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Weekend storms claim 4th victim in Louisiana

HAUGHTON, La. (AP) — The severe weekend weather that swept through Louisiana has claimed another life. News outlets report that the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office confirms 87-year-old Ira Jefferson died Tuesday at Ochsner LSU Health from head injuries suffered early Saturday when a tornado struck his home in Haughton. Jefferson lived on the same road where 79-year-old Jerry W. Franks and 65-year-old Mary Sue Franks were found dead in the rubble of their home after the storm. In neighboring Caddo Parish, 75-year-old Raymond Holden was killed when a large tree fell into his home in Oil City as strong, gusty winds pushed through ahead of the storms.


U of Louisiana at Monroe president to retire in June

MONROE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana university president says he will retire June 15. Nick Bruno has been president of the University of Louisiana at Monroe since November 2010. University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson says the system will soon begin looking for the school's next president, but now is the time to celebrate Bruno's career.


Police: Louisiana man shot at neighbor over loud music

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Authorities in Louisiana say a man was arrested and accused of firing a gun at his neighbor who refused to turn down loud music. News outlets report 57-year-old Byron Johnson was charged Tuesday with attempted second-degree murder, illegal use of a weapon, and felon in possession of a firearm. The victim told Baton Rouge police that Johnson confronted him regarding loud music coming from inside his home. Police say the victim refused to turn down the music and Johnson walked back to his home. Johnson returned with a handgun and shot at the victim once but missed, hitting the victim's front door. It's unclear whether Johnson has an attorney.


Trailer home fire kills girl; 2 adults, 1 boy hospitalized

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office says a trailer home fire has killed a 12-year-old girl and hospitalized her 11-year-old brother, their mother and another adult. A news release says official identification and cause of death are pending an autopsy by the Calcasieu Parish Coroner's Office. The statement says the fire was reported about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Fire officials say the boy and his mother are both in critical condition, and the man who owned the trailer home is under sedation for treatment.


Funeral set for Louisiana man who died in weekend storms

OIL CITY, La. (AP) — Family members of a Louisiana man who was killed in severe storms that swept through the state over the weekend said funeral services will be held Saturday. The Caddo Parish Coroner's Office said 75-year-old Raymond Holden died when a tree fell on his house in Oil City early Saturday. He was one of at least four people killed in Louisiana. Raymond Holden Jr. tells KSLA-TV that his father was well loved in the community. He says his parents moved to the area when he retired because of Caddo Lake and his dad loved to fish. He says his father would wave at all the neighbors while sitting on his front porch.


Louisiana residents can start filing income taxes Jan. 27

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana personal income taxpayers can start filing their 2019 state tax returns on Jan. 27. That's the same day the IRS begins accepting federal income tax filings. The state revenue department announced the filing plans Wednesday. The deadline to file Louisiana individual income tax returns and pay taxes is May 15, and extension requests are due by that date. The revenue department is again encouraging Louisiana taxpayers to file their returns online. They can also download paper tax forms from the revenue department website starting Jan. 27 or file through other tax preparation software. If someone is due a refund, the revenue department says that will take about 45 days from the filing date for electronically-submitted returns or 14 weeks for paper-filed returns.


Environmental groups challenge plastics complex permit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana's governor says permit applications for a Taiwan company's planned $9.4 billion plastics complex met all state and federal legal requirements. Conservation and community groups have sued the Trump administration, challenging the environmental permits to a Louisiana member of Formosa Plastics Group. The lawsuit accuses the Army Corps of Engineers of failing to  to disclose environmental damage and public health risks from the complex or to sufficiently consider environmental damage. It was filed Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Department of Justice says it is reviewing the lawsuit.


Loud boom linked to chemical plant in Louisiana

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A loud boom heard in Louisiana came from a chemical plant. News outlets report there was an explosion and fire Monday at the Sasol plant in Lake Charles. A spokeswoman says the fire was put out by its emergency response team. No injuries were reported. The explosion came from the facility's low-density polyethylene unit. The unit was in its final stages of commissioning and startup when the explosion happened. It has been shut down while the company investigates the cause.