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. () () Sat, 1 Nov 2014 01:11:54 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Two arrests made in teen's death http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-arrests-made-in-teen-s-death/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-arrests-made-in-teen-s-death/ Local News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 1:10:50 PM Russell Jones Two arrests made in teen's death

BATON ROUGE - Police arrested two men in connection with a shooting in Baton Rouge earlier this week that left a teen dead in the street.

Baton Rouge Police said Jarvis Dawson, 20, and Larry Scott Jr., 18, both of Rosedale, were charged with second-degree murder and armed robbery in connection with the Oct. 28 shooting.

Investigators said Marvin Lewis, 17, was shot and killed around 8:30 p.m. that night in the 1600 block of N. 49th Street. Police said Lewis, Dawson, and Scott went to that location in order to buy marijuana from another person, Ed Lee III. Investigators said Lewis was shot and killed by someone he threatened at the scene, and Scott was injured in the shooting.

Scott and Dawson were booked into the parish jail and given a $300,000 bond.

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New bingo hall opens in EBR http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-bingo-hall-opens-in-ebr-66321/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-bingo-hall-opens-in-ebr-66321/ Local News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 4:41:54 PM Ambria Washington New bingo hall opens in EBR

BATON ROUGE- East Baton Rouge Council on Aging is opening up a bingo hall to support local non-profit organizations devoted to helping the elderly. 

Many seniors play bingo at the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging but next week there will be a new and bigger facility, and the money generated by the games will serve a very special purpose.

"We have so many seniors that are neglected," said Gloria Carter, who plays Bingo at the council. "Some families don't always help, but just knowing that you have that availability to be able to give back to the people that work hard and can't do it anymore."

The money will be used to help programs devoted to senior citizens like Meals on Wheels, which currently has more than 1,400 people on its waiting list.

Although gambling is illegal under the law, council leaders said they are able to run the bingo hall because it'll raise money for non-profit organizations in a charitable way.

"What we're doing is called charitable gaming because all the money will benefit charity or benefit people of low income families or people who have issues medical or whatever, said Tasha Clark-Amar Executive Director of Council on Aging. "This is just an opportunity. It's a fundraising vessel to help support those that need help."

Capital City Bingo will have its grand opening on Monday from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. on Florida Boulevard. There normal hours will run from Monday- Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday from 1 p.m.-7 p.m. It's $8 dollars for senior citizens and $10 for anyone else.

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Pecan season is here http://www.wbrz.com/news/pecan-season-is-here/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pecan-season-is-here/ Local News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 4:32:01 PM Jessica LeBlanc Pecan season is here

NEW ROADS - The holiday season is here, and with it comes pecan season.

Steve Bergeron from H.J. Bergeron Pecan Shelling company said this year's crops are a few weeks late in its harvest.

"There's a huge crop out there. But the problem being that since we had a late spring, cold spring and it was late, Pecans are still green in the tree. Usually this time most of them are on the ground but there's still a lot left in trees."

But that won't stop them from getting pecans to buyers.

"So when we're through harvesting because of our cold storage facilities, we still crack until April and sometimes into May," said Bergeron.

Costs for pecans this year are also down about 30 percent.


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Two accused of dealing drugs in Asc. Parish http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-accused-of-dealing-drugs-in-asc-parish/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-accused-of-dealing-drugs-in-asc-parish/ Local News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 3:38:26 PM Ariana Triggs Two accused of dealing drugs in Asc. Parish

PRAIRIEVILLE - Sheriff's deputies accused two men in Ascension Parish of dealing drugs Thursday, after deputies said they caught them with multiple illegal substances.

Narcotics detectives said they stopped a suspicious vehicle after it failed to use a signal. After a search of the vehicle detectives said they found at least $900 worth of marijuana and marijuana products, ecstasy, and psychedelic mushrooms.

Sheriff's detectives arrested and charged both the driver, 20-year-old Michael Costa, and the passenger, 21-year-old Brandon Lea, with drug possession with intent to distribute. Detectives also cited Costa for failure to use a signal.

Authorities booked both Costa and Lea into the Ascension Parish Jail, where they are currently awaiting bond.


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Turn Halloween gourds into Thanksgiving goods http://www.wbrz.com/news/turn-halloween-gourds-into-thanksgiving-goods/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/turn-halloween-gourds-into-thanksgiving-goods/ Local News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 3:08:29 PM Caroline McDougall Turn Halloween gourds into Thanksgiving goods

Interior Designer, Rachel Cannon Lewis, put a spin on making a cornucopia centerpiece for Thanksgiving using recycled pumpkins today on News 2 at 4.

