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Burl Cain's son, on leave as Avoyelles warden, treated leniently in '09 inmate beating

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  Former Phelps Correctional inmate David Breaux talks recently about the beating, including wounds to the head, that  he says was administered to him after a Jan. 2009 escape attempt.

Seven years ago, Nate Cain looked on as a trio of guards savagely beat an inmate who had hopped a train to escape a work detail at Phelps Correctional Center in DeQuincy, where Cain was deputy warden. After convict David Breaux was recaptured, the abuse started in a transport car, with Cain in the… Continue reading →

Saving Louisiana's coast: Curbing emissions critical to avoiding devastating sea level rise

British Environment Minister Hilary Benn, last figure, in yellow parka, joins other ministers and representatives from a dozen nations, on a fact-finding visit to the area around Troll Research Station, which belongs to Norway, on Monday, Feb. 23, 2009, touring the ice sheet below the Judulsessen massif of rock towers in Antarctica. Even seven years ago, scientists were reporting in Geneva that, in a warming world, Antarctic glaciers were accelerating their dumping of ice into the sea, raising ocean levels.(AP Photo/Charles J.Hanley)

Donald Boesch and Virginia Burkett, coastal researchers with Louisiana connections, are widely respected for their expertise on why the state’s coast is rapidly being flooded by the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the state’s proposed 50-year, $92 billion effort to stop this disaster. Both believe that recently released research could hold… Continue reading →

Frustrations boil over as LHSAA rules to cut short rain-plagued baseball playoff series

The combination of rain, the LHSAA and frustrations over rules on how to govern best-of-three baseball series are played boiled over Sunday night. Ultimately, the LHSAA opted to stick with its deadline to complete at least two games of a best-of-three playoff series by midnight Sunday, putting four teams, including Class 3A University High, out of the… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Metro Airport moves on major parking garage repairs as higher parking fees take effect

A few weeks after the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport began charging higher parking fees, aviation leaders are preparing to move forward with the millions of dollars worth of repairs and improvements the new rates will fund. “The parking garage that we currently have needs to be redone,” said Trae Welch, an East Baton Rouge… Continue reading →

Exclusive: In 911 call, hysterical Kacie Breen begs for help after shooting husband at north shore home

Photo provided by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office - - The garage of Kacie and Wayne Breen's Folsom-area home where Kacie shot and killed her husband on March 1, 2015.

A hysterical Kacie Breen dialed 911 moments after she twice shot her husband Wayne, screaming and begging for help as she held a shirt to his wounds and told operators that he wasn’t breathing. The recording of Breen’s 911 call, released this past week in response to a public-records request from The New Orleans Advocate, does… Continue reading →

CVS Pharmacy on Burbank Drive in Baton Rouge robbed Sunday

East Baton Rouge Sheriff's deputies responded the CVS located at 9326 Burbank this evening at 6:30 in reference to a robbery.  A man entered the store, produced a knife and presented the clerk with a note demanding money.  The man fled with an unknown amount of cash in what appeared to be an older model white Lexus, with a sun roof.   The man appears to be a white male, approximately 6'0"-6'2" and wearing purple LSU sweatshirt, black pants and gray hat. He has s small beard.  Anyone with information as to his identity is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 389-5000 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 344-STOP.

East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputies are trying to identify a man who pulled out a knife and robbed a clerk at the CVS pharmacy on Burbank Drive Sunday evening. The man walked into the store, pulled out a knife and handed the clerk a note demanding money at the CVS at 9326 Burbank Drive about 6:30 p.m.… Continue reading →

Flooding in Lafayette area: Families rescued; interstate swamped; still more rain to come

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- A motorist hauls a load of sandbags down the flooded Bradford Drive in Carencro Sunday, May 1, 2016, following torrential rain and hail-producing storms in Acadiana.

As much as 10 inches of rain soaked parts of Acadiana over the weekend, flooding roads and seeping into homes, and forecasters said Sunday there is still more rain to come. Flash flood warnings remained in effect overnight for much of south Louisiana and the National Weather Service predicted several more inches could fall through Tuesday night.… Continue reading →

Ascension starts charging sewer impact fees; been on the books for years, just never collected

Kenny Matassa

After months of agitation from members of the Ascension Parish Council over the passing of traffic impact fees on new development earlier this year, the new administration of Parish President Kenny Matassa quietly began collecting a new impact fee two months ago. The parish began in February charging sewer impact fees of $2,500… Continue reading →

