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Sunday, September 22, 2019

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News in Brief- June 16, 2019

News in Brief- June 16, 2019

Deputies: Alligator bit off piece of patrol car in Louisiana

MOORINGSPORT, La. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies in Louisiana say an alligator took a bite out of one of their patrol cars.

WBRZ-TV reports deputies were called Monday to Louisiana Highway 1 in Caddo Parish after someone spotted the gator in the middle of the road.

The sheriff's office says deputies were waiting for wildlife removal experts to arrive when the alligator chomped off a piece of the front bumper. Deputies estimate the alligator was 8 feet long.

A photo from the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office Facebook page shows the reptile in grass next to what appears to be the black rectangular grill of the car.

Authorities say the gator escaped before the wildlife removal experts arrived.

Information from: WBRZ-TV,


Federal hate crime charges filed in black church fires

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The son of a Louisiana sheriff's deputy is facing federal hate crime charges in connection with three fires that destroyed African American churches earlier this year.

Holden Matthews, 21, was charged in a six-count federal indictment that was unsealed Wednesday.

The indictment charges Matthews with three counts of "intentional damage to religious property," which the Department of Justice said is a hate crime under the U.S. Church Arson Prevention Act. He's also charged with three counts of "using fire to commit a felony."

Matthews is white and the churches served black congregations. The indictment, however, does not mention race. It says the fires were set "because of the religious character" of the properties.

The indictment is dated June 6 and was handed up by a grand jury in Lafayette.


Good news for auto policyholders in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. - Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced another rate decrease for private passenger auto policies in Louisiana. Progressive Security Insurance Company submitted a rate filing for a decrease of -2.2% on new and renewal business. The decreases will take effect in late summer.

“This rate decrease by the second-largest auto insurer in the state is a sign of continued benefits brought about by competition and hopefully more good news to come,” said Commissioner Donelon. “In my opinion, Progressive’s action is an appropriate response to State Farm’s recent efforts to reclaim auto policies they have lost and a sign of competition working for consumers.”

Over the last year, Commissioner Donelon granted State Farm approval for three rate decreases for coverage on private passenger vehicles. The total impact of the rate changes taken together is a decrease of -7.7 percent. State Farm is the largest auto insurer in the state with 1,000,000 policies but has lost about 100,000 policies over the last 2 years.

More than 175,000 Progressive policyholders in Louisiana will see a decrease of -2.2 percent which will take effect in September for renewed policies.