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Louisiana Groups Push for State Supreme Court to Review Formosa Plastics’ Air Permits Case

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Louisiana Groups Push for State Supreme Court to Review Formosa Plastics’ Air Permits Case


Today, community and environmental groups filed an application asking the Louisiana Supreme Court to grant review and overturn legal errors in an appeals court decision that upheld the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s decision to issue air permits for Formosa Plastics’ massive petrochemical complex in St. James Parish. The appeals court decision reversed a sweeping ruling against LDEQ that vacated Formosa Plastics’ permits by a state trial court in 2022.

RISE St. James, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Healthy Gulf, No Waste Louisiana, Center for Biological Diversity, Earthworks, and the Sierra Club continue the fight to vacate the air permits that would allow Formosa Plastics to build the largest petrochemical complex of its kind in the country, emitting more than 800 tons per year of toxic air pollution — including known human carcinogens such as ethylene oxide, and releasing more carbon dioxide in the air than three coal-burning power plants.

“The community of St. James will not be a sacrifice zone for Formosa Plastics,” said Sharon Lavigne, founder of RISE St. James. “If built, Formosa Plastics giant chemical complex would triple the already high levels of toxic pollution that is already in our air from existing chemical plants. We have a right to clean and healthy air and we will not stop fighting for it. We hope the Louisiana Supreme Court will hear our case.”

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“From the first moment Formosa plastics was announced, it was clear that this project was a terrible idea — bad for St. James Parish and a catastrophe for Louisiana,” said Anne Rolfes, Director of Louisiana Bucket Brigade. “We are committed for the long term to protecting our state from the pollution, the injustice, and the illness that Formosa Plastics would bring. Formosa is not even allowed to be built in its home country of Taiwan. If it’s illegal to build there, it should be not be allowed in Louisiana.”

“Louisiana has a track record of permitting highly toxic facilities without considering the communities who were there first. That’s why we have a ‘Cancer Alley,’” said Julie Teel Simmonds, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We’ll do everything possible to stop this dangerous project.”



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Louisiana Tech, De’Coldest Crawford to visit Bossier City Tuesday for a practice

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Louisiana Tech, De’Coldest Crawford to visit Bossier City Tuesday for a practice


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Louisiana Tech football fans will get an early look at a guy who could be the school’s next great receiver on Tuesday when the Bulldogs visit Bossier City’s Freedom Fields for a workout before Saturday’s spring game.

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Former Green Oaks wide receiver De’Coldest Crawford, who signed with Nebraska in 2021 after decommitting from LSU, is slated to be on hand for Tech’s Red River Run Through, which opens for fans at 5:30 p.m. next to First Bossier Church.

Crawford, a former 3-star recruit and Shreveport Times All-City player, caught 50 passes for 813 yards as a junior at Green Oaks, and had 30 catches for about 200 yards as a senior with a freshman quarterback. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Crawford was injured in the 2022 Husker fall camp and was redshirted his only season with the Cornhuskers.

Huntington’s Zyion Claville and Kendrick Rucker, Airline’s Daxton Chavez, Benton’s Logan Smith, Loyola’s Ean Burch and Northwood’s Ja’Marrion Kennedy are additional Shreveport-Bossier athletes expected to participate.

PORTAL ENTRY: Nebraska’s De’Coldest Crawford enters transfer portal

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NEBRASKA SIGNEE: Green Oaks receiver De’Coldest Crawford, a former LSU commit, signs with Nebraska

While attendance and parking are free for the fan-friendly event, food trucks will be on hand selling food. There will be tailgate games and the Bulldogs will arrive at 6 p.m. with their practice session to begin by 6:30 and end at 8 p.m.

Following the practice, there will be an autograph signing session with the players.

“Our staff and football team are excited about returning to the Shreveport-Bossier area for our annual spring practice,” Tech coach Sonny Cumbie said in a release. “Last year’s practice was a huge success, and this year will be no different with the support of all of our alumni, fans and lettermen in the Shreveport-Bossier area.”

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Tech’s spring game is slated for 11 a.m. Saturday inside Joe Aillet Stadium.

The Bulldogs are seeking improvement from last season’s 3-9 record, which included six consecutive losses to end the campaign. Tech will have six home games this fall including bouts with FCS Nicholls State and Tulsa.

Jimmy Watson covers Louisiana sports for the USA TODAY Network. Email him at jwatson@shreveporttimes.com and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.

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Letters: Bills on insurance will shore up market in Louisiana

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Letters: Bills on insurance will shore up market in Louisiana


Homeowners insurance is a growing crisis in Louisiana. 

