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2 dead in Reserve aircraft crash

RESERVE (AP) — A small helicopter-like aircraft crashed into a canal at the St. John the Baptist Parish Airport in Reserve, killing the pilot and a passenger. Officials say the pilot and his passenger, a teenage family friend, were pronounced dead Sunday night. Their identities have not been released. Port of South Louisiana Commissioner and Chairman… Continue reading →

NASA’s Maven spacecraft enters Mars orbit

In this artist concept provided by NASA, the MAVEN spacecraft approaches Mars on a mission to study its upper atmosphere. Late Sunday night, Sept. 21, 2014,NASA's Maven spacecraft entered orbit around Mars for an unprecedented study of the red planet's atmosphere following a 442 million-mile journey that began nearly a year ago. (AP Photo/NASA)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s Maven spacecraft entered orbit around Mars for an unprecedented study of the red planet’s atmosphere following a 442 million-mile journey that began nearly a year ago. The robotic explorer successfully slipped into orbit around the red planet late Sunday night. “I think my heart’s about ready to start again,” Maven’s… Continue reading →

Accused White House intruder to appear in court

This Sept. 21, 2009 photo provided by Jerry Murphy shows Omar Gonzalez, who was married to Murphy's mother, Samantha, until they divorced in 2012. Authorities have identified Gonzalez as the man who got into the White House after scaling a fence on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Courtesy Jerry Murphy)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Following an embarrassing security breach at the White House, one of the most closely protected buildings in the world, the Secret Service is said to be considering establishing new checkpoints to screen tourists in public areas near the presidential mansion. Meanwhile, the man accused of scaling a security fence and getting into the president’s… Continue reading →

Police, community efforts help Gardere see a turnaround in crime

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Captain Andrew Stevens with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, right, speaks with Kenilworth students Ajaya Coleman, 11, left, and Destiny Allen, 13, after they stepped off their school bus near the intersection of General Jackson Avenue and Old Hermitage Parkway, Thursday, September 11, in Baton Rouge. Captain Stevens was joined by, from left, Lt. Kim Williams, Deputy Quintin Merrett, and Cpl. Henry Logan.

On her first day interning at the nonprofit Gardere Initiative, Tonyea McCaleb was nervous. Growing up on the other side of the parish, all she ever heard was negative comments about the south Baton Rouge neighborhood. She expected rampant crime and rundown neighborhoods trashed by litter. “That’s all I used to… Continue reading →

Traffic snarls, roadblocks, dead ends frustrate Tiger fans headed home

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU's Tiger Stadium is filled to capacity with 102,321 in attendance during the first quarter against Mississippi State, Saturday, Sept. 20, in Tiger Stadium.

More than a goal of free-flowing cars in all directions, some fans who attended LSU’s first three home football games said after Saturday’s SEC opener they would settle for consistency in post-game traffic plans. They want to know where, when and how to get from one place to another without running into unexpected road blocks and dead… Continue reading →

In 20-9 win over Vikings, Saints do enough to start building momentum

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) greets New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) after their NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

There were moments throughout the contest when the ball was flying through the air and it brought back the high-flying feelings that have come to define the Saints in recent years. But those moments were fleeting. A 34-yard touchdown to Josh Hill was followed a few minutes later by a dropped pass or missed opportunity. It wasn’t… Continue reading →

Healthy living key focus of 10-year plan for EBR park system

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Jayce Ferrygood, 5, explores the playground equipment at the BREC Perkins Road Community Park, Sunday, Sept. 21. Ferrygood was there with his mom, Lanaisha Celestin, who said it was the first time she'd brought Jayce to visit the park.

The message seems clear: Baton Rouge residents are striving to live healthier lives and they hunger for more opportunities to socialize at culture-driven community events. At least that’s the prevailing theme throughout much of the working draft of BREC’s new 10-year strategic plan for East Baton Rouge Parish’s parks and recreation system. After more than… Continue reading →

Gravel pit concerns go beyond water quality

Watson residents have turned out in droves to oppose the construction of a gravel pit near a residential subdivision, raising wide-ranging concerns beyond the water quality issues slated to be discussed at an upcoming public hearing. More than 700 residents have signed a petition opposing Southern Aggregates’ plans to locate a 238-acre sand and gravel mining operation… Continue reading →

Mobile Food Pantry helps Opelousas families feed their families

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Mary Ellen Vincent, a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley, volunteers at Second Harvest Food Bank after the donation of $50,000 by her company to the food bank on Wednesday afternoon in Lafayette. Morgan Stanley, the financial services corporation, will donate more than $4 million over a period of three years to food banks like Second Harvest as part of their Feeding America campaign.

Once a month, families gather inside Opelousas’ South Street Elementary School’s cafeteria to collect boxes filled with fresh produce, dairy products and canned goods — all provided through the Second Harvest Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry. Because the program has been consistent, families have come to rely on it, said Mary-Kay Rath, developing manager at… Continue reading →

Fordoche man dies in car crash

A man died early Sunday after he ran a stop sign at the intersection of U.S. 190 and La. 81 in Pointe Coupee Parish and struck an 18-wheeler. Michael J. Jarreau, 43, of Fordoche, was headed south in a Honda Civic on La. 81 shortly after 1:30 a.m. when he came to the U.S. 190 intersection and… Continue reading →

One dead, two injured in Livingston Parish wreck

One person died and two others were injured in a three-vehicle wreck in Livingston Parish on Saturday afternoon, State Police said Sunday. Luke Matthews III, 21, was heading north on La. 16 about 4 p.m. Saturday when his 2013 Chevrolet Impala veered across the center line for unknown reasons, Trooper 1st Class Jared Sandifer said in a… Continue reading →

Ask The Advocate: Will Old Hammond Highway ever be widened?

