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LSU runs to 23-17 win over Texas A&M in College Station

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU running back Leonard Fournette (7) beats his chest in the end zone, after scoring on a run on which it looked as though two Texas A&M tacklers would stop him, during the first half Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014 in College Station, Texas. LSU wide receiver John Diarse (9) is at left, and fullback Connor Neighbors (43) at right.

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Thanksgiving in Baton Rouge: good food, good cheer, good deeds

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Volunteer Joe Pope, of Galveston, Texas, joined the Holiday Helpers in their annual Thanksgiving luncheon, Thursday, Nov. 27, at the Baton Rouge River Center.

With aprons on and plastic gloves covering willing hands, hundreds of volunteers turned out Thursday to serve lunch, and offer friendship, to hundreds of residents in need of both. Standing in line with family at the Baton Rouge River Center, volunteer Tannesha Williams, 45, said it was their first time volunteering at the Holiday Helpers Thanksgiving dinner.… Continue reading →

Landrieu, Cassidy spar over congressman's LSU income

Associated Press Photo by Gerald Herbert --  Republican U.S. Senate candidate  Bill Cassidy, of Baton Rouge, addresses supporters during his Nov. 4. election night watch party.

A spokesman for U.S. Sen Mary Landrieu’s campaign says documents posted by bloggers raise questions about U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy’s part-time teaching at the old charity hospital in Baton Rouge. Cassidy refutes the allegations, saying they’re based on an incomplete set of documents. Cassidy had worked for two decades at the LSU Earl K. Long Medical… Continue reading →

Louisiana college students carry lower loan costs, but the load is growing

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- A national report showing Louisiana students graduate with debt below the national average supports LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander's oft-repeated contention that LSU is a bargain.

Louisiana college students continue to graduate with lower average debt loads than graduates in most states across the country. A new report from the Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access & Success, or TICAS, also found fewer than half of the students graduating from Louisiana colleges and universities… Continue reading →

Changes to State Capitol traffic plan put on hold

Advocate Photo by MARSHA SHULER -- Visitors to the State Capitol this holiday season are in a construction zone with chain-link fences, ripped up pavement and materials stacked all around. It's part of a $4.37 million project.

Major traffic pattern changes planned as part of a State Capitol security upgrade are being delayed, the state’s construction manager said. The Louisiana Legislature begins its 2015 session in April, and there is a concern that the road work would not be completed in time, State Office of Facility Planning and Control Director Mark Moses said. Rather… Continue reading →

Bogalusa civil rights leader, Deacon for Defense Bob Hicks, honored

Photo provided by Olivia McClure -- From left, State Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa, Jackie Hicks with an unidentified granddaughter , and Elder Christopher Matthews of Bethlehem Baptist Church of Bogalusa during a march last weekend commemorating 1960s civil rights leader Robert Hicks.

In Bogalusa, a mill town once ruled by white law enforcement and saturated with the Ku Klux Klan — often one and the same during the 1960s — a National Register of Historic Places marker now stands in front of a modest, aging gray house. There, in 1965, Robert “Bob” Hicks rallied African-Americans to take up the fight… Continue reading →

Political boundaries stretched in East Baton Rouge School Board race

An unusual battle of incumbents has emerged in the race for East Baton Rouge Parish School Board District 5 where Jerry Arbour and Evelyn Ware-Jackson are facing off in the Dec. 6 runoff election. The result could well determine the direction of the board over the next four years. The two have spent the past… Continue reading →

Age, experience factors in 19th Judicial District judge race

Beau Higginbotham, left, and Cleveland Coon

What began as a five-candidate field is now down to a two-man race, with longtime Southern University Law Center professor Cleveland Coon battling one of his former students, ex-prosecutor Beau Higginbotham, for the right to sit on the 19th Judicial District Court bench for the next six years. Coon, a 60-year-old Democrat, and Higginbotham, a 40-year-old… Continue reading →

Accused of stealing from coworkers, ATC employee arrested, fired

Louisiana State Police on Wednesday arrested a non-commissioned employee of the agency’s Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control accused of stealing money from her co-workers. Lindy Tullier was arrested after several of her coworkers reported money missing from their purses, according to a State Police news release. Investigators traced the thefts back to Tullier, the… Continue reading →

Food, friendship part of Lafayette’s Thanksgiving

Advocate Photo by LEE CELANO -- Volunteer Bob Holbrook prepares to debone a turkey at Bailey's Restaurant during a complimentary Thanksgiving dinner for community members in Lafayette on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014.

