Roundup: I-10 roadwork / Alligator ban / Poverty study 

    Finish line nears: The widening work on Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and Ascension Parish remains on schedule to wrap up in the next few weeks. Work to add an extra lane in each direction on the 6.5-mile stretch between Highland Road and Prairieville has been ongoing since February 2018. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett told WBRZ-TV that the $72 million project is on schedule to be finished by late October, once all issues related to shoulder work, signs, ramps, lights and permanent striping are completed. Read the full story. 

    Court ruling: California’s ban on selling alligator products probably violates federal laws and the state cannot enforce it while various legal challenges remain in court, a federal judge has ruled. The state of Louisiana and companies in California, Florida and Texas are suing California over its decision to ban the import and sale of alligator products, saying the ban will hurt an important industry and ultimately could hurt alligator and crocodile populations. Read the full story. 

    On the rise: Nearly 8 million Americans have slid into poverty since May, according to a Columbia University study, Axios reports. The researchers found that the monthly poverty rate for September was higher than rates during April or May, and it also topped pre-crisis levels. The finding comes as it appears unlikely that a deal will be reached on fresh stimulus aid before November’s election. Read the full story.