WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Links Links en-us Copyright 2014, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sun, 21 Dec 2014 20:12:22 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Biden marks start of Hanukkah at national menorah http://www.wbrz.com/news/biden-marks-start-of-hanukkah-at-national-menorah/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/biden-marks-start-of-hanukkah-at-national-menorah/ Links Tue, 16 Dec 2014 2:00:34 PM Josh Lederman Biden marks start of Hanukkah at national menorah

WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden says Hanukkah is about the miracle of courageous warriors overcoming great odds to protect their people's culture and dignity.

Biden is marking the start of the Jewish holiday by observing the lighting of the national menorah. A trio of cantors sang Hanukkah songs as a rabbi lit the giant menorah in front of the White House.

Biden says Jewish heritage is American heritage.

Jews mark each of the eight days of Hanukkah by lighting candles on a menorah, or candleholder. The national menorah has been lit in front of the White House every year since 1979, when President Jimmy Carter attended the first lighting.

Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees after their victory over the Syrians. The holiday started Tuesday. There are Hanukkah events scheduled for the Congregation B'Nai Israel this Friday and Saturday, and at the Beth Shalom Synagogue.


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Donate food in December to ditch library fines http://www.wbrz.com/news/donate-food-in-december-to-ditch-library-fines/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/donate-food-in-december-to-ditch-library-fines/ Links Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:47:02 PM Brock Sues Donate food in December to ditch library fines

BATON ROUGE - Next month at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, patrons with past due fines erased in exchange for non-perishable food items as the parish library pitches in to feed the less fortunate for the holidays.

According to an EBRPL spokesperson, patrons can donate non-perishable food items at any of the 14 library branch locations in the parish throughout December. The library will waive $1 of the total late check-out fine per each donated item. All items will benefit the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank which needs extra help to stock its pantry during the winter months.

Food eligible for donation includes:

-Canned items (vegetables, soup, meat)
-Flour
-Rice
-Peanut butter
-Pasta
-Corn meal
-Breakfast cereal bars
-Any bagged or boxed non-perishable food items

For more information on EBRPL's Food for Fines program, call the library at (225) 231-3740 or visit their website at www.ebrpl.com.

 


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Protecting your home and family from the cold http://www.wbrz.com/news/protecting-your-home-and-family-from-the-cold/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/protecting-your-home-and-family-from-the-cold/ Links Thu, 13 Nov 2014 5:05:27 AM Hunter Robinson Protecting your home and family from the cold

BATON ROUGE - People in the Baton Rouge area got their first taste of cold weather this morning with temperatures dropping into the 30's. There are ways you can protect your self and your home this winter.

We visited St. Vincent de Paul on 2une In, where they're looking for people to donate blankets, jackets and food. You can more about their assistance on their website.

"We served 240,000 meals last year, but St. Vincent de Paul is much more than food," Michael Alcado explains. "We also provide shelter to 1,200 homeless men, women and children every year. The next couple of nights, we'll likely be filled to capacity."

News Two's Rebecca Buchanan also spoke with State Fire Marshal Butch Browning about safe ways to keep warm. He says space heaters are the #1 cause of fire during the winter months.

"If you use space heater, you need to make sure you maintain a 3 ft. area around them," Browning cautions. "Make sure there's no combustible materials around it like chairs, clothing or anything else that could burn."

People are also going to be firing up the stove to cook meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas. More fires are caused by unattended cooking each year than any other reason.

"Never leave a stove unattended, and be cautious with children in the kitchen," Browning warns. "A lot of burns and scalds occur because pots are knocked over."

Browning also says appliance maintenance is important. Grease fires can occur because stoves and ovens aren't properly cleaned."