When Ema Haq moved to the U.S. 32 years ago, he had never heard about Thanksgiving. But for the past 22 years, Haq, with the help of volunteers, has opened his restaurant, Bailey’s Seafood and Grill, on this most American of holidays to offer food and friendship. “For me, it’s definitely… Continue reading →

Telemedicine clinic at Carencro school helps keep students in classroom

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- On a video screen, Dr. Donna Wilson, center, demonstrates how she would like to see Lafayette Parish School System Health and Wellness Director Bradley Cruice's throat with the help of Registered Nurse Maudrey Durand, right, during a demonstration of Ossun Elementary's telemedicine clinic in Lafayette.

From an exam room in Carencro Middle School’s school-based health center, Dr. Donna Jean Wilson uses technology to reach out and treat young patients who are sitting in front of a camera about five miles away at Ossun Elementary. Headaches, toothaches, and other aches and pains that typically would send some students… Continue reading →

Politics blog: Jindal comments on Ferguson, Politico reports

Associated Press photo by MELINDA DESLATTE -- Gov. Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is among the potential contenders for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination who Politico.com sought out comments from on the events in Ferguson, Missouri, following the announcement that a grand jury opted not to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown. To read the complete… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Nov. 27, 2014

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 →

No jackpot winners in big Wednesday games

The Louisiana Lottery Corp. says nobody won three big mid-week drawings, so the jackpots are growing. Estimated jackpots Saturday are $290,000 for Easy 5, $500,000 for Lotto and $90 million for the Powerball. The biggest prize won in Louisiana for Wednesday night’s drawings was $10,000. The lottery corporation says one ticket matched four of the five… Continue reading →

New Orleans mulls a smoke ban in public places

Advocate file photo -- The New Orleans City Council is considering an ordinance to prohibit smoking in public places.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A cigarette with that Sazerac cocktail at a French Quarter bar might become a thing of the past in one of America’s most famously libertine cities. In a move surely to divide opinions, the New Orleans City Council is considering an ordinance to make it illegal to smoke in bars, casinos, parks, at… Continue reading →

DHH head: ‘alarming rate’ of ADHD medication in La.

Louisiana Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert

Louisiana’s health secretary says the state has an “alarming rate” of medicating kids for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Secretary Kathy Kliebert will hold a free symposium about the syndrome in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, Dec. 9. She says parents, teachers, health care professionals and others are welcome. Topics will include frequency of diagnosis, medication rates, and… Continue reading →

Presidents pick up the check for their meals

FILE - This Aug. 14, 2012, file photo shows President Barack Obama paying for his coffee and muffins at the Coffee Connection, Tuesday, in Knoxville, Iowa. Theres no free lunch, or breakfast or dinner, for the president on Thanksgiving day. Or any other day for that matter. He has to dig into his pocket to pay for the holiday feast of turkey, ham, two kinds of stuffing, sweet and regular potatoes, and six different kinds of pie. Its a longstanding practice that presidents pay for meals for themselves, their families and personal guests. Obama also pays for other basics, everything from toothpaste to dry-cleaning. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — There’s no free lunch — or breakfast or dinner — for President Barack Obama on Thanksgiving Day. Or any other day for that matter. He has to dig into his pocket to pay for his holiday feast of turkey, ham, two kinds of stuffing, sweet and regular potatoes and six different kinds of pie.… Continue reading →

Politics blog: Jindal’s chief of staff makes local 40 under 40 list

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Kyle Plotkin

Kyle Plotkin, who became Gov. Bobby Jindal’s chief of staff earlier this year, has been named to the Baton Rouge Business Report’s “Forty Under 40” list for 2014. To read the complete blog post, please click here.… Continue reading →

Cassidy fundraising outpaces Landrieu in run-up to Dec. 6 U.S. Senate runoff

Leading in the polls heading into the Dec. 6 runoff for the U.S. Senate, Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, of Baton Rouge, also led in fundraising over his Democratic opponent, incumbent Mary Landrieu, in the latest filing period, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Cassidy reported taking in $2.2 million from Oct. 16 through Nov. 16. He… Continue reading →

Racism, obstruction of government claims fly in Gonzales; councilman resigns, another up for recall

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Gonzales City Council member Timothy Vessel Sr. waits for the start of the council meeting on June 23.

