12:30 Newscast August 1, 2014

Another one of the state’s 551 laws that go into effect today would grant an immediate divorce in domestic violence situations. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell says before today, even if you had tons of evidence that you were a victim of domestic violence, you’d still have to wait 6 months to a year before you get a divorce. Morrell says now if someone has reasonable proof that they’ve been abused and can show that in court, they will be able to divorce the abuser right away…

cut 10 (13) “at that time”

Morrell says also beginning today, abusers under a protective order are prohibited from possessing a firearm and those convicted of domestic abuse are banned from possessing a firearm for 10 years.

Another law going into effect today bans anyone under the age of 18 from using tanning facility equipment. The previous law allowed teens, aged 14 to 18, to use tanning facilities with the permission of a parent or guardian.

There are two incidents involving trains in the state today. In Monroe, a train collided with a car that failed to yield to the train. The driver of the car was taken to a local hospital with moderate injuries. And seven train cars derailed on South Choctaw Drive in Baton Rouge causing heavy traffic delays. Officials say there were no chemical spills associated with the derailment.

On the same day that smoking is banned from public colleges and universities, motorists could face a much stiffer penalty if they throw a cigarette butt from a car window. The new law increases fines for the intentional disposal of a cigarette from a motor vehicle. Marrerro Representative Patrick Connick says littering has to stop…

cut 6 (08) “on the street”

The new law increases first offense fines from $250 to $300, plus community service. Connick says he was inspired to write this legislation after participating in “clean up days” in his district.