The U.S. Justice Department says hate crime charges have been filed against a Louisiana man in connection with three fires that destroyed African American churches earlier this year. A news release from the department says 21-year-old Holden Matthews faces three counts of “intentional damage to religious property,” which are hate crime charges. He’s also charged with three counts of “using fire to commit a felony.” Three historic African American churches were burned over A 10 day period, beginning in late March, in and around the city of Opelousas.
RESIDENTS AT AN APARTMENT COMPLEX IN LAKE CHARLES WERE SURPRISED TO RECEIVE A LETTER TELLING THEM THEY MUST HAVE RENTER’S INSURANCE. THE LE CHATEAU APARTMENT COMPLEX MANAGEMENT TOLD THE RENTERS IN THE LETTER THAT THEY MUST MAINTAIN ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS IN LIABILITY INSURANCE AND LE CHATEAU MUST BE NAMED AS THE ADDITIONAL INTEREST ON THE POLICY. THE MANAGEMENT ACKNOWLEDGED CONCERNS FROM RENTERS ABOUT AREAS OF DETERIORATION. THEY TELL KPLC TV THAT A CONTRACTOR IS AWAITING PERMITS TO FIX FORTY DIFFERENT STAIRCASES THROUGHOUT THE FACILITY.
A TRAFFIC STOP IN LAFAYETTE AT AROUND ONE TUESDAY MORNING LED TO A MAJOR DRUG BUST. LAFAYETTE POLICE MADE THE TRAFFIC STOP ON I-TEN AT THE INTERSTATE 49 EXIT AND FOUND 24 PINTS OF PROMETHAZINE CODEINE COUGH SYRUP IN THE VEHICLE, VALUED AT OVER 113 THOUSAND DOLLARS. THE THREE MEN IN THE VEHICLE – 26-YEAR-OLD DENTRELL RANKINS OF NEW IBERIA, 27-YEAR-OLD MARCUS ALEXIS OF JEANERETTE, AND 27-YEAR-OLD DASHAWN WHITE OF NEW IBERIA – HAVE ALL BEEN CHARGED WITH A COUNT OF MANUFACTURING AND DISTRIBUTING A SCHEDULE FIVE NARCOTIC. RANKINS WAS ALSO CHARGED WITH RESISTING AN OFFICER FOR ATTEMPTING TO FLEE THE SCENE.
Louisiana’s Medicaid program will spend about $400 million less than expected in the near-ended budget year. That’s largely because tens of thousands of people were booted from Medicaid rolls amid bolstered eligibility checks. The latest Medicaid forecast for the budget year that ends June 30 showed the program was expected to spend about $12 billion on health services this year, rather than $12.4 billion. Cindy Rives, chief financial officer for the state health department, says the less-than-expected spending doesn’t translate to a large savings for the state. Nearly all the money is federal financing that simply won’t be received.
Authorities have confirmed the deaths of two people in a small plane crash on a river levee in Louisiana. St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz tells news outlets the single-engine plane crashed Wednesday beside the Atchafalaya River.
Killed were the pilot, 49-year-old Kirk Bellard, and a passenger, 38-year-old Marcus D. Guidry, both of Breaux Bridge, according to the sheriff. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the plane went down shortly after midday under unknown circumstances.
A TWENTY FIVE YEAR PLAN TO IMPROVE ROADS IN CALCASIEU PARISH HAS BEEN RELEASED BY THE IMPERIAL CALCASIEU REGIONAL PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION. IT TOOK 18 MONTHS TO PUT TOGETHER AND INCLUDES 208 CONSTRUCTION PLANS. WALTER COUNCIL, WHO TOOK PART IN MAKING OF THE PLAN, SAYS SOME OF THE PROJECTS HAVE DEDICATED LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDING, WHILE OTHERS WOULD REQUIRE NEW SOURCES OF MONEY IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THEM WITHIN TWENTY FIVE YEARS. THE GOAL IS TO FIX ROADS WITH A HIGH VOLUME OF ACCIDENTS AND MAKE THEM SAFE FOR DRIVERS.
AN IOTA WOMAN DIED YESTERDAY MORNING AT THE AGE OF 107. CECILIA MILLER YOUNG WAS A LIFELONG IOTA RESIDENT WHO WORKED IN THE IOTA HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA FOR 26 YEARS. LAST YEAR SHE WAS HONORED WITH A ROYAL HORSE AND BUGGY RIDE AT THE RICE FESTIVAL PARADE IN CROWLEY. A MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL WILL BE HELD FRIDAY MORNING AT ELEVEN AT ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC CHURCH.
THE GOVERNOR IS EXPECTED TO SIGN LEGISLATION EXTENDING THE DEADLINE FOR A STATE COMMISSION TO BEGIN LEVYING SALES TAXES ONLINE FROM OUT OF STATE RETAILERS. THE DELAY IS DUE TO THE PROCESS OF PUTTING TOGETHER THE SOFTWARE AND GATHERING THE EXACT TAX RATES AND EXEMPTIONS FROM LOCAL JURISDICTIONS. THE DEADLINE WOULD BE MOVED BACK A YEAR TO JULY FIRST OF NEXT YEAR. LUKE MORRIS WITH THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SAYS THEY WON’T NEED A YEAR BECAUSE IT WILL PROBABLY BE READY WITHIN A FEW MONTHS.