Lewis designed the centerpiece using gourds and vegetables that she already had in her home. She said the pumpkins can stay good up to a month as long as they are inside and dry. She said all that's needed is an array of florist foam and wooden picks to arrange you recycled veggies.

For more specific information on different pieces in the segment, visit her blog. You can also visit her website or stop by her store, SoHaus Interior Design located at 7809 Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge.

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Teachers say cell phone driving ban working http://www.wbrz.com/news/teachers-say-cell-phone-driving-ban-working/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/teachers-say-cell-phone-driving-ban-working/ Local News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 2:26:26 PM Troy Gaulden Teachers say cell phone driving ban working

BATON ROUGE - Parents and teachers say a new law that bans handheld cell phones in some school zones is working to keep kids safe.

The new law applies only during school zone hours if a specific sign is posted. Drivers are still allowed to use phones when reporting a crime or emergency.

"People just in general, we get caught up in our conversations and they're just not aware of what they should be," said Southdowns Elementary teacher Liza Armshaw. "It's not just in school zones, it's on the roads in general. But in school zones we're dealing with a lot of children so we need to keep them safe and make everyone focused on their driving."

Both parents and teachers feel the law adds more safety for their precious cargo.

"I think it's the best idea ever. School zones there's a lot of kids, parents are getting out. Children may not be looking because they're kids," said parent Danielle Martin. "Being able to not be distracted by being on the phone in a school zone I think that's a great idea. It helps you concentrate, look where you're going and know where you're going."

"It has made a change. I mean people are a little bit more aware that they can't hold their phones," said Armshaw. "They could be using Bluetooth devices. I don't know, but they're not holding their phones up as much."

If you break the law you face a moving violation ticket with a fine up to $175. A second violation could land you a fine up to $500. If you're using a cell phone and get in a wreck the fines double.


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La. shelves plans for computerized tests in spring http://www.wbrz.com/news/la-shelves-plans-for-computerized-tests-in-spring/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/la-shelves-plans-for-computerized-tests-in-spring/ Local News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:33:58 PM La. shelves plans for computerized tests in spring

BATON ROUGE- Louisiana's new Common Core-aligned standardized tests will be given entirely on paper this year, rather than on computers as had been planned for some students.

Education Superintendent John White announced the change Friday for the testing for students in third through eighth grades.

Some education leaders have said school districts aren't equipped to handle computerized tests and raised concerns that moving away from pens and paper could create chaos.

White said most schools are prepared for computerized testing. But he said the continued use of paper and pencil tests came after talking with education officials who had worries about the technology logistics.

He said teachers want to focus on the shifting content of the more rigorous tests, rather than on the distractions of learning technology to roll out new testing.

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1 injured in River Road crash http://www.wbrz.com/news/1-injured-in-river-road-crash/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/1-injured-in-river-road-crash/ Local News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 9:19:04 AM Brock Sues 1 injured in River Road crash

BATON ROUGE - A crash on River Road between South Stadium and Gourrier Avenue near LSU's campus sent one person to the hospital with injuries on Friday morning.

According to witnesses, a southbound SUV ran off the road and hit a Lexus sedan traveling northbound in the opposite lane after the driver of the SUV tried to regain control of the vehicle.

Both vehicles rolled when the wreck happened. The sedan came to rest on its roof, and the SUV landed on its side.

LSU Police said one person, believed to be the driver of the Lexus sedan, was taken to an area hospital by EMS. The SUV driver refused transportation to the hospital.

EMS said the hospitalized driver was treated for minor injuries and listed in stable condition.

Tune in to News 2 at noon for more details about the wreck.


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THE INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: Politicians told to pay fines http://www.wbrz.com/news/the-investigative-unit-politicians-told-to-pay-fines/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/the-investigative-unit-politicians-told-to-pay-fines/ Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 8:30:17 PM Ryan Naquin THE INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: Politicians told to pay fines

BATON ROUGE - Politicians are being warned and getting disqualified from running for office since they owe outstanding fines for ethics violations.

In the next few weeks, the Louisiana Attorney General will mail payment demand letters to 20 politicians in an effort to collect debts. 

Four politicians are from the Baton Rouge-area:

The police chief in St. Gabriel, Kevin Ambeau, owes $6000.

Former West Baton Rouge council member Keith Washington owes a $150 fine.

East Baton Rouge Metro Council Member Chandler Loupe owes $1700.

Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden owes $2500.  The Ethics Commission said Holden's annual financial report was filed incorrectly.  He will receive a demand letter.

