WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Links Links en-us Copyright 2016, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Fri, 12 Feb 2016 20:02:09 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Early voting registration at EBR Registrar of Voters sees steady turnout http://www.wbrz.com/news/early-voting-registration-at-ebr-registrar-of-voters-sees-steady-turnout/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/early-voting-registration-at-ebr-registrar-of-voters-sees-steady-turnout/ Links Wed, 3 Feb 2016 3:33:05 PM Brock Sues Early voting registration at EBR Registrar of Voters sees steady turnout

BATON ROUGE - Voters in East Baton Rouge Parish turned out at the Registrar of Voters Offices throughout the day Wednesday as it was the last day for residents to register to vote in the state's upcoming presidential primary.

Only registered Republicans and Democrats will be able to cast their ballot for the candidates representing their party when voting day for the primary arrives in March.

"We have a little flurry of business at the last minute. So we've been having some people to come in to register a little bit more than usual. A lot of people reigster to vote online these days, so we've been getting about 300 a day online for the last several days," Steve Raborn of the East Baton Rouge Registrar of Voters said.

Voters had until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to register when the office in East Baton Rouge Parish shut its doors. If you didn't make the deadline, take heart as you have until midnight to complete the registration online.

Online registration is available at www.geauxvote.com through the Secretary of State's Office.

Voters will cast their ballots on March 5th. The presidential primary is a closed election, meaning voters must vote for a candidate representing their party.

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Local health providers address Zika concern http://www.wbrz.com/news/local-health-providers-address-zika-concern/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/local-health-providers-address-zika-concern/ Links Tue, 2 Feb 2016 5:47:43 PM Natalia Verdina Local health providers address Zika concern

BATON ROUGE - Local health providers say their phones have been ringing off the hook as word about the Zika virus spreads.

"We have gotten a lot of questions from our clients, pregnant women and families in Baton Rouge regarding the Zika virus," said Dana Brewer, a certified nurse and midwife.

World health experts say the Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease that poses serious consequences for pregnant women.

If infected, the baby's brain may not fully develop.

"The number one concern is for pregnant women who have traveled abroad, mostly to South and Central America," said Breuer.

Symptoms include red eye, fever and other flu-like symptoms.

United Blood Services asks that anyone who has traveled to affected regions not donate blood for at least 28 days upon return.

Most people who have contracted the disease recover fairly quickly and do not need to be hospitalized. For more information from the Centers for Disease Control, click here.

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New round of public meetings to study I-10 corridor http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-round-of-public-meetings-to-study-i-10-corridor/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-round-of-public-meetings-to-study-i-10-corridor/ Links Fri, 29 Jan 2016 10:44:31 AM Russell Jones New round of public meetings to study I-10 corridor

BATON ROUGE - The state Department of Transportation and Development scheduled another series of public meetings to discuss possible ways to solve traffic jams along the I-10 corridor in Baton Rouge.

The meetings will specifically look at the section of I-10 stretching from Essen Lane to LA 415 in Port Allen. That stretch of highway frequently backs up whenever wrecks occur, since it is the only high-speed route across the Mississippi River and through the city-parish toward New Orleans.

DOTD said they want to present new options to improve that corridor and get the public's input on the issues facing drivers.

Traffic officials already held one series of public meetings in August and September to look at that stretch of I-10. Information from those meetings can be found on the DOTD I-10 Project website.

The public meetings are set for the following times and locations:

Monday, February 22, 2016
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
McKinley Middle Magnet School
1550 Eddie Robinson Sr. Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Addis Community Center
7520 Highway 1 South
Addis, LA 70710

Thursday, February 25, 2016
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Baton Rouge Marriott
5500 Hilton Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

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BR Blues Festival releases 2016 lineup http://www.wbrz.com/news/br-blues-festival-releases-2016-lineup/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/br-blues-festival-releases-2016-lineup/ Links Thu, 28 Jan 2016 2:58:37 PM Russell Jones BR Blues Festival releases 2016 lineup

BATON ROUGE - Blues players from across the globe will jam in early April for the 22nd Baton Rouge Blues Festival.

