WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Links Links en-us Copyright 2015, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Fri, 31 Jul 2015 17:07:23 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 State marking ten years since Katrina, Rita http://www.wbrz.com/news/state-marking-ten-years-since-katrina-rita/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/state-marking-ten-years-since-katrina-rita/ Links Thu, 30 Jul 2015 4:27:22 PM Russell Jones State marking ten years since Katrina, Rita

BATON ROUGE - State officials said as Louisiana marks ten years since hurricanes Katrina and Rita impacted the Gulf coast they're drawing attention to the recovery work that's been done.

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness created a website which offers a complete look at Louisiana's decade of recovery and a calendar for events marking the hurricanes' passing.

"It's important to look back on these events that changed our state forever," said GOHSEP Director Kevin Davis. "This site highlights the tremendous strides Louisiana has made over the past decade, while we continue to work with our partners at the local, state and federal levels to finish the recovery efforts."

GOHSEP also reminded Louisiana residents they can sign up for emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets using the state's free Alert FM app, and download the new Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and other important information at their Get A Game Plan website and app.

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DHH asks parents to ensure vaccinations are current http://www.wbrz.com/news/dhh-asks-parents-to-ensure-vaccinations-are-current/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/dhh-asks-parents-to-ensure-vaccinations-are-current/ Links Thu, 16 Jul 2015 5:43:40 AM APNewsNow DHH asks parents to ensure vaccinations are current

BATON ROUGE- With the beginning of a new school year quickly approaching, state health regulators are urging parents to make sure their children have received all required vaccinations.

State officials say Louisiana law requires children, ages 4 or older and entering kindergarten, pre-kindergarten or Head Start programs, to have proof of receiving the following vaccinations:

- booster dose of poliovirus vaccine

- two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine

- three doses of hepatitis vaccine

- two doses of varicella (chicken pox) vaccine

- booster dose of diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.

Children in daycare also need to be up-to-date with their age-appropriate immunizations. Children 11 or older and entering the sixth grade must have proof they received all the age-appropriate immunizations listed above, as well as vaccinations for meningitis and Tdap.

Louisiana does have a religious exemption for vaccinations.

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Public comments begin for Common Core review http://www.wbrz.com/news/public-comments-begin-for-common-core-review/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/public-comments-begin-for-common-core-review/ Links Thu, 9 Jul 2015 3:31:20 PM Russell Jones Public comments begin for Common Core review

BATON ROUGE - The state began accepting public comments this week in their review of the Common Core education standards.

People can review the English and math standards for different grades and leave feedback, such as whether they agree with the standard or if it should be moved to a different grade level. People can also suggest new standards to be created.

The state Department of Education also posted resources people can read to familiarize themselves with exactly what each math and English education standard means.

The comments will be shared online and with a Standards Committee made of 101 educators and experts nominated from school districts and other education groups. Comments should be made by Aug. 5 in order to be considered in time for the first review committee meeting on Aug. 19. The committee will then propose a set of updated education standards to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education by March 2016.

The standards review came out of objections to the Common Core education standards which have been implemented over the past several years in the state. Lawmakers and education officials agreed to undergo a review of the standards rather than discard them entirely, which Governor Bobby Jindal suggested when he came out in opposition to the standards.

You can review the standards and make comments on the Louisiana Student Standards Review website.


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Veterans selling bricks to raise money for memorial http://www.wbrz.com/news/veterans-selling-bricks-to-raise-money-for-memorial/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/veterans-selling-bricks-to-raise-money-for-memorial/ Links Fri, 3 Jul 2015 3:10:06 PM Troy Gaulden Veterans selling bricks to raise money for memorial

NEW ROADS - A group of veterans in New Roads are raising money to build a veterans memorial in Pointe Coupee Parish.

The veterans are trying to sell personalized bricks for $100 each to raise $100,000 to build the memorial in front the Pointe Coupee General Hospital. The memorial would represent veterans world-wide, not just ones from Pointe Coupee Parish.

