True BR: The power of gumbo (Video)

Chef Carolyn Shelton gives a cooking demonstration at the River Road African American Museum in Donaldsonville. Advocate video by Kevin McQuarn.

Carolyn Shelton, chef and ambassador for the River Road African American Museum, spotlights one of Louisiana's favorite dishes — gumbo. Gumbo is influenced by the many cultures of Louisiana and has the power to bring people together in both celebration and mourning. Every culture has a soup, and for Baton Rouge and surrounding areas that soup is … Continue reading →

Video: The Spirit of 45

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Auston O'Neill plays taps on the USS Kidd Tuesday during a stop in Baton Rouge with  his wife Bonnie as they tour the country in a National Spirit of '45 Unity Tour bus to bring attention to veterans and the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in 2015.

The Express is part of the National Spirit of ‘45 Unity Tour and organizers Auston and Bonnie O’Neill are on a mission to raise public awareness about the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII next year. The anniversary will be celebrated August 14, 2015. The event was hosted by the USS Kidd. … Continue reading →

Video: Duck Festival

Dog trials, skeet shoot, a beauty pageant and parade were the main events at the 38th Annual Duck Festival in Gueydon on Saturday. The festival will feature several duck calling competitions today. Admission today at Duck Festival Park is free. … Continue reading →

Video: Tiger Band Stadium Parade

This is the Tiger Band’s annual rehearsal of its game-day parade to the Tiger Stadium. All 325 members will be marching from the Greek Theatre to the stadium, where they will stop at the top of Victory Hill to play pre-game, make their way into the stadium, sit in the stands and play their fight songs. … Continue reading →

Video: Ringmaster of 'The Greatest Show on Earth'

Ringmaster David Shipman

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is back in Baton Rouge with its “Super Circus Heroes” show. In this video, David Shipman, the show's ringmaster, tells fans about being in the spotlight of the “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will take place at … Continue reading →

True BR: An 'udderly fantastic' dairy (Video)

Advocate Staff Photo by Karin Devendorf      shot 06/20/09  pint of Kleinpeter's new Pralines and Cream ice cream to go with story on Aunt Sally's Pralines.                     00017635a

The Kleinpeter Dairy has been in business for well over 100 years. During this time, the company's milk, juice and ice cream products have become a tradition in both homes and businesses throughout the Baton Rouge area. True BR is a weekly video series that will examine the sights, sounds and tastes of Baton … Continue reading →

Quilting a stand against sexual violence

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Raina Wirta, with Elevator Projects, helps Shameeka Dream, right, install her message on one of the quilts in the Monument Quilt display in downtown Town Square Tuesday. The Monument Quilt is traveling across the country to bring awareness to victims of sexual violence and help end the problem.

The Monument Quilt, which is traveling across the country to bring awareness to victims of sexual violence, was on display in Baton Rouge’s downtown Town Square on Tuesday. The quilt is a crowd-sourced collection of thousands of stories from survivors of rape and abuse. … Continue reading →

Video: Southern road fixed

Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered the Department of Transportation and Development to begin emergency repairs on a damaged road July 17, 2014, at the intersection of E.C. Harrison Drive and Roosevelt Steptoe Avenue on Southern University’s campus. The road was opened today for travel. … Continue reading →

Accident dumps load of hay on I-10 median

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Regional Steward, left, with Road Runner Towing, and LSP Trooper Chad Chrisentery, right, look over the trailer to see how tangled it is in the cables. According to Chrisentery, a pickup truck pulling a trailer load of hay had a blowout, lost control and the trailer with hay got caught in the cables in the median of I-10 eastbound just east of Highland Road.

A pickup truck pulling a trailerload of hay in Interstate 10 had a blowout Monday afternoon and lost control, causing the trailer full of hay to get caught in the cables in the median and spill its load, according to LSP Trooper Chad Chrisentery. The accident, which occurred on I-10 eastbound just east of Highland Road, snarled traffic … Continue reading →

