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Baker council urges mayor to move forward with bench contract

Negotiations remain at a standstill between Mayor Harold Rideau and Baton Rouge-based Geaux Benches regarding placing benches at bus stops in the city of Baker. The City Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to authorize Rideau to enter into a contract with the company, but Rideau gave no indication whether he intends… Continue reading →

East Feliciana lands federal grant for substance abuse prevention

The East Feliciana Parish Drug and Alcohol Awareness Council has been awarded a $625,000 grant over five years to support the group’s local efforts toward preventing substance abuse among youth, officials announced Tuesday. The grant was awarded by the federal Drug Free Communities Support Program, which falls under the White House Office of National Drug… Continue reading →

LSU partners with West Feliciana High for unique program

Photo provided by Howard Arceneaux -- West Feliciana High School Math Teacher Amy Geiger discusses her participation in the LaTeach program during Tuesday's presentation.

When Amy Geiger began her career as a math teacher at a New York high school, training her students how to add, subtract, multiply and divide was relatively easy. The real education for Geiger was learning the complexities that confront inexperienced teachers. For example, she had to deal with a ninth-grade… Continue reading →

St. Francisville council shoots down ferry landing settlement

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Newly elected West Feliciana Parish President Kevin Couhig addresses the audience before a special police jury meeting on Monday at the West Feliciana Parish Courthouse in St. Francisville.

By virtue of a tie, the West Feliciana Parish Council shot down a proposed ordinance that would have allowed Parish President Kevin Couhig to negotiate a settlement in a lawsuit over land bordering the former St. Francisville ferry landing. With Councilman Ricky Lambert abstaining, the council vote was… Continue reading →

Jackson man accused of stealing 28 guns from sporting goods store

An 18-year-old Jackson man accused of stealing 28 guns from a local sporting goods store early Wednesday turned himself in to police several hours after the theft and was booked on burglary and gun theft charges, authorities reported. Trooper 1st Class Jared Sandifer said Braelin Whitfield was caught on surveillance footage… Continue reading →

Baker school district faces cuts, reduction in staff

Baker City Council mulling debt collection services

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Baker police investigating homicide

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2-year-old drowns in pool at Zachary home

A 2-year-old child drowned in a backyard pool on Thursday morning after the child slipped outside without the mother noticing, Zachary Police said. When the mother found her child in the pool on North Turnberry Avenue, she ran to the front yard with the child in her arms screaming for help, said… Continue reading →

Baker mayor has standoff with council over audit fee

Child hit by car after getting off school bus near Clinton

A child suffered minor injuries Monday afternoon when she was struck by a vehicle after getting off a school bus in East Feliciana Parish and crossing La. 67, north of La. 959, State Police said. The school bus had stopped on the two-lane highway at 3:35 p.m. and had its stop signs… Continue reading →

Lost and dehydrated, BR man rescued from woods near Clinton

Woman killed in car crash in West Feliciana Parish

A 58-year-old woman was killed Sunday evening when she drove into the path of an oncoming vehicle on U.S. 61 just north of Thompson Creek in West Feliciana Parish, State Police said. Sharron Villere, of Jackson, was not wearing a seat belt when she crossed the southbound lane shortly after 7 p.m. trying to get to the… Continue reading →

East Feliciana boil-water advisory issued

East Feliciana Rural Water System has issued a boil-water advisory to its customers in the Bluff Creek and Pride area who experienced water outages Saturday. The advisory will remain in effect until rescinded by water system.… Continue reading →

Angola maintenance worker accused of inappropriate behavior with an inmate

Danny Daniel

A maintenance worker at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, accused of inappropriate behavior with an inmate, has been arrested on a felony count of malfeasance in office, the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday morning. Danny B. Daniel, 64, of 11646 Powell Station Road in St. Francisville, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon with the prison’s… Continue reading →

Pie flap prompts call for Baker council president’s resignation

John Givens

BAKER A Baker citizen brandishing a marshmallow pie called for the resignation of City Council President John Givens at the council’s meeting Tuesday. John Abel told the council that Givens, who was not present for the meeting, had “abused the privilege of his office” in an incident that allegedly took… Continue reading →

Baker council president jailed after Marshmallow Pie incident

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Exterior of Ragusa Meat Market  at 5240 Groom Road in Baker. Baker City Council President John Givens turned himself in to police on Thursday and was booked on theft of goods and abuse of office after allegedly stealing a banana-flavored pastry, which store manager Abdallah Mizeyd said was captured on in-store surveillance video.

