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Tired of traffic, west bank residents beseech officials to get moving on a solution, preferably a new bridge, to the gridlock on Interstate 10

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Aerial of the New Bridge in Baton Rouge, Tuesday, September 1, 2015.  Traffic flowing from Port Allen is at left, while traffic flowing from Brusly is at right as drivers converge to cross into East Baton Rouge Parish.

Residents living on the west side of the Mississippi River are optimistic a plan to widen portions of Interstate 10 could help alleviate the Baton Rouge area’s growing traffic woes. But a Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development meeting Tuesday about proposed fixes gave these residents little confidence state leaders would… Continue reading →

East Baton Rouge Parish looks at new data-driven crime fighting approach

A data-driven crime fighting strategy originally hatched in New York City arrived Tuesday in East Baton Rouge Parish with the launch of a program designed to focus the parish’s various law enforcement agencies on tackling crime in particular neighborhoods. The Crime Strategies Unit, created by District Attorney Hillar Moore III, will knit together work by prosecutors, police… Continue reading →

U.S. Justice Department joins fight against Gov. Jindal’s plan to end Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood

The Jindal administration has not given sufficient reasons to pull Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Louisiana operations, attorneys for the federal government have told a Baton Rouge federal judge. That judge, U.S. District Judge John deGravelles, is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday afternoon on Planned Parenthood’s request for an order blocking Gov. Bobby… Continue reading →

Consumers advised to check bills after credit card ‘skimming gadget’ found hidden in Baton Rouge gas station pump

Authorities renewed their warning Tuesday for Louisianians to regularly check their credit card and bank statements after a fraudulent card-reading device was found hidden inside a Baton Rouge gas station pump Monday. Mike Strain, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry — the agency in charge of inspecting the state’s gas pumps — said whoever… Continue reading →

Man sought in burglary of Gonzales pharmacy

Officials are searching for a man who stole nearly $20,000 worth of prescription medications early Friday morning from a Gonzales pharmacy on La. 44. The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office believes it may be the same man who tried to break into another Gonzales pharmacy the previous day, the Sheriff’s Office news release says. Sheriff Jeff… Continue reading →

Child playing with lighter sets fire to Baton Rouge house

A child playing with a lighter set a Baton Rouge house on fire Tuesday afternoon, the 10th juvenile reported to have set a fire in the city this year. The Baton Rouge Fire department responded around 4 p.m. to 1220 Doolittle Drive and found flames in a front bedroom extending into the hallway. Firefighters were able to… Continue reading →

City-parish officials may revisit 12-year-old ban on new bars in downtown Lafayette

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  Artmosphere Bistro is pictured Tuesday, September 1, 2015, at the corner of East Convent and Johnston Street in Lafayette, La.

City-parish officials may soon revisit a 12-year-old ban on new bars in downtown Lafayette, opening the door for allowing new venues under certain circumstances. No specific proposal is on the table, but the Downtown Development Authority and some members of the City-Parish Council and the City-Parish Zoning Commission are eyeing possible changes. The discussions have… Continue reading →

Greatest story never told: Acadiana boaters braved danger, arrest to rescue New Orleans-area residents trapped by Hurricane Katrina floods

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Attendees of Tuesday night's event honoring the forgotten heroes of hurricanes Katrina and Rita view a news story focusing on the "Cajun Navy" which rescued stranded citizens during Katriana at the LITE center in Lafayette.

Many more people would have died in the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 if not for hundreds of south Louisiana folks who met at Acadiana Mall in Lafayette and then hauled their boats to New Orleans, where they disregarded authorities’ orders to go back home because it was too dangerous. The story… Continue reading →

After pushback from constituents, Livingston Parish Council to reconsider splitting road funds with Juban Road extension, but parish president remains opposed

The Livingston Parish Council will reconsider the best use of the $1 million it added to the parish’s road overlay program Thursday, after a split vote against dedicating half the money to a Juban Road extension prompted pushback from the community. Council Chairman Chance Parent, who cast the deciding vote against splitting… Continue reading →

Herman Brister says he’s confident he can meet the goals outlined by the Baker School Board

Herman Brister

LOVE for LAFFY concert postponed; questions raised about proceeds intended for Lafayette theater shooting victims

Ticketholders and event sponsors are set for refunds after organizers postponed a Wednesday concert scheduled after the Lafayette theater shootings, after relations between the event’s promoters and musicians unraveled amid concerns about the validity of the concert as a fundraising effort. A number of news releases issued for the event touted the LOVE for LAFFY concert… Continue reading →

Congressman Garret Graves says state highways leaders lacking foresight for proposing I10 widening with no cash

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Garret Graves, Gov. Bobby Jindal's executive assistant for coastal activities, is seen in this July 2011 photo at  the Baton Rouge Press Club.

