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Perfectly Taylored LSU fashionista turns entrepreneur with new line of T-shirts

Photo by JENNIFER VANCE -- Peyton Simms models the 'Paris is always a good idea' T-shirt from her Perfectly Taylored Collection, which the LSU junior launched after she couldn't find the kind of T-shirts she liked.

When 21-year-old Peyton Taylor Simms couldn’t find the T-shirts she wanted, she did what any self-respecting fashionista would do — created her own. Now the LSU junior is running her own company, Perfectly Taylored, which got national exposure when Simms was featured in Marie Claire’s February issue as one of the fashionable women of Louisiana, and grabbed… Continue reading →

Community News, March 31, 2015

Photo provided by MARK CLAESGENS -- LSU Retirees Club -- The Rev. Gerald Burns, a retired pastor, spoke about bird photography March 9 to the LSU Faculty and Staff Retirees Club. Shown are, from left, Wayne Gautier, Lorry Trotter, Burns, Joy Bagur and Freddie Martin.

Bird photography topic for LSU Retirees Club The Rev. Gerald Burns, a retired pastor, spoke about bird photography March 9 to the LSU Faculty and Staff Retirees Club. Getting the right shot takes patience and persistence, sometimes for years, he said. His field trips usually start between 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. He calls… Continue reading →

The Emperor of All Maladies: PBS, Ken Burns examine history of cancer research in new documentary

Rainbow/Science Faction/Corbis photo by DAN MCCOY -- In this scene from  A cancer researcher labels each protein in the radio nucleotide sequence of human genes to create a unique DNA profile.

For filmmaker Ken Burns, tackling the complete story of cancer was personal. “My mom died of cancer, breast cancer, when I was 11 years old, just a few months short of my 12th birthday,” Burns said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Tuesday. “There wasn’t a moment growing up that I wasn’t aware something was wrong with… Continue reading →

Zero calories might not equal no fat: Diet soda linked to weight gain in older people

A customer selects a Diet Pepsi from a cooler at Handi Foods in Walesboro, Ind., Monday, Dec. 20, 2004.  These days the carbonated drink battleground is diet vs. regular, and it's looking increasingly as though the lightweight could flatten its full-calorie cousin.  (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)       Keyword Food Health

Some recent studies question whether diet sodas sweetened with artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet and Splenda actually help keep off the weight. This month’s Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published research from a long-term study of hundreds of people 65 years old and up in San Antonio, some who drank diet soft drinks regularly. The… Continue reading →

Plein Air art contests, demo set to benefit Shadows-on-the-Teche

Advocate file photo --Thirty artists have been chosen for the inaugural Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air Competition from Saturday, April 11, through Saturday, April 18.

Thirty artists have been selected for the inaugural Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air Competition, scheduled from April 11-18 at the Shadows-on-the-Teche Visitors Center. The list includes artists from across the state, one from Minnesota and one from Ukraine (though living in New Orleans): Richard Abraham, Hilari Baranco, Ben Bensen, Denise Broussard, Chuck Broussard, Susan… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana University Opera plans free performance of 'Evangeline' April 2

Southeastern Louisiana University’s Opera/Music Theatre Workshop will present the world premiere of “Evangeline” by American composer Gwyneth Walker at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in Pottle Music Annex Recital Hall on campus. The performance, which is free, is based on the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and will last under an hour.… Continue reading →

Arts calendar for March 29, 2015

Photo provided by Community Church Creativity Group -- Holli Nunn's "Heifer Hepburn" is part of the "Moo Cow" exhibit, hwich will be on display through April 8 at DeAngelo's Restaurant, 7550 Bluebonnet Boulevard.

