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AirAsia plane reported missing enroute to Singapore from Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An AirAsia plane with 161 people aboard lost contact with ground control on Sunday after takeoff from Indonesia on the way to Singapore, and search and rescue operations were underway. The plane lost communication with Jakarta’s air traffic control at 7:24 a.m., about an hour before it was scheduled to land in Singapore,… Continue reading →

Rabalais: LSU’s Anthony Jennings brings a suitcase full of quiet confidence to Music City Bowl

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Quarterback Anthony Jennings is interviewed at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center late Saturday afternoon, after LSU arrived at the team hotel.

Amid the swirl of TV cameras and interviews and LSU players trying to find their room keys as they arrived at the Opryland resort on Saturday for the Music City Bowl, a small band of youngsters slipped in and took a picture with Tigers quarterback Anthony Jennings. As they returned… Continue reading →

After a rocky few years, Baton Rouge’s animal shelter is on the road to achieving no-kill status

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Dr. Alison Salmon gets a kiss from a black lab puppy during an examination Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, at the Companion Animal Alliance in Baton Rouge.

For the first time in several years, the East Baton Rouge Parish public animal shelter has empty cages. This is a shelter that had been so swarmed with animals it was euthanizing thousands of them every year just to free up space. And when a nonprofit dedicated to lowering the kill rate took over in 2011,… Continue reading →

Signs and sounds of illegal hunting at BREC parks spooking cyclists

Advocate staff photo by  APRIL BUFFINGTON --  Norris Pitre, BREC's construction farmer hangs a sign to stop deer hunters from hunting on Sandy Creek Community Park, BREC newly purchased property on Thursday, December 11 in Pride, La.

Riding along mountain bike trails in East Baton Rouge Parish parks, cyclists often hear gunshots. Wildlife agents occasionally find a lone deer stand in a park. And recently, piles of corn showed up along a biking trail in one of the parks. Hunting is not common in BREC parks. Park and wildlife officials couldn’t… Continue reading →

Self-determination the theme at Kwanzaa event at Southern University

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Nia Iyanu, 23, 'clears the way' with a gord carrying incense to clear away negative energy before the start of Southern University's 26th annual Kwanzaa celebration, Saturday, Dec. 27, at their Cotillion Ballroom located in the student union.

Before Kiera Robins started her own soap-making business, the grind of her state government job meant she had little flexibility in her daily life. “I couldn’t do things like take my daughter to the doctor,” she said Saturday evening at a Kwanzaa celebration in Baton Rouge. “It was a matter of independence.” Self-determination… Continue reading →

Fellow officers mourn NYPD cop at funeral

Justin Ramos, the son of slain New York City police officer Rafael Ramos, left, is comforted by his mother, Maritza Ramos, following funeral services at Christ Tabernacle Church, in the Glendale section of Queens, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014, in New York. Ramos and his partner, officer Wenjian Liu, were killed Dec. 20 as they sat in their patrol car on a Brooklyn street. The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, later killed himself. Also pictured is officer Ramos' other son, Jaden Ramos, bottom. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

NEW YORK — Thousands of police officers from across the nation packed a church and spilled onto streets Saturday to honor Officer Rafael Ramos as a devoted family man, aspiring chaplain and hero, though an air of unrest surrounding his ambush shooting was not completely pushed aside. While mourners inside the church applauded… Continue reading →

4 injured in head-on collision on Wax Road

Wax Road Crash

Four people were injured in a head-on crash on Wax Road on Saturday evening, State Police said. Most of Wax Road was closed for a couple hours because of the incident, but the city of Central reported about 6:30 p.m. that the street had been reopened. A Honda CRV was headed west on Wax… Continue reading →

Man who fled car crash on foot arrested for DWI, negligent injuring, and other police news

Thomas Shepherd

Baton Rouge police arrested a man accused of drunkenly causing a head-on collision on Friday night — an accident that injured one person — and then fleeing the scene on foot.… Continue reading →

Woman killed in early morning wreck

Baton Rouge police say a 43-year-old woman was killed when she lost control of her SUV on Choctaw Drive and crashed early Saturday morning. Angela Ayers, 12329 Lorna Ave., was heading west on South Choctaw Drive near North Flannery Road just after midnight Saturday when her 2005 Chrysler Pacifica veered and slammed into a utility pole, said… Continue reading →

Cutting ‘InfiniEdge’ Technology: La. company custom designs software for clients

Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON --  Czarina Walker and husband Brad discuss the custom software design services offered at InfiniEdge Software in Prairieville.

