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Fire damages historic Uptown school building under renovation as apartments

Photo Courtsey of Karen Lozinski --  Firefighters battled a blaze Monday afternoon that badly damaged the former New Orleans Free School, a historic structure in the Touro neighborhood.

Firefighters battled a blaze Monday afternoon that badly damaged the former New Orleans Free School, a historic structure in the Touro neighborhood. The three-alarm fire remained under investigation, and authorities did not rule out lightning as a cause. No one was injured in the fire. The structure at 3601 Camp St. was built more than a… Continue reading →

Latest Edwards, Landry skirmish: Oil spill recovery money

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Louisiana Governor-elect John Bel Edwards. ORG XMIT: BAT1601051615460496

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry are clashing over how to handle millions in BP settlement money from the massive Gulf oil spill, the latest skirmish between the statewide elected officials. The issue, which had been the subject of quiet dispute and a flurry of letter-writing over the past month, spilled into public… Continue reading →

Louisiana congressmen have impact on Puerto Rican debt crisis

Two Louisiana Republican congressmen are playing key roles — on opposite sides — in legislation aimed at addressing the looming $70 billion default by the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. HR5278, on which the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote as early as Wednesday, essentially would establish an oversight board to help Puerto Rico manage… Continue reading →

Two joyriders arrested after steering golf cart around Tiger Stadium

Kashta Dallas

Two people were arrested Sunday evening after they took a joyride around Tiger Stadium in a golf cart, according to information from the LSU Police Department. Ronald Boyd, 44, 1039 Hammond Manor, Baton Rouge, and Kashta Dallas, 17, 1000 Terramont Drive, Roswell, Georgia, were arrested just after 10 p.m. Sunday on possession of stolen things, according to… Continue reading →

Zachary police arrest Texas teen who threw water cup from truck window, hitting vehicle of another motorist

Kaleb Pierson

A 17-year-old from Texas was arrested Sunday after a woman reported that someone in a truck threw something out the window and it damaged her windshield. The woman said she was driving west on Lower Zachary Road when a passing Dodge truck traveling east threw something out the window and it hit her front window, according to… Continue reading →

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

Authorities arrested at least three people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon, booking records show. Those booked and the counts against them: — Layn Schober, 22, 8931 Battle Road, Ethel, first-offense DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle, and… Continue reading →

Monday shooting on Elvin Drive under investigation

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting of a man Monday around noon in the 8000 block of Elvin Drive in Baton Rouge. The victim was taken to the hospital, but information about his condition hasn’t been released yet.… Continue reading →

War dead, veterans honored at Memorial Day service in Lafayette

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP Adam Mouton, left, carries the American Flag along with members of the Acadiana Veterans Honor Guard while posting the colors during Memorial Day Services Monday May 30, 2016 at Fountain Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery in Lafayette, La.

Lafayette arrest report for Monday, May 30

Arrests posted May 30, 2016, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s web site: EVERARDO ALVAREZ-MAGANA: 30, of the 1100 block of Roped Drive, Scott. He was booked on failure to secure a driver’s license; headlights; and misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. JUSTIN ATCHISON: 37, of the… Continue reading →

Louisiana transportation officials looking at fixes to daily traffic snarls in West Baton Rouge Parish

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Drivers on northbound LA 1 wait to merge onto the Highway 190 bridge to head into East Baton Rouge Parish, Thursday, May 26, 2016, in Port Allen, La.

State transportation officials are considering a number of fixes to the daily chaos of traffic snarls besetting West Baton Rouge Parish motorists, short of building an expensive new bridge across the Mississippi River. The ideas range from a dedicated traffic lane on U.S. 190 and closing the Interstate 10 Washington Street… Continue reading →

Area officials searching for bed space for juvenile offenders with closure of the Assumption detention center

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- The Assumption Parish Youth Detention Center in Napoleanville opened on June 28, 2013, the brainstorm of Sheriff Mike Waguespack.

With the Assumption Parish Youth Detention Center in Napoleonville set to close Tuesday, the search continues by the more than 20 agencies that used the center to find new housing for young offenders ages 10 to 16. One sheriff, Ascension Parish’s Jeff Wiley, also has begun exploring with other area officials the possibility of… Continue reading →

Around Acadiana for May 30, 2016

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- Acadiana Advocate reporters Billy Gunn, from left, Lanie Lee Cook and Richard Burgess photographed January 21, 2016.

Arts festival to honor New Iberia jazz legend The Bunk Johnson Jazz, Arts and Heritage Festival takes place Saturday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Steamboat Pavilion in New Iberia. The free festival will feature music by Roi Anthony/Legit, Sideshow and Krossfyre, Angie Joelle, the Bunk Johnson Brazz Band, Lionel… Continue reading →

Marvelous May gives LSU baseball No. 8 national seed; Baton Rouge regional to be shown online-only

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- LSU baseball player Jared Poche' applauds during the announcement of the teams ranking on Monday morning during an NCAA selection show watch party at Alex Box stadium club house.

