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Woman’s husband arrested after her strangled body found in Whiskey Bay, Iberville Parish Sheriff’s office says

Jonathan Christopher Allee

Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said Friday that an investigation has determined the 29-year-old woman whose naked body was found in Whiskey Bay was in a “volatile relationship” with an abusive husband who detectives believe killed her before tossing her body off the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. Stassi did not know Friday how long Jonathan… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for April 27

An exhibition titled “Huey Long and the Noble Experiment: Prohibition in Louisiana” is set to open at the West Baton Rouge Museum on May 7. The exhibit, which will run through Sept. 4, will complement the National Endowment for the Humanities On the Road exhibit “Spirited: Prohibition in America,” which also will be on display… Continue reading →

Prosecutor won't pursue accusations against West Baton Rouge councilwoman: ‘It’s dead on arrival’

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- WBRP councilwoman Charlene Gordon talks about proposed Veterans Day observances at Port Allen Mayor Richard Lee's breakfast meeting with city ministers to discuss their vision for the city. Lee is trying to fulfill his campaign promise of bringing the community together. This marks his six month benchmark as mayor.

An assistant district attorney for the 18th Judicial District said Monday his office has no intentions of moving forward with a case against West Baton Rouge Parish Councilwoman Charlene Gordon over allegations she used social media to threaten and intimidate her grandchild’s school bus driver. “It’s dead on arrival.… Continue reading →

Woman found in Whiskey Bay was strangled; deputies search for leads, Iberville sheriff says

Elizabeth Ann Ferrell

Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said Monday he’s sending two deputies to Humble, Texas, in hopes of uncovering who killed a 29-year-old woman and dumped her body into Whiskey Bay. DNA testing and fingerprint analysis positively identified the woman, who’s body was found Saturday by a fisherman, as Elizabeth Ann Ferrell. Her last known address… Continue reading →

West Baton Rouge Councilwoman arrested after allegedly threatening grandchild’s bus driver

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- West Baton Rouge Parish Councilwoman Charlene Gordon talks about proposed Veterans Day observances at Port Allen Mayor breakfast meeting in 2014.

A West Baton Rouge Parish councilwoman was arrested Wednesday on a count of public intimidation and retaliation over accusations she used social media to threaten her grandchild’s bus driver. Councilwoman Charlene Gordon on Thursday downplayed the incident with the bus driver, which was described in an affidavit… Continue reading →

Sheriff: Remains found on St. Gabriel levee bank those of Grosse Tete woman who jumped off bridge

Marlena David Kauffman

The human remains discovered along the levee bank in St. Gabriel last week were those of a 38-year-old woman who jumped off the Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge in February, Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi reported Thursday morning. Stassi said LSU Faces Lab confirmed that the woman was Marlena David Kauffman, of Grosse Tete.… Continue reading →

Elayne Hunt officer in training accused of smuggling alcohol, cell phones and tobacco into prison

Jessica Dedon

A woman training to be a correctional officer at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center was arrested this week on allegations she smuggled alcohol, cellphones and tobacco into the prison, authorities reported Tuesday. Assistant Warden Stephanie Michel said officers with the St. Gabriel Police Department arrested Jessica Dedon, 29, of Denham… Continue reading →

Free speech limits tested when Louisiana public agencies restrict employees' social media

Icons for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are displayed on a window, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) ORG XMIT: OTKNYML304

Rapides Parish teacher Deborah Vailes was called into the office and reprimanded by the principal on the day she posted sharply critical remarks on her personal Facebook page about Louisiana’s Common Core curriculum. Vailes didn’t mince words. Under a photo that had been floating around the Internet of a visibly upset little girl struggling with the… Continue reading →

Pointe Coupee Police Jury gives ultimatum to Progressive Waste Solutions: Shape up or ship out

The Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury decided Tuesday to put the company that handles residential trash pickup parishwide on notice: If service doesn’t improve soon, the parish will start levying fines or terminate its contract. The police jury’s threat was fueled by more than 50 complaints the parish has received the… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for April 13, 2016

West Baton Rouge Parish is spearheading a community clean up initiative parishwide on Saturday as part of the The Great American Clean Up and is seeking volunteers to help. The Great American Clean Up is the time of year Keep West Baton Rouge Beautiful uses to focus on bringing the community together to work beautify the parish.… Continue reading →

West Baton Rouge voters approve health unit tax renewal

West Baton Rouge Parish voters agreed to renew a 1.75-mill property tax Saturday that provides a portion of the funding for the parish’s health center. The property tax, which has been in place since 1956, will generate approximately $633,924 annually from 2017 to 2026, said Phillip Bourgoyne, the parish’s finance director. The property tax provides… Continue reading →

Pointe Coupee voters defeat property tax for school teacher raises

Pointe Coupee Parish voters Saturday defeated a property tax proposal that would have provided public school teachers with $5,000 raises. The School Board’s 10-mill tax proposal would have generated an additional $4.5 million annually. The Secretary of State’s office reported that unofficial turnout was about 26 percent. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposal, with… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for April 6, 2016

New Roads will begin implementing its comprehensive master plan this month with consultant-led training sessions to inform community leaders of approved changes to the city’s land-use regulations and zoning map. Consultants with Mougeot Architecture and Aillavaso and Associates will conduct the training sessions for the city’s staff, City Council members, planning and commission members and other… Continue reading →

Hot topic: Iberville School Board debating proposal to control board members’ social media posts

It remains unclear whether the Iberville Parish School Board will include board members under the school system’s social media policy, which regulates how school district employees can use websites like Facebook. What did become clear Monday night was that the board members who feel targeted by the effort have very little intention… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for March 30