The incubator for Czarina Walker’s budding business was a closet in the foyer of her mother’s home in Baton Rouge. Walker was 19. The young software designer was the only employee for more than two years for what would become InfiniEdge Software in Prairieville. Over her first 12 months of entrepreneurship, the LSU student — then… Continue reading →

Photos: LSU arrives in Nashville

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Running back Leonard Fournette, right, slaps hands with New Orleans' Wendy Jones, as LSU players are greeted by fans at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel late Saturday afternoon, after the football Tigers arrived at the team hotel for their stay leading up to Dec. 30th matchup against Notre Dame in Nashville, Tennessee's  Music City Bowl. Jones' LED-illuminated 'LSU Family' sign was made by her daughter Kristina Rosch, 11, who was there for a national cheerleading competition with her team, the New Orleans Outlaws.

Images of the LSU Tigers departing for and arriving at Nashville for the Music City Bowl… Continue reading →

UL-Lafayette sustainability director boosts environmental initiatives on campus

Advocate Photo by LEE CELANO  -  Gretchen Vanicor in front of the BeauSoleil Louisiana Solar House at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Nov. 23.

Gretchen Vanicor recalled a marketing professor telling her years ago that recycling, energy conservation and other sustainability initiatives would soon be critical components of any successful business. “All these big corporations like Nike, Sony and Apple were starting to talk about corporate social responsibility. I had a marketing professor who was adamant about us knowing what sustainability… Continue reading →

New garage to ease parking woes at UL-Lafayette

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- The new parking structure on E. Lewis Street on the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus is nearing completion Wednesday in Lafayette.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette students and faculty could find an easier commute into the heart of campus next semester with a $21 million, six-story parking tower set to open next month. The Girard Park Circle Parking Garage will offer more than 1,000 parking spaces, with cars entering between the university’s Oliver and Fletcher halls near… Continue reading →

Lafayette arrests for Dec. 27, 2014

Arrests posted Dec. 27, 2014, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office website: BARRY ABSHIRE: 37, 600 block of Madison Street, Lafayette. He was booked on marijuana possession. GLORIA ADAMS: 34, 300 block of Eric Street, Lafayette. She was booked on possession or possession with intent to distribute Schedule IV… Continue reading →

People in Business for Dec. 28, 2014

Lance Kinchen, of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson LLP

Lance Kinchen, an attorney with Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson LLP, has been elected president of the Baton Rouge chapter of the Society of Louisiana CPAs.… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Dec. 28, 2014

Roy Keller, LBTC Louisiana Technology Transfer Office

Roy Keller, director of the Louisiana Technology Transfer Office in the LSU Louisiana Business & Technology Center, has been named one of two SBIR Persons of the Year. He is the state’s Small Business Innovation Research representative and was recognized for helping to create an excellent SBIR program in the state and helping SBIR programs… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Dec. 28, 2014

Providence Photonics, an affiliate of Providence in Baton Rouge, has received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Small Business Innovative Research Phase II grant. The grant will be used to develop technology to monitor combustion efficiency of industrial flares, safety devices that burn off process vent gases… Continue reading →

Miles to Michigan rumors finally dead, maybe?

