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New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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A map listing homicides or suspected homicides in EBR Parish.
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Current gas prices in BR area.

Improving traffic means more than just widening I-10, residents say

In the third of three public meetings, Baton Rouge area residents said Thursday night that far more than widening Interstate 10 is needed to relieve daily traffic jams. Building a new bridge across the Mississippi River, boosting the state sales or gasoline taxes and offering motorists faster travel lanes, if they haul multiple passengers, were among the… Continue reading →

Louisiana task force to study economic impact of illegal immigration on state taxpayers

A legislative task force that will issue a report on the economic impact that illegal immigration has on Louisiana taxpayers met briefly at the Capitol on Thursday. State Rep. Valarie Hodges, a Denham Springs Republican and author of the bill that created the Immigration Task Force this session, told the panel Thursday that the group is on a fact-finding mission. “We’re not… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal defends Kentucky clerk's right to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal supports the Kentucky clerk who has been jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Huffington Post caught up with the GOP presidential candidate in Iowa on Wednesday — less than 24 hours before a federal judge ordered Kim Davis to jail for contempt after she declined to issue marriage licenses to… Continue reading →

Kira Orange Jones announces bid for second BESE term

. Kira Orange Jones of New Orleans has formally announced plans to seek a second term on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. “I know the challenges and heartbreaking statistics for students of color trying to compete on an educational playing field that is not level,” Jones said. “For our children and our society, we must… Continue reading →

Louisiana gubernatorial candidates take part in student-led forum Wednesday night; David Vitter a no-show

Three of the four candidates for Louisiana governor fielded questions from college students in the first televised forum of the race Wednesday night. Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republicans Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle all participated in the forum, which aired across the state and online via Louisiana Public Broadcasting. The event featured questions from Southeastern Louisiana University and Northshore… Continue reading →

Jindal administration lawyer points to contractual clause that allows termination of clinics like Planned Parenthood

Under sharp questioning Wednesday by a federal district judge, a Jindal administration lawyer said the state has no quarrel with the quality of the care provided by Planned Parenthood, but canceled the contract because it could. Stephen Russo, representing the state Department of Health and Hospitals and DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert, said the state terminated… Continue reading →

LSU Faculty Senate takes up professor’s termination

LSU faculty members are raising concerns over the firing of an associate education professor over language used in the classroom and comments she made to students. University leaders say professor Teresa Buchanan created a hostile learning environment and had to be terminated. But the Faculty Senate spent more than an hour Wednesday debating Continue reading →

Pro-David Vitter PAC's ad blasts opponents on taxes; Vitter voted for one of the measures criticized

Senator David Vitter

As a state legislator in 1994, David Vitter voted for a new sales tax that an ad from a super PAC supporting his candidacy for governor now criticizes his opponent, fellow Republican Scott Angelle, for backing. In ominous tones, using unflattering video, the commercial claims Angelle supports an Internet sales tax that “would cost you nearly… Continue reading →

Congressman Garret Graves says state highways leaders lacking foresight for proposing I10 widening with no cash

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Garret Graves, Gov. Bobby Jindal's executive assistant for coastal activities, is seen in this July 2011 photo at  the Baton Rouge Press Club.

Sixth District Congressman Garret Graves said Tuesday that state highway leaders are showing a lack of foresight by proposing to widen Interstate 10 without the $350 million to pay for it. Doing so, Graves said, “is a bit myopic.” He added later, “Keep in mind you are talking about $350 million that you don’t have and… Continue reading →

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signs Grover Norquist-backed anti-tax pledge in presidential campaign

Though its adherence became a political football in the most recent legislative session, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has again signed the Americans for Tax Reform’s no-new-tax pledge — this time for his presidential campaign.

Bobby Jindal Grover Norquist ATR pledge
Gov. Bobby Jindal

ATR, in a Tuesday news release, applauded Jindal’s latest signing of the Grover Norquist-designed “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”

“Gov. Jindal… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal at No. 13 out of 17 GOP candidates on USA Today's college-football-style power rankings

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has come in at No. 13 in the first week of USA Today’s new 2016 GOP Power Rankings.

Inspired by the college football “Coaches Poll,” the GOP Power Rankings rely on a diverse group of analysts, activists and other experts to size up the Republican presidential field.

Unsurprisingly, businessman Donald Trump came out on top in… Continue reading →

Residents at I-10 widening hearing say daily grind has led some to retire, or drive miles out of their way to avoid gridlock

Baton Rouge area residents got their first chance Monday night to sound off on a state proposal to widen Interstate 10, and some are eager for major changes. The plan, which was offered by the top official of the state Department of Transportation and Development, would add a lane in each direction between the I-10… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge businesses seek detailed ways to improve traffic

Candidates for governor and legislative offices should spell out their plans to improve transportation in the State Capital, including congestion on Interstate 10, a coalition of Baton Rouge businesses said Monday morning. The comments were issued by the Capitol Region Industry for Sustainable Infrastrucuture Solutions, or CRISIS. The group was organized by the Baton Rouge Area… Continue reading →

Plan to widen I-10 'still a bad idea,' some homeowners, businesses say; others get chance to speak out at 6 p.m. today

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Looking from the Perkins Road Overpass, up Perkins Road where traffic flows across on the I-10 overpass. The state is toying with idea of widening I-10 from bridge to I-10/12 split.

