a year, so over the past six state fiscal years that's 1,014 teenagers who have aged out of foster care."

 

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Concealed carry permit holders could bring a gun into a school or university building under legislation heading to the House floor. The controversial measure cleared the House Criminal Justice Committee on a narrow 9-8 vote. Erath Representative Blake Miguez says his legislation doesn’t arm teachers, just visitors who have a concealed handgun permit.

 

Miguez says, "It doesn't deal with the school safety system at all; it strictly deals with self defense."

 

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The nation faces a truck driver shortage, and that could hurt your pocketbook. The American Trucking Association says they expect to see a 106,000 driver shortage by 2022. Louisiana Motor Transport Association Executive Director Chance McNeely says it’s resulting in longer delivery times and higher prices for consumers.

 

McNeely says, "Loads have to wait. It takes longer for goods to get to their desired locations, and it drives up the cost of goods. It's a major challenge for the industry."

 

Fats, Food And Fun: 1st Weekend Of Jazz Fest Kicks Off

Apr 25, 2018
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Music lovers are converging this week on the Crescent City for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. 

The festival takes place over two weekends starting on Friday and features out-of-town artists such as Rod Stewart and Sting as well as performers from across New Orleans and Louisiana.

This year will also feature a number of tributes to legendary musician Fats Domino, who died in October. There will be a jazz funeral parade and a tribute concert, and Domino is also featured on this year's festival poster.

US Pecan Growers Seek To Break Out Of The Pie Shell

Apr 25, 2018
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The humble pecan is being rebranded as more than just pie.

Pecan growers and suppliers are hoping to sell U.S. consumers on the virtues of North America's only native nut as a hedge against a potential trade war with China, the pecan's largest export market.

The pecan industry is also trying to crack the fast-growing snack-food industry.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based American Pecan Council has been formed in the wake of a new federal marketing order that allows the industry to band together and assess fees for research and promotion.

Wrongfully Deported, She's Back But Not Allowed To Sue

Apr 25, 2018
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A woman detained and deported to Mexico in 2013 despite being in the United States legally will not be allowed to pursue a wrongful arrest lawsuit against the U.S. government.

An appeals court in New Orleans upheld a Texas federal judge's dismissal of the lawsuit by Guadalupe Chaidez Campos.

Court records say Campos had entered the country illegally in 2012 and was ordered out. But she also applied for and received legal "nonimmigrant" status.

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Prohibiting Louisiana State University classes from starting before 10 a.m. would be one option studied to reduce traffic issues in a city under legislation that a state House of Representatives panel has approved.

News outlets report the measure cleared the House Transportation Committee without objection Tuesday and now goes to the full House. Under it, staggered work hours for major Baton Rouge employers, including state agencies, and encouraging businesses to allow employees to work from home would also be studied.

Camp Minden Explosives: Change Of Plea Hearing Tuesday

Apr 25, 2018
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A former official of a company that abandoned tons of potentially explosive artillery propellant in Louisiana is pleading guilty.

The Times of Shreveport reports that Koons pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to one count of making a false statement to the military's Joint Munitions Command.

Lionel Koons was inventory control manager for Explo Systems when it went bankrupt in 2013, leaving 7,800 tons (7,100 metric tons) of M6 propellant on land leased from the Louisiana National Guard.

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A Louisiana private investigator faces a possible prison sentence for misusing Donald Trump's Social Security number in repeated attempts to access the president's federal tax information before his 2016 election.

U.S. District Judge John deGravelles is scheduled to sentence 32-year-old Jordan Hamlett on Wednesday. Hamlett faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty in December.

Authorities have said Hamlett failed in his attempts to get Trump's tax information through a U.S. Department of Education financial aid website.

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Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says state and local governments offered an estimated $1.5 billion in incentives for a $9.4 billion plastics complex.

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