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- A sign warns motorists of two lane traffic ahead as Old Hammond Highway goes back down to two lanes just east of Blvd. de Province.

Is there a plan to widen Old Hammond Highway from Boulevard de Province to O’Neal Lane, and, if so, what is the status? Jonathan Charbonnet of CSRS, the project manager for the city-parish Green Light Program, says that section of Old Hammond Highway is split into two separate projects: 1) Old Hammond Highway 1 (Boulevard… Continue reading →

UL-Lafayette prof opens biomedical door for engineering students

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- University of Louisiana at Lafayette Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Charles Taylor has developed an artificial heart lab on the school's campus and is working to develop tools to be used in the future generation of medical devices.

Charles Taylor is opening a career door for engineering students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette that they might not have thought of entering: the biomedical industry. Taylor, a bioengineering professor, is at the center of creating an artificial heart lab at UL-Lafayette’s Rougeau Hall. He introduced a pilot… Continue reading →

Check the photograph for what’s missing from Lafa-ette

Rendering provided by the Downtown Development Authority -- Rendering for sign planned for Parc Sans Souci in downtown Lafayette.

Calling on the residents of Lafayette to literally become the center of the city they love, the Downtown Development Authority has begun a new project to give the city its “postcard” feature — a site ready-made for a souvenir picture. Nestled in the grass between a pair of brick walls near the… Continue reading →

Two killed when ATV crashes into ditch, throws them off vehicle

Two men died early Sunday in Vermilion Parish when their all-terrain vehicle ran off the road and into a ditch, throwing them off the ATV. Vermilion Parish Sheriff Mike Couvillon said a juvenile who was riding with them was injured when he also was thrown from the ATV. Shawn Lalonde, 34, and Kyle Dudding, 29,… Continue reading →

Belle Chasse businessman has global reach with wine

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER- Sampling the merchandise is all part of the job for Matt Lirette, owner of Lirette Selections, a local wine distributor located in Belle Chasse.

A small warehouse and office building tucked away in a modest Belle Chasse industrial park may seem like the farthest place from the sun-kissed hills that produce the Brunellos and Rossos from Italy’s Tuscany region or the gently sloping valley in the south of France that births Château Miraval’s Rosé. But each year, Lirette Selections imports… Continue reading →

People in Business for Sept. 21, 2014

Angela Wales, IberiaBank

Angela Bennett Wales has been named vice president and business banking relationship manager for IberiaBank’s Denham Springs location. Wales was assistant vice president and branch manager for Investar Bank and Capital One in the Baton Rouge market.… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Sept. 21, 2014

Sales and Marketing Executives of Greater Baton Rouge is seeking nominations for the 2014 Excellence in Sales & Marketing Awards. Nominations must be submitted before 5 p.m. Oct. 3. An awards banquet will be held Nov. 20 at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge at… Continue reading →

LSU falls to Mississippi State 34-29 in Tiger Stadium

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU wide receiver Travin Dural (83) has the ball slip through his hands pn a long pass, defended bu Mississippi State defensive back Will Redmond (2) during the first half the teams' game Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 in Baton Rouge.

Dak Prescott’s happy homecoming came at the expense of LSU. Prescott, a native of Haughton, accounted for 274 yards and three touchdowns, leading unranked Mississippi State to a 34-29 victory Saturday over No. 8 LSU in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Prescott’s heroics were more than enough to help Misssippi State (4-0,1-0) snap a… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area residents check out electric vehicles at event

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Ramin Mani, center, asks questions about Edwin Pezant's, left, self-converted electric truck by the electric vehicle charging station at Whole Foods Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Pezant and other owners of electric vehicles were on hand to answer questions in celebration of National Drive Electric Week.

As the allure of electric vehicles grows in the United States, advocates of the battery-powered automobiles gathered in Baton Rouge on Saturday as part of National Drive Electric Week to tout the advantages over the old gas guzzlers. Lauren Lambert-Tompkins, a Clean Cities co-coordinator with Louisiana Clean Fuels, said Saturday’s gathering in the Whole Foods… Continue reading →

Cassidy speaks on dyslexia

Advocate staff photo by Travis Spradling -- The Louisiana State Capitol

​ Amid an under-the-klieg-lights campaign for the U.S. Senate, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., took some time Thursday to address an issue that for him is far more personal than political: dyslexia. In an informational hearing before the U.S. House Science Committee, Cassidy spoke about his experience as a father when he and his wife, Laura, learned a few years… Continue reading →

Hospital deals being renegotiated

Advocate staff photo by Travis Spradling -- The Louisiana State Capitol

Two-thirds of the contracts Gov. Bobby Jindal used to privatize the operation of Louisiana’s charity hospitals are being renegotiated. Federal authorities, who are providing most of the dollars the private companies receive, are troubled with the way the finances are organized in the agreements worth more than $1 billion. Taken out of the agreements —… Continue reading →

Two killed in West Baton Rouge crash early Saturday

Two people were killed early Saturday after a man State Police suspect was speeding rear-ended a tow truck, killing the driver and passenger in the car. The crash occurred shortly before 1:30 a.m. on U.S. 190, west of La. 983 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Trooper 1st Class Jared Sandifer said. The 2003 Acura TL,… Continue reading →

How could LSU save millions, run smoother?

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Commons area at the West Campus Apartments to the right of Edmund Kirby Smith Hall.

LSU could save millions by overhauling its parking system, outsourcing the operation of its power plant and potentially partnering with a private developer to replace aging on-campus student housing, according to a private consultant the university hired. Based on Huron Consulting’s analysis of university operations, a parking revamp that isn’t just an across-the-board increase for… Continue reading →