A rift in Gonzales framed by allegations of obstructionist government on one side and racism on the other led to the resignation of a City Council member Tuesday and a second councilman headed to a Dec. 6 recall election. Gary Lacombe avoided finding out whether Gonzales voters would oust him from… Continue reading →

The spirit moves at BR’s ‘OneStop Homeless Services Center’

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Freddie Thomas performs during a talent show at the One Stop Homeless Services Center located at 153 N. 17th Street.

It was 16 minutes until the talent show, and nobody had signed up. Erica Clovis went from person to person, flashing a smile as she begged the reticent people at the One Stop Homeless Services Center to share their talents with others. She managed to convince only seven people, but those who often spend… Continue reading →

Metro Council approves policy to make Baton Rouge more walkable, bikeable

Advocate file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- A cyclist takes on a path along Dalrymple near May Street at City Park Lake. Phase 2 of the 'Easy Streets' program calls for more bike paths to make the LSU campus more pedestrian friendly.

A group pressing for more sidewalks and bike paths to make it easier for people to move around the city of Baton Rouge has won the Metro Council’s support. The council on Tuesday adopted a Complete Streets policy recommended by the group. The policy is intended to improve the city’s quality of life by adding and… Continue reading →

Leads dry up in fatal crash case

Advocate file photo by ADAM LAU -- Louisiana State Trooper Joseph Barton kneels in prayer on Feb. 22, 2012, alongside Black Bayou in St. Amant  where a car left Stringer Bridge Road and plunged into Black Bayou the previous evening, killing two children. The driver and two other children survived.

Prosecutors have been unable to determine whether a mix of prescription drugs intoxicated a St. Amant woman and impaired her ability to drive when she drove off Stringer Bridge Road into Black Bayou one night in February 2012, drowning her two daughters trapped in the car. Twenty-Third Judicial District Attorney Ricky Babin said… Continue reading →

LSU scientist and others offer new theory of bird species evolution

Photo provided by of Mike Hankey -- Macaws flying over the rainforest canopy at dawn. A new study published recently in Nature found that bird lineages that inhabit the forest canopy, such as these macaws, accumulate fewer species over evolutionary time than do bird lineages that inhabit the forest understory.

What makes one bird species turn into two species of birds? A long-standing theory posited that a likely cause was drastic geographical changes, such as a river forming and cutting off members of the same species, leaving them in isolation for a long period of time. This isolation meant the two groups would eventually evolve so… Continue reading →

Attorneys say judge’s remarks should disqualify him from ruling on question of intellectual disability for convicted killer

Prosecutors are coming to the defense of a veteran Baton Rouge state judge who attorneys for condemned killer Allen “Lil Boo” Robertson Jr. say should be disqualified from deciding whether Robertson is intellectually disabled and thus ineligible for execution. Robertson’s lawyers contend comments made by 19th Judicial District Judge Mike Erwin during hearings in the case… Continue reading →

Number of Louisiana public school advisory committees explodes: Why so many?

