Saints rookie receiver Brandin Cooks makes steaming early impression

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints rookie receiver Brandin Cooks, right, tries to slip past cornerback Champ Bailey during Saints training camp Friday in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

WHITE SULPHER SPRINGS, W.Va. — Going in blind, it would be difficult not to notice him. Something about the way he moves about the fields, even on this day, with the grass soaked from a heavy downpour, catches your eye and forces you to pay attention. Brandin Cooks isn’t big in stature. … Continue reading →

Man booked on rape after Tinder app date

Jacob Hirsch Witz

Sheriff’s deputies on Saturday evening arrested a Baton Rouge man accused of raping a woman after having just met her through a popular social media dating application called Tinder. The woman told a detective with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office that she met Jacob Hirsch Witz, whom she knew only as “Jake,” on Tinder, … Continue reading →

Retired Ascension deputy dies trying to rescue his dog

Sam Vitter

An Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputy who retired less than a year ago drowned Sunday morning after he dove into a pond, trying to rescue his Yorkshire terrier. Retired Lt. Sam Vitter, 56, of Prairieville, was looking for his dog after it escaped from under his backyard fence, said Lt. Col. Bobby Webre, … Continue reading →

Death row heat suit attorneys seek $775,000 in fees, costs

The Louisiana State Pennitentiary at Angola.

Attorneys for three condemned killers who filed suit last summer successfully challenging the hot conditions on Louisiana’s death row are asking a federal judge to order the state to pay the lawyers more than three-quarters of a million dollars in fees and costs. But attorneys for Louisiana corrections officials contend the request, for more than $687,000 … Continue reading →

Fighting intensifies near MH17 disaster site

Ukrainian Ministry Emergency officer, left, Donetsk People's Republic fighter, 2nd left, and members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examine a map as they discuss the situation around the site of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Sunday, July 27, 2014. A team of international police officers that had been due to visit the site of the Malaysian plane disaster in eastern Ukraine cancelled the trip Sunday after receiving reports of fighting in the area. Alexander Hug, the deputy head of a monitoring team from the OSCE in Europe, said it would be too dangerous for the unarmed mission to travel to the site from its current location in the rebel-held city of Donetsk. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Ukraine Ukrainian armed forces mounted a major onslaught against pro-Russian separatist fighters Sunday in an attempt to gain control over the area where a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed earlier this month. The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, released satellite images that it says back up its claims that … Continue reading →

Fatal shooting in Central appears justifiable

Evidence reviewed so far during an investigation into a Saturday night fatal shooting in Central indicates the killing was a justifiable act of self-defense, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office. A woman told investigators that she shot her fiancé, Reedus McAllister, 39, after he attacked her at a home in the 21000 block of … Continue reading →

Ask The Advocate: Front seat or back seat?

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Louisiana State Police Trooper First Class Jared Sandifer, left, checks Brandi Flanagan's installation of the rear-facing child car seat in her vehicle, used to carry her eight-month-old son, outside Troop A Headquarters in Baton Rouge. Troop A hosts days on which members of the public can come in for instruction on proper  child car seat installation, or to have their installation checked for correctness and safety. Flanagan, right, had done the installation properly, he said.

QUESTION: I’m having a 7-year-old grandson visiting and am trying to find out if he can ride in the front seat of a car. The only law I can find is if a car has a side air bag, kids have to ride in back seat. Otherwise they can ride in the front seat. I … Continue reading →

Around Baton Rouge for July 28, 2014

NEIGHBORHOOD ARTS PROJECT: 10 a.m., Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, 9700 Scenic Highway, Scotlandville. Come create art for free using materials provided by the LSU Museum of Art. (225) 389-7207 or CASA VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION: Noon, Capital Area CASA, 848 Louisiana Ave. Learn how to be a voice for abused or neglected children … Continue reading →

Acadiana Crime Blotter for July 28, 2014

Advocate hires new sportswriter to cover Ragin’ Cajuns

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Luke Johnson, The Advocate's new Acadiana-based sportswriter.

