WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Links Links en-us Copyright 2017, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sun, 26 Mar 2017 01:03:35 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Uber unveils Mardi Gras plan called 'The Box' http://www.wbrz.com/news/uber-unveils-mardi-gras-plan-called-the-box-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/uber-unveils-mardi-gras-plan-called-the-box-/ Links Wed, 15 Feb 2017 3:37:39 PM Kevin Dupuy Uber unveils Mardi Gras plan called 'The Box'

NEW ORLEANS – Uber unveiled its new plans for Mardi Gras weekend, and it’s called “The Box.”

The company says that road closures will make it difficult for its drivers to cross St. Charles Ave. “The Box” is the area designated between St. Charles Ave to the Mississippi River and Napoleon Avenue to Canal Street.

Uber riders who want to travel somewhere in that designated zone can requests rides as usual. But, if you want to go to a destination outside “the box,” you will have to walk outside of the zone to request a ride.

Uber said the company will have drive-partners operating both inside and outside the box during Mardi Gras weekend. The company also offers these tips if you are planning on requesting a ride:

Know before you go: Before you request an Uber, you’ll see the total cost of your ride so there are no unwelcome fare surprises after your ride is over. Fares may go up or down based on how many people are requesting a ride, so if it’s out of your price range, check back later for lower fares.

Split the fare: Share an Uber with your krewe and split the fare among multiple people. uberX can seat up to 4, while uberXL can handle groups up to 6 passengers.

Confirm your driver: There will be multiple people requesting rides after parades, so make sure you get into the right car with the right driver. Double check your driver's car model, license plate, and photo in the app before you hop in your ride. Uber rides can only be requested through the app, so never accept street hail solicitations from those claiming to be Uber.

Share your trip details: Need to let your group know when you'll arrive? Share your trip details with them from the app.

Be nice or leave: Mardi Gras should be a fun time for all so please be considerate to your driver. respect their vehicle and follow our Community Guidelines so that everyone can enjoy the spirit of the season.

Avoid a cleaning fee: Make sure you don't get caught up in a cleaning fee cleaning fee by keeping the costumes and glitter in check.

Contact Support Leave your mask behind? Don't worry, you can contact your driverdirectly in the app to track down a lost item. Or contact our Help Center for all other issues. For emergencies always call 911.

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Disaster recovery fair to be held in Denham Springs Feb. 18 http://www.wbrz.com/news/disaster-recovery-fair-to-be-held-in-denham-springs-feb-18/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/disaster-recovery-fair-to-be-held-in-denham-springs-feb-18/ Links Wed, 15 Feb 2017 10:36:22 AM Alicia Serrano Disaster recovery fair to be held in Denham Springs Feb. 18

DENHAM SPRINGS – A disaster recovery resource fair will be held in Denham Springs for homeowners and renters.

The fair will be held on Feb. 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North Park Auditorium located at 30372 Eden Road. The event is free to the public.

The fair is a "one-stop-shop" for homeowners and renters to find information and guidance from federal, state, local and non-profit agencies regarding disaster recovery. Participants include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, FEMA, the USDA, the state of Louisiana, Louisiana Housing Corporation, the City of Denham Springs, Livingston Parish, legal aid organizations and others.

Homeowners and renters affected by floods and severe weather can get information about the following:

        Housing resources
        Flood insurance
        Foreclosure prevention
        Title issuance and successions
        Legal services
        Disaster Tax Relief
        Rebuilding safer and stronger

For more information or directions, call the Louisiana Housing Corporation at 888-454-2001.

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Red Cross tips for what to do after a tornado http://www.wbrz.com/news/red-cross-tips-for-what-to-do-after-a-tornado/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/red-cross-tips-for-what-to-do-after-a-tornado/ Links Tue, 7 Feb 2017 12:49:58 PM Alicia Serrano Red Cross tips for what to do after a tornado

American Red Cross responders are moving into impacted areas to assist residents due to severe weather and tornadoes that struck Southeast Louisiana on Tuesday.

Red Cross issued the following tips to residents on what to do following a tornado:

 - Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.

-  If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.

-  Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes when examining your walls, doors, staircases and windows for damage.

-  Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and report them to the utility company immediately.

-  Stay out of damaged buildings.

-  Use battery-powered flashlights when examining buildings – do NOT use candles.

-  If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out of the building quickly and call the gas company or fire department.

- Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance claims.

- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

-  Keep all of your animals under your direct control.

-  Clean up spilled medications, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids that could become a fire hazard.

-  Check for injuries. If you are trained, provide first aid to persons in need until emergency responders arrive.

