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Former UnitedHealthcare exec takes reins at eQHealth Solutions

Population health management specialists eQHealth Solutions has named Glen J. Golemi, former chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare’s Gulf States Region, as the organization’s new president and CEO. Golemi has more than 30 years of health care and insurance experience including 10 years as the head of Unitedhealthcare’s Gulf States Region. At UnitedHealthcare, Golemi managed $5 billion in… Continue reading →

Amedisys chief compliance officer to take paid leave

Baton Rouge-based Amedisys Inc.’s chief compliance officer will take a year of paid leave beginning Aug. 1 under a new employment agreement. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission contains no explanation for Jeffrey D. Jeter’s pending departure. Compliance officers help make sure a company follows regulatory requirements and the firm’s internal policies. Under the… Continue reading →

Louisiana Supreme Court to consider suspensions of two veteran Baton Rouge-area judges Tuesday

Judge John Robin Free

Two Baton Rouge-area judges will be at the Louisiana Supreme Court this morning, as the state’s highest court considers recommendations that the judges be suspended from the bench for mishandling criminal cases before them. Judge J. Robin Free — who is appearing before the Supreme Court for the second time in less than two years — is… Continue reading →

Lawsuit: Baton Rouge man wrongfully collected life insurance payout after business partner killed himself, wife

A lawsuit claims a Baton Rouge man improperly collected a $500,000 payout from his business partner’s life insurance policy after the partner gunned down his estranged wife and shot and killed himself in Connecticut last year. A federal judge on Monday ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to seize all of the money that Todd Hines obtained… Continue reading →

LIGO scientists in Livingston Parish win special physics award for detection of gravitational waves

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- As Staff Scientist Joe Betzwieser, right, watches, Controls Engineer Adam Mullavey, left, explains different aspects of the Control Room. LIGO scientists detected the existence of gravitational waves. If true, the discovery would confirm Einstein's general theory of relativity -- on the centennial of its publication, no less -- and be the odds-on favorite for the Nobel Prize in Physics, experts say.

Scientists and engineers who contributed to the detection of gravitational waves by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory detector in Livingston Parish and Washington state were awarded a Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. The $3 million award will be shared between two groups: the three founders of LIGO, who will each share $1 million, and 1,012 contributors to the experiment, who… Continue reading →

Declining bribe, questioning $50K donation fueled firing, ex-band director Roy King says in lawsuit vs. LSU

Photo by RACHEL SALTZBERG -- LSU band director Roy King

Fired Golden Band from Tiger Land director Roy King alleged in a lawsuit Monday that he was axed in part because he objected to how LSU used a $50,000 contribution from a wealthy university supporter after band members played at the donor’s son’s wedding in New Orleans. King, who is seeking monetary damages, claims… Continue reading →

Records: City of New Orleans paid $40,000 to cabbie who videotaped local lawyer’s sex plea

Image from video -- New Orleans taxi cab driver Hervey Farrell shoots video of Jennifer Gaubert talking.

The city quietly paid $40,000 last year to a cab driver who claimed he was jailed on bogus charges based on the word of a local radio show host who had implored the driver to have sex with her in his taxi — an encounter he videotaped on his cellphone. The city cut a check to… Continue reading →

Why did FEMA reject Louisiana’s appeal for money for repairs after February tornado outbreak?

Residents whose property was damaged by one of the dozen tornadoes that tore across south Louisiana on Feb. 23 need not wait for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide financial assistance. The federal agency on Monday denied Gov. John Bel Edwards’ appeal for a major disaster declaration following the severe storms, the Governor’s Office said Monday.… Continue reading →

At Baton Rouge events, John Bel Edwards attempts to build support for budget changes, Medicaid expansion

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Gov. John Bel Edwards, third from right, and Dr. Rebekah Gee, DHH Secretary, second from right, discusses Medicaid expansion at an event. From left, Rodrick Perkins, BR council member Donna Collins-Lewis, Loretta Robillard, Originae Brown, Edwards, Gee and Linda Simms. The event is the first in a series from Gov. Edwards and Dr. Gee in the state on this topic. Gov. Edwards and Dr. Gee met with new enrollees of the Medicaid expansion program and made an announcement regarding the June 1 enrollment start date, including providing new information for the public.

Gov. John Bel Edwards on Monday made back-to-back appearances in Baton Rouge to appeal to supporters and community leaders on two of the key issues he’s facing — the state budget shortfall and expansion of the Medicaid health care program. The effort to plug a $600 million gap in the state budget that begins… Continue reading →

After Louisiana Supreme Court denies appeal of Saints, Pelicans owner Tom Benson's competency ruling, here's what's next in case

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER  -- Tom Benson leaves for a lunch during a break in his trial at civil district court in New Orleans Wednesday, June 3, 2015.

