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. () () Wed, 1 Oct 2014 08:10:54 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 LSU reviewing future of campus golf course http://www.wbrz.com/news/lsu-reviewing-future-of-campus-golf-course/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/lsu-reviewing-future-of-campus-golf-course/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 8:58:55 PM Trey Schmaltz LSU reviewing future of campus golf course

BATON ROUGE- LSU is evaluating the future of the golf course at the intersection of Gourrier Avenue and Nicholson.

An official with Facility Services said Tuesday, the course evaluation is part of a two year mater plan for the campus. Experts are considering the best use of the 125 acres.

Tammy Millican, with the university, said the course is not performing poorly, but "golf courses are struggling a little bit, that's just the case right now."

There could be other uses for the space, although nothing has been determined.
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EBR home where abuse happened boarded up http://www.wbrz.com/news/ebr-home-where-abuse-happened-boarded-up/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/ebr-home-where-abuse-happened-boarded-up/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 4:23:20 PM Alexa Vogue EBR home where abuse happened boarded up

BATON ROUGE - A mother and daughter remain behind bars as police continue to investigate the death of their relative.

They're accused of watching 82-year-old Bessie Looney die without helping her.

Bessie's daughter, Joleslie Looney and granddaughter Lauren Looney are charged with cruelty to the infirmed. The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner ruled the cause of death in his preliminary findings to be associated with inflammation, chronic immobility and malnutrition.

Tuesday, the house where Bessie died was boarded up. Police say it was infested with fleas and feces when they found her dead inside, malnourished and covered in bed sores.

The city's Office of Community Development boarded it up as neighbors watched, shocked at what was found inside the home off North Acadian West.

"For you to take a brand new home and turn it into what I see on the inside it's horrible," said neighbor Renata Buckley. "It's just a horrible sight. I mean it's not fit for a dog to live here, I'm just going to be honest."

The Office of Community Development says the case is being investigated, but wouldn't elaborate.

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I-10 closed at Highland after wreck http://www.wbrz.com/news/i-10-closed-at-highland-after-wreck/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/i-10-closed-at-highland-after-wreck/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 4:18:09 PM Russell Jones I-10 closed at Highland after wreck

BATON ROUGE - Authorities closed I-10 East in Baton Rouge after a wreck during the evening rush hour Tuesday.

The wreck happened near I-10 and Highland. State Police said there was blockage across the interstate from the wreck.

DOTD said traffic was backed up Siegen Lane after the wreck. The highway was reopened at 6:30 p.m.

There was no word of any injuries.

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Liquid meth seized in traffic stop http://www.wbrz.com/news/liquid-meth-seized-in-traffic-stop/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/liquid-meth-seized-in-traffic-stop/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 2:20:39 PM Russell Jones Liquid meth seized in traffic stop

BATON ROUGE - Authorities said they busted a Texas woman for bringing a large amount of liquid meth through Baton Rouge this week.

Members of the Baton Rouge Police Highway Interdiction Task Force accused Vanessa Hernandez, 34, of Houston with drug possession after the bust Monday.

A Baton Rouge Police spokesperson said officers stopped a passenger bus just after midnight Monday on I-12 between Airline Highway and Sherwood Forest Boulevard. During the stop police said a K9 found a suitcase in the luggage compartment which had 36 bottles of liquid meth hidden inside it.

Investigators said the meth had a street value of $700,000. They said it was believed to be one of the biggest meth busts ever undertaken in the U. S.

Investigators booked Hernandez into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.


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Livingston deputies look for credit card scammers http://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-deputies-look-for-credit-card-scammers/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-deputies-look-for-credit-card-scammers/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 4:11:44 PM Brock Sues Livingston deputies look for credit card scammers

LIVINGSTON PARISH - Sheriff's deputies are looking for information on a man and a woman accused of using a cloned credit card information to purchase more than $1,000 in prepaid credit cards at two different locations in Livingston Parish.

The suspects entered Dollar General locations at Hwy 190 in Holden and Walker South Road in Denham Springs between 4 and 6 p.m. on Sept. 27 and made the purchases, according to detectives.

