Roundup: Winter blast / Jury trial ban / Tax season

    State of emergency: Gov. John Bel Edwards on Thursday declared a state of emergency due to heavy rainfall and the potential for wintry conditions this weekend and into next week. While the forecast is still uncertain, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness urged Louisiana residents to plan for flash flooding and dangerous winter weather conditions. The National Weather Service warns an arctic high pressure system is pushing south, bringing the coldest air of the season to parts of the state. Read the full story. 

    Extended: A prohibition on new civil and criminal jury trials in state courts due to the coronavirus pandemic will remain in effect until April 1, the Louisiana Supreme Court said Thursday. Beginning April 1, the high court said, local courts will be responsible for deciding whether they can safely conduct jury trials, WBRZ-TV reports. The current moratorium on jury trials had been set to expire on March 1. 

    Filing start: Tax season 2021 is finally here. The tax impact of everything from stimulus checks to unemployment benefits could leave you with questions when filing returns, creating new headaches for many. The Internal Revenue Service will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax returns today, more than two weeks later than last year. That’s because the tax agency needed more to program its systems to reflect new tax rules. Read the full USA Today story with things to keep in mind while filing.