News for Wednesday 041818
By Dave Graichen
A mess at the Pitt on Mac Arthur Drive last night as a car plowed into the front of the restaurant. Witnesses say the driver of the car struck another vehicle before hitting the restaurant. The driver then fled the scene of the crash but was captured a short time later by the APD.
The IRS is giving all taxpayers an extra day to file after its website went down on deadline day. The agency announced that individuals and businesses with a filing or payment that was due Tuesday now have until midnight Wednesday. It said no additional paperwork is needed to get the extension. The agency’s website for making payments and gaining access to other key services crashed amid the filing flood. The website appeared to be back to normal late Tuesday.
Efforts to change the state’s gun laws died in the House Criminal Justice Committee. A proposal to ban bump stocks, which was used by the Las Vegas gunman, was shot down by the panel. A measure to enact a 10-day waiting period before purchasing a gun was also voted down and so was a measure to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
The leaders at LSU’s medical schools urged legislators on the Senate Finance committee not to pass a proposed budget they say would devastate healthcare in Louisiana. LSU Health New Orleans Chancellor Larry Hollier says a budget moving to the House Floor would result in a mass exodus of medical professionals and would cut funding for the five statewide residency programs by 43 percent. Hollier pleaded with legislators to go into a special session, so they can pass tax bills to fund a more responsible budget.
A Senate committee approves legislation that would prohibit abortions in Louisiana after 15 weeks from conception, but there are concerns the legislation could bring upon unintended consequences. Kaplan Senator Jonathan Perry urged the bill’s author to work on the language of the bill with an attorney, before bringing it up to the Senate floor. During discussion, an attorney said if “Roe versus Wade” is overturned, this legislation could actually weaken Louisiana’s pro-life laws.
Legislators expressed concern Tuesday with a potentially unfair application process the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy is conducting to determine which locations throughout the state are granted permits to distribute medical marijuana. The Pharmacy Board already has held hearings and was busy Tuesday awarding the first five regional licenses Tuesday for Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, Houma and Lake Charles. Licensing continues today for Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria and the north shore. The Governor-approved group is composed of 16 people from eight districts, and one public member.
It doesn’t look like sports betting will be legal in Louisiana anytime soon. A measure that would have allowed voters in parishes with riverboat and land-based casinos to decide whether sports bets should legally be taken in their parish, was rejected on a six-to-three vote in Senate Finance. Opponents are concerned about expanding gambling.
A bill allowing judges to inform juries about whether or not a victim in a car crash was wearing a seat belt died in a Senate Committee. The bill was promoted as potentially leading to smaller settlements in some cases, which would drive insurance rates down.
But the bill received opposition from Bossier City Senator Ryan Gatti, who says the bill punishes victims with lower settlements in crashes that weren’t their fault. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, who supported the bill, could not guarantee that insurance rates would go down as a result of the bill.
A bill to ban drivers from using their phone with their hands while on the road failed to pass the House floor after an, at times, contentious debate. The legislation by Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval was inspired by the traffic deaths of a constituent’s child. Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey says the bill was unnecessary nanny state legislation.
The National Weather Service confirmed 20 tornadoes touched down in Louisiana between Friday and Saturday. The severe weather hit 13 parishes, and generated an EF-1 Tornado that was responsible for the death of a Bossier Parish infant.
The campaign for St. Landry Parish Congressman Clay Higgins reports the freshman U-S Representative has raised 218-thousand dollars in campaign finance dollars during the first quarter of the year and has 211-thousand dollars on hand. UL Lafayette Political Science Professor Pearson Cross says Higgins will need to raise a lot more. Republican attorney Josh Guillory and Democrat Phillip Conner, a physician from Lake Charles, are two candidates raising money to challenge Higgins this fall.
Tonight, it’s LSU Baseball as the Tigers travel to Tulane . Tonight’s game begins a stretch of seven of the next eight games on the road. You can hear the game tonight starting at 7p KSYL 970am / 100.3 HD3fm
The New Orleans Pelicans are now up two games to nothing in the NBA playoffs.. They beat the Portland Trailblazers last night 111 to 102 in Portland. The Pels head home to the Smoothie King Center for game three tomorrow night.
Tonight the NBA playoffs continue as the Indiana Pacers visit Cleveland Cavaliers airtime 5:30p on 94.7 ESPN