While Clemson flashed as the No. 7 national seed inside the Alex Box Stadium Champion’s Club, a nervous hush enveloped those assembled. “I thought we were going to get that seven-spot,” Kramer Robertson said. “They got it I was like ‘Oh man.’” Paul Mainieri kept a tight eye on his cell phone… Continue reading →

Louisiana Ku Klux Klan member's daughter recalls her father’s reigns of terror

Photo provided by David J. LaPlante -- Debra Taylor, haunted by her past, looks out over the Amite River houseboat near Port Vincent  Her father was a notorious Klan member in east central Louisiana during the 1960s.

Debra Taylor remembers many things these days, nightmares she tried hard to forget. She remembers throwing up as she got off the school bus and walked up the road to her home in the small Louisiana town of Harrisonburg, fearing the abusive father awaiting her. She remembers her father being so irate after a black 15-year-old… Continue reading →

2016 Bayou Country Superfest attendance drops for second year, organizers say

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Headliner Jason Aldean performs during the Bayou Country Superfest Sunday at LSU's Tiger Stadium.

Attendance at the 2016 Bayou Country Superfest in LSU’s Tiger Stadium dropped for the second straight year, according to festival organizers. About 100,000 people attended the three-day festival, which saw headliners Luke Bryan, Eric Church and Jason Aldean, according to Festival Productions Inc. In 2015, attendance for the two-day Bayou Country Superfest and Friday’s stand-alone Taylor Swift concert reached 125,000. In 2014,… Continue reading →

TOPS, hospitals cut in Senate panel’s proposed budget; medical waiver program funding restored

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- House Appropriations Committee Chairman Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, presented the Louisiana House's version of the state budget for the fiscal year beginning on July 1 to the Senate Finance committee on Memorial Day. House Fiscal Division Director Patrick Goldsmith sits to Henry's left.

Senate finance leaders on Monday reprioritized items in the latest version of the state budget to put money back toward services for programs that benefit the elderly and disabled — largely at the expense of safety net hospitals and the popular Taylor Opportunity Program for Students. Lawmakers likely are still weeks away from finalizing a state spending… Continue reading →

After breakthrough gravitational wave finding, LIGO scientists look ahead to new discoveries

Photo provided by LIGO -- The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory

After a whirlwind tour of press conferences, parties and awards following their Feb. 11 announcement of the world’s first direct detection of gravitational waves, the team of scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory are preparing to begin another round of listening for cosmic collisions. Sometime this fall — likely September or October… Continue reading →

Lafayette-bound: Ragin’ Cajuns welcome Princeton, Arizona and Sam Houston State for NCAA baseball regional

Advocate photo by Buddy Delahoussaye-- Louisiana-Lafayette third baseman Joe Robbins (12) is congratulated by his teammates after hitting a solo home run on Friday, March 25, 2016, at M.L. Tigue Moore Field.

LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana-Lafayette baseball team’s path to Omaha is now clear. The Ragin’ Cajuns, who found out Sunday night that they would be hosting an NCAA tournament regional for the third time in school history, learned Monday morning that they would welcome Arizona, Sam Houston State and Princeton in the Lafayette… Continue reading →

Bright yellow Donaldsonville school buildings to get a makeover this summer

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- As one of the last projects done with 2009 bond money, the Ascension Parish school district is giving Lowery Middle and Lowery Elementary, which share the same campus in Donaldsonville, a redo of the exterior. The most striking change will be painting the longtime, bright yellow exterior, top, to a more subtle shade of beige, bottom. Photo taken Friday morning May 20, 2016.

A school building in Donaldsonville that houses both elementary and middle school students is getting a makeover, trading its original paint job of school-bus yellow-orange — an intense hue quickly second-guessed after the paint dried 14 years ago — for a more sophisticated beige. “We’ve grown tired of that… Continue reading →

Ask The Advocate: Burbank Drive flooding, 25 mph speed limit signs

Advocate file photo by Patrick Dennis - -Motorists on Burbank Drive encounter deep standing water as rain poured into the Baton Rouge area in March 2016.

QUESTION: Why does Burbank Drive at Nicholson Drive in Baton Rouge flood so badly? Will there be any steps taken to fix whatever the problem is in the near future? ANSWER: Anastasia Semien, a public information officer for the state Department of Transportation and Development, tells us: “In general, low-lying roadways such… Continue reading →

Lafayette arrest report for May 29

Arrests posted May 29, 2016, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s web site. JONEE ELIZABETH ASHFORD: 30, of the 100 block of Westwood, Lafayette. She was booked on three counts of OWI child endangerment; misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated; misdemeanor reckless operation of a vehicle; no driver license in possession; and residential parking permit violation.… Continue reading →

Cajuns baseball will host an NCAA tournament regional; 64-team field will be unveiled Monday morning

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP University of Louisiana at Lafayette catcher Nick Thurman watches his solo home run in the bottom of the eight inning against Georgia Southern in the championship game of the Sun Belt Baseball Championship at Bobcat Park Sunday May 29, 2016 in San Marcos, Tx. UL defeated Georgia Southern 5-0 to claim the championship trophy.

