BR teens open up about youth violence at BRAVE panel

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- BRAVE project leader Herbert 'Tweety' Anny stands and speaks  Thursday at a panel discussion entitled, 'Our Voice, Right Choice, No More Violence,' in the  Capitol High School library. Others, from left to right, are William Whited, 17, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, LaToy Bennett, 16, Joseph McWilliams, 16, and Greater Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers Executive Director Sid Newman.

It took about an hour of prodding and preaching from local leaders speaking about teen violence Wednesday morning before a group of several dozen students began to speak up inside the library at Capitol High School. But once comfortable, the students opened up about the reasons some of their peers seek triggers to solve their problems. … Continue reading →

Southern celebrates 100 years in Baton Rouge

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- The Southern University Archives and Information Center building atop the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River Friday in Baton Rouge.

The people that make up the Southern University community will never forget the institution’s history. It’s a point of pride from the recruiters who visit high schools, to the current students counting down the days until graduation and to the alumni who stay in touch decades after they last took a class. To them, Southern is … Continue reading →

Jindal, educators reach agreement on teacher appeals

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office said Thursday it has reached agreement with teacher unions and others on a plan to revamp the appeals process for public school teachers who are dismissed. The issue has sparked off and on talks for weeks among aides to Jindal and officials of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, Louisiana Association of Educators, Louisiana … Continue reading →

Lafayette crime blotter for April 18, 2014

Police are looking for a Morgan City man accused of beating and raping a teenager, officials said Thursday. Atlas J. White, 22, 1352 Oil Tank Alley, is wanted on a warrant for aggravated rape and unauthorized entry of a home, the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. … Continue reading →

Airline Highway Deluxe Inn sold for $1 million

The Deluxe Inn, an extended stay hotel on Airline Highway across from Celtic Media Centre, has been sold for $1 million to a California company that plans to extensively renovate the 225-room property in order to attract business travelers. ELF Hotels bought the nearly 40-year-old hotel from BMR Funding, a Connecticut-based real estate investment trust, in … Continue reading →

Bond Commission backs Jindal plan for surplus cash

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year’s budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support needed for the maneuver to work. The plan uses dollars that are limited in how they can be spent to pay off debt early. The pre-payment tactic frees … Continue reading →

Around Baton Rouge for April 18, 2014

NATIVE AMERICAN BASKETS EXHIBIT: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Louisiana Art & Science Museum, 100 S. River Road. Call (225) 344-5272 or KIDD KEYNOTES: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., USS Kidd Veterans Memorial & Museum, 305 S. River Road. The topic will be sexual assault. Admission … Continue reading →

Walker area voters to decide fate of school bond issue

Walker-area voters will decide May 3 whether to approve issuing $25 million in bonds to pay for facility and technology improvements in the Walker school district. Early voting begins Saturday. The money raised through the bond issue, which would be repaid over 20 years through an increased property tax millage, would be … Continue reading →

Millage renewal on May 3 ballot for EBR fire district

Voters in the nearly 17-square mile District 6 Fire Protection District in East Baton Rouge Parish will decide May 3 whether to renew a property tax that helps cover payroll, fire hydrant rental fees and other district expenses. Early voting begins on Saturday. “If they want to continue getting … Continue reading →

Hammond area voters face school tax on May 3 ballot

Hammond-area voters will take another look on May 3 at passing a tax millage to support Hammond schools’ magnet and accelerated programs. Early voting begins Saturday. The Tangipahoa Parish School Board is asking voters in Consolidated School District No. 1 to approve a 10-year, 15-mill property tax for the programs. … Continue reading →

Denham Springs man booked on crimes against children

Giles F. Thibodeaux Jr.

