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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

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News in Brief- August 11, 2019

News in Brief- August 11, 2019

Chaos at Louisiana Walmart after 2 men argue, pull guns

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Two men arguing at a Walmart customer service counter pulled guns on each other, setting off a stampede of panicked customers, some of whom thought there had been a shooting.

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux says a preliminary investigation did not find any evidence of a shooting Tuesday at a Walmart store in Baton Rouge, though authorities are still investigating.

The incident occurred three days after a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, leaving 22 people dead and dozens injured.

Customers running out of the Louisiana store told deputies they had heard "popping" sounds which they thought were gunshots. Gautreaux says surveillance video showed two men pulling guns during an argument. One was detained. Police and deputies were looking for the other.


Louisiana Medicaid suspends removal of thousands of patients

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's health department has temporarily suspended a feature of its new eligibility system that automatically kicked people off the Medicaid rolls if they did not respond to requests for annual renewal information.

The move will keep 75,000 people from losing coverage immediately.

Medicaid Director Jen Steele confirmed Tuesday the agency is suspending the auto-closure feature amid a higher-than-usual call volume for staffers processing Medicaid enrollee information.

Before the suspension, enrollees had 30 days to respond to requests for annual renewal information before they automatically lost coverage.

The Advocate reports that Steele says the auto-closure feature is suspended only for people whose annual renewal took place in July and August.

The department says the change won't impact removals tied to quarterly wage reviews of Medicaid recipients.

Information from: The Advocate,


Federal grand jury indicts 22 in prison drug smuggling bust

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A federal grand jury has charged more than 20 people, including inmates and former guards, with smuggling drugs into the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.

Documents unsealed Tuesday show five former guards and several inmates were among the 22 people indicted on conspiracy and drug trafficking charges following a federal and state investigation.

The investigation aimed to stop marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines from being brought into the prison through the mail and by prison staff.

The Advocate reports authorities described the operation as "large-scale," and court documents listed four people arrested in California who're accused of shipping drugs to Louisiana.

U.S. Attorney Brandon J. Fremin said the seven Angola inmates who were indicted are currently serving lengthy sentences, including life.

Information from: The Advocate,


Danos Foundation calls for non-profits to apply for grant applications

GRAY, La. - The Danos Foundation announced that the deadline for non-profit organizations to apply for a grant for the upcoming year is August 31. Established in 2017, the Foundation awards grants to approved 501(c)3 or 170(b) organizations that benefit education, healthcare, environment or welfare initiatives in areas where the company does business. Awards will be announced in January 2020.

Over the past two years, the grant program has awarded $84,750 to 26 organizations throughout Louisiana, Texas and Pennsylvania. Interested non-profits should visit the foundation’s website,, to learn more about the grant application process and to submit an online application by 11:59 p.m. on August 31.


Immunization records now available online and free

BATON ROUGE, La. — With the beginning of school, the Louisiana Department of Health is reminding residents that immunization records are available online, and at no cost, without the need to contact a healthcare provider at is available for free to all state residents, and allows them to securely view, download and print official copies of their immunization records on demand. These printed records are accepted by schools, employers, state agencies and other organizations that require proof of immunization. is also useful for anyone seeking to track their or their family’s immunization boosters and yearly vaccines, like the flu shot, and is an efficient way to share vaccine information when visiting a new healthcare provider for the first time.

By using the website, residents can register for an account. This account can be personalized for each family member. Accounts are linked to the state immunization registry. Once activated, official immunizations records for the user and/or their family can be viewed, downloaded or printed.