Video: Indian Rhino on exhibit at the Baton Rouge Zoo

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --     The BREC Baton Rouge Zoo's new Indian rhinoceros  munches on hay and grain Friday morning, during a cooling sprinkle of rain. A two-year-old female that weighed in earlier this year at a healthy 2,570 pounds, it's on exhibit now, but is still shy about making appearances, spending a good deal of its time behind a wall, where it can go to feel more secure.     The Indian rhino represents the second species of rhinoceros living at the Baton Rouge Zoo, and the only Indian rhino in Louisiana. As the young female gets more accustomed to its surroundings, it will likely be easier to spot in its area, formerly occupied by the Asian elephant exhibit.    The new Indian rhino exhibit was made possible by a $150,000 donation from Friends of the Baton Rouge Zoo, to help make the exhibit suitable for the new species. The construction, completed in June, included renovations to the barn and exhibit area and new landscaping and walkway. The walkway includes temporary placement of the commemorative bricks purchased by donors for the Elephant Oasis.     Indian rhinoceros, which are native to the grasslands of India and Nepal, can be identified by their grey, armor-like skin and single horn. They are generally solitary mammals that spend their evenings grazing on tall grasses and other vegetation. Despite their poor eye sight, they possess a strong sense of smell and hearing.   It grasps tall grasses with its prehensile (gripping) lip and may also eat eat fruit, leaves, and sometimes farm crops. They are often around water and sometimes consume aquatic plants. Rhinos forage in the cooler temperatures s of morning and afternoon to avoid exerting themselves in the debilitating midday heat. When the sun is high, they often wallow or submerge themselves in water.    Currently identified as 'Vulnerable' on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List, the biggest identified threats to the Indian rhino population in the wild include competition for food sources, as grasslands are converted into cultivated fields, and by poaching  of the rhinos for their horns and other body parts.    Indian rhino population dropped to fewer than 100 animals in the early 1900's, but strict protection in India and Nepal, as well as zoo breeding programs, have been able to rehabilitate populations to more than 2,800 individuals.     The rhino's 'horn' is not a real horn, but thickly matted hair, consisting of Keratin, the same chemical substance that our finger nails and hair are made of. If a rhino's horn is broken off, it will grow back again. A rhino's horn grows all through its lifetime, at a rate of 1 - 3 inches per year.     The word rhinoceros, from Latin, and earlier, Greek, means 'horned nose.'    'We couldnÕt be more thankful to our Friends of the Baton Rouge Zoo for helping us bring this magnificent species to Baton Rouge,' said Phil Frost, Director of the Baton Rouge Zoo. 'The Indian rhino has a very distinct appearance I think everyone will enjoy.'     'Eventually we hope to add a male Indian rhinoceros to the exhibit,' said Sam Winslow, Assistant Director and General Curator. 'However, it will still be a few more years until sheÕs ready for a mate. In the rhino world, sheÕs still considered pretty young.'

The BREC Baton Rouge Zoo's new Indian rhinoceros munched on hay and grain Friday morning, during a cooling sprinkle of rain. The 2-year-old female that weighed in earlier this year at a healthy 2,570 pounds is on exhibit now, but is still shy about making appearances, spending a good deal of time behind a wall, where she … Continue reading →

Video: Keeping the Vermilion River clean

Tom Melancon heads the river crew for the Bayou Vermilion District. The seven-member team’s main responsibility is to maintain the water quality of the river and its tributaries in Lafayette Parish. Each day, they travel the river removing floating debris such as water bottles, soda cans and fast food wrappers, as well as large debris, from the river. … Continue reading →

Driving Grand Isle

The Advocate’s outdoors sportswriter Joe Macaluso and photo editor John Ballance were in Grand Isle for the annual Tarpon Rodeo. While there, they took a driving tour of the island. … Continue reading →

Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo continues

The Advocate’s Joe Macaluso reports from Grand Isle where the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo is underway. Today saw beautiful weather for the fishermen participating in the event, a sharp contrast to the rain and squalls on the first day. … Continue reading →

True BR: Coffee cupping at Community Coffee (Video)

Carl R. Leonard and Matt Saurage of Community Coffee at a coffee cupping. Advocate video by Kevin McQuarn

Ever wonder about that great coffee aroma that sometimes permeates the Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge? That would be Community Coffee, a company that has literally served Baton Rouge and surrounding areas for over 90 years. Matt Saurage, president and CEO of the company, gives the inside scoop on Community Coffee's success and its relentless coffee … Continue reading →

True BR: Symphony Orchestra a vital part of Baton Rouge culture

The Baton Rouge Symphony performs at LSU Rural Life Museum on May 12, 2013. Photo provided by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra

The Baton Rouge Symphony has been in existence for over 65 years and offers both educational programs and entertainment opportunities to the Baton Rouge community. Ron Ross, interim executive director of the Baton Rouge Symphony, believes the orchestra is vital to the future of Baton Rouge. True BR is a weekly video series that will examine the … Continue reading →

Video: Water quality advocates 'Flood Into Baton Rouge'

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Beca Greaney, left, and Anna Dvorak, both of New Orleans, carry a banner reading 'Healthy Water Over Profit,' as they near the Governor's Mansion on a short walk where supporters of better water for Louisiana joined a few walkers who traveled over 150 miles from Grand Isle  to Baton Rouge, gathering in a lots across from the Governor's Mansion Saturday.  The group, from numerous grass roots organizations, hoped that the  'Flood Into Baton Rouge' rally would persuade Governor  Bobby Jindal to 'confront the myriad of pressing environmental issues plaguing so many communities around Louisiana. ' Some participants brought 'troubled' water'- - from the Gulf, Abita Springs, Bayou Corne, and other locations-- to pour out symbolically on the grass next to the sidewalk that runs in front of  the Governor's Mansion. About 75 people attended the rally.

Marchers finishing an eight-day, 155-mile walk from Grand Isle to the Governor’s Mansion entered the city at dusk Friday, and gathered at the Mansion on Saturday morning for ‘Flood Into Baton Rouge,’ a noon event focused on water quality issues across the state. A group of six marchers crossed the Mississippi River via the Plaquemine Ferry on … Continue reading →