Organizers with the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation said the free festival will include internationally-recognized performers as well as local blues legends.

Ten of the performers have previously appeared at the festival, including Kenny Neal, James 'Chicken Scratch' Johnson, Henry Gray, The Rakers, Honeyvibe, OMT, Henry Turner Jr. and Flavor, Baton Rouge Music Studios, Lighthouse Singers and Cliff & Company. The BR Blues Foundation says this will be Gray's 18th performance at the festival.

Though the festival is free, people can purchase an All-Weekend Experience Pass for $125 to get complimentary food and drinks, private bars and bathrooms, and exclusive viewing areas for VIP ticket holders at the Swamp Blues and Foundation stages.

The festival is set for April 9 from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m, and April 10 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. More information on the festival, tickets and its performers can be found on the Baton Rouge Blues Festival website.

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Salvation Army extends shelter hours http://www.wbrz.com/news/salvation-army-extends-shelter-hours/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/salvation-army-extends-shelter-hours/ Links Fri, 22 Jan 2016 6:25:56 PM Kevin Dupuy Salvation Army extends shelter hours

BATON ROUGE – With harsh winter weather blowing into Baton Rouge over the weekend, the Baton Rouge Salvation Army announced that the shelter on Airline Hwy will have extended hours Friday.

Captain Brett Meredith said the shelter located at 7361 Airline Hwy. opened at 4 p.m. and residents will be able to stay until 10 a.m. Saturday.

Meredith said that no one will be turned away into freezing conditions.

“We want to be there to assist those who may be the most venerable in our community as we face these freezing temperatures,” Meredith said.

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JazzFest lineup for 2016 includes Pearl Jam, Snoop Dogg http://www.wbrz.com/news/jazzfest-lineup-for-2016-includes-pearl-jam-snoop-dogg/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/jazzfest-lineup-for-2016-includes-pearl-jam-snoop-dogg/ Links Tue, 19 Jan 2016 11:29:41 AM Russell Jones JazzFest lineup for 2016 includes Pearl Jam, Snoop Dogg

NEW ORLEANS - Stevie Wonder, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam and Snoop Dogg are among the performers joining the crowd in New Orleans for the 2016 JazzFest.

Organizers released the full lineup for the New Orleans Jazz And Heritage Festival, which runs on consecutive weekends starting Apr. 22 and ending May 1.

The show starts Friday, Apr. 22, with Steely Dan, Janelle Monae, Michael McDonald and Gov't Mule. The headliners for Saturday include Pearl Jam, Van Morrison and Maxwell. The first weekend finishes with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nick Jonas and Julio Iglesais.

The second weekend features Elvis Costello and the Imposters. Paul Simon and My Morning Jacket will be the two main acts Friday, Apr. 29. Saturday's headliners include Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg and Beck, while the festival concludes on May 1 with Neil Young, Trombone Shorty and Bonnie Raitt.

Also released Tuesday was the official festival poster, "House of Swing", which portrays musician Ellis Marsalis as well as his sons Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason.

Ticket information for JazzFest can be found by clicking here.

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Edwards transition committee releases tax recommendations report http://www.wbrz.com/news/edwards-transition-committee-releases-tax-recommendations-report/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/edwards-transition-committee-releases-tax-recommendations-report/ Links Fri, 15 Jan 2016 3:24:20 PM Brock Sues Edwards transition committee releases tax recommendations report

BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edward’s Transition Committee on Fiscal Matters released a report containing tax recommendations for the state going forward on Friday.

The transition committee spent three days putting together a plan that contains 10 guiding principles and provided options for the incoming administration to take into account. The report covers revenue-raising measures, both new and existing, and seeks to outline a plan for taxation as the Edwards administration takes over.

A range of revenue options are included in the report which range from the reduction of the state’s income-tax rates across the board to the establishment of a flat corporate tax rate.

You can read the full report on the Office of the Governor’s website.

