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Baton Rouge men become first same-sex couple to wed in parish

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- From left, Justice of the Peace Moses Evans, Jr., jokes around with newlyweds Ronald Granger and Madison Maddux at Evans' Chapel, Monday, June 29, 2015, in Baton Rouge.

Madison Maddux and Ronald Granger had each “given up” a little over three years ago, disappointed by the string of bad relationships that seemed to come standard issue with dating. So after they met in a bar in Memphis, Tennessee, Granger was surprised to feel “like, ‘that’s it; this is what I’ve been waiting for.’ ” But though… Continue reading →

LSU kicks DT Trey Lealaimatafao off the team after third off-the-field incident

Trey Lealaimatafao

LSU has dismissed defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao from the football team, the school announced Monday. Lealaimatafao was arrested for simple battery and simple robbery, a felony, on June 19 stemming from a June 16 fight in the parking lot of Reggie’s Bar. The arrest was Lealaimatafao’s third such off-the-field incident and second arrest in one… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge man booked in death of toddler’s mother, had already been accused of kidnapping the 2-year-old girl

Advocate staff photo by  APRIL BUFFINGTON --  Baton Rouge Police Officers Sherri Harris,left, and Rob Cook, right, escort Daaria Thomas out of the Louisiana State Police compound on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Thomas was charged with Aggravated Kidnapping of a Child in the case of 2-year-old A’Kyleana Latham.

A man arrested in the kidnapping of a 2-year-old in May also was booked June 17 on a count of second-degree murder in the shooting death of the child’s mother, Baton Rouge police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely confirmed Monday. Curtis King and his live-in girlfriend, Daaria Thomas, were arrested May 7 in the… Continue reading →

Look out, Baton Rouge, here come the high heels and hair spray as Miss USA makes its way south

Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez is crowned Miss USA during the Miss USA 2014 pageant in Baton Rouge, La., Sunday, June 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Look out for an infiltration of hair spray, high heels and haute couture this week in Baton Rouge as the Miss USA contestants make their way to the Capital City. The Miss USA contestants will have a jam-packed schedule over the next two weeks until the pageant on Sunday, July 12. They… Continue reading →

Governor Bobby Jindal signs marijuana penalty reduction law

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Republican presidential candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal addresses the crowd at a reception held at the Louisiana Governors Mansion, Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Baton Rouge.

. Penalties for simple marijuana possession are decreasing in Louisiana effective immediately. The reduction came with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s signing into law of a measure approved during the 2015 Louisiana Legislature. Jindal’s office announced the bill signing Monday. House Bill 149 sponsor state Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans, called it “a compassionate, smart and just approach to justice reform.” The state’s sheriffs… Continue reading →

Mother sought in child visitation case surrenders

A Lafayette mother of three accused of leaving home with her children last week despite a court order granting her husband visitation surrendered Friday, KATC-TV reported. Katelyn Gauthier, 30, walked into the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office shortly after 8:30 p.m. and said she was there to surrender, Maj. Art LeBreton said. She made no statement to… Continue reading →

‘It’s such a blessing’ — family to get new home in Lafayette, thanks to Habitat for Humanity and 400 volunteers

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP The new owner of a Lafayette Habitat for Humanity home Natasha Cormier stands outside of the home with her one year old daughter London Landry and daughter Koriana Landry outside of the home after a Dedication and Blessing of the Cormier Family Home Monday June 29, 2015 in Lafayette, La..

Once the mortgage and deed paperwork are signed, single mother Natasha Cormier and her two daughters will move into their new home, a two-story dwelling on Georgia Street where they’ll be able to breathe. The newly built home will be a welcome change from their current place, which has old carpet that caused allergies. The… Continue reading →

Lafayette School Superintendent Donald Aguilllard announces more appointments for his new administrative team

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Lafayette Parish Assistant Superintendent Sandra Billeaudeau, left, speaks with Superintendent Candidate Don Aguillard Wednesday before Aguillard's interview for the position in Lafayette. Aguillard was selected unanimosly by the school board Wednesday.