Deputies said the pair used the illegally obtained credit card data to purchase Visa prepaid gift cards worth $1,300.55.

Anyone with information on the individuals is urged to call the LPSO Detective Division at (225) 686-2241 ext. 345.


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Prairieville school roads could get upgrade http://www.wbrz.com/news/prairieville-school-roads-could-get-upgrade/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/prairieville-school-roads-could-get-upgrade/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 4:03:16 PM Rob Krieger Prairieville school roads could get upgrade

PRAIRIEVILLE- Crews are in the final stages of work on an upgrade to Prairieville Middle school, but some think the roads that lead to the school could use a face-lift too.

The school is located at the corner of Daigle Road and Henry Road, both roads need to be widened.

Right now, parts of the road measure only 17 feet, while a typical bus can measure more than 8 feet wide, which means it's difficult to squeeze two buses through the road.

"One thing we did do, was give a better entrance to bus and carpool traffic for the school and that's making a difference in itself," said Johnnie Balfantz with Ascension Parish Schools.

The state plans to widen Daigle through a project that could cost up to $7.5 million dollars, that project will begin taking bids next year.

The parish is aware of the problems with the narrow road and is currently seeking the money to widen Henry road to at least 22 feet, but the school will continue shuffling students to school the way it always has.

"It would be better to have a wider road, but at this point we're making it work and we've been using it this way, for probably over 50 years," said Balfantz.

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Man accused of exposing himself in yogurt shop http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-accused-of-exposing-himself-in-yogurt-shop/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-accused-of-exposing-himself-in-yogurt-shop/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 3:49:03 PM Ariana Triggs, Russell Jones Man accused of exposing himself in yogurt shop

GONZALES- Police accused an Ascension Parish man of exposing himself to a yogurt shop employee in Gonzales this week.

Police arrested Jack Ryan Vincent, 34, of Napoleonville Tuesday on one count of obscenity for the incident this past August.

Detectives said Vincent came into the shop and bought a yogurt, then made sexual comments to the teen cashier. After she ignored his comments, police said Vincent sat down and exposed himself to the worker, then performed a lewd act in front of the frightened employee before leaving the store.

Investigators said DNA evidence found at the scene led them to Vincent. They also said the victim identified him from a photo line-up.

Police booked Vincent into the Ascension Parish Prison in Donaldsonville. They said he's currently awaiting a bond hearing.


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The time to plant fall flowers is now http://www.wbrz.com/news/the-time-to-plant-fall-flowers-is-now/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/the-time-to-plant-fall-flowers-is-now/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 3:02:21 PM Caroline McDougall & Brock Sues The time to plant fall flowers is now

BATON ROUGE - With the weekend forecast calling for a probable cold front, it could start to feel like fall more quickly than expected in the Capital City, and gardening expert Mitch Mayes visited News 2 at 4 Tuesday with some great recommendations for planning out your plant choices for the season as it approaches.

As president of the Louisiana Nursery, Mayes is more than qualified to describe the trends and long-standing autumn favorites. First of all, he says "cool season colors" are where it is at as gardeners move away from plant choices that are more commonly placed in the ground in the spring and summer season.

Among the favorites described by Mayes during his visit are mums along with petunias, marigolds and pansies. He says these best follow fall color trends while the plants remain hardy enough to deal with the decrease in temperature as the season progresses. Check out the attached video to see the breakdown for where each plant shines.

Aside from smart plant choice, Mayes advises gardeners to plant sooner rather than later for the best blooming results. He punctuated his visit by saying the time to plant is now so if you want colorful flower beds or gardens this fall, it is time to dig in and get to work.

The Louisiana Nursery has a great article about fall bedding plants that can be found by clicking here and their website at louisiananursery.com is chock full of great tips for area gardeners.

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DOTD to reinstall traffic signal at E. Boyd and Burbank http://www.wbrz.com/news/dotd-to-reinstall-traffic-signal-at-e-boyd-and-burbank/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/dotd-to-reinstall-traffic-signal-at-e-boyd-and-burbank/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 1:09:54 PM Brock Sues DOTD to reinstall traffic signal at E. Boyd and Burbank

BATON ROUGE - After a summer of commuter confusion, transportation officials announced on Tuesday that crews will begin work to reinstall the traffic signal at the intersection of East Boyd Drive and Burbank Drive starting tomorrow.

