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Industriplex office-warehouse sells for $367,000

A 4,400-square-foot office warehouse in the Industriplex has sold for $367,000. KCE Properties LLC bought the building at 6951 North Merchant Drive in a cash deal that closed Monday, said Grey Hammett, managing broker for Mike Falgoust and Associates. Hammett represented the buyer and the seller, BPJK Ventures LLC, both of which are based in Baton… Continue reading →

Retailers counting on Thanksgiving, Black Friday sales in stores and online

Associated Press file photo -- Retalers are ready fo the nearly 136 million consumers expected to participate nationally in the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Many of them are making more if not all of the same Black Friday deals available online as in stores.

Lured by the promise of deep discounts on hot-ticket items such as home appliances, big-screen televisions and video game consoles, plenty of people will put away the leftovers and head to the store on Thursday as more retailers begin opening their doors on Thanksgiving rather than waiting for Friday. Nearly 136 million consumers may participate in… Continue reading →

Fake ‘movie’ prop money popping up in South Louisiana; two arrested

Fake money created for use as props in movies is circulating across several parishes in southeast Louisiana, with authorities receiving multiple complaints about the counterfeit cash from banks, bars and convenience stores. Police have already arrested two people accused of using the fake bills and expect to make more arrests, Morgan City Sgt. Rick Hartley said.… Continue reading →

Thanksgiving holiday closures for East Baton Rouge Parish detailed

East Baton Rouge city-parish government offices and state and federal courts will be closed on Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Solid waste, including trash and garbage, and recyclables will not be collected on Thursday. For those who normally have trash collected on Thursday, garbage will be collected on the next service day. Residents whose… Continue reading →

Land acquired for Prairieville residential development

Brian Dantin and Ross Bruce have purchased 60 acres of land near Prairieville to build Hidden Farms, a 142-lot development, in the spring. DB Hidden Farms LLC, a corporation controlled by Dantin and Bruce, bought the 60-acre site on Brown Jr Road near Old Jefferson Highway in Prairieville. The deal closed Tuesday and DB Hidden Farms… Continue reading →

Ascension deputies seek clues in Prairieville carwash burglaries

Ascension Parish Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a person who made off with about $3,000 after breaking into the money machines at two car washes in Prairieville, Lt. Col Bobby Webre said. The person, captured on video by surveillance cameras, broke into the kiosk machines at Platinum Express car wash and the… Continue reading →

Kip Holden bashes Metro Council's north Baton Rouge development proposals, reveals plans for final year as mayor

Kip Holden

In the wake of his failed bid to become lieutenant governor, Mayor-President Kip Holden talked in an interview Tuesday about his plans for the remainder of his term and used the occasion to bash some council members’ ideas for redeveloping north Baton Rouge. Holden lost the lieutenant governor campaign Saturday in a runoff withContinue reading →

Free man for now: Judge orders immediate release of Marksville deputy marshal accused in murder of 6 year old

Advocate photo by BRYN STOLE -- A state judge ruled on Tuesday that a state law barring attorneys from posting bail should not be applied to a lawyer father trying to free his son and ordered the immediate release from jail of a Marksville deputy marshal accused in the murder of a 6-year-old boy.

. Update, 1:30 p.m. A judge ruled on Tuesday that a state law barring attorneys from posting bail should not be applied to a lawyer trying to free his son and ordered the immediate release from jail of the son, a Marksville deputy marshal accused in the murder of a 6-year-old boy.… Continue reading →

CBS' Gary Danielson: Lack of quarterback Les Miles' downfall at LSU, but 'he might not be unemployed for two hours'

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Louisiana State Police Sgt. Bryan Madden, left, looks on as LSU head coach Les Miles talks with LSU quarterback Brandon Harris (6) just after the last platt of the game, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 in Baton Rouge. LSU beat Auburn 45-21.

CBS Sports college football analyst Gary Danielson likes Les Miles, but in a podcast on he said he understands why the LSU coach is on the hot seat... Continue reading →

Blue Bell ice cream returning to Louisiana just in time for Christmas

FILE - In this April 10, 2015, file photo, Blue Bell delivery trucks are parked at the creamery's location in Kansas City, Kan. Blue Bell can resume production and sale of ice cream manufactured at its Alabama plant, the Alabama Department of Public Health announced Wednesday, Aug. 5. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

Blue Bell ice cream will be available in Louisiana on Dec. 21 after listeria contamination halted sales and prompted cleanup of production plants. The ice cream also will be back for sale in Jackson, Mississippi. Blue Bell on Tuesday also announced the return of 115 workers put on paid furlough after the April voluntary recall of all products. The… Continue reading →

