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East Baton Rouge school system showcases public school programs at event

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Denise Verrett, 15, paints a painting of Bob Marley using the fauvism technique during the EBR School systemÕs "CelEBRate" block party, Saturday, April 30, 2016, at McKinley Middle School in Baton Rouge, La.

The East Baton Rouge Parish School System’s public and magnet schools showcased their academic and extracurricular programs during the first-ever “CelEBRate” event at McKinley Middle Magnet School on Saturday. After thunderstorms forced the event from the downtown riverfront to McKinley, parents, volunteers and community and school leaders packed into the narrow hallways as students participated in… Continue reading →

As higher parking fees take effect, Baton Rouge Metro Airport moves on major parking garage repairs

A few weeks after the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport began charging higher parking fees, aviation leaders are preparing to move forward with the millions of dollars worth of repairs and improvements the new rates will fund. “The parking garage that we currently have needs to be redone,” said Trae Welch, an East Baton Rouge… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge police make arrest in attack on man robbed of $23

Baton Rouge police arrested a man Friday in a January incident in which the suspect’s second cousin was stabbed, knocked unconscious and robbed of $23. Bobby Collins, 53, struck the victim in the face shortly after another person stabbed the victim in the shoulder at an address on Billops Street, a Baton Rouge Police Department report… Continue reading →

Five booked on suspicion of DWI in East Baton Rouge from Friday to Saturday

Authorities arrested at least five people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between noon Friday and noon Saturday, booking records show. Those booked and the counts against them: Austin Boitnott, 20, 36430 Rosalie, Denham Springs, first-offense DWI, reckless operation and improper lane usage.… Continue reading →

Lightning strike punches hole through roof of Baton Rouge home

A lightning strike during severe weather Saturday afternoon punched a hole in a roof of a house off Perkins Road, the St. George Fire Department reported. Several units were dispatched to a Pendleton Way house around 2:30 p.m. Investigators found a hole at the peak of the roof, but no signs of a fire or other… Continue reading →

Lafayette crime blotter for April 30, 2016

Arrests posted Apr. 30, 2016, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s web site: PHILLIP JAMES ALEXANDER: 30, of the 100 block of Heidi Circle, Scott. He was booked on carjacking and felony violation of protective orders. PAUL JOSEPH ALLEMAN: 30, of the… Continue reading →

Former LSU tackle Jerald Hawkins selected by Steelers in fourth round

Advocate filephoto by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins, rightcongratulates running back Leonard Fournette after a touchdown in the Music City Bowl.

Former LSU offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins went to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 123rd pick in the fourth round of Saturday’s NFL Draft. Continue reading →

David Onyemata’s remarkable journey from Nigeria to the NFL lands Canadian star in New Orleans

University of Manitoba Bisons defensive tackle David Onyemata runs a drill for NFL scouts in Winnipeg, Man. Monday March 14, 2016. Brian Donogh/Winnipeg Sun/Postmedia Network

Five years ago, a soft knock at his office door interrupted Brian Dobie’s phone conversation. The University of Manitoba football coach turned to his left and immediately forgot about the phone call. A massive young man loomed in his doorway like an eclipse, a man Dobie instantly found himself hoping was a prospect he’d simply never met… Continue reading →

$600 million question: Task Force looking at income taxes, other state budget alternatives

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Gov. John Bel Edwards answers questions during a press conference.

The blue ribbon commission whose recommendations Gov. John Bel Edwards hopes to incorporate in the agenda for the upcoming second special session is looking at income taxes as a way to immediately fix the budget. No decisions have been made — the members are still studying alternatives — but the need to find money soon, coupled with… Continue reading →

Community meetings set in Lafayette for public to weigh in on I-49 design alternatives

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Bruce Neck, right, and Dale Soileau, center, look over one of the refinement concepts proposed for the Lafayette Connector with Stephen Mensah, a representative of the Lafayette Connector Partners, on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, during an open house meeting to discuss the roadway's future.

Ten public meetings are set over the next two weeks for residents to chime in on an expanded list of design alternatives for Interstate 49 through Lafayette and ways to ensure the road, if ever built, blends with the surrounding neighborhoods. The state Department of Transportation and Development is hosting five community meetings beginning Tuesday for… Continue reading →

Lafayette mosquito control contractor scratches council’s itch; resumes special request spraying

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- Tommy Alesi, an inspector and sprayer for Mosquito Control Contractors, Inc., collects a water sample from a ditch while inspecting a neighborhood for mosquito larvae Friday, April 29, 2016, on Verna Street in Lafayette, La.

Lafayette’s mosquito control contractor has resumed answering special requests for spraying following an outcry by City-Parish Council members, who said constituents want to see the trucks roll when they call for them. Council members on Tuesday complained for nearly an hour to City-Parish Emergency Operations and Security Coordinator Bobby Cormier about a policy of not responding… Continue reading →

Metro Council banter over proposed ordinance goes from playful to heated

What started out as a lighthearted exchange between East Baton Rogue Parish Metro Councilman Ryan Heck and city-parish Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel turned heated this week, ending with the failure of an ordinance Heck was proposing involving the building permitting process. Heck had asked for the city-parish to post a sign indicating that it accepts… Continue reading →

Nine booked on suspicion of DWI in East Baton Rouge from Thursday to Friday

Authorities arrested at least nine people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between noon Thursday and noon Friday, booking records show. Those booked and the counts against them: Evan Matherne, 57, 224 W. Chaifont, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, reckless operation, improper lane usage… Continue reading →