"It's going to bring back a lot of memories of what happened in the past, where I've traveled, where I've been and where I don't want to go again," said Army veteran Gene Vincent.

The memorial will feature six flags and stone monuments for each military branch along with a state flag, POW flag and an American flag. The site will also include 1,500 personalized bricks to honor veterans. The group has already sold nearly 300 bricks.

"This is something the veterans never really had in this parish like it's going to be now," said Vincent. "You'll be able to walk by and look and see that we are remembered and really appreciated in this parish."

The veterans plan to sell bricks near city hall in New Roads from 5-9 p.m. Friday and from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday. You can find more information and an application for a personalized brick here.

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Fourth of July Safety Tips by Acadian Ambulance http://www.wbrz.com/news/fourth-of-july-safety-tips-by-acadian-ambulance/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/fourth-of-july-safety-tips-by-acadian-ambulance/ Links Thu, 2 Jul 2015 11:19:52 AM Kevin Dupuy Fourth of July Safety Tips by Acadian Ambulance

Fourth of July Safety Tips by Acadian Ambulance

BATON ROUGE - With the 4th of July holiday just days away, Acadian Ambulance would like to remind the public to celebrate safely.


• Leave fireworks to professionals. If you use them, light them outdoors away from buildings, cars and trees.

• Do not allow children to light fireworks. Even sparklers can reach a temperature up to 2,000 degrees and can cause burns.

• Keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby in case of rogue sparks.

• Wet used fireworks before throwing them away to ensure embers are put out.

• If at a pool or on a beach, lake or rivers, make sure everyone, adults and children alike, wears a life jacket.

• Don't drink while driving a boat or vehicle.

• Don't float in the water near the boat's exhaust, which contains high levels of carbon monoxide.

• Don't swim or boat if there is lightning activity nearby.

• Watch children who are in or near the water.

• Keep pets in the house during fireworks. Secure them in a small interior room with a radio or TV playing to drown out noise. Windows and doors should be closed to keep the noise out and your pet in.

• At the beach, know how to spot a rip current and how to escape from one.

• Drink water even if you don't feel thirsty.

• Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing.

• Never text and drive.


    WBRZ Channel 2 is proud to continue the tradition created by the Manship Family for more than 46 years.

    The largest fireworks show in Louisiana begins at 9 PM on July 4th. Watch from Downtown Baton Rouge or in Port Allen!

    For additional information, please call (225) 342-1942.

    To download a printable schedule of the above events click here.


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    FCC to phone companies: You can stop unwanted robocalls http://www.wbrz.com/news/fcc-to-phone-companies-you-can-stop-unwanted-robocalls/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/fcc-to-phone-companies-you-can-stop-unwanted-robocalls/ Links Thu, 18 Jun 2015 1:03:11 PM APNewsNow FCC to phone companies: You can stop unwanted robocalls

    WASHINGTON - Tired of automated phone calls urging you to vote for a certain candidate or pitching a cruise vacation? You can now tell your phone company that federal regulators say it's OK to block them.

    The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday agreed that Verizon, AT&T and other telecommunication carriers aren't duty-bound to connect those annoying "robocalls" if a consumer doesn't want them. Consumer groups and several states had asked the federal regulator to clarify this point because phone companies have said they worry about running afoul of rules that require them to connect every call.

    The FCC also voted in favor of expanding its Lifeline program to provide low-income subsidies for broadband service.

    For more information on how you can stop robocalls from contacting you phone number you can click here. 

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    Jindal signs budget and financing measures to pay for it http://www.wbrz.com/news/jindal-signs-budget-and-financing-measures-to-pay-for-it/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/jindal-signs-budget-and-financing-measures-to-pay-for-it/ Links Fri, 19 Jun 2015 3:26:27 PM Melinda Deslatte Jindal signs budget and financing measures to pay for it

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed next year's budget, along with the package of tax changes to balance the spending plan without steep reductions to public health care and colleges.