Sixth District Congressman Garret Graves said Tuesday that state highway leaders are showing a lack of foresight by proposing to widen Interstate 10 without the $350 million to pay for it. Doing so, Graves said, “is a bit myopic.” He added later, “Keep in mind you are talking about $350 million that you don’t have and… Continue reading →

At least two booked on DWI between Monday, Tuesday in East Baton Rouge

Authorities arrested at least two people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Monday and 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, booking records show. Those booked and the counts against them: Alberto Bautista, 21, 3030 Congress Blvd., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI and reckless operation.… Continue reading →

Lawsuit claims state agency ignored signs of abuse to 22-month-old foster child who died in May

Madison Parrott

The parents of a 22-month-old Washington Parish girl allegedly beaten to death by her foster mother are accusing state workers of repeatedly ignoring physical signs and reports of abuse. Ray Travis Parrott and Mindy Parrott, whose daughter Madison Parrott died May 22, are suing the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, three DCFS employees… Continue reading →

State takes over nonprofit health insurer

The Louisiana Department of Insurance has taken over Metairie-based Louisiana Health Cooperative Inc., a nonprofit health insurance company created with $66 million in federal loans. District Judge Donald Johnson issued an order Tuesday granting the department’s request to place the co-op into rehabilitation. The order allows Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon to take possession and control… Continue reading →

Get ready, Louisiana: McDonald's reportedly to start selling breakfast all day starting in October

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- A McDonald's restaurant on Louisiana Avenue near I-10 in Lafayette features a new style of architecture, one that matches the style of the shopping center that anchors it Thursday.

. Rejoice, Louisiana fast-food breakfast enthusiasts. McDonald's will begin serving breakfast all day beginning in October, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The decision was approved in a vote by franchisees last week and confirmed Tuesday by a franchisee leadership council, the report said. McDonald's stops serving breakfast at 10:30 a.m.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Gallery recruiting new artists to help guide facility's future

Photo provided by Baton Rouge Gallery -- Randell Henry's exhibit, 'Abstractions in Collage, is part of BREC Baton Rouge Gallery's July exhibitions.

The contemporary art-focused Baton Rouge Gallery is accepting applications for new artist members.

The BREC facility is a cooperative gallery, and its artist members help make decisions ranging about the art gallery’s future. The gallery has more than 50 members, who are professional artists skilled in areas ranging from textiles to ceramics to photography to painting.

Applications are due by… Continue reading →

Healthy-eating initiative provides fresh fruits, veggies to city workers for payroll-deducted $25 per box

Every week this fall, Baton Rouge’s city workers could open up a box and find fresh and local sweet corn, navel oranges, green onions and other fruits and vegetables ready to take home.

The program, called “Farm to Work,” is meant to promote healthy eating among city workers. Employees can sign up to have boxes of Louisiana-grown fruits and… Continue reading →

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signs Grover Norquist-backed anti-tax pledge in presidential campaign

Though its adherence became a political football in the most recent legislative session, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has again signed the Americans for Tax Reform’s no-new-tax pledge — this time for his presidential campaign.

Bobby Jindal Grover Norquist ATR pledge
Gov. Bobby Jindal

ATR, in a Tuesday news release, applauded Jindal’s latest signing of the Grover Norquist-designed “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”

“Gov. Jindal… Continue reading →

N.O. 12-month job loss biggest in U.S.

The New Orleans metro area lost 3,800 jobs over the 12 months ending July 31, more than any other city in the country, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers were driven in part by the construction industry, which accounted for 2,700 of the total jobs lost between… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal at No. 13 out of 17 GOP candidates on USA Today's college-football-style power rankings

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has come in at No. 13 in the first week of USA Today’s new 2016 GOP Power Rankings.

Inspired by the college football “Coaches Poll,” the GOP Power Rankings rely on a diverse group of analysts, activists and other experts to size up the Republican presidential field.