We also spoke to Michael Davidson from Home Depot. He had some tips to winterize your home:

1) Protect your pipes using a faucet cover, some type of pipe insulation and some duct tape. If you live in a raised home, you should invest a thicker insulation because your pipes are more exposed.
2) Before you fire up the fireplace, make sure your chimney is cleaned from the year before.
3) If you have outdoor plants, a good watering 12 hours before a freeze can actually help protect them.
4) Know where and when you plan to use a space heater before your buy it. There are plenty with automatic shutoffs that can help decrease the risk of fire.
5) Make sure your smoke detectors are working.

Click on the video links for more safety tips. 


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OMV aims to ease wait times for senior drivers http://www.wbrz.com/news/omv-aims-to-ease-wait-times-for-senior-drivers/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/omv-aims-to-ease-wait-times-for-senior-drivers/ Links Thu, 23 Oct 2014 2:08:49 PM Brock Sues OMV aims to ease wait times for senior drivers

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles announced Thursday a pilot program they hope will help older drivers dodge the long lines and wait times often associated with the average OMV experience.

The Louisiana OMV's "Senior Day" program will be held participating locations with one day of each coming month set aside to allow exclusive access of OMV services to older motorists as a trial period for the program.

It begins on Nov. 1 when OMV locations will open their doors to people 60 years and older only from 8 a.m. to noon, according to an OMV spokesperson.

Senior citizens in the Baton Rouge area can visit the Office of Motor Vehicles located at 7701 Independence Blvd. on Nov. 1 to take advantage of the first trial. To get directions to this location, click here.

The program will be held at locations throughout the state. The complete list of participating offices is as follows:

*5602 Coliseum Blvd., Alexandria
*7701 Independence Blvd., Baton Rouge
*108 Capital Blvd., Houma
*3241 N.W. Evangeline Thruway Suite, Lafayette
*951 Main Streetke Charles
*5171 Northeast Road, Monroe
*9310 Normandie Drive, Shreveport
*1514 W. Lindberg, Slidell
*100 Veterans Blvd, New Orleans

Following November debut, the program will be held on Dec. 6, Jan. 10, Feb. 7, Mar. 7 and Apr. 11.

Officials said they plan to make the program available year-round if it is successful.

 


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Constitutional amendments explained http://www.wbrz.com/news/constitutional-amendments-explained/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/constitutional-amendments-explained/ Links Wed, 29 Oct 2014 4:31:49 PM Rob Krieger Constitutional amendments explained

BATON ROUGE- Voters will have to consider 14 constitutional amendments when they hit the polls next Tuesday, and with a three-minute time limit behind the curtain it could prove difficult to tackle the ticket without some studying ahead of time.

Some of the amendments only affect the New Orleans area, though the entire state will vote on them. Others likely won't affect many people overall.

There are six amendments, though, that should grab voters attention as they head to the polls. Amendments No. 1 and No. 2 both deal with health care funding, especially when it comes to matching federal dollars. Number 1 seeks to constitutionally protect the Louisiana Medical Assistance Trust Fund, which would benefit nursing homes. 

According to Robert Travis Scott, president of the Public Affairs Research Council, the AARP, home care providers and higher education institutions are against this amendment.

Amendment No. 2 seeks to create a new assessment for hospitals, something many hospitals support. The assessment would get matching federal dollars that would be constitutionally protected and help offset costs from uninsured patients.

"They want to protect that in the constitution so that these monies that come back from the federal program don't get spent on other Medicaid priorities," said Scott.

Higher education institutions also oppose this amendment, because it could leave them out of the budget process in the future.

Amendment No. 3 takes of the sale of property with delinquent taxes and allows local governments to use private third-party firms to collect delinquent taxes and guide the municipalities through the sales of those property.

Opponents of this amendment think the role of tax collection should remain in the hands of the government, not private companies.

Amendment No. 5 seeks to eliminate a mandatory retirement age for judges. Currently judges must retire after they turn 70 and then complete their term, but if the amendment is approved, judges could serve for as long as they'd like, if they continue to win elections.

Amendment No. 10 takes of the tax sale of vacant, blighted or abandoned properties and would allow parishes to shorten the period of redemption for properties sold from three years to 18 months. Opponents think this amendment may give too much power to the government over property owners, while governments think it would help clear out eyesores.