New Lafayette Parish schools Superintendent Donald Aguillard on Monday announced the remainder of his leadership team. Aguillard was appointed superintendent mid-May, and his reorganization plan has set off several internal moves within the school system, leaving several administrative jobs vacant. Sandra Billeaudeau will now work as the district’s planning administrator. Billeaudeau’s position… Continue reading →

Two suspected of DWI between Sunday and Monday in East Baton Rouge Parish

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. Sunday and 2:30 p.m. Monday, booking records show. Those booked and the counts against them: — Leroy Jarvis, 38, 3034 Mission Drive, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, driver’s license suspended/revoked, speeding… Continue reading →

Medical Center to operate Louisiana Oncology Associates locations later this summer

Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center will take over operations of Louisiana Oncology Associates locations and infusion centers in the region effective Aug. 1. The two groups recently finalized a strategic partnership that sees Lourdes operating the Louisiana Oncology Associates locations in Lafayette, New Iberia, Crowley and Opelousas with physician support. Within the next eight… Continue reading →

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s lawyer says individuals don’t have to issue same sex marriage licenses

Clerks of courts, justices of the peace and other state officials don’t have to issue same sex marriage licenses if they hold a sincere belief that such an action violated their religious faith, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s executive counsel stated in a legal memo to the governor that was released Monday afternoon. The governor’s chief legal advisor, Thomas… Continue reading →

Krewe de Crown: The Miss USA contestants, Baton Rouge deserve to be showcased

FILE - In this June 16, 2013 file photo, Donald Trump, left, and Miss Connecticut USA Erin Brady pose onstage after Brady won the 2013 Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas, Nev. Univision says it is dropping the Miss USA Pageant and says it will cut all business ties with Donald Trump over comments he made about Mexican immigrants. The network said Thursday, June 25, 2015, it will not air the pageant on July 12, as previously scheduled, and has ended its business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization due to what it called "insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants" by Trump, a part owner. (AP Photo/Jeff Bottari, File)

. Just today, it was announced that NBC is cutting business ties with Donald Trump over the recent immigration remarks made. This also means that NBC will no longer air the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants that were part of a joint venture with Trump. There are several ways you can look at the situation, but for… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal may find Hillary Clinton's politics distasteful, but her recipe for chocolate chip cookies ...

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Republican presidential candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal addresses the media at a reception held at the Louisiana Governors Mansion, Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a newly declared Republican candidate for president, has been harsh in his criticism of Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton. But, in a recent visit to The Wall Street Journal’s Washington bureau, Jindal found he actually likes her recipe for chocolate chip cookies. The Journal presented Jindal a… Continue reading →

NBC announces it won't air Baton Rouge's Miss USA pageant after Donald Trump comments

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to members of the City Club of Chicago Monday, June 29, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

With NBC deciding to drop the broadcast of the Miss USA pageant, it looks like Baton Rouge won’t receive the national exposure it was promised when the event agreed to film in the capital city for the second year in a row. But the competition could still come at a cost to taxpayers. Following on… Continue reading →

Class action status allowed for some New Iberia residents after altercation with police during 2006 Sugar Cane Festival

A state appellate court has ruled that some revelers who were tear-gassed at the 2006 Sugar Cane Festival in New Iberia can remain plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit targeting the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office. In a decision published this month, a three-judge panel of the Louisiana 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal approved the class-action… Continue reading →

Police search for robber of Coursey Boulevard business

Baton Rouge Police are attempting to identify the suspect in this photo who is accused of robbing a Circle K Store at 12891 Coursey Blvd, early this morning.  The suspect walked into the store and jumped on top of the counter.  He then produced a handgun and demanded money from the register. The victim opened the register and the suspect took the cash from the drawer and fled the scene on foot.

Baton Rouge police are searching for a man accused of robbing a Circle K at 12891 Coursey Boulevard early Monday morning. The man walked into the store, jumped on the counter, produced a handgun and demanded money from the cash register, said Baton Rouge police spokesman Lt. Jonathan Dunnam in a news release. The cashier opened… Continue reading →

Scouting LSU football opponents: McNeese State's storyline, biggest threat, weak spot

Summer Scouting is a daily post analyzing LSU football’s 12 opponents for the 2015 season. From McNeese State (June 29) to Texas A&M (July 11), we’ll give you an early scouting report on the one dozen teams on LSU’s schedule each day (excluding Sunday) until SEC media days begins.

Game reset

When: 6:30 p.m., Sept. 5
Where: Tiger Stadium
Early spread: N/A
Who’s… Continue reading →

New Iowa ad touts Bobby Jindal's aversion to 'hyphenated American' designations; T-shirts tout his tan

A political action committee supporting Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s presidential campaign is hitting the airwaves in Iowa.

Believe Again released the “We are All Americans” ad on Monday.

The ad uses clips of Jindal touting his view that the use of “hyphenated Americans” is divisive.

