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2015 Baton Rouge Attorney Profiles
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East Baton Rouge Parish Homicide Map
A map listing homicides or suspected homicides in EBR Parish.
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Current gas prices in BR area.

Stephanie Grace: Super PACs shaping Louisiana’s governor race; see who's throwing thousands at each candidate

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., watches before an NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Up in Mount Vernon, Ohio, there’s a guy who’s concerned about Louisiana. Very, very concerned. So concerned that he recently cut a $150,000 check to the Fund for Louisiana’s Future. What Thomas Rastin was really supporting when he made the big donation, of course, wasn’t the state itself but U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s quest to become… Continue reading →

Our Views: Hillary Clinton’s decision to dodge questions about the Keystone XL pipeline makes no sense

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to questions during a campaign stop ,Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

As a former head of the U.S. State Department, there probably are some questions that Hillary Clinton ought not answer as a political candidate, because her opinions could prejudice some operation. Perhaps there could also be legal ramifications for some issue at State that is now in the courts. But does anyone think that the endlessly… Continue reading →

Letters: Columnist Jeff Sadow is wrong to support Bobby Jindal’s decision against Medicaid expansion

Columnist Jeff Sadow makes two basic claims in support of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s decision to turn his back on more than 300,000 working-age Louisiana adults who could benefit from Medicaid expansion: First, he says expansion costs the state too much. Second, he claims that having Medicaid coverage is no better than being uninsured — and that people might… Continue reading →

Our Views: Back-to-school vaccinations are a private and public health issue

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 file photo, a pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at his practice in Northridge, Calif. A new study published in the journal Science suggests the measles vaccine not only prevents measles, but may also help the body ward off other infections. The vaccine was in the spotlight this year after a large measles outbreak linked to Disneyland sickened people in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Despite all the controversy about vaccines, their value in preventing the spread of serious illness is indisputable. That’s why parents in Louisiana should make sure that their school-age children are current in all of their vaccinations as the school year approaches. Some parents have suggested that vaccines can produce autism in youngsters, and that belief has… Continue reading →

Letters: The benefits of maintaining TOPS outweigh the costs

Our lawmakers frequently tell us that the cost of TOPS is increasing so fast that the program cannot be sustained. They don’t tell us that 100 percent of TOPS funding goes from the state general fund, the tobacco trust fund and the tobacco settlement revenues into institutional budgets. In short, TOPS is a modest component of funding… Continue reading →

Letters: The 2015-16 Louisiana Student Standards Review deserves strong participation from the public

The 2015-16 Louisiana Student Standards Review gives parents, educators and all concerned citizens the chance to provide input on our state’s learning standards for English and math. This important review, led by Louisiana educators, ensures that K-12 education stays on the right track and that our current and future standards meet the needs of our students… Continue reading →

Lanny Keller: The Metro Council in tiff over tax-increment financing

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Mayor Kip Holden

When East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Bobby Simpson took office in 2001, the grand plan for revitalizing downtown Baton Rouge was on the drawing boards, but practically speaking, it faced a huge stumbling block: The blighted block of the old Capitol House hotel was an obstacle to progress. After at least a decade of failed efforts,… Continue reading →

Our Views: ‘The battle over preserving GOMESA is even more vital for those with a long-term commitment to Louisiana’s coastline’

By any measure, the dimensions of Louisiana’s effort to fight back against coastal erosion are going to be vastly enhanced over the next decade or so by the BP court settlement. That means not only more active projects but bigger ones, engineering the diversions of Mississippi River water and sediments to rebuild land along the state’s… Continue reading →

Letters: Lack of re-election doesn’t end the job for state representative Karen Gaudet St. Germain

I read with interest Sunday’s Capitol Buzz column titled “Lawmakers on national conference circuit.” In it, there’s the implication, although not stated outright, that it’s a waste of state money for Louisiana legislators to attend conferences with fellow lawmakers from other states where we participate in discussion panels related to issues we all face. The implication… Continue reading →

Letters: Rich Lowry’s review of ‘Between the World and Me’ is ‘harsh and hasty”

Columnist Rich Lowry’s critical review of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me” (The Advocate, Sunday, July 26, 6B) is harsh and hasty. Coates’ “view of America” is neither “toxic,” nor “silly,” nor “morally blinkered.” Coates, in the current issue of The Atlantic (July/August 2015, pages 85-86), contends that post-racial society is still a distant dream. This assertion… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders' message finds eager audience even in Louisiana, among reddest of red states

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO -- U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, Louisiana, Sunday, July 26, 2015.

