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Video: Russell County Sheriff tells of family troubles, gun permit rejection of Lafayette theater shooter John Houser

Video still from an Advocate interview with Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor about Lafayette shooter John Houser's family background and mental illness problems.

Advocate reporter Maya Lau sat down with Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor on Friday and asked about John Houser's family background, domestic troubles and if his mental illness factored into his rejection for getting a gun permit.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge men nearly gave up on finding love, become first same-sex couple to wed in parish

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- From left, Justice of the Peace Moses Evans, Jr., jokes around with newlyweds Ronald Granger and Madison Maddux at Evans' Chapel, Monday, June 29, 2015, in Baton Rouge.

Madison Maddux and Ronald Granger had each “given up” a little over three years ago, disappointed by the string of bad relationships that seemed to come standard issue with dating. So after they met in a bar in Memphis, Tennessee, Granger was surprised to feel “like, ‘that’s it; this is what I’ve been waiting for.’ ” But though… Continue reading →

Video: LSU student describes how several men entered apartment, broke down roommate's door, left with several items

Advocate photo by Maya Lau  --  Anthony Jennings, Maquedius Bain and Dwayne Thomas are accused of breaking into an interior room of Apartment 403 in the West Campus Apartments at LSU on Friday, June 12, 2015.

Quarterback Anthony Jennings, cornerback Dwayne Thomas and defensive tackle Maquedius Bain were arrested and booked on unauthorized entry into a inhabited dwelling after entering the home of a fellow student, police records show. Thomas was also booked on simple burglary. On Sunday, six or seven males were able to enter the bedroom of Nicholas Anderson, destroying the… Continue reading →

Report: Bizarre debate in U.S. House between Louisiana, Colorado congressmen: 'I bet maybe smoking crayfish ain’t good for you'

Image from C-SPAN video -- U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-La.

When U.S. Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana got into a debate over marijuana with Colorado Congressman Jared Polis on the U.S. House floor, a strange thing happened, according to Denver Post blogger Lynn Bartels. For some reason, a bizarre discussion erupted about crayfish, er, crawfish. Polis took offense at Fleming’s… Continue reading →

'He was screaming and cussing me out, calling me horrible words,' says woman kicked out of Houma seafood market for wearing tank top

A Houma woman is offended and upset after she was kicked out of a local seafood store and berated for wearing a tank top, reports Lafayette radio station 99.9KTDY, which interviewed the woman and her daughter on air about their experience. Cookie Pierre and her daughter, Sunny, were at the Sea-Go seafood store on Grand… Continue reading →

As jury is almost seated, Plaquemine man decides to plead guilty in execution style slaying of friend at fishing camp

Detrell Scott

A 22-year-old man accused of robbing and fatally shooting his friend unexpectedly flipped the script during trial proceedings Wednesday, deciding to plead guilty to the crime just moments before lawyers were about to seat the final members of the jury. Moments later, a state district court judge sentenced Detrell… Continue reading →

Annual Breaux Bridge crawfish festival proves a hit with visitors in seach of food, music, fun

Advocate Photo by LEE CELANO  - John Burns of New Orleans cheers on Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival Sat., May 2, 2015.

From the lookout atop the Ferris wheel at the 55th annual Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, Parc Hardy resembled a colorful wave spreading over the grassy field on Saturday. Over a three-day period, more than 35,000 people from around the world were expected at this year’s event. Festivalgoers enjoyed Cajun two-stepping to music like D.L. Menard’s… Continue reading →

Video: Pinwheels for Prevention

Blue pinwheels dot the south lawn at the Louisiana State Capitol, Friday, Apr. 24, 2015. The Pinwheels for Prevention campaign is a national movement which utilizes the pinwheel as a symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention.

Blue pinwheels dot the south lawn at the Louisiana State Capitol, Friday, Apr. 24, 2015. The Pinwheels for Prevention campaign is a national movement which utilizes the pinwheel as a symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention. The pinwheel represents happy, healthy kids. Each April, during Child Abuse Prevention Month, blue pinwheels are planted throughout the nation to… Continue reading →

Madison Prep basketball standout Brandon Sampson signs with LSU

Advocate file photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Madison Prep's Brandon Sampson, Louisiana's Mr. Basketball, signed with LSU on Monday morning.

Brandon Sampson said he took St. John’s decision to part ways with coach Steve Lavin last month as a sign. Ultimately, that sign led Louisiana’s reigning Mr. Basketball to sign with LSU on Monday morning. “Not everybody gets a second chance to get recruited,” Sampson said after signing a letter-of-intent with the Tigers. “It was… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge residents sing 'When a Man Loves a Woman' in remembrance of 'kind-hearted' singer Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge, singer of “When a Man Loves a Woman,” the wrenching soul classic and No. 1 hit from 1966, died Tuesday morning in Baton Rouge. Sledge’s daughter, Tanya Jones, confirmed her father’s death. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy nominee was 74. Her father… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal and ... twerking elephants? Special animation shows how governor is trying to dance to White House

Here’s the latest animation from Advocate cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman. In Walt's new song-parody animation, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal tries to sing and dance his way to the White house.… Continue reading →

Environmental groups say ongoing effects of BP oil spill not always visible to the eye, but damage is continuing

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Louisiana State Director of the National Wildlife Federation's Louisiana Coastal Campaign David Muth holds a picture of nesting brown Pelicans on Cat Island in Barataria Bay five years ago with the empty mostly eroded island in the background seen today five years after the BP Oil Spill in Plaquemines Parish, La. Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Once a rookery for thousands of birds the island is almost devoid of life and being claimed by erosion.

On a boat ride Tuesday from Myrtle Grove through Barataria Bay to see what remains of the Deepwater Horizon oil almost five years after the April 20, 2010, disaster, it all looks so normal. There are no absorbent booms lining the beach, barely weathered oil is not pooling in the marsh… Continue reading →

New video shows entire fight at Southern women's basketball game, including what triggered the brawl, who was involved

Image from video -- Officials from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, Southern and Texas Southern are evaluating a brawl between those two schools women

Officials from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, Southern and Texas Southern are evaluating a brawl... Continue reading →

Sister: Jamie Croom refused to surrender, even if it meant dying, he had no intention of returning to jail

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- The casket carrying the body of deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells is taken out of Hall Davis and Son Funeral home Wednesday afternoon, to be loaded into a nearby hearse, as an honor guard comprised of East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office and Baker Police Department stands at attention, and family, friends and other law enforcement officers watch. Wells was killed yesterday in Baton Rouge.

Jamie D. Croom refused to go back to jail, even if it meant dying at the hands of law enforcement officers, his sister said. So when the Middle Louisiana Fugitive Task Force on Tuesday morning surrounded him at a small motel in north Baton Rouge — covering both the front and back of the building — Croom… Continue reading →

LSU sophomore Russell Reynolds gets a chance to pound the strike zone in his first start in nearly two years

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU's Russell Reynolds threw only curveballs in the 10th inning Sunday against South Alabama at Alex Box Stadium.

Russell Reynolds has one goal for this first start in nearly two years: “Pound the zone,” he said. Reynolds, a sophomore from Baton Rouge, will start on the mound Wednesday in LSU’s matinee meeting with McNeese State. The Tigers (15-1) and Cowboys (11-5) are set to meet at 4 p.m. – a game moved up… Continue reading →