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City-parish to begin demolishing abandoned, flood-damaged homes http://www.wbrz.com/news/city-parish-to-begin-demolishing-abandoned-flood-damaged-homes/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/city-parish-to-begin-demolishing-abandoned-flood-damaged-homes/ Links Mon, 6 Feb 2017 6:05:41 PM Trey Schmaltz City-parish to begin demolishing abandoned, flood-damaged homes

BATON ROUGE – Abandoned, flood-damaged homes will be torn down soon, the city-parish said in a news release late Monday.

Officials will start to condemn and demolish housing units flooded and let behind by owners. The mayor's office said structures that cause significant blight, public health and safety concerns will be targeted first. Demolition will begin on some houses in the coming weeks, the city said.

Also, the city was approved to extend its debris removal process until August.

“We know the very difficult path toward long-term recovery for our residents is one that continues for so many of us who were impacted by the August 2016 flooding,” said Mayor Sharon Weston Broome. “This extension provides a much needed opportunity to utilize federal resources to support that recovery process across our most heavily impacted neighborhoods while continuing to address the needs of our residents associated with the flood debris that still remains across Baton Rouge.”

 People still in need of flood debris collection should contact the Department of Environmental Services at (225) 389-4865.


Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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Huge turnout at tax-help event leaves many flood victims empty-handed http://www.wbrz.com/news/huge-turnout-at-tax-help-event-leaves-many-flood-victims-empty-handed/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/huge-turnout-at-tax-help-event-leaves-many-flood-victims-empty-handed/ Links Fri, 3 Feb 2017 1:16:04 PM WBRZ Staff Huge turnout at tax-help event leaves many flood victims empty-handed

BATON ROUGE –So many flood victims showed up to have their income taxes filed at an event organized by the United Way that many families had to leave empty-handed.

The Capital Area United Way offered a free tax-help event Saturday for those who needed assistance preparing their taxes. The event, Super Tax Day, featured certified tax volunteers, pro bono legal advice, financial workshops and other community resources for residents to get their taxes done for free.

The turnout was so huge, not everyone could get the help they needed. Those who weren't fortunate enough to be assisted had to be booked for another day.

Lorenzo Lafleur and his family came out to the Main Library to get help with income taxes.

They lost everything in the flood.

"I want to know is there is going to be some type of way to write it off. Some kind of way to help us out, to get back on our feet," Lafleur said.

He is not alone.

"With flooding, I think there had been a spike in the demand for low or no cost tax preperation services," George Bell with the United Way said.

Income taxes are confusing. Factor in all of the flood victims and filing is even more complicated.

FEMA and flood insurance money are not taxable and you get a big write off for uncovered flood damage.

"If you loss is greater than your income, than you income goes down to zero. So anything the government or employer withheld, you get it all back," tax preparer Jim Haslitt said

Some of these tax preparers are employees of Entergy who are volunteering their time to help people in need file their taxes.

"These employees see such a great need in doing this in their community, that they went out and got certified to do these tax returns," Kristin Masoner with Entergy said,

Like most of the folks who showed up, Lafleur couldn't get help this day. Instead, he has to hope he can get his taxes done at a later date.

To get free help filing your income taxes, you can dial United Way's help line at 211 or log onto entergy.com/freetaxhelp

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Livingston Parish public schools will remain open 21 minutes longer http://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-parish-public-schools-will-remain-open-21-minutes-longer/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-parish-public-schools-will-remain-open-21-minutes-longer/ Links Tue, 3 Jan 2017 10:58:20 AM Kevin Dupuy Livingston Parish public schools will remain open 21 minutes longer

DENHAM SPRINGS – Students in Livingston Parish will have to stay in school an extra 21 minutes longer this spring semester.

School officials announced Tuesday that all public schools will add 21 minutes of instructional time to their master schedules. This time will be divided between the start and end of each school day. Classes will begin 10 minutes earlier in the morning and will end 11 minutes later in the afternoon.

Officials say this replacement time schedule will start on Jan. 5, 2017 and will continue until May 24, 2017.


