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A map listing homicides or suspected homicides in EBR Parish.
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6th Congressional District candidates discuss economic issues

Discussions at most 6th Congressional District forums are about immigration and ISIS, gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act. But rarely are the candidates discussing jobs and the economy. On economic issues, all the remaining seven Republicans, three Democrats and one Libertarian pretty much agree on giving the energy industry lots of latitude and on allowing businesses… Continue reading →

Jurors hear 9-1-1 call in Addis murder-for-hire case

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- The family of Corey Kitts leaves the courthouse in Port Allen for lunch Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, on the third day of the second-degree murder-for-hire trial of Kitts' wife Monique O. Kitts and Karl Michael Howard.

When Monique O. Kitts discovered the body of her husband, who had been shot to death in their bed on July 9, 2010, she made a frantic 9-1-1 call. “Oh my God! Help me! My husband is dead! Someone is in my house!” Kitts’ voice echoed through the courtroom Friday as… Continue reading →

Boustany faces smoother re-election bid than 2012

Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany is running for a sixth congressional term in a low-key election that’s a marked departure from two years ago. In 2012, Boustany was fighting for his political future — thrown into a district with fellow U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry because of redistricting. The Lafayette cardiovascular surgeon survived with a strong… Continue reading →

African American supporters back Mary Landrieu’s comments

Advocate staff file photo by BRYAN TUCK -- U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu

As Republicans piled on Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu for racially tinged comments they claimed insulted the people of Louisiana, black elected officials and others Friday said Landrieu simply stated the obvious. At issue was Landrieu’s response Thursday to an NBC News interviewer who asked her why the Louisiana electorate is so hostile to Barack… Continue reading →

Acadiana Crime Blotter: Driver booked after smashing into house

Photo provided by LAFAYETTE PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- Zane Kidd, 24, is accused of driving his vehicle into a house in the 800 block of Butcher Switch Road while driving intoxicated Thursday, authorities said.

A St. Martinville man was arrested late Thursday night after he reportedly drove his vehicle into a house on Butcher Switch Road, KATC-TV reported. Zane Kidd, 24, was driving east in the 800 block of Butcher Switch Road when he veered off the roadway, traveled across the front lawn of a house and… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Crime Blotter: Two booked in botched drug-related robbery

Baton Rouge police on Thursday arrested two men accused of a botched robbery earlier this week that left a 17-year-old dead. Rosedale residents Larry Scott Jr., 18, Jarvis Dawson, 20, and Marvin Lewis, 17, drove to Baton Rouge on Tuesday evening to buy marijuana, according to an affidavit of probable cause. But when Scott and Lewis bought… Continue reading →

Ebola fears hit another N.O. health convention

A major U.S. public health organization has become the second group impacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Ebola response policy as it prepares to bring 14,000 people to New Orleans. State health officials advised the American Public Health Association that registrants recently returned from Ebola-stricken countries and those who have treated patients stateside should stay home.… Continue reading →

Thieves distract clerk, steal from cash register, Gonzales police claim

Provided by Gonzales Police Department -- Suspect 2, who walks with noticeable limp, is accused of helping distract workers at Wright's Furniture store in Gonzales Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, with a female accomplice while a second accomplice stole from the store cash register.

City police officers were looking Friday for two men and a woman who worked together to distract sales staff at Wright’s Furniture earlier this week so one of them could steal money from the cash register. Det. Sgt. Steven Nethken said Friday two of the thieves posed as customers, even lying on… Continue reading →

New Roads mayor’s press conference doesn’t come off quite as planned

. New Roads Mayor Robert Myer invited reporters to a press conference on Friday to accuse one of his election opponents of voter fraud and intimidation. But he wound up finding himself in an uncomfortable spotlight as he faced tough questions about his claims. Myer, who was making the allegations public just days before the Nov. 4… Continue reading →

Ash from Ebola victims’ belongings not coming to Louisiana, attorney general says