    The Republican governor agreed to raise Louisiana's cigarette tax by 50 cents per pack and to charge a new tax on electronic cigarettes and vapor products.

    He announced Friday that he also signed bills to cap the state's payment on film tax credits at $180 million annually for the next three years and to scale back an array of other business subsidies.

    Also getting Jindal's signature was a $50 fee increase on car buyers.

    In all, the governor supported bills that will raise more than $715 million to help finance state government operations in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

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    FEMA sets up hotline for flood insurance policyholders http://www.wbrz.com/news/fema-sets-up-hotline-for-flood-insurance-policyholders/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/fema-sets-up-hotline-for-flood-insurance-policyholders/ Links Tue, 16 Jun 2015 6:51:36 AM Associated Press FEMA sets up hotline for flood insurance policyholders

    NEW ORLEANS- With the 2015 hurricane season underway, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has launched a National Flood Insurance Program call center pilot program to serve and support policyholders with the servicing of their claims.

    Flood insurance claims can be complicated, and policyholders may have questions in the days and weeks following a disaster.

    The call center is reachable at 1-800-621-3362, and will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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    Monday deadline for I-10 improvement survey http://www.wbrz.com/news/monday-deadline-for-i-10-improvement-survey/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/monday-deadline-for-i-10-improvement-survey/ Links Mon, 15 Jun 2015 7:32:59 AM Rebecca Buchanan, Joe Hagan Monday deadline for I-10 improvement survey

    BATON ROUGE- Baton Rouge authorities are ready to move on to the next step toward construction on the busy I-10 corridor, and they're asking for your input. The Department of Transportation and Development wants frustrated drivers to fill out a survey about driving in the city.

    The survey asks multiple choice questions about the busiest times to travel and what roads are the most congested. It also has some open-ended questions to get driver opinions on possible "projects and solutions" to key problem areas around Baton Rouge.

    DOTD communications director, Rodney Mallett, says the organization has gotten an overwhelming amount of responses to the survey.

    "We have more than 12,000 people who have responded to the survey," said Mallet. "We were hoping for 10,000 and we beat that. It's good to see input, and people who care about their community."

    Once the survey is complete, traffic officials and engineers will then complete feasibility studies before presenting a final alternative solution. Afterward, the improvements will require approval and funding before construction on the interstate gets underway.

    Monday is the last day to take the survey. It takes about 20 minutes to complete, and you can keep up with the released information from the survey on their Facebook page. You can find the I-10 survey here.


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    Web resources to make your trip to the beach a breeze http://www.wbrz.com/news/web-resources-to-make-your-trip-to-the-beach-a-breeze/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/web-resources-to-make-your-trip-to-the-beach-a-breeze/ Links Tue, 9 Jun 2015 12:09:23 PM Brock Sues Web resources to make your trip to the beach a breeze

    BATON ROUGE - As summer enters full swing, many families from the Capitol Areas will be hitting the Interstate Systems to head to various vacation destinations, and state officials have plenty of helpful resources to ensure safe and efficient journeys for everyone hitting the road.

    The Louisiana Department of Transportation notes that motorists heading to the Gulf Coast via the Interstate for some fun in the sun should be aware of construction on various portions of the roadway. Traffic officials have provided a map for motorists that documents areas where extension traffic delays are possible due to construction on I-10, I-12 and I-59. Work on these roads will be carried out from now until the end of August so motorists should be aware of detour routes that can save major time when it comes to avoiding work zones. Click here for a PDF version of the map that can be saved to your laptop or mobile device.

    (Click to enlarge)

    Troopers have taken their tech game to the next level this vacation season and have compiled a helpful repository of web links and smartphone applications to aid Interstate travelers. For instant updates on lane closures, accidents and general police related information, LSP recommend visiting www.nixle.com where users can sign up for text and email alerts. LSP also note that they keep their Facebook page up-to-date with similar traffic information when possible. To report a crash or unsafe driving while still within Louisiana's borders, call *LSP (*577).