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O'Brien House expanding to help more women in need http://www.wbrz.com/news/o-brien-house-expanding-to-help-more-women-in-need/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/o-brien-house-expanding-to-help-more-women-in-need/ Links Wed, 13 Jan 2016 5:29:41 PM Russell Jones O'Brien House expanding to help more women in need

BATON ROUGE - There's more hope and more help for women who are battling alcohol and drug addiction in the capital area.

The O'Brien House in Baton Rouge dedicated a new women's dorm Wednesday, creating a lot more space for women in need.

The facility extends a helping hand for up to 90 days to people from all walks of life.

"Most of the clients who come here are referred from a primary treatment program, most typically referred to as a 28-day program, although they may come from prison or some even come from the street," said Todd Hamilton, executive director of O'Brien House.

Recovery specialist Tonja Miles said seeing the halfway home program grow from two building to more than five has been "amazing."

"You know, so many women suffer with addictions," Myles said. "I've been in recovery for 28 years, so I know how it is."

For more information on the O'Brien House and their services visit their website.

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Local high school, LSU track and field coach "Boots" Garland dies http://www.wbrz.com/news/local-high-school-lsu-track-and-field-coach-boots-garland-dies/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/local-high-school-lsu-track-and-field-coach-boots-garland-dies/ Links Mon, 11 Jan 2016 2:56:54 PM Brock Sues Local high school, LSU track and field coach

BATON ROUGE - Former LSU head track and field coach and coach at several Capital Area high schools, Murrell “Boots” Garland died Monday at 82.

Garland was an LSU graduate who took the reins of the Tigers track and field team as head coach for the 1982 campaign. He would resign at the end of the season but remained on staff at LSU in an assistant position under Billy Maxwell until he left the university. In total, he would spend a decade in assistant positions for the Tigers track team, helping to produce close to a dozen All-American athletes.

“Boots” was just as well-known for his coaching tenures at several Baton Rouge area high schools as he led teams in various sports at Baton Rouge High, Baker, Bossier, University High, Parkview Baptist and Istrouma. He was instrumental in the success of countless football, basketball and baseball teams in addition to his inspired leadership on the track.

With coaching accomplishments almost too numerous to list, "Boots" got his career underway in 1959 as assistant football coach and head track and field coach for U-High. He would go on to lead Baton Rouge High to a Class 3A state track and field championship in 1969, and hold a position as assistant coach for Baton Rouge High’s 1968 Class 3A state champ basketball team.

Garland was a much lauded speed coach, making his mark on a professional level with the 1975 Dallas Cowboys football team and the LA Dodgers. He brought his skills with him when he gave the LSU baseball team a boost under Skip Bertman, all while leading youth camps at the university. He would continue to contribute his skills as a speed coach for the LSU baseball team until 1992.

Facebook users confirmed that Garland died peacefully at his Baton Rouge home on Monday. Family and friends were already remembering "Boots" for his strong character and undying sense of humor.

Visitation will be held at First Presbyterian Chuch, located at 763 North Boulevard, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Friday, Jan. 15. A memorial service is to follow immediately at 12 noon. Close personal friend Rev. Russ Stevenson will officiate. The funeral is to be followed by a graveside service at Resthaven Cemetery, located at 11817 Jefferson Highway.

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President Obama to speak at McKinley High School http://www.wbrz.com/news/president-obama-to-speak-at-mckinley-high-school/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/president-obama-to-speak-at-mckinley-high-school/ Links Mon, 11 Jan 2016 12:13:58 PM Russell Jones and Brock Sues President Obama to speak at McKinley High School

BATON ROUGE - President Barack Obama will speak at McKinley High School during his visit to Baton Rouge this week.

The White House said Obama's visit is part of a post-State of the Union road trip where the president he will highlight items from his address Tuesday night "to help hardworking Americans get ahead." It will be the 10th time Obama has visited Louisiana during his presidency.

A limited number of tickets will be available for the public. People can get tickets starting Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the McKinley High School Alumni Center on Thomas Delpit Drive. One ticket per person will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. A livestream of the president's speech will be available at whitehouse.gov/live.

