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Susan Gremillion: 1st female head football coach in Louisiana high school history is nice; but loftier goal is to coach deaf national championship team

Advocate staff photo by LIBBY ISENHOWER -- Susan Gremillion, the first female head football coach at a Louisiana high school, takes over at Louisiana School for the Deaf.

Being the first female head football coach at a Louisiana high school might be enough to impress some people. Susan Gremillion has her sights set on higher goals. “First woman to be a head football coach sounds nice,” Gremillion said. “I’d rather be the first woman to coach a deaf national championship team. Or maybe… Continue reading →

LSU OL Jevonte Domond arrested on felony domestic abuse, suspended from team

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Freshman offensive tackle Jevonte Domond reports to LSU's West Campus Apartments in August.

LSU offensive tackle Jevonte Domond was arrested Monday on felony domestic abuse battery with strangulation, according to police booking records, and he has been suspended from the team. LSU coach Les Miles said he was made aware of the incident Monday, but he’s been unable to contact Domond. “I’m not familiar with the specifics. I knew… Continue reading →

Currently banned animal rescue group lambasts Ascension Parish animal shelter conditions; demands access reinstatement

Advocate staff file photo by ADAM LAU -- Ascension Parish Animal Shelter.

In a video taken secretly by a former employee of the Ascension Parish Animal Shelter, a shelter employee — chewing gum, sunglasses perched on her head — can be seen casually injecting kittens held out for her, belly up, by another employee. The employee performing the euthanasias — two kittens are… Continue reading →

Baker School Board names Herman Brister Sr. as its next superintendent

Herman Brister Sr.

Automatic license plate scan nears final passage

A pilot program that would allow law enforcement in a handful of parishes to use technology that can automatically scan a driver’s license plate would be created under a bill nearing final passage. Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles, touted his bill as a way to crack down on uninsured motorists and car thieves by making it easier… Continue reading →

Package of bills to revamp Louisiana film tax credit program nears final OK

Advocate staff photo by MARK BALLARD -- Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, sponsored seven bills aimed at stamping out perceived abuses in Louisiana's film tax credit program. The House Ways and Means Committee advanced the measures Tuesday without any objections.

A series of bills aimed at stamping out perceived abuses in Louisiana’s film tax credit program won approval from a House committee Tuesday and are now close to winning final approval from the state Legislature. State Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, is the sponsor of all seven measures, which were approved after some debate by the Ways… Continue reading →

Gonzales City Council, flexing its new majority on land use, rezones site once sought by Crawford Electric

Just over a week since Crawford Electric Supply opened its new 54,000-square-foot building in unincorporated Geismar, the Gonzales City Council agreed Monday to rezone the site once proposed as the home of Crawford Electric to the broad commercial zoning category company officials had once sought. The 28-acre tract in Gonzales… Continue reading →

Floodwaters get deeper in Houston

Motorists are  stranded along I-45 along North Main  in Houston after storms flooded the area, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Overnight heavy rains caused flooding closing some portions of major highways in the Houston area. (Cody Duty/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Floodwaters deepened across much of Texas on Tuesday as storms dumped almost another foot of rain on the Houston area, stranding hundreds of motorists and inundating the famously congested highways that serve the nation’s fourth-largest city. Meanwhile, the search went on for at least 13 people who were still missing, including a… Continue reading →

After complaints about unkempt yards and run-down houses, Lafayette considering rental property inspection program

City-parish government is eyeing a rental property inspection program to address complaints about absentee landlords who some residents say care little about the condition of their homes in Lafayette. “We have folks from out of town who are buying property, some of whom have never visited Lafayette,” said City-Parish Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux. At Tuesday’s council… Continue reading →

Tangipahoa Parish Council to send term-limit proposal to the voters

Bill would exempt some from state ethics rules

The Louisiana Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that would allow some people who serve on boards and commissions to be exempted from state ethics rules that require the annual disclosure of financial information. Senate Bill 87, sponsored by Sen. Jonathan Perry, R-Kaplan, could exempt those who do not receive compensation or a per diem for their service.… Continue reading →

Denham Springs city officials tackle technology: agreeing to install GPS in city vehicles, purchasing new meeting room recording device