Eight suspected of DWI between Saturday, Sunday in East Baton Rouge Parish

Authorities arrested at least eight people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, booking records show. Those booked and the counts against them: — Bradley Broussard, 24, 1889 Potwin Ave., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI. — Brooks Chauvin, 26,… Continue reading →

Rare stagnant day by LSU offense costly in Saturday’s loss at Ole Miss

Mississippi pitcher James McArthur (26) pitches against LSU during an NCAA college baseball game in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, April 30, 2016. (Bruce Newman/The Oxford Eagle, via AP)/The Oxford Eagle via AP)

OXFORD, Miss. — Going 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position “is just baseball,” LSU’s Bryce Jordan said after his team’s offense did just that in Saturday’s 8-2 loss at Ole Miss. There was a caveat to the burly designated hitter’s explanation, though, delivered in a forceful, frank tone. “Bottom line, we’ve just got to execute… Continue reading →

'We don't have the support': Gov. John Bel Edwards' schools legislative agenda mostly dead

AP Photo by MELINDA DESLATTE -- Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards talks about his first 100 days since taking office in January, at a press conference on April 19.

With several bills already on life support, Gov. John Bel Edwards has pulled the plug on his high-profile education proposals to restrict access to vouchers and curb the growth of charter schools. “We don’t have the support we need to advance those bills,” said Erin Monroe Wesley, special counsel for Edwards who also oversees legislative affairs.… Continue reading →

Keith Spera: ‘Through hell and high water,' New Orleans Jazz Fest comes to a close

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  Steve Fredericksen of Red Lodge, Montana and Kitty Appell of Valdez, Alaska dance to Walter 'Wolfman' Washington and the Roadmasters on the Congo Square Stage during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Sunday, May 1, 2016, at the New Orleans Fair Grounds.

Before the Allen Toussaint tribute Sunday at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival’s Gentilly Stage, a photo of the honoree appeared on the big video screens flanking the stage. Toussaint looked sharp and grinned broadly. He seemed to be smiling despite, or in defiance of, the persistent rain and gray skies that would remain… Continue reading →

Mental health groups combining efforts in Lafayette

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- Denver Nobles, a mental health advocate who is diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, talks about his life and advocacy efforts Friday, April 29, 2016, at his home in Lafayette, La.

About 60 people from the legal system, law enforcement and social service agencies in Lafayette who deal with the mentally ill are meeting to try to come up with better ways to address challenges posed by those who suffer from mental illness. As is the case in much of the country, government-funded psychiatric care has fallen… Continue reading →

Louisiana expected to tweak rules on training new teachers

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  The George Washington Carver drumline brings the beat to the Recovery School District (RSD) and Collegiate Academies 'celebration of the opening of the new Edward Livingston building located at 7301 Dwyer Road on Thursday, August 27, 2015. Carver is using the site now but will move to another facility next year. Livingston cost $29 million dollars to build and was funded through FEMA. The building is 107,000 square feet and is designed to handle 718 students.

Louisiana education officials are considering changing teacher licensing requirements, two years after the state implemented an experimental program aimed at shoring up new teachers’ classroom skills. The program, dubbed Believe and Prepare, was launched in 2014 with five school districts, two charter school organizations and five “preparation providers,” which may be universities or alternative certification programs.… Continue reading →

Joel A. Erickson: Get QB early, plus other trends from 2016 NFL draft

California’s Jared Goff poses for photos after being selected by the Los Angeles Rams as the first pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, in Los Angeles Friday, April 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Now that the 2016 NFL draft is in the books, the temptation to start dreaming about the future and counting down the days to training camp is almost overwhelming. The end of the draft feels a little bit like the unofficial end of the offseason. But before we turn the page, there’s something to be said for taking… Continue reading →

Year after investigation into Evangeline parish law enforcement, still unclear where probes heading

A year after the U.S. Justice Department announced the agency had launched civil investigations into the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and Ville Platte Police Department, the government remains tight-lipped about how the probes are moving forward and local officials say they don’t know if they’re nearing conclusion. In its two public communications on the matters — an… Continue reading →

Acadiana Crime Blotter for May 2, 2016

Arrests posted May 1, 2016, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office’s website: WAYNE EDWARD ANGELLE: 21, of the 400 block of Paul Breaux Road, Lafayette. He was booked on municipal purposes. TOMMIE MICHAEL BROUSSARD JR.: 45, of the 500 block of Genevieve Drive, Lafayette. He was booked on misdemeanor… Continue reading →

East Baton Rouge school system showcases public school programs at event

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Denise Verrett, 15, paints a painting of Bob Marley using the fauvism technique during the EBR School systemÕs "CelEBRate" block party, Saturday, April 30, 2016, at McKinley Middle School in Baton Rouge, La.