Here’s what’s going on in the area arts and cultural scene: Louisiana’s Old State Capitol, 100 North Blvd., Baton Rouge, will host a lunch lecture with author Deborah Burst on “Louisiana’s Sacred Places: Churches, Cemeteries and Voodoo” from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, in the Senate Chamber. Free. Call (225) 342-0500.… Continue reading →

Human Condition: Fire response trainer had impact on many lives

A man who saves lives and teaches others to save lives is often revered by those who know him. I’d like to introduce Mr. Bill Cromwell for your consideration. After the Air Force, Mr. Cromwell worked for Continental Oil Company in Lake Charles where his passion for fire safety was born. While conducting industrial fire training… Continue reading →

Danny Heitman's "At Random": On Flannery O’Connor’s birthday

I’m not one to miss a birthday party, especially when there’s a promise of cake. So when the good folks at LSU invited me to help mark Flannery O’Connor’s 90th, I quickly agreed. O’Connor, of course, couldn’t make it herself. The celebrated Southern novelist and short story writer died at age 39 in 1964, her life cut… Continue reading →

LSU instructor’s ‘Dispensations’ finalist for Book of Year

LSU instructor Randolph Thomas’ book “Dispensations” is a finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award. “Dispensations” is a short story collection that won the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project in 2013. It is set in rural Virginia, where Thomas grew up in the 1960s and ’70s. “These stories are about… Continue reading →

Book events for March 29 - April 3

“THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL OF ALL,” GARY L. STEWART: 6:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church Conference Center, 930 North Blvd. Stewart will discuss his 12-year search for his father. (225) 753-4226 or “LOUISIANA’S SACRED PLACES,” DEBORAH BURST: Noon, Louisiana’s Old State Capitol, 100… Continue reading →

Well-researched book tells personal story of slavery

'Beyond Freedom's Reach' by Adam Rothman

“Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery” by Adam Rothman. Harvard University Press, 2015. $29.95. Historians tend to view slavery in economic and social terms. Adam Rothman, associate professor of history at Georgetown University goes beyond the institution itself to tell the very… Continue reading →

Conference unifies men from variety of Christian faith groups

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- T.C. Stallings talks about 'Playing on God's Team' to men attending the Iron Sharpens Iron conference at Istrouma Baptist Church.

Unity — across cultures and religious faiths — was the unofficial theme of the 2015 Iron Sharpens Iron conference that brought about 150 men together at Istrouma Baptist Church. The conference, sponsored by Gulf South Men on March 21, was designed to bring together men from a variety of Christian faith groups to help them become more… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge churches help address hunger in the community

Photo provided by Church of the Way Presbyterian Church -- Orchard tender George Reeves, left, and orchard master Kane Mire work in the Church of the Way Memorial Community Orchard that was planted March 21 on South Foster Drive. The orchard is a cooperative project to help feed the hungry.

Two Baton Rouge churches are putting their green thumbs to work to help feed the hungry here. The Church of the Way Memorial Community Orchard, which will allow those in need to pick fruit, was planted Saturday, March 21, on land adjacent to the church on South Foster Drive. Some 20 citrus trees —… Continue reading →

When the Gaudets caught kitchen fever, they combined modern appliances with touches from the past

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Hannah Heltz, who is chairing the Junior League of Baton Rouge's Warm Welcomes Kitchen Tour, and homeowners Drew and Tina Gaudet are ready to welcome guests for the March 29  tour.

Tina and Drew Gaudet have had a five-year case of “kitchen fever.” In that short time, they totally redid the 1960s-vintage kitchen at their Steele Place home and added a modern outdoor kitchen in the backyard. The Gaudets’ two kitchens are among those in six homes to be spotlighted March 29 on the Junior League… Continue reading →

35th Annual African violet Show and Sale set to bloom

African violet

More than 150 African violets, including the nationally award-winning CAJUN, will be in bloom this weekend. The 35th Annual African Violet Show and Plant Sale, hosted by the Sundowners Club, will be held from 2-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Center, 7950 Independence Blvd. Admission is free.… Continue reading →

Community News, March 27, 2015

Photo provided by MARGRET HODGES -- Cortana Kiwanis Club -- Louisiana Public Broadcasting President Beth Courtney spoke to the Cortana Kiwanis Club on March 5. The club meets at 7:30 a.m. Thursdays at the Piccadilly Cafeteria, 3332 S. Sherwood Blvd., Baton Rouge. For information, contact Lowell Tilley, or (225) 272-6744. Shown are, from left, Mike Grace, Cortana Kiwanis president, Courtney and Bill Blackwood, Cortana Kiwanis March programs coordinator.

