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A map listing homicides or suspected homicides in EBR Parish.
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Playground honors teacher’s life

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Trinity Episcopal Day School's new playground is dedicated to the memory of former long-time teacher's aid Amber Lousteau who died after a battle with lung cancer.

Before her death in 2009, Amber Lousteau spent many hours on Trinity Episcopal School’s playground. She’d started working there as a kindergarten teacher’s aide nearly 20 years before, and the playground came with the territory, said Brooke Johnson, Trinity’s development director. As part of their 2013-14 Building Our Future fundraising campaign, the school decided to replace… Continue reading →

Programs aid students before, after school

As students head back to school, parents in Southside have options for after-school care. Three programs offering care and/or tutoring with no deadline for signing up are: This program officially began the first day of school, Aug. 11, said Chad Brewer, publicity and marketing director for BREC. Staff members… Continue reading →

Highland work to alter traffic

Improvements to the city’s sewer system near Highland Road are slated to begin in October, and residents can expect minor traffic effects, officials said. The new improvements will not affect Highland Road, but will affect surrounding areas, said Joseph O. Young, deputy program manager with CH2M Hill, a consulting, design, design-build, operations and program management firm.… Continue reading →

Coaches, athletes accept the challenge

Advocate staff photo by John Oubre -- McKinley's Asha Mayweather leads her team in the tug-of-war competition on Saturday during the Coaches Challenge at BREC's Olympia Stadium.

High school athletes tugged and ran their way through field events Saturday at BREC’s Coaches Challenge Field Day at Olympia Stadium. Teams competed for prize money to help purchase needed athletic equipment. Events included a tug-of-war, wheelbarrow race, egg and spoon relay, water balloon toss and an obstacle course.… Continue reading →

On the Southside for Aug. 21, 2014

Greater Sixty Aid Baptist Church will celebrate its 138th anniversary with a service at 8 a.m. Sunday. The public is invited to help the church celebrate its long history. The church, at 655 Gardere Lane, is led by the Rev. James R. Barrett Sr.… Continue reading →

Runnels Theater to present ‘Guys and Dolls’ in September

Photo provided by Allison Wrenn --  Jay Curry as Nathan Detroit and Ona Robbins as Miss Adelaide prepare for the upcoming Runnels Theater community production of Guys and Dolls.

The award-winning musical comedy “Guys and Dolls” is coming to the stage of the Runnels Theater for the Performing Arts for three performances in September. Featuring a cast and crew of Runnels faculty, staff, parents, alumni, ninth- through 12th-grade students and local actors and musicians, “Guys and Dolls” is the seventh in a series of annual Runnels… Continue reading →

Students take summer trip to Europe, Africa

Photo provided by Sean Beauvais -- Standing at the edge of a cliff in Portugal during a summer trip are St. Michael High School students, in front from left, Caitlyn Thomas and Nicole Daspit; and standing, Peyton Graham, Alex Silva, Jake Buss, Mallory Buuck, Jessica Wright and Andrea Ramirez.

St. Michael High School faculty members Lisa and Jim Baldridge took a group of eight students on a trip through Portugal, Spain and Morocco for 12 days during the summer. Students got to ride camels in Morocco and learn about the Berbers of North Africa, a news release from the school said. They attended flamenco shows,… Continue reading →

Southside pets available for Aug. 21, 2014

Jessie James, a male shepherd mix. He is neutered, up to date with shots and good with kids and dogs.

The mission of Friends of the Animals is to rescue, rehome or save dogs, puppies and other pets from euthanasia in East Baton Rouge Parish. FOTA operates the Dog Adoption House, 8476 Highland Road, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Anyone interested in adopting… Continue reading →

Dance team honors former member by volunteering

Photo provided by Jessica Poumaroux -- Parkview Baptist High School Silver Steppers, from left, Mary Ruth Corwin and Juliana Arrington, sort through shoes that have been donated by the community to Kelli's Kloset.