Days after Baker’s City Council President John Givens was accused of trying to steal a 50-cent pastry from Ragusa’s Meat Market, the councilman surrendered to police Thursday while sales of the sweet treat have exploded, with customers dubbing them “Givens Pies.” Givens, 65, now faces a possible felony charge of abuse of office… Continue reading →

Officials laud Baker workforce development program

MET Baker workforce center story, photo by mark h hunter, Baker Workforce Development Center students (L. to R.) Kwame Odom, Quantrell Toney, Jose Gomez and Reginald Lucas, check the threads they cut in a pipe using a threading machine. The men are nearing the end of their millwright-machinist courses and are hoping to find good jobs in industry.

More than 130 students have completed skilled trade classes in welding, electrical, millwright, pipefitting and water operations since the Baker Workforce Development Center opened in January, and area officials say it’s the kind of program that should be replicated around the state. The center, located at 3262… Continue reading →

‘Haunted’ Myrtles Plantation gets scare from gift shop fire

Photo by Natalie Wood -- Firefighters battle a blaze Wednesday night at the gift shop of The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville.

Jules Haigler was just finishing dinner with friends at The Carriage House Restaurant across a small courtyard from the main house at The Myrtles Plantation on Wednesday evening when a guest ran in screaming that the house was on fire. Haigler, house docent at The Myrtles Plantation, ran outside and saw smoke… Continue reading →

2 robbery suspects arrested

Joshua Wells

Two Zachary men suspected in the Monday night armed robbery of Southern Belle Truck Stop near the south end of West Feliciana Parish have been arrested in East Baton Rouge Parish. Joshua Wells, 21, 421 E. Flanacher Road, and Reginald Jackson, 21, 474 E. Flanacher Road, each face one count of armed robbery, said Erin… Continue reading →

Baker council urges more oversight of teen parties

2 arrested in East Feliciana rape case

Joe Loyd, left, Darrell Anderson

In this single stoplight village in rural East Feliciana Parish, horrifying allegations surfaced this week leading police to arrest two men and issue arrest warrants for two other people accused of raping and sexually exploiting two girls inside a mobile home with living conditions authorities described as unsuitable for human life. The… Continue reading →

Baker SB settles lawsuit in librarian incident

Convenience store owner booked with distributing drugs in Slaughter

Drug arrest at My Fair Mart convenience store.

Narcotics agents shut down an over-the-counter illegal narcotics operation in a Slaughter convenience store this week, just days before the owner was preparing to open a second location in East Baton Rouge Parish, East Feliciana Parish Sheriff Talmadge Bunch said Wednesday. The Delta Narcotics Task Force, which includes deputies of the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office, arrested… Continue reading →

West Feliciana council approves pay raises

Electrical problem may be cause of St. Francisville fire

Firefighters in West Feliciana battled a house fire early Monday in St. Francisville that destroyed the home and felled a telephone pole. Members of the West Feliciana Fire Protection District No. 1 and St. Francisville Fire Department arrived at 9851 Duncan St. after getting the call at 3:50 a.m., said Chief James R. Wood, of the… Continue reading →

West Feliciana firefighters get FEMA equipment grant

The West Feliciana Fire Protection District No. 1 received a federal grant of more than $120,000 to go toward new protective equipment for firefighters, the district announced Monday. The Assistance to Firefighter grant for Operations and Safety from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide the district $121,567 to buy new boots, helmets, gloves, protective hoods, and… Continue reading →

Baker council nixes utility increase, leaving budget still out of balance

Despite facing a $171,000 shortfall in the city budget, the Baker City Council voted Tuesday against raising sewer and water rates. The move might mean decreased police and fire services and possibly salary cuts for elected officials and department heads. Before the vote, the council heard from residents such as… Continue reading →

Senate bill sparked by arrest of Baker Middle teacher

Advocate Photo by MICHELLE MILLHOLLON -- Aurelia Young with the Louisiana Association of Educators told legislators Tuesday that it is humiliating for teachers to be arrested in the classroom for misdemeanors. Next to her are state Sen. Troy Brown, D-Geismar, center, and Vernon Wells, president of the Baker Teachers Association.

Legislation filed after the arrest of a Baker schoolteacher sparked debate and a spat Tuesday at the State Capitol. State Sen. Troy Brown, D-Geismar, filed Senate Bill 608 to prohibit arrest warrants to be issued against school employees for misdemeanors committed upon students during the course of employment unless a law enforcement officer witnesses it… Continue reading →

Baker council considers water, sewer rate increases

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 →