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‘The prettiest back door in Baton Rouge’: BR authors find their open floor-plan home inviting

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG --The vine-covered entrance is the Rubins' 'back'  entrance, even though it was designed as one of two main entrances.

Authors Mike and Ayan Rubin needed “a house for grown-ups.” And for more than 4,000 books. “We moved 4,500 books and gave away a thousand,” said Mike Rubin, a well-known local lawyer. The Rubins are both writers who collaborated on “The Cottoncrest Curse,” a mystery thriller published by LSU Press in 2014.… Continue reading →

Volunteer opportunities

To learn more about these volunteer opportunities provided by Volunteer! United at Capital Area United Way, contact the listed agency directly. RELAY FOR LIFE EVENT LEADERSHIP, American Cancer Society — Angela Nantamu, (225) 927-0782: Volunteers are needed to serve as part of a team to plan the local Relay for Life… Continue reading →

Community News, Jan. 30, 2015

Photo provided by TERRENCE MARSHALL -- Omega Psi Phi -- Omega Psi Phi members pose with Allison Major, librarian at Howell Park Elementary, following their Reading is Fundamental book distribution at the school. Shown are, from left, Willie McCorkle, Calvin Beal, Huston Williams, Claude Tellis, Major, Harrell Brandon, John McGee and Terrence Marshall.

Kiwanis clubs hold 100th birthday event The Red Stick Kiwanis Club joined about 150 other Kiwanis members from Divisions 8A and 8B to celebrate Kiwanis’ 100th birthday Jan. 16 at Drusilla Place Catering. Distinguished guests were Susan McCay, wife of the district governor; Gov.-elect Gary Graham; Division 8A Lt. Gov. Bob Blanchard; Division 8B Lt. Gov. Jeff Wittenbrink and Eliminate Project… Continue reading →

Capital Area United Way wants you ‘Home for Good’

Photo provided by Capital Area United Way

For $100 you can take a chance to win a $400,000 home from Capital Area United Way and the Capital Region Builders Foundation. You can see the 2,830-square-foot “Home for Good” at 15209 Green Trails Blvd., Baton Rouge, in a series of open houses starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. Martin Construction built the four-bedroom, three-bath house… Continue reading →

Food Bowl for Super Bowl Sunday

Associated Press photo by MATTHEW MEAD -- The New England Super Seven Dip is made with barbecued pulled pork topped with skillet sauteed apples and butter.

Honestly, most football fans in south Louisiana probably will be more interested in what’s on the buffet than who wins the Super Bowl Sunday. Whether you are a fan of the Seattle Seahawks or the New England Patriots — or are more interested in the Super Bowl’s television commercials — it’s a good bet you… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Christina always had a good word, good food

Staff Photo by Arthur D. Lauck   -- This is a 2006 Advocate file photo of Christina Bannister owner of Christina's Restaurant in downtown Baton Rouge.

Thursdays are fried chicken day at the popular Christina’s Restaurant near the Baton Rouge governmental complex. I know this because a friend always wants to meet there for lunch then. But, we get more than just good fried chicken at the little St. Charles Street eatery. It’s a good bet we’ll learn some interesting story about… Continue reading →

What’s Happening, Jan. 29, 2015

The grand opening of the first Schlotzsky’s Cafe in Baton Rouge kicks off at 10 a.m. Thursday at 5565 Essen Lane, Suite A. The restaurant includes a co-branding deal with Cinnabon. To celebrate the opening, there will be a day of events, including a prize… Continue reading →

Getting their kicks: Get ready to smile at Of Moving Color’s ‘Kick it Out’ show

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Marlon Grigsby, left, and Rebecca Sawyer practice their steps -- the smiles comes naturally -- to 'A Wink and a Smile' for Of Moving Colors' upcoming 'Kick It Out.'