Ash created when items belonging to a Dallas Ebola victim were incinerated is not coming to Louisiana. State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said Friday afternoon that his office had reached an agreement with a Texas incinerator and a Louisiana landfill. That agreement says the incinerated ash cannot be transported to, nor disposed of, in the Lake Charles… Continue reading →

Georgia developer buys land near LSU

An Athens, Georgia, company that develops student housing has bought nearly 30 acres of land at Burbank and West Lee Drives. The Dovetail Companies paid $3.7 million for the 29.6 acres of land in a deal that was filed Thursday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s Office. The seller was University PUD of New Orleans.… Continue reading →

BRAC seeking economic outlook responses

Businesses in the nine-parish Baton Rouge area are being asked by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber to complete a survey by Nov. 7 for its 2015 economic outlook. BRAC’s economic survey is scheduled for release Nov. 18. The survey is accessible at http://brac.org/economicsurvey. Area parishes are East and West Baton Rouge, East and West Feliciana, Ascension,… Continue reading →

Medicaid spending over budget

The pace of Louisiana Medicaid program spending is running $170.7 million more than what’s budgeted, state health officials said Friday. The projection is based on a financial report as of October, and it includes both state and federal funds. Of the total, $61.1 million is the state share. State Department of Health and Hospitals Undersecretary… Continue reading →

Medicare paid for meds after patients were dead

In this Sept. 18, 2014, file photo, Medicaid Administrator Marilyn Tavenner testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. A government watchdog agency says Medicares prescription drug program kept paying for costly medications even after patients were dead. The problem seems to have started with a bureaucratic rule now getting a second look. A report coming out Friday from the Health and Human Services inspector general says Medicare has been allowing payment for prescriptions filled up to 32 days after a patients death.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Call it drugs for the departed: A quirky bureaucratic rule led Medicare’s prescription drug program to pay for costly medications even after the patients were dead. That head-scratching policy is now getting a second look. A report released Friday by the Health and Human Services Department’s inspector general said the Medicare rule allows… Continue reading →

Firefighters push back against city; will ask for higher raises

Frustrated Baton Rouge firefighters irritated by a proposed city pay plan they saw for the first time this week say they’ll submit a counter offer seeking higher wages without cuts in benefits. William Daniel, the mayor-president’s chief administrative officer, has proposed a 2 percent pay raise with cuts to benefits for city employees that… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count up 2; Louisiana gains 2

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by two this week to 1,929. The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,582 rigs were exploring for oil and 346 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A… Continue reading →

Second person dies following Monday crash on La. 1

A second person has died from a head-on crash on La. 1 in Assumption Parish Monday that already claimed the life of a 10-year-old girl earlier this week. Brandon Pennison, 34, of Gray, was declared deceased Thursday at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, a hospital spokeswoman… Continue reading →

DEL Corp. creating 90 jobs with expansion in Scott

Tank systems maker DEL Corp. has started a $4.3 million, 40,000-square-foot expansion of the company’s manufacturing facility in Scott. The expansion will create 90 direct jobs with an average annual salary of $62,600 plus benefits. DEL, which already has 50 employees, designs and manufactures customized tank systems, along with solids-separation and… Continue reading →

Denham Springs man sentenced to 10 years in child porn case

— A Denham Springs man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading no contest to 83 counts of pornography involving juveniles. Lawerence J. Richard Jr., 46, was determined to be a member of a peer-to-peer network involved in the exchange and download of child pornography that the state Attorney General’s Office… Continue reading →

Pencil and paper, not computers, for Common Core tests

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Louisiana State Superintendent of Education John White speaks in the cafeteria of the W.D. & Mary Baker Smith Career Center on Monday morning. White was visiting schools around Lafayette Parish as part of his Louisiana Believes tour.