Members of the Parkview Baptist School Silver Steppers dance team have honored a former member by donating to the nonprofit she inspired. The dance team members have volunteered at Kelli’s Kloset, a nonprofit that provides free clothing to critically ill women. The clothes program was started by the parents of Kelli Leigh Richmond, a… Continue reading →

Southside community calendar for Aug. 14-Aug. 21, 2014

YOGA: 6:45 a.m., YMCA, Southside branch, 8284 Perkins Road. SPIN, ALL LEVELS: 8:30 a.m., YMCA of the Capital Area, 8100 YMCA Plaza Drive. BATON ROUGE AREA PARKINSON’S DISEASE SUPPORT GROUP: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., East Baton Rouge Parish Library, 9200 Bluebonnet Blvd. The Baton Rouge Area Parkinson’s Disease Group will meet with guest speaker… Continue reading →

High-tech signals to improve traffic on Jefferson Highway

New traffic signals have been installed on Jefferson Highway, from College Drive to the Interstate 12 ramp, just past Drusilla Lane. New mast arm signals, with detection cameras, pedestrian crossings, fiber-optic interconnects and LED lights, are now tied into the Advanced Management Traffic Center, located near the Baton Rouge airport, Bryan Harmon, interim Baton Rouge Department… Continue reading →

The first day of school begins smoothly

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Chris Thompson, center, walks his children Javin, left, and Jalyah, right, to school on the first day of classes Monday at Magnolia Woods Elementary.

Joyce Perry stood with a clipboard at the head of the first grade and kindergarten wing at Magnolia Woods Elementary School on Monday morning, the first day of school. She was one of an army of longtime Volunteers in Public Schools stationed around the campus, directing parents and students to the correct classroom, and giving directions to… Continue reading →

French Market Bistro looks to expand

The owners of French Market Bistro are planning to expand the popular Highland Road restaurant by moving into a vacant adjoining space. The restaurant is looking at moving into the 1,850-square-foot space that formerly had been occupied by Via Consignment Interiors. Plans for the expansion have been submitted to the East Baton Rouge Parish Planning Commission,… Continue reading →

Swim coach takes new job, says goodbye to club

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Hattie Boone, 6, smiles at her friend as she returns to her seat from receiving an award at the Baton Rouge Country Club's swim team banquet Saturday. Hattie received awards for winning the freestyle race at City Meet and being a part of the winning relay team.

As soon as Helen Cavana was done passing out awards to her Baton Rouge Country Club swimmers on Saturday, the beloved head coach and teacher accepted hug after hug from parents and swimmers alike. After 11 summers as head coach and pool manager, Cavana will be leaving her post, if not her club. She is taking a… Continue reading →

On the Southside for Aug. 14, 2014

BREC’s Coaches Challenge Field Day is from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Olympia Stadium, 7211 Perkins Road. The Coaches Challenge is designed to provide a recreational opportunity for teams to win prize money for their school. Most schools are in need of financial assistance for proper equipment and often rely on fundraising or ticket sales… Continue reading →

Southside pets available for Aug. 14, 2014

Griffin, a special needs pet: up to date with shots and good with dogs and  cats. A recent vet appointment shows his eyes were  irritated from neglect and is not going blind. Griffin is a male Brussels Griffon mix.

The mission of Friends of the Animals is to rescue, rehome or save dogs, puppies and other pets from euthanasia in East Baton Rouge Parish. FOTA operates the Dog Adoption House, 8476 Highland Road, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Anyone interested in adopting or fostering… Continue reading →

Student garden provides produce to food pantry

Photo provided by Wendy Stewart -- Christian Life Academy middle school students' garden produces vegetables donated to a local food bank.

A student garden at Christian Life Academy has provided more than 19 pounds of fresh vegetables to the Shepherd’s Market food pantry. Students recently delivered 2½ pounds of vegetables from the garden, a news release from the school said. Students planted the garden in the spring and… Continue reading →

Southside community calendar for Aug. 14-Aug. 7, 2014

YOGA: 6:45 a.m., YMCA, Southside branch, 8284 Perkins Road. SPIN, ALL LEVELS: 8:30 a.m., YMCA of The Capital Area, 8100 YMCA Plaza Drive. EXPENDABLES MARATHON: 3:15 p.m., Cinemark Baton Rouge, 10000 Perkins Rowe, Suite 125. HEALTHY STEPS LEBED EXERCISE PROGRAM: 3:30 p.m., Baton Rouge General Bluebonnet, 8585 Picardy Blvd. Exercise program free to all… Continue reading →

YMCA’s summer camps are nonstop for kids

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- A camper practices shooting an arrow  July 29 during camp at the Paula Manship YMCA.