Smiles are contagious in the studio on Sunday afternoons. That’s when the cast of 80 youngsters gathers in the Powell Moise School of Dance to rehearse for Of Moving Colors’ annual community show “Kick It Out.” The show opens on Friday, Jan. 30, in the Manship Theatre, and smiles are guaranteed.… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line: Roasting the ‘Pols’

Photo provided by LEO HONEYCUTT --- Politicians beware! --- Madly working on this year's Gridiron script are, from left, Marji and Mike Hasten, Marsha Shuler and Leo Honeycutt.

Politicians beware! Members of the Capitol Correspondents Association are currently writing the scripts for this year’s Gridiron. The scribes include The Advocate’s Marsha Shuler, Edwin Edwards biographer Leo Honeycutt and Gannett News’ Mike Hasten, and my sources tell me their pens and wits are extra sharp this year… Continue reading →

‘Other People’s Money’: TBR production examines morality while rooting for all evil

Photo provided by KENNETH MAYFIELD -- Kevin Harger, center, plays Lawrence Garfinkle, a corporate raider, while Brian Hales, right, is the CEO of the company he wants to take over in 'Other People's Money' at Theatre Baton Rouge. Robert Gautreau, left, portrays the company's president.

When the entertainment industry jerked its collective knee in outrage at corporate raiders and financial shenanigans in the late 1980s, Michael Douglas’ portrayal of Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street” created a poster boy for all that was perceived as wrong with high-stakes stock players. For the next two weeks, Kevin Harger is a portlier but compelling… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Teen readers to pick their top books

Photo provided by EVANGELYNN CLARK -- Scotlandville Magnet High School senior and SGA president Anthony Kenney votes Wednesday for his favorite Louisiana Teen Readers' Choice Award.

The polls don’t lie. If you think teen readers are a dying group, then it might be worth visiting Scotlandville Magnet High today when hundreds of students will cast ballots for the year’s top teen book. The 2015 Louisiana Teen Readers’ Choice Award program is fueling the excitement, said school librarian Evangelynn Clark, whose library… Continue reading →

Tula Telfair LASM exhibit will show off her epic vistas

Photo provided by the Louisiana Art & Science Museum -- TulaTelfair will speak at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum on Jan. 29. Her exhibit, 'A World of Dreams: Landscapes by Tula Telfair,' runs througbh March 15 in the Main Gallery.

Tula Telfair always sees color, even now on her drive into New York from Middletown, Connecticut. She describes the scene over the telephone, the atmosphere forming blocks of color above the horizon line. Like the weather, it’s always different, offering surprises that find their way into her landscape paintings. She’ll travel to… Continue reading →

Bayou Corne’s collapse among sinkholes examined by NOVA

Photo provided by WGBH -- The Bayou Corne sinkhole, seen here in October 2012, will be one of the suibjects of PBS' NOVA installment,, 'Sinkholes-Buried Alive.'

As Jeffrey Bush slept in his Florida home, a sinkhole opened beneath his bed one night in February 2013 and pulled him into the depths, never to be seen again. An entire community was abandoned in Pilatos, Spain, in the 1970s because of the continuing risk of sinkholes. And, in Bayou Corne, the slow deathContinue reading →

Community column for Jan. 27, 2015

Photo provided by MARGRET HODGES -- Cortana Kiwanis Club -- BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight and BREC Director of Communications Cheryl Michelet spoke about the Capitol Area Pathways Project to develop hiking, walking and bike trails to the Cortana Kiwanis Club on Jan. 8. Shown are, from left, President-elect Sean McDonald, McKnight, Cheryl Michelet and Program Coordinator Lowell Tilley.