Murder victim’s mom calls for firing of Angola warden Burl Cain after story reveals ties to killer’s stepdad

Advocate staff file photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Alida Anthony and her husband, Jim Anthony, hold a shadow box of keepsakes of their late son Justin Fitzgerald next to a painting of him in their home in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. The box contains the hat Fitzgerald was wearing when he was shot and killed with his girlfriend Heidi Studler in 1997 by Jason Lormand in Lafayette, who is serving life in prison. The Board of Pardons and Parole recently approved a hearing to consider Lormand's clemency application. Angola warden Burl Cain did business with Lormand's step-father, Charles Chatelain, in apparent violation of a Department of Public Safety and Corrections rule barring "nonprofessional" relationships between corrections employees and relatives of inmates. The heart-shaped photo of the hat was taken by Studler; the feathers have spiritual significance to the family, which shares in a belief that feathers are messages from those that have died.

The mother of a murder victim has fired off a pointed open letter calling for the dismissal of longtime Angola warden Burl Cain after a recent Advocate story revealed Cain had business ties to the stepfather of her son’s killer, who has received plum assignments as an inmate and is awaiting a clemency hearing.… Continue reading →

Chauna Banks: John Delgado the 'Great White Hope,' his north Baton Rouge business incentives just to win black voters

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Councilwoman Chauna Banks-Daniel during an August 2015 Metro Council meeting.

North Baton Rouge Metro Councilwoman Chauna Banks-Daniel said Councilman John Delgado’s recent announcement to introduce legislation to improve the economy in the depressed, northern part of the city is politically motivated and offensive to the black elected officials who represent the area. Banks-Daniel said in an email that she has long been working on… Continue reading →

Lafayette arrest report for Nov. 24

Arrests posted Nov. 23, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website: KENNETH JOHN CARMOUCHE JR.: 27, of the 1000 block of Nanny Road, Breaux Bridge. He was booked on criminal trespass; having no safety belt; misdemeanor theft; operating a vehicle with a suspended license; and three counts of warrant/bench warrant. Theron James… Continue reading →

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush announces Louisiana campaign team, finance chairs

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush’s campaign on Tuesday named his Louisiana steering committee and finance chairs. St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister, state Sen. Conrad Appel of Metairie, state Rep. Nancy Landry of Lafayette and former state Commissioner of Elections Suzie Terrell will work to build Bush’s grassroots infrastructure. Meanwhile, fundraising efforts will be led by New Orleans developerJoe Canizaro, Lockport shipbuilder… Continue reading →

Clint Cointment concedes in Ascension Parish President race after check of voting machines; Kenny Matassa to become next president

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Ascension Parish Clerk of Court  Bridget Hanna, right, calls out the 'public counter' number'  to Clerk's Office Elections Supervisor Stacy Sagona, left, for one of the 192 voting machines used in Saturday's parish election, to double check the tally in the close Ascension Parish president race.  In background are, from left, C.J. 'Red' Delatte and Red Loupe, from the Matassa campaign, and Eric Weil, a friend of Matassa's. The count from the machines was accurate and confirmed after Tuesday's check, but two votes for Matassa, from mail-in ballots postmarked in time to be counted but not delivered until Monday, were added to the total. Candidate Clint Cointment, who finished second to Matassa, was on hand to watch and congratulated the Matassa campaign after the count.

After losing by 115 votes, Clint Cointment not conceding Ascension Parish president race ... yet

Kenny Matassa

Kenny Matassa, the presumptive winner of a tight election for Ascension Parish president, on Monday called his campaign an uphill climb for funding and backers after his opponents got a much earlier start than him but said he felt relief when he learned he had won Saturday night. Matassa, who started his… Continue reading →

What's next for Florida Parishes juvenile detention center after property tax renewal's stunning failure?

Advocate file photo by Heidi Kinchen  --  Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center (between Robert and Goodbee on U.S. 190)

The stunning, across-the-board failure of the Florida Parishes Juvenile Justice District’s property tax renewal on Saturday leaves the district with few options for keeping open the doors of the north shore’s only juvenile detention center. The Florida Parishes Juvenile Justice Commission, which oversees the detention center, has squirreled away $10 million in reserve funds and can… Continue reading →

Embattled LSU coach Les Miles conducting business as usual, hasn’t met with LSU officials or been told about his job status, source says

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Les Miles holds his weekly press conference amidst growing speculation of his dismissal.

