Louisiana News

Stories and interviews from across the state.

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Louisiana now meets the highest standard of air quality according to EPA standards. Governor John Bel Edwards says the success is the result of notable increases in air quality in the Baton Rouge area parishes. DEQ Environmental Scientist Vivian Aucoin says its great news for quality of life in the Bayou State.

 

Ozone is formed in the atmosphere when nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds interact with sunlight, and can be exacerbated from human activity. Aucoin says this makes ozone control a tough task.

 

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Students who had the GPA, but were a few points shy of qualifying for TOPS in high school could get another shot at the scholarship under a bill that is almost to the governor’s desk. The legislation would allow students who scored 17, 18, or 19 on the ACT, but have a 3.2 GPA after two years in college to collect TOPS for their last two years. New Orleans Senator Wesley Bishop is the bill's sponsors.

 

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The State Fire Marshal’s office believes a cell phone is responsible for a fire that injured a one-year-old child in Jeanerette. Spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says a 14-year-old resident told detectives he was sleeping in a room with his little sister, when he awoke to use the bathroom, he smelled smoke and saw the mattress on fire.

 

The toddler suffered second-degree burns to her head, arms and legs. She was taken to Galveston, Texas hospital for treatment. Rodrigue says electronic devices should always be properly ventilated when they are being charged.

 

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The state legislature is interested in setting up a task force to study daylight saving time versus standard time. Covington Representative Mark Wright says he gets asked about moving the clocks back an hour every fall all the time.

 

Florida recently passed legislation to stay on Daylight Saving Time year round, but Congress has yet to agree with Florida’s Sunshine Protection Act. Wright says studies have shown turning the clock back an hour creates problems.

 

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A bill barring drivers from touching their cellphones while on the road narrowly escaped the House and is on its way to the Senate. The anti-distracted driving legislation was inspired by the uptick in distracted driving road deaths in recent years. Bill sponsor Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval says the legislation is about protecting the next generation of drivers.

 

Huval says, "They have gentlemen and ladies here that have children that will be driving soon that will be concerned about distracted drivers."

 

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State Police charge a Hammond man with vehicular negligent homicide as result of a crash on I-12 near Covington that killed a one-month old child. Senior Trooper Dustin Dwight says 62-year-old Erroll Nugent missed his exit to Highway 190 and instead of turning around at the next exit, he tried a U-Turn through the grassy median.

 

Dwight says, "When he attempted to reenter I-12, he pulled directly in the path of an 18-wheeler which struck the rear of his vehicle."

 

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New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is set to end his second term Monday after 8 years in charge of the Crescent City. Landrieu guided the city through a tumultuous post Katrina recovery period, but political analyst Clancy DuBos says nationally he’ll be most remembered for his part in the removal of the confederate monuments to Robert E Lee, Jefferson Davis, and PT Beauregard.

 

Dubos says, "The monuments issue was something that I think years from now will be a positive thing, and history will judge him very favorably for that."

 

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The “Adoption Option” bill that would require abortion clinics to provide information about the adoption process to women seeking abortions is nearing final passage. The legislation would also mandate the creation of a state website with information about adoption. Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Ben Clapper says he hopes it will result in fewer abortions.

 

Clapper says, "We want women to encourage giving their children the gift of life and also choosing adoption which not only helps the babies, but it helps the mothers as well."

 

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A Dallas man was sentenced to ten years in prison last week for possessing drugs in a vehicle that was stopped in Caddo Parish.

Xavier Martin Guerra, 34, was sentenced Thursday on one count of of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. He was also sentenced to five years of supervised release. According to the Jan. 18 guilty plea, a Caddo Parish Sheriff’s deputy pulled over a vehicle Guerra was riding in on his way from Dallas Texas. Guerra was found to have an active warrant in Panola County, Texas, for forgery and was arrested.

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A House backed bill that would remove the requirement that florists be licensed was shot down in a Senate committee six to one. The bill was part of the governor’s licensing reform legislative agenda. Annie Taylor, a licensed florist in Scott, says floral work is more dangerous than you might think.

 

Floral wholesaler Audrey Lemoine says removing license requirements would flood the marketplace with cut rate work from retailers.

 

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