"Local governments would like to see this so they can move quicker on these blighted properties," said Scott.

Amendment No. 11 seeks to expand government from 20 to 21 state departments. If passed, it would create the office of Elderly Affairs, something proponents think would help streamline services for the elderly. While people against the expansion of government note that many of those services are already provided under the governor's department.

You can take an in depth look at each amendment on the ballot with this guide created by the Public Affairs Research Council. The Secretary of State's office also recommends you download the "Geaux Vote" app, where you can fill out a sample ballot to use as a cheat sheet while you vote.


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Early voting begins Oct. 21 in La. http://www.wbrz.com/news/early-voting-begins-oct-21-in-la-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/early-voting-begins-oct-21-in-la-/ Links Mon, 20 Oct 2014 9:30:45 AM Russell Jones Early voting begins Oct. 21 in La.

BATON ROUGE - Early voting in Louisiana begins Tuesday, Oct. 21 for the Nov. 4 election.

The early voting period continues until Oct. 28 with voting times from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except for Sunday, Oct. 26.

"This election has garnered a lot of interest throughout the state and early voting is a great way to conveniently cast your ballot," said Secretary of State Tom Schedler.

Besides congressional primaries such as the Senate race between Mary Landrieu, Bill Cassidy, and Rob Maness, there are 14 constitutional amendments for voters to consider as well. Schedler suggested voters do their homework before going to their polling place.

Voters can get more information on what's on the ballot and where their nearest early voting location is through the GeauxVote mobile app, or by visiting the Secretary of State's website. You can also call (225) 922-0900.


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Check your helmet rating http://www.wbrz.com/news/check-your-helmet-rating/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/check-your-helmet-rating/ Links Sun, 12 Oct 2014 4:00:57 PM Trey Schmaltz During WBRZ News 2 at 5:30 Sunday, we told you about a high school in Michigan that has ended its football season because too many students were getting hurt.

One issue were the amount of concussions players were having. 

Click HERE to read more about the helmet rating system and to see how the helmets used at the high school you follow ranks.


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City holds its third auction of surplus items http://www.wbrz.com/news/city-holds-its-third-auction-of-surplus-items/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/city-holds-its-third-auction-of-surplus-items/ Links Thu, 9 Oct 2014 2:12:05 PM Ambria Washington City holds its third auction of surplus items

BATON ROUGE - The city of Baton Rouge is hosting its third online auction this year.

From cars to rescue equipment, more than 195 items will be auctioned starting on Friday. The items come from all city departments.

City leaders said this is their third auction, and this could be the last one for this year. The auctions generate between $500,000 to $700,000, and most of the money goes back into city departments.

"Ten percent is transferred to the purchasing department for administrative cost, said Director of Purchasing for Baton Rouge, Patti Wallace.  "All other monies go back into those departments where the surplus equipment resided."

City leaders said their public auctions utlimately benefit everyone in the end.

"We get a good rate of return that goes into the general fund, said Wallace. "It allows us to make sure we're getting the best maximum rate of return for tax payers money.

The auction is two weeks only and starts on Friday. Click here to access the website.


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Community remembers Hurricane Hilda http://www.wbrz.com/news/community-remembers-hurricane-hilda/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/community-remembers-hurricane-hilda/ Links Sun, 5 Oct 2014 7:55:41 PM AE Stevenson Community remembers Hurricane Hilda

BATON ROUGE - Sunday, A community in Vermillion Parish remembered the lives of those that died during a category 4 hurricane that hit Louisiana 50 years ago.

Here is a link to the documentary.

 


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Jindal holds meeting to discuss Ebola preparedness http://www.wbrz.com/news/jindal-holds-meeting-to-discuss-ebola-preparedness/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/jindal-holds-meeting-to-discuss-ebola-preparedness/ Links Wed, 1 Oct 2014 12:36:53 PM Brock Sues Jindal holds meeting to discuss Ebola preparedness

BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal held a meeting Wednesday to gather updates from state agencies to ensure the state is prepared if a case of Ebola were to be confirmed in Louisiana.