CAPP proposal topic for Cortana Kiwanis BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight and BREC Director of Communications Cheryl Michelet spoke about the Capitol Area Pathways Project to develop hiking, walking and bike trails to the Cortana Kiwanis Club on Jan. 8. Michelet gave information about volunteering and other programs. The Cortana Kiwanis Club… Continue reading →

Resolution month: Losing weight is the most popular resolution, but don’t lose money too

Associated Press file photo -- Fitness Connexion trainer Nicolette Isaacs instructs Katie Barling on how to use a weight machine for a step up exercise at the gym in Bloomington, Ill. January, the start of New Year's resolution month, sees a healthy uptick in sign-ups at gyms and specialized studios offering such things as Pilates, kickboxing and yoga. But money-saving expert Andrea Woroch in Bakersfield, California, said recent statistics show 67 percent of people who join don't use their memberships at all.

— How’s that new year, new you fitness pledge going? January, the start of New Year’s resolution month, sees a healthy uptick in sign-ups at gyms and specialized studios offering such things as Pilates, kickboxing and yoga. But money-saving expert Andrea Woroch in Bakersfield, California, said recent statistics show 67 percent of people… 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 evening of celebration, and entertained by its muse, Laughing Water, who represented the clown Kachina,… Continue reading →

Krewe of Southdowns confronts ‘Phobias’

Photo by SHERRY WILKES -- King Paul Major and Queen Mary Jo Kelly

King Paul Major of the Western Territories and Barbarian Queen Mary Jo Kelly welcomed the Krewe of Southdowns to their 28th annual ball Jan. 24 at the Lyceum Ballroom. Ball Captain Sherry Wilkes announced this year’s parade theme of “Phobias.” Master of Ceremonies Mike Raborn opened the traditional tableau. Flambeaux Captains Gus Wilkes and Thom Harris and… Continue reading →

Krewe of Desk, Derrick goes ‘Under the Sea’

Photos by Rip's Photography -- King Joe Dilmon, Queen Connie Fabreand ball Captain Katharine Kirby

The American Legion Hall on Wooddale was transformed into an underwater kingdom on Jan. 24 as the Krewe of Desk and Derrick presented its 54thd annual Industry Appreciation Mardi Gras Ball. Depicting the theme “Under the Sea,” the stage was draped in shimmering blue and silver organza. Ribbons of green seaweed and hanging glass bubbles framed the… Continue reading →

Mystic Krewe of Achilles loves ‘Summer’

Photo by Fred Frey Photography  Queen Achilles LIX Dr. Carol Ridenour Dufilho, King Achilles LIX Claude Favrot Reynaud Jr. and Achilles LIX Ball Captain Andrew Adler as Pamela Anderson.

The 59th annual Mystic Krewe of Achilles Ball, “Summer Lovin’,” on the night of Jan. 24 lit up the Baton Rouge River Center, where towering palm trees, umbrellas and beach balls set the stage for the summer-themed tableau. The festivities started with the presentation of King Achilles LIX Claude Favrot Reynaud Jr. and her majesty Queen… Continue reading →

Couple leads Krewe of Denham Springs

Photograph by Debbie Medlock Photography-- King Michael Bienvenu and Queen Lynn Bickham Bienvenu

The Krewe of Denham Springs held their 35th annual Mardi Gras Ball Jan. 24 at the North Park Recreational Center. Michael and Lynn Bickham Bienvenu were crowned king and queen. The couple joined the Krewe of Denham Springs 12 years ago as members of the Krewe of Mystic Summer, later… Continue reading →

McCartney recalls ‘My Carnival’ on ‘Venus and Mars’ re-release

Photo by -- Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney, dressed as clowns for Mardi Gras, 1975

During the 1975 Carnival season in New Orleans, Paul McCartney celebrated his first and only Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Forty years ago this month, McCartney, his wife, Linda, and members of the former Beatle’s 1970s band, Wings, flew to New Orleans to record their fourth album, “Venus and Mars.” And on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 11, 1975,… Continue reading →

Taking on hazardous duty after military discharge

My first job after discharge from the U.S. Navy as World War II ended was as reporter for the McAlester, Oklahoma, News-Capital, our hometown daily newspaper. That day, I had been to the state employment agency, seeking to sign up for what the government called “rocking chair” payments. Veterans were given $50 per month till they could… Continue reading →