The Louisiana Supreme Court on Monday said it will not consider a request from the estranged relatives of Tom Benson to overturn a judge’s ruling last year that the Saints and Pelicans owner was mentally competent when he altered his succession plans. The twice-widowed Benson announced in January 2015 that Gayle, his third wife, would inherit his… Continue reading →

Rod Walker: Don't blame LHSAA, but weather rule change a must for baseball playoff series

Newman coach Trey Guillot wasn’t discouraged after his team lost Game 1 of its best-of-three series Friday. “The best thing about a 2 out of 3 series is there is a tomorrow,” Guillot recalls telling his team after the loss. “But then they took our tomorrow.” They, in this case, was the LHSAA.… Continue reading →

‘It’s a possibility’: Former LSU DT Travonte Valentine says he could potentially return to the Tigers

Champagnat's Nathaniel Holloway (31) and Travonte Valentine (75) chase after Victory Christian quarterback Caleb Lewis (2) during their high school days in 2013. Lewis, a walk-on, is now LSU's fourth-string quarterback. Valentine says he could rejoin the Tigers.

Travonte Valentine, a once-highly touted high school star who was dismissed last summer from LSU, said he has a “50 percent chance” to rejoin the program and play this season. The LSU staff, specifically coach Les Miles, has not made a decision on Valentine’s future on returning, but the team has been in contact with… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Perhaps hard to believe, but there's one set of ex-Gov. Bobby Jindal’s ideas still in play in Louisiana

If there’s one thing that seems to unite the warring factions that make up the state’s political class, it’s the firm belief that many of former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s policies should be undone. Legislators, Republican and Democratic alike, are in the process of enthusiastically passing bills that can be read as direct rebukes to the former… Continue reading →

St. Charles Sheriff’s Office: Why mom’s boyfriend believed to be 16-year-old Jorion White's killer

A cross was recently erected near where the body of Jorion White, 16, of Kenner, was found in St. Rose. White's body was found April 24, 2016; the longtime boyfriend of her mother has been booked with murder. (Photo by Matt Sledge of The New Orleans Advocate)

Despite his claims of innocence, the longtime boyfriend of Jorion White’s mother was jailed Monday on suspicion of murdering White, the Kenner teenager whose lifeless body was found April 24 in a remote part of St. Rose. Daniel Lee Beckley, 40, killed White, 16, then used his car to dispose of her corpse about… Continue reading →

Meet 19 undrafted rookie free agents Saints add to squad

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Dominique Tovell runs the forty yard dash during Pro Day on Wednesday at the Moncla Indoor Practice Facility. Pro Day allows NFL team scouts to check out the abilities hopeful Ragin' Cajun football players looking to get drafted.

The Saints worked the market of undrafted players hard to acquire a handful of players to compete for roster spots during training camp. The team announced on Monday it signed 19 rookie free agents following the draft. The largest areas of focus were on the offensive line and the defensive backfield. On the offensive line, the team added BYU… Continue reading →

Supreme Court reaffirms decision that amendment blocking convicted Louisiana felons from running for office is unconstitutional

The Louisiana Supreme Court has reaffirmed its January decision that a constitutional amendment barring convicted felons from running for state and local office for 15 years after their terms end is itself unconstitutional because of a technical error. The state’s high court had granted state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s request for a rehearing on… Continue reading →

Judge to decide next month whether political consultant will have to testify in lawsuit against Lafayette city marshal

A judge will decide next month whether the Lafayette political consultant accused of coordinating with Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope in an effort to sway the sheriff election will have to testify in the public records lawsuit against the marshal. The Independent is seeking to depose Hilary “Joe” Castille, who worked last year for Scott Police… Continue reading →

Acadiana Crime Blotter for Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Arrests posted May 1, 2016, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office website. JOSHUA ALFRED: 27, of the 100 block of Sonny Street, Lafayette. He was booked on a warrant/bench warrant. JOBIE JAMES BOUDREAUX: 30, of the 300 block of Estelle Drive, Carencro. He was booked on misdemeanor prescription drug violation; prohibited… Continue reading →

Louisiana congressman John Fleming: Voters frustrated by both Republicans and Democrats' leadership

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden, addressed the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Monday.

The frustration being voiced by the electorate this year is rooted in a Democratic Party trending toward socialism and Republicans who won’t do anything about it, U.S. Rep. John Fleming said Monday. “The Democratic Party has moved so far to the left that it’s fully aligned with socialism,” Fleming, a Minden Republican who is running for the… Continue reading →

Sandwich chain Lenny’s eyes Baton Rouge for growth

Lenny’s Subs, a Memphis, Tennessee-based chain with more than 100 locations in 12 states, is looking at opening its first Louisiana restaurant in Baton Rouge. The company is considering multiple restaurants in the metro area after it signs a franchisee, said Bob Ritter, vice president of franchise and market development. Lenny’s has 21… Continue reading →

Livingston Parish school superintendent to retire in June, school board to discuss search this week

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Livingston Parish Superintendent John Watson speaks to a packed room of teachers and parents during a meeting to discuss Common Core State Standards on Monday at the Livingston Parish School Board in Livingston.