The West Baton Rouge Parish Museum opens its newest exhibit Saturday titled “Angela Gregory: From Paris to Port Allen,” which will be on display until June 12. The exhibit features the sculpture and other art of Angela Gregory, a New Orleans native and 1925 graduate of Newcomb College. Gregory studied art in Paris before returning… Continue reading →

Eagle - yes; orange and purple - wait a minute! Pointe Coupee School Board holds off, for now, on school colors for new STEM academy

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board spent the tail end of its regular meeting Thursday discussing setting the character of its new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academy through school uniforms and mascots. The board decided to table a vote on picking uniform colors for the new program, which… Continue reading →

Pointe Coupee Police Jury extends drainage impact fee for another six months

The Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury unanimously decided Tuesday to extend the sunset clause on its controversial drainage impact fee another six months instead of removing the clause from the ordinance altogether as it previously intended. The six-month extension came after a lengthy public hearing Tuesday night during which… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for March 23

The dedication of the Plaquemine Waterfront Park has been postponed until later the fall, city officials announced. The park dedication, originally set for April 17, is being pushed back until Sept. 18 after Mayor Mary Sue Gulotta was injured recently when she fell from the second-floor balcony at her home as the structure collapsed.… Continue reading →

Plaquemine man arrested in armed robbery of fast food restaurant

Corey Williams

The Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested a 25-year-old Plaquemine man Monday who is accused of robbing a Burger King at gunpoint. Sheriff Brett Stassi said Corey Williams, 24705 Ferdinand St., walked into the fast food restaurant, located on La. 1 South at La. 75, about 2:30 a.m. with a gun.… Continue reading →

Judge orders White Castle officials to turn over documents to residents who filed public records requests

White Castle officials were schooled Friday on the state’s public records laws by a district court judge who ordered the town to turn over copies of a slew of documents to two residents some officials accused of harboring a vendetta against the mayor. “I don’t think the situation is as bad as… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for March 16: Blast from Past camp, Market on the Mill shopping, etc.

Registration is now open for the West Baton Rouge Museum’s Blast from the Past Summer Camp. Titled, “Have a Roaring Good Time,” the museum is calling all gumshoe detectives, comic book heroes and flappers ages 6 through 12 to join in the museum’s slapstick adventure this summer, which will include mystery, mayhem, music and pop culture from… Continue reading →

Stung by a fellow board member’s Facebook post, Iberville school board considering social media restrictions

Facebook, and what members of the Iberville Parish School Board should and should not be posting on their personal pages, was at the center of a debate among school district officials Monday night. The board considered amending the district’s policy, which prevents employees from posting derogatory statements about the school… Continue reading →

Pointe Coupee Police Jury considering abolishing sunset clause on drainage fee, allowing it to continue indefinitely

The Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury is considering backing out of a promise to retire the parish’s monthly $2.50 drainage impact fee. The proposal to kill the fee’s sunset clause comes up for a public hearing on March 22. This will mark the second time the Police Jury will consider a vote to amend the… Continue reading →

West Baton Rouge residents frustrated with delays in addressing Interstate 10 traffic

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Ed Reeves, left, and Lou Delahaye view a map of potential Acadian Thruway modification on Wednesday night at Addis Community Center during the third I-10 corridor meeting with DOTD to discuss proposed improvements from Essen lane to LA415.

Chuck Blair and David Bergeron say they’re ready to see action instead of more talk from state transportation leaders about feasibility studies to end the daily traffic nightmares between West and East Baton Rouge parishes. Nevertheless, the two were among the 70 people who turned out Wednesday night as state Department of… Continue reading →

Pointe Coupee Police Jury to address how meetings conducted after juror spat over removing agenda item

Accusations the president of the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury illegally removed an item from Tuesday night’s meeting agenda resulted in a unanimous decision to review the parish’s parliamentary procedures. The jury’s action comes nearly a month after it adopted Robert’s Rules of Order — a comprehensive guide that many governing… Continue reading →

Around the Westside for March 9, 2016

The city of New Roads is gearing up for its three-day spring shopping extravaganza “Market at the Mill” taking place April 8-10 at the historic cotton mill. The event’s fifth year will spotlight a variety of vendors, craftsmen and artists selling antiques, fine gifts and hand-crafted wares. Architectural pieces, collectibles and country furniture also will be… Continue reading →

Judge race in West Baton Rouge and Iberville pits two candidates with deep roots in 18th JDC

Elizabeth Engolio and Joseph Dupont

Voters in parts of West Baton Rouge and Iberville parishes on Saturday will be asked to pick a new district court judge. They will decide between Elizabeth Engolio, an assistant district attorney working in the 18th Judicial District Court, and Plaquemine-based lawyer Joseph Dupont. Both are Democrats with deep roots in the 18th JDC,… Continue reading →

Two contract workers airlifted to hospital from Placid Refinery in Port Allen; details sketchy on what happened

Two contract employees with Placid Refining Company had to be transported to local hospitals Wednesday morning after they were injured on the job while working in an area around the company’s storage tanks, company officials reported. Rafael Bermudez, a spokesman for Placid Refining, confirmed in a statement that two workers were… Continue reading →

West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office finds no evidence of racial profiling by Port Allen police in traffic stop

The West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office could find no evidence to support a Port Allen mother’s claim her teenage son was racially profiled and harassed by city police during a recent traffic stop, Col. Richie Johnson said Friday. The city’s police chief asked the Sheriff’s Office to… Continue reading →