Mwanamugimu Essay Contest winners named Mu Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority announced winners of its 2015 Mwanamugimu Essay Contest. High school winners are, first place, Mia Robertson; second place, Ty’Quieria Lodge; third place, Jada James. Middle school winners are, first place, Courtney Harris; second place, Logan Lewis;… Continue reading →

LSU AgCenter Garden News: Easier to grow spring tomatoes

Photo by RICK BOGREN  It's tomato-planting time. Visit local nurseries and garden center to find flats of various tomatoes, from heirloom types to modern hybrids.

Tomatoes are a great crop to grow in the garden now through the fall. And different types are appropriate for different times of the year. “Generally spring tomatoes — nonheat set — are planted after the last frost,” says LSU AgCenter vegetable specialist Kiki Fontenot. In south Louisiana, that’s generally after March 15. These include all… Continue reading →

Hilltop Arboretum sets Spring Fling Plant Sale

Ready to turn your garden’s winter brown to spring green? The Spring Fling Plant Sale can help. And if you’re wondering where the turtles go each winter, come back to LSU’s Hilltop Arboretum on Sunday to find out. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the arboretum, 11855 Highland Road, a large variety of… Continue reading →

Volunteer opportunities

To learn more about these volunteer opportunities provided by Volunteer! United at Capital Area United Way, contact the listed agency directly. SPEAK UP FOR A CHILD, Capital Area CASA — Jennifer Mayer, (225) 379-8598: Capital Area CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Association recruits, trains and supervises community volunteers who advocate for… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Options for Easter

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Add flavor to your Easter ham by brushing it with Spicy Fruit Glaze. Serve wtih Creole Mustard Sauce.

Trying to decide on what to serve for your Easter Sunday dinner? Ham will be center stage on many Easter tables. We have lots of choices as to what kind to buy. There’s the big whole ham that many of you will be having; the tasty, hickory-smoked Virginia hams with the dark red meat; the popular… Continue reading →

Baking and Blogging: Loyola student’s cooking blog draws sweet reviews

Photo provided by Graham Blackall -- Tempting recipes and luscious photography have earned Loyola student Graham Blackall's food blog, 'Glazed and Confused,' attention on the Internet.

Give a mouse a cookie, and he’ll want a glass of milk. Give Graham Blackall chicken and waffles, and the 20-year-old might want to bake you a cake. The Loyola student and New Orleans native is a baking aficionado at a young age and is the lively intellect behind the nationally popular blog Glazed and… Continue reading →

Catching some waves: ‘LIGO Generations’ explains world-shaking science studied in woods of Livingston Parish

Photo provided by LIGOImbedded deep in the pine forests north of Livingston, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, or LIGO, conducts research beneficial to the fields of astronomy and physics. The facility and its scientists are featured in a documentary called "LIGO Generations."

In the woods of Livingston Parish, scientists are working to investigate gravitational waves generated millions of light-years from Earth. At the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, a huge facility carved out of pine forests north of Livingston, researchers from all over the world are looking for world-shaking evidence in a lab unknown to many in south Louisiana.… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Building on the strength of women

Women have proven that resiliency, patience, fearlessness and a self-sacrificing spirit are key to affecting change. They are motivators, caretakers, cooks, educators, leaders, soccer moms, super moms and a major force behind helping make America better. When I reflect on my grandmothers’ contributions, it reminds me that the struggles of women today, though challenging and… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line: Fun is in the air

Photo provided by SHELIA JUNEAU  --- Bishop's Day --- At the annual Bishop's Day celebration luncheon March 15 at Boudreaux's are, from left, Bishop Robert W. Muench; St. Joseph Apprentices Don and Janice Aucoin, Jackie Kreutzer, Jane Skerkoske, Heather Kirk-Ballard and Goldie Domingue;  Community Award recipient Pat Shingleton; and the Rev. Paul Counce, pastor of St. Joseph Cathedral.