    Owners of Android and Apple devices can take advantage of the Way to Geaux app. This application provides motorists with live traffic updates based on your phone's location via GPS. The app can be downloaded in the Google Play store or the Apple App Store free of charge.

    LA DOTD also keeps their Facebook page updated with traffic information and their website features live traffic cameras to allow a first-hand glance at the action on the road.

    Motorists headed east can also take advantage of resources from neighboring states. The following links can be bookmarked to provide guidance for eastbound vacationers:

    -Highway Patrol

    -Law Enforcement

    -Highway Patrol

    -State Police
    -Department of Transportation

    -Department of Public Safety
    -Department of Transportation

    Above all, State Police encourage summer vacationers to use caution and allow for plenty of time to arrive at travel destinations safely.

    Image: LA DOTD

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    TSA Precheck on display at BTR Metro http://www.wbrz.com/news/tsa-precheck-on-display-at-btr-metro/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/tsa-precheck-on-display-at-btr-metro/ Links Mon, 8 Jun 2015 6:28:34 PM Kristen Althouse, Ambria Washington TSA Precheck on display at BTR Metro

    BATON ROUGE - Frequent flyers through Baton Rouge can qualify to have shorter time getting through security.

    Officials at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport will join TSA leaders to kick off the Precheck program on Monday. The program will allow low-risk flyers to move quickly through security screenings at the airport. It will also decrease the hassle of security checks while trying to board flights.

    "While this facilitates an expedite for those that are in the program, it strengthens security for everyone because we can spend more time with those we know less about," said Sari Koshetz,Spokesperson for Transportation Security Administration.

    However, if interested travelers have to enroll and go through background checks as well as provide fingerprints.

    Once qualified travelers will be able to leave their shoes, a light jacket and a belt while going through security. Users can also keep their laptops in their cases and liquids and gels bag in their carry-on bags in certain lanes. The TSA is working to bring the program to more that 150 U.S. airports.

    According to the TSA American citizens and lawful permanent residents can apply for the Precheck program. Once approved, each traveler will get a "Known Travelers Number" giving members access to perks of the program. TSA Officials said the "Known Travelers Number" has to be added to each reservation with the airline that's participating.

    BTR Metro said more than 10,000 people in Louisiana have signed up for the program, and 3,000 of those people are from Baton Rouge. Initially, airlines that participated in the program invited frequent flyers but now anyone that qualifies can enroll in the program The fee is $85 for 5 years. TSA officials say that money goes to running background checks that are needed for the program.

    The TSA pre check program is only available at the moment during peak hours at the Baton Rouge airport from 4:30-7:00 am to 11:00pm-12:00 pm and from 2:00-5:00pm.


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    My information's been hacked... what now? http://www.wbrz.com/news/my-information-s-been-hacked-what-now-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/my-information-s-been-hacked-what-now-/ Links Fri, 5 Jun 2015 11:06:55 AM My information's been hacked... what now?

    The entire U.S. federal workforce may be at risk after yet another intrusion from what security experts believe were hackers based in China. The Department of Homeland Security says that data from the Office of Personnel Management - the human resources department for the federal government - and the Interior Department has been infiltrated.

    It is not the first and it follows massive data breaches at health insurance companies, major U.S. banks like JPMorgan and retailers such as Target and Home Depot.

    Here's what to do if you think you've been compromised.


    - Notify the credit agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) and request a 90-day credit alert. (Each reporting agency is supposed to notify the others, but you may want to contact all three yourself.) The alert tells businesses to contact you before opening any new accounts in your name. You can renew the alert every 90 days, or you're entitled to keep it in effect for seven years if you find that your identity is stolen and file a report with police.