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Communities brace for possible Morganza spillway opening http://www.wbrz.com/news/communities-brace-for-possible-morganza-spillway-opening/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/communities-brace-for-possible-morganza-spillway-opening/ Links Thu, 7 Jan 2016 4:09:33 PM Chris Nakamoto Communities brace for possible Morganza spillway opening

MORGANZA/PIERRE PART - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could open the Morganza Spillway as early as Monday to ease the pressure on levees in the Baton Rouge area and points farther south. The decision to possibly open the spillway Monday came at a meeting Thursday in Morgan City.

The plan would include opening 14 bays at the Morganza Spillway. During the 2011 flood, 17 bays were opened.

Communities in the path of the floodwaters are getting ready. In Assumption Parish, there are concerns about backwater flooding. In 2011, officials sunk a barge in Bayou Chene to act as a dam to prevent backwater flooding. It worked. Officials are hoping the same thing happens now, and plans are already in place to sink a barge along Bayou Chene again should conditions require it.

"They hope to mobilize this weekend," Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, John Boudreaux, said. "They estimate it could take 10 to 12 days to complete the sinking of the barge."

In Pierre Part, residents like Myrtle Landry remember the great flood of 1973. That's the first time the Morganza Spillway opened. Her home had nearly a foot of water inside.

"It was terrible," Landry said. "We had to move out of our house for four months."

Landry is the mother of famed alligator hunter, Troy Landry, who became famous on the nationally broadcast hit TV show Swamp People. Tonight, she's worried not even Troy can prevent the bite that might come from the mighty Mississippi River.

"The water is already high," Landry said.

With the flood fight in full swing, residents like Landry are hanging on to their faith that the communities that they love so much will be spared.

"I hope everyone stays dry and safe," Landry said.

This afternoon, the Army Corps of Engineers released possible inundation elevations if the Morganza Spillway is opened. Click on the maps below for full-sized PDFs.

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Free options for revelers who need a safe New Year's ride http://www.wbrz.com/news/free-options-for-revelers-who-need-a-safe-new-year-s-ride/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/free-options-for-revelers-who-need-a-safe-new-year-s-ride/ Links Thu, 31 Dec 2015 11:10:29 AM Russell Jones Free options for revelers who need a safe New Year's ride

BATON ROUGE - Several groups offered alternatives on New Year's Eve for drivers who want to get home safe after they've had too much to drink.

Mockler Beverage's "Safe Ride Home" program is in its 15th year for 2015. It pays for towing services and taxi companies to provide free rides and tows to people who need it in the capital city.

In Baton Rouge people can call Yellow Cab at 225-926-6400 from 7 p.m. Thursday to 3 a.m. Friday for a free ride home. Each cab can hold up to four passengers, and parties which need more than one cab should tell the dispatcher when they call. Guy's Towing is also taking part in the Safe Ride Home all day Thursday and into Friday. Free tows can be arranged by calling 225-275-6411.

People who use those services must say they're calling for the Safe Ride Home program, or they could be charged. Drivers will also only take people home, not to another party.

Other services offering free towing include RoadRunner Towing, with the free offer starting from 8 p.m. and going until 2 a.m. by calling 225-356-3061. The Gordon McKernan Law Firm is also picking up the cab fare for people who need a free ride home from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., at 225-888-8888.

Uber is also offering a promotion for first-time riders in Baton Rouge in conjunction with @LSUCheckpoint on Twitter. Any first-time rider who orders a ride with the promo code "uberLSUCheckpoint" will get a free ride worth up to $20.

Authorities said they already plan for heavier patrols throughout the area to ensure any drivers who aren't sober are pulled over.

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Education officials release guide to understanding school report cards http://www.wbrz.com/news/education-officials-release-guide-to-understanding-school-report-cards/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/education-officials-release-guide-to-understanding-school-report-cards/ Links Tue, 15 Dec 2015 12:07:57 PM Kevin Dupuy Education officials release guide to understanding school report cards

BATON ROUGE – State school officials released a set of guides Tuesday aimed to help parents understand upcoming school report cards.

