08:30 Newscast August 2, 2014

A law that went into effect yesterday grants an immediate divorce in domestic violence situations. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell says previously, 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 got a divorce. He says Louisiana is one of the leaders in the nation when it comes to domestic violence situations that end in death so one of the major goals of the 2014 legislative session was to pass sweeping anti-domestic violence legislation…

cut 11 (11) “both parties”

Morrell says other new laws prohibit abusers under a protective order from possessing a firearm and convicted domestic abusers from possessing a firearm for 10 years.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals confirms six new cases of the West Nile virus this week. That brings the total number of cases in the state this year to 15. Last year, Louisiana had 34 cases reported.

Motorists now face much stiffer penalties 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. First offense fines are increased from $250 to $300, plus community service. Marrerro Representative Patrick Connick says the key to the success of this law is enforcement…

cut 8 (05) “cleaner state”

Under the new law, third and subsequent offense fines jump to $1,500 plus 80 hours of community service and suspension of your driver’s license for one year.

Colorado State University researchers continue to predict a below average 2014 Atlantic Hurricane season. CSU report Author Dr. William Gray says they are now calling for a total of 10 named storms with four becoming hurricanes and one to reach major hurricane strength. Gray says, just because a below average season is predicted, that doesn’t mean residents along the Gulf Coast shouldn’t take the usual precautions because you just never know…

cut 17 (13) “extensive damage”

Gray says they predict this year will be a lot like last year where there were 13 named storms but only 2 minor hurricanes.

In a new law that went into effect yesterday, drivers can face fines for using a hand-held cell phone in a school zone. The school district must post a sign saying use is prohibited in order for the ban to take effect.