    - You might consider asking the reporting agencies to place a full freeze on your credit. This blocks any business from checking your credit to open a new account, so it's a stronger measure than a credit alert. BUT you should weigh that against the hassle of notifying credit agencies to lift the freeze - which can take a few days - every time you apply for a loan, open a new account or even sign up for utility service.


    - When your credit card bill comes, check closely for any irregularities. And don't overlook small charges. Crooks are known to charge smaller amounts, usually under $10, to see if you notice. If you don't, they may charge larger amounts later.

    - Get a free credit report once a year from at least one of the major reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion), and review it for unauthorized accounts. Ignore services that charge a fee for credit reports. You can order them without charge at www.annualcreditreport.com . If you order from each agency once a year, you could effectively check your history every four months.


    - Some experts say there's not much to be gained from a paid credit monitoring service. But it can't hurt to sign up for any monitoring offered for free by a company or any other entity that may have held your information when it was hacked. NOTE: These services will tell you if a new account is opened in your name, but they won't prevent it, and many don't check for things like bogus cellphone accounts, fraudulent applications for government benefits or claims for medical benefits. Some do offer limited insurance or help from a staffer trained to work with credit issuers and reporting agencies.


    - Contact the credit issuer to dispute fraudulent charges and have the bogus account closed.

    - Request your credit report and ask the reporting agencies to remove bogus accounts or any incorrect information from your record. See tip #1 on setting up a credit alert and/or freeze.

    - Submit a report through the FTC website: www.consumer.ftc.gov. Click the "privacy & identity" tab, which will walk you through creating an affidavit you can show to creditors.

    - Keep copies of all reports and correspondence. Use certified mail to get delivery receipts, and keep notes on every phone call.


    - After a hack, scammers may try to use the stolen data to trick you into giving up more personal information. They can use that info to steal money in your accounts or open new credit cards.

    - Don't click on any links from emails. Bad software could be downloaded to your computer that can steal account passwords.

    - You might get letters in the mail saying you won a tablet or vacation and give you a phone number to call. Don't do it. It's likely a ploy to gather more information from you.

    - Hang up the phone if you get a call asking for account numbers or other information. Scammers may also send texts, so don't click on any links from numbers you don't know.


    The FTC now has a website www.identitytheft.gov that provides step-by-step advice and more information on what to do if you think you have been the victim of a data breach.

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    OIG report says deaf commission wasteful, used copied signatures http://www.wbrz.com/news/oig-report-says-deaf-commission-wasteful-used-copied-signatures/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/oig-report-says-deaf-commission-wasteful-used-copied-signatures/ Links Tue, 2 Jun 2015 1:21:52 PM Russell Jones OIG report says deaf commission wasteful, used copied signatures

    BATON ROUGE - The Office of the Inspector General released a report Tuesday which said a two-year investigation found nearly one million dollars in questionable spending from the state Commission for the Deaf and its director, as well as evidence people used photocopied signatures to authorize payments.

    The OIG said between 2012 and 2014 the commission spent $690,527 on unnecessary services and another $228,156 on "unsupported expenses and equipment that cannot be located."

    The biggest expense was $439,759 the commission paid to private contractors in order to distribute items such as amplified or text telephones to people who were hearing impaired, something the OIG said other states do without hiring a third party. The inspector general said they also could not find $14,363 worth of telecom equipment, and identified another $219,720 paid to contractors in 2012 without authentic signatures.

    The OIG said one group, Southwest Louisiana Independent Living Center, used invoices between 2009 and 2014 which had photocopied signatures of a council on aging director on them without that person's knowledge. The invoices had signatures which were photocopied, physically cut out, then taped onto a blank document. The inspector general said this was done 204 times and for at least eight months after the director whose signature was copied retired.

    The report also called into question spending authorized by Director Naomi DeDual, including more than $58,000 paid to sign language interpreters. The OIG said public funds can be used for interpreters during emergency medical situations, but 61 percent of all interpreter assignments during their review were for instances classified as non-emergency "other situations" and approved by DeDual.