A Denham Springs man has been arrested and accused of multiple sex crimes against children, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. Louisiana State Police arrested Giles Frederick Thibodeaux Jr., 44, 9260 Greystone Drive, at his home Wednesday, then took him to Ascension Parish, where he was booked on counts … Continue reading →

FDA warns of risks with fibroid removal procedure

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is warning women that a device-assisted procedure for treating fibroids could inadvertently spread cancer from the uterus to other parts of the body. The agency is discouraging doctors from performing the procedure, which uses an electronically powered device to grind and shred uterine tissue so it can be removed through … Continue reading →

Arrest made in June 9 slaying at Club Shenanigans

A 20-year old man was arrested Thursday on first-degree murder and other counts in the June 9 fatal shooting of Octavia Jackson, 27, at Club Shenanigans, 3964 Plank Road. Dannaryo Lathers, 20, 2245 Cunard Ave. was arrested on an additional three counts of attempted first degree murder and illegal use of a weapon, according to Baton Rouge … Continue reading →

Councilman: Deal in works to annex mall property

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Students walk past a variety of sizes of stage buildings on the lot at Celtic Media Centre.

Costco Wholesale, Celtic Studios and SAIF Credit Union want to officially join the city of Baton Rouge — and a Metro Councilman says the Mall of Louisiana may not be far behind. Costco, Celtic and SAIF straddle the border separating the city and the proposed city of St. George, which is an unincorporated part of … Continue reading →

EBR School Board member Randy Lamana has died

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member Randy Lamana states his position on a proposed renewal of the Program Manager's contract during a School Board meeting in 2013.

East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member Randy Lamana collapsed late Wednesday as he walked to his car at the Capitol after a legislative panel held a hearing on restructuring the parish school system and earlier voted to reduce the size of the School Board. Lamana was later pronounced dead. Lamana, 57, was elected to the … Continue reading →

Deputies search river for man after family slayings

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Crime scene tape surrounds the front exterior of a home at 41047 Lakeway Cove Ave., Gonzales, where a double-homicide took place early Thursday in the Gateway Cove subdivision off La. 44 in unincorporated Ascension Parish. The front door is boarded up.

The estranged wife of a Gonzales man accused of fatally shooting her and their son before possibly jumping to his own death Thursday off a Mississippi River bridge claimed in a series of court papers — some filed days before the slayings — that she had a turbulent marriage with … Continue reading →

4 jailed over girl’s claim of rape at hotel

Darrell Reed, left, Antonio Thomas, DeAndre Rideaux and Kenya Major,.

Two Westdale students arrested, accused of terrorizing

Threats made on Instagram about a possible shooting on campus led to the arrests Thursday of two eighth graders at Westdale Middle School. The two calls, one of which was received Wednesday evening, are not believed to have been related, according to an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office news release. The Wednesday call was … Continue reading →

1 ticket Lotto jackpot, 2 winners split Easy 5

Louisiana Lottery officials say one ticket won the $325,000 jackpot in Wednesday’s Lotto drawing. It was purchased in Bogalusa. In the Easy 5 drawing, there were 2 winners. Lottery officials say they will split the $50,000 prize. The tickets were purchased in Shreveport and Natchitoches. There was no winner in the multistate Powerball jackpot drawing. The … Continue reading →

Council’s leader suggests dropping search for planning director

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Interim East Baton Rouge Planning Director Ryan Holcomb, at the City-Parish Planning Commission's open house for Planning Director job finalists to meet staff and interested members of the public, on March 7. Metro Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Chandler Loupe is recommending that Holcomb be appointed to the permanent position, following a series of setbacks in the ongoing hiring search.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. – Metro Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Chandler Loupe is recommending that interim planning director Ryan Holcomb be appointed to a permanent position after a series of setbacks in the ongoing hiring search. “I think Ryan would do a great job and have enjoyed working with him in the past and I certainly believe he is qualified … Continue reading →

Pool Corp. sees first quarter profits rise

Covington-based Pool Corp. reported its first-quarter profit rose to $4.2 million, or 9 cents per share, compared to $3.4 million, or 7 cents per share, a year ago. The wholesale distributor of pool supplies and equipment boosted sales by 10 percent to a record $406.3 million, thanks to customers replacing or remodeling their swimming pools, the company … Continue reading →

EU warns Russia against using gas for politics

Associated Press photo by Pavel Golovkin -- Reporters listen to Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech, displayed on TV screens during a nationally televised question-and-answer session Thursday in Moscow.. Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Thursday dismissed claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine as 'nonsense,' but expressed hope for success of four-way talks on settling the crisis.