About Town for Jan. 25, 2015

WHAT: Meeting of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren WHEN: 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 29 WHERE: Family Roads, 323 E. Airport Drive, Baton Rouge INFORMATION: (225) 229-8257 WHAT: Recycled Reads WHEN: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31 WHERE: 234 Little John Drive, Baton Rouge INFORMATION: Continue reading →

Pam's Party Line for Jan. 25, 2015

You know Mardi Gras in the Capital City is in full swing once you start seeing lots of pink. It means the Society for the Preservation of Lagniappe, better known as Spanish Town Mardi Gras, is starting to party, and no one does it better. Spanish Town Royalty The Lyceum was awash in a sea of pink for the… Continue reading →

Ex-literary agency aide makes nonfiction debut with ‘Salinger Year’

'My Salinger Year' by Joanna Rakoff

“My Salinger Year” by Joanna Rakoff. Knopf, 2014. $25.95. Joanna Rakoff’s nonfiction debut chronicles her year spent as the assistant to the head of a literary agency in Manhattan in the late 1990s. The agency’s most important client? J.D. Salinger, hence the title. A bright and eager 20-something,… Continue reading →

La. native’s first novel has little bit of everything

'The Saints of Lost Things

“The Saints of Lost Things: A Novel” by C.H. Lawler. CreateSpace, 2014. $19.99. Love blooms as Hurricane Betsy sloshed ashore in Louisiana in 1965, and Louisiana native C.H. Lawler’s first novel takes Sammy Teague and Betsy Duplechain through a gauntlet of history, of class, of race and even a little bit of the… Continue reading →

LSU concert highlights students

Photo provided by the LSU School of Music -- The LSU Trombone Choir will be among the many student ensembles featured in the LSU School of Music's annual nonstop concert, Concert Spectacular on Friday, Jan. 30, in the LSU Student Union Theater.

Audience members were few in the early days. Fans of the LSU School of Music’s Concert Spectacular might find this hard to believe, but Bill Grimes remembers. He produced the school’s first nonstop concert in collaboration with then Dean Ron Ross. The show featured a diverse program of musicians and genres within… Continue reading →

Arts Calendar for Jan. 25, 2015

Here’s what’s going in the local arts and cultural scene: “Brave Steps: The Louisiana Native Guard,” runs through March 22 at the West Baton Rouge Museum, 845 N. Jefferson Ave., Port Allen. The exhibit marks the last year of the U.S. Civil War Sesquicentennial. (225) 336-2422, Registration is open… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: And the winner is...

As a former movie columnist, I consider it my duty to help society make sense of the Academy of Motion Pictures Oscar nominees. Rest assured, there is a method to its madness, and it never takes long for the pattern to emerge. In fact, with very little exception, it is the same selection process as always, and you… Continue reading →

Getting financially fit in 2015

Advocate staff photo by Patricia Gannon -- Linda Malin is a certified financial planner with UBS.

Linda Malin used to accompany her grandmother when she conferred with her stockbroker. As a little girl, Malin didn’t know what was happening, but somehow knew her grandmother was taking care of business. “She was unusual for her time,” Malin said. “When I grew up, it became my ambition and business to manage money like my… Continue reading →

Wings hopes Bibles first step of ministry

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Wings of the Spirit mission group members load Gospels of John into their plane at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport. Board President Ryan Williams, left, hands booklets to pilot Gerald Huggins, center, and videographer Daniel Waghorne. Huggins and Waghorne will fly the Super Cub into Central America in February to distribute the Spanish-version Gospel of John to remote villages.