The signal was removed by crews in July with the goal to improve overall safety and traffic flow on the heavily used section of Burbank Drive, but DOTD says after careful monitoring they have found it best to return to the original signal configuration at the intersection.

The reinstallation of the signal is anticipated to take eight working days with its reactivation ending the project to bring improvements to Burbank Drive.

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Transportation committee clashes over new ideas http://www.wbrz.com/news/transportation-committee-clashes-over-new-ideas/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/transportation-committee-clashes-over-new-ideas/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 2:20:01 PM Troy Gaulden Transportation committee clashes over new ideas

BATON ROUGE - Former Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Kam Movassaghi outlined suggestions on how to improve Louisiana's transportation system.

Movassaghi presented new ways of doing things Tuesday to a transportation funding task force at the State Capitol. He says the changes need to start at the top with a seven-person commission leading the way to provide stability.

The commission would appoint a director. Movassaghi says it's time to give communities more control over roads.

"Baton Rouge is in control over everything. We have to go to Baton Rouge with hand in hand for everything, and I think the time has come to relinquish some of that responsibility, give it to the communities and allow them to take charge of their own responsibility," he said.

Current DOTD Secretary Sherri LeBas feels the structure is fine the way it is right now.

"I'm going to respectfully disagree with you in that I believe the structure we have is not as bureaucratic as a commissioner structure, and in fact, other states that have that I can't say they're any better off than how we are structured," she said.

Other task force members, like Louisiana Associated General Contractors CEO Kenneth Naquin, say the transportation system needs to improve before the state misses out on new business.

"The infrastructure is not there today to handle the current population that's in the plants," said Naquin. "When we're talking about the possibility of 90-100 billion dollars worth of industrial expansion we do not have, the state of Louisiana does not have the infrastructure."

Movassaghi also suggest replacing the state's 16 cents per gallon gasoline tax with an 8 percent sales tax on fuel. He says that would create an additional $210 million and would also increase revenue in the future.


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Consumer advocates urge vigilance over rental scam http://www.wbrz.com/news/consumer-advocates-urge-vigilance-over-rental-scam/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/consumer-advocates-urge-vigilance-over-rental-scam/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 2:14:44 PM Chris Nakamoto Consumer advocates urge vigilance over rental scam

BATON ROUGE- Consumer advocates are warning you to be alert tonight for a real estate scam that's definitely too good to be true.

A homeowner in Southdowns told WBRZ that they posted an ad on Craigslist to rent out their home for $1,900. Then they said someone took those pictures and posted a duplicate ad, dropping the price to $600 and including someone else's contact information.

Repairman Mark Andrews said he's been working on the property for the homeowner, and that he had to put up a sign which says "Craigslist Scam" for all the people attracted by the fake ad.

"I got approximately in two days a little over one dozen people once I put the sign up, there were a bunch of cars that came by and slowed down," Andrews said.

The WBRZ Investigative Unit contacted the scammer, who replied with a fake lease. If you would like to read it, click here.

Jim Stalls with the Better Business Bureau says this should be a wake-up call for everyone doing business online.

"If they are starting to ask for stuff up front, deposit or credit card information, you run a chance of identity theft and they could drain your credit or debit cards," Stalls said.

In this case, Stalls said all age groups are now targets of the scams that have found their way on the internet.

"Use your common sense," Stalls reiterated. "You have to take steps to protect yourself and can't believe everything you see online."

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Public hearings over Morganza spillway this week http://www.wbrz.com/news/public-hearings-over-morganza-spillway-this-week/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/public-hearings-over-morganza-spillway-this-week/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 1:34:45 PM Russell Jones Public hearings over Morganza spillway this week

BATON ROUGE - The Corps of Engineers scheduled two public hearings this week in south Louisiana to discuss changes to how the Morganza spillway is operated during another possible flood.

The spillway was opened in 2011 to help alleviate historic flood conditions on the Mississippi River. After the flood, the Corps developed clarifications for the instructions to open the Morganza flood control.