When some 4,500 people venture out to a conservative New Orleans suburb on a sweltering Sunday night to cheer on a self-described socialist, it’s safe to say that something’s going on here. Bernie Sanders, the New York born, 73-year-old U.S. senator from Vermont, has emerged as a populist sensation on the Democratic… Continue reading →

Guest Column: Louisiana politicians spend outrageous time, resources blocking abortion under guise of 'protecting women'

Marlo Barrera

Recently, during the National Right to Life Convention in New Orleans, an annual anti-abortion conference, Gov. Bobby Jindal touted Louisiana as the “most pro-life” state. He flaunted the amount of anti-abortion restrictions that he has signed during his two terms in office, using “religious freedom” to justify taking away a woman’s ability to make her own decisions about… Continue reading →

Letters: It is time to rethink mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent offenses

In response to Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bowman’s Guest Column “How We Can Achieve True Prison Reform, Reduce Criminal Relapses” — we applaud the district attorney’s agreement that we in Louisiana “incarcerate too many people.” That is the starting point to any conversation. However, Mr. Bowman is wrong to argue the problem is not that we send… Continue reading →

Letters: Today’s biology textbooks fail our students by leaving out discussion of major biological puzzles

Recent news concerning the Louisiana black bear’s “endangered species” status calls to mind an interesting story from Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.” That important book’s first edition (1859) contains this account in chapter six (Difficulties on Theory): “In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus… Continue reading →

Letters: A recent letter to the editor that was clinging to a ‘lost cause’ battle flag was intellectually lazy

In response to the recent letter by Rebecca Carl, there is a reason KKK cowards hiding behind sheets display the Confederate flag, and it is not to teach civics or history classes. Her argument and that of others that removing public symbols is, as she said, “rewriting Southern history” is simply bogus. The history was already… Continue reading →

Jeff Sadow: Louisiana right to reject Medicaid expansion

Even as the Louisiana Legislature edged closer this year to embracing the folly of Medicaid expansion, the data continue to pile up underscoring how its adoption it would lay waste to future state budgets. As time has passed, states that already unwisely went the expansion route now project nasty surprises on the cost side. It seems practically… Continue reading →

James Gill: For whom the whistle blows, like it or not

It’s the same old story. You try to do someone a favor, but there’s not a word of thanks. Rerouting freight trains from Old Metairie to Hollygrove is an idea that has been kicking around for years, but the feds cannot put off a decision much longer. Jefferson Parish President John Young says… Continue reading →

Our Views: Lafayette a good place where something terrible happened... goodness will prevail

Law enforcement and other emergency personnel respond to the scene of a deadly shooting at the Grand Theatre on Thursday, July 23, 2015, in Lafayette, La. (Leslie Westbrook/The Advocate via AP)

Here in Louisiana, we often like to think of our state as a place apart from the rest of the world. There is comfort in that kind of attitude, since it gives us the feeling, however illusory, that we’re somehow insulated from the darker realities that govern life everywhere else on the planet. But Thursday night’s… Continue reading →

Edward Pratt: An organ donor’s unlikely tale

Photo provided by SUE POTTS -- Muriel Haysbert and Ed Pratt

My friend Muriel Haysbert has a new kidney that has given her a new lease on life. I wanted to interview her and the donor about how the process happened. Colette Greggs, the donor, initially refused. I told Greggs that her decision to be a donor might inspire… Continue reading →

Letters: In postwar life, Beauregard was advocate for equality

It is a shame that the vandals who defaced the Beauregard statue were not aware that he believed that black lives mattered as well. He swore an oath of loyalty, applied for a pardon under terms of President Andrew Johnston’s amnesty proclamation for ex-Confederates, and after it was granted, his remaining civil rights, including being able to hold… Continue reading →

Letters: United States in steep decline, isn’t enforcing own laws

The U.S. is in a steep decline in every way one looks at it. Current policies, local and federal, are creating lawlessness — examples being sanctuary cities, ignoring illegal aliens, not enforcing border laws. Federal laws are being broken and the federal government is complicit in turning illegal aliens and criminals loose on U.S. citizens. The… Continue reading →

Letters: Stop honoring slave-owning rebels

It is high time we stop honoring traitors who committed treason against the greatest and most democratic nation on the face of the Earth. These traitors fielded an army of rebellion, led by a slave owner, against a democratically elected government. All statues and monuments to these traitors should and must be pulled down, as their very existence… Continue reading →

Letters: Bullying a problem in the adult world, too

Bullying among kids in school is very real, as stated in the front-page item in your June 28 newspaper. But bullying is not confined to the schoolyard. It’s very much a way of life in the adult world. National companies move into small towns (2,000 to 6,000) and put local businesses out of business. One case in point,… Continue reading →

James Gill: Why Bobby Jindal is struggling to stand out, is going nowhere with his campaign

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

With Iowa knee-deep in ideologically indistinguishable GOP presidential candidates, standing out from the crowd requires an ability to beat the rest to the punch. Gov. Bobby Jindal has lately been the one with the fast hands. They can all abhor gay marriage, but he’s the one who came out immediately with an executive order to counter the… Continue reading →

Our Views: Donald Trump’s slur of John McCain is proof the GOP needs to tell him to ‘get lost’

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks at his South Carolina Campaign Kickoff Rally in Bluffton, S.C., Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Donald Trump wouldn't apologize after questioning whether Sen. John McCain -- who spent five years as a prisoner d

One doesn’t typically get to use, fairly anyway, words like “insane” about a presidential candidate, but Donald Trump has made that characterization possible with his comments about John McCain. The latter was the 2008 Republican nominee for president. We suspect there are not many Americans who do not know of McCain’s suffering as a prisoner of… Continue reading →

Letters: An audit of the Ethics Review Board or a review of its compliance would not be a wise use of public funds

James Gill’s column on July 19 took the Ethics Review Board (ERB) to task for transgressions reported by Professor David Marcello. As usual, I enjoyed Gill’s wit and sense of irony and there’s some truth to what Marcello wrote, though not much of significance. The ERB is composed of non-compensated citizens who meet six times a… Continue reading →