SAN MARCOS, Texas — Nick Thurman had the Sun Belt baseball tournament Outstanding Player trophy sitting in front of him, one he had received only minutes earlier after the game’s final out, but the Louisiana-Lafayette catcher was already thinking about next week. Thurman and his Ragin’ Cajuns teammates clinched their third straight Sun Belt tournament… Continue reading →

‘Always felt we had it in us’: LSU baseball team to host regional at Alex Box Stadium for a fifth straight season

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --LSU's Kramer Robertson (3) is congratulated by team mates Bryce Jordan (25) and Greg Deichman (7) after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning of LSU's 11-8 win over Miss st. Sunday in Alex Box Stadium. Robertsom's home run made the score 11-5.

Regional baseball the topic of conversation following his team’s loss to Florida that eliminated it from the Southeastern Conference tournament Saturday, LSU coach Paul Mainieri said his team is “about as ready to go” as he could anticipate. For now, it won’t have to go far. Making its 29th NCAA tournament appearance,… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge homeless population drops again from last year; advocates see signs of progress

The latest tally of people living in Baton Rouge’s shelters and on the streets shows the homeless population has been more than halved since it peaked seven years ago, and nonprofit leaders say they are cautiously optimistic about the decline. The number of homeless people in Baton Rouge has been ticking downward since it peaked… Continue reading →

Eleven people accused of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish between Saturday and Sunday

Authorities arrested at least 11 people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, booking records show. Those booked and the counts against them: Annae Boggio, 22, 449 Ben Hur Road, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, improper lane usage and driver’s… Continue reading →

Higher education leaders to Legislature: give us funding or give us tuition autonomy

File photo of LSU President

As Louisiana lawmakers spar over the $600 million shortfall in next year’s budget, leaders of the state’s colleges and universities are bracing for what is likely to be higher ed’s 16th cut in nine years. The most recent version of the budget, passed by the Louisiana House, cuts higher education systems by about 12… Continue reading →

With budget cutbacks, Vermilion Parish schools turn to online classes for language education

Barren white walls and stacked school desks surrounded Martine Colin in an Erath High School classroom, where the woman students and faculty called “Madame” taught French for the last seven years. “The students love French. It’s the language of their community, and they relate,” Colin said, smiling as she retold memories of her… Continue reading →

Upgrades planned for University of Louisiana at Lafayette Student Union and unused green space

Advocate photo by PAUL KIEU --  The front facade of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette student union is pictured on May 27, 2016  in Lafayette, LA.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is exploring upgrades for the new Student Union and a green space project to bring life to a site where several administrative offices once sat. Since the new Student Union’s opening in January 2015, faculty and student leaders have searched for ways to make the facility more accessible to students… Continue reading →

Two people injured in Baton Rouge apartment fire

Photo provided by EMS. --  Two people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries sustained in an apartment fire on Plank Road Sunday afternoon.

Two people were taken to the hospital Sunday afternoon with injuries sustained in a fire at a Plank Road apartment complex, authorities said. The fire broke out around 3 p.m. at the Edgewood Place Apartments at 10021 Plank Road in north Baton Rouge. The fire appears to have began in the bedroom of an apartment unit and… Continue reading →

Black gold, red ink: Oil’s spiral drowns the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale and a hoped-for economic boom

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- TMS RA Verberne 5 is a well that Goodrich is drilling horizontally this week in Tangipahoa on LA-1061. Controversy over an exemption to severance taxes for horizontal drilling, which is necessary for fracking. It's about to cause a huge amount of activity in the Florida parishes.

Black gold has turned to red ink for major players in the once promising Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. From 2011 to early 2014, with oil prices topping $100 a barrel, the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale might as well have been abbreviated TM$. Dozens of landmen swept through East and West Feliciana, St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes, leasing… Continue reading →

Rabalais: Did LSU do enough to get a top-eight seed? Only the NCAA knows

Associated Press photo by BRYNN ANDERSON -- LSU's Greg Deichmann, right, and Cole Freeman, left, catch Florida's Buddy Reed in a rundown between first and second base during the eighth inning of their game in the Southeastern Conference tournament Saturday in Hoover, Ala.

The big, glowing white “1” on the scoreboard in the Florida sixth inning told the tale for LSU and opened up an interesting question. The one question: Have the Tigers done enough here in the Southeastern Conference tournament to merit a top-eight NCAA tournament seed? At 42-18 after a… Continue reading →

Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones reportedly breaking into wrong apartment when fatally shot

Associated Press photo by Tyler Kaufman – Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones is surrounded by Miami’s Chris Andersen, right, and Gerald Green during a preseason game Oct. 23.

New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was shot and killed early Saturday morning after breaking into a Dallas apartment that apparently was not the one he sought to enter. Dejean-Jones, who was 23 years old, was in Dallas for his daughter’s birthday. According to a police report posted to the Dallas Police Department’s official blog, officers… Continue reading →