LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - A soldier faces a federal charge in connection with an April explosion that released chlorine gas in a forest next to his Army base in Louisiana. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Lake Charles says in a Monday news release that 24-year-old Ryan Keith Taylor faces a charge of "use of a chemical weapon." Prosecutors say Taylor made a weapon and detonated it in the Kisatchie National Forest near Fort Polk in western Louisiana in April.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says a Trump judicial nominee whose inability to answer basic legal questions at his confirmation hearing made him the subject of widespread ridicule has withdrawn. Matthew Petersen became an internet sensation after he was unable to define basic legal terms during his confirmation hearing last week. GOP Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana says Trump told him he had not personally interviewed Petersen, whom Trump had nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. John Bel Edwards has outlined his tax proposals for closing a $1 billion budget gap. The Democratic governor released a list of recommendations Monday that will form the basis of negotiations with House Republicans who have previously blocked many of his tax ideas. The recommendations include continuing to charge businesses higher sales taxes for utilities; increasing individual income taxes for those who itemize; and changing the brackets for calculating individual income tax.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - One owner of artillery propellant that exploded in Louisiana in 2012 has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and false statements. Federal prosecutors agreed to drop 27 other counts against Explo Systems co-owner David Smith of Winchester, Kentucky, as part of a plea agreement filed Thursday in federal court in Shreveport. Co-owner David Perry Fincher of Burns, Tennessee, and four executives from north Louisiana remain scheduled for trial April 26.
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