Albany High


Albany Lower


Albany Middle


Albany Upper


Denham Springs Elementary


Denham Springs Freshmen High


Denham Springs High


Denham Springs Junior


Doyle Elementary


Doyle Highe


Eastside Elementary


French Settlement Elementary


French Settlement High


Freshwater Elementary


Frost Elementary


Gray’s Creek Elementary


Holden High


Juban Parc Elementary


Juban Parc Junior High


Levi Milton Elem


Lewis Vincent Elem


Literacy and Technology Center


Live Oak Elementary


Live Oak High


Live Oak Middle


Maurepas High


North Corbin Elementary


North Corbin Junior High


North Live Oak Elementary


Northside Elementary




Pine Ridge


Seventh Ward Elementary


South Fork Elementary


South Live Oak Elementary


South Walker Elementary


Southside Elementary


Southside Junior High


Springfield Elementary


Springfield High


Springfield Middle


Walker Elementary


Walker Freshmen High


Walker High


Westside Junior High



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BRAF offers free service to clear property titles for flooded homes http://www.wbrz.com/news/braf-offers-free-service-to-clear-property-titles-for-flooded-homes/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/braf-offers-free-service-to-clear-property-titles-for-flooded-homes/ Links Wed, 30 Nov 2016 4:40:43 PM Alicia Serrano BRAF offers free service to clear property titles for flooded homes

BATON ROUGE – The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, with support from a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant, is offering a free program to help people clear property titles for residents in flood-damaged homes.

According to BRAF, FEMA has denied funding to more than 2,500 people in disaster-impacted parishes who could not prove home ownership. The new free program could potentially make low-income residents eligible for hundreds or thousands of dollars in federal grants to help in repairing their flood-damaged homes.

With a clear title, homeowners may receive money for rebuilding their homes that were impacted from the flood.

To qualify for the program, the flooded home must be the resident's primary residence and located in East Baton Rouge, Livingston and Ascension parishes. Residents must also meet an income eligibility. 

People can apply for assistance at apply.lanonprofitjustice.org or by calling 1-844-244-7871.

BRAF and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation hope to clear 500 titles while searching for ongoing funding for the program. Both organizations have come together to commit $550,000 to the program. 

Also contributing to the program are Capital Area United Way, Greater New Orleans Foundation and the Louisiana Bar Foundation.

The program will be overseen by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, who is partnering with the following organizations for the work:

- Baton Rouge Bar Foundation

- Southern University Law Center

- LSU Law Clinic

- Baton Rouge Bar Association, Louisiana Appleseed

- Equal Justice Works

- Louisiana State Bar Association

- Louisiana Bar Foundation

- East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority

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Taxes to fund road work, transportation projects on December ballot http://www.wbrz.com/news/taxes-to-fund-road-work-transportation-projects-on-december-ballot/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/taxes-to-fund-road-work-transportation-projects-on-december-ballot/ Links Tue, 29 Nov 2016 2:44:42 PM Ashley Fruge Taxes to fund road work, transportation projects on December ballot

BATON ROUGE – On the December ballot, East Baton Rouge voters will get a chance to vote on two taxes that will fund road work and transportation projects.

The city wants voters to vote for the re-purposing of the existing tax and to add a 5-mill property tax.

"The plan is here we want to accelerate, expand, and extend, the existing Green Light Plan," Steve Bonnette, of the Department of Transportation and Drainage, said.

The Green Light Plan was approved by voters eleven years ago. 70 percent of the 25-year-long project is complete.

Officials say the increase in property tax is about $60 for a $200,000 home and that would pay for the remaining projects and about 40 new ones. A value some say would be worth the tax.

"I'm for it, I mean the traffic everywhere in Baton Rouge is bad, I mean when you are trying to get to work and trying to get home, I don't see why it would hurt to spend a few extra dollars so I can get on where I need to go, or get home," Yancie David, one driver, said.

"I'm tired of sitting in traffic everyday, anything to help it, I'd be willing to vote for it," Scott Beckman, another driver, said.

Voters will be able to decide on two separate tax proposals. There is a sales tax which will help projects like fixing potholes and roadways and there is a property tax that will help with capacity such as a project to widen Nicholson Drive, where there is always congestion.

If city projects like widening Nicholson do get the green light, it will work hand in hand with state-wide improvements.

"They are considering, possibly a new bridge, crossing south of the existing bridge, and if that were to happen, that crossing would probably connect with Nicholson Drive, at some location along there and we feel like we would be prepared for that," Bonnette said.

There are about 1,600 miles of streets in East Baton Rouge and current funding allows for only 20 miles a year. The city says the re-purposed sales tax would change that.

"We want to keep this same pace of this program. We hope the citizens have seen this is successful and they want to keep this program moving forward,"Bonnette said.

A series of meetings about the Green Light Proposal is being hosted by the City-Parish. The meeting schedule is below:

Tuesday, Nov. 29

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Council District 11
Main Library 
7711 Goodwood Blvd.