Unsurprisingly, businessman Donald Trump came out on top in… Continue reading →

Coach Mark Hudspeth looks to season opener at Kentucky, discusses what a signature win would mean for Cajuns

. The following is a transcript of coach Mark Hudspeth’s comments at his weekly press luncheon previewing the next week’s opponent. This week, Hudspeth assesses his inexperienced team as it prepares to open its season on the road against Kentucky. MARK HUDSPETH Thoughts on UK … To me, Kentucky is a very good football team. If you look how they… Continue reading →

Lafayette Crime Blotter for Sept. 1, 2015

Arrests posted Aug. 31, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website. JONATHAN WAYNE AUBREY: 32, of the 500 block of North Wilderness Trail, Carencro. He was booked on aggravated battery and false imprisonment. BEVAN BABINEAUX: 18, of the 100 block of Warren Street, Lafayette. He was booked on resisting an officer and sale,… Continue reading →

Louisiana high school football pre-season rankings released

Here are the class-by-class pre-season rankings by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

These rankings come out each Tuesday morning.

(For what it’s worth, I don’t have a vote in this.)

First place votes in parenthesis


1. Acadiana 0-0 (9) 128

2. Rummel 0-0 (1) 118

3. John Curtis 0-0 94

4. West Monroe 0-0(1) 93

5. Zachary 0-0 87

6. Bro. Martin 0-0 62

7. Parkway 0-0… Continue reading →

LSU research may advance tech tools

LSU researchers have advanced a little-understood branch of science that involves manipulating materials to make some of the most advanced technology tools. The properties of some hard, complex materials change under specific temperatures, magnetic fields and pressures. Researchers from LSU, Fudan University in China, the University of Florida and the Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures in… Continue reading →

State adds jobs despite loss in New Orleans

Six of Louisiana’s nine metro areas lost jobs over the 12 months ending July 31, including New Orleans, which lost more jobs than any U.S. city over the year. Metro Lake Charles enjoyed one of the largest percentage job gains in the country, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The New… Continue reading →

Two arrested after man points loaded gun at people outside Tigerland bar, threatens to shoot

Christopher Hicks, left, and Christopher Summers

A man pointing a gun at customers and staff outside a Tigerland bar Monday night led to two arrests, authorities said. During an argument around 9 p.m. in the parking lot just outside the front door of Reggie’s in Tigerland, an intoxicated 21-year-old Christopher Hicks, 17714 Creek Hollow, Baton Rouge, pulled out a 9 mm Taurus pistol,… Continue reading →

Fred weakens to tropical storm, moves away from Cape Verde Islands

Tropical Storm Fred is moving farther away from the Cape Verde Islands and is expected to weaken over the next 48 hours. (Photo from National Hurricane Center)

. MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Fred is moving farther away from the Cape Verde Islands and is expected to weaken. The storm's maximum sustained winds early Tuesday are near 65 mph (100 kph). Fred is centered about 195 miles (315 kilometers) northwest of the Cape Verde Islands and is moving west-northwest near 12 mph (19 kph).… Continue reading →

Destined to be new Baton Rouge skyline feature, construction of Water Campus building on river to begin this year

Rendering provided by Coleman Partners Architects LLC.-- the new Water Institute of the Gulf Headquarters, Research & Interpretive Center.

The Water Institute of the Gulf’s headquarters will be a futuristic feat of glass and metal that’s propped up above the Mississippi River and adds a dramatic flair to the Baton Rouge skyline, a rendering released Monday shows. Construction of the $22 million headquarters, research and interpretative center will start later this year. The building… Continue reading →

Les Miles back on campus after going to hospital Monday morning for illness, LSU officials said

FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2015, file photo, LSU head coach Les Miles watches during NCAA college football practice in Baton Rouge, La. Les Miles enters his second decade as LSU's coach facing a little more pressure than usual.  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

LSU coach Les Miles was back at the football operations building Monday afternoon after visiting the hospital earlier in the day for an illness, a team spokesman confirmed. Miles' first press conference of the season, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Monday, was canceled after the coach felt “under the weather” Monday morning and needed brief hospitilization, athletic… Continue reading →

St. Landry school district budget looks promising, but they’re not completely out of the woods yet

Photo provided by Google Maps -- St. Landry Parish School Board Office