Louisiana News

Stories and interviews from across the state.

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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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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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