WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Local News Local News en-us Copyright 2014, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:07:29 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Shreveport woman killed by large tree limb http://www.wbrz.com/news/shreveport-woman-killed-by-large-tree-limb/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/shreveport-woman-killed-by-large-tree-limb/ Local News Thu, 24 Jul 2014 9:18:02 AM Shreveport woman killed by large tree limb

SHREVEPORT - Shreveport authorities say a 64-year-old woman died after being hit by a large limb that fell to street during strong storm.

The Caddo Parish Coroner's Office says Connie Wilson Johnson died Wednesday of blunt force trauma from the collapse of the limb.

Neighbors said Johnson was walking down the street when the wind picked up, and she turned back to head home when a limb fell on top of her.

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LSU campus to host I.T. conference on Aug. 2 http://www.wbrz.com/news/lsu-campus-to-host-i-t-conference-on-aug-2/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/lsu-campus-to-host-i-t-conference-on-aug-2/ Local News Thu, 24 Jul 2014 9:36:47 AM Brock Sues LSU campus to host I.T. conference on Aug. 2

BATON ROUGE - An estimated 600 technology professionals from around the country are expected to descend on the LSU campus on August 2 for a free Information Technology conference and training event.

Hosted by LSU since 2009, SQL Saturday Baton Rouge offers courses on vital I.T. topics that are relevant to anyone who works with Microsoft SQL Server databases, SharePoint, and .NET development.

Event organizers say the multiple tracks offered during the event will cater to beginners and I.T. experts alike.

The conference will be held at LSU's Business Education Complex on Nicholson Extension from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on August 2. The complete list of topics covered can found at the event's website.

Pre-registration for the free event is strongly encouraged and can be completed at the SQL Saturday Baton Rouge registration page.


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Grand Isle prepares for its busiest weekend http://www.wbrz.com/news/grand-isle-prepares-for-its-busiest-weekend/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/grand-isle-prepares-for-its-busiest-weekend/ Local News Thu, 24 Jul 2014 8:30:58 AM Grand Isle prepares for its busiest weekend

GRAND ISLE - Thousands will descend on Grand Isle this weekend for this year's International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo.

The town bills the rodeo that began in 1928 as the "oldest fishing tournament in the United States." It runs from Thursday through Saturday.

The Couier reports the rodeo is an annual staple for the island whose businesses have come to expect the boost provided by its party atmosphere.

Besides anglers from all over the area competing to catch the biggest fish in a number of categories, the event features crab races, shrimp boils, craft vendors, merchandise booths and live music throughout the weekend.

Fisherman will bring in tarpon that weigh upward of 125 pounds. The fish are then displayed in a public weighing area for bystanders to see.

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Deputies investigate Western store burglary http://www.wbrz.com/news/deputies-investigate-western-store-burglary/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/deputies-investigate-western-store-burglary/ Local News Thu, 24 Jul 2014 8:29:59 AM Brock Sues Deputies investigate Western store burglary

AMITE - Sheriff's deputies in Tangipahoa Parish asked for the public's assistance on Thursday identifying a woman caught on security camera as she burglarized a store in Amite.

Deputies said the the robbery happened on Monday night at the T-N-T Western store located on Hwy 16 East in Amite.

Surveillance camera images provided by law enforcement were taken at about 10:00 p.m. on the night of the crime.

Anyone able to identify the woman is urged to contact TPSO in Amite at (985) 748-8147.

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New charter school in Baton Rouge showcases programs http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-charter-school-in-baton-rouge-showcases-programs/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-charter-school-in-baton-rouge-showcases-programs/ Local News Thu, 24 Jul 2014 7:33:27 AM Hunter Robinson New charter school in Baton Rouge showcases programs

BATON ROUGE - The new J.K. Haynes Charter School in Baton Rouge wants to help you get your kids ready to go back to school and showcase some of its program.

J.K. Haynes Charter School opens this fall at the location of the old Banks Elementary School. The school is locally operated and free to attend. School leaders say the smaller classes will allow for more one-on-one interaction between students and teachers and improved overall academic success.

"We were one of the first schools approved under the new charter system by the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board," says Board Chairman Nelson Taylor. "We have a history of excellence and are from the local community and want the local community to support us."