The number of public school advisory committees has exploded in recent years, which means education debates rage for months before and after the Legislature grapples with the same issues. One special panel is wrestling with the rollout of a state law that overhauls Louisiana’s special education rules, which is in addition to a standing… Continue reading →

Accused of stealing from coworkers, ATC employee arrested, fired

Louisiana State Police on Wednesday arrested a non-commissioned employee of the agency’s Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control accused of stealing money from her co-workers. Lindy Tullier was arrested after several of her coworkers reported money missing from their purses, according to a State Police news release. Investigators traced the thefts back to Tullier, the… Continue reading →

Man accused of robbing, holding captive at knifepoint two women at their Highland Road apartment

Travis Davis

A Baton Rouge man is accused of kidnapping and holding at knifepoint two women on Tuesday while he robbed them at their Highland Road apartment.
Baton Rouge police detectives said Travis Davis, 35, confronted the first woman in the parking lot of her apartment complex about 2:30 a.m. and forced her at knifepoint to take him to her apartment… Continue reading →

Ascension Sheriff’s Office warns of phone scam

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to beware of a telephone scam in which callers falsely pose as sheriff’s office employees and demand payment for purported debts. Authorities have received several reports in which a caller claims to be from the Sheriff’s Office and threatens to arrest a victim if they don’t send over… Continue reading →

Government offices closed in the Baton Rouge area for Thanksgiving

All East Baton Rouge city-parish government offices will be closed Thursday and Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The offices will close at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Garbage and recyclables will not be collected on Thursday, and will instead be collected at the next service day. For recyclable curbside service, residents will have their carts serviced Saturday.… Continue reading →

Lafayette schools eye expanding French immersion program

Advocate file photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Myrtle Place French Immersion Kindergarten teacher Karine Ruatta teaches her class Tuesday at the school. Looking to close a $4 million shortfall in its budget, the Lafayette School Board is considering increasing student-teacher ratios by two students or making other cuts.

The Lafayette Parish School System will make another effort to offer students a second chance to study French immersion through a late-entry immersion class. The class targets incoming fifth-grade students interested in studying French but who missed the opportunity to enroll in the school system’s French immersion classes at earlier… Continue reading →

Lafayette public offices, services closing for Thanksgiving holiday

Holiday week trash collection Republic Services and the Recycling Foundation will not collect residential garbage or recycling in Lafayette Parish on Thanksgiving Day. Customers who normally have their garbage or recycling collected on Thursday will have it collected on Friday instead. For those who ordinarily have garbage and recycling… Continue reading →

Suspect identified, sought in Hammond shootings

The Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office has identified a suspect in a shooting Monday that sent two men to the hospital. Deputies are asking the public for help finding 22-year-old Louis L. Perry Jr., of Hammond, who is wanted on two counts of attempted second-degree murder. Around 3 p.m. Monday, Perry fired multiple… Continue reading →

Mary Landrieu, Bill Cassidy set for Monday night debate, have different plans for media afterward

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)

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy are set for their one and only debate before the Dec. 6 runoff. The debate will be televised live Monday at 7 p.m. After the debate, Landrieu and Cassidy have different plans for addressing reporters. Check out our politics blog for more details.… Continue reading →

Presidential primary poll: Bobby Jindal far behind competition, but U.S. News analysis has good news for him

Gov. Bobby Jindal is shown in this June 2, 2014, Advocate file photo.

The good news for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is that, if he decides to run for president, his seat as the state's leader could aid him, according to a new U.S. News and World Report analysis. The bad news, according to a new presidential primary poll, is that Jindal trails Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Florida Gov.… Continue reading →

Acadiana Crime Blotter: Police arrest two in north Lafayette shootings

Photo provided by ABBEVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT -- Authorities are investigating two armed robberies that happened within 45 minutes of each other on Nov. 25, 2014. The robber fled on foot and got away with about $900 in cash. ORG XMIT: wFC5v8fIaVqrdmTkvxeR

Updated at 3:25 p.m.City police arrested two people Wednesday afternoon in two shootings in north Lafayette. Joshua Trovon Harley, 19, was booked on attempted first-degree murder and possessing a firearm with obliterated serial numbers in the 10:30 a.m. Wednesday shooting near Cameron and Pierce streets, spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton said. Christopher James Bartie, 24,… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge man dies in I-10 crash in Ascension Parish

A 27-year-old Baton Rouge man died early Wednesday morning in a one-car crash on Interstate 10, west of La. 22 in Ascension Parish, according to Louisiana State Police. The initial investigation showed that Brandon Jamal Guillory was driving a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria eastbound on I-10, in the right lane, shortly after… Continue reading →