Wednesday, Nov. 30
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Council District 5
Charles R. Kelly Community Center 
3535 Riley Street 

Thursday, Dec. 1
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Council District 10
Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Center
950 Washington E. Street 

Monday, Dec. 5
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 

Council Districts 12 & 3
Bluebonnet Branch Library
9200 Bluebonnet Blvd.

Tuesday, Dec. 6
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Council Districts 6 & 7
Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center
400 Gus Young Avenue 

Thursday, Dec. 8
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 

Council District 2
Scotlandville Branch Library 
7373 Scenic Highway 

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Juban Crossing stores reopen in time for Black Friday http://www.wbrz.com/news/juban-crossing-stores-reopen-in-time-for-black-friday/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/juban-crossing-stores-reopen-in-time-for-black-friday/ Links Wed, 23 Nov 2016 3:46:15 PM Michael Vinsanau Juban Crossing stores reopen in time for Black Friday

DENHAM SPRINGS - Three months after the historic August flooding, stores in the Juban Crossing shopping center are opening for the second time.

"The irony in that is amazing," Belk store manager Joshua Ballay said. "We actually just opened this store 26 months ago, almost to the exact day."

Juban Crossing took at much as four feet of water during the August flood. For the last three months, contractors have been working to get things back in place. According to Ballay, work to get his store ready took only 13 weeks rather than the average time of 6-8 months.

More than a dozen stores will be open Friday. A few others will be open in December, just before Christmas.

"Knowing that you can do your Christmas shopping, it just means so much, you don't have to drive to Baton Rouge. That's tremendous," Layton Ricks, Livingston Parish president, said.

Denham Springs officials say that it will also help drive the recoverying city's budget. Since the flood, Denham Springs has operated on a slim budget, but now the city is inching closer to normal operation.

"The sales tax is 60 percent of our revenue that we operate off of," Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry, said. "Normalcy is what we are all looking for, and it's going to be a long time before we are normal." 

The following stores will be open on Black Friday:

Walk On's Bistreaux & Bar


Ross Dress for Less

Pot & Paddle Jambalaya Kitchen

LA Nail Spa

Mattress Firm

Shoe Carnival


Lane Bryant

Men's Wearhouse

Moe's Southwest Grill





TJ Maxx


Academy Sports + Outdoor (Grand re-opening is Friday at 5 a.m.)

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Early voting for Dec. 10 runoffs begin Saturday http://www.wbrz.com/news/early-voting-for-dec-10-runoffs-begin-saturday/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/early-voting-for-dec-10-runoffs-begin-saturday/ Links Wed, 23 Nov 2016 2:19:26 PM Kevin Dupuy Early voting for Dec. 10 runoffs begin Saturday

BATON ROUGE – Early voting for the December 10 general elections begins this Saturday.

Statewide early voting will be last for one week starting Saturday, Nov. 26 through Saturday, Dec. 3. According to the Louisisana Secretary of State's Office, residents can vote at the Registrar of Voters office in each parish and at other designated locationd between 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Click here to view polling locations or sample ballots

Among local proposals and property taxes, voters will decide runoffs for Louisiana’s U.S. Senate seat, Baton Rouge Metro council and Mayor-President.

Louisiana voters turned out in record numbers during early voting for the general election earlier this month, surprising the state's top elections officials.

More than 515,000 voters cast their ballots early in Louisiana's weeklong early voting period. That's 17 percent of the state's 3 million registered voters. By comparison, nearly 357,000 people early voted for the presidential election four years ago.

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Cortana Mall closed for Thanksgiving; Mall of Louisiana opens at 6 p.m. http://www.wbrz.com/news/cortana-mall-closed-for-thanksgiving-mall-of-louisiana-opens-at-6-p-m-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/cortana-mall-closed-for-thanksgiving-mall-of-louisiana-opens-at-6-p-m-/ Links Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:41:30 AM WBRZ Cortana Mall closed for Thanksgiving; Mall of Louisiana opens at 6 p.m.

BATON ROUGE - The Cortana Mall in Baton Rouge will join dozens of other stores across the country who are scheduled to close their doors Thursday for Thanksgiving. 

A spokesperson for the Cortana Mall told WBRZ that doors will open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday. Anchor stores like JC Penny, however, will be able to open their doors at their discretion.

Cortana Mall shoppers will have to brave the crowds at The Mall of Louisiana off Bluebonnet Blvd. According to its website, the Mall of Louisiana will be open Thanksgiving Day from 6p.m. to midnight then will reopen at 6 a.m. Friday morning. 

Last month, CBL and Associates, who owns 89 regional malls including the Acadiana Mall in Lafayette, announced that they will close their doors at almost all of their locations until 6 a.m. Friday. 

