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Bobby Jindal to participate in smaller Fox News debate, misses cut for top 10 main event

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (file photo)

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal failed to qualify for the prime-time TV debate among Republican candidates Thursday, and he will be relegated instead to a late-afternoon event with other contenders who fell short of a top-10 ranking in national polls, Fox News announced Tuesday. Jindal will accept the invitation to the second-tier debate, his campaign manager, Timmy Teepell,… Continue reading →

Number of Baton Rouge charter schools doubles in 3 years; four new ones open this week

Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Shelby Godfrey, sixth-grade math teacher at Democracy Prep Baton Rouge, shows sixth-graders how to count using their fingers correctly during orientation on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, at the old Prescott Middle School.

Four new charter schools are opening their doors this week in Baton Rouge, joining an increasingly crowded local education marketplace. They bring the total number of charter schools in East Baton Rouge Parish to 25, double the total just three years ago. Charter schools are public schools run by private organizations via charters, or contracts.… Continue reading →

Central’s popular chief administrator officer, David Barrow, fired, but mayor won’t say why

One of the first governmental leaders of Central has been removed from his position, Central Mayor Jr. Shelton confirmed Tuesday. Shelton let go his chief administrative officer, David Barrow, but will not say what led to Barrow’s termination. The mayor called it a personnel matter, and other past Central officials said they… Continue reading →

Three years into CATS tax, bus service receives mixed grades — ‘A’ for trip times, ‘F’ for lack of signs

It’s been three years since voters approved a large Capital Area Transit System tax, after promising significantly faster and more reliable service, but the agency is still receiving a mixed review from riders and an accountability group that’s measuring the agency’s progress. Together Baton Rouge, a faith-based nonprofit organization credited with helping pass the tax, offered… Continue reading →

Amoeba puts new spotlight on Ascension Parish bid to buy Donaldsonville water company

For nearly two months, outgoing Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez has pitched the purchase of Peoples Water Service Co. as a way to improve the flagging finances of a west bank parish water district and eventually expand water service to the east bank. But the prospect of the parish having its own water plant has taken on… Continue reading →

Lafayette City-Parish Council to consider new rules regulating Uber, other ride-sharing services

The Lafayette City-Parish Council is considering new regulations to require Uber and similar companies operating in the parish to do regular background checks on contract drivers, inspect vehicles and carry insurance above and beyond what state law requires for drivers. The new regulations were introduced at Tuesday’s council meeting and are up for a final vote… Continue reading →

Dead zone off Louisiana coast slightly larger than last summer, but triple the size of the target set by a task force

Water containing so little dissolved oxygen that it can’t support marine life was found in an area stretching 6,474 square miles off the coast of Louisiana this summer. At the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, the dead zone is larger than last year’s 5,052 square miles and much larger than a national target,… Continue reading →

Lafayette to receive $279,769 — minus $41,965 for legal fees — in BP oil disaster settlement

Lafayette Consolidated Government will receive $279,769 for sales tax losses related to the 2010 Gulf oil disaster. The settlement is one of several made in recent weeks by cities, parishes and public agencies in a massive class-action lawsuit seeking damages from the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Assistant City-Parish Attorney Stuart Breaux informed the City-Parish Council on… Continue reading →

Man indicted in ‘sextortion’ scheme; coerced young girls to send him graphic photos

Matthew Walker

A federal grand jury has indicted a Baton Rouge man in what agents called a “sextortion” scheme, where young girls were coerced to produce child pornography online, J. Walter Green, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana, announced Tuesday. The July 29 indictment was unsealed Tuesday accusing Matthew Chaney Walker, 25, who was arrested… Continue reading →

Pointe Coupee Police Jury committee recommends first steps to appointing a Home Rule Charter Commission

The 11-member commission that could reshape Pointe Coupee Parish government through the creation of a home rule charter would likely be made up of no more than three members from the parish’s Police Jury, members of a Selection Criteria Committee recommended Tuesday night. The five-member selection committee, made up of police… Continue reading →

