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French business school opens Lafayette office to recruit students from throughout the Americas

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --   Cécile Maury, head of development North America for La Rochelle Business School, is pictured in her office Friday, May 6, 2016, at the Lafayette International Center in Lafayette, La.

A prominent business college based in France has set up an office in downtown Lafayette, where Cécile Maury will recruit students locally and throughout the Americas to attend the college’s School of Tourism in France. Maury, who works out of the International Center’s offices on Jefferson Street, has the responsibility of finding students from… Continue reading →

Eleven people accused of DWI in East Baton Rouge Parish

Authorities arrested at least 11 people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between noon Wednesday and noon Friday, booking records show. Those booked and the counts against them: Dan Bateman, 34, 11387 Rossow Court, Denham Springs, first-offense DWI, reckless operation, improper lane usage… Continue reading →

Gov. John Bel Edwards reviewing potential appointees to LSU Board; decisions expected next month

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards will have a chance in the coming weeks to dole out four coveted positions on the LSU Board of Supervisors. Four of the 15 governor-appointed board members’ terms are expiring June 1 -- Hank Danos, Ray Lasseigne, Jack Lawton and Stephen Perry. Edwards spokesman Richard Carbo said the governor has not… Continue reading →

Metro Buzz: Local governments wary of moves to centralize sales tax collections

A move in the Legislature to put collection of all local sales taxes under the Louisiana Department of Revenue is drawing opposition from local government bodies, including those in Ascension Parish. Last month, the Gonzales City Council adopted a resolution being circulated among the parishes in opposition to bills seeking a change in the state’s constitution… Continue reading →

Korean War veteran, Baton Rouge resident receives belated Purple Heart medal in USS Kidd ceremony

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Victoria Harrington, right, a granddaughter of Donald Barriner, a Korean War veteran, gives him a kiss after the ceremony where he received a belated Purple Heart medal at the USS Kidd and Museum. It turns out she was born on May 18th, the same day he was injured but in different years.

Almost 65 years to the day he earned it, U.S. Army Sgt. Don Barriner finally received his Purple Heart. Barriner, 82, was presented the military medal recognizing those wounded in combat in a midday Friday ceremony at the USS Kidd Veterans Museum. Army Maj. Michael Shaw, who is stationed at Fort Rucker, Alabama, pinned the medal to… Continue reading →

Scott firefighters battle blaze at home in Ossun

Firefighters battled an afternoon house fire in Ossun on Friday that began when a vehicle ignited under the home’s carport, according to the Scott Fire Department. Fire investigators determined the vehicle, which had mechanical issues earlier in the day, caught fire under the carport shortly before 1 p.m., with the blaze then… Continue reading →

Will Smith case: NOPD takes DNA samples from Billy Ceravolo, couple who rode with Smiths to test against gun

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Former NOPD Capt Billy Ceravolo, right, and former Saints player Pierre Thomas become emotional by a projection of former Saints player Will Smith, #91, and Smith's wife Racquel Smith during a visitation at the Saints Indoor Training Facility in Metairie, La. Friday, April 15, 2016.

Investigators this week took DNA samples from the cheeks of former New Orleans Police Department Capt. Billy Ceravolo and the couple who were riding with former Saints star Will Smith when he was fatally shot last month, according to a source familiar with the investigation. Ceravolo and Richard and Rebecca Dooley Hernandez gave their… Continue reading →

‘Game changer’: How NCAA’s denial of TE Dillon Gordon’s eligibility tossed ex-LSU starter into wild draft week

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU tight end Dillon Gordon (85) and LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White (18) shake hands after LSU's 45-21 win over Auburn.

LSU conducted two pro days this spring. You know about one of them. Deion Jones, Jalen Mills and a handful of other Tigers participated in front of family, friends, reporters and scouts. They ran the 40-yard dash, shuffled through cone drills and pumped 225 pounds on the bench press. LSU’s second pro day wasn’t… Continue reading →

LSU claims former Tiger Band director fired for improper scholarships to Golden Girls

Photo by RACHEL SALTZBERG  -- LSU Tiger Marching Band Director Roy King spends a moment with band members before halftime during the 2014 football season.

LSU faulted the former head of the Golden Band from Tigerland for awarding scholarships to the Golden Girls and the Color Guard without proper approval, according to an internal audit released Thursday at The Advocate’s request. Roy King, who had been in Tiger Band as a student and had been employed at LSU since June 1998, Continue reading →

Republican strategist, New Orleans resident Mary Matalin explains why she’s now a Libertarian

Mary Matalin (Advocate staff file photo by Daniel Erath)

Republican strategist and New Orleans resident Mary Matalin revealed this week that she has changed her party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian. The decision, she says, is not about Donald Trump. Matalin discussed presidential politics — and her feelings about Trump and likely opponent Hillary Clinton — on Bloomberg Television’s “With All Due Respect.” She… Continue reading →

‘Simply no point for me to go’: Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal skipping GOP convention, says he's not boycotting

Republican presidential candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.  (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Friday morning on CNN that he won’t be attending the Republican National Convention — not as a boycott or to express discontent, but because, “right now, there’s simply no point for me to go.” In an interview with Alisyn Camerota on CNN’s “New Day,” Jindal also described his plan… Continue reading →