The governor said it is important to note that there are no known cases of Ebola in the state at present, but state agencies have been making preparations for the last several weeks to ready Louisiana's public health and medical infrastructure in the event of a Louisiana Ebola case. Procedures for emergency medical workers, hospital physicians and regional emergency response coordinators have been included in the state's readiness plan.

During Wednesday's Unified Command Group Meeting, Gov. Jindal said that the following state agencies have taken the following precautions:

Department of Health and Hospitals
• Distributed information to health care providers in the state, including criteria for suspecting Ebola, how to report suspected cases, how to consult with DHH or seek lab testing, and what symptoms to watch for.
• DHH recently assessed its hospital bed availability to ensure the state has the proper infectious disease treatment capabilities and that the proper facilities are ready should a case of the virus present in Louisiana.
• Engaging directly with hospital CEOs across the state through the Louisiana Hospital Association to ensure hospitals have received and are following CDC guidance and protocols related to Ebola.
• DHH is also meeting with EMS and hospital regional coordinators to specifically discuss plans for responding to a potential Ebola case.
• Information on the signs and symptoms of Ebola was distributed to 911 operators and coroners to inform them on how to handle possible patients. The information was also sent to specific groups who may be more likely to have visitors from West Africa.
• Staying in frequent contact with CDC and federal officials on Ebola developments.

GOHSEP
• Sharing disease information with hospitals and local parish emergency managers throughout Louisiana.
• Closely monitoring the confirmed Ebola case in Texas and the ongoing international medical efforts to fight the virus.
• Hosting a series of informational conference calls with local emergency managers and review safety protocol with state and local emergency officials.
• Working with Coast Guard to ensure protocol is in place to identify and contain an incoming sailor or traveler who presents with symptoms at a port or on board a vessel.

Department of Children and Families
• DCFS has 7,500 critical transportation needs shelter beds and 200 medical special needs shelter beds available upon activation.
• DCFS will communicate guidelines and recommendations provided by DHH on communicable disease safety measures to foster families, licensed care facilities and others DCFS has contact with.
• Have resources on hand, including cots, blankets, pillows, hygiene kits, MREs, and bottles of water in the event the resources are needed for the state's response.

Louisiana Department of Education
• Working to circulate guidance advising school districts and teachers of Ebola virus symptoms.
• Sending parent communication home to all families describing the symptoms of Ebola with contact information for local health agencies.
• Communicating with city/parish health officials about students showing any signs of the symptoms.
• Schools should contact LDOE regarding any student instances that are of concern.

Louisiana National Guard
• Medical lab teams with portable equipment are on standby to help identify the virus and test lab samples if necessary.
• Medical treatment tech teams are on standby to administer care if necessary.
• Bio-hazard resources are in place for medical triage if necessary.

Department of Transportation
• Working with airports to ensure protocol is in place to identify and contain an incoming traveler who presents with symptoms.

"While we certainly hope that we never have an Ebola case in Louisiana, we are committed to ensuring that our health care system and emergency responders stand ready and prepared," said Gov. Jindal.


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Website gives panoramic view of Tiger Stadium http://www.wbrz.com/news/website-gives-panoramic-view-of-tiger-stadium/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/website-gives-panoramic-view-of-tiger-stadium/ Links Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:43:10 PM Brian Waldrep Website gives panoramic view of Tiger Stadium

BATON ROUGE-  A new website is giving LSU Tiger football fans the chance to see themselves in Tiger Stadium on gameday.

The new gigapixel viewer gives you a 360 degree picture of the stadium that's so sharp, you can zoom in on Les Miles, or anyone else that happened to be in the game last weekend against Mississippi State.