At least two booked on suspicion of DWI between Monday and Tuesday

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: Harold Alexander, 65, 14528 Breton Blvd., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI. Robert McDaniel,… Continue reading →

Treasurer Kennedy: Louisiana Constitution may need change after legislators approve taxes without two-thirds vote

State Treasurer John Kennedy is proposing a constitutional change in the wake of legislators approving nearly $400 million in taxes without the required two-thirds vote. Legislative leaders ruled that a majority vote would suffice on many of the revenue raisers approved in the 2015 session to help fill a $1.6 bilion budget hole. But Kennedy said if they are right the state… Continue reading →

Man strikes Family Dollar employee with pipe, flees with merchandise

Famly Dollar Suspect

Police are looking for a man who struck a Family Dollar cashier with a metal pipe during a robbery. The man, captured in surveillance images, posed as a customer by carrying merchandise to the front of the store at 12132 Florida Blvd., on July 31 around 10:40 a.m., Baton Rouge police spokesman Cpl. Don Coppola said… Continue reading →

New $22 million medical complex in Plaquemine a hit — use nearly double the projections

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Iberville Parish and Ochsner are set to hold the ribbon-cutting on its new $25 million medical complex next Friday Jan. 16, 2015. Weekend tours are being given for the community before the facility opens on Jan. 19.

Iberville Parish officials were right six months ago in saying residents were eager to have the new Ochsner Medical Complex in the parish. Since opening in January, the $22 million medical complex is seeing nearly double the daily traffic officials had projected would visit its free-standing emergency center and is… Continue reading →

Lake opens pediatric clinic at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital has opened a pediatric specialty clinic in the St. Elizabeth Hospital Physician Medical Office in Gonzales. The St. Elizabeth location is the Lake’s latest pediatric clinic. In June, the Lake opened a pediatric specialty clinic in Lafayette, whose initial focus is gastroenterology. The St. Elizabeth clinic will offer treatment… Continue reading →

ShoppersChoice.com expanding Airline Highway warehouse

ShoppersChoice.com, which sells indoor and outdoor furniture, grills and kitchen appliances, plans to spend $1.8 million to expand the warehouse space at its facility on Airline Highway. ShoppersChoice.com has applied for permits with the city-parish to add 60,000 square feet to its headquarters at 8151 Airline Highway. The plan is to move on the… Continue reading →

State Rep. Regina Barrow makes Senate bid official

State Rep. Regina Barrow listed health care, education and economic development improvements as her priorities as she announced her bid for the Baton Rouge-based Senate District 15 seat. Barrow held a news conference Tuesday to officially announce that she will seek the Senate seat held by term-limited Sharon Weston Broome. The district includes the northern part of East Baton Rouge Parish. “We… Continue reading →

7-million-year-old giant camel bones, discovered by UL-Lafayette professor, to be exhibited at ‘Prehistoric Giants’

Pphoto submitted by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette  --  James E. Martin, curator of paleontology and research professor in the School of Geosciences at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has completed excavation of a 7 million-year-old camel in South-Central Oregon this week. We are hoping to have it ready for the next big paleo display that will open at the Lafayette Science Museum next April, Dr. Martin said. The specimen is the most complete skeleton known of the giant camel, Megatylopus, a creature that was 12-14 feet tall and functioned much like the giraffe. The partial skeleton will arrive in a few weeks to Lafayette, where it will be prepared and placed on display as part of the third installment of the Prehistoric Giants exhibit presented by UL Lafayette and the Lafayette Science Museum downtown.  It took two months to excavate and encase the specimen in plaster for shipment. Well have a unique fossil specimen, Martin said.  The Universitys Geology Museum moved to the Lafayette Science Museum in 2013.  With the first in a three-part dinosaur exhibit, attendance doubled in 2014.he museum includes over 3,000 square feet of exhibit space for fossils, minerals, and rocks, and a 1,500-square-foot research space for students and faculty. It houses the University's collection of fossils, rocks and minerals; features a laboratory to process specimens; and offers new learning opportunities for the public.