Les Miles walked into his weekly news conference, shook hands with a former sportswriter and stepped to the microphone. That ended the normalcy on this Monday at LSU. Miles acknowledged reports about his job security, shook off a question on retirement and delivered “team-first” messages to his players and to what he… Continue reading →

Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards clears air with teachers, says he's not banning vouchers or closing charter schools

Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards greets teachers and education supporters at the 51st annual convention of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers   at the Golden Nugget Casino in Lake Charles, La., Monday, Nov. 23, 2014. The convention runs from Sunday afternoon, November 22, through Tuesday morning, November 24. (AP Photo/Lake Charles American Press, Rick Hickman) ORG XMIT: lacha

In his first address since winning election, Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards told teachers Monday that he entered the race because he wanted to improve education, but his first focus will be on the state budget. “The budget is going to be about $1.2 billion short: that has to be our first… Continue reading →

Pollster: David Vitter’s campaign doomed by divided GOP base, unpopular incumbent, methodical opponent

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Gubernatorial candidate David Vitter announces endorsements from LABI, Louisiana Home Builders Association, ABC Merit PAC and ABC Pelican PAC.

Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s campaign for governor was doomed by a fractured GOP base and a methodical Democratic opponent in Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards, according to an analysis of Saturday’s runoff results. John Couvillon, of JMC Analytics, said during the Press Club of Baton Rouge lunch on Monday that Edwards’ landslide win doesn’t mean the state… Continue reading →

Two suspects in slayings of Duplantier couple returning to Baton Rouge soon

Ernesto Llerena Alonso, left, Frank Garcia-Llerena

Arrangements are being made to bring both suspects in the October killings of a married Baton Rouge couple back from Florida to face potential charges in Louisiana. The two suspects, 42-year-old Ernesto Llerena Alonso and 48-year-old Frank Garcia, were arrested nearly a month apart at Garcia’s home in Hollywood, Florida. Garcia, who was… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge woman arrested after she drops unclothed infant; police find drugs in her vehicle

Christine Hussey, 31

A Baton Rouge woman who apparently dropped her unclothed infant while running between stores was arrested Sunday after police discovered drugs and paraphernalia in her car. Christine Hussey, 31, and another woman “appeared to be on drugs,” outside the Race Trac gas station at 2330 O’Neal Lane at 4:19 p.m., according to a Baton Rouge Police report.… Continue reading →

Detectives identify man killed in shooting Monday night near Baker

Update, 11 a.m. Tuesday: The man shot to death Monday has been identified as 25-year-old Michael Smith, East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said Tuesday morning. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call 389-5000 or 344-STOP. Original story: Detectives with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office are… Continue reading →

Lt. Gov.-elect Billy Nungesser: 'I'm not giving anybody a pink slip'

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Lt. Gov. candidates  Billy Nungesser, left, and Kip Holden, right, speak at the BR Press Club.

. Lt. Gov.-elect Billy Nungesser visited his soon-to-be state offices Monday, assuring employees they would still have a job after his January inauguration if they wanted it. “I’m not going in there and cleaning house. That doesn’t benefit anybody,” Nungesser said. “I’m not giving anybody a pink slip. I’m going to call every one of them personally and… Continue reading →

Another election? You bet! And in Tangipahoa voters on April 9 will face a number of tax renewals

Continue reading →

Gonzales property owners urged to take advantage of Louisiana Certified Economic Development Sites program

The nonprofit Ascension Economic Development Corp. is encouraging property owners in Gonzales to take advantage of a statewide program that promotes sites available for development. While there are currently 10 pieces of property in Ascension Parish listed in the Louisiana Certified Economic Development Sites program — more than any other… Continue reading →

Three booked on DWI in East Baton Rouge between Sunday and Monday

Authorities arrested at least three people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between noon Sunday and noon Monday, booking records show. Those booked and the counts against them: Marcus Ferry, 34, 3946 Tyrone Drive, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, flight from an officer, reckless operation of… Continue reading →

Florida firm buys Port Allen’s Gator Environmental

Gator Environmental & Rentals Inc., a Port Allen waste water disposal company, has been acquired by QualaWash Holdings LLC of Tampa, Florida. The price was not disclosed. Gator also collects and transports waste water. QualaWash is part of Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital’s portfolio. Gator is the ninth company QualaWash has acquired since 2012… Continue reading →

LSU coach Les Miles delivers clear message to players in Monday meeting: 'Team first'

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Les Miles holds his weekly press conference amidst growing speculation of his dismissal.