This week's meetings are being held to update people about those proposed instructions and get public input. People interested in seeing the proposals before the meeting can find them on the Corps of Engineers' website, or call the New Orleans District office at 504-862-1759.

The first meeting is tonight at the Morgan City Auditorium from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 2 in Baton Rouge at the Capitol Park Welcome Center on River Road, also from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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EBR schools honored with Blue Ribbon status http://www.wbrz.com/news/ebr-schools-honored-with-blue-ribbon-status/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/ebr-schools-honored-with-blue-ribbon-status/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:13:30 AM Russell Jones EBR schools honored with Blue Ribbon status

BATON ROUGE - The U. S. Department of Education awarded Blue Ribbon status Tuesday to four public schools and two Catholic schools in Louisiana, including a pair of Baton Rouge schools.

Parkview Elementary and Catholic High School were among those honored as 2014 Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence. The other Louisiana schools included Joseph J. Davies Elementary School, St. Bernard Parish; Rosepine High School, Vernon Parish; Tchefuncte Middle School, St. Tammany Parish, and Our Lady of the Lake Roman Catholic School in Mandeville.

The Blue Ribbon Schools program honors schools that are either high performing or have closed achievement gaps, especially among minority or disadvantaged students.

"Our students are just as smart and capable as any in the country. These schools are proving that every day through the exceptional work they are doing with students in the classroom," said state education Superintendent John White.

These and other Blue Ribbon Schools will be honored in Washington D. C. on Nov. 11-14. Each school will receive a flag and plaque recognizing their designation.

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BRPD: Officer bit by shooting suspect http://www.wbrz.com/news/brpd-officer-bit-by-shooting-suspect/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/brpd-officer-bit-by-shooting-suspect/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 6:45:26 AM WBRZ Staff BRPD: Officer bit by shooting suspect

BATON ROUGE - Police said a suspected gunman is behind bars after he allegedly bit an officer who responded to a report of a shooting on Monday night.

The shooting happened just before midnight in the 3100 block of Dalton Street. Police said they arrived on the scene to find the suspect, John Belliazere, with the victim in a chokehold.

According to investigators, Belliazere was handcuffed, but continued to resist and eventually bit one of the officers as they attempted to restrain him.

After he was safely secured, Belliazere was taken to an area hospital due to his erratic behavior.

The victim was taken to the same hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound to the right arm.


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Baton Rouge port to get LNG facility http://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-port-to-get-lng-facility/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-port-to-get-lng-facility/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 9:49:31 AM Baton Rouge port to get LNG facility

BATON ROUGE - The Port of Baton Rouge will get its first natural gas liquefaction and fueling facility in 2015.

Houston-based Waller Marine, Inc. and Omaha-based Tenaska NG Fuels, LLC announced Tuesday Tenaska Bayou LNG will be built on approximately 80 acres at the Baton Rouge port.

The facility will aim to provide LNG and compressed natural gas as a lower-cost and clean-burning alternative for high-horsepower marine, transportation and natural gas and oil exploration and production industries throughout the region.

Officials say the facility will initially be capable of producing 200,000 gallons of LNG daily, with intentions to expand.

Construction is expected to begin in 2015, and could last for 18-24 months officials said.

Officials have planned for commercial operation to begin during the first quarter of 2017.

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Jindal administration rewrites LSU hospital deals http://www.wbrz.com/news/jindal-administration-rewrites-lsu-hospital-deals/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/jindal-administration-rewrites-lsu-hospital-deals/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 9:19:28 AM Melinda Deslatte Jindal administration rewrites LSU hospital deals

BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has renegotiated its contracts for six LSU hospital privatization deals. The administration hopes to reach a compromise with federal health officials that will keep Medicaid dollars flowing to the privatized patient services.

At issue are contracts governing the management transfer of hospitals in New Orleans, Lafayette, Bogalusa, Shreveport and Monroe and a deal that closed LSU's Lake Charles hospital and moved its inpatient services to a nearby private hospital.

In May, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rejected financing plans for those six privatization deals and sought a rewrite.

The new proposal involves changing the way the hospital managers are paid, establishing a new, special reimbursement rate.