The Livingston Parish school system will begin its search for a new superintendent sooner than expected, following Superintendent John Watson’s announcement Monday that he will retire at the end of June, six months before his contract’s end date. Watson, who took over as superintendent in 2012 following the retirement of Bill Spear, said… Continue reading →

Sheriff’s Office: Trio arrested in armed robbery of cellphone

Roderick Jordan, 19

East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested three 19-year-olds who allegedly stole a man’s iPhone 6 at gunpoint early Monday morning. Deputies caught the trio after stopping their brown Chevrolet Malibu around 3 a.m. Monday, less than an hour after Tesa Ann Lemoine, Rebecca Wells and Roderick Jordan robbed the victim at gunpoint near a home in… Continue reading →

Baker man convicted in 1989 quadruple murder wants new trial, says lawyers did poor job

One of two Baker men serving life prison terms in the 1989 drug-related slaying of four people inside a Zachary mobile home is asking a Baton Rouge federal judge to reverse his second-degree murder convictions. Freddie King Jr., 47, claims the performance of his court-appointed trial attorneys was constitutionally deficient — an allegation each of his… Continue reading →

Eight teams show interest in redeveloping Entergy’s Mid City site on Government Street

Advocate staff filel photo by BILL FEIG -- The East Baton Rouge Parish Redevelopment Authority is considering proposals from eight teams to redevelop the former Entergy site at 1509 Government St. in Baton Rouge.

Eight teams, all with ties to Baton Rouge or New Orleans, have submitted proposals to redevelop the former Entergy site at 1509 Government St. in Baton Rouge. “It looks like we have eight great teams,” said Gwen Hamilton, interim president and chief executive officer of the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority. Hamilton said she has not reviewed… Continue reading →

Rehearing request denied Monday for Ascension Parish justice of the peace removed from office in March

The state Supreme Court denied an Ascension Parish justice of the peace’s appeal Monday of the high court’s March ruling that he be removed from office over allegations of rude behavior and improper handling and abuse of the peace bond process. With the decision, Leroy Laiche Jr., 2nd District justice of the peace in Prairieville, is out… Continue reading →

Burl Cain's son, on leave as Avoyelles warden, treated leniently in '09 inmate beating

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  Former Phelps Correctional inmate David Breaux talks recently about the beating, including wounds to the head, that  he says was administered to him after a Jan. 2009 escape attempt.

Seven years ago, Nate Cain looked on as a trio of guards savagely beat an inmate who had hopped a train to escape a work detail at Phelps Correctional Center in DeQuincy, where Cain was deputy warden. After convict David Breaux was recaptured, the abuse started in a transport car, with Cain in the… Continue reading →

Frustrations boil over as LHSAA rules to cut short rain-plagued baseball playoff series

The combination of rain, the LHSAA and frustrations over rules on how to govern best-of-three baseball series are played boiled over Sunday night. Ultimately, the LHSAA opted to stick with its deadline to complete at least two games of a best-of-three playoff series by midnight Sunday, putting four teams, including Class 3A University High, out of the… Continue reading →

Lafayette arrest report for May 2

Arrests posted May 1, 2016, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website. JOSHUA ALFRED: 27, of the 100 block of Sonny Street, Lafayette. He was booked on warrant/bench warrant. JOBIE JAMES BOUDREAUX: 30, of the 300 block of Estelle Drive, Carencro. He was booked on misdemeanor prescription drug violation; prohibited activities (drug paraphernalia);… Continue reading →

Pointe Coupee jail guard arrested for malfeasance after internal investigations led to five guards being terminated or resigning

Darnell VanBuren

The Pointe Coupee Parish Detention Center on Monday became the latest correctional facility to be rocked by controversy when two guards were fired and three others resigned after allegations surfaced about inappropriate dealings with inmates. The employees were accused of smuggling drugs and cellphones into the facility for inmates, Sheriff Bud… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area plant managers see pause in new projects

Plant managers in the Baton Rouge area expect a pause in capital investments over the next six months, according to the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance’s member survey. The “stagnant outlook” for capital projects may be related to the upcoming presidential election or higher taxes passed by the state Legislature, GBRIA Executive Director Connie Fabre said. But… Continue reading →

Flash flood watch remains in place for Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas

Baton Rouge emergency services Monday morning urged residents to keep an eye on their elderly neighbors and family members after the National Weather Service put the area on a flood watch in effect through the evening. Monday threatens “heavy rain” ahead of a slow-moving cold front, according to the flood watch statement. The Baton Rouge and New… Continue reading →

Louisiana high school graduation rate shows second highest rise in decade

While always low nationally, Louisiana’s public high school graduation rate is 77.5 percent after the second largest yearly increase in the past decade, state officials announced Monday. The 2015 figure, the latest available, is up 2.9 percentage points over 2014. “Really, it is clear evidence that when you raise expectations for young people, they will follow… Continue reading →