"I'm going to go with my lawyer and prove them incorrect," Holden told the WBRZ Investigative Unit.

It does not take much for a candidate to lose the opportunity to campaign if they do not settle the debt. 

"Over $250 the board can object to someone's candidacy," Ethics Commission Executive Director Kathleen Allen said.

This year 15 politicians were disqualified or withdrew from elections once their candidacy was contested because they were delinquent on their ethics fines.  When other delinquent candidates were threatened to lose their ballot position, many paid.

"We received over $71,000," Allen said.

Iberville Parish's Edward James Jr. and Erick Batiste never paid and were disqualified.  In Pointe Coupee, Chad Hendricks never paid and withdrew.

Loupe was not aware he owed the Ethics Commission money. He was also unaware he was getting turned over to the AG's office for collection.

"I always want to pay my fines on time. If I owe it, I want to pay it," Loupe said.

He agreed to the fine but feels the process is burdensome, especially for some politicians.

"It seems silly.  For a police juror, getting $500 a month, to have to spend $5000 in accounting fees to say he only collected $500 in campaign contributions just seems counterintuitive," Loupe said.

As for Holden, Allen said his appeals process is over but the mayor plans to take his fight to the AG's office.

The Ethics Board meets monthly and makes judgments on delinquent fines.

Gonzales councilman Timothy Vessel got his $5000 fine reduced to a suspension of $2500.  His fines are waived if he keeps his paperwork in order.

The board can be lenient to candidates or politicians who appear.

"The information is out there," Allen said. "With respect to candidates, they're given information when they qualify. With the respect to the personal financial, they get notices in those situations before penalty is assessed saying you owe us a report you have seven days to do so without penalty."

The Ethics Commission has collected nearly $500,000 this year.   Some of that money goes to the salaries at the AG's office.

Click here to see a list of candidates who owe money.

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The Pledge of Allegiance: St. Luke's Episcopal Day School http://www.wbrz.com/news/the-pledge-of-allegiance-st-luke-s-episcopal-day-school/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/the-pledge-of-allegiance-st-luke-s-episcopal-day-school/ Local News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 7:22:59 AM Helen Butts The Pledge of Allegiance: St. Luke's Episcopal Day School

BATON ROUGE - Today's Pledge of Allegiance comes from the 4th grade at St. Luke's Episcopal Day School.

Be sure to watch The Daily Pledge every weekday on 2une In at 5:58 a.m. to see if your child's school is featured.

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La 1st lady, businessman giving 8500 books to kids http://www.wbrz.com/news/la-1st-lady-businessman-giving-8500-books-to-kids/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/la-1st-lady-businessman-giving-8500-books-to-kids/ Local News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 1:40:48 AM Hunter Robinson La 1st lady, businessman giving 8500 books to kids

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's first lady and a Baton Rouge businessman are giving a picture book to kindergarten students all around the state.

A news release says the Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana's Children and Todd Graves - owner of Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers - are donating 8,500 copies of the book "Corduroy."

Jindal said in a news release Thursday that the goal is to encourage all children to read a little every day. She says reading is the foundation of critical thinking and enriches the imagination.

Every kindergarten student in 103 schools around Louisiana will get a copy of the book. "Corduroy" is about a teddy bear who searches a department store at night after a little girl's mother refuses to buy him because a button is missing from his overalls.

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Get spooky at the Baton Rouge Halloween Parade http://www.wbrz.com/news/get-spooky-at-the-baton-rouge-halloween-parade/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/get-spooky-at-the-baton-rouge-halloween-parade/ Local News Fri, 31 Oct 2014 5:14:33 AM Hunter Robinson Get spooky at the Baton Rouge Halloween Parade

BATON ROUGE - Halloween may be today, but the haunting continues tomorrow at the Baton Rouge Halloween Parade. King Todd McCoy and Amy Seller from the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank joined John Pastorek on 2une In this morning with all the details.

The parade rolls Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in downtown Baton Rouge. The parade teams up with the food bank and will be collecting donations along the route.

For more information, visit the Baton Rouge Halloween Parade Facebook page or watch the video.

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Prosecution's witnesses paint guilty picture of suspect http://www.wbrz.com/news/prosecution-s-witnesses-paint-guilty-picture-of-suspect/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/prosecution-s-witnesses-paint-guilty-picture-of-suspect/ Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 1:22:17 PM Trey Schmaltz Prosecution's witnesses paint guilty picture of suspect

PORT ALLEN- The trial over an alleged murder-for-hire plot became even more salacious Thursday as jurors heard from witnesses for the prosecution that painted the wife accused of killer her husband as money-hungry killer who wanted to collect soon after the man's death.