Two teens arrested in string of car burglaries, theft of one vehicle

Two of three teenagers accused of burglarizing nine vehicles and stealing one earlier this month were arrested this week, police said. Arthella Andrus, 17, of Lafayette, and a juvenile who was not identified were arrested Friday on nine counts of simple burglary and one count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle,… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge man accused of firing shots into woman’s car arrested

Tevin Brown

A Baton Rouge man accused of firing shots into a woman’s vehicle in January was arrested Thursday after police stopped him for playing loud music in his car. Baton Rouge police stopped Tevin Brown, 22, on Kentucky Street Thursday afternoon and later realized he was wanted in a Jan. 28 incident in which he allegedly followed… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge man arrested, accused of burning 2-year-old son

Jamal Ackerson

Baton Rouge police on Thursday arrested a man accused of burning his 2-year-old son while the boy was staying with him last week. The child’s mother noticed the burns last Friday when she picked him up from his father, Jamal Ackerson. The mother contacted police and took the boy to the emergency room, where a doctor… Continue reading →

Woman’s husband arrested after her strangled body found in Whiskey Bay, Iberville Parish Sheriff’s office says

Jonathan Christopher Allee

Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said Friday that an investigation has determined the 29-year-old woman whose naked body was found in Whiskey Bay was in a “volatile relationship” with an abusive husband who detectives believe killed her before tossing her body off the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. Stassi did not know Friday how long Jonathan… Continue reading →

U.S. oil rig count drops 11; Louisiana reduced by 2

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by 11 this week to 420, again reaching an-time low amid depressed energy industry prices. A year ago, 905 rigs were active. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday 332 rigs sought oil and 87 explored… Continue reading →

Lemonade Day stands going into business Saturday around Louisiana

Lemonade Day stands will be popping up all around Louisiana Saturday. More than 20,000 youth in the state are expected to participate in the sixth annual Lemonade Day, designed to teach entrepreneurship and character development among Louisiana’s youth ages 4 to 18. Young entrepreneurs were provided with a free backpack, which contained detailed materials to… Continue reading →

City leaders, pastors show united front in wake of Earth Day arrest video showing teen struck in head

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- After a news conference in front of the mayor's office concerning an Earth Day incident downtown, Rev. Reginald Pitcher, right, gives his take on why he was left out of the press conference.

Public safety officials, political leaders and some pastors tried to present a unified front Friday about how they are working together after a video surfaced online from Earth Day that showed a Baton Rouge police officer striking a 16-year-old boy in the head as other officers tried to handcuff him. The video has resulted in… Continue reading →

Two people shot overnight in Baton Rouge, police looking for suspects

Two people were shot multiple times but are expected to survive after separate overnight shootings early Friday morning, Baton Rouge police said. A police spokesman said officers don’t have suspects in either shooting but both incidents remain under investigation. A 23-year-old man was shot twice in his leg shortly before 2:26 a.m. while he sat on… Continue reading →

Saints coach Sean Payton on Laremy Tunsil tumbling, Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack, staying put at No. 12

AP file photo: New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton watches from the sideline against the Jacksonville Jaguars in New Orleans.

Expect the unexpected is the unofficial motto of the NFL draft. But on Thursday night, the New Orleans Saints did their part to stick to the script. Widely expected to target a defensive player, coach Sean Payton and the front office tabbed Louisiville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins with the No. 12 overall pick. Payton spoke late… Continue reading →

Ex-LSU football player Troy Hankton, cousin plead guilty in federal racketeering case

Onetime LSU defensive back Troy Hankton and a cousin, Nakia Hankton, pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday, admitting roles in a drug-dealing conspiracy allegedly headed by their notorious cousin, accused New Orleans crime leader Telly Hankton. In court documents supporting his guilty plea to a firearms conspiracy count, Troy Hankton, 31, admitted dealing… Continue reading →

With marble fountain, silk rugs, George Rodrigue art, this Edwin Edwards relative's home style eclectic

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Penny Edwards' home in Le Triomphe retains its villa elements.

It’s a rare woman who can bring together East and West, but Penny Edwards does. Wife of the late Marion Edwards, her home in Le Triomphe is an homage to the globetrotting life they led during brother Edwin Edwards’ political reign and a testimony to her transition. Built in 1998 and purchased… Continue reading →

Lafayette arrest report for April 29

Arrests posted April 28, 2016, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website. DENZEL MEIGAL ARCENEAUX: 21, of the 800 block of Mudd Avenue, Lafayette. He was booked on second-degree battery and simple battery. BRITTNEY BATISTE: 27, of the 400 block of Iberia Street, Youngsville. She was booked on felony simple criminal damage to… Continue reading →

Exxon’s profit plunges 63 percent, its weakest quarter in 16 years

Exxon Mobil produced its weakest quarter in more than 16 years as lower oil prices pushed its profit down by 63 percent but still beat asnalysts’ expectations. Revenue tumbled 28 percent, and the oil giant lost money in its vaunted exploration and production business despite a 2 percent increase in production. It made… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: Is it too much to ask Airbnb hosts to meet basic safety measures?

Anyone who follows politics, particularly of the conservative variety, is bound to be familiar with certain Big Government bogeymen, from the all-powerful Nanny State to bureaucrats out to regulate people’s lives. But Big Fire Marshal? Really? State Rep. Helena Moreno, a New Orleans Democrat who, like many other city officials, is trying to… Continue reading →