To check it out, head to gigapixel.panoramas.com and scroll down to find the LSU link.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Sample ballots out for November election http://www.wbrz.com/news/sample-ballots-out-for-november-election/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/sample-ballots-out-for-november-election/ Links Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:47:56 AM Russell Jones Sample ballots out for November election

BATON ROUGE - The Secretary of State's office posted sample ballots recently for the upcoming general election on Nov. 4.

The election includes the race for U. S. Senator Mary Landrieu's seat. She faces a number of GOP challengers, most notably Representative Bill Cassidy. His House seat is also up for grabs.

To find sample ballots for your parish and voting district, visit the Secretary of State's Geaux Vote website.


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Auditor releases nonpartisan brief on Common Core http://www.wbrz.com/news/auditor-releases-nonpartisan-brief-on-common-core/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/auditor-releases-nonpartisan-brief-on-common-core/ Links Mon, 22 Sep 2014 8:24:35 AM Auditor releases nonpartisan brief on Common Core

BATON ROUGE - Questions about the dispute over the Common Core education standards, or still wondering what the standards even are?

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office on Monday released a nonpartisan overview about the English and math standards used in Louisiana's public school classrooms.

The 30-page report describes development of the standards, gives a sample of the changed teaching and outlines other states' use of Common Core. The report also provides an overview of the Common Core lawsuits filed in Louisiana.

More than 40 states, including Louisiana, have adopted Common Core, which describes what students should know after completing each grade.

Gov. Bobby Jindal opposes the standards, saying the Obama administration has manipulated use of Common Core to try to control local education policy and curriculum.

You can view the audit by clicking here.


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Two kids with EV-D68 being treated in Baton Rouge http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-kids-with-ev-d68-being-treated-in-baton-rouge/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-kids-with-ev-d68-being-treated-in-baton-rouge/ Links Tue, 16 Sep 2014 9:54:05 AM Russell Jones Two kids with EV-D68 being treated in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE - Health officials in Louisiana said two children are being treated in Baton Rouge after they contracted a respiratory illness caused by a recent strain of enterovirus.

The CDC said from mid-August to Sept. 16 a total of 130 people from 12 states were confirmed to have a respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Those states are Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

Louisiana health officials confirmed that tests on samples taken from two children being treated at Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center came back positive for EV-D68. Due to privacy laws, the ages and hometowns of those children cannot be released. They said these are the only confirmed cases of the enterovirus in the state.

Health experts said more confirmations across the U. S. are expected because samples from several states are still being tested, and it can take time get lab results back from those tests.

The CDC noted that this is the time of year enteroviruses normally hit, and more infections are predicted. Doctors say the enterovirus acts like a summer cold, and the best way to prevent it is thoroughly cleaning hands and any surfaces children may touch on a daily basis, such as desks and countertops.

"EV-D68 is more likely to severely sicken infants and teens," said Dr. Michael Bolton, pediatric infectious disease specialist at Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital. "But a vast majority of those infected will feel like they have a mild cold, if they have any noticeable symptoms at all. The most important warning sign for parents to pick up on is any difficulty breathing in your kids."

Health experts say most people recover from enteroviruses without treatment.


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LSU adds more parking, traffic changes for games http://www.wbrz.com/news/lsu-adds-more-parking-traffic-changes-for-games/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/lsu-adds-more-parking-traffic-changes-for-games/ Links Thu, 7 Aug 2014 4:14:46 PM Ambria Washington LSU adds more parking, traffic changes for games

BATON ROUGE - LSU announced additional parking spots and changes to traffic for home football games to avoid congestion that plagued fans last year.

LSU officials said there are about 2,300 additional parking spots that will be available for the start of football season, and they're going to try new ways to get people out of the city and onto the interstate faster.

"We very excited about that three large parking lots that we've constructed this season," said Adam Smith, Director of Parking Operations for LSU athletics. "In addition, we going to try contra flow going south on Nicholson Drive from Burbank Drive all the way down to Bluebonnet, which should get fans going faster to I-10."