One giant, long-dead camel is finding a permanent home in the downtown Lafayette Science Museum. Found in modern-day south-central Oregon, the 7 million-year-old giant camel, also known as the Megatylopus, stood a towering 12 to 14 feet tall when it was alive. University of Louisiana at Lafayette research professor James Martin found the specimen, which… Continue reading →

New hires for Lafayette schools — both experienced teachers and first-timers — attend training this week

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP Lafayette Middle School Social Studies and English teacher Lamime Diallo looks over papers during the Lafayette Parish School System training for new teachers Tuesday August 4, 2015 at J. Wallace James Elementary School in Lafayette. The training is for both first year teachers and experienced teachers who are new to the school system.

At least 150 new teachers are preparing for next week’s start of school during a three-day training this week that gives an overview of teaching in Lafayette Parish schools. The training is held for those new hires in the school system — both first-year classroom teachers and those who are teaching for the first time within… Continue reading →

Gov. Bobby Jindal questions Planned Parenthood’s truthfulness

Gov. Bobby Jindal on Tuesday called upon Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast executives to be honest about the organization’s activities involving the sale of fetal body parts. Jindal used the release of a fifth video purportedly showing a Planned Parenthood official talking about the fetal sales to question the truthfulness of information the organization provided state health… Continue reading →

Louisiana health research group receives $6.9 million in federal funding

A Louisiana partnership that is building information technology to conduct health research better and faster has been awarded $6.9 million as part of the National Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The Louisiana Clinical Data Research Network is based at the Louisiana Public Health Institute in New Orleans. Members include Ochsner Health System, LSU, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center,… Continue reading →

Lafayette Parish seeing an increase students taking college preparatory classes; 255 earning early college credits

More Lafayette Parish students are taking Advanced Placement courses as the school system works to expand course offerings, and more than a third of test takers passed exams to earn college credit, according to data released Tuesday. The number of students taking Advanced Placement courses in the parish increased over the past two years from 407… Continue reading →

Lafayette Crime Blotter for Aug. 4

Arrests posted Aug. 3, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website. GALVIS ARDOIN JR.: 39, of the 4400 block of Stewart Street, Zachary. He was booked on two counts of hold for St. Landry Parish. PHILLIP CLEMENT ARDOIN: 53, homeless, Lafayette. He was booked on fugitive. SOLOMON ARVIE: 18,… Continue reading →

New Mexican restaurant coming to Baton Rouge, replacing Times Grill

Patron’s Mexican Restaurant will open at the end of August or early September in the former Times Grill location at 5207 Essen Lane. Javier Lopez, one of the owners of Patron’s, said the restaurant will offer authentic Mexican dishes such as tacos, fajitas and chimichangas. “We’re going to serve them differently, it won’t be Tex-Mex,” he… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal, other GOP candidates await 4 p.m. Fox News announcement of debate participants

Republican presidential candidates gather on stage before a forum  Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, in Manchester, N.H. From left: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Scott Walker. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

WASHINGTON (AP) — They crowded the stage in New Hampshire for a debate-style faceoff. But the jam-packed Republican field will be narrowed considerably for the first formal debate of the 2016 primary season later in the week. On Tuesday at 4 p.m., Fox News announces which 10 presidential hopefuls can participate and the exclusive club will feature… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal, at presidential forum, blasts those 'trying to divide us,' says nation needs to get off 'the path to socialism'

Republican presidential candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during a forum Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Gov. Bobby Jindal played familiar rhetorical notes in his appearance Monday in a nationally televised forum featuring most of the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential candidates, who produced few if any surprises or shocks. “I’m so tired of this president and the left trying to divide us,” said Jindal, 44. “We’re all Americans. We’re not hyphenated Americans.”… Continue reading →

Homeowner hospitalized, overcome by smoke in house fire

A Delaware Street house fire sent one person to the hospital Monday night. Firefighters arrived around 10:15 p.m. and observed flames coming from a front window. Firefighters discovered the owner of the home on the ground in the back yard after he had been overcome by smoke. He was treated by firefighters before being transported to… Continue reading →