Louis Catton, 10, said he’s learned a lot from his counselors this summer at YMCA’s Paula Manship branch summer day camp. He and Aden Mayfield, 11, rattled off a long list of activities they’ve participated in as of the end of July: tennis, skating, soccer, basketball, zip lining, swimming, nature walks and archery, to name a few.… Continue reading →

Gardere-area kids enjoy educational extravaganza

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Members of The Church of Ephesus, from left, Shantel Anderson, India Evans and Alai'jai Hawkins serve snow cones Saturday at the eighth annual Back to School Extravaganza by the Gardere Initiative. The event provides school supplies for children and connects parents with helpful services and organizations.

Gardere-area children lined up Saturday for school supplies and information Saturday at Hartley/Vey Sports Park during the eighth annual Back to School Extravaganza. The Gardere Initiative organized the event, which featured school supplies giveaways and resources for parents and students.… Continue reading →

Volunteers pull together for Wildwood

Photo provided by QUINN MILLER -- Church members from The Chapel assemble playground equipment for a new play area donated to Wildwood Elementary School. The Chapel's members provided funding and labor, while LSU's Center for Community Engagement, Learning and Leadership helped design the space.

More than 100 volunteers saturated Wildwood Elementary School on July 25-26 and left the campus transformed, said Cindy Murphy, a prekindergarten teacher at the school. “I could not believe how many people came to help out,” Murphy said, adding that the project was started by a core group from a Southside church, The Chapel, who initially planned… Continue reading →

On the Southside for Aug. 7, 2014

Luckett Farms will headline the next Pop-Up Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Alexander’s Highland Market. Freshly picked squash, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, okra and potatoes grown at Luckett Farms’ Pride and Central locations will be on sale during the market. There also will be a book signing by Aimee Broussard,… Continue reading →

Southside pets available for Aug. 7, 2014

Betty, a tricolored 30-pound beagle. Spayed, up to date on shots and good with dogs. Text Betty's foster mom at (225) 205-9330.

The mission of Friends of the Animals is to rescue, rehome or save dogs, puppies and other pets from euthanasia in East Baton Rouge Parish. FOTA operates the Dog Adoption House, 8476 Highland Road, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Anyone interested in adopting… Continue reading →

Dunham installs teacher, head of fine arts program

Lisa Hooks Murray

Lisa Hooks Murray will serve as the new chairwoman of The Dunham School’s Fine Arts Department, school leaders said. School officials also announced the addition of Christine Miller Dubuc to the fine arts faculty as a theater teacher. A professional dancer and choreographer, Murray has been teaching dance for 35 years. She began dancing as… Continue reading →

BREC center sets date for third annual Duck, Duck Goose Day

BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center will host its third annual Duck, Duck, Goose Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 23. The inaugural event in 2011 was to honor Charles W. Frank, a conservationist, nature photographer and author. Frank sought to preserve the decoy-carving heritage of Louisiana by chronicling and documenting the traditions of Louisiana artists… Continue reading →

BREC summer camp at Mayfair Park fosters new friendships

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Ayanna Degree, 10, left, gets a wet treat, a pail of water dumped on her head by Kristian Johnson, 9, as kids play around an inflatable water slide Friday at BREC summer camp at Mayfair Park.