Many of the nation's major mall operators and the big retailers that anchor them, such as Toys R Us, J.C. Penney, and Macy's, are sticking with what they want to be a new tradition, kicking off the holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving Day.

The Mall of America, the nation's largest shopping mall, is closing for Thanksgiving this year after being open for the past several years. Some retailers that are closing cite respect for the holiday, but in truth the cost of being open may be more than the return.

"Once you let the genie out of the bottle, it's hard," said Stephen D. Lebovitz, president and CEO of CBL & Associates Properties, a mall operator that is closing 72 of its malls for the day. "More retailers are coming to their senses and realizing it is a family holiday and from a business point of view, it's not making much business sense."

Stores being open on Thanksgiving started in earnest in 2011 and took a punch out of sales on Black Friday, which had usually launched the shopping season. Many places like Macy's, Target and J.C. Penney have been opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving as they try to outdo others to get first dibs on customers who could easily buy online. But the move has been controversial, as many workers have voiced complaints that stores are putting profits over workers' time to be with their families.

For department stores, the competition is fierce. Last year, J.C. Penney opened at 3 p.m. for the first time, three hours earlier than its rivals Kohl's and Macy's. That may have hurt Macy's, which had a weak holiday season and aims to reverse a sales slump. This year, Macy's decided to open an hour earlier at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Penney is sticking to 3 p.m., while Kohl's will be opening again at 6 p.m. Most Sears stores will be open on Thanksgiving for the fourth year in a row, starting at 6 p.m. — the same as a year ago.

Below are times that some stores will be open for the holiday:


Thanksgiving Store Hours

Black Friday Store Hours



5 a.m.

Ashley Furniture


9 a.m.

Bass Pro Shops

8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

5 a.m.

Bed Bath & Beyond


6 a.m.


4 p.m. – 1 a.m.

6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Best Buy

5 p.m. – 1 a.m.

8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Big Lots

7 a.m – midnight.

6 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Burlington Coat Factory


7 a.m. – 11 a.m.



5 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

6 p.m. – midnight

5 a.m. – 10 p.m.



8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Family Dollar

7 a.m. – 7p.m.


Five Below

6 p.m. – 1 a.m.

7 a.m. – 9 p.m.



5 a.m.


10 a.m. – 1 a.m.

6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Guitar Center


6 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Harbor Freight Tools


7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

HH Gregg


7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Home Depot


6 a.m.

Home Goods


7 a.m. – 10 p.m.


3 p.m. – midnight

12 a.m. – 10 p.m. 


6 a.m. (check locally)

8 a.m. – 10 p.m.


6 p.m. – midnight (check locally)

24 hours



6 a.m. – 9 p.m.


5 p.m. – 2 a.m.

6 a.m. – 10 p.m. (check locally)



7 a.m. – 10 p.m. (check locally)


6 p.m. – 12 a.m.

7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Office Depot & OfficeMax


6 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Pier 1 Imports


8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Pottery Barn


8 a.m. – 9 p.m.


8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

8 a.m. – 7 p.m. (check locally)

REEDS Jewelers


8 – 9 p.m. (check locally)

Sam’s Club


7 a.m. – 10 p.m. (check locally)


6 p.m. – midnight (check locally)

5 a.m. – 10 p.m. (check locally)

Sears Outlet

6 p.m. – 11 p.m.

6 a.m. – 9 p.m. (check locally)

Shoe Carnival

6 p.m. – midnight

6 a.m. – 9 p.m. (check locally)



6 a.m. – 9 p.m.


6 p.m. – midnight

12 a.m. – 10 or 11 p.m.



7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Toys R Us

5 p.m. – midnight (check locally)

12 a.m. – 11 p.m.


8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

7 a.m. – midnight


6 p.m.

24 hours

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Veterans home damaged in flood hopeful to reopen soon http://www.wbrz.com/news/veterans-home-damaged-in-flood-hopeful-to-reopen-soon/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/veterans-home-damaged-in-flood-hopeful-to-reopen-soon/ Links Fri, 11 Nov 2016 5:39:09 PM Danielle Jackson Veterans home damaged in flood hopeful to reopen soon

BATON ROUGE – Several, once homeless and disabled veterans, called the Magnolia Veteran's Home their home, until the August flood swept everything away.

This year, Byron Comeaux spent his Veteran's Day putting the pieces back together.

"The happiest day is when we reopen and the veterans come home. That is the happiest day, that is going to be our Veteran's Day," Comeaux said.

Comeaux is a veteran and opened a non-profit center for homeless and disabled veterans. He says that after fighting for the country, each veteran should have a home to go to. However, now he is doing work to get the center back up and running again.