BRUSSELS — The European Union is warning Russia that interfering with gas deliveries to Ukraine to apply political pressure would backfire by damaging its reputation as a reliable supplier for the EU. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a letter on behalf of the EU’s 28 governments that Russia’s “contractual reliability as a supplier of … Continue reading →

Man opens fire on BR officers Wednesday night

Police arrested a man who allegedly fired on Baton Rouge Police officers Wednesday night as the officers were trying to serve a narcotics search warrant, according to the Baton Rouge Police Department. Patrick Lathan, 18, 13830 Brittany Court, was arrested on five counts of attempted first degree murder of a police officer and illegal use of … Continue reading →

House panel OKs bill to shrink EBR School Board

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS --  The exterior of the East Baton Rouge School Board offices building on South Foster Drive.

The East Baton Rouge Parish School District came under legislative fire on two fronts Wednesday, with a state House committee approving a bill that would shrink the size of the local board from 11 to 7 members. The plan, House Bill 1178, cleared the House and Governmental Affairs Committee 6-2 and next faces action, and heated … Continue reading →

Fears rise for missing in S. Korea ferry sinking

South Korean coast guard officers try to rescue passengers from a ferry sinking in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. The ferry carrying 459 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea's southern coast on Wednesday, leaving nearly 300 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters. At least four people were confirmed dead and 55 injured. (AP Photo/Yonhap) KOREA OUT

MOKPO, South Korea — Strong currents and bad visibility hampered rescuers Thursday in the search for 287 passengers still missing more than 24 hours after their ferry flipped onto its side and filled with cold water off the southern coast of South Korea, causing fury among families waiting for word of passengers who were … Continue reading →

Denham Springs man booked on DWI 6th offense

WBR School Board to demolish historic Cohn High School buildings

The West Baton Rouge Parish School Board made its first steps Wednesday toward demolishing the old Cohn High School campus, authorizing school district officials to begin the bidding process to tear down the historic buildings. The board’s action comes after years of complaints that the campus, closed for several decades, had … Continue reading →

Police and fire briefs for Thursday, April 17, 2014

A man who tried running from East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies Tuesday inside the 19th Judicial District Courthouse was captured before he left the building. Zedrick Thomas, 23, 673 Fawn Lake Drive, Baton Rouge, was making a court appearance on a probation revocation hearing in … Continue reading →

Breaux Bridge man booked in Iberville Parish killing

St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives have arrested a Breaux Bridge man in the killing in January of an Iberville Parish man, officials said. Mark A. Roy, 44, was arrested without incident Tuesday at his home, sheriff’s Maj. Ginny Higgins said in a news release. Roy is accused of killing … Continue reading →

Detective: Pink shirt comments led to punch

A St. Francisville man knocked unconscious on Mother’s Day at a north Baton Rouge gas station told police his attacker — an ex-convict — teased him about the pink shirt he was wearing before punching him, a detective testified Wednesday. Several witnesses to the May 12 incident corroborated David Ray’s account of what happened that night at … Continue reading →

Family settles over inmate death at Angola

A $24,000 settlement was reached Wednesday in a lawsuit that accused two now-former Louisiana State Penitentiary guards of trying to cover up an inmate’s 2007 strangulation death. The wrongful death suit also alleged the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections was responsible for Jonathan Stevenson’s death. “It wasn’t about money,” said Ralph Fletcher, who … Continue reading →

Alsen couple shaken by family shooting outside home

Photo provided by the Gray family -- In an undated photo, Raymond Gray, left, stands with his son Jerry Gray, who was shot and killed Tuesday night. Eugene Cross, the son of Raymond Gray’s girlfriend, has been questioned but not arrested.

Raymond Gray and Betty Jean Cross were lying down Tuesday evening when they heard a doorbell, then the sound of three gunshots outside their Alsen home. The couple arose as quickly as they could, walked outside and found a scene they still have trouble comprehending. Gray’s son Jerry Gray, 52, lay in the … Continue reading →

Bill would allow nativity scenes at public schools

Louisiana’s public schools would be given explicit authority to put up nativity scenes and Christmas trees as part of a holiday display, under a proposal that received the backing of the Louisiana House Education Committee. State Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, said he sponsored House Bill 876 to “support Merry Christmas.” The displays on school properly could … Continue reading →