Even though this its first year as a middle school, Diana Haynes says their school is different because of its history.

"We have been open since 1997," she explains. "We've established a nurturing environment and welcoming environment for parents."

Assistant Principal Frederick Boudreaux agrees.

"We are a local school for the local community. We've been there for 17 years and we want to give you a school to love," he said.

To celebrate its opening, J.K. Haynes Charter School is hosting a Showcase and School Supply Giveaway on Sunday from 3:00-6:00 p.m.

J.K. Haynes is currently enrolling students in grades 6th-8th and will open next month.

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Democrats come out against school redistricting http://www.wbrz.com/news/democrats-come-out-against-school-redistricting/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/democrats-come-out-against-school-redistricting/ Local News Thu, 24 Jul 2014 4:35:20 AM Hunter Robinson Democrats come out against school redistricting

BATON ROUGE - The executive committee for the East Baton Rouge Parish Democratic Party has come out against proposals up for debate to reduce the size of the parish School Board.

The Democratic Party's opposition to the school board redistricting follows on the heels of opposition by the local Republican Party, the Louisiana NAACP and the parent group One Community, One School District.

The Democratic Party executive committee vote Tuesday night was unanimous.

The parish school board meets Thursday to consider dropping an 11-member plan the board adopted two years ago, which later was approved by the U.S. Justice Department, in favor of a plan with fewer members, ranging from seven to 10, and doing so just weeks before qualifying for the Nov. 4 elections.

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Exclusive: dash cam video reveals why there is a $495,000 settlement http://www.wbrz.com/news/exclusive-dash-cam-video-reveals-why-there-is-a-495-000-settlement/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/exclusive-dash-cam-video-reveals-why-there-is-a-495-000-settlement/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 9:19:05 PM Ryan Naquin Exclusive: dash cam video reveals why there is a $495,000 settlement

BATON ROUGE - Members of Metro Council will have to give the final approval to pay $495,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit over an officer-involved shooting where a drunken man was shot and killed in 2011.

On March 6th, 2011, Baton Rouge police officer Christopher Magee shot and killed Carlos Harris, 21, in the parking lot of Club Insomnia off Florida Boulevard.  Harris was at the bar with a friend, Ryan Dominique, the night he was shot.

Leading up to the incident, police were called to the scene related to Domingue driving recklessly in the parking lot.  As events unfolded and he was taken into custody, Magee either told or asked (accounts differ) Harris to move Dominique's car despite witnesses saying Harris told Magee he was drunk.

Harris was shot while moving the car after he smashed into various vehicles in the parking lot, including police cruisers.  Magee said at the time he was worried for his safety, and those around him, so he opened fire.  Harris was shot dead.  Magee also suggested Harris had some sort of weapon.

"He told [Officer Magee] he was drunk...[But Magee] commanded him to move the car," witness Aisha Loliss told WBRZ News 2 after the shooting in 2011.

In a document obtained by the WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit, council members were sent information about Harris' death and details of the proposed settlement.  The paperwork includes a synopsis of the events leading up to the shooting and Harris' toxicology report.  The report shows Harris' blood alcohol level was .089 percent.  The legal limit is .08.

Council members were also told Magee was instructed by another officer not to shoot because there were too many people around the scene.

The Investigative Unit also obtained the dash cam video from numerous police cars that were on the scene the night of the shooting.  More than 50 cameras capture various angles of what happened, including one that shows Harris driving the car into a police unit, pull forward and hit another car, then crash into the police car again.

The car was traveling forward when Magee shot Harris from behind.  One of the three shots Magee fired also hit a woman nearby in the wrist.

Harris' family sued Baton Rouge police for negligence because they believe Harris should have never been instructed to get behind the wheel.  The family also contests Dominique's car had a defect and difficult to drive.

Most of the footage begins recording as officers are rushing to the scene.  But, Magee's dash cam video starts recording a minute after the shooting occurred.

The district attorney's office cleared Magee of any wrongdoing and he remains on the force.

Chief Carl Dabadie would not comment on Harris' death because of pending litigation.

Council members were scheduled to vote on the settlement at Wednesday's meeting, but time ran out.  Click HERE to read more about why.  It is expected to be added to the August 13th meeting agenda.