Reversing plans, the state will rely on pencil and paper rather than computers when the first round of Common Core tests is given next spring, officials announced Friday. State Superintendent of Education John White previously said students in grades five through eight would use computers to see what they know about the new standards in… Continue reading →

Denham Springs woman sentenced in sexual battery of child

A Denham Springs woman was sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading no contest to sexual battery. Sarina Matherne, 36, had been visiting the victim’s mother in February 2013 when the incident occurred, Rachael Domiano Beard, spokeswoman for 21st Judicial District Attorney Scott Perrilloux, said in a news release Thursday. The… Continue reading →

Big changes for Baton Rouge weather: Temps near freezing Saturday, but what about rain chances?

Friday evening’s perfect Halloween trick-or-treating weather takes a downward turn in the overnight hours, with temperatures dropping to the mid 30s. And on Saturday evening, temperatures will get even colder, dropping into the near freezing level in Baton Rouge with slightly warmer temperatures in Lafayette and New Orleans.… Continue reading →

Republicans call out Mary Landrieu, ask her to apologize for remarks about race, Barack Obama

In this Sept. 30, 2014, file photo, Sen. Mary Landrieu speaks in Baton Rouge. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)

President Barack Obama has a difficult time politically in the South in part because of his race, Sen. Mary Landrieu told NBC News on Thursday. Continue reading →

Police: Driver in Breaux Bridge crash who killed 2 kids was driving ‘well over twice’ 25-mph speed limit

Louisian State Police investigate the scene where the driver of a pickup truck struck three children, killing two, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, in Breaux Bridge, La. State Trooper Jared Sandifer says the pickup driver left the scene, but was arrested a short time later by Breaux Bridge police. The truck was heavily damaged when it apparently struck a roadside culvert.   (AP Photo/The Lafayette Daily Advertiser, Leslie Westbrook)  NO SALES

Updated at 7:14 p.m. A pickup driver who struck three teenage girls on Martin Street in Breaux Bridge on Thursday morning, killing two of them, was driving “well over twice” the 25 mph speed limit, State Police said. Jeremy Abraham faces two counts of vehicular homicide and several more charges upon his release from a Lafayette… Continue reading →

Rob Maness could pull ‘shocker’ in Senate race, Sarah Palin tells RealClearPolitics

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2014 file photo, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former vice presidential candidate speaks in Washington.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Rob Maness, who is making his first run for elective office, could pull off a “shocker” and win the Louisiana Senate race on Tuesday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told RealClearPolitics on Thursday. “Like a gator in the swamp, Col. Rob Maness may have been seen as sharply lurking, but is now ready… Continue reading →

UNO poll: Bill Cassidy would be favored in runoff over Mary Landrieu; Louisiana headed in wrong direction

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., right, and Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., left, participate in a Senate race debate with Republican candidate and Tea Party favorite Rob Maness  on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, La., Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

A majority of Louisiana voters say the state is heading in the “wrong direction.” The state’s biggest problems are education and unemployment, they told researchers from the University of New Orleans in a recent survey. Both Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal and Democratic President Barack Obama are not well-liked — earning 40 percent and 38 percent… Continue reading →

Independence man convicted in 2001 fatal shooting at store

— A Tangipahoa Parish jury found 34-year-old Christopher Johnson, of Independence, guilty of second-degree murder Thursday in the 2001 shooting death of a Piggly Wiggly employee who attempted to stop an armed robbery. It was Johnson’s accomplice, Kelvin Thomas, who shot the employee, but the 12-member jury took less than two hours to… Continue reading →

Medicare paying for medicine for dead people

FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2014 file photo, Medicaid Administrator Marilyn Tavenner testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. A government watchdog agency says Medicares prescription drug program kept paying for costly medications even after patients were dead. The problem seems to have started with a bureaucratic rule now getting a second look. A report coming out Friday from the Health and Human Services inspector general says Medicare has been allowing payment for prescriptions filled up to 32 days after a patients death.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Call it drugs for the departed: Medicare’s prescription program kept paying for costly medications even after patients were dead. The problem was traced back to a head-scratching bureaucratic rule that’s now getting a second look. A report coming out Friday from the Health and Human Services Department’s inspector general says the Medicare rule… Continue reading →