Officials said no one will be allowed to park along the curbs of Nicholson and Burbank. This year those areas will be restricted and coned off during the games.

"They really do cause a problem for those fans trying to get across the street as well as that south bound traffic for post-games," said Smith. "We can't have the cars parked along that area because we need a clean avenue to exit that traffic."

Officials said digital message boards will be placed throughout the area directing fans on where to park.

Click here for more details about parking during LSU game days.


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Pre-paid debit cards could be affected by breach http://www.wbrz.com/news/pre-paid-debit-cards-could-be-affected-by-breach/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pre-paid-debit-cards-could-be-affected-by-breach/ Links Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:33:45 PM Russell Jones Pre-paid debit cards could be affected by breach

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Revenue announced Friday that they've been warned of a data breach that could affect personal information held by sate agencies.

JPMorgan Chase told the state Thursday that personally identifiable information the company holds under contract with several state agencies may have been affected by the breach. The company said they don't know if or to what extent Louisiana citizens' personal information may have been exposed.

The Department of Revenue said the company has contracts to issue pre-paid debit cards for some agencies, including income tax refunds distributed by LDR as well unemployment benefits and some child care assistance.

LDR said state agencies are working with JPMorgan Chase to get more information about the data breach. A similar breach affecting three state agencies was reported in December 2013.

In the meantime, people who have pre-paid debit cards issued from state agencies should keep an eye on their credit statements and financial reports for suspicious activity. They should also change any passwords connected to those accounts.

For more information about identity theft and how to report suspect fraud, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website.


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BRAVE to hold 'Gas for Guns' exchange Aug. 23 http://www.wbrz.com/news/brave-to-hold-gas-for-guns-exchange-aug-23/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/brave-to-hold-gas-for-guns-exchange-aug-23/ Links Fri, 15 Aug 2014 9:01:01 AM Brock Sues BRAVE to hold 'Gas for Guns' exchange Aug. 23

BATON ROUGE - In the continued efforts of the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination program to clean up the city's streets, the organization will hold a "Gas for Guns" exchange and neighborhood cleanup day on Saturday, Aug. 23.

The gun exchange will allow residents to safely dispose of firearms and ammunition they no longer want to keep in their homes while ensuring the weapons don't harm anyone or fall into the wrong hands, according to Mayor "Kip" Holden, a sponsor of the event.

BRAVE's gun buyback program will offer $50 to $300 in gas coupons foe each qualifying handgun or assault weapon turned in during the event with no identification required and no questions asked.

Mayor Holden said unsecured firearms are especially dangerous to children, and noted that the weapons can be used to commit crimes if they are not disposed of properly.

Three gun buyback programs like the one coming up later this month have been held in Baton Rouge and the events have collected more than 300 handguns, rifles and shotguns off of the city's streets.

Smaller handguns and revolvers will likely fetch the gun owner $50 in gas coupons, but the exchange program is offering a higher incentive of up to $300 in gas coupons for assault rifles because they are expensive and more desirable to criminals.

There is a limit of two firearms per person until all of the gas cards are given out. Donors arriving by car should place the firearms they wish to donate in the trunk of their vehicle. Donors who walk to the event should bring the guns in a sealed or closed container such as a bag, backpack or box.

Donors who are uncomfortable with bringing the firearm to the exchange site can contact Baton Rouge police or the sheriff's office at any time to have a member of law enforcement dispatched to collect the weapon. However, gas cards will not be given out any other time outside of the "Gas for Guns" program date.

The BRAVE "Gas for Guns" exchange will be held at the Living Faith Christian Center at 6375 Winbourne Avenue on Saturday, Aug. 23 from 10 a.m. until noon.

This year's gun buyback program was made possible by a donation from the Circle K Corporation and matching funds from local law enforcement drug seizure and asset forfeitures. 

On the same Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., BRAVE will coordinate a neighborhood cleanup effort for the 70805 zip code. Participants should meet at the Fruit of the Spirit Church at 3338 Plank Road. Cleaning supplies and refreshments will be provided.