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Bizarre council debate rattles nerves, accomplishes nothing http://www.wbrz.com/news/bizarre-council-debate-rattles-nerves-accomplishes-nothing/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/bizarre-council-debate-rattles-nerves-accomplishes-nothing/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 8:44:46 PM Trey Schmaltz, Brittany Weiss Bizarre council debate rattles nerves, accomplishes nothing

BATON ROUGE- The situation at Wednesday evening's council meeting, where a debate over a proposed fairness ordinance took over just about the entire meeting time, quickly turned bizarre.

Testimony from people on both sides of the issue that would protect gay, transgender and veterans from discrimination on various fronts lasted for hours. People in support of the so-called fairness ordinance and those against it both used the Bible as a reference to why council members should vote a certain way. Business owners also suggested it was about business, by either creating jobs or limiting lawsuits by denying the proposal.

"This is not going to mandate respect," said Pastor Gene Mills, who spoke against the ordinance. "The compulsory effort to dictate that you got to respect and appreciate another person's lifestyle that you may hold a deeply religious belief on, is not the policy of a council."

Nanette Noland spoke for the ordinance: "I'm not so certain that you all have an appreciation for just how far behind we are. Racism is one of our biggest problems in this community. You all are our elected leaders. You have an opportunity to change that."

But, as time was running out, the environment on the third floor of City Hall in downtown became tense and chaotic.

The founder of Christian Life Academy, Dr. Jere Melilli, was asked to stop talking near the end when he went into a graphic discussion about gay sex.

"Therefore bringing about a compromise of the immune system of the body," Melilli explained about how organs react to certain types of intercourse. His comments at the podium could not even fully be aired on broadcast TV.

At one point, Councilwoman Tara Wicker held her hand over her head. Council members asked Melilli to stop talking and move aside.

But, it was not just those against who had dramatic moments as time was coming to an end.

Former minister Reginald Pitcher approached the podium without being recognized and began to speak. "With all respect, I know you didn't call my name," he said as he walked to the comment podium. Many people, especially those who were against the proposal, showed obvious disapproval with his disregard to council meeting rules.

"I'm actually for this ordinance; I was against it," he managed to say before he was silenced.

As the situation calmed, it appeared there might be enough time to vote on the issue, but Councilman John Delgado requested time to speak. Each council member is allotted time to speak before a vote. Delgado's comments pushed the meeting to its 8:30 p.m. required end time.

Delgado, who was for the proposal, said he was not attempting a filibuster but admitted there were not enough votes to pass the ordinance.

Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle, who proposed it, said the council has a lot to consider after hearing what people had to say.

"Testimony speaks for itself," she said. "The people of Baton Rouge speak for themselves. I believe they will continue to email saying how they want their council members to vote."

Delgado is proposing an election to allow voters to decide on the issue.

For now, the council will likely be asked to decide on the issue in its current form at the next council meeting in two weeks.

Click HERE to read specifics about the fairness ordinance.
Follow the publishers of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz @MsBWeiss


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The fairness ordinance http://www.wbrz.com/news/the-fairness-ordinance/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/the-fairness-ordinance/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 2:46:23 PM Brock Sues The fairness ordinance

BATON ROUGE - There was no vote Wednesday night dealing with a fairness ordinance that would protect gays from certain kinds of discrimination. 

The council meeting reached it's required legal ending before a vote could happen.

Leading up to the end, City Hall was filled to capacity with a large numbers of residents turning out to express their opinion on an equal opportunity issue.

The ordinance would ban hiring and housing discrimination based on factors including sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and veterans status.

Many among the large turn out in support of the Fairness Ordinance feel that it is time for Baton Rouge to pass the measure, which is already in place in many other cities throughout the U.S. Supporters of the ordinance also said that failure to embrace the protective policy could lead to industry-leading businesses shying away from investing in Baton Rouge's economy.

Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber were among those who spent nearly two hours speaking in support of the measure. Executives from Albermarle and Lamar Advertising also supported the measure in order to "win the war for talent."

Others stand in opposition to the protections and claim that businesses and property owners should be able to make hiring and other business decisions based on their own discretion and not that of a law passed down from city government.

