Louisiana News

Stories and interviews from across the state.

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US Presidents pardon turkeys on Thanksgiving; Louisiana pardons a crawfish early in the crawfish season. Emile the crawfish will be allowed to live his life out peacefully thanks to Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser  who picked “Emile” to be pardoned for their “annual pardoning of the crawfish.”


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A bill to create a transparency tool called Louisiana Checkbook passed the House Appropriations committee, and may be considered on the house floor later this week. The program closely mirrors Ohiocheckbook.com, where Ohio residents are presented a detailed report about state expenses. House Speaker Taylor Barras says it’s a user friendly tool for the public.


According to Barras, the Louisiana Checkbook could be "...one of the most interactive tools for gathering the financial data of state agencies." 


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Automotive insurance rates are on the rise again, after the Louisiana Department of Insurance approved double-digit hikes last year for at least six insurance companies.  State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says there are several factors, including an increase in distracted driving.


The National Safety Council Reports that about "forty thousand people were killed" in automobile accidents. This is a six percent increase from 2015. 


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The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to vote today on a series of bills that would make changes to the state’s tax code as part of the effort to plug the billion dollar budget shortfall. Jackson Representative Kenny Havard says the current system, which provides tax breaks for businesses in certain industries, is unfair.


Harvard says that if the state doesn't give everyone tax exclusions, no tax exclusions should be given at all.


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Four parishes in northwest Louisiana, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne and Webster, are under a flash flood watch through Thursday morning.  Forecaster Brandi Hughes, with the National Weather Service in Shreveport says several inches of rain are possible.


Hughes says that storms could bring around "four to six inches" of rainfall. 


And more rain could be coming.  Hughes says the long range forecast looks wet for the next several days, which could add to already swollen creeks and rivers.


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Louisiana's transportation department is warning that drivers on Interstate 10 may face slowdowns in the already traffic-clogged capital region over the weekend.

Survey work is planned through Monday as part of an I-10 widening project intended for the Baton Rouge area.

Crews will be traveling the interstate to scan the roadway using mobile light detection technology, a surveying method that measures distance with laser lights and 3-D representations.

Teenager Accused In Stabbing Of Mom, Her Boyfriend

Feb 19, 2018
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A 19-year-old man is in custody accused of stabbing his mother and her boyfriend.

Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator says deputies responded to a call Friday night about a woman badly cut with a knife.

When authorities arrived, emergency personnel were treating 46-year-old Michelle Wright and 44-year-old Allen Meshell.

Wright was transported to University Health with critical injuries, while Meshell was treated at the scene.

Louisiana Congressman Wants Bounty Program For Asian Carp

Feb 19, 2018
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U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins wants Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to create a bounty program for Asian carp, an invasive fish species.

The Republican congressman sent a letter to department Secretary Jack Montoucet, saying a program to encourage fishermen to harvest the species would lessen ecological and economic damage in Louisiana.

Montoucet says he'd like to talk with Higgins about ongoing work to combat the species and hopes the congressman will lead efforts to secure federal dollars for the "expensive fight."

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Louisiana is taking more taxes out of workers’ paychecks. The state constitution allows for it, if the federal government lowers their tax brackets, which they did last month.  Baton Rouge area CPA Brandon LaGarde says it won’t be that drastic of a change.


The state tax wage adjustment is automatic as it is built into the Louisiana Constitution.  LaGarde says your employer has nothing to do with the change.


LaGarde says the federal tax break outweighs the state’s updated tax withholding tables, meaning you still take home more than you did last year.

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Debates are raging about school safety in the wake of the Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead. While much of the debate has centered on the weapon used, Louisiana Association of Educators President Deborah Meaux says schools need to be investing more in social work programs to help troubled students.