For more information about the program or the 70805 neighborhood cleanup effort, please call (225) 239-7835 or email bravebtr@gmail.com.


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Landrieu, Cassidy, others qualify on opening day http://www.wbrz.com/news/landrieu-cassidy-others-qualify-on-opening-day/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/landrieu-cassidy-others-qualify-on-opening-day/ Links Wed, 20 Aug 2014 9:43:55 AM Melinda Deslatte Landrieu, Cassidy, others qualify on opening day

BATON ROUGE - U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her main Republican challenger, Congressman Bill Cassidy, traded jabs over leadership and effectiveness as they signed up for the November election.

Qualifying for the Nov. 4 ballot opened Wednesday and continues through Friday.

Landrieu, a Democrat, talked of her 18 years of seniority, saying Louisiana voters shouldn't relinquish that clout.

Cassidy described his campaign as crucial to returning the U.S. Senate to GOP control.

Republicans showed up with "Air Mary" signs, a dig at Landrieu for billing private chartered planes to her Senate office when she used the flights to attend campaign fundraisers.

Three incumbent congressmen also signed up for re-election: Democrat Cedric Richmond and Republicans Charles Boustany and John Fleming. Former Gov. Edwin Edwards officially registered to run for the 6th District congressional seat.

To see a full list of candidates who qualified, visit the Secretary of State's website.


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State tax amnesty program to be offered this fall http://www.wbrz.com/news/state-tax-amnesty-program-to-be-offered-this-fall/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/state-tax-amnesty-program-to-be-offered-this-fall/ Links Tue, 12 Aug 2014 2:05:57 PM Brock Sues State tax amnesty program to be offered this fall

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Revenue hopes to offer taxpayers who have fallen behind on state tax obligations a fresh start with the announcement of the Louisiana Tax Amnesty 2014 program this fall.

The 30-day amnesty program offers people who haven't paid their state taxes in full to do so with a waiver of all penalties and half of the interest owed, according to an announcement from the state revenue department.

The tax amnesty period begins at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 15 and lasts through 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 14.

This year, the LDR is introducing a new option for individual and business taxpayers to pay overdue tax liabilities through installment payments over a six month period of time.

Individuals and businesses with tax liabilities covered by the program should expect to receive a letter or recorded telephone message before the start of the program with instructions for submitting applications and payments at the LDR website.

Taxpayers are encouraged to pay delinquent taxes during the amnesty period because another such program will not be offered until after Jan. 1, 2025.

Eligible taxpayers can apply online by visiting the LDR Amnesty Program website or by calling 866-782-9241.

The full anouncment from the Louisiana Department of Revenue can be viewed by clicking here.


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Crisis center seeing call volume rise http://www.wbrz.com/news/crisis-center-seeing-call-volume-rise/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/crisis-center-seeing-call-volume-rise/ Links Tue, 12 Aug 2014 2:02:07 PM Rob Krieger Crisis center seeing call volume rise

BATON ROUGE- In the wake of the suicide of Robin Williams, the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center is experiencing an increased call volume from people seeking help.

"It is bringing everybody's awareness to the point that we need to be looking, and we need to be reaching out to people and we need to be asking them if they are experiencing enough hopelessness or enough aloneness or enough pain that they actually have considered ending their life," said Norma Rutledge, the executive director of the Crisis Intervention Center.

The center operates a 24-hour phone line that anyone can call to seek help or advice with a loved one, it's something that Lisa Carmena, who lost her son to suicide, hopes more people will use.

"I hope that through the knowledge that is out there for everybody, the crisis chat, phone line, that there is hope. And I hope that they get the message that there's somebody for them," said Carmena.

The program also offers online chat options and text messaging to increase anonymity and allow people suffering to seek help in a private space.

You can reach the center's hotline at 225-924-3900 or 1-800-437-0303. You can find more information on the center by clicking here. You can also chat online by visiting CrisisChat.org.


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