Over the weekend, Jindal’s campaign released its first official T-shirt, which is available for $20 and… Continue reading →

Look out, Baton Rouge, here come the high heels and hair spray as Miss USA makes its way south

Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez is crowned Miss USA during the Miss USA 2014 pageant in Baton Rouge, La., Sunday, June 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Look out for an infiltration of hair spray, high heels and haute couture this week in Baton Rouge as the Miss USA contestants make their way to the Capital City. The Miss USA contestants will have a jam-packed schedule over the next two weeks until the pageant on Sunday, July 12. They… Continue reading →

A win for LSU: Judge denies John Chavis’ request to stay school’s suit against him in Louisiana

Advocate file photo by BILL FEIG -- Former LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis

LSU won the first battle fought in a Louisiana courtroom between the university and former defensive coordinator John Chavis. A judge Monday denied Chavis’ request to stay LSU’s suit against him in Louisiana, continuing the parties’ legal battle in two states: Texas and Louisiana. Chavis attorney Jill Craft plans to appeal the ruling from State District Judge Timothy… Continue reading →

‘I can’t believe we’re actually holding it’— Nine same-sex couples in Acadiana receive marriage licenses in historic day on Monday

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  Chelsea Hughes shows off her marriage certificate outside the Lafayette Parish Courthouse on Monday, June 29, 2015, in Lafayette, La.

Despite earlier indications that Acadiana’s same-sex couples would have to wait three weeks before they would be allowed to marry, area clerks of court on Monday changed course and issued nine marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Six couples in Lafayette Parish, two in Iberia Parish and one in St. Martin Parish successfully applied for… Continue reading →

'It’s overwhelming': Jefferson Parish issues first same-sex marriage license in Louisiana to clerk office employees

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Celeste Autin and Alesia LeBoeuf were the first to get a marriage license at the Jefferson Parish Courthouse on Monday, June 29, 2015.

Jefferson Parish began issuing same-sex marriage licenses to anyone who applied for them on Monday, Clerk of Court Jon Gegenheimer said. Gegenheimer’s office made the decision about 10 a.m. after speaking with his agency’s legal counsel, attorney John Litchfield. Litchfield spent the weekend reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Friday to legalize same-sex… Continue reading →

Governor candidate John Bel Edwards says schools chief John White needs to go

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH--John Bel Edwards answers questions during the Louisiana gubernatorial candidate forum at the Alario Center in Westwego on Wednesday, June 18, 2015.

Democrat John Bel Edwards said Sunday night that, if he is elected governor, he would oppose state Superintendent of Education John White remaining in his post. “I have no intention of allowing John White, who isn’t qualified to be a middle school principal, to remain as superintendent when I am governor,” Edwards said in a prepared… Continue reading →

Continued refusal to issue marriage licenses will open up Clerks to civil liability, advocacy group tells Louisiana Clerks of Court Association

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Same sex couple Isobel Healy, left, and Holis Hanna wave rainbow flags during the "Decision Day Rally for Marriage Equality" in Jackson Square in New Orleans, La. Friday, June 26, 2015. The rally was called after today's U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 ruling allowing same sex marriage across the country, though Louisiana residents may have to wait 25 days to acquire licenses.

. Louisiana clerks of court should immediately issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and could face both public and personal civil liability if they fail to do so after Friday's landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling, according to an LGBT advocacy group. In a letter written Sunday, Forum for Equality Louisiana put the Louisiana Clerks of Court… Continue reading →

An inside look at financial details of St. George campaigns: Here's what we know, don't know

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Jane Patton with Better Together Baton Rouge announces during a press conference how residents who signed a petition to break away from East Baton Rouge Parish to form the city of St. George can remove their signatures on Monday in Baton Rouge.

Tens of thousands of dollars, possibly hundreds of thousands, have been spent over the past several months in an attempt to shape public opinion over the proposed City of St. George. But the public has no way of knowing exactly how much was spent, what they spent it on or who contributed money because neither side… Continue reading →

Major political shift in Ascension Parish underway as once Democratic bastion becoming Republican stronghold

The First and Last Chance Café in Donaldsonville has a storied history as one of the spots in the historic Mississippi River city where Democrats would gather to cut a political deal. Billy Guillot, 54, owner of the restaurant/bar that got its name because the bar and restaurant were the only stop on… Continue reading →

Man recently released from prison accused of throwing hammer at car with girlfriend, children inside

A 37-year-old Baker man recently released from prison after serving 18 years was arrested Saturday afternoon after throwing a hammer through the windshield of the vehicle where his girlfriend was hiding with two children after a fight. Corey Mercadel was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on counts of domestic abuse battery and child endangerment.… Continue reading →