"The American Legion hats, they ask me how many hats did we save. They came up and picked up little items that they could find when we were moving things out. They asked us to wash them, but I ordered new hats for them, because something like that sentimental is the only thing they have left of to hold on from the combat zone," Comeaux said.

The eight veterans who lived at the facility before the flood, spent their time in the game room to cope with their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Now, they are ready to come back home.

"Number one they want to know when they are coming home that's the biggest thing, it's just like being overseas, being in combat zone, 'When is it going to get over?, When can I get back to my normal life?' " Comeaux said.

Comeaux said that the Magnolia Veteran's Home will be back up and running at the end of November. If you would like to help the center visit here.

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EBR residents seeing more rodents around homes http://www.wbrz.com/news/ebr-residents-seeing-more-rodents-around-homes/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/ebr-residents-seeing-more-rodents-around-homes/ Links Tue, 1 Nov 2016 4:55:00 PM Danielle Jackson EBR residents seeing more rodents around homes

BATON ROUGE – East Baton Rouge is seeing an uptick in rodents roaming around homes.

The East Baton Rouge Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control facility said the number of calls for rodent inspection increases this time of year.

"Most of the time there's an active borough you'll see the dirt clean around the hole," an East Baton Rouge Rodent Control employee said.

Roof rats, Norway rats and house mice are the three main rodents that are seen in the parish.

"Three weeks after the flood we were doing about 80 rodent inspections a week, now we're doing well over 100 so actually we are seeing more rodent calls now in the end of October beginning of November," Randy Vaeth, executive director of the East Baton Rouge Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control, said.

Vaeth said that the increased number of rodents being seen by residents this time of year is also due to the change in weather.

"We are experiencing cooler weather at night and the rodents can actually detect the changes in the number of hours of daylight so, I think the rodents that come up from the flood are not the issue we're seeing now, we're seeing our typical rodent problem that we see in the fall where they are coming into people's residences," Vaeth said.

Vaeth said that the Rodent Control is happy to help residents with getting rid of the rodents.

"Now we can't go in a home like a commercial pest control guy but we'll bring you out some bait or a trap that you can help solve your own rodent problems. We're happy to do that, it's a free service you would pay for it with your dedicated property tax," Vaeth said.

For more information on how to get rodent bait residents can call the East Baton Rouge Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control at (225) 356-3297.

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Record-breaking early voting on first day; Voting continues all week http://www.wbrz.com/news/record-breaking-early-voting-on-first-day-voting-continues-all-week/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/record-breaking-early-voting-on-first-day-voting-continues-all-week/ Links Mon, 24 Oct 2016 9:34:34 AM Alicia Serrano, Trey Schmaltz Record-breaking early voting on first day; Voting continues all week

BATON ROUGE – The first day of early voting brought record crowds to voting locations Tuesday.

Preliminary data provided to WBRZ showed roughly more than 5,300 people voted in one day in East Baton Rouge.  Livingston reported as many as 2,040.  Both parishes said as they reported the statistics, more people were in line to vote.  Early voting ends at 6 p.m.  With lines reaching hundreds deep, numbers could rise significantly by the time early voting resumes Wednesday morning.

Officials in EBR said 5,300 was a single-day record for early voting.

Rough numbers were unavailable from Ascension Parish but people reported long lines there, too.

"I always like to come out and vote early and try to avoid the long lines on voting day," Willis Sawyar, an Ascension Parish voter, said coincidentally as he waited in an early voting line.

Early voting began Tuesday, Oct. 25 and continues through Tuesday, Nov. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily excluding Sunday, Oct. 30.

"Early voting gives people a whole week to vote when it's convenient for them and lines may be shorter," Secretary of State Tom Schedler, said.

Voters who vote in-person will receive a limited edition "I Voted" sticker featuring George Rodrigue's iconic Blue Dog.

Voters can use the smart phone GeauxVote Mobile app or go online here to find out where to early vote along with what will be on their ballot. In addition to the election for president, there are more than 220 races statewide involving 728 candidates. In addition, there are six constitutional amendments votes will be asked to decide as well as 78 propositions across 38 parishes. A sample ballot can be found by clicking here and then clicking "Sample Ballot" at the top of the page. 

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Cajun Army needs volunteers to answer the call http://www.wbrz.com/news/cajun-army-needs-volunteers-to-answer-the-call/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/cajun-army-needs-volunteers-to-answer-the-call/ Links Sun, 23 Oct 2016 7:56:30 PM Earl Phelps Cajun Army needs volunteers to answer the call

BATON ROUGE – About two dozen soldiers with the Cajun Army gathered for a prayer vigil at the State Capitol Sunday.

