WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Top Story Top Story en-us Copyright 2015, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 31 Mar 2015 02:03:42 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Baker School thefts lead to questions about superintendent http://www.wbrz.com/news/baker-school-thefts-lead-to-questions-about-superintendent/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/baker-school-thefts-lead-to-questions-about-superintendent/ Top Story Mon, 30 Mar 2015 4:53:23 PM Mark Armstrong Baker School thefts lead to questions about superintendent

BAKER - Baker School System Superintendent Ulysses Joseph plans to retire in May. At the same time, questions have risen about his role in the alleged illegal purchases of a former employee.

Emmitt Lee Whitfield was a maintenance supervisor for the school system until his original arrest in December 2014. Thursday Whitfield was again charged with felony theft for charging $127,000 worth of purchases on a school-issued credit-card from December 2012 to December 2014.

According to the affidavit, the purchases were: 2 novelty disco globes, 1 residential lawn fountain, 1 gazebos, 3 Coca-Cola mini refrigerators, 1 set of vanity bathroom lights, 117 window air-conditioners, 21 push lawn mowers, 17 assorted saws, an assortment of manual tools, 24 large shop fans, 9 air compressors, 17 portable shop generators, 110 folding tables, 30 folding chairs, 11 lanterns, 2 kitchen sinks, 1 kitchen stove, and 1 microwave oven.

Lieutenant Greg Brown with Baker Police said Joseph was Whitfield's direct supervisor and responsible for signing off on the purchases. Brown said they're still investigating whether other employees in the school system were in on the spending binge, and they're looking into other purchases Whitfield made at the school.

"There's a purchasing procedure that was not followed," said Brown, "as a result of that, Mr. Whitