Louisiana News

Stories and interviews from across the state.

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A House-approved resolution to create a panel to find a solution to Baton Rouge’s horrible traffic problems flew through a Senate committee. The Capital City is plagued with rush hour gridlock, and Baton Rouge Representative Steve Carter says the sponsor of the measure was inspired to bring forth the legislation after one too many bumper to bumper trips through BR.

 

Carter says the city is already looking into innovative options to curb excessive traffic, such as a compressed work schedule.

 

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The largest international music fest in the United States begins tomorrow in Lafayette as Festival International de Louisiane starts a five-day fun that features music from over 20 countries. Marketing director Carly Viator says its free to attend.

 

Viator says to make things easier on fairgoers this year, they will issue electronic bracelets instead of selling tickets to buy drinks and merchandise. She says you can also link your bank card to your wristband.

 

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The regular legislative session is at the halfway point, with issues like TOPS reform, gun control, and gambling expansion mostly dead, while new sexual harassment policies, tougher hazing laws, and medical marijuana expansion have received broad support. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says the session has been bogged down by one issue.

 

 

The yearly attempt at altering TOPS hit a brick wall on the house floor, and Pinsonat says at this point legislators should just give up trying to change the universally popular program.

 

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The House-approved Max Gruver Act is sailing through the legislative process, passing out of a Senate Judiciary Committee without objection this morning. It calls for tougher penalties for those convicted of hazing. Police say Gruver died after an alcohol induced hazing incident last September at LSU. Lafayette Representative Nancy Landry authors the bill.

 

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore testified in favor of the legislation which makes it a felony to commit hazing.

 

Senate Passes 15 Week Abortion Ban

Apr 25, 2018
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A 15 week abortion ban passes the Senate on a 31-3 vote. The bill mirrors a Mississippi law recently passed that has been halted by a federal judge. Shreveport Senator and Democrat John Milkovich says he’s well aware his potential law will lead to an expensive court battle, but it’s a price he’s willing to pay.

 

Milkovich says, "If we can save babies, I think it's worth it."

 

Milkovich says 15 week old fetuses show clear signs of life.

 

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A teachers strike in Kentucky that led to increased funding for schools and higher pay is inspiring educator walkouts and work stoppages across the south. Louisiana Federation of Teachers is now polling its members to see what actions they would favor to address quality of life for teachers and students. LFT spokesperson Les Landon says it’s not just about winning a bigger paycheck.

 

Landon says, "Around the country, teachers are worried about their salaries not keeping up, but also that schools aren't being supported in the way they need to be."

 

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The switch to make Louisiana juries come to unanimous decisions will face a tough test in the House Criminal Justice committee today. Currently only 10 out of twelve jurors have to agree if someone is guilty of a crime. A proposed constitutional amendment seeks to make all felony convictions unanimous. Christie Smith is the legislative liaison for the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

 

Smith says, "This bill seeks to install the same system that works in 49 other states and all federal courts including those in Louisiana."

 

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The Senate passed a bill 22-14 that would allow riverboat casinos to expand their operations on land. Louisiana is the only state that requires floating gambling halls to keep all gaming operations on water. Franklin Senator Bret Allain says he can’t support the legislation, because it is an expansion of gaming.

 

But Metairie Senator Danny Martiny says the bill allows the riverboats to invest more into their properties, which will bring more tax dollars to the state.

 

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The New Orleans police chief says a man shot and injured five people, including an officer.

Police Superintendent Michael Harrison tells news outlets 25-year-old Charles Williams' "crime spree" Sunday stemmed from a domestic dispute.

Police say one person was shot in the face and had been in surgery and three others shot were hospitalized in stable condition. The spree began when the three were shot at a home connected to the dispute.

Men Accused Of Slitting Dog's Throat Plead Guilty

Apr 23, 2018
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The Arkansas men accused of slitting a dog's throat in Morehouse Parish back have pleaded guilty to the charges last Thursday.

 

In August of 2016, Steven Sadler and Boots Stanley was accused of slitting a pit bull's throat and streaming the video on the social media app, Snapchat. The duo faced up to a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $25,000 for the charge of animal cruelty.

 

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