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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Five children heading to Disney World in a church van from Louisiana died along with two truck drivers in a fiery crash on Interstate 75 in north Florida, the Florida Highway Patrol said Friday.

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — By sidestepping the Louisiana governor's race, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy denied Republicans a popular, high-profile candidate to pit against Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards, renewing speculation about whether the GOP can rally around one main contender in 2019.

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Incumbent Chris Wilrye will once again serve as Westlake Police Chief, after defeating opponent Corporal Jason P. Ledet, an eight-year veteran of the police department, 1,069 to 400, or 73 percent to 27 percent, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s website as of press time.

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Calcasieu Parish voters on Tuesday elected Sulphur resident Stuart Moss as the new state representative for District 33, according to complete, but unofficial results from Louisiana Secretary of State.

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana has one statewide position on the ballot Tuesday, a special election to fill a secretary of state seat vacated because of a sexual harassment scandal, but the crowded primary competition has lacked the attention-grabbing nature of other states' races around the country.

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LAKE CHARLES — On Tuesday, local officials and representatives from public works departments and drainage boards heard about the cutting edge technology the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury now posesses to more accurately forecast weather events and pinpoint their effects.

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LAKE CHARLES — A ribbon cutting ceremony, held at the Chennault Industrial Airport Tuesday, marked completion of the rehabilitation of the airport’s runway, lighting, and taxiway.

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MOSS BLUFF — Louisiana’s Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser announced Wednesday that Sam Houston State Park is on track for major improvements, in large part, as a result of the state’s settlement with BP for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

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In a presentation on the City’s fire rating, Sulphur Fire Chief Dan Selph explained that individual properties can have a different fire rating than that of the city in which they are located.

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Despite tougher standards enacted by the state’s property insurance association, the Sulphur Fire Department received an even better fire rating in its last assessment, than it had previously.

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Setting a precedent in Calcasieu Parish and serving as a model for future endeavors of its kind, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the parish’s first STEM school at E.K. Key Elementary on Monday, August 20.

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Editor’s Note: This is the third of a three-part series focusing on McNeese President Dr. Daryl Burckel’s crusade to increase McNeese enrollment and improve the college experience for MSU students.

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WESTLAKE —  The mayor and financial director made their case Monday night for obtaining a line of credit, not to exceed $2 million, for the construction of a club house at The National Golf Club at the Westlake City Council meeting.

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A representative from the state’s transportation department gave a brief overview of the upcoming Interstate-210 bridge repair project, set to begin this fall.

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Editor’s Note: This is the second of a three-part series focusing on McNeese President Dr. Daryl Burckel’s crusade to increase McNeese enrollment and improve the college experience for MSU students.

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A little over a year after ascending to the position of McNeese State University President, Dr. Daryl Burckel is rolling up his sleeves and going to work with one goal in mind — make McNeese … “Your McNeese.”

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Several Entergy projects are currently underway in Southwest Louisiana, all part of what company representative Margaret Harris described as a “holistic approach” to improving reliability and supporting future growth.

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WESTLAKE — District 35 State Rep. Stephen Dwight gave the Westlake City Council a brief legislative update at their Monday night meeting.

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana's health department should be pressing harder to correct problems found by auditors who say the agency does a poor job overseeing billions in Medicaid payments and can't be sure the money was spent properly, a state Senate leader said.

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana lawmakers not only passed a tax deal to avert immediate and deep budget cuts, they backed an agreement in the latest special session that gives the state more financial certainty than it's had in years.

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — Lawmakers in the Louisiana House are having trouble bridging the same divides that left two previous special sessions this year without a tax deal, disagreeing about fractions of a penny.

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — With time growing short to reach a deal, the Louisiana House got off to a slow start Tuesday in the latest special session on taxes, with no votes on tax bills and a rehashed debate over budget issues from prior sessions.

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — The budget passed by Louisiana lawmakers in the final frantic minutes of the special session will steeply reduce spending across much of state government and college campuses next month, because they failed to pass taxes to pay for a large portion of it.

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana lawmakers failed to reach a tax deal by Monday's deadline, cratering their second special session this year without agreement and passing a budget that would force deep cuts across state government next month.

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — After a week of inaction, Louisiana House lawmakers Tuesday started advancing budget bills to chart spending on state government operations next year and account for $400 million in new taxes supported by the chamber.

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — Lawmakers in the Louisiana House on Monday voted for about $400 million in taxes for next year's budget, breaking through a logjam on taxes that cratered a special, budget-balancing session earlier this year.

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Former Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, Chuck Kleckley, talked about a hot button topic in West Calcasieu Wednesday, discussing bridges at the Wednesday meeting of the Sulphur Rotary Club.

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana's health department is notifying 37,000 elderly and disabled people, many of them in nursing homes, that the money paying for their care could dry up in July. Republicans slammed the move as fear-mongering by the state's Democratic governor amid ongoing budget an…

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana's health department is sending notices Thursday to 37,000 people who are elderly and disabled, many in nursing homes, warning the financing paying for their care could be drying up.

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana's ongoing legislative session offers a reminder that trying to predict lawmakers' behavior or votes can be a tricky endeavor.

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana senators agreed Tuesday to enact a statewide policy against sexual misconduct in government, moving the proposal one step from final passage on the same day Secretary of State Tom Schedler announced his resignation amid allegations he sexually harassed an employee.

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BATON ROUGE (AP) — The Louisiana House agreed Monday to $300 million in spending plans for unbudgeted cash remaining from the state's last two budget years, earmarking much of the money to lessen state debts and finance construction work.