We know that bad weather is a part of the problem. What may be less obvious, but equally pernicious, is bad laws. In far too many cases, Louisiana has unusual or unique insurance laws that fail to protect our citizens, and have the opposite effect of driving up costs.

The good news is a range of proposed legislation is advancing this session that can bring Louisiana closer to the national norm, creating a more competitive, lower-cost insurance market, while still guarding our residents from bad actors.

One set of bills is Senate Bill 370 and House Bill 611, which would eliminate the “three-year” rule for new policies. The current law prohibits insurance companies from dropping clients after three years. While this seems like good consumer protection on its face, the fact that Louisiana is the only state in America with the rule strongly suggests that it is a bad idea, as existing insurance companies game it (e.g., increasing premiums) and new insurance companies are hesitant to enter the market.

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Furthermore, Louisiana’s “bad faith” statute currently lacks clarity for policyholders and insurers, resulting in unnecessary litigation, which ultimately increases costs for everyone. Senate Bill 323 and House Bill 678 would define rights, duties and timelines to ensure swift resolution of claims processes. At the same time, penalties for bad faith would be cut from 200% to 50%, reducing motivation for legal abuse.

Finally, House Bill 120, which extends the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program, would help us help ourselves. The program provides grants of up to $10,000 for homeowners to strengthen their roofs to withstand hurricane winds, providing more safety and lower insurance premiums.

We can only hope for good weather. But this session, we can support better laws that will maintain consumer protection, while increasing competition and lowering costs.

CHRIS KANE

chairman, Greater New Orleans, Inc.

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UTEP Softball Splits Sunday's Doubleheader Against Louisiana Tech  – KVIA

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UTEP Softball Splits Sunday's Doubleheader Against Louisiana Tech  – KVIA


RUSTON, Louisiana (KVIA) — In a thrilling doubleheader clash against Louisiana Tech on Sunday, the UTEP softball team demonstrated their mettle, ultimately splitting the games in a display of both triumph and challenge. The day kicked off with a resounding 4-0 shutout victory, marking the program’s first Conference USA road series win since 2016 and their first back-to-back shutouts since 2010. However, the momentum shifted in the second game as UTEP faced a determined Louisiana Tech squad, ultimately falling short with a final score of 4-2 at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.

UTEP now holds a 23-25 (9-9 CUSA) record, while LA Tech improves to 27-16 (10-8 CUSA). 

Game 1: UTEP 4, LA Tech 0
UTEP wasted no time in the top of the first inning, as Lexi Morales kicked off the momentum with a well-earned leadoff walk. Halle Hogan then ignited the offense with a powerful double to right center, paving the way for Crouwel to deliver a clutch single up the middle. A costly throwing error by the LA Tech center fielder allowed Crouwel to advance and secure two RBIs, bringing both Hogan and Morales across the plate, 2-0.  

In the top of the second, Ashlynn Allen had a leadoff double to left center. Faith Aragon, in her debut at-bat of the season, capitalized on an error by the LA Tech second baseman to reach base. A strategic play by Morales grounded out but still earned an RBI, allowing Allen to add another run for UTEP, 3-0.  

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The relentless pressure continued in the top of the fourth, with Allen once again sparking the offense. Allen reached second on an error by the LA Tech shortstop and a sacrifice bunt by Bri Garcia that set the stage for Morales to deliver once more, this time with a sharp single to left center, securing another RBI and extending UTEP’s lead, 4-0.  

Faith Aragon tabbed her 11th win in the circle, posted five strikeouts and only allowed two hits. 

Game 2: LA Tech 4, UTEP 2 
After three tense and scoreless innings, Crouwel ignited UTEP’s offense in the fourth with a sharp single through the right side. The momentum surged as Allen and Garcia delivered back-to-back RBI hits, propelling UTEP to a 2-0 lead. However, Louisiana Tech swiftly countered in the bottom of the fifth, as Neel’s double to left center ignited a rally. A crucial throwing error allowed Cooper and Easom to score, knotting the game at 2-2. The Bulldogs capitalized on their momentum in the bottom of the sixth, doubling their lead as Easom’s single through the left side brought Raley and Hammoude across the plate, putting Louisiana Tech ahead. Tech held off the Miners in the seventh to secure the 4-2 win. 

Notables 

  • UTEP secured its first Conference USA road series win since 2016. 
  • The team showcased their defensive dominance by achieving their first back-to-back shutouts since 2010. 
  • Over the weekend series against LA Tech, UTEP dominated offensively, outhitting the Bulldogs 26-9 and boasting an impressive batting average of .317 compared to LA Tech’s .136. 

ON DECK
The Miners will host Liberty in their final home series at Helen of Troy Field from April 26th to 28th, during which they will commemorate Senior Weekend by honoring four seniors on Saturday and another four on Sunday.

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