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Religious retreat center planned at old Leland College site in Baker — councilman: ‘this will give Baker the most positive publicity it has ever had’

Advocate staff file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Tony Williams, left, and Leandre Sanders, workers with Baton Rouge's Hagen Fence, finish work in Octoboer 2015 installing an aluminum arch-top gate at the Groom Road entrance to the site of the former Leland College in Baker. The  Leland Foundation and the Baton Rouge-based Fourth District Missionary Baptist Association are planning to build a retreat center at the 227-acre site.

Baker officials authorize mayor to sell scrap bronze from Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery

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Baker High staff and students are ‘like buffaloes,’ says superintendent, braving the cold until the heat is returned, hopefully by Wednesday

Baker mayor: 5 parishes, including East Baton Rouge, to face water fee increases to fund saltwater intrusion study

Faculty on ‘fire watch’ as officials seek to replace broken fire alarm system at Bakerfield Elementary

Photo provided by Emily Beck Cogburn -- Nicholas Linton (third from left) with board members (l to r), Shona Boxie, Dana Carpenter, Elaine Davis, Rosatina Johnson, super Herman Brister and Doris Alexander (board).

The fire alarm system at Bakerfield Elementary remains inoperable while the Baker School Board seeks bids for a replacement, officials said Tuesday. In the meantime, the school is on “fire watch,” meaning staff is being extra vigilant about potential fire hazards, Superintendent Herman Brister told the School Board. The system was… Continue reading →

Baker tackles blight with weed, grass ordinance: property owners who don’t cut their yards face fines, seizure

Facility improvements, dual enrollment program helps Baker High improve from D to C school on latest report card

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Baker High School Honors English teacher Laquisha Comeaux has her class write in their journals before starting instruction last month. Baker High has improved from a D to a C grade on its latest report card.

Baker High School’s improvement from a D to a C school was a result of “a lot of pieces coming together,” Principal Traci Morgan told the School Board on Tuesday night. Baker High improved in all the areas measured by the state, rising from 58.8 points in 2013-14, a letter grade of D,… Continue reading →

Baker City Council takes up blight proposal, possible zoo move

The City Council introduced an ordinance Tuesday to fight blight by streamlining the process for levying fines against owners of property determined to be a health or safety hazard. The council will vote on the proposed ordinance at its Sept. 22 meeting. The proposal mirrors state and federal ordinances, allowing the… Continue reading →

Missouri band honors two late LSU band members

. The Uniersity of Missouri band took time during its practice on Wednesday to spell out "LSU" in hour of the Tigers band, which had two former members die within the past three weeks. Fuller Lyon, the Missouri band director, is a former graduate assistant at LSU. The Missouri band posted a picture to its… Continue reading →

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

Herman Brister

Baker School Board tightens budget, but finds funds to increase coaches’ stipends at Baker Middle

Herman Brister

The Baker School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a belt-tightening budget for the 2015-16 school year and also to raise stipends for athletic coaches at Baker Middle School. The budget projects $14.7 million in expenditures and $14.9 million in revenues for the 2015-16 school year. Last year, the district had… Continue reading →

Baker City Council to use new guidelines in choosing the next city auditor

Baker school district belt-tightening claims 17 positions already with another 10 to go this week, along with furloughs for administrative staff

Baker City Council approves budget — but not without a lot of questions

Brister proposes major changes for Baker schools: layoffs of nontenured teachers, increasing class sizes, while creating new administrative positions

Herman Brister

Baker police chief, political opponent trade barbs at City Council meeting, and continue their tirade outside

Mike Knaps, left, and William "Bill" Johnson

Baker School Board names Herman Brister Sr. as its next superintendent

Herman Brister

Baker School Board to mull through applications for its next superintendent

Six individuals, including two top administrators in the East Baton Rouge Parish school district and one in Zachary, applied by a Friday deadline to become the next superintendent of public schools in Baker. The Baker School Board is meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, likely behind closed doors, to determine which of these applicants it will bring… Continue reading →

Two of four applications so far for Baker schools superintendent are from East Baton Rouge school administrators

City of Baker agrees to privatize DMV office; wait times promised to be shorter for driver’s licenses, other services

Officials pinpoint two reasons for failing Bakerfield Elementary: teacher absenteeism and staff turnover

More than 40 people attended a Baker School Board work session Tuesday night to hear about a proposed reconstitution plan for Bakerfield Elementary. Bakerfield has received a grade of F from the state Department of Education for the past four years, making it eligible for takeover by the Recovery School District.… Continue reading →