Original Baton Rouge charter school, open nearly 20 years, in line for renewal through 2026

An 18-year-old Baton Rouge middle school looks like it will safely enter its third decade of operation after it received preliminary approval Thursday to renew its charter with the East Baton Rouge Parish school system. The School Board, meeting as a “committee of the whole,” unanimously recommended extending CSAL’s operating contract, set to expire June… Continue reading →

Victim’s mother ‘furious’: No charges for deputies in fatal shooting of mentally ill St. Martin Parish man

Advocate staff photo by LANIE LEE COOK -- Barbara Noel, Michael Noel's mother, holds a picture of herself, her older son Randall Narcisse and Michael Noel (far right) who was shot and killed by a St. Martin Parish deputy Tuesday,  Dec. 22, 2015, near Breaux Bridge, La.

Prosecutors in Louisiana on Friday ruled out criminal charges in the death of a mentally ill man who was shot and killed during a confrontation with sheriff’s deputies last year. Assistant District Attorney Chester Cedars, the chief prosecutor in St. Martin Parish, announced that his office determined charges aren’t warranted after reviewing evidence gathered by State Police… Continue reading →

When 'Sinkhole de Mayo' fun fizzles, focus shifts to fixing Canal Street crater

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Chicky dresses up for the Sinkhole de Mayo event at Woldenberg Riverfront Park in New Orleans, Thursday May 5, 2016. The event celebrated a 'Catastrophic Failure' in New Orleans and the annual Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo.

While partiers danced in traffic-cone hats and Lucha Libre masks at a “Sinkhole de Mayo” party Thursday evening in Woldenberg Riverfront Park, New Orleans city officials were getting down to repairing the massive cavern that opened up on Canal Street late last week. Continue reading →

U.S. rig count drops 5; Louisiana decreases 2

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by five this week to 415, another record low amid depressed energy prices. A year ago, 894 rigs were active. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 338 rigs sought oil and 86 explored for… Continue reading →

Lafayette woman arrested, accused of backing car into officer

A Lafayette woman accused of evading arrest and striking a police officer with her car was arrested early Friday, police said. Jennifer Shanahan, 37, who police suspect was intoxicated, placed her vehicle in reverse in the 100 block of Noel Drive and accelerated into an officer, striking him and a police car behind the officer, according… Continue reading →

Louisiana woman, 78, cashed dead man’s checks for decades, faces prison

SHREVEPORT (AP) — A 78-year-old Shreveport woman faces up to 10 years in prison for cashing Social Security checks mistakenly sent to a dead man for nearly three decades. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Rose Marie Jackson Allen will be sentenced Sept. 8. She pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft of government property. Court records show she shared… Continue reading →

Louisiana Small Business Awards presented to area winners

Louisiana’s economic development department and the U.S. Small Business Administration have presented 2016 Louisiana Small Business Awards honoring small business leaders who exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit of the state. Winners were honored in a private reception at the Governor’s Mansion. “Small businesses make big contributions to Louisiana’s success,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “Ninety-seven percent of… Continue reading →

Marucci Sports featured in small business promotion

Baton Rouge-based Marucci Sports is being featured in a weeklong nationwide campaign to draw attention to the importance of small businesses. The campaign kicked off Wednesday. Each day, Chase bank will feature a video on its website and on Times Square in New York of a small business ringing a bell at 7:30 a.m., ahead… Continue reading →

Lafayette arrest report for May 6

Arrests posted May 5, 2016, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website. RYAN EDWARD ADLAM: 31, of the 1000 block of Robley Drive, Lafayette. He was booked on misdemeanor theft. RICHARD JOSEPH ALFRED: 21, of the 3500 block of Mills Street, Carencro. He was booked on Schedule II narcotics and misdemeanor violation of… Continue reading →

Former Lafayette postal worker pleads guilty to gift card thefts

A former Lafayette postal worker on Thursday pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing gift cards from the mail, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced. Tonia R. Moore-Parker, 36, of Lafayette, admitted to stealing $150 worth of gift cards from five envelopes, according to a Friday news release from U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley. Moore-Parker faces five… Continue reading →

Former office manager pleads guilty to embezzling $430,490 from surgical center

The former office manager for a pediatric surgery practice has pleaded guilty to embezzling $430,490 over a period of seven years, the U.S. attorney announced Friday. Lorrie Lynn Rogerson, 57, of Baton Rouge, worked for Pediatric Surgery of Louisiana, where she oversaw payroll, banking and human resources. Last year, it was discovered that she had accessed… Continue reading →

LSU AgCenter scientists’ eye drops could treat cataracts

Associated Press file photo -- Cataract surgeries could one day be avoided if LSU Agricultural Center researchers are successful with an eye drop they are developing.

