Around Baton Rouge for April 19, 2014

RED STICK FARMERS MARKET: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Main Street Market, 501 Main St. Local farmers and artisans will be available with fruits, vegetables, beef, poultry, eggs, dairy products, baked goods, flowers, plants, wines and more. Louisiana strawberries, root vegetables and greens will also be available. NATIVE AMERICAN BASKETS EXHIBIT: 10 a.m. to … Continue reading →

Louisianians with jobs top 2 million

More than 2 million Louisianians say they have a job, an all-time high. Civilian employment hit a new peak for the sixth month in a row in March, as the state’s unemployment rate held steady from February at 4.5 percent. That tied for the seventh-lowest jobless rate in the nation. Looking only at Louisiana’s nonfarm payrolls, … Continue reading →

Calpine sells St. Gabriel power plant

Calpine Corp. has agreed to sell six power plants, including a 501-megawatt plant in St. Gabriel, to LS Power for $1.57 billion in cash. The St. Gabriel plant, known as the Carville Energy Center, sells all of its power to Entergy. Calpine spokesman Brett Kerr said he does not have exact employment figures for the St. … Continue reading →

Unemployment rates fall in 21 U.S. states last month

Associated Press file photo by David Goldman -- Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Thomas Gipson, of Atlanta, right, has his resume looked over Nov. 14, 2013, by Ralph Brown, a management and program analyst with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a job fair for veterans at the VFW Post 2681, Marietta, Ga. The government reports on state unemployment rates for March on Friday, April 18, 2014.

WASHINGTON — More than two-thirds of the states reported job gains in March, as hiring has improved for much of the country during what has been a sluggish but sustained 4 1/2-year recovery. The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates dropped in 21 states, rose in 17 and were unchanged in the remaining 12. Meanwhile, hiring … Continue reading →

Prosecutors seek arrest warrant for ferry captain

Associated Press photo  -- South Korean Navy officials work on buoys to mark the sunken passenger ferry, The Sewol,  in the water Friday off the southern coast near Jindo, South Korea.  The investigation into South Korea's ferry disaster focused on the sharp turn it took just before it began listing and on the possibility that a quicker evacuation order by the captain could have saved lives, officials said Friday, as rescuers struggled to find some 270 people still missing and feared dead.

SEOUL, South Korea — Prosecutors say they’ve asked a court to issue an arrest warrant for the captain of the South Korean ferry that sank two days ago, leaving hundreds missing and feared dead. Prosecutors said Friday that they have also requested arrest warrants for two other crewmembers. The investigation into the ferry disaster has focused … Continue reading →

Ukrainian insurgents reject call to quit buildings

Associated Press photo by Sergei Grits -- Denis Pushilin, foreground center,  spokesman of the self-appointed Donetsk Peoples Republic, speaks Friday to reporters inside the regional administration building seized earlier in Donetsk, Ukraine. Pushilin told reporters that the insurgents do not recognize the Ukrainian government as legitimate. Pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraines east who have been occupying government buildings in more than 10 cities said Friday they will only leave them if the interim government in Kiev resigns.

DONETSK, Ukraine — Pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine’s east who have been occupying government buildings in more than 10 cities said Friday they will only leave them if the interim government in Kiev resigns. Denis Pushilin, a chairman of the self-appointed Donetsk People’s Republic, told reporters that the insurgents do not recognize the Ukrainian government as legitimate. … Continue reading →

12 killed, 3 missing in avalanche on Everest

Associated Press file photo by Kevin Frayer -- The last light of the day sets Oct. 27, 2010, on Mount Everest as it rises behind Mount Nuptse as seen from Tengboche, in the Himalaya's Khumbu region, Nepal. An avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest on Friday, April 18, 2014, along a route used to ascend the world's highest peak, killing at least six Nepalese guides and leaving nine more missing, officials said.

KATMANDU, Nepal — An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three missing in the deadliest disaster on the world’s highest peak. The Sherpa guides had gone early in the morning to fix ropes for other climbers when the avalanche hit just them below Camp … Continue reading →

Deputies search river for man after family slayings

Ronald Green Jr., left, and Dewona Wright Green

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 →

Lamana collapses, dies at Capitol

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 hearing on restructuring the parish school system and an earlier vote to reduce the size of the School Board. Lamana was later pronounced dead. Lamana, 57, was elected to the board … 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 →

BR teens open up about youth violence at BRAVE panel

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Audience member Alean Thomas, standing, left, asks a question about the investigation of the murder of her son, Demarcus Thomas, 19, who was found shot to death in January of 2013 in the driveway of her Washington Avenue home, at Thursday's forum entitled, 'Our Voice, Right Choice, No More Violence,' in the  Capitol High School library. The forum was part of the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination (BRAVE) programs community outreach efforts.

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. Once comfortable, the students opened up about the reasons some of their peers seek triggers to solve their problems. … 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 →

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 made … 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 the 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 for … Continue reading →

Brusly police chief pleads guilty, gets 18 months probation

Updated at 4:05 p.m. – A judge sentenced Brusly Police Chief Jamie Whaley to 18 months’ supervised probation and imposed a $500 fine Thursday in a plea agreement in which Whaley pleaded guilty to malfeasance in office. Eighteenth Judicial District Judge J. Robin Free also prohibited Whaley, 37, from seeking re-election in the upcoming special … 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 →

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 →

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 real estate investment trust, in … 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 Saturday, April 19. “If they want to continue getting the same service, … 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 →

Lafayette crime blotter for April 18, 2014

Atlas J. White

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 →

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 www.lasm.org. KIDD KEYNOTES: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., USS Kidd Veterans Memorial & Museum, 305 S. River Road. Admission to the Kidd theater will be free … 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 →

4 jailed over girl’s claim of rape at hotel

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

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 →