Louisiana News

Stories and interviews from across the state.

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The investigation by Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Investigators into the recent theft of two UTV’s has led to the arrest of one suspect and a warrant for a second.  Jeremy Burton, Jr., age 17 of Monroe, has been arrested and booked into OCC charged with two counts of Theft of a Motor Vehicle.

Ex-Officer Who Killed Black Man Faces Unrelated Charge

Apr 30, 2018
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A former Baton Rouge police officer who fatally shot a black man nearly two years ago, setting off widespread protests and clashes with police, now faces a misdemeanor charge for an unrelated incident in which he allegedly slapped a suspect.

An attorney for Blane Salamoni told The Advocate the ex-officer received a court summons Friday for a simple battery charge. The lawyer, Brant Mayer, said Baton Rouge police issued the summons even though the alleged victim said he didn't want to pursue charges.

Businessman Sentenced To Prison For Defrauding Investors

Apr 30, 2018
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A Louisiana businessman who pleaded guilty to defrauding investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars has been sentenced to more than three years in prison.

U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles on Wednesday sentenced 52-year-old William Todd Cutrer, of Addis, to 42 months in prison and ordered him to pay more than $500,000 restitution to his victims.

Cutrer pleaded guilty in October to mail fraud.

Louisiana's Spring Shrimp Season To Open Monday

Apr 30, 2018
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Louisiana's spring shrimp season will open Monday in a portion of state inshore waters.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission convened a special meeting Thursday to set the date for the opening in waters from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal. The season opens at 6 a.m.

Public Defender Board Reaches Fund Distribution Compromise

Apr 30, 2018
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The Louisiana Public Defender Board has reached a compromise on a new plan intended to more fairly distribute state funds used to pay lawyers who represent indigent defendants.

The Advocate quotes State Public Defender James T. Dixon Jr. in a Saturday report as saying the plan should prevent the state's  42 district public defenders offices from failing. But, he says any plan would have "winners and losers" because there is not enough money.

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The Louisiana Red Cross is joining a national push to install hundreds of thousands of smoke detectors in homes around the country. “Sound the Alarm” will see Red Cross volunteers visiting homes to install alarms, and educate families on fire safety. Greater New York Regional CEO Josh Lockwood says its been a wildly successful program so far.

 

Lockwood says despite big publicity pushes, reinforcing the importance of fire safety, many homes still lack a working smoke detector.

 

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There’s only two months left in the fiscal year, and doubts are growing as to whether a spending plan for next budget year can be approved in the current regular session. A 648-million dollar budget gap is forcing lawmakers to consider deep cuts in state spending. LaPolitics.com Publisher Jeremy Alford says we’re approaching uncharted waters.

 

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A Senate-approved bill that would double, and in some cases, increased tenfold the fines associated with soliciting prostitutes passed a House committee nine to six. The bill would not change the current penalty of up to six months in jail for soliciting. Sponsor Franklinton Senator Beth Mizel says it attacks human trafficking at its root.

 

Mizel says, "We can lessen the demand for trafficking; we can partially solve our problem."

 

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A political analyst says embattled Secretary of State Tom Schedler might not be able to stay in office much longer as the sexual harassment allegations against him will not go away. Bernie Pinsonat says published emails showing sexual advances by Schedler towards an employee could lead to his resignation.

 

Pinsonat says, "The revelation of the emails will be the end of his political career... It's a matter of time before he resigns."

 

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Concerns are being raised about a House bill that includes an application for funding a Boy Scouts project, but did not include an application for a girl scouts project. Girl Scouts Louisiana East spokesperson Mary-Patricia Wray says neither project is guaranteed to be funded, but allowing both applications to be considered would send a message of equality.

 

The Girl Scouts are seeking funding for a project that would prevent a lake in Tangipahoa from spilling into the Tangipahoa River. Wray says the lake is a valuable part of the community.

 

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