The Acadiana Advocate is expanding its staff, adding a sportswriter who will cover the Ragin’ Cajuns and the region’s dynamic prep sports scene. Luke Johnson joins The Acadiana Advocate from Tiger Rag, a Baton Rouge magazine that covers LSU sports. He is a former Marine, an Iraq war veteran and a graduate of LSU who has … Continue reading →

Fire burns through roof of Ontario Street home

An electrical short ignited a fire in a home early Sunday that eventually burned through the roof of the house, the fire department said. The home at 2731 Ontario St. was vacant because the owner died recently, said Mark Miles, a Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman. When firefighters arrived about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, flames leapt from … Continue reading →

Saints’ Joe Morgan, Patrick Robinson working way back

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints wide receiver Joe Morgan runs a route in passing drills Saturday in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Wide receiver Joseph Morgan and cornerback Patrick Robinson arrived to The Greenbrier for the start of the Saints’ training camp in somewhat similar boats. Both had been sidelined for almost a year while rehabbing serious knee injuries, and both were relegated to watching their units largely succeed (the offense gained … Continue reading →

Video: LSU Chancellor F. King Alexander reflects on his first year

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander, photographed in front of the school's Memorial Tower. He's been on the job for a year now.

If there’s one central theme to F. King Alexander’s first year as LSU president and chancellor, it has been unification. He’s moving to reunite a fragmented LSU system. He’s working with leaders of other systems to develop legislative strategy. The Board of Supervisors has supported him, as has Gov. Bobby Jindal. He’s also winning over some … Continue reading →

Teacher and public school evaluations face renewed scrutiny

A Tulane professor asked to review key parts of Louisiana’s public school accountability system said that, in some ways, the state is one of the national leaders. “Overall, Louisiana is probably above average in a lot of respects,” said Douglas N. Harris, an associate professor of economics. But Harris said there are areas that need … Continue reading →

Wave-control devices being tried near Shark Island

Photo provided by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service -- This is one of three shoreline protection products the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the state Coastal Protecation and Restoration Authority are testing along the coast as part of a Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act project.

Shark Island in Iberia Parish is the testing ground for three unusual devices meant to help keep Louisiana shorelines from retreating under the relentless waves eating away at the state’s coast. If the devices being used in the project prove successful over the three-year testing phase, they could give state and federal coastal-restoration … Continue reading →

DOTD promises congestion fixes along La. 1

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Drivers merge onto the Mississippi River Bridge for eastbound Interstate 10, Friday, July 25, 2014 in Baton Rouge. Traffic already on the bridge headed west is at a standstill.

As daily congestion along La. 1 and the Mississippi River bridge on Interstate 10 continues to infuriate drivers sitting in traffic, West Baton Rouge Parish officials received word recently that some relief is on the way. But it’s not necessarily the kind of big state commitment they ultimately want. … Continue reading →

Police and Fire Briefs for July 27, 2014

A man trying to push his car on Interstate 10 after it ran out of gas was fatally injured early Saturday morning after an SUV slammed into his car and sandwiched him between the vehicles. Jason Smith, 39, was taken to the hospital, where he was … Continue reading →

Ex-Jetson guard fired again for probe of actions

Malachi Gee III

Hours after darkness consumed one of the shortest days of last year, a scene of utter chaos unfolded inside a juvenile corrections dormitory, pitting the young convicts locked inside against one another in a raucous battle. The skirmish ended, indisputably, after one teenager fell face first onto the bathroom floor, lying there momentarily unconscious as blood pooled … Continue reading →

EBR Sheriff’s deputies respond to fatal shooting

Advocate staff photo by DANIEL BETHENCOURT -- East Baton Rouge Parish deputies responded to a call at this house on Greenwell Springs Road, in front of which a dead man is lying in the grass.