The soldiers say they are looking for direction in their effort to help flood victims in need. Crews spent the day in French Settlement gutting the home of an elderly man who could not afford the repairs.

“They saved my life,” John Meaulance said. “I can tell you that. They’re out here. They are doing all this for me.”

The Cajun Army says need more volunteers to help clear a list of 250 flood damaged homes that still need to be gutted or cleaned out.

“We’re dealing with elderly. We’re dealing with people with special needs and they’re sick and so they can’t do it themselves,” Tricia Jo Hoffman said. “So they need volunteers like us to come in and help them out.”

While the Cajun Army does not accept any monetary donations, the group said it does accept material goods.

“Once they realize we don’t want their money and we’re all volunteers, people have immediately identified with that and want to join the fight,” Chris King said.

The soldiers are now hoping more people will get the message that they don’t want your money. They just want your help.

To help the Cajun Army, click here to visit their website.

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Trick-or-treating times announced for parishes http://www.wbrz.com/news/trick-or-treating-times-announced-for-parishes/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/trick-or-treating-times-announced-for-parishes/ Links Fri, 21 Oct 2016 1:37:39 PM Rachel Jarrell Trick-or-treating times announced for parishes

BATON ROUGE - Officials have announced trick-or-treat times for residents for Halloween. Some areas for trick-or-treating may be closed due to repairs still be conducted or debris still being picked up since the August flood.

The following are the times for trick-or-treating on Monday, Oct. 31.:

*Parishes are bolded, and municipalities are in plain text

Ascension Parish- 6 to 8pm

Donaldsonville- 6 to 8pm

Gonzales- 6 to 8pm

Sorrento- 6 to 8pm

Livingston Parish- 6 to 8pm

Denham Springs- 6 to 8pm

Walker- 6 to 8pm.

Pendarvis Lane, Bryan Park Drive, and Magnolia Drive will be closed to the public during this time on Monday, October 31st in order to protect the homes, streets, and subdivisions that have been affected by the flood. Trick-or-treating and private gatherings amongst residents are allowed. All other areas of the city will be open for trick-or-treating.

West Baton Rouge Parish- 5:30 to 7:30pm
(Includes Addis, Brusly, and Port Allen)

East Baton Rouge Parish- 6 to 8pm

Baker- 6 to 8pm

Central- 6 to 8pm

Zachary- 6 to 8pm

Iberville Parish- 6 to 8pm

East Feliciana Parish- 6 to 8pm

West Feliciana Parish- 5:30 to 7:30pm

St. Francisville- 5:30 to 7:30pm

St. James Parish - 6 to 8 pm

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Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center getting more calls since flood http://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-crisis-intervention-center-getting-more-calls-since-flood/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-crisis-intervention-center-getting-more-calls-since-flood/ Links Wed, 19 Oct 2016 9:34:08 AM Taylor Evans Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center getting more calls since flood

BATON ROUGE – Phones are constantly ringing at the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center since the August flood.

Residents left dealing with anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the flood has caused them to reach out to the center's crisis intervention hot line.

The crisis center receives roughly 24,000 callers in a regular period. Since the flood in August, at least 20,000 additional calls have come in. According to intervention specialists, even more calls are coming in soon.

"Anywhere between 60-90 days is when we see the biggest peak of calls," Aaron Blackledge, crisis center director, said.

With the peak calling period around the corner, the center has concerns about their ability to handle the volume of callers without state of local funding.

"I say that because it greatly limits the number of staff we can bring in, the fact is, we didn't have adequate funding in Baton Rouge prior to the storm, and we certainly don't have more or any additional now," Blackledge said.

Although the center has received limited funding, the hotline has saved and helped thousands of lives since the center opened in the '70's. A study done by the center showed that the crisis hotline saves the community four million in emergency room admissions.

"It can be very taxing emotionally, but it definitely makes you feel very helpful and it's definitely meaningful work. You get so many grateful callers," Allan Grant, crisis hotline specialist, said.

However, intervention specialists say that their help is needed now more than ever.

"There may be other outlets for the frustration they're dealing with, we know there is a lot of individuals calling us that have high frustration they are going through to re-build," Blackledge said.

For those wanting to reach out to the 24/7 anonymous crisis intervention hotline, call 225-924-3900.