Maine ask court to restrict movements of nurse in Ebola standoff

Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  The couple went on an hour-long ride.  State officials are going to court to keep Hickox in quarantine for the remainder of the 21-day incubation period for Ebola that ends on Nov. 10. Police are monitoring her, but can't detain her without a court order signed by a judge. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Updated at 10:20 a.m. — FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — Maine health officials have asked a court to limit the movements of nurse Kaci Hickox, who defied a voluntary quarantine for medical workers who have treated Ebola patients. Officials filed documents Thursday, following through with a threat to try to isolate her. A judge signed a temporary order Thursday limiting Hickox’s… Continue reading →

Trooper ambush suspect caught; death penalty eyed

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Pennsylvania State Police shows Eric Frein, who has eluded police, but is charged with killing one Pennsylvania State Trooper and seriously wounding another in a late night ambush. Authorities said Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, that they have captured Frein. (AP Photo/Pennsylvania State Police)

LORDS VALLEY, Pa. (AP) — A survivalist accused of ambushing two state troopers, killing one and seriously wounding the other, was captured on Thursday by U.S. marshals near an abandoned airplane hangar, ending a seven-week manhunt that had rattled the nerves of area residents. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Eric Frein, who meekly gave himself… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman: Halloween welcome

Walt Handelsman is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator whose work appears in The Advocate four days a week. Follow this link to the cartoon.Continue reading →

KATC report: Video shows driver laid out in ditch, saying it wasn't him whose truck struck, killed two children in Breaux Bridge

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Louisiana State Police Troopers survey the scene of an accident Thursday morning that left two children dead and one critically wounded in the 800 block of Martin Street in Breaux Bridge. A pickup truck struck three children on their way to school, killing two of them.

Books and pencils. A backpack and pair of glasses. A lone sneaker. A math worksheet. The belongings of three teenage girls lay strewn about Martin Street in Breaux Bridge on Thursday morning after a pickup State Police say was driven by 32-year-old Jeremy J. Abraham barreled down the road, hitting the… Continue reading →

Key witness in WBR murder-for-hire trial admits being getaway driver

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- The family of Corey Kitts leaves the courthouse in Port Allen for lunch Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, on the third day of the second-degree murder-for-hire trial of Kitts' wife Monique O. Kitts and Karl Michael Howard.

The prosecution’s star witness, the man who admitted he was the getaway driver in a murder-for-hire, testified Thursday he was one of the people approached to do the deed. Corey Knox, 29, told a West Baton Rouge Parish jury that Karl Michael Howard 30, of Roswell, Georgia, asked him if he… Continue reading →

Rob Maness is late to politics

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- Rob Maness, a tea party backed Republican running for the U.S. Senate, spoke to the Family Research Council rally Saturday.

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of profiles examining the major candidates in the U.S. Senate race. Rob Maness, who is making his first run for elective office, says he only started paying attention to politics as a Harvard University graduate student. “I was getting taught by… Continue reading →

Saints end road hex, take first in NFC South with 28-10 victory at Carolina

New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees (9) dives over the goal line for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The race to first place started out like a three-legged race, with one of the participants on each team wearing a shaven-down pegleg. The gates burst open at Bank of America Stadium, and both the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers tripped, stumbled and fumbled their way through much of the first… Continue reading →

Livingston health unit tax proposal would raise 3 times more than advertised

Livingston Parish Health Unit

A multimillion-dollar error on Livingston Parish ballots could derail one issue before Election Day even arrives. The Parish Health Unit is trying to renew its 5-mill property tax for 10 more years, but the proposition described on the ballot that voters will see on Tuesday lists the expected amount of money to be collected at less than… Continue reading →