Three huge events are taking place in the Capital City on Thursday night — Our Lady of Lake Foundation’s 30th Anniversary Gala featuring Huey Lewis & the News, the 20th annual Women Chefs’ Showoff benefiting the Iris Domestic Violence Center and the LSU Museum of Art’s 10th anniversary Masquerade on the Mississippi.… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Hospice does brunch

Elizabeth Kobetz, Eli Touchet, David Kobetz

What better way to spend a spring Sunday? Hospice of Acadiana spent theirs fun-raising at River Oaks with JB Saxx &The Band plus a slew of guests, and if flowers weren’t quite blooming yet, they were on the dresses. Just back from a milestone trip to Australia, band… Continue reading →

Shot full of meaning: BR artist Margaret Evangeline takes war personally in LSU Museum exhibit

Advocate photo by ROBIN MILLER -- A visitor is reflected in a suspended piece by Margaret Evangeline on the opening night of her retrospective exhibit, 'Margaret Evangeline: ON WAR,' which runs through Sunday, Aug. 2, at the LSU Museum of Art.

You should expect to see yourself in Margaret Evangeline’s LSU Museum of Art exhibit, “Margaret Evangeline: ON WAR,” which runs through Sunday, Aug. 2. It’s her way of letting you know that war isn’t someone else’s problem. It’s yours. The message also can be felt in the video installation Evangeline produced with… Continue reading →

Chefs to show off for Iris Center

Lynne Medley-Long

For 20 years, area women chefs have cooked up some of their best dishes for the Women Chefs’ Showoff benefiting the Iris Domestic Violence Center, formerly the Battered Women’s Program. But, this year’s March 26 event will be a first for Lynne Medley-Long. Medley-Long, 52, is the new executive director of Iris, having taken over… Continue reading →

Community News, March 24, 2015

Photo provided by JACOB WILBERT -- Order of Alhambra -- Alhambra Muret Caravan 68 hosted a Mardi Gras party for the Iberville and West Baton Rouge Parish Arc on Feb. 13, which included pizza, king cake and second-line dancing. The International Order of Alhambra is an organization of Catholic men and women dedicated to assisting people developmentally disabled by mental retardation. Shown are, from left, kneeling, Jacob Wilbert, Tommy Bickham, Bruce Capone, Gordon Gregoire; standing, Chuck Brown, Pat Wilbert, A.E. Becnel, Mike Panepinto, Francis Becnel, Bill Cooper, Arc Executive Director Elizabeth Fussell and Tommy LeBlanc.

Friendship Force holds monthly board meeting Friendship Force of Baton Rouge held its monthly board meeting March 11 at the Jones Creek Library. President Keith Corkern reported on the Feb. 21 game day. He reminded members of the Friendship Force Southwest Regional Conference to be held March 27-28… Continue reading →

48 works on display at LSU Juried Art Show

The LSU Student Union Art Gallery’s annual LSU Juried Student Art Show will run through Wednesday, April 1, in the LSU Student Union Art Gallery, Raphael Semmes Drive, Baton Rouge. Out of 57 artists and 107 submitted entries, four art professionals selected 48 works from 34 artists. The competition was open to all… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, March 23, 2015

WHAT: A women’s health care forum WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 25 WHERE: Southern University Law Center Moot Court Room, SU campus, Baton Rouge ADMISSION: Free and open to the public; registration required. Email DETAILS: Sponsored by Southern University Law Students for Reproductive Justice and LSU Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Speakers include… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, March 23, 2015

Why is integrating music important in the daily care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia? Music has often been described as a universal language, and studies have shown that music can affect brain waves, brain circulation and stress hormones. Though there are no claims that music can cure a disease, research has shown music benefits… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, March 23, 2015

Can drinking alcohol lead to cancer? According to the National Cancer Institute, alcohol consumption increases the risk for many different types of cancer including cancer of the head and neck, esophagus, colon, liver and breast cancer in women. In general, these risks increase after about one daily drink for women and two daily… Continue reading →