Click HERE for more about the meeting.

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Jury hears interrogation from gas station shooting http://www.wbrz.com/news/jury-hears-interrogation-from-gas-station-shooting/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/jury-hears-interrogation-from-gas-station-shooting/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 4:17:39 PM Ambria Washington Jury hears interrogation from gas station shooting

PORT ALLEN - Testimony continued Wednesday in the murder trial of Marcus Richardson, who investigators said admitted to shooting a teen at a Port Allen gas station in 2012.

Jurors were shown surveillance video from the gas station on LA 1 where sheriff's deputies said Richardson shot 18-year-old Justin Warner on May 13, 2012. Deputies said the shooting came after a fight among other individuals and that Warner just happened to be the closest target. Jurors also watched a video tape of Richardson's interrogation and reported confession.

Defense attorneys for Richardson claim the shooting was justified.

"I believe he's established what we've said in opening statement that there's a justification and perhaps a self defense more importantly," said Thomas Damico, Richardson's attorny. "And listening to those statements that my client has given he's not a monster. He's a good guy who probably made a bad mistake."

Richardson told investigators he did not know Warner at all. Warner was a student and football player at Brusly High School and was getting ready to graduate. Warner's family members said they're fighting for Richardson to serve life in prison.

"I just wish he gets life in prison because he doesn't know what he's taken from our family and friends," said Tiera Morgan, family member of Warner. "It's like watching the video of the confession, it's like he didn't care."

Prosecutors expect the the trial to wrap up by Thursday. Richardson could face life if he is found guilty.

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Shelter opening for apartment fire victims http://www.wbrz.com/news/shelter-opening-for-apartment-fire-victims/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/shelter-opening-for-apartment-fire-victims/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 1:54:07 PM Russell Jones Shelter opening for apartment fire victims

BATON ROUGE - The Red Cross announced plans to open a shelter Wednesday evening for people put out of their homes by a large apartment fire in Baton Rouge.

Spokesperson Nancy Malone said the Red Cross would open a shelter at the BREC Park at 4100 North Street starting at 6 p.m. to assist apartment residents who needed it. Malone said people who needed a place to stay for the night would have to meet the Red Cross by 9:30 p.m. to arrange things.

Dozens of residents were put out of their units after the fire Tuesday at the Savoy Plaza Apartments on Wooddale Boulevard. Firefighters said an unattended stove caused the fire, and 13 people had to be rescued from the building. One man was taken to the hospital after jumping through a window to escape the smoke.

Shelter arrangements for apartment residents displaced by the fire were not needed Tuesday night.

The Red Cross said apartment residents going to the shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family, if they have them. That includes prescriptions and emergency medications, foods that meet unusual dietary requirements, supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys as well as special items for family members who are elderly or disabled.

News 2 will have more on recovery efforts from the fire coming up at 4, 5 and 6.


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Suspected thieves on camera looting Istrouma http://www.wbrz.com/news/suspected-thieves-on-camera-looting-istrouma/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/suspected-thieves-on-camera-looting-istrouma/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 3:49:00 PM Jason Newton Suspected thieves on camera looting Istrouma

BATON ROUGE - Istrouma High School has a long and storied history in Baton Rouge, but now thieves are suspected to be taking it apart piece by piece.

The state's Recovery School District decided to close the high school at the end of last year, and vandals have started to take advantage. Our cameras Tuesday caught a truck full of men packed high with equipment leaving Istrouma in a hurry. Neighbors said they were stealing equipment.

"It's time for someone to step up and help this school," said Kindoll Lamotte, who graduated from the school in the 1990s.

Obvious signs of neglect are visible all over the shuttered campus. A broken water pipe continuously floods an outdoor bathroom, while shards of glass are strewn around from a broken window at the school's recreation facilities.

"The whole entire school is open," Lamotte said. "Anybody can come here and do what they please."

Lamotte said that all the welding equipment was left inside when the school closed and now it's gone.

"Welding room looks like there isn't one," Lamotte said. "Someone broke in and pushed everything to the front, like they were going to come with a truck to get the rest of it."