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU coach Les Miles

It appears like the Les Miles-to-Michigan chatter can finally be silenced -- again. San Francisco 49ers coach and ex-Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh will be the Wolverines’ next coach, according to a John Bacon, a writer who’s well-connected to Michigan. “I just got off the phone with more sources tonight. It’s done. Jim Harbaugh is coming to… Continue reading →

Time to toss your Christmas tree? How, when Baton Rouge-area residents can put theirs out

East Baton Rouge parish residents can place their Christmas trees on the curb for recycling between Jan. 6 and Jan. 16 once lights, decorations and the stand are removed. The trees should not be put into any type of disposal bag. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Michael Paulsen )

With presents unwrapped and the desire for eggnog satiated for another year, Baton Rouge residents are asked to not throw out their Christmas tree with the trash. Instead, East Baton Rouge Parish residents — except for those in Baker and Zachary — can recycle their trees by cleaning up a few simple things and… Continue reading →

LSU coach Les Miles: 'If we have a junior class stay last year, very probable (have) a chance for national championship right now'

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU head coach Les Miles and LSU offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins (65) celebrate the win after the game Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014 in College Station, Texas. LSU won 23-17.

. NASHVILLE – LSU coach Les Miles said the school sold its complete allotment of 8,000 tickets to the Music City Bowl, something that was expected. The school had sold all but about 200 tickets before Christmas. The bowl has sold more than 55,000 tickets to the game, held at 68,000-seat LP Field. Continue reading →

Six-to-8 inches of rain possible in some parts of Baton Rouge over the weekend; flood watch issued

A flood watch is in effect Friday night through Sunday afternoon for portions of southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi, the National Weather Service is reporting. A warm front lifting northward from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to begin late Friday and interact with a moisture-rich southwesterly flow to bring an extended threat of… Continue reading →

New details emerge in Denham Springs police department scandal

Paul Scott Jones

The Denham Springs police chief has been accused of “covering up” a sergeant’s drug abuse and lying to investigators, while the department’s second-in-command faces an allegation that he ordered — “in a threatening way” — officers under his command not to cooperate with the city’s Civil Service Board investigation. Notices served to department… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge man suspected of drinking while driving removes handcuffs, "trapping" officer with them

Lawrence Jackson Jr. was arrested Wednesday and accused of drinking while driving, slamming into a metal pole and handcuffing an officer when he tried to arrest him.

Baton Rouge police on Wednesday arrested a man accused of drinking while driving, slamming into a metal pole and “trapping” an “officer in the cuffs” when he tried to arrest him, according to an arrest document. Lawrence Jackson Jr. was driving in the 2300 block of Monte Sano Avenue about 11:50 p.m. when he apparently crashed into… Continue reading →

Post-Christmas shoppers score sales at Baton Rouge boutiques, mall

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Meryl Rodriguez, left, checks out a snowman tin wall hanging, like the Santa Claus item at right, as she and friend Barbara Maranto, right, browse at a 50-percent-off Christmas decorations sale Friday at The Royal Standard, getting in some day-after-Christmas shopping.

Post-Christmas shopping was calmer than usual for Debbie Martin and Barbara Maranto, whose typical frenzy lasts all day and night, concluding with stuffing their vehicles full of bags and eating IHOP into the early hours of the morning. This year was much more tame. The two women were just shopping for themselves, their families and their… Continue reading →

Lafayette stores busy with Christmas returns, exchanges

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP Shoppers Sherlo Parr, left, along with James Ziegler and Jalex Martin stand in line to return or exchange items at Best Buy on the day after Christmas Friday Dec, 26, 2014 in Lafayette, La.

Sherlo Parr stood in a fast-moving queue at Best Buy on Friday with a pair of Bose headphones she wanted to return. She’d driven in through mist and rain from her home in New Iberia the day after Christmas, and Best Buy was one among many stops in Lafayette she would make.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge crime: Six booked on suspicion of DWI on Thursday, Friday

Lawrence Jackson Jr. was arrested Wednesday and accused of drinking while driving, slamming into a metal pole and handcuffing an officer when he tried to arrest him.