Denham Springs city officials will begin using GPS equipment to keep closer tabs on municipal workers. The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a contract to install the equipment in 100 vehicles for all departments at a cost of $1,500 per month. The program has already shown… Continue reading →

Lafayette School Board eyes buying buses, increasing health insurance premiums, cutting PE positions as it strives to balance budget

The Lafayette School Board on Tuesday voted to look closely at buying instead of leasing its buses, a move the district’s chief accountant said would save money over the long haul and over $1 million a year immediately. School Board members also voted to raise school employees’ health insurance premiums by 9 percent. Eight of… Continue reading →

Consumer health IT council formed

A new Consumer Advisory Council has been formed to help teach Louisiana residents about using information technology to improve their health. The council, formed by the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, will support the promotion, advancement and use of health IT tools, such as electronic health records and patient… Continue reading →

Business coalition asks public to weigh in on I-10 congestion

A business-led coalition seeking transportation improvements is trying to get more members of the public to take an online survey about traffic on the Interstate 10 corridor: The 21-question survey is designed to gather data on commuting patterns, the use of specific stretches of roadway, problematic interchanges and the effects of congestion on… Continue reading →

House-passed marijuana bill morphs into Louisiana Senate version

Another bill decreasing the penalties for marijuana possession quickly cleared a Senate committee Tuesday. But the House-passed measure got a major revamp as it morphed into legislation the full Senate approved Monday on a 27-12 vote. “It’s a better bill than mine,” state Rep. Austin Badon said as he asked the Senate’s Judiciary C Committee to… Continue reading →

Judge rules investigator can testify about comments made to him by now-deceased juror during 2003 murder trial

A defense team investigator can testify about a dead juror’s 2013 statements about her state of mind in Justin Granier’s high-profile Ascension Parish murder trial 10 years earlier. Judge Jessie LeBlanc of the 23rd Judicial District Court has found general prohibitions on using hearsay testimony — essentially a second-hand account — don’t… Continue reading →

Friday’s starter up in the air as LSU heads into Baton Rouge regional with a glaring issue - a No. 3 starting pitcher

Associated Press photo by BRYNN ANDERSON -- LSU pitcher Austin Bain delivers against Arkansas during the first inning of Thursday's game in the Southeastern Conference tournament at the Hoover Met.

LSU’s search for a third starter unfolded at Alex Box Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. One by one, each LSU reliever went to the mound for a brief simulated game against the Tigers’ hitters. Parker Bugg began things around 1 p.m. Nine pitchers later, Hunter Devall finished off the live session about 90 minutes later. Three days ahead… Continue reading →

Pension hike for state employees, teachers, school workers, State Police get Louisiana House endorsement; measure now moves on to Senate for debate

The Louisiana House on Tuesday endorsed a cost-of-living increase in the pension checks of about 100,000 retired state employees, teachers, school workers and State Police troopers. The House voted 80-20 for the measure, which now heads to the Senate for debate. The bill would grant a 1.5 percent permanent benefit adjustment to retirees of… Continue reading →

Senate signs off on rape kit bill

The Louisiana Senate approved legislation that would set up guidelines for how the state handles victims of sexual assault, preventing them from being charged for their own forensic exams. The legislation has to go back to the House for final approval but won unanimous support in the upper chamber on Tuesday. “It really changes the game… Continue reading →

Jeanerette’s police chief worked security at Lipstick Gentleman’s Club, but did nothing while crimes were committed inside, Metro Narcotics reported Tuesday

Marvin Grogan

Marvin Grogan drove an unmarked Jeanerette police unit to Lipstick Gentlemen’s Club in Lafayette, wore a shirt that said “police” along with his Jeanerette police badge and handgun, and identified himself as a law enforcement officer while working security at the topless bar. Yet the Jeanerette police chief did nothing while drug use and prostitution went… Continue reading →

House committee defers action on legislation on domestic violence housing help for victims

A state House committee Tuesday deferred action on legislation that would help victims of domestic violence with housing. The measure will come up again next week after some changes are drafted to satisfy members concerns, said House Civil Law Committee chairman Rep. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans. State Senate President Pro-Tem Sharon Broome tried to get… Continue reading →