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Neiman Marcus unveils 90th edition of iconic Christmas Book http://www.wbrz.com/news/neiman-marcus-unveils-90th-edition-of-iconic-christmas-book/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/neiman-marcus-unveils-90th-edition-of-iconic-christmas-book/ Links Wed, 19 Oct 2016 2:59:11 PM Neiman Marcus unveils 90th edition of iconic Christmas Book

DALLAS – Neiman Marcus unveiled its 90th edition of its iconic Christmas Book marking the official start of the holiday shopping season.

The book, first published in 1926 as a 16-page booklet, was initially intended as Christmas card to the store's best customers.

Neiman Marcus, as in previous years, will donate a portion of the proceeds from the majority of fantasy gifts to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, whose goal is to bring enriching art experiences to youth in communities nationwide.

The Love to Give Collection, featured in the 2016 Christmas Book, includes over 40 items for gift giving.  Each Neiman Marcus store gives ten percent of the proceeds to benefit youth arts education in Neiman Marcus communities across the country. An additional $50,000 from online sales goes to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation. Vendors participating in the Neiman Marcus Love to Give Collection include, but are not limited to, Hermès, Yves Saint Laurent beauty, Fresh, Lumio, Sugarfina, and Kate Spade. Prices range from $10 - $200.

Donations will be made to the GRAMMY Foundation with the purchase of the Exclusive GRAMMY Awards Experience and to Akola Project with the purchase of the Optimist Akola Bracelet.

To view the 2016 Christmas Book click here.

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New voting locations for residents due to August flood http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-voting-locations-for-residents-due-to-august-flood/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-voting-locations-for-residents-due-to-august-flood/ Links Wed, 12 Oct 2016 5:26:04 PM Danielle Jackson New voting locations for residents due to August flood

BATON ROUGE – With election day just a month away, some voters still do not where to vote since some voting locations have changed due to the August flood.

Kellsy Lloyd, a new resident to East Baton Rouge Parish, is one of those voters.

"I have no idea where to vote," Lloyd said.

Lloyd moved to the area after the flood to help her grandfather.

"His house had four feet of water in it, and we just came up here to help him and we never left, and we're not going to leave," Lloyd said.

With election day just around the corner, Lloyd said that finding out where to vote has not been the easiest.

"I would like to now vote here and you know be a part of all of the decisions in this area rather than where I used to live, so I think it's very important that we find out where to do that at," Lloyd said.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler said that his office has plans in place to help with the process.

"In East Baton Rouge Parish we opted to go to close proximity to all the precincts that were affected so it may be a block or two away, it may be less than a mile away, and it's close by so that people can stay in their same neighborhood," Schedler said.

Following the flood, 65 precincts were moved in Livingston, Ascension and East Baton Rouge Parish, which deals with 65,000 voters in total.

"We will have individuals at every location, the old locations in case, somebody doesn't get the word that we can direct them to where they belong," Schedler said.

One resident, Jimmie Anderson, said that if it was not for talking with News 2, he would not have known his new voting location.

"It's very important to know where to go vote, I didn't know before I spoke to you," Anderson said.

Early voting locations can be found here and here and additional information about voting can also be found by downloading the GeauxVote app.

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Temporary voting locations approved for EBR precincts http://www.wbrz.com/news/temporary-voting-locations-approved-for-ebr-precincts/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/temporary-voting-locations-approved-for-ebr-precincts/ Links Wed, 28 Sep 2016 11:51:47 AM Kevin Dupuy Temporary voting locations approved for EBR precincts

BATON ROUGE – The East Baton Rouge Metro Council approved temporary voting locations for 38 precincts at 19 polling locations affected by last month's historic flooding.

Crews with the parish Clerk of Court's office and the Registrar of Voters are now canvassing the impacted areas to inform them of the changes. The changes will affect more than 34,000 East Baton Rouge Parish voters.

"We are very proud to encounter so many individuals who were eager to work with us in our relocation efforts," Clerk of Court Doug Welborn said. "Our teams are confident that every precinct that we move is very close to the voters' original location."

To view a list of the proposed temporary locations, click here.

Registrar of Voter Steve Raborn said that his office will be mailing new voter cards to more the active voters affected by the relocations. The cards will include where they will need to vote for election day. 

The East Baton Rouge Parish Registrar of Voters says workers with the Clerk of Court’s office will be on hand to assist residents at the combined polling locations. Each location will have two lines to ensure that residents are voting in the correct precincts.

Voters can also skip the lines on election day by taking advantage of early voting which begins Tuesday, Oct. 25 through Nov. 1.

Residents have until Oct. 11 to make permanent changes to their voting addresses, state officials say. Displaced residents who are planning on returning to their home do not need to update their addresses.

The changes will only affect voting in November and December.

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