Baton Rouge police on Wednesday arrested a man accused of drinking while driving, slamming into a metal pole and “trapping” an “officer in the cuffs” when he tried to arrest him, according to an arrest document. Jackson, who does not have a valid driver’s license, put debris from the crash in his trunk. Officers found skid marks… Continue reading →

If your new PlayStation, Xbox isn't working, don't worry; you're not alone

FILE- This March 8, 2012 file photo shows attendees walking past the Sony PlayStation PS Vita console on display in the Sony PlayStation booth at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.  Sony's PlayStation network remains offline on Frday, Dec. 26, 2014, in an outage that began as video game players unwrapped new consoles on Christmas. Microsoft's Xbox Live service, which had also gone down, is back online but the company says some applications aren't fully functioning. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sony's PlayStation network remained offline Friday on the second day of an outage that began roiling the online world just as eager video game players were unwrapping new consoles on Christmas morning. Microsoft's Xbox Live service, which also went down Thursday, was back online Friday although the company reported reported problems with some functions in the… Continue reading →

CBS News highlights Louisiana as 'the film production capital of the world'

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- A cable cam glides over 3,000 extras while filming a scene of movie

Money talks, right? That's the case in the movie business at least. Louisiana has become the film production capital of the world, and it's all because of the money. That's what Jesse Berger, producer of the upcoming film "Abattoir," tells CBS News. "It's very difficult to justify shooting in California when you have these… Continue reading →

Companies dependent on lower Mississippi River want bigger role in Louisiana coastal restoration planning, better communication with planners

Advocate photo by Amy WoldNavigation interests who guide ships through portions of the lower Mississippi River want to see the state invest in placing dredged material along the lower river channel. The state counters that the channel is the Corps of Engineers responsibility and that the

Until recently, companies that rely on a navigable lower Mississippi River have considered their input on coastal restoration project planning to be largely ignored despite their economic importance to the state and nation. Although their relationship with planners has improved over time, particularly in the past few years, those company officials… Continue reading →

Bird rarely seen in Louisiana among 130 species heard or spotted on Grand Isle

Advocate photo by Dr. Erik Johnson   --  This is a photo of a Lucy's Warbler. This bird was first found by Dr. J. Van Remsen on 5 November 2014 and itâs been seen on and off by a number of people since then, including by myself on the Grand Isle Christmas Bird Count.  Itâs the 3rd ever state record of the species.  It is normally found in the Sonoran desert and winters along the Pacific coast of northern Mexico.

A bird rarely seen in Louisiana was among 130 species heard or spotted on Grand Isle during the National Audubon Society’s annual winter bird count. A Lucy’s warbler, which normally lives in the U.S. Southwest or in Mexico, was the exciting find of the day on Grand Isle, said Chris… Continue reading →

A look inside the unlikely partnership between U.S. Sen. David Vitter and some Democratic counterparts

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Sen. David Vitter speaks at the weekly Baton Rouge Press Club luncheon Monday concerning policies he's working on in the U.S. Senate and his candidacy for Governor.

The connection was forged a couple of years ago, said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown , in a hearing of the House Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on the regulation of big Wall Street banks and other financial institutions. At the other end of the committee’s semicircular dais, where the… Continue reading →

Metro Buzz: Livingston councilwoman defends legal adviser during critique

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Livingston Parish council member Joan Landry speaks during a Livingston Parish Council meeting, Thursday, September 25.

Members of the Livingston Parish Council lambasted their legal adviser at length earlier this week over his handling of several lawsuits, until one council member took exception and countered that her colleagues should heed the warning of parish voters. During the comments portion at the end of the meeting, Councilwoman Joan Landry commended voters for… Continue reading →

Politics blog: U.S. Sen. David Vitter to go see 'The Interview' next week, wants supporters to see it too

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- U.S. Senator David Vitter speaks at a town hall meeting Aug. 15, 2013, at Baton Rouge's Jones Creek Regional Branch LIbrary.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter is planning to see "The Interview" next week. And he hopes you go see it too. In a campaign email sent Friday, Vitter said the film gives Americans the chance to "stand up" to North Korea. Check out our politics blog to read more from Vitter about the film.… Continue reading →

Politics blog: The role race, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal might play in 2016 presidential election