The football stadium also fell victim to suspected thieves, with rows of bleacher seats removed. Baton Rouge Police said the aluminum seats were probably sold for scrap metal.

"I am a proud alumnus," Lamotte said. "And I am very hurt to see the school has gotten to this point."

RSD officials denied an on camera interview but told me they are working with Baton Rouge Police regarding allegations of theft on campus and that they will now hire private security for the school.

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Denham Springs school getting upgrades http://www.wbrz.com/news/denham-springs-school-getting-upgrades/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/denham-springs-school-getting-upgrades/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 2:55:37 PM Troy Gaulden Denham Springs school getting upgrades

DENHAM SPRINGS - Denham Springs Freshman High School students will notice a new look for their school when they head back to class in August.

The school is undergoing a $1.2 million renovation that includes new windows, air conditioning and heating along with big plans for the gymnasium. DSFH Principal Ken Magee says the gym should be complete by the end of September, but the other work will be done for the start of school.

"It will get done. We pitch in whether it's teachers, administrative staff, custodians. They work overtime. It'll be done and I think people will be pleased with the end product," he said.

Before the anticipated improvements, the gym could seat 400 students. The problem is that the school has more than 600 students. With plans to increase the gym's size, more than 1,000 students will be able to sit inside the gym after renovations.

"Obviously the gym floor was taken up for pep rallies and things like that. Not to mention it was not air conditioned, and part of this phase of construction they are putting air conditioning in the gym," said Magee.

School starts in Livingston Parish on August 7.


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Man accused of raping, assaulting girl http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-accused-of-raping-assaulting-girl/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-accused-of-raping-assaulting-girl/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:06:59 AM Russell Jones Man accused of raping, assaulting girl

BATON ROUGE - Police arrested a Baton Rouge man after they said he raped and sexually assaulted a young girl several times over the past four years.

Police booked Deon Bradford, 42, into the parish jail Wednesday on multiple charges of aggravated rape, sexual battery, and contempt of court.

Detectives said the teen victim told them Bradford first raped her when she was 12, then raped or assaulted her twice more in the years that followed. The teen also told police her 12-year-old sister told her Bradford also touched her inappropriately.

The teen said Bradford threatened to "whip" her if she told anyone about the rapes.

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Shoplifter sought by sheriff's office http://www.wbrz.com/news/shoplifter-sought-by-sheriff-s-office/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/shoplifter-sought-by-sheriff-s-office/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 1:39:01 PM Russell Jones Shoplifter sought by sheriff's office

WATSON - Deputies released surveillance photos Wednesday of a man who stole several items from a Livingston Parish Walmart recently.

Investigators said on July 9 the security team at the Watson Walmart saw a man slip an iPhone case and collector baseball cards into his pocket, then try to leave without paying.

When a security team member tried to stop the man, they said he shoved them out of the way and ran out of the store.

Surveillance footage showed the man flee the store parking lot in a black two-door Nissan 350Z.

Anyone with any information should call the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office at (225) 686-2241.


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All lanes on I-12 east reopened http://www.wbrz.com/news/all-lanes-on-i-12-east-reopened/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/all-lanes-on-i-12-east-reopened/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 1:13:36 PM Brian Waldrep All lanes on I-12 east reopened

BATON ROUGE - All lanes of I-12 east are now open following a six vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon.

It happened on I-12 at the Albany exit. There is no word yet on the cause of the accident.

State police say traffic remains heavy in the area.

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Suspect arrested in Prescott Road shooting http://www.wbrz.com/news/suspect-arrested-in-prescott-road-shooting/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/suspect-arrested-in-prescott-road-shooting/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:22:55 AM Brock Sues Suspect arrested in Prescott Road shooting

BATON ROUGE - Police arrested a man wanted in connection with a July 13 shooting on Prescott Road that left a man with life-threatening injuries.

Jonathan Foster, 25, faces charges of attempted second degree murder and possession of a firearm by convicted felon for his involvement in the shooting that happened at an apartment building in the 5600 block of Prescott Road earlier this month.

Law enforcement said an argument between Foster and the victim escalated after the victim threw a bottle at Foster.

A witness on the scene said they saw Foster pull out a revolver and fire the gun several times in the direction of the victim, striking him in the chest.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital, rushed into emergency surgery and is currently listed in life threatening condition, according to police.