    DHH Interim Director Hugh Eley said they disagreed with most of the report's findings, saying he believed the Commission for the Deaf operated "effectively" and followed all state and federal laws. He also said Louisiana has a larger number of people served by the commission's work than the other states cited by the OIG, and the contractors paid to deliver the devices also provided necessary training. Eley said the commission will also introduce a resolution at a later meeting to consider a more specific definition of which interpreter services qualify as "other situations" for spending purposes.

    Eley also claimed the use of incorrect documentation was isolated to "one contractor's employee," but the OIG said their findings showed the commission had a "systemic failure" to stick to its own paperwork policies.

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    Deadline extended for online I-10 improvement survey http://www.wbrz.com/news/deadline-extended-for-online-i-10-improvement-survey/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/deadline-extended-for-online-i-10-improvement-survey/ Links Wed, 27 May 2015 2:03:56 PM Brock Sues Deadline extended for online I-10 improvement survey

    BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development and Providence Engineering Team have made the decision to extend the deadline for community input in an online public survey concerning the I-10 Corridor Improvement Study.

    So far, traffic officials says they have collected input from about 8,300 area residents. They hope extending the deadline will allow more people who are interested in seeing a resolution to traffic problems along I-10 in and around Baton Rouge to have their voices heard.

    "Survey responses are continuing to come in, and we are getting requests to extend the deadline for additional input to be provided. While hard copy surveys at area libraries are still due by May 31, everyone interested in I-10 corridor improvements through the Baton Rouge area will be able to complete online surveys through June 15," said DOTD Secretary Sherri LeBas.

    The I-10 Corridor Improvement Study is intended to aid in uncovering solutions to traffic issues on the interstate that have been a major topic of concern for more than a decade.

    The first step in the study is to determine the feasibility of any improvements to I-10 possible between West Baton Rouge (LA 415 interchange) and the I-10/I-12 split (to Essen Lane interchange on both I-10 and I-12). Traffic officials are working with residents, businesses, commuters, industries and legislators in the area to encourage the sharing of ideas that may ease gridlock and commuter headaches along the heavily travelled strip of roadway.

    The coming months will see a series of public meetings that will follow the surveys so that additional ideas for corridor improvements can be brought before DOTD and engineers. To submit your feedback and learn more about the project, visit the study's website at www.i10br.com.


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    Hurricane preparedness sales tax begins next weekend http://www.wbrz.com/news/hurricane-preparedness-sales-tax-begins-next-weekend/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/hurricane-preparedness-sales-tax-begins-next-weekend/ Links Fri, 22 May 2015 12:11:54 PM Russell Jones Hurricane preparedness sales tax begins next weekend

    BATON ROUGE - The annual hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday is right around the corner in Louisiana.

    On May 30 and 31 people can buy things like flashlights and portable generators without having to pay the 4 percent state sales tax.

    The exemption only applies to the first $1,500 of the price of each item. Local taxes still apply during the holiday.

    The following items are eligible for this tax exemption:

    • Self-powered light sources, such as flashlights and candles
    • Portable self-powered radios, two-way radios, and weather-band radios
    • Tarpaulins or other flexible waterproof sheeting
    • Ground anchor systems, straps or tie-down kits
    • Gas or diesel fuel tanks
    • Batteries, sizes AAA, AA, C, D, 6-volt, or 9-volt (Automobile batteries and boat batteries are ineligible)
    • Cellular phone batteries and chargers
    • Non-electric food storage coolers
    • Portable generators
    • Storm shutter devices (Materials and products manufactured, rated, and marketed specifically for the purposes of preventing window damage from storms)
    • Carbon monoxide detectors
    • "Blue Ice" (and similar re-usable cooling products)


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    Taylor Swift, Superfest fans warned about traffic changes http://www.wbrz.com/news/taylor-swift-superfest-fans-warned-about-traffic-changes/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/taylor-swift-superfest-fans-warned-about-traffic-changes/ Links Thu, 21 May 2015 3:04:23 PM Russell Jones Taylor Swift, Superfest fans warned about traffic changes

    BATON ROUGE - With two concerts this weekend in Baton Rouge, city-parish officials warned drivers and music lovers Thursday to be aware of traffic changes around LSU.

