Tom Benson has long harbored doubts about heir apparent Rita, friends say

AP photo by Manuel Balce -- Rita LeBlanc speaks at the sixth annual Washington Ideas Forum in Washington in this Oct. 29, 2014, file photo.

Though she was once the apple of Tom Benson’s eye and the heir apparent to his sports franchises, Rita LeBlanc gave her grandfather plenty of reasons to worry about her ability to take over his empire upon his passing, according to some of the people who know both of them well. When Benson was well into… Continue reading →

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Walt Handelsman: The Benson Saga

Walt Handelsman is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator whose work appears in The Advocate four days… Continue reading →

Thousands turn out for Bobby Jindal's prayer rally at LSU; students, activists protest too

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Pro-life supporters exit busses in preparation of Gov. Bobby Jindal's speaking engagement near the LSU Greek Theatre prior to a prayer rally, called

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s day of prayer went off without a hitch Saturday — and without much commotion.… Continue reading →

BR Diocese officials sticking with plan to close Redemptorist

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Redemptorist High and Junior High are scheduled to close in May 2015.

After considering a pitch to keep Redemptorist High School open, the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge… Continue reading →



Southern’s ‘Human Jukebox’ performs in Atlanta

Southern University’s marching band, known as the “Human Jukebox,” took to the field at Atlanta’s Georgiadome Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, competing against eight other historically black universities.… Continue reading →

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  Riverdale High School's Donte Jackson, left, eludes the grasp of Grace King High School's Leronta Butler, right, during a football game at Joe Yenni Stadium in Metairie on Thursday, September 18, 2014.

Riverdale's Donte Jackson on picking LSU: 'Prayed about it ... all signs pointed to' Tigers

The first time Riverdale coach Brett Bonnafons saw film of Donte Jackson was during Jackson’s sophomore year. He was so impressed that his initial two-word… Continue reading →


LSU stays hot on the road with a 79-75 overtime victory at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt center Damian Jones (30) is fouled going to basket by LSU forward Jordan Mickey (25) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Four of the first five games in Southeastern Conference play were grinders for the LSU men’s basketball team. With the exception of an 18-point bashing of Florida in Gainesville on Tuesday night, the Tigers have had to… Continue reading →


Review: ‘Whiplash’ is powerful and punishing

Sony Pictures Classics photo by Daniel McFadden -- Miles Teller, left, plays Andrew, and J.K. Simmons is Fletcher in the new drama 'Whiplash.'

J.K. Simmons won a Golden Globe for his performance in “Whiplash” as the music teacher from hell. The 59-year-old actor has appeared in more than 50 movies and many TV hits, but he’s best known as the matter-of-fact professor in comic Farmer’s… Continue reading →


What a night for Lafayette’s Krewe of Attakapas

Photo by DANNY IZZO/Noveau Photeau -- Attakapas' Cahoula, King Lacassine XLVII Richard Charbonnet Flower, Queen Karakondye XLVII and Laughing Water Kachina Koshare

The Krewe of Attakapas, the first women’s carnival krewe in Lafayette, held its 47th annual carnival ball, “Night of the Kachina,” on Jan. 24 at Frem Boustany Convention Center, headed by its captain, Cahoula, who prepared guests for an… Continue reading →

Food & Dining

With generous portions, quick service, varied menu, New China hits all the usual bases

Advocate staff photo by GEORGE MORRIS -- The Singapore chicken at New China restaurant is both sweet and spicy.

One of the joys of dining out is that, apart from chain restaurants, every eatery has its own twist on things. Not every roux is as dark as others. Spice amounts and mixtures vary. Cooking techniques make familiar cuts of meat seem like… Continue reading →


Photos: Brookstown Middle Magnet School fitness

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Students use a black light to judge how well they wash their hands Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, during the fitness workshop at Brookstown Middle Magnet Academy.

This EBR public school is holding a 5K run and health expo with Zumba and fitness classes, student activities and health screenings.… Continue reading →


Stephanie Grace: Benson saga coming to TV near you

It occurred to me while reading the page-turner of a lawsuit filed by Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson’s spurned descendents that this saga could use a soundtrack. Something soaring and overwrought, like the theme to one of those prime-time soap… Continue reading →

Police & Fire

Police identify one of two bodies found Saturday

Baton Rouge Police on Sunday identified the body of a man found Saturday night in an open field in north Baton Rouge. Henery Jessie Gray, 59, who was homeless, died of natural causes, police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said Sunday in… Continue reading →


‘Little things’ could mean state tax savings

Associated Press photo by PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS -- Tax preparer Richard Sowell works with Courtney Mayhew at H&R Block offices in Atlas District in Washington. The Internal Revenue Service started last week accepting electronic returns and processing paper ones.

Although no major changes took place in the Louisiana tax code, accountants and financial advisers want taxpayers to remember the little things, like claiming often-ignored tax credits and exemptions. “Some of the things that people should be aware of that they sometimes… Continue reading →

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