Corey Kitts' wife, Monique, is on trial with the accused hitman, Karl Howard. The pair are being tried together in a salacious trial involving sex, lies, affairs and a hefty insurance policy. Kitts was found shot-to-death four years ago inside his home in Addis.

Thursday, Corey Kitts' sister testified she was with the accused wife the day Corey was murdered. She told the jury she remembered Monique Kitts seemed quick to want to hire an attorney and obtain the $500,000 life insurance policy. Two or three days after the murder, the sister said Monique Kitts was looking for an attorney to open succession and became frustrated when she realized she did not have access to Corey Kitts' bank accounts and all of his finances.

But, the defense tried to solidify the need for money by discussing the accused wife's two children who likely needed funds to sustain their lives during the ordeal.

Earlier Thursday, the trial featured the much-anticipated star witness, accused getaway driver Corey Knox. Knox told the jury he drove Howard to the Kitts' home the morning of the murder in 2010. He said he watched Howard get out of the car, walk to the back of the house and returned two minutes later with an envelope full of cash.

It is a memory that has haunted him every day, Knox told the jury.

He said while he did not see the actual murder, he believes Howard murdered Corey Kitts and said he testified to "get it over with" and "off his chest." For his testimony, it's expected Knox will get a plea deal since he is facing second-degree charges in the crime.

Corey Kitts' ten-year co-worker and a State Trooper also took the stand. The colleague talked about the pair's overnight shift an area plant. The trooper said he witnessed Monique Kitts on her knees exclaiming, "My God, what have I done," when he arrived at the murder scene in 2010.

Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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Woman seeing yellow after restriping incident http://www.wbrz.com/news/woman-seeing-yellow-after-restriping-incident/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/woman-seeing-yellow-after-restriping-incident/ Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 7:51:51 PM Brittany Weiss Woman seeing yellow after restriping incident

ST. FRANCISVILLE - A woman says a state vehicle restriping the highway painted her car yellow and she's getting the run-around to fix it.

Around 11:30 a.m. Monday, Danielle Landry was driving along Highway 10 in St. Francisville when a Department of Transportation and Development truck was heading toward her. The truck was restriping the highway.

"There was no truck in the front of him that said I couldn't keep going," Landry explained. "So I just went ahead and passed on the side of him."

Landry said she saw the driver painting and moved over as far as she could, but when she got to Baton Rouge, she found yellow paint along the left side of her car.

"I never dreamed he painted the side of my car," she said.

After contacting her insurance company and filing a claim with DOTD, Landry says the paint did about $2,000 worth of damage. It's money Landry might have to pay out of her own pocket.

"I didn't paint my car, I didn't ask to have a half-yellow school bus car," said Landry. "I mean, if I wanted that, I would have bought it."

The reaction she got from the state paints her into a corner. For now, Landry will drive around with her yellow painted car, until she says she can reach an agreement with the state.

DOTD says they have investigated and a claim was filed. It's now in the hands of their insurance company.


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Feed a Family wraps up Friday http://www.wbrz.com/news/feed-a-family-wraps-up-friday/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/feed-a-family-wraps-up-friday/ Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 4:35:11 PM Ambria Washington Feed a Family wraps up Friday

BATON ROUGE - WBRZ's "Feed A Family" food drive is still collecting non-perishable foods through Friday.

Food bank officials said this summer has been harder than most, but so far they've collected thousands of canned goods and donations that can provide more than 200,000 meals.

"We're coming off a really critical need this summer, said Charlene Montelaro, Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank vice president of development and philanthropy. "This summer was harder for us then most summers, so its very challenging going into that time of the year when we want to make sure that everyone has that holiday meal that we're so blessed to have."

Feed A Family barrels are located at a number of area grocery stores. Click here to learn more.

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SU band to perform in 2015 Battle of the Bands http://www.wbrz.com/news/su-band-to-perform-in-2015-battle-of-the-bands/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/su-band-to-perform-in-2015-battle-of-the-bands/ Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 3:07:07 PM Ariana Triggs SU band to perform in 2015 Battle of the Bands

BATON ROUGE - Southern University officials announced Thursday that the "Human Jukebox" will march in the 13th annual Honda Battle of the Bands in Atlanta, Ga. next year.

Officials said the Jan. 24 event will feature the first-ever Power of Dreams Award. Southern will be able to recognize an outstanding community member who's working to help students achieve their dreams during the event.

Honda will also give the university a $20,000 grant for its music education programs.

Other bands scheduled to perform are Alabama State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Howard University, Jackson State University, North Carolina A&T University, Talladega College, and Tennessee State University.

