18:30 LRN Newscast March 29, 2016

The tax on a pack of cigarettes will go up to $1.08 on April 1. The cigarette tax went up 50 cents last year. Bill Bailey, owner of Smoker’s Paradise in Pineville, says he hasn’t seen a dramatic decrease in customers since the increase, but it gradually goes down. He says there is a huge trend of cigarette smokers switching to small cigars…

CUT 4 (09)  “the shelf”

The Department of Transportation says roadways have suffered nearly 20 million dollars’ worth of damage due to the recent flooding. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says it will take a lot of time and effort to fix and maintain the damaged roads. He says they’re currently working to assess the damage and find out how many miles of roadway need to be repaired.

cut 14 (10)  “an inspection”

Wilson says the state already has nearly a 13-billion dollar backlog on road repairs before the massive flooding created more damage.

The Public Service Commission has approved the sale of the Pineville-based utility company Cleco to Macquarie Infrastructure for $4.9 billion. The deal passed with a 4-1 vote by the PSC. Cleco spokesperson Robbyn Cooper says this sale will have great benefits for Cleco’s ratepayers.

CUT 9 (12) “two years”

CEO for the Alliance for Affordable Energy Casey DeMoss says they are concerned about the long-term future of the utility company

A 60-year-old man from northeast Texas was tragically killed after he was accidentally run over by a dragster driven by his own brother at the Thunder Road Raceway in Gillam. Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick says the two were part of a racing crew that was conducting test runs at the park…:

CUT 6 (08) “of his injuries”