The Louisiana Department of Education will release school report cards on Dec 17.

Education officials say the report cards will provide important information about the performance of students at each school compared to the school district, the state and previous years.

The guides released Tuesday are aimed to help parents break down parts of the report cards to examine district level scores, high school readiness, and graduation and college readiness indicators.

The department developed guides for each level of the school system: elementary, middle, combination and high schools.

“The most important educational decisions are made at home and in the classroom,” State Superintendent John White said. “Because of this, the department embarked on an unprecedented effort to provide as many families as possible with a clear sense of the skill their children demonstrated on 2015 state assessments.”

White said the guides continue a statewide effort to help parents understand how their child and school are performing.

In October, the Department of Education released the Parent Guide to PARCC Results. Tens of thousands of parents received the guides through parent nights, business and community partners and social media, according to education officials.

WATCH: Understanding and interpreting PARCC test results

Parents can find the guides and other resources at the Family Support Toolbox on the Department of Education website.

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Marc Broussard Free Song Download http://www.wbrz.com/news/marc-broussard-free-song-download/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/marc-broussard-free-song-download/ Links Thu, 10 Dec 2015 8:21:52 AM Marc Broussard Free Song Download

Bayou Soul artist, Marc Broussard just released his first Christmas album, Magnolias & Mistletoe featuring holiday classics and his original songs. Marc and WBRZ are offering a free download of Almost Christmas to the first 500 visitors.

Download a free copy of "Almost Christmas" by clicking on the following link:


This link is good for the first 500 visitors.

Purchase Magnolias & Mistletoe:
Itunes: http://hyperurl.co/cjcrqf

Amazon: http://hyperurl.co/0hefg4

Google Play: http://hyperurl.co/0u55kd

Physical CD: http://shop.marcbroussard.com/
(You will receive a free digital download with your CD purchase)




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Warrants on traffic fines waived this Saturday http://www.wbrz.com/news/warrants-on-traffic-fines-waived-this-saturday/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/warrants-on-traffic-fines-waived-this-saturday/ Links Mon, 30 Nov 2015 4:17:35 PM Russell Jones Warrants on traffic fines waived this Saturday

BATON ROUGE - Authorities in Baton Rouge said people with outstanding warrants over traffic fines can clear their records without facing a trip behind bars this weekend.

Baton Rouge Police said Dec. 5 is Traffic Bench Warrant Amnesty Day for East Baton Rouge Parish. Law enforcement and court officials will let people pay off their fines without fear of arrest for that day only. If people can't pay off their full slate of fines, they can be enrolled into partial pay programs to help settle the debt.

BRPD said the amnesty does not extend to felony warrants, just misdemeanor traffic warrants.

The amnesty event will take place at the MLK Jr. Community Center at 4000 Gus Young Avenue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 5.

People with questions can call (225) 389-3182 or check out the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office warrants website as well as the Baton Rouge city court warrants page.

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Edwards campaign launches official transition website http://www.wbrz.com/news/edwards-campaign-launches-official-transition-website/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/edwards-campaign-launches-official-transition-website/ Links Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:34:51 AM Kevin Dupuy Edwards campaign launches official transition website

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana’s new governor-elect is searching for people interested in serving his administration.

John Bel Edward’s campaign launched its official transition website OnwardLouisiana.com Wednesday.

The website features a newsletter sign-up form and a news archive so users can track announcements from the transition team.

Users interested in joining the administration can fill out an application and send in their resumes by navigating to the “Join the Administration” section.

“No matter your party affiliation, if you love Louisiana and you’re interested in working for our administration, we want to hear from you,” Edwards said.

Earlier this week, Edward announced that Louisiana State Senator Ben Nevers will serve as his chief of staff. Nevers will oversee the transition from the Bobby Jindal administration along with six transition co-chairs.