    Taylor Swift performs Friday night as part of her 1989 World Tour at Tiger Stadium, while country music stars will hit the state Saturday and Sunday for Bayou Country Superfest.

    The EBR Mayor-President's Office said many people who aren't familiar with the LSU campus and stadium parking areas will likely complicate travel through the area, so drivers should leave plenty of time if they plan on going to the festival or anywhere in that area.

    The city-parish released a map of planned parking areas for Superfest, including drop-off areas for hotel shuttles, taxis and Uber drivers. The Capital Area Transit System will not be running for this event.

    Specific tailgating and RV parking information for Bayou Country Superfest can be found on their website. Information about tickets for Taylor Swift's concert on Friday can be found here.

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    Mayor to hold conference on Summer Feeding Program http://www.wbrz.com/news/mayor-to-hold-conference-on-summer-feeding-program/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/mayor-to-hold-conference-on-summer-feeding-program/ Links Tue, 19 May 2015 7:46:01 AM Rebecca Buchanan, Joe Hagan Mayor to hold conference on Summer Feeding Program

    BATON ROUGE- Free lunches are getting started for children across East Baton Rouge Parish. The USDA Summer Feeding Program works to make sure kids are staying fed while they're out of school.

    The Summer Feeding Program has been in Baton Rouge for the past 30 years. In the last year the program has started serving 19% more breakfasts, and 10% more lunch meals. The free breakfast and lunch meals are available to any public school student in East Baton Rouge parish.

    Almost 19% of children in East Baton Rouge Parish are considered food insecure. This year the program has a $700,000 budget to feed kids throughout the parish. The free meals make a world of difference to families that are used to having meals provided by the school.

    The program also stresses making healthy food choices. Milk is served with every meal to give the kids a healthy dose of vitamin D. Pizza, pasta, and brown rice jambalaya are served to promote whole grain options when possible.

    "The whole grain breads that we promote have fiber, so it's all part of helping kids grow over the summer," said Dr. Nadine Mann, director of child nutrition for the East Baton Rouge Parish School System.

    Last year the Summer Feeding Program served 121,000 breakfast meals and 186,000 lunches to hungry children. Hot meals are served Monday through Thursday, cold breakfast and lunches are served on Fridays.

    Baton Rouge Mayor, Kip Holden, will address the public on Tuesday to inform families across Baton Rouge about how they can take advantage of the free meals.

    For information on having meals delivered to your summer bible study or camp call 225-226-3768.

    For information about locations and menus visit the Healthy Baton Rouge website.


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    Local musician reflects on the legacy of BB King http://www.wbrz.com/news/local-musician-reflects-on-the-legacy-of-bb-king/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/local-musician-reflects-on-the-legacy-of-bb-king/ Links Fri, 15 May 2015 2:06:11 AM Russell Jones Local musician reflects on the legacy of BB King

    BATON ROUGE - Music lovers everywhere are mourning the passing of blues legend B. B. King, who died at age 89 according to his representative.

    New Orleans blues musician Kenny Neal spoke to News 2 about the influence King had on his life and career. Neal met King when he opened for him during a tour in Japan.

    "I was just excited," Neal said, "It was just a pleasure to meet the guy I grew up listening to all my life, and then get the chance to know him... the rest of his life."

    Neal said King encouraged him to avoid playing covers and stick with his own music, then asked him to play on stage with him that night.

    "I nearly fell out the chair," Neal said.

    B.B. King's attorney Brent Bryson said King died peacefully in his sleep at Thursday night at his home in Las Vegas. King grew up a farmhand in Mississippi before his music drew in new generations of blues fans through songs like "The Thrill Is Gone."