Fans can purchase tickets to the Honda Battle of the Bands here.

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BR company producing Ebola protective gear http://www.wbrz.com/news/br-company-producing-ebola-protective-gear/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/br-company-producing-ebola-protective-gear/ Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 2:16:20 PM Rob Krieger BR company producing Ebola protective gear

BATON ROUGE- Convergence Equity, LLC, a company based out of Baton Rouge, is teaming up with medical supply partners to produce thousands of vital protective suits used in treating and dealing with patients infected by the deadly Ebola virus.

The company is currently ramping up production of the bright yellow full body suits to provide full kits to various entities in the US and abroad.

The protective kit includes the suit, respirators, goggles, gloves and other elements needed to properly and safely treat someone infected with the virus.

It's part of an effort to fill an immediate need for the gear in areas lacking proper protection.

"There's a shortage of protective gear, and some of the protective gear wasn't being used correctly, and you know we have 3000 troops heading over there, we have professional workers across the United States that are at risk if this spreads," said Rob Hartwell, the spokesperson for Convergence.

The company is producing the suits stateside in an Alabama factory and in overseas factories as well, to ensure the country and world are prepared in case the worst happens.

"We wanted to be sure that we were able to do something to step up and make sure that number one, we weren't going to have shortages if this ever did break out into a pandemic and that our troops that were going overseas were protected," said Hartwell.

Hartwell says the company is currently working the Department of Defense, UN relief programs and local hospitals, in an effort to distribute the protective kits.

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Suspect arrested in deadly WBR shooting http://www.wbrz.com/news/suspect-arrested-in-deadly-wbr-shooting/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/suspect-arrested-in-deadly-wbr-shooting/ Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 1:19:55 PM Russell Jones Suspect arrested in deadly WBR shooting

PORT ALLEN - Police arrested a teen Thursday suspected of shooting two other people, killing one of them, during a drug deal earlier this week.

Port Allen Police charged Javonte Morgan, 19, with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and armed robbery in connection with the Monday shooting.

Investigators said the victims, Marjor Carter and Ashton Taylor, went to Morgan to buy drugs Monday night. During the transaction on Tracy Porter Street police said Morgan shot Carter to death and wounded Taylor, who is expected to recover.

Chief Esdron Brown said they asked Morgan to come to the police station Thursday, and that he thought he was coming in for an interview. Instead, police arrested Morgan when he arrived and booked him into the parish jail.


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Transportation leaders review 2015 road projects http://www.wbrz.com/news/transportation-leaders-review-2015-road-projects/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/transportation-leaders-review-2015-road-projects/ Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 1:00:56 PM Troy Gaulden Transportation leaders review 2015 road projects

BATON ROUGE - State transportation leaders and legislators met Thursday at the State Capitol to discuss road projects slated for next year.

The Department of Transportation and Development says its budget for fiscal year 2015-16 is nearly $650 million, but there's more than $12 billion worth of needs in the state.

Construction experts like Louisiana Associated General Contractors CEO Ken Naquin says the state needs to solve its traffic issues before big business drives away.

"It would be horrible if we lose some of our $100 billion of economic development cause we don't have the infrastructure to handle the increase in workers, the increase in goods and services that have to go into making the plant and what the plant produces," said Naquin.

One of the major concerns brought up at the Capitol was the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Mississippi River Bridge on I-10. West Baton Rouge Parish President "Pee Wee" Berthelot says the state needs to pick one project and bite the bullet.

"We got all these things We're not going to get all these things. When you add all those projects up we have about $12.8 billion worth of projects in the Capital Region," said Berthelot.

DOTD says it will do a study next year on the possibility of building a new bridge over the river. It would connect Nicholson Drive to Louisiana Highway 1 over the river in either Plaquemine, Addis or Brusly.

For a full list of Capital Region road projects listed for next year click here.


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Gonzales man arrested on drug charges http://www.wbrz.com/news/gonzales-man-arrested-on-drug-charges/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/gonzales-man-arrested-on-drug-charges/ Local News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:53:46 PM Gonzales man arrested on drug charges

GONZALES- A man accused of selling heroin to narcotics detectives in Ascension Parish, is now behind bars.

Detectives arrested Moses Griggs after finding him packaging heroin at his home in Gonzales.

They also found four small children ranging in age from 8 to 12 years of age.

Diggs was booked on multiple drugs possession charges.

He is a convicted felon with multiple counts of battery on an officer, drug charges, and aggravated flight from an officer dating back to 1999.

Diggs' most recent arrest was in April  for distribution of heroin and possession with the intent to distribute heroin.


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