Louisiana

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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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An illegal immigrant from Columbia pleaded guilty to using a stolen birth certificate and Social Security card to obtain identification cards in Monroe.

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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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U.S. Senator John Kennedy is asking the state legislature to hold off on voting a bill that extends Harrah’s New Orleans Casino’s contract with the state for 30 years. Kennedy says media reports that Harrah’s is considering selling the property so the state could unwittingly increase Harrah’s selling price by extending the contract.

 

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Legislation to give voters an opportunity in November to decide if fantasy sports gambling should be legal in their parish is one step away from final passage. A Senate committee approved River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot’s proposal.

 

Talbot says, "If you're in the parish that legalizes sports betting, you can log on with your phone and make a draft or decide which teams or players to play. If you're in a parish where they voted it out, you're not going to be able to log onto the site."

 

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