    Best known for his iconic Gibson guitar, named "Lucille," King was the master of his craft and mentor to other guitar legends such as Eric Clapton. King received his 15th Grammy in 2009 in the traditional blues album category for "One Kind Favor."

    Neal posted a musical tribute to King back in February, which you can listen to here.

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    House passes $677 million in tax, credit changes http://www.wbrz.com/news/house-passes-677-million-in-tax-credit-changes/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/house-passes-677-million-in-tax-credit-changes/ Links Thu, 7 May 2015 11:19:26 AM Russell Jones House passes $677 million in tax, credit changes

    BATON ROUGE - A controversial cap on tax credits for the filmmaking industry. An increased cigarette sales tax. Scaling back solar and corporate tax credits.

    Almost a dozen such bills were all passed by the Louisiana House Thursday in their efforts to raise revenue and start filling a $1.6 billion hole in the state budget.

    Lawmakers put 13 bills on the docket and set a goal of passing around $937 million in new revenue. They only considered 11, approving all of them to possibly add $677 million in revenue.

    "We've had a great day today," Kleckley said as the House adjourned for the day.

    Legislative watchers predicted the debate over such tax increases would be long and contentious, especially after Governor Bobby Jindal threatened to veto the entire budget if it contained any such hikes. Instead bills were quickly brought in and passed, with Rep. Joel Robideaux's cap on how much the state gives the filmmaking industry in tax credits each year getting the most time on the floor.

    Jindal commended the House on their work, but did not soften his stance toward tax increases.

    "This is one more step in the process towards passing a balanced budget that helps protect higher education and healthcare without raising taxes," Jindal said in an emailed statement from his office.

    Robideaux's bill initially proposed a $150 million cap annually to the film tax credit, but that failed its first vote. An amended version of the bill which capped the credits at $200 million passed by a 101-2 margin. Last year the state gave out more than $226 million in such credits.

    Entertainment groups lobbied hard against any limits to those credits, which critics say will stop the flow of film and TV productions into what has been dubbed "Hollywood South." Proponents of tax reform called for further limits to the credits, which can be sold by filmmakers to companies such as oil and gas producers in Louisiana which already receive other corporate tax credits.

    Kleckley said the proposals would have everyone "paying a share" to help stop deep cuts to health care and colleges next year. Higher education leaders also thanked lawmakers for taking steps to avoid deep cuts to colleges and universities.

    "We know that these are difficult decisions to make, and applaud all involved in pushing these bills forward to the next phase of the legislative process," said LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander.

    The bills which weren't considered Thursday include HB 355, which would enforce an existing sales tax on internet sales, and HB 768 which would end some sales tax exemptions for special interest groups and could add $231 million to the budget.

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    Lemonade Day Louisiana http://www.wbrz.com/news/lemonade-day-louisiana/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/lemonade-day-louisiana/ Links Tue, 28 Apr 2015 9:03:56 AM Joe Hagan Lemonade Day Louisiana

    BATON ROUGE- Over the past five years, Lemonade Day Louisiana has given over 50,000 children across the state the opportunity to become entrepreneurs. On Saturday, May 2nd, these young entrepreneurs will participate in the fifth annual Lemonade Day, which is set to be the largest to date.

    The program was introduced by entrepreneurs John Georges and Todd Graves in 2010 and has become an annual tradition in Louisiana. It's a free, community-wide program that fosters entrepreneurship and character development among Louisiana's youth.

    The young entrepreneurs are given a backpack, which has detailed support materials like a workbook, marketing tips, and a mentor guide. The kids then use these materials to start a lemonade stand. The young business owners are encouraged to spend a little, share a little, and save a little bit of their profits.

    Registration for the event is free and all children are encouraged to participate. You can register your children online at Lemonade Day Louisiana's Website. For a comprehensive map of stands around the state, visit the official site for a map of stand locations.


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