Lamar Louis has tried to ignore the rumblings, but friends and family members keep on reminding him. Everyone wants to know about the fate of his coach, LSU’s Les Miles. “People texting you, calling you, seeing it on the news,” said Louis, the Tigers’ senior starting linebacker. “Can’t really run… Continue reading →

Rabalais: Quite a 'heartrending' moment Monday when Les Miles called Baton Rouge 'home'

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Les Miles holds his weekly press conference amidst growing speculation of his dismissal.

For a coach who has been so embattled almost from day one, so second-guessed, so subject to such withering criticism, Les Miles took on a new persona Monday: That of the sympathetic figure. Miles was asked during his weekly Monday media luncheon — by all indications, his last such gathering as LSU’s football coach — what… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: To describe David Vitter's plight, this Allen Toussaint lyric is perfect

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Sen. David Vitter concedes to John Bel Edwards in the runoff for governor Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, during his election-night party at the Airport Hilton in Kenner.

If the past couple of weeks around south Louisiana had a soundtrack, it would be the music of Allen Toussaint, the beloved New Orleans songsmith who died earlier this month, and whose vast catalogue has saturated the airwaves ever since. Maybe it’s fitting then, that one of Toussaint’s most pointed songs could… Continue reading →

Big-name LSU commitment Feleipe Franks withdraws pledge from LSU, has eye on Florida

Four-star Feleipe Franks (Crawfordville, Fla.) announced Monday night on Twitter he decommitted from the Tigers. Franks is a top five pro-style quarterback nationally, according to the 247sports composite. (AP file photo)

LSU lost its only quarterback commitment for the Class of 2016. Four-star recruit Feleipe Franks of Crawfordville, Florida, announced Monday night on Twitter that he decommitted from the Tigers. Franks is a top-five pro-style quarterback nationally, according to the composite rankings. “For about a month now, I have been talking with… Continue reading →

Thanksgiving Eve at Downtown Alive!; and other Around Acadiana items for Nov. 24, 2015

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- Billy Gunn, clockwise from top left, Richard Burgess, Lanie Cook and Marsha Sills

The Pine Leaf Boys will perform and the official city Christmas tree will be lit Wednesday during the annual Thanksgiving Eve celebration and Lafayette’s final gathering of Downtown Alive! this year. Gumbo, s’mores and hot chocolate will be served and toy donations will be collected for Toys for Tots. Anyone dressed as Santa or an elf may… Continue reading →

Why Medicaid expansion supporters say they can't just halt efforts just because John Bel Edwards is governor-elect

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- In his first major address since winning election Saturday, Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards spoke Monday at the Louisiana Federation of Teachers Convention on Monday.

Just because Democratic Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards favors Medicaid expansion, it’s not time for its supporters to get complacent, a Together Louisiana leader said Monday. Governors of Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, Florida, Missouri and Virginia have backed Medicaid expansion only to have their Legislatures veto the idea, the Rev. Lee T. Wesley said. “We are committed… Continue reading →

Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards names chief of staff and transition team, faces questions about Medicaid expansion

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Louisiana Governor Elect John Bel Edwards speaks about his plans after winning the election the day before at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. He has chosen Senator Ben W. Nevers, right, as Chief of Staff

So now what? Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards began answering those questions Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after being elected governor, as he hired a chief of staff, named six co-chairs to oversee the transition and backed away from his campaign promise to expand Medicaid to the working poor on his first day in office.… Continue reading →

Tulane medical student shooting suspect arrested, confesses to New Orleans police

Euric Cain (Photo from New Orleans Police Department)

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m. Monday: At a 2 p.m. news conference, New Orleans police said that Euric Cain has confessed to shooting Tulane Medical School student Peter Gold. Cain was arrested Monday morning at an Uptown home. Police also said they have arrested Cain's 17-year-old girlfriend, Nictoria Washington, and booked her as an accessory after… Continue reading →

David Vitter’s decision not to run for third Senate term opens race for Republicans

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Sen. David Vitter and wife Wendy greet supporters after conceding to John Bel Edwards in the runoff for governor Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, during his election-night party at the Airport Hilton in Kenner.

If nothing else, David Vitter simplified the 2016 U.S. Senate election in Louisiana with his announcement Saturday night after losing the governor’s race that he won’t try for a third term in the Senate next year. Now that the 2016 election shapes up as an ordinary contest for an open Senate seat, it likely will draw a… Continue reading →