The state’s latest plan to widen Interstate 10 through the heart of Baton Rouge is sparking opposition, skepticism and a smattering of wait and see. “It’s still a bad idea, absolutely,” said Troy Menier, whose family has operated Troy’s Barber Shop a few yards off Perkins Road by the interstate for nearly half a century. Irma… Continue reading →

State looks at centralized car pool for state-owned vehicles

The Jindal administration, which already is installing GPS monitors, is preparing another plan to address the state-owned vehicle fleet. Soon after taking office more than seven years ago, Gov. Bobby Jindal sold some of the state’s vehicles. And as he leaves office in January, the administration will be embarking on a pilot program to centralize the system.… Continue reading →

Jay Dardenne goes solo for gubernatorial forum; points out his lack of prostitution participation as compared to David Vitter

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne was the only gubernatorial candidate to show for a WRKF forum on Friday night, according to a Twitter posting. Dardenne opted to field questions from the audience which included the topics of education, film production tax credits and dealing with Baton Rouge traffic woes. One question asked of Dardenne was how is… Continue reading →

TOPS to cost $19 million more than budgeted; deficit could mean cuts to higher ed funding

TOPS, Louisiana’s popular college scholarship program, is expected to cost about $19 million more this year than the state Legislature dedicated to spending on it. Leaders say they are working to resolve the issue — they promise students won’t be shortchanged on their individual awards — but the difference likely will translate into fewer dollars flowing… Continue reading →

Louisiana improves ACT test scores, but still ranks below national average

Louisiana continues to rank below the national average — and near the bottom among all states — in average composite scores for students taking the ACT college readiness test. However, state officials note that the state did move up in the latest national ACT data. And the state education department said the state’s improvement from 19.2 to… Continue reading →

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal tells President Obama in letter: 'Don't politicize Katrina'

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has penned a letter to President Barack Obama in advance of Obama’s trip to New Orleans for the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In the letter, Jindal says he’s happy to welcome Obama to Louisiana, but he’s “disappointed” that the Democratic president has made the trip part of what Jindal calls “a tour for (Obama’s)… Continue reading →

In radio ad, Sen. David Vitter says “moving” Washington Street exit could offer traffic relief in Baton Rouge

Advocate Staff Photo by Travis Spradling. DIT.  Picture shot on 3-10-01.    Julian Ledet (left) and Alton Rogers, traffic signs workers for the La. Department of Transportation and Development, gingerly remove the exit sign for Washington Street hanging above the roadway on the Mississippi River Bridge entrance ramp to I-10 eastbound, at about 2:40 p.m. Saturday afternoon.  The sign had vibrated loose, and was a hazard to passing vehicles, causing traffic problems for several hours Saturday.       Keyword Public Works

U.S. Sen. David Vitter, in his bid for governor, is running a radio advertisement that says “moving the Washington Street exit” is one way to trim traffic problems in Baton Rouge. The exit is one of the choke points on a 4-mile corridor that is under review by the state Department of Transportation and Development, and the… Continue reading →

Janet Huckabee campaigning for husband in Louisiana

Advocate staff photo by ELIZABETH CRISP -- Janet Huckabee, the former first lady of Arkansas and wife of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, spoke Tuesday to the City of Central Chamber of Commerce. Shes on a statewide tour of Louisiana on behalf of her husbands campaign. She also visited Denham Springs and Lafayette on Tuesday. She is scheduled to appear Wednesday at Louisiana College in Pineville Natchitoches and Bossier City.

Janet Huckabee told a mostly female crowd gathered in Central on Tuesday that her husband, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, is the Republican presidential candidate who can steer America in the “right” direction. “If you do your research, you can see he is one to be trusted,” she said during the Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “I don’t… Continue reading →

Planned Parenthood sues over Bobby Jindal's order to yank Medicaid funding

Advocate staff file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- From left, Lafayette's Julie Campeaux, Prairieville's Carter LeBlanc and daughter Gabby LeBlanc, 10, and Katelin Arabie, a Dallas resident studying at The University of Louisiana-Lafayette, hold signs at the 'Women Betrayed' rally outside Planned Parenthood Baton Rouge at 3955 Government St. on July 28, 2015.

Planned Parenthood went to federal court Tuesday to try to block Gov. Bobby Jindal’s attempt to yank Medicaid funding from its Louisiana operations. Planned Parenthood estimates more than 5,200 of its patients using Baton Rouge and New Orleans facilities could lose access to health care on Sept. 2, if the court doesn’t step in and stop Jindal… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge GOP strays from state party, backs incumbent Buddy Caldwell for Attorney General

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell spoke May 12 to the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish about the accomplishments of his office.

Taking a position at odds with the state party, the largest parish Republican organization on Tuesday will announce it is backing Buddy Caldwell’s re-election bid for state attorney general. Addressing one of the reasons why the state GOP backed another candidate, Woody Jenkins, chairman of the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish, said of Caldwell,… Continue reading →

Wife of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is coming to Louisiana this week to campaign for him

Janet Huckabee, wife of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, will be in Louisiana this week to stump for her husband’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. According to Mike Huckabee’s campaign team, the former Arkansas First Lady will make appearances in Greenwell Springs, Denham Springs and Lafayette on Tuesday. On Wednesday, she’ll head toContinue reading →