True BR: A belle of a bakery (Video)

Sugar Belle cupcakes. Video by Kevin McQuarn

Kasie Coleman was a pharmaceutical sales representative before being diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. After fighting the disease for two years, she decided to change her life. Instead of going back to her former profession, the avid baker opened Sugar Belle. Specializing in cupcakes, pralines and bundt cakes, the bakery was an instant hit. In … Continue reading →

Video: Way of the Cross

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Catholic faithful walk past the State Capitol grounds during the 19th annual Way of the Cross on Friday in Baton Rouge. The 14-station, 1.5 mile walk began and ended at St. Joseph Cathedral, with stops through Arsenal Park and the State Capitol steps.

Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge and St. Joseph Cathedral hosted their annual Way of the Cross downtown Good Friday. The procession started at St. Joseph Cathedral and travelled to 14-station stations throughout the State Capitol grounds. The procession ended at the steps of the Cathedral. … Continue reading →

True BR: Inside the Elmer Chocolate factory (Video)

Heavenly Hash, Gold Brick and Pecan Eggs have been an Easter tradition in Baton Rouge homes for well over a century. Advocate video by Kevin McQuarn

Heavenly Hash, Gold Brick and Pecan Eggs have been an Easter tradition in Baton Rouge homes for well over a century. Located in Ponchatoula, Elmer Chocolate was founded in 1855 and is one of the oldest family-owned candy companies in America. Even though the business is known locally for its Easter candies, Robert Nelson, president and CEO, tells … Continue reading →

Air travelers can apply for security clearance in BR

Advocate staff photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- A Delta Airlines jet takes off from Baton Rouge Metro Airport in this February 2013 Advocate file photo.

The Transportation Security Administration has set up an enrollment center in Baton Rouge, its 10th in Louisiana, to help frequent air travelers get to their plane more quickly and with less hassle. The TSA Precheck program, started in 2011, allows U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to go through advanced screenings prior to travel, then bypass … Continue reading →

Official: Gonzales man kills wife, attempts to kill self

Advocate Staff Photo by David J. MitchellAscension Parish Sheriff's deputies say Gerardo Lua, 38, 13250 Roddy Road, Lot 11, Gonzales, shot his wife, Alejandra Orozco, 36, and then himself early Thursday in a mobile home, seen here, in Cobb's Trailer Park outside Gonzales. The couple's son found their bodies in the rear of the trailer. Lua remained in critical condition Thursday with a head wound. Orozco is dead, deputies said.

A Gonzales-area man who had been estranged from his wife fatally shot her in the head shortly after midnight Thursday in their mobile home, then turned the revolver on himself, Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies reported. Gerardo Lua, 38, 13250 Roddy Road, Lot 11, Gonzales, remained in critical condition Thursday afternoon at an area … Continue reading →

Video: Branford Marsalis visits BRCC

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Branford Marsalis, center, performs with the Baton Rouge Community College Jazz Ensemble, band director Eric Baskin, left, and trombone soloist David Harris on Wednesday at BRCC.  The event was free and open to the public as part of BRCC's 6th annual Arts Fest, which runs this week and next.  Marsalis answered questions from the audience, citing the biggest challenge for a musician is to continue to grow in self-expression.  Baskin and Marsalis performed together while in the Southern University marching band years ago.

Branford Marsalis plays with the Baton Rouge Community College Jazz Ensemble for students and the public during the school’s 6th annual Arts Fest. He shares a piece of wisdom with the band, prompted by a question from the audience – “What is the hardest thing about being a musician?”. … Continue reading →

Maestro develops noteworthy exercise routine for seniors

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Baton in hand, maestro David Dworkin, foreground, conducts his Conductorcise fitness workout.

Having studied at Juilliard, then performed in and conducted orchestras for almost 60 years, David Dworkin’s life has revolved around music. It still does, though Dworkin keeps trying to get others to do the revolving. And kicking. And jumping. And swinging their arms. Just about any kind of movement at all will do. … Continue reading →

Video tracks LSU Band’s journey to Ireland

Photo by Moe Athmann --The Golden Band from Tigerland brought some purple to Dublin, Ireland’s annual St. Patrick’s Festival Parade, and Moe Athmann was there to video the adventure.

