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Baton Rouge area residents check out electric vehicles at event

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Ramin Mani, center, asks questions about Edwin Pezant's, left, self-converted electric truck by the electric vehicle charging station at Whole Foods Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Pezant and other owners of electric vehicles were on hand to answer questions in celebration of National Drive Electric Week.

As the allure of electric vehicles grows in the United States, advocates of the battery-powered automobiles gathered in Baton Rouge on Saturday as part of National Drive Electric Week to tout the advantages over the old gas guzzlers. Lauren Lambert-Tompkins, a Clean Cities co-coordinator with Louisiana Clean Fuels, said Saturday’s gathering in the Whole Foods… Continue reading →

Two killed in West Baton Rouge crash early Saturday

Two people were killed early Saturday after a man State Police suspect was speeding rear-ended a tow truck, killing the driver and passenger in the car. The crash occurred shortly before 1:30 a.m. on U.S. 190, west of La. 983 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Trooper 1st Class Jared Sandifer said. The 2003 Acura TL,… Continue reading →

How could LSU save millions, run smoother?

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Commons area at the West Campus Apartments to the right of Edmund Kirby Smith Hall.

LSU could save millions by overhauling its parking system, outsourcing the operation of its power plant and potentially partnering with a private developer to replace aging on-campus student housing, according to a private consultant the university hired. Based on Huron Consulting’s analysis of university operations, a parking revamp that isn’t just an across-the-board increase for… Continue reading →

LSU game day traffic, parking plan gets biggest test yet; let us know how it works for you

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Eric Fasbender, LSU Assistant Director of Athletic Facilities & Grounds, sprays gold paint as he and his crew of staff and student workers paint the Eye of the Tiger, in preparation for Saturday's Tiger Stadium home opener, which pits LSU against Sam Houston State. The 90-year-old stadium's new south end zone expansion and scoreboards loom behind him. The grass gets a special water-based paint that has optimized amounts of binding agents and solids, for adherence and color, but also to allow as much light as possible to pass to the plant, allowing the photosynthesis that keeps the grass alive. His crew battled intermittent rain showers Thursday as they painted the Eye, all the numbers, hash marks and SEC logo. Tiger Stadium is unique in that it paints numbers in five yard increments, not the usual 10, he said. 'But without the Eye of the Tiger,' it wouldn't really be Tiger Stadium,' he said.

LSU’s 2014 game day traffic and parking plan is set to get its biggest test yet, as fans converge on campus for Saturday’s 6 p.m. contest against SEC opponent Mississippi State. The 2014 plan includes double-lane contraflow on Nicholson Drive southbound after the game, a post-game pedestrian buffer zone on Nicholson… Continue reading →

NFL Commissioner Goodell promises sweeping personal conduct policy changes

FILE - in this March 26, 2014, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during a news conference in Orlando, Fla. Goodell says the league asked for, but was not given, a just-released video showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee on an elevator. Goodell says during an interview with CBS aired Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014:

NEW YORK (AP) — Commissioner Roger Goodell says the NFL wants to implement new personal conduct policies by the Super Bowl. At a news conference Friday, Goodell made his first public statements in more than a week about the rash of NFL players involved in domestic violence. He did not announce any specific changes, but said he has not considered resigning. "Unfortunately,… Continue reading →

Convicted teen killer’s sentence upheld by Baton Rouge appellate court

G’Quan “Tuttie” Baker, who last year became the first Baton Rouge convicted killer to benefit from a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the sentencing of teens, failed to persuade a state appeals court Friday to overturn his second-degree murder convictions and life term with the possibility of parole after 35 years. Baker, who authorities claim was… Continue reading →

Gonzales man, 71, accused of threatening judge, attorney

Photo provided by Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office -- Paul Cleveland

A 71-year-old Gonzales man was arrested Friday after telling a clerk of court official in Baton Rouge that he was going to kill an Ascension Parish judge, district attorney and then himself, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said. Paul Cleveland made the comments in Baton Rouge, when he was leaving the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal… Continue reading →

Sugar Cane Festival organizers dispel rumors of cancellation

The president of the association putting on the 2014 Sugar Cane Festival said there is no truth to rumors that the festival would be canceled. Jessie Breaux, president of the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival Association, said the rumors had become “rampant and detrimental to the success of our upcoming festival.”… Continue reading →

Police shooter booked into Lafayette jail and other Acadiana area police news

The man accused of trying to kill a Lafayette police officer last week was released from medical care Friday and placed in jail, officials said. Chase Chaisson, 23, was booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on one count each of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, convicted felon in possession… Continue reading →

Demolition of Coburn’s Building put on hold

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- The Lafayette Downtown Development Authority is opposing plans by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to demolish a disused building on the corner of 2nd and Cypress Streets.

A historic building in the path of a downtown interchange for the planned Interstate 49 Connector will not be demolished — at least for now. The state Department of Transportation and Development has canceled a contract to tear the building down, DOTD spokeswoman Deidra Druilhet confirmed this week. DOTD had been… Continue reading →

Whole Foods has preview tour on Friday ahead of planned Wednesday opening

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Whole Foods is opening in Lafayette on Ambassador Caffery Parkway on September 24.

