12:30 Newscast, March 29th, 2016

Starting on April 1st, smokers will pay a $1.08 tax on a pack of cigarettes. A new tax brings the cost of a pack up 22 cents. Bill Bailey is the owner of Smoker’s Paradise in Pineville and he says smokers already get taxed an unfair amount. He says legislators continue to target the tobacco users because they are the minority…:
CUT 3 (10) “for money”
It’s expected the 22 cent increase will generate 11 million dollars between April 1st and June 30th.

The US Coast Guard says its investigating the cause of an oil spill from a tank into Bayou Teche in St. Mary Parish early this morning. Some residents were told not to leave their homes following the spill, but the order was lifted hours later. It is not clear at this time how much oil was spilled, but rescue crews deployed more than 200 yards of boom to contain the slick in the water.

The sale of CLECO was approved following a special meeting of the Public Service Commission on Monday. This clears the way for the Pineville based utility company to head into the private hands of a foreign investment group. As part of the nearly five billion dollar deal, CLECO spokeswoman Robbyn Cooper says 287-thousand Louisiana customers will receive a credit of about $500 on their bills:
CUT 10 (12) “the money”
PSC Chairman Clyde Holloway was the single nay vote and he says the sale is not in the best interest of customers.

Gas prices jumped another penny from the day before. The current statewide average price at the pump is $1.87, up more than 7 cents from the same time last week, according to AAA.