The Golden Band from Tigerland brought some purple to Dublin, Ireland’s annual St. Patrick’s Festival Parade, and Moe Athmann was there to video the adventure. Follow the band’s journey from the United States to Ireland and were it joined with other bands from U.S., Ireland, Estonia and Germany in the parade. Dublin has hosted the festival every … Continue reading →

Hammond girl’s bullying leads to lawsuit against school

Video screen shot of Jeanine Holmes and her attorney Felix Sternfels, left.

The parents of a 13-year-old Hammond Catholic school student say their daughter was hospitalized because of constant bullying by two classmates and the school not only failed to take proper disciplinary action against the bullies but forced their daughter to leave the school. William and Jeanine Holmes, the girl’s parents, allege … Continue reading →

Police locate 10-year-old girl, missing since Tuesday

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Eriel Cottrell, 10, is reunited with her adoptive mother Angelique Cottrell, after Baton Rouge police returned the girl, who had been missing since late Tuesday after arguing with her mother about school.

The tearful embrace was instant, with the argument that tore them apart the day before having been forgotten. Angelique Cottrell bolted out of her kitchen door and grabbed her daughter, Eriel Cottrell, 10, tight, hugging her, making her promise she would never run away again after Baton Rouge missing persons detectives arrived in the Cottrell family’s … Continue reading →

Long-awaited work on La. 42 in Ascension starts

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Miriam LaCroix, background center, watches as her sister Loretta Templet, left, chats with DOTD Secretary Sherri LeBas, right, after the DOTD news conference on the long-awaited road improvement project on La. 42, which will widen the busy two-lane road to a divided four-lane highway. The price of the total project is pushing $60 million. LaCroix and Templet had children who were killed in an accident on La. 42 almost twenty years ago and have been advocating expansion of the roadway since.

Loretta Templet and Sherri LeBas hugged outside an Ascension Parish library along La. 42 shortly after LeBas, the Louisiana secretary of transportation, announced Tuesday the state will start major work on a long-awaited project to widen the two-lane highway. Templet’s daughter Mandy Acosta, 18; Acosta’s cousin Brett … Continue reading →

Nikki Caldwell wants more than hunger from her LSU women

Associated Press photo by Rogelio V. Solis -- LSU guard Jeanne Kenney responds to a question at a news conference Monday. LSU faces West Virginia in an NCAA women's basketball tournament second-round game Tuesday.

Welcome to The Hunger Game. Actually, if LSU coach Nikki Caldwell has her way, her Lady Tigers’ matchup Tuesday night with West Virginia in their NCAA tournament second-round game will be more desperate than that. “This time of year, it’s anybody’s game to take,” Caldwell said at Monday’s pregame news conference. “We have a veteran squad, … Continue reading →

Video: Playing the worries away

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- After being turned down for a job earlier in the day, amateur musician Levy Sims Jr., 47, from Paincourtville, plays one of the many instruments he brought with him to Louisiana Square on Wednesday in Donaldsonville. 'No matter what kind of problems that I face and come along to deal with, when I start playing music I'm able to let it all flow away,' he said.

After being turned down for a job earlier on a recent March day, amateur musician Levy Sims Jr., 47, of Paincourtville, turned to music. He plays many instruments and brought some with him to Louisiana Square in Donaldsonville, where he played and talked about the power of music. ‘No matter what kind of problems that I face and come … Continue reading →

Rare genetic disorder hasn't stopped Tucker

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- A rare genetic disorder has robbed Brandon Tucker of much of his hearing and vision. CrossFit, says his wife Courtney, is giving him confidence to meet life's new challenges. And trainer Amber Leonard, right, is always looking for ways for him to up his game.

Sweaty and determined, Brandon Tucker stands before the 24-inch box, a staple of the no-frills CrossFit workout. He can’t see the box, only the contrast between it and the white concrete floor. So he focuses on what he can see — a beam of light coming through the glass door. He … Continue reading →

Tatted Up: The artist behind the ink (Video)

Glynn Morace, a tattoo artist at Art Addiction Tattoo Studio in Baton Rouge, finishes a tattoo of a tree behind an owl.  Video by Kevin McQuarn

Glynn Morace was tired of being laid off from area plants when he became a tattoo artist 10 years ago. He now believes that his art—whether on paper, canvas or skin—not only gives him artistic freedom, but helps to relieve his stress. Morace currently works at the Art Addiction Tattoo Studio in Baton Rouge. … Continue reading →