A scientific breakthrough by LSU Agricultural Center researchers could one day make it possible to treat and prevent cataracts with eye drops, allowing millions of people to avoid the now common surgery. Professor Cristina Sabliov and assistant professor Carlos Astete in the AgCenter’s Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering figured out a way to use nanoparticles to… Continue reading →

Livingston School Board praise outgoing superintendent, hope to name replacement by July

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Livingston Parish Superintendent John Watson speaks to a packed room of teachers and parents during a meeting to discuss Common Core State Standards on Monday at the Livingston Parish School Board in Livingston.

The Livingston Parish School Board bid a heartfelt early goodbye to the district’s superintendent Thursday, following his announcement earlier this week that he will retire at the end of June. Superintendent John Watson said it has been an honor to work in the parish’s public school system for more than 33 years… Continue reading →

Lafayette School Board considers job cuts

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Board member Justin Centanni speaks during a meeting of the Lafayette Parish School Board on Tuesday.

Facing a looming budget deficit, the Lafayette Parish school system next school year may eliminate dozens of positions and freeze all employee salaries. Although property tax collections and state funding are expected to increase, the district is looking at a $10.4 million deficit, according to figures presented at a Thursday budget meeting of the Lafayette Parish School… Continue reading →

St. Landry School Board votes against keeping school superintendent

The St. Landry Parish School Board voted 8-3 on Thursday against renewing the contract of Superintendent Edward Brown. Brown, who became superintendent in May 2013 after a long career in the St. Landry Parish school system, said after the meeting that he wasn’t totally surprised that the board voted to end his time… Continue reading →

Two New Orleans men arrested in armed robbery

Matthew Fontenberry

Baton Rouge police arrested two men accused of stealing a woman’s car at gunpoint early Thursday morning on Sheldon Drive. The woman told police that two men wearing bandanas as masks, Kevin Davis, 19, and Matthew Fontenberry, 18, were following her when she parked her silver 2014 Nissan Altima in a driveway around 12:30 a.m., according to… Continue reading →

How and why Stevie Wonder spent two nights onstage with Irvin Mayfield during Jazz Fest

Photo by Erika Goldring/courtesy of House of Blues -- Irvin Mayfield, left, and Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews onstage with Stevie Wonder and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra at the House of Blues in New Orleans on Sunday, May 1, 2016.

Soon after heavy rains scuttled Stevie Wonder’s headlining appearance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival last Saturday, jazz trumpeter Irvin Mayfield got an unexpected, but not unwelcome, call. Could Wonder perform at Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel, instead? Mayfield, recounting the conversation with one of Wonder’s handlers, asked if… Continue reading →

Unidentified woman found near spillway a homicide victim, Sheriff’s Office says

The mystery surrounding the discovery this week of an unknown woman’s body near the Bonnet Carre Spillway deepened Thursday as authorities announced she was probably the victim of a homicide. A CN Railroad work crew spotted the body in Lake Pontchartrain just west of the entrance canal to the lower section of the spillway near Norco… Continue reading →

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on marijuana legalization: Medical? OK; Recreational? No

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards talks with reporters about his budget cut proposal for the upcoming fiscal year after speaking to the House Appropriations Committee, Tuesday, April 12, 2016, in Baton Rouge, La. Edwards is proposing to close a $750 million budget shortfall with cuts to the TOPS free college tuition program, safety net hospitals for the poor and public schools.  (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

Gov. John Bel Edwards said he wants to work to enact a safe and responsible framework to allow access to medical marijuana for those who need it in Louisiana. But the state’s new Democratic governor also warned that recreational pot advocates shouldn’t hold their breath: He doesn’t see a full legalization of marijuana coming anytime while he’s… Continue reading →

Grand jury indicts three in October slaying of Baton Rouge man

Pictured from left, Dedrick Lawless, Reginald Irvin and Vernon Jordan

A grand jury indicted three men Wednesday in the October killing of Gerald Penny in an apparent murder-for-hire plot. The East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury indicted Reginald Irvin, 23, Vernon Jordan and Dedrick Lawless on home invasion and second-degree murder. Penny was found dead Oct. 12 after being shot multiple time while in the… Continue reading →

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Donald Trump: ‘It’s hard for me to believe that’s the best we can do’

Count Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards among the people who remain surprised by billionaire Donald Trump’s status as the presumptive Republican nominee for president. “It’s hard for me to believe that’s the best we can do,” said Edwards, a Democrat, on Thursday, when asked his reaction to the latest development in GOP presidential politics. He didn’t elaborate.… Continue reading →

Bill to return RSD schools to local control clears key legislative hurdle

After years of bickering, a bill that would return all 52 public schools overseen by the state in New Orleans to the local school board neared final legislative approval Thursday. The House endorsed the measure 54-17, and the Senate earlier backed it 36-0. Once a technical change added by the House is approved by the Senate,… Continue reading →

Those accompanying Will Smith when he was killed identified, dispute claims they were aggressors

(From Instagram) Left to right, Richard Hernandez; Rebecca Dooley Hernandez; Racquel Smith; Will Smith

The couple riding with Will Smith and his wife on the night the former Saints star was shot dead last month did nothing to provoke accused killer Cardell Hayes after a three-car crash in the Lower Garden District, their attorney said Thursday. Richard and Rebecca Dooley Hernandez had dined with the Smiths and others… Continue reading →