Plane crash kills 5, including LSU coach’s daughter-in-law
ATLANTA (AP) — One of the five people who died in a Louisiana plane crash was a well-known sports reporter and daughter-in-law of a Louisiana State University football coach. Steven Ensminger Jr. says his wife, Carley McCord, died in the crash in the city of Lafayette on Saturday on the way to a college football playoff game in Atlanta. Ensminger’s father is the offensive coordinator for LSU’s football team, which defeated Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl hours later. The Federal Aviation Administration says the two-engine Piper Cheyenne crashed about a mile from the regional airport where the flight began. A sixth person on the plane was hospitalized in critical condition.
Edwards reelected, black churches torched among top stories
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards heads into the new year as the nation’s only Democratic governor representing the Deep South after a bruising battle with a political newcomer backed by President Donald Trump. Other top stories in 2019 include the sale of medical marijuana, Saints fans protesting a blown call that kept the team out of the Super Bowl and a round of deliberately set fires that destroyed several churches in Louisiana’s Acadiana region. The state also struggled with a number of cyberattacks on area governments, and celebrated the opening of a new airport in New Orleans.
Louisiana stocking rainbow trout in 13 ponds statewide
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana will be stocking 1- to 2-pound rainbow trout in 13 ponds statewide during January, for kids and grownups to catch. It’s part of the Get Out and Fish! program put on by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. The department put thousands of channel catfish into the ponds during the fall. A news release says rainbow trout can be stocked only in cold weather.
Judge blocks California’s alligator ban after Louisiana sues
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked a California law banning the import and sale of alligator and crocodile products. The judge has also scheduled an April 24 hearing on Louisiana’s request for a longer-lasting order. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Friday that it’s a first step toward protecting an industry that creates jobs and contributes to coastal restoration. Online court records show that Mueller granted the request for such an order Sunday, saying both sides had agreed to it. She notes that California is not conceding anything by such agreement.
USDA OKs hemp plans for Louisiana, Ohio, New Jersey
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved industrial hemp licensing plans for Louisiana, Ohio and New Jersey. The states are the first to get such approval, though 34 other states have hemp research or pilot projects under a 2014 law. Louisiana’s Agriculture and Forestry commissioner says he’s pleased to be on track to issue licenses for the 2020 planting season. The federal government legalized hemp last year. Hemp is related to and looks like marijuana but contains only traces of THC, the chemical in marijuana that gets people high. Hemp fiber and seeds are used to produce textiles, rope, paper, cosmetics, fuel, and CBD, among other things.
CARJACKING-PREGNANT WOMAN HIT
Suspect in Louisiana carjacking of pregnant woman surrenders
CHALMETTE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana man accused of carjacking a pregnant woman, hitting her with the vehicle and driving off with her two children inside has surrendered to authorities. The children weren’t harmed. The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports 18-year-old Dedric Hurst of Chalmette turned himself in Friday to face two counts of aggravated kidnapping and carjacking. The woman told deputies she was unloading groceries from her car when he got in and started to drive away. She was struck as he drove off. She was taken to a hospital and later released. Deputies found the vehicle abandoned blocks away with the two children still inside.
7 arrested in Louisiana dog fighting bust
DONALDSONVILLE, La. (AP) — Seven people have been arrested on charges of dog fighting in south Louisiana and officials say more arrests may still be pending. Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre on Friday said deputies responded to a call regarding dog fighting at a residence in Donaldsonville on Dec. 20. Detectives rounded up 10 dogs, two of them had been fighting and were severely injured. One of the injured dogs died. News outlets report investigators also searched 10 vehicles left at the scene and seized drugs, guns, cash, dog fighting paraphernalia, and drug paraphernalia. Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 225-621-4636.
Louisiana still seeking refunds from thousands
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — More than 6,000 Louisianans still owe nearly $2 million in accidentally issued tax refunds and some residents may be getting billed by the Louisiana Department of Revenue. Around 6,230 Louisiana taxpayers have yet to return double tax refunds accidentally sent out in March. The department is still attempting to collect $1,895,749 as of Monday, Dec 23. Those 6,000 plus taxpayers are still being sent collection notices in an effort to retrieve the money. Those who owe can contact the department to return the full amount in a lump sum or set up a repayment plan.