Whenever Gerald Huggins sees video or photographs of poor, barefoot children, especially in Central America, he gets emotional. “I identify with them because I was one of those kids,” Huggins said. “It touches my heart.” A seasoned pilot and president of GH Enterprises, an aircraft maintenance company at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, Huggins, 64, was… Continue reading →

Meet Joshua Johnson, Baton Rouge's rapping, youngest Catholic priest who 'never liked' church as a kid

A young Catholic priest who enjoys rap music had a few confessions about his faith and his music: He didn’t like the Catholic Church as a youth, and he doesn’t want to simply be known today as the “Rapping Priest.” At 27, the Rev. Joshua Johnson, of Christ the King Catholic Church at LSU, is the youngest… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Jan. 24, 2015

A MATTER OF LIFE AND LOVE: University Presbyterian Church, LSU campus. A regional conference of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians. The Rev. Road Cynthia Rigby, W.C. Brown theology professor, Austin Theological Presbyterian Seminary will be the keynote speaker. The Rev. Road Kenneth E. Kovacs, pastor of Catonsville Presbyterian Church in… Continue reading →

How Baton Rouge’s Pam Westbrook transformed a shed into a knockout art studio

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Pam Westbrook works and teaches art classes in her studio she created from a prefabricated shed.

Local artist Pam Westbrook took a prefabricated shed and created a knockout art studio in her Capital Heights backyard. It’s a place of her own. “There are things you can’t do in somebody else’s building,” says Westbrook, who had been working and teaching at a studio with other artists on Choctaw Drive, miles from her… Continue reading →

Meet Claude Lindsey -- a photographer whose favorite part of Mardi Gras centers around pictures

Photo provided by Claude Lindsey -- Claude Lindsey, the operations manager for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, is an avid photographer who enjoys turning his lens on Mardi Gras parades and parties in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Claude Lindsey prefers to experience Mardi Gras through a camera’s lens. For 18 years, he has photographed the party at Baton Rouge and New Orleans parades and balls during Carnival season. Lindsey delights in sharing the photos with friends and family. “You can tell somebody how much fun you’ve had,” he said,… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Community column for Jan. 23

Latrice Warr

Ethel Taylor spoke about the success rate and origins of New Year’s resolutions when Preceptor Beta Epsilon Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi met Jan. 7 at Taylor’s home. A 2007 University of Bristol study of 3,000 people showed that 88 percent failed to keep their resolutions. The… Continue reading →

Garden news: Now is the time to plant Irish Potatoes in Louisiana

Photo by KIKI FONTENOT -- It's potato-planting season, so get them in the ground before the end of February to enjoy the harvest.

We’ve begun the season for planting Irish potatoes in Louisiana, with prime planting days from now until the end of February, says LSU AgCenter vegetable expert Kiki Fontenot. The best way to plant potatoes is to dig a shallow trench about 4 inches deep, place sections of seed potatoes about 12 inches apart and then cover… Continue reading →

Looking to volunteer in Baton Rouge? Here are some opportunities

To learn more about these volunteer opportunities provided by Volunteer! United at Capital Area United Way, contact the listed agency directly. MALE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED, Capital Area CASA — Jennifer Mayer, (225) 379-8598: Capital Area CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Association, a nonprofit organization that recruits and trains community volunteers who speak… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Try these recipes with deer or duck meat for something tasty and a little different

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Gourmet Galley, deer sausage with sauted peppers for sandwiches,  and elk wrapped in bacon

Fortunately for me I’ve always had hunters and fishermen in my family, so I’m used to having wild game and fish available. Now, my grandsons, James Poché, 14, and Thomas Rimes, 12, are avid hunters. Each of them bagged a deer recently so I have a nice little stash of smoked deer sausage for gumbo or… Continue reading →

EBR Main Library to host preview of ‘EARTH: A New Wild’

Photo provided by Ami Vitale -- Dr. M. Sanjayan, a leading conservation scientist, visits with baby pandas in 'EARTH: A New Wild.'

The new five-part PBS series, “EARTH: A New Wild,” will be previewed at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Louisiana Public Broadcasting and the library are hosts for the event. The series, premiering at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, on WLPB, Channel 27 (cable Channel 12), takes a… Continue reading →