The East Baton Rouge Parish school system’s public and magnet schools showcased their academic and extracurricular programs during the first “CelEBRate” event at McKinley Middle Magnet School on Saturday. After thunderstorms forced the event from the downtown riverfront to McKinley, parents, volunteers and community and school leaders packed into the narrow hallways as students participated in… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge police make arrest in attack on man robbed of $23

Bobby Collins

Baton Rouge police arrested a man Friday in a January incident in which the suspect’s second cousin was stabbed, knocked unconscious and robbed of $23. Bobby Collins, 53, struck the victim in the face shortly after another person stabbed the victim in the shoulder at an address on Billops Street, a Baton Rouge Police Department report… Continue reading →

Five booked on suspicion of DWI in East Baton Rouge from Friday to Saturday

Authorities arrested at least five people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between noon Friday and noon Saturday, booking records show. Those booked and the counts against them: Austin Boitnott, 20, 36430 Rosalie, Denham Springs, first-offense DWI, reckless operation and improper lane usage.… Continue reading →

Lightning strike punches hole through roof of Baton Rouge home

A lightning strike during severe weather Saturday afternoon punched a hole in a roof of a house off Perkins Road, the St. George Fire Department reported. Several units were dispatched to a Pendleton Way house around 2:30 p.m. Investigators found a hole at the peak of the roof, but no signs of a fire or other… Continue reading →

Lafayette crime blotter for April 30, 2016

Arrests posted Apr. 30, 2016, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s web site: PHILLIP JAMES ALEXANDER: 30, of the 100 block of Heidi Circle, Scott. He was booked on carjacking and felony violation of protective orders. PAUL JOSEPH ALLEMAN: 30, of the… Continue reading →

Former LSU tackle Jerald Hawkins selected by Steelers in fourth round

Advocate filephoto by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins, rightcongratulates running back Leonard Fournette after a touchdown in the Music City Bowl.

Former LSU offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins went to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 123rd pick in the fourth round of Saturday’s NFL Draft. Continue reading →

David Onyemata’s remarkable journey from Nigeria to the NFL lands Canadian star in New Orleans

University of Manitoba Bisons defensive tackle David Onyemata runs a drill for NFL scouts in Winnipeg, Man. Monday March 14, 2016. Brian Donogh/Winnipeg Sun/Postmedia Network

Five years ago, a soft knock at his office door interrupted Brian Dobie’s phone conversation. The University of Manitoba football coach turned to his left and immediately forgot about the phone call. A massive young man loomed in his doorway like an eclipse, a man Dobie instantly found himself hoping was a prospect he’d never met.… Continue reading →

$600 million question: Task Force looking at income taxes, other state budget alternatives

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Gov. John Bel Edwards answers questions during a press conference.

The blue ribbon commission whose recommendations Gov. John Bel Edwards hopes to incorporate in the agenda for the upcoming second special session is looking at income taxes as a way to immediately fix the budget. No decisions have been made — the members are still studying alternatives — but the need to find money soon, coupled with… Continue reading →

Community meetings set in Lafayette for public to weigh in on I-49 design alternatives

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Bruce Neck, right, and Dale Soileau, center, look over one of the refinement concepts proposed for the Lafayette Connector with Stephen Mensah, a representative of the Lafayette Connector Partners, on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, during an open house meeting to discuss the roadway's future.

Ten public meetings are set over the next two weeks for residents to chime in on an expanded list of design alternatives for Interstate 49 through Lafayette and ways to ensure the road, if ever built, blends with the surrounding neighborhoods. The state Department of Transportation and Development is hosting five community meetings beginning Tuesday for… Continue reading →

Lafayette mosquito control contractor scratches council’s itch; resumes special request spraying

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- Tommy Alesi, an inspector and sprayer for Mosquito Control Contractors, Inc., collects a water sample from a ditch while inspecting a neighborhood for mosquito larvae Friday, April 29, 2016, on Verna Street in Lafayette, La.

Lafayette’s mosquito control contractor has resumed answering special requests for spraying following an outcry by City-Parish Council members, who said constituents want to see the trucks roll when they call for them. Council members on Tuesday complained for nearly an hour to City-Parish Emergency Operations and Security Coordinator Bobby Cormier about a policy of not responding… Continue reading →