Video report: Louisiana dentist receives threats after being mistaken for man who killed Cecil the lion

FILE - In this image taken from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French, a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's wildlife minister says extradition is being sought for Walter Palmer, the American dentist who killed a Cecil.  (Paula French via AP)

A Louisiana dentist and his family are receiving death threats following the controversial killing of a well-known lion in Zimbabwe, according to KSLA-TV in Shreveport. Problem is, those making the threats have the wrong dentist. Dottie Palmer, the wife of Dr. James Palmer, a Homer dentist, told KSLA about the ordeal: “This is like a new kind… Continue reading →

Horse ‘spooked’ while crossing Mississippi River Bridge, asphyxiates itself trying jump out of trailer, official says

A horse died after trying to escape a trailer on the Mississippi River Bridge Monday night, an animal control official said. Hilton Cole, director of East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control and Rescue Center, said the horse was being transported around 8 p.m. in a trailer eastbound on I-10 into Baton Rouge when it “spooked” and… Continue reading →

Feds would do more to address mental illness under bill by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy

Washington — Mental-health issues would get more attention from the federal government and the mentally ill would gain greater access to treatment under a bipartisan bill outlined Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., the lead sponsor of the legislation.

“It is our hope that these improvements will mean better and more successful care to help prevent unnecessary suffering… Continue reading →

Louisiana AG Buddy Caldwell on criticism by environmental group: 'I must be doing something right'

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell spoke Tuesday, May 12, 2015, to the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish about the accomplishments of his office.

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is responding to a national pro-environmental group that’s targeted him for opposition to the Obama administration’s new EPA carbon emissions rule.

Americans United for Change launched a week-long digital ad campaign aimed at Caldwell and seven other attorneys general to get them to drop court challenges to the rule. The ads calling the eight… Continue reading →

Massachusetts mayor compares Bobby Jindal to Gomer Pyle in 'sanctuary city' flap

A Massachusetts Democrat slammed Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Monday, comparing him to Gomer Pyle, the simple-minded character from The Andy Griffith Show.

“I love listening to Jindal, because I swear if you didn’t know who he is, you’d swear it was Gomer Pyle on the phone,” Somerville, Massachusetts Mayor Joseph Curtatone said after Jindal went on Boston Herald… Continue reading →

Entergy reports 2Q earnings; there's good news and bad news

New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. reported its second-quarter 2015 operational earnings fell to $149.9 million, or 83 cents per share, compared to $200.3 million, or $1.11 per share, a year ago. Lower prices for the electricity generated by nuclear power and less production from those plants accounted for much of the difference. The Entergy Wholesale Commodity segment lost… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace quick take: In presidential forum, Bobby Jindal 'didn't do much to stand out' but 'didn't fall on his face'

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (AP FILE PHOTO)

. After two hours, 14 candidates, and no bathroom breaks (as the organizers warned the live crowd beforehand), the first televised GOP presidential forum -- beamed live from first primary state New Hampshire -- is in the books. It would take someone with a far longer attention span than mine to really process it all, but here… Continue reading →

St. Landry Solid Waste Commission agrees to withdraw application to increase amount of waste — and add out-of-parish sources — to the parish landfill

As Morris Bart-themed party goes viral, Bart is flattered, mom marvels at the 'insanity,' toddler may get to meet his hero

Advocate staff photo by CHARLES CHAMPAGNE    Lerin Dobra and her 2-year-old son Grayson Dobra have fun with their Morris Bart cutout. News of Grayson's Morris Bart-themed birthday party rocketed around the world after a story appeared in The Advocate.

L’erin Dobra wasn’t trying to start a media firestorm when she used personal injury attorney Morris Bart as the theme for her son’s second birthday party. And Bart, though hardly publicity-shy, wasn’t expecting his name to go worldwide when he sent an autographed photo and trinkets to help little Grayson celebrate the occasion. “That is insanity,”… Continue reading →