Associated Press photo by TIMOTHY D. EASLEY -- Gov. Bobby Jindal addresses a group of supporters at the Restore America Rally in support of Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell Oct. 29 in Louisville, Ky.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal became the nation's first Indian-American governor in 2008. But if he runs in the 2016 presidential race, don't expect him to discuss his race much. In a statement released to Politico for a story on race and the 2016 race, Jindal said he's "against the idea of the hyphenated American." Continue reading →

Officer-involved shooting investigations in Baton Rouge could change

Advocate staff photo by DENNY CULBERT. Photo shot on 6/19/08 ---Trax #00012733a -- Slug: cop shooting East Baton Rouge police work the scene at an apartment complex on Blvd de Province, where an under cover officer was forced to shoot a man earlier this evening.

When a Baton Rouge police officer shoots someone while on duty, a fellow officer generally conducts the criminal investigation into the incident. The same is true for deputies with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, troopers with the State Police and officers with most other large law enforcement agencies across the country. But… Continue reading →

VOTE NOW: Help us choose Walt Handelsman's best cartoon of 2014

It's been quite a year. And editorial cartoonist Walt Handelsman has captured the highlights along the way -- sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, but always thought-provoking. Continue reading →

Separate Freshman Academy buildings on tap for three Ascension Parish high schools

Provided by the Ascension Parish School Board - An architect's rendering shows the new Freshman Academy building for ninth-graders at St. Amant High School, with construction to begin in 2015.

New campus buildings coming to three Ascension Parish public high schools will be dedicated solely to students in ninth grade, the year educators say is the most critical of high school. At each school — St. Amant High, Dutchtown High and East Ascension High, all on the parish’s east bank — the new building will bear… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Police News: Woman, 34, accused of having sex with 16-year-old

Delisha Barg

Authorities on Tuesday arrested a 34-year-old Baton Rouge woman accused of having sex with a 16-year-old boy. The boy was walking behind Delisha Barg on Saturday night after his mother accused her of stealing $100 from her purse, according to an arrest report. The boy noticed she was intoxicated and walked her home, East Baton Rouge… Continue reading →

Police issue murder warrant in drug deal killing

Chesmond Paris

Baton Rouge police are searching for a man accused in a parking-lot shooting death fueled by a drug deal. Aljerard Warner, 22, is wanted on a count of first-degree murder in the death of Derrell Marquis Haynes, 19, Baton Rouge police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said Friday in a news release. Police have issued an arrest… Continue reading →

Arrest warrant issues in Christmas Day shooting in Lafayette

Aljerard Warner

Authorities have issued a warrant for a Lafayette man wanted in the Christmas evening shooting death of 23-year-old Wilbert Simon, police said. Chesmond Paris, 23, is wanted on second-degree murder in Simon’s death in the 100 block of Elenore Street, spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton said in a news release. A third man… Continue reading →

Serving at St. Vincent de Paul in Baton Rouge: ‘It’s what Christmas is all about’

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Table Captain Selina Loupe, left, leans past a partition in the packed Society of St. Vincent de Paul dining room Thursday, taking a tray full of food from Grant Thomas Loupe, 11, her stepson, as diners Mira Curry, left, and Robbin Collins, right,  eat behind them. Her other son, Grant Anthony Thevenot, 10, and her husband David Loupe,  also were volunteering at the event.

Clad in red stocking caps, Selina Loupe’s boys raced to the table at lunchtime Thursday with Styrofoam plates loaded with green beans, jambalaya and fried turkey. The food, however, wasn’t for them. It was for the hundreds of needy people stretched out the door at the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room in Baton Rouge, waiting… Continue reading →

Entergy completes Westwego plant

Entergy Louisiana LLC has completed its Ninemile 6 power plant in Westwego, the first time in 30 years the company has expanded its fleet with a new power plants. The combined-cycle gas turbine unit cost $655 million, well below the original budgeted cost of $721 million, according to Entergy. Entergy received the Louisiana Public Service Commission’s permission… Continue reading →