“I have known Ben Nevers for years, and he has been great to work within the legislature,” Edwards said Sunday. “I’m proud to have him leading the effort to make our government more responsive to the needs of the people and deliver on the commitments that I made in this campaign.”

Edward’s inauguration is set for January 11, 2016.

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Family, fans gather for Allen Toussaint funeral, tribute http://www.wbrz.com/news/family-fans-gather-for-allen-toussaint-funeral-tribute/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/family-fans-gather-for-allen-toussaint-funeral-tribute/ Links Fri, 20 Nov 2015 11:47:28 AM Brock Sues Family, fans gather for Allen Toussaint funeral, tribute

NEW ORLEANS -  It was a rousing final tribute to New Orleans-born musician Allen Toussaint: Trombone Shorty joined the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in a spirited, up-tempo version of "I'll Fly Away" to close out a series of performances and eulogies at the historic Orpheum theater in New Orleans.

Toussaint died earlier this month of a heart attack following a performance in Madrid, Spain. WWL-TV reports that tributes from around the world poured in following the death of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Grammy award winner and composer of some of the most enduring songs tied to the Big Easy. He was 77.

Another New Orleans legend, percussionist and vocalist Cyril Neville of The Meters, opened the tribute program by performing the Aaron Neville tune “Let’s Live.” Remarks by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, thanking Toussaint for being a source of inspiration, followed.

Jimmy Buffett, Boz Scaggs and Elvis Costello joined New Orleans favorites including Irma Thomas, Davell Crawford, John Boutte and Dr. John in the Friday tribute.

One of the most touching moments: a recording of Toussaint himself singing a soulful "Take Me the Rest of the Way."

A private burial is set for Saturday.

Public visitation was held at the recently restored theatre from 8 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. with musical performances starting at 11 a.m.

The services were broadcasted live via local radio station WWOZ’s website.

WWL-TV says Toussaint’s family, which includes four children, one step-child and six grandchildren, have asked that donations in the musician’s memory be made to New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness, a charity Toussaint helped to found in the 1980s. Donations can be sent c/o Loyola University, Campus Box 12, New Orleans, LA 70118.

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LSP says no threats to Louisiana from Syrian refugee http://www.wbrz.com/news/lsp-says-no-threats-to-louisiana-from-syrian-refugee/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/lsp-says-no-threats-to-louisiana-from-syrian-refugee/ Links Thu, 19 Nov 2015 3:53:58 PM Russell Jones LSP says no threats to Louisiana from Syrian refugee

BATON ROUGE - Col. Mike Edmonson took to Facebook Thursday to give a point-by-point breakdown of how the Louisiana State Police responded to last week's terror attacks in France and give people an idea of the threats facing Louisiana.

The short answer: there aren't any, according to Edmonson.

"There currently is no credible information to suggest a terrorist threat is imminent in the state of Louisiana," Edmonson said. "Any reports otherwise with regards to Louisiana's Syrian refugees is wrong."

The state police superintendent said the LSP Fusion Center has been at talking to federal, state, and local authorities since the attacks happened. Edmonson said they learned that one of the Paris attack suspects may have been a Syrian refugee, which led them to ask about any such refugees in Louisiana.

Edmonson said they spoke with Catholic Charities, who has worked with the federal government for more than 45 years to help resettle refugees admitted into the U. S., and found out the sole refugee who came to Baton Rouge two months ago moved through official channels to Washington D. C.

Catholic Charities said on Tuesday they started receiving threats after word got out they had helped resettle the refugee. Edmonson said LSP identified the person who made those threats, but investigators determined that person didn't actually represent a credible threat to the organization and so they weren't arrested.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks which killed more than 100 people in Paris and injured hundreds more this past Friday. Investigations and counter-terror operations across the European Union led to multiple arrests connected to the bombings, including a 7-hour police raid in a Paris suburb during which the suspected mastermind of the attack was killed.

