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Wednesday, May 24, 2017
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Informer: City checking if ordinance applies to complex

Last Modified: Friday, July 26, 2013 2:51 PM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

In reference to the young man that was killed at an apartment complex on Iris Street, the police spokesman said they had been called to disturbances at that place 77 times.

Were there any citations issued to the owner/management? If my memory serves me correctly, several years ago the City Council passed an ordinance concerning apartment complex disturbances. Is that ordinance still in effect?

The city code contains a nuisance abatement provision, which ties the definition of “nuisance” to a list of “prohibited activities”: prostitution, obscenity, “a pattern of drug-related criminal activity” and “a pattern of criminal gang activity.”

City Administrator John Cardone said police checked the records and found that officers had been called to the Iris Street apartment complex 77 times in the last two years.

They have responded to 47 disturbance calls there in the last 12 months, but Cardone said only one of those calls was related to a vice or drug crime — i.e., a”prohibited activity” covered by the nuisance ordinance.

He said police have been called to the apartments 10 times since the beginning of this year. The complex, called My Space Apartments, houses participants of a youth transitional living initiative and a program for homeless people.

“The Lake Charles Police Department Community Policing Division is working with the owner of the apartment complex to help reduce the disturbance calls to the location,” Cardone wrote in an email.

“Additionally, the City Legal Department is currently reviewing the police reports to determine if the Nuisance Abatement Ordinance is applicable to the situation.”


Personal injury award taxable in some cases

Are awards in personal injury cases subject to income tax?

It depends.

“If you receive a settlement for personal physical injuries or physical sickness and did not take an itemized deduction for medical expenses related to the injury or sickness in prior years, the full amount is non-taxable. ...,” reads Internal Revenue Service Publication 4345, a fact sheet on settlement provisions in the tax code.

“If you receive a settlement for personal physical injuries or physical sickness, you must include in income that portion of the settlement that is for medical expenses you deducted in any prior year(s) to the extent the deduction(s) provided a tax benefit.”

Additionally, any money you receive for emotional distress or mental anguish is nontaxable if the distress or anguish stem from the injury or sickness. If the emotional distress or mental anguish doesn’t stem from the injury or sickness, the money is taxable.

“However, the amount you must include is reduced by: (1) amounts paid for medical expenses attributable to emotional distress or mental anguish not previously deducted and (2) previously deducted medical expenses for such distress and anguish that did not provide a tax benefit,” reads the fact sheet.


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The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email

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