Foster had prior convictions for unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling in 2007 and 2009 and a 2010 conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.


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36 cars broken into, 1 stolen in Denham Springs http://www.wbrz.com/news/36-cars-broken-into-1-stolen-in-denham-springs/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/36-cars-broken-into-1-stolen-in-denham-springs/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 9:04:07 AM Brock Sues 36 cars broken into, 1 stolen in Denham Springs

DENHAM SPRINGS - Sheriff's deputies in Livingston Parish are investigating 36 vehicle burglaries and the theft of an SUV that happened in the early morning hours of Monday in two Denham Springs subdivisions.

All of the cars were left unlocked and parked at homes in the Forest Ridge and Westminster Estates subdivisions, according to authorities. Valuables including GPS devices, credit cards, wallets and sports equipment were among the items reported stolen.

Deputies are also investigating the theft of a Toyota SUV that was stolen from a residence in the same area and around the same time as the vehicle break-ins. The stolen vehicle is described as a 2008 black Toyota FJ Cruiser with a white top and Louisiana license plate number RYU025.

LPSO detectives said they are currently collecting and reviewing security video footage from the subdivisions in order to determine how many suspects were involved in the rash of car-related crime.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is urged to contact the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office at (225) 686-2241.


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Residents sound off ahead of Metro Council fairness discussion http://www.wbrz.com/news/residents-sound-off-ahead-of-metro-council-fairness-discussion/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/residents-sound-off-ahead-of-metro-council-fairness-discussion/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 6:19:22 AM Hunter Robinson Residents sound off ahead of Metro Council fairness discussion

BATON ROUGE - The Metro Council could vote on an issue dealing with equal opportunity at their meeting this afternoon.

A lot of items are on the council agenda, but one of the most controversial is the Fairness Ordinance that focuses on protecting sexual orientation, like race, when it comes to hiring and housing.

Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle's proposal is based off of her previous ordinance that failed. It draws from existing laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, gender, and religion and extends those same protections to sexual orientation, gender identity and veterans status.

Councilman Ryan Heck is expected to submit a counter-proposal at today's meeting. Heck claims his proposal will be more appealing to businesses and religious groups because it omits a section on the LGBT community.

Residents of Baton Rouge, like council members, are split on the issue.

"I actually think it's time that something like this is passed," says Vicki Lee. "Other cities have passed this and I think it's time Baton Rouge came into the here and now on social issues like this."

Linda Jumonville doesn't agree.

"I feel that the government needs to stay of the issue and not pass any laws," she argues. "If i'm going to start a business, I'm going to hire who I want to hire. I know the market I'm going for so they need to stay out and not tell me who I should hire."

Supporters worry the issue isn't on the radar of most council members.

"What we're hearing from some of the Metro Council members is that they haven't heard from enough people," Eric Dexter explains. "We know that the people that want this passed are out there because of some of the surveys, so we need people to contact their Metro Council members to encourage them to vote 'yes".

Residents who want to voice their opinion can attend the Metro Council meeting this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.

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What's next for St. George http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-s-next-for-st-george/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-s-next-for-st-george/ Local News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 7:16:41 AM Hunter Robinson What's next for St. George

BATON ROUGE - Organizers of the St. George movement said they did not get enough signatures to ask voters in November to incorporate the proposed city. Despite falling short, organizers say they aren't discouraged.

"We couldn't be more excited," says Lionel Rainey with the Committee to Incorporate St. George. "Right now we have between 17,200 and 17,300 signatures. We did that in under nine months."

Rainey said organizers are going to continue to collect signatures before the deadline for the December ballot, which is Sept. 28.

"We want to get this on a ballot as quickly as we possible can," he went on the explain. "This is something that's been going on for more than three years now, and we believe this is something that people in this area have a right to vote on."

Rainey also addressed accusations of racism towards supporters of the proposed city after it was the center of an episode of "Frontline" on PBS.

"We actually think it helped us," he opined. "Anytime anyone says anything derogatory about the people of this area that is patently not true, it ends up helping us."

If the city files a lawsuit when the signatures are turned in, Rainey says supporters plan to bring the fight to court

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