Students seek peace after Baker shooting

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- A panel of eight students answer questions from adults at a Youth Violence Prevention Summit titled

Inside the same room where three teens were fatally shot two weeks ago, a handful of Baton Rouge-area high school students preached to a few dozen of their peers and parents that tighter-knit communities must be forged to prevent violence. The students gathered Friday night inside the Baker Civic Club, along with … Continue reading →

Knaps: Police tried to stop party the day before

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Baker Councilwomen Joyce Burges holds a press conference outside city council chambers after an unsuccessful attempt Wednesday to hold a special session of the council to discuss Friday's shootings and to institute a curfew.

Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps said Wednesday that his agency tried to stop the March 28 party during which three teens were shot and killed. Knaps said his agency approached a Baker Civic Club official the day before the event but was assured by the club that the event was a birthday party … Continue reading →

Jackson woman booked in knife attack

A Jackson woman booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison is accused of attacking another woman with a knife, cutting her once and stabbing her twice Saturday night in the parking lot of the Men’s Club. Zachary police booked Destiny Dixon, 19, 2612 La. 10, into Parish Prison on three … Continue reading →

Families seek justice from tragedy at Baker Civic Club

Advocate Staff Photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Sandra Barton, 39, speaks out about her daughter Marcell Franklin, 15, on Sunday after a late night shooting Friday night left her dead and sent three teenage boys to the hospital, two of whom later died from their injuries.

The wait was agonizing Friday night for four parents as they tried to find out what happened to their children shortly after gunfire erupted at the Baker Civic Club. “I kept praying,” said Nakesha Dorsey, mother of Kendal Dorsey, 15, an aspiring rapper who was one of the victims gunned down. She was working the … Continue reading →

Zachary ponders action on flood ordinance violation

The city won’t take action against a homeowner found in violation of the city’s flood ordinance until it hears back from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mayor David Amrhein told the City Council on Tuesday. A load of dirt dumped onto Laurie Brown’s property on MacHost Road … Continue reading →

Museum sought for former historic black college site

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Chamberlain Hall, seen here in a photo from the 1952-53 college catalogue from Leland College,  which was located in Baker  from 1923-1960, and was the main building on campus.

For nearly 40 years, a sprawling, black Baptist college just off Groom Road thrived. Leland College, founded in New Orleans in 1870 and relocated to Baker in 1923, was one of the first black colleges created after the Civil War. By 1960, though, the school was forced to close because of a lack … Continue reading →

Man accused of 7th DWI, arrested by same trooper 3 times

A Clinton man was arrested Monday for seventh-offense DWI with three of those arrests made by the same State Police officer. James Earl Hayes Jr., 30, of Clinton, was booked Monday on seventh-offense DWI in East Feliciana Parish, which also was the third time State Trooper Joseph Nations has arrested the man on suspicion of drunken driving … Continue reading →

Clinton man booked on seventh offense DWI

A State Police trooper arrested a Clinton man late Monday on seventh-offense DWI in East Feliciana Parish, the third time the trooper has arrested the man on suspicion of drunken driving since 2011, a State Police spokesman said. “Troopers can go their whole career without seeing the same person twice and for this trooper to arrest the … Continue reading →

Man falls asleep frying fish; home catches fire

A Baker family has been displaced from their home after a man fell asleep frying fish Saturday night and the oil caught fire, burning most of the kitchen before spreading to the attic. Baker firefighters responded to 2424 Hovey St., about 9 p.m. and quickly controlled the fire before it spread to the rest of the … Continue reading →

Looking North for March 13, 2014

Saggy pants issue aired During Tuesday night’s Baker City Council meeting, council member Joyce Burges wanted to briefly discuss the city’s saggy pants ordinance as a way of spreading awareness. The ordinance, passed in 2008, makes it unlawful for people to appear in public wearing pants below the waist that exposes skin … Continue reading →

Baker school system buys old All Star Chevy property

The Baker school system has purchased the old All-Star Chevrolet property off Plank Road for its district offices, paying $1.1 million for the 3.4 acres, which contain three buildings. “We don’t owe a penny on it and we won’t pay a penny of interest in it. We paid cash,” School Board President … Continue reading →

State Police: Alcohol, drug use suspected in West Feliciana crash

A 66-year-old St. Francisville man was airlifted to a Baton Rouge hospital Saturday night, a State Police trooper said, after he caused a two-vehicle crash on La. 969, just south of the Louisiana-Mississippi border in West Feliciana Parish. Raoul Cavalier, 66, was driving north on La. 969, a narrow two-lane highway, in a Chevrolet pickup when the … Continue reading →

Central mayor candidates debate finances, government size

Left to right, Freneaux, Shelton, Watts

With just a month left to go until election day, financial responsibility and the size of Central government have surfaced as campaign issues in that city’s mayoral race. Dave Freneaux, a CPA who co-owns a transportation business and weekly newspaper, has accused his opponent, Jr. Shelton, a Realtor, … Continue reading →

Central cracking down on school ‘zone jumpers’

Advocate photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- A clock tower is located in the courtyard of theCentral Intermediate and Central Middle schools.