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s deputies on Saturday night responded to a call in the 21000 block of Greenwell Springs Road from a woman who told police she shot her boyfriend because he had attacked her. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, said Casey Rayborn Hicks, a spokeswoman with the Sheriff’s Office. … Continue reading →

Business Briefs for July 27, 2014

Three Point Capital, a California and New York-based specialty finance company, has opened a Baton Rouge office at Celtic Studios. Three Point Capital is known as a tax credit lender for film, but has expanded its lending activities to different areas. Amy Rodrigue has been … Continue reading →

People in Business for July 27, 2014

Alan Broxson, of Danos

Alan Broxson has been named manager of the new instrumentation and electrical division at Danos in Larose. Danos recently acquired I&E company API Control System Solutions. Broxson has held senior-level management positions with CAMCO, Baker Hughes, NATCO and Weatherford in the U.S., United Kingdom, Middle East and Asia Pacific areas. … Continue reading →

Business Honors for July 27, 2014

Lee Berg, Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry

Gulf Coast Bank has been named to the Independent Community Bankers of America’s list of Top 50 Community Bank Leaders in Social Media. Nearly 6,500 community banks were eligible to be part of ICBA’s list. Community banks were chosen based on their engagement with fans and followers, the content distributed on their … Continue reading →

People in Business for July 27, 2014

John Brooks, Risk Management Resources Inc.

John Brooks has been named marketing manager at Risk Management Resources Inc., a third-party administrator for LCTA Workers’ Comp. Brooks was a senior field representative at Berkshire Hathaway GUARD and previously was vice president of marketing at LEMIC Insurance Co. … Continue reading →

Business Briefs for July 27, 2014

Amy Rodriigue, Three Point Capital

Three Point Capital, a California and New York-based specialty finance company, has opened a Baton Rouge office at Celtic Studios. Three Point Capital is known as a tax credit lender for film, but has expanded its lending activities to different areas. Amy Rodrigue has been … Continue reading →

Out-of-gas motorist hit on I-10

Updated at 12:40 p.m. – A man trying to push his car on Interstate 10 after it ran out of gas early Saturday was fatally injured after an SUV slammed into his car and sandwiched him between the vehicles. Jason Smith, 39, was taken to the hospital and died from his injuries late Saturday, said Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a police spokesman. … Continue reading →


Brees loves cool training camp temperatures

New Orleans Saints quarterbacks Drew Brees (9) Luke McCown (4) and Ryan Griffin (7) talk during training camp in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.,  Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Chris Tilley)

Last year the Saints had their training camp at the team facility in Metairie under hot, humid conditions that really took a lot out of players. The temperature was 64 degrees when the team had its first practice on Friday. Quarterback Drew Brees loved the temperature difference. Click here to see the video.Continue reading →

Lights off! Study: Cancer drugs best in dark

Photo provided by Tulane Public Relations -- Principal investigators and co-leaders of Tulane's Circadian Cancer Biology Group, Steven Hill (left) and David Blask (right), and team members Robert Dauchy and Shulin Xiang. Photograph by Paula Burch-Celentano

Sleeping with just a little bit of light in the room could render the popular breast cancer drug tamoxifen ineffective, according to a new study conducted by doctors at Tulane University School of Medicine. Conversely, sleeping in total darkness boosts the body’s production of melatonin, which by itself retards the growth of cancer cells and, in tandem with … Continue reading →

Edmonson won’t take retirement boost

Advocate staff file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Louisiana State Police superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson is seen in this August, 2012 photo.

State Police Col. Mike Edmonson said Friday he will not accept the enhanced pension benefits granted as a result of a controversial last-minute law change. Edmonson said he wants the Legislature to revisit the issue in its 2015 session as separate legislation. “It’s been too much of a distraction,” he said. “It takes away from … Continue reading →

New EBR School Board plan muddies electoral, legal picture

The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board’s controversial last-minute shift from an 11-member board to one with 9 members has scrambled the election map less than four weeks before qualifying for elections this fall and prompted an almost certain legal fight. The new plan, adopted Thursday, hurts most directly two politicians: Jerry Arbour, who’s currently on the … Continue reading →