Three arrested on suspicion of DWI

Authorities arrested at least two people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Monday and 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, booking records show. Those booked and the counts against them: — John Cullen, 37, 4472 Whitehaven St., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, motor vehicle inspection… Continue reading →

Sales tax holiday break wins OK from the Louisiana House

The Louisiana House agreed Tuesday to suspend three state sales tax holidays for a year to help the state with its fiscal problems. The House voted 83-7 for the resolution which now heads to the Senate for debate. Fifteen representatives did not vote. Suspension of the sales tax holidays would generate an estimated $4.5 million.… Continue reading →

Construction budget jammed with more projects than money

Louisiana’s lawmakers have started advancing a state construction budget for next year that is so overstuffed with projects it would give Gov. Bobby Jindal decision-making authority over which ones actually receive money. Jindal submitted an overloaded proposal with $258 million more in economic development initiatives, roadwork, state building repairs and other construction projects than Louisiana has money… Continue reading →

Qualifying for Baton Rouge City Court judge election shouldn't proceed as planned, backers of court redistricting contend

Those backing the redistricting of Baton Rouge City Court’s election boundaries through a civil right lawsuit want a federal judge to halt the September qualifying period for an October special election to fill a vacancy on the court. A trial of the suit concluded in November, and attorneys for the plaintiffs, and the state and city-parish defendants… Continue reading →

Two Lafayette men drown at Lake Arthur Park

Bill would limit price estimates for a barrel of oil

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- Republican Rep. Kenny Havard, of Jackson, awaits the vote on one of his bills.

After getting whacked by the unexpected collapse in the price oil — and its impact on the state budget — Louisiana legislators Tuesday advanced a bill to limit the estimated price that is used to calculate projected revenues. House Bill 562 would limit the forecast to 90 percent of the highest actual price per barrel of oil… Continue reading →

Tobacco settlement sale has little traction among Louisiana legislators

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols speaks to the press in November. a

When the Louisiana Senate Finance Committee heard testimony that the state budget was short $163.2 million, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols floated a few ideas for raising some of those dollars. For instance, about $27 million could come from unclaimed lottery winnings, she said. And proposals to increase the cost of driver’s licenses and vehicle registration fees,… Continue reading →

Fire destroys Arnaudville home of cultural renaissance leader

An early morning fire in Arnaudville destroyed the home of Mavis Arnaud Fruge, a woman at the heart of Arnaudville’s cultural French renaissance in recent years and the recipient earlier this year of the French government’s prestigious Knight in the Order of the Academic Palms award. “This home, Fruge’s home, is where she fed, entertained and… Continue reading →

Inmate died from natural causes, Lafayette Parish Coroner’s Office reports

A Lafayette Parish inmate pronounced dead at the jail on Friday died from natural causes, according to a preliminary report from the Lafayette Parish Coroner’s Office. The inmate, 46-year-old Kreig Lutgring, died from cardiovascular disease, the Coroner’s Office reported Tuesday. A full autopsy will take up to two months. Lutgring was found unresponsive in his cell… Continue reading →

Louisiana bill aimed to ban abortion based on sex of unborn stalls

An effort to ban abortions based on sex selection stalled Tuesday in a Louisiana Senate committee. Proponents of the House-passed “Prenatal Non-discrimination Act” couldn’t muster the votes needed to get it out of committee. The Senate Judiciary B Committee deadlocked on a 2-2 vote for motions both to defer and to advance the measure, which is being… Continue reading →

Suspected drunken driver crashes into embankment, killing passenger

A Houston man was killed in a single-vehicle crash late Monday after the vehicle’s driver, suspected of being drunk, veered off an Interstate 10 service road and crashed into a ditch embankment, State Police said. Edwin Johnson, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene near the eastbound Iota and Estherwood exit, State Police… Continue reading →

Arrests posted May 25, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website

JOSHUA FITZGERALD BABINEAUX: 30, of the 100 block of Barbusse Road, Scott. He was booked on criminal mischief and three counts of warrant/bench warrant. DEMETRE J. BROUSSARD: 36, of the 100 block of Edna Street, Lafayette. He was booked on misdemeanor possession of marijuana and resisting an officer. BRANDI LEIGH BROUSSARD: 32, of… Continue reading →