The Central School Board wants to make it much harder for people who live outside the school district to send their children to Central schools illegally. The School Board’s policy committee voted Wednesday to send a new “evidence of domicile” policy to the full board for consideration. … Continue reading →

Two rescuers brave frigid water to save motorist

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- St. Francisville resident Jarred Wunstel, left, and Capt. Casey Phenald, a part-time fireman with the West Feliciana Fire District No. 1, rescued George Cathey Jr. whose truck went into bone-chilling water Tuesday in St. Francisville.

Fear rose inside George Cathey Jr. on Tuesday afternoon as his truck slid on a patch of ice, flew into a pond and began sinking. “I was scared at first but then I just struggled to get my seat belt off. I told myself I’m not going out like this,” Cathey said Wednesday afternoon from his room … Continue reading →

Driver rescued from submerged pickup truck

Advocate photo by Steven Ward -- A pickup truck ran off the road and into the water near the old ferry landing, West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Randy Metz says.

Emergency crews rescued the driver of a pickup Tuesday who was trapped inside the vehicle submerged in water near old La. 10. The accident happened at the end of Ferdinand Street, which is also old La. 10, at about 1:30 p.m. The truck reportedly ran off the road and … Continue reading →

Zachary woman accused of Medicaid fraud

A Zachary woman is accused of defrauding the state’s Medicaid program out of thousands of dollars and laundering more than $100,000 through her Baton Rouge personal care agency. Agents arrested 36-year-old Sekari Washington Davis this week following a joint investigation involving the Attorney General Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the FBI into Distinctive Healthcare Services … Continue reading →

School tax issue headed to West Feliciana voters

The West Feliciana Parish School Board voted Tuesday to send a new property tax to voters in May that, if passed, would raise $3.7 million a year. The 10-year, 14-mill tax would be used to pay for teacher recruitment efforts and to increase course offerings, update facilities and … Continue reading →

Judge rules Central councilman can seek re-election

Advocate staff photo by LIZ CONDO -- Central Councilman Ralph Washington is shown in this October 2010 Advocate file photo.

Updated at 4:22 p.m. – A 19th Judicial District judge ruled Tuesday that Central City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Ralph Washington can run for re-election in the April 5 primary. The state Board of Ethics challenged Washington’s candidacy Friday because Washington signed documents during qualifying this month stating he owed no campaign finance report late fees even though … Continue reading →

Ethics suit could disqualify Central councilman from running

Advocate staff photo by LIZ CONDO -- Central Councilman Ralph Washington is shown in this October 2010 Advocate file photo.

The State Board of Ethics has asked a 19th Judicial District judge to disqualify Central City Councilman Ralph Washington from running for re-election because he still owes $700 in outstanding campaign finance late fees from 2012. Washington said Friday he intends to take care of the matter by paying the fines immediately but it’s unclear if that … Continue reading →

Looking North for Feb. 20, 2014

Baker is offering millwright, pipe fitter and welder night classes for residents looking for new job opportunities. The city is holding an informational meeting about the classes at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at Baker City Hall. The cost is $200 for the millwright and pipe fitter courses and $550 for the … Continue reading →

Projects budget approved in West Feliciana Parish

Domestic dispute leads to Zachary woman’s arrest

A Zachary woman accused Wednesday of driving away in a van while her husband was hanging off the vehicle during a domestic dispute has been arrested. Kristen Conradi, 26, 4405 39th St. was booked Thursday with negligent injuring and hit and run, according to East Baton Rouge Parish … Continue reading →

Central candidates, all Republicans, ready to run

Two people are running for mayor, two for police chief and 11 for City Council — and every last one is a Republican. Qualifying ended Friday afternoon for the April 5 primary. Running for mayor are Dave Freneaux and “Jr.” Shelton. They are seeking the seat of Central Mayor Shelton “Mac” Watts, who … Continue reading →

West Feliciana taps EBR’s Jim Ferguson as public works director

00026552a 8/3/11 Advocate file photo by April Buffington -- Jim Ferguson, a longtime East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Public Works engineer, has been tapped to serve as director of public works and planning and zoning for West Feliciana Parish.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. – Jim Ferguson, a longtime East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Public Works engineer, has been tapped to serve as director of public works and planning and zoning for West Feliciana Parish. Ferguson’s appointment by West Feliciana Parish President Kevin Couhig is slated to be confirmed Monday night by the Parish Council. “We’re lucky to have such … Continue reading →

Freneaux, Shelton vie for mayor’s position in Central

Two candidates qualified Wednesday to run for mayor of Central, two qualified to run for Central police chief and 10 candidates qualified to run for the city’s five at-large council seats. Central’s municipal elections are April 5 with a runoff, if needed, slated for May 3. Mayoral candidates Dave Freneaux and Jr. Shelton will battle to … Continue reading →