Baker City Council agrees to buy two police SUVs

The City Council agreed Tuesday to spend $80,000 for two new Police Department SUVs, using funds from the city’s traffic division. Although Police Chief Mike Knaps pressed for the purchase, council member Charles Vincent said some of his constituents have questioned why money is being spent on police vehicles… Continue reading →

East Feliciana Police Jury plans to go after disputed sales taxes

Baker City Council kills water, sewer rate hikes

After hearing from a packed room of residents and city employees Tuesday, the Baker City Council again struck down a proposal for sewer and water fee increases. A few residents spoke against the proposal, citing concerns about how the money would be spent and saying that utility… Continue reading →

Baker School Board, on split vote, extends superintendent’s contract by one year

The Baker School Board on a split vote Tuesday extended Superintendent Ulysses Joseph’s contract by one year, but not without some serious debate. Joseph’s current contract ends Dec. 31. Joseph said he earns $118,000 a year as superintendent of Baker Schools. “You never were allowed to be superintendent. Ms. Davis tells… Continue reading →

Baker High classes cancelled Friday as repairs continue on gas leak

Baker High School will be closed to students Friday because of a plumbing issue. Superintendent Ulysses Joseph said the school experienced a minor gas leak but officials could not get it fixed in time for classes Friday. “The leak’s been plugged. We just needed time to get everything repressurized,” Joseph said.… Continue reading →

Baker School Board approves additional funds for lighting projects

Baker council authorizes mayor to contract with bus bench company

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Brook Barnett, with Giraffe Advertising, answers questions during a metro council meeting Wednesday.

Bus riders may soon have seating at some of the Capital Area Transit System bus stops in Baker. The city council voted Tuesday to authorize Mayor Harold Rideau to enter into a contract with Giraffe Advertising to place benches at stops in the city. If the mayor signs the 10-year contract,… Continue reading →

Police: Baker resident killed in French Quarter by drunk driver

Tevest Vance

It was meant to be a weekend of joy. Taylor McGonigle, days away from her 22nd birthday, and several friends made a trip to the French Quarter from the Baton Rouge area to celebrate. But on the walk back to their car early Sunday, the merriment turned to horror… Continue reading →

Boxers battle at Baker’s Buffalo Fest

Photo provided by Patt Roberson -- William Glenn, 15, of Frog Capital Boxing Club of Rayne, left, displays his boxing trophy Sept. 13  at the Baker Buffalo Festival and  Kenner club coach, Axel Murillo, right, stands in for boxer Daniel Lassus, who also won at the boxing event.

The Back Street Boxing Club of Carencro was named the best club of the night at the Baker Buffalo Festival boxing match Sept. 13. It was the second consecutive year the club, coached by Shelton LeBlanc, won the honor. Two 15-year-olds were named best fighters of the evening: William Glenn, of Frog Capital Boxing Club of… Continue reading →

Baker Police arrests for Oct. 3, 2014

The following people were booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison or issued a summons Oct. 3-9 by the Baker Police Department. CHRISTIAN COBB: 21, Baton Rouge, failure to appear for theft. DONTA COLEMAN: 26, Baton Rouge, failure to appear for license plate light required. ARNOLD CUMMINGS: 30, Baton Rouge, failure to appear for… Continue reading →

Baker School Board holds first meeting in new office, honors students

Photo provided by Emily Beck Cogburn -- The new Baker School Board buildling.

More than 120 people packed the new school district office building on Tuesday for the first meeting of the Baker School Board in its new office in the former Graves Chevrolet property at 14750 Plank Road. The school district purchased the 3.4-acre property for $1.1 million in March. The district has budgeted… Continue reading →

Copper Mill school closed because of water main break

ZACHARY -- Copper Mill Elementary School is closed Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, because of a water main break, according to the Zachary Community School Board. Parents have until 10 a.m. if they wish to collect their children. Otherwise, fifth-graders will be sent to Zachary Middle School, and sixth-graders will be sent to Zachary High School for the day.… Continue reading →

Baker council urges mayor to move forward with bench contract

Negotiations remain at a standstill between Mayor Harold Rideau and Baton Rouge-based Geaux Benches regarding placing benches at bus stops in the city of Baker. The City Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to authorize Rideau to enter into a contract with the company, but Rideau gave no indication whether he intends… Continue reading →