Byron Ezell and his helpers spent an evening last week filling 280 water balloons in preparation for the much anticipated water balloon fight July 25 — the final day of BREC summer day camps — and as the BREC summer camp director predicted, the ammunition didn’t last long. “If you can believe it, some of these kids… Continue reading →

Gardere Initiative sponsors fair to spread word on services

The Gardere Initiative’s annual informational fair July 23 helped spread the word about how changes to healthcare policy will affect people in the neighborhood, particularly where mental health is concerned, said Jeremy Blunt, vice president of the initiative, and coordinator of the event. Several vendors and service providers set up booths in the Gardere Initiative’s parking… Continue reading →

On the Southside for July 31, 2014

Spend early Saturday morning learning about birds during Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center’s A Walk with Birds program. Set from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., the program will include a walk led by a member of the Baton Rouge Audubon Society. Visitors will hike through the forest and swamp while identifying various bird species. Bird-watching tips and techniques… Continue reading →

Stores raise funds for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital

Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club associates, customers and members recently wrapped up a six-week campaign to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country. Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital partnered with 24 stores and clubs across the Baton Rouge area to raise $115,004, a news release said. Nationally, through donations accepted at cash… Continue reading →

Fiesta kicks off fund drive

Photo provided by Jennifer Mayer -- Attending the CASA Fiesta Sunday, are, from left, Tracy Evans, fiesta co-chairwoman; Michelle St. Martin, sponsorship chairwoman; Todd Denton, fiesta co-chairman; Karen Sirman, silent auction co-chairwoman; Jessica James, silent auction co-chairwoman; and Liz Betz, CASA executive director.

Capital Area CASA Association kicked off its 20th annual Casas for CASA playhouse fundraiser with the CASA Fiesta on Sunday at the Mall of Louisiana. Casas for CASA generates awareness and money to support CASA’s advocacy efforts for abused and neglected children, a news release said. The Mall of Louisiana was transformed into… Continue reading →

Southside pets available for July 31, 2014

Bunny,  a 4-month-old female terrior mix puppy. She's already spayed, up to date with shots, and good with dogs.

The mission of Friends of the Animals is to rescue, rehome or save dogs, puppies and other pets from euthanasia in East Baton Rouge Parish. FOTA operates the Dog Adoption House, 8476 Highland Road, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Anyone… Continue reading →

Shepherd’s Market marks two years of feeding souls

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Volunteer Bill Metcalf organizes his food storage room July 17 at the St. John United Methodist Church's Shepherd's Market Food Pantry. The pantry feeds 35 families per week and also provides meals for those in need.

Theresa Sandifer, head bowed in the prayer that opens every shift of the Shepherd’s Market Food Pantry, lifted her eyes when a late-entering client walked through the door. She motioned with her hand and made room for him in the circle. On July 17, the market celebrated its second anniversary, and about a dozen volunteers took a… Continue reading →

Students get to grow wild at Episcopal summer camp

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Julie Pace paints Avery Burley's face during Episcopal's summer camp 'Growing Up Wild' Friday.  It's a week-long science-themed camp that touts a purposeful play and gets students accustomed to going to school.

Students from prekindergarten to first grade walked around Episcopal’s Growing Wild Day Camp in swimming cover-ups and flip-flops July 18, prepared for the camp-ending Splash Day that, oddly enough, got rained out. But Julie Pace, who has been teaching prekindergarten for three years at Episcopal, never comes to work without a plan B. “OK, what would… Continue reading →

BASIC TRAINING: Children learn swimming skills

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Crawfish Aquatics instructor Elania Smith, right, holds a towel-wrapped Kayleigh Tran,5, after swimming lessons July16.  In background are Xavier Harris, 8, left, and Treasure Riley, 5, center. Children participating in the Gardere Initiative's summer program got instruction on basic swimming skills at Crawfish Aquatics, through funds donated by Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass.

Crawfish Aquatics turned over its lanes to neighbors teaching Gardere-area children how to swim. The Gardere Initiative summer program participants learned basic swimming skills from instructors at Crawfish Aquatics according to each child’s swimming expertise and age. Murelle Harrison, of the initiative, said money to fund the lessons was donated… Continue reading →

On the Southside for July 24, 2014

BREC is hosting “A Night of Ella With Quiana Lynell” at 7 p.m. Friday at its Independence Park Theatre, 7800 Independence Park Blvd. The event features the vocal talents of Quiana Lynell, showcasing more than a dozen of Ella Fitzgerald’s most famous hits, including “A Tisket, a Tasket,” “How High the Moon,” “That Old Black Magic”… Continue reading →