Smiley Anders

Smiley: No rest for the retiree

Dear Smiley: Family and friends, concerned about my lack of energy, constantly urge me to “get out more” since I retired. Frankly, I don’t understand their concern. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t “get out” to see my internist, urologist, gastroenterologist, dermatologist, oncologist, dentist, pharmacist or whateverelseist. I daily check … Continue reading →

Mark Ballard

Political Horizons: Chances of expanding Medicaid slim

Last year, the Louisiana Legislature’s Democrats systematically threw themselves against different parts of the Republican majority’s electric fence — looking, unsuccessfully, for weaknesses in the GOP opposition to the federal Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare. Democrats tried several bills with different variables; they trotted out a variety of parliamentary strategies; they held rallies — everything … Continue reading →

James Gill

James Gill: Fair Grounds not what it used to be

James Gill

Horseracing people tend to look on the bright side, else they wouldn’t stay in the game, but not one of them has a good word for the Fair Grounds in New Orleans these days. Owners, trainers and railbirds are deserting what was supposed to become the premier winter racetrack when Churchill Downs bought it in 2004, but … Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace

Stephanie Grace: Bill eliminates board’s independence

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Stephanie Grace

Picture, if you will, a hypothetical Louisiana governor. He or she might be a good, responsible, public steward. Or the person could be a corrupt hack, determined to sell the state out to the highest bidder. Or maybe, just maybe, the governor in question is driven far more by his or her national ambitions than … Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais
Patricia Gannon

Patricia Gannon: Delta Sigma Theta summons sisters

Lillie Ewell

“Women Empowering Women” was the theme as ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Opelousas Alumnae Chapter debuted their Hat and Glove Dinner Party at the Opelousas Civic Center. Serenaded with a special vocal tribute written and performed by Lee Ella Williams, of Lake Charles, emotions ran high as members joined the musical homage to charter members Lillie Ewell, … Continue reading →

Chante Warren

Common Ground: Students get field trip to Safety Town

Imagine giving kindergarteners the chance to drive on busy roads complete with railroad tracks, one-way streets and stop lights. “Vrmmmm! Watch me! Watch me!” said one small boy, as he zoomed across a railroad track and through a red light inside the miniature town. I was with a group of 5- and 6-year-olds on … Continue reading →

Danny Heitman

Danny Heitman’s “At Random” : Catching up on funny bird names

Nearly a decade ago, when our son was still too young to easily read for himself, he declared an early interest in mechanical science, leaving behind the shelves of “Curious George” and “Mother Goose” at the local library, and turning instead to books about electronics and engineering. On his nightstand, ready for each evening’s bedtime story, were … Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer

Quin Hillyer: These lawsuits are all wet

Advocate columnist Quin Hillyer

Some well-motivated people working for a good cause have filed a lawsuit almost absurd in its contentions, without authority to file such a suit, while hurting, in both political and practical terms, the very cause they intend to advance. These lawsuits should sink into the swamp from which they came. At issue is the dreadful loss … Continue reading →

Joe Macaluso

High water changes bite everywhere

This week is filled with mixed messages, like reports from the Atchafalaya Spillway that show catches are down and the next day when bass and sac-a-lait inhale just about everything cast their way. And like word from Central Coast waters that speckled trout are few and far between followed by a report that … Continue reading →

Cheramie Sonnier
Ed Pratt

Edward Pratt: Eavesdropping leads to great connection

It was one of my typical two-hour Saturday or Sunday stints at the Books-A-Million store. I usually sit in front of my laptop with notepads, my smartphone and good intentions of getting organized for the week ahead. I usually plow through the 300 to 500 emails a week I get from people selling weekend getaways, great dinners … Continue reading →

Pam Bordelon

Pam Bordelon for April 16, 2014

Photo provided by KIZZY PAYTON  --- Knock Knock donation --- Celebrating the donation of $100,000 by CN Railroad to the Knock Knock Childrens Museum at an April 9 get-together at BREC's headquarters are, seated from left, BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight, Knock Knock Board Vice Chariwoman Aza Bowlin, Louisiana Railroad Association Representative Monica Hooge and Knock Knock board member Kelli Harton; and, standing, Steve Browning, of Hayes Dent Public Strategies; BREC Commissioner John Taylor; Knock Knock board Chairwoman Staci Deumite Duhé; CN Director of U.S. Government Affairs Jim Kvedaras; Knock Knock board member Cricket Gordon; Louisiana Railroad Association general representative Carmack Blackmon; Knock Knock board member Dennis Blunt and Knock Knock project director Melissa Bell.

Area businessmen, elected officials, religious leaders, governmental officers and academic and law enforcement leaders were among the 350 guests celebrating all that’s good in the Capital City at the 24th annual Baton Rouge Spring Luncheon March 19 at Drusilla Place. Keynote speakers were LSU football coach Les Miles, Southern University football coach Dawson Odums, East Baton … Continue reading →

Leila Pitchford-English
Terry Robinson
Pat Shingleton

Pat Shingleton Weather News for April 19, 2014

Easter egg hunts in the Northeast often include a few snow drifts. Our brother, Mike, resides in Rye Beach N.H., loves Easter egg hunts and is a whacky guy. As a kid, he would hoard his Halloween candy inside a heat duct, never learning that the coal furnace melted his stash as soon as he stored … Continue reading →

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