Within the recycled, barn-wood walls, the new 36,200-square-foot Whole Foods Market on Ambassador Caffery Parkway includes 300 locally sourced products, a coffee bar, a smokehouse and a pizza “parlor.” Resting amid the gluten-free breads and organic bananas is a sit-down bar with 16 beers and three wines on tap, a daiquiri machine… Continue reading →

Army opens Ranger school to women

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army is opening the door for women to go to Ranger school, in one of the first steps toward allowing women to begin moving into more grueling combat jobs. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Friday that he believes he will be able to put women in the Ranger course next… Continue reading →

Wait time complaints to bring change to state OMV

Changes are coming to the Office of Motor Vehicles to reduce wait times, including the addition of express lanes and incentive pay for employees who provide expedited services, the official who oversees the agency said Friday. State Police Col. Mike Edmonson, who is deputy secretary of the Department of Public Safety, told the Joint Legislative Committee… Continue reading →

Foul play not suspected in woman’s death, St. Mary officials said

Detectives do not suspect foul play in the death of a woman whose body was found Tuesday on the La. 182 bridge that crosses the Atchafalaya River and connects Berwick and Morgan City, officials said. St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Traci Landry said the body was identified and the woman’s family… Continue reading →

Alibaba surges in its stock market debut

People walk past an advertising billboard showing the mobile app of Alibabas Taobao consumer-to-consumer site at a subway station in Beijing Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Alibaba Group's U.S. stock offering is a wakeup call about an emerging wave of technology giants in China's state-dominated economy. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

NEW YORK (AP) — Alibaba’s stock is surging as the Chinese e-commerce powerhouse begins its first day trading as a public company. The stock opened at $92.70 and nearly hit $100 on the New York Stock Exchange Friday, a gain of 46 percent from the initial $68 per share price set Thursday evening. At Friday’s opening… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge’s BRAVE initiative now expanding to 70802 area

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Representatives from the Baton Rouge Police Department BRAVE team and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office SCAT Team pause for a photo during a gathering of local law enforcement in the 70802 community, with a goal on bringing community members together to take a stand against violence in the neighborhood, Thursday, Sept. 18 in Baton Rouge.

Baton Rouge’s crime-fighting initiative, BRAVE, officially is expanding into a second ZIP code area: 70802, the area north of LSU that has been the site of a disproportionate number of the city’s violent crimes. “We want them all to know that (70802) is not just a geographical location,” said BRAVE’s team leader and Baton Rouge police… Continue reading →

Gonzales man arrested, booked with cultivating marijuana in home

Photo provided by Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office -- Deputies on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, found 100 marijuana plants growing at a Gonzales residence, along with growing equipment and chemicals relative to growing marijuana.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested a Gonzales man Thursday night and booked him with growing marijuana in his home. According to Chief Deputy Tony Bacala, narcotics detectives were contacted by East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office advising that an individual may be growing marijuana in his residence. On Thursday night, narcotics detectives who went to 13158… Continue reading →

Florida man kills 6 grandchildren, daughter, sheriff says

A Gilchrist County sheriff's deputy lowers the yellow tape to let vehicles through at the scene of a shooting on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 in Bell, Fla. (AP Photo/The Gainesville Sun, Matt Stamey)

BELL, Fla. (AP) — A once-convicted felon killed six of his grandchildren, including an infant, his adult daughter and himself in a shooting at the man’s home in a small North Florida town Thursday, a sheriff said. Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz at a news conference identified the shooter as 51-year-old Don Spirit. He would not say… Continue reading →

France strikes Islamic State group’s depot in Iraq

French President Francois Hollande arrives for a press conference at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Joining U.S. forces acting in Iraqi skies, France conducted its first airstrikes Friday against the militant Islamic State group, destroying a logistics depot that it controlled, Iraqi and French officials said. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

PARIS (AP) — Joining U.S. forces acting in Iraqi skies, France conducted its first airstrikes Friday against the militant Islamic State group, destroying a logistics depot that it controlled, Iraqi and French officials said. Rafale fighter jets accompanied by support planes struck the depot in northern Iraq on Friday morning, and it was “entirely destroyed,” President Francois… Continue reading →

Scottish voters reject independence from United Kingdom in historic vote

NO ballots are stacked on a table during the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland, Friday Sept. 19, 2014. From the capital of Edinburgh to the far-flung Shetland Islands, Scots embraced a historic moment and the rest of the United Kingdom held its breath after voters turned out in unprecedented numbers for an independence referendum that could end the country's 307-year union with England.  (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Scottish voters have resoundingly rejected independence, deciding to remain part of the United Kingdom after a historic referendum that shook the country to its core. The decision prevented a rupture of a 307-year union with England, bringing a huge sigh of relief to Britain’s economic and political establishment, including Prime Minister David Cameron,… Continue reading →