The LSU Board of Supervisors holds a special meeting Wednesday to consider the rewritten contracts.

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Two parishes working burglary circuit http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-parishes-working-burglary-circuit/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-parishes-working-burglary-circuit/ Local News Mon, 29 Sep 2014 8:13:35 PM Brittany Weiss Two parishes working burglary circuit

BAYWOOD - Deputies will be adding extra patrols to runs along the end of Greenwell Springs Road after a rash of home burglaries. 

Burglars hit houses along the stretch of highway in both East Feliciana and East Baton Rouge.  Homeowners say they happen in the middle of the day.

"It's like they're watching you," said Luke Pamplin. "They know when you leave. They just 'boom,' pop up, kick your doors in and take TVs, whatever they can get and they gone again."

One homeowner believes she was almost a victim of theft recently when she noticed her front door was ajar upon returning home. The frame of the doorway was scraped and damaged.

"Somebody had tried to break the front door in," she said.  She said the burglars were likely spooked because they didn't take anything from the home.

At other homes, though, front doors were busted in and TVs, guns, electronics and jewelry, were stolen.

Pamplin afraid his quiet, safe neighborhood has changed.

"They're just tearing stuff apart, trying to get in and out," he said.

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Signs to remind drivers of 'Move Over' law http://www.wbrz.com/news/signs-to-remind-drivers-of-move-over-law/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/signs-to-remind-drivers-of-move-over-law/ Local News Tue, 30 Sep 2014 1:17:04 AM Hunter Robinson Signs to remind drivers of 'Move Over' law

BATON ROUGE - If you're driving past stopped police cars or stranded motorists on the side of Louisiana's roadways, officials want you to "Move Over."

Louisiana's state police superintendent and transportation secretary announced Monday the installation of several dozen signs telling people to "Move Over for Emergency Vehicles."

The signs, to be placed along major travel routes, are reminders that state law requires drivers to switch lanes, if possible, when approaching a stopped vehicle using warning lights. If drivers can't switch lanes, they're supposed to slow down before passing the stopped vehicle. Violators can face up to a $200 fine.

Col. Mike Edmonson, the leader of the Louisiana State Police, says the signs and the law are designed to help keep police officers, emergency workers, tow truck operators and stranded motorists safe.

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Parts of Hwy. 61 closed overnight due to wreck http://www.wbrz.com/news/parts-of-hwy-61-closed-overnight-due-to-wreck/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/parts-of-hwy-61-closed-overnight-due-to-wreck/ Local News Mon, 29 Sep 2014 7:44:21 PM Trey Schmaltz Parts of Hwy. 61 closed overnight due to wreck

WAKEFIELD - State Police anticipate Highway 61 in rural West Feliciana will be closed well into Monday night and into early Tuesday morning after a truck carrying soybeans overturned.

Troopers advised southbound lanes of the highway are closed at Brown Road. Brown Road is south of Highway 421/Spillman Road.

A State Police spokesperson said there were no injuries in the crash.

An alert from state traffic monitors suggested one of two northbound lanes is being used to move traffic around the southbound closure.
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Deputies outsmart accused, sly casino thief http://www.wbrz.com/news/deputies-outsmart-accused-sly-casino-thief/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/deputies-outsmart-accused-sly-casino-thief/ Local News Mon, 29 Sep 2014 8:58:07 PM Trey Schmaltz Deputies outsmart accused, sly casino thief

BATON ROUGE- Sheriff's deputies arrested a man who is accused of trying to get away with stealing someone's cash slip from an area casino.

Jamey Lobell was booked into jail earlier in September. He is charged with felony theft and misdemeanors of disturbing the peace by intoxication and resisting an officer.

According to court records, Lobell was apprehended after a gamer at L'Auberge reported Lobell had hit the "cash out" button on the slot machine the victim was playing. The slip was for $1,025. Lobell is accused of taking the slip and denying having removed it when he was questioned.

Deputies said Lobell ran from them while they were in the process of detaining him and was apprehended on the casino's sky walk.

Lobell is seen on surveillance video hiding the slip between two slot machines, court records reported.
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