The initial report about the attackers' connections to Syrian refugees came from a passport found near the body of one of the original Paris attackers. French authorities said the passport was a fake, and there has been a history of migrants in Europe using fake Syrian passports to gain passage and sanctuary in Europe as refugees of the civil war.

Germany's interior minister Thomas de Maiziere also suggested Tuesday that fake Syrian passports could have been carried by the attackers as part of an Islamic State goal of demonizing refugees, which IS organizers previously stated is one of their goals.

More than 30 U. S. governors, the majority Republican and including Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, told the White House they did not want Syrian refugees resettled in their states after the Paris attacks. Jindal also issued an executive order directing state agencies not to provide assistance to Syrian refugees. The U. S. House passed a bill Thursday that would halt the U. S. resettlement of refugees, despite a veto threat by President Barack Obama who said turning away refugees would be a betrayal of America's values.

Col. Edmonson said the LSP Fusion Center would work to get "more transparency" from the U. S. State Department about refugees resettled in Louisiana. He said citizens in Louisiana can do their part to keep the public safe by reporting any tips of suspicious activity through the "See Something, Say Something" app or by calling the Fusion Center directly at (800) 434-8007.

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State suspends tax amnesty program over incorrect info http://www.wbrz.com/news/state-suspends-tax-amnesty-program-over-incorrect-info/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/state-suspends-tax-amnesty-program-over-incorrect-info/ Links Tue, 17 Nov 2015 4:36:34 PM Russell Jones State suspends tax amnesty program over incorrect info

BATON ROUGE - State revenue officials announced Tuesday they were suspending Louisiana's tax amnesty program for the rest of November due to incorrect information sent out to taxpayers.

The Department of Revenue said they discovered some amnesty invitation letters said people the wrong amounts of money, and determined it was best to suspend the program until correct letters were mailed out.

"We apologize to our taxpayers for this mistake and for any inconvenience that we may have caused them. LDR will exercise better quality assurance, review and control to prevent this type of human error from occurring again in the future," Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield said.

The program will be suspended through Nov. 30 and begin again on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The program will then run until Dec. 31, during which time delinquent taxpayers file and pay any outstanding returns.

The state said impacted taxpayers should get an updated letter from the Department of Revenue by Dec. 1. Any amnesty payments received during the past two days will be applied to the taxpayer's account when the amnesty period resumes on December 1.

Amnesty will be granted for eligible taxes to qualified taxpayers who apply during the amnesty period and who agree to settle their accounts with the state by paying 100 percent of delinquent taxes, 83 percent of the remaining interest and 67 percent of the remaining penalties due. Once approved, the Secretary of Revenue shall waive the remaining 17 percent interest and 33 percent penalties.

Beginning Monday November 23, taxpayers can call 1-866-782-9241 for more information about their amnesty account.

State officials said they hope the 2015 amnesty program will raise $73 million. It's the third such amnesty approved under a 2013 law, with no new amnesties offered until at least 2025 in Louisiana.

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Livingston, Ascension parishes ready for possible flooding http://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-ascension-parishes-ready-for-possible-flooding/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-ascension-parishes-ready-for-possible-flooding/ Links Tue, 17 Nov 2015 3:54:07 PM Russell Jones Livingston, Ascension parishes ready for possible flooding

LIVINGSTON - Emergency officials in Livingston and Ascension parishes said they're getting assets ready in case of flash flooding or other sever weather tonight or tomorrow.

Livingston Parish said sandbags are available in the following locations for their residents:

Fire Dist 9 (23634 HWY 22)
Fire Dist 8 (Hwy 16/Keller Ln
Fire Dist 5 (Florida/Eden Church Rd)
Fire Dist 1 (Hwy 43/Montpelier)

Ascension Parish emergency officials said they're not putting out sand for bags at this time, but they're ready if the need arises. They told residents to keep on eye on social media channels for notifications if sandbags are made available.

Ascension Parish residents can also call the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at (225) 621-8360 if they need assistance.

Nearly all of the WBRZ viewing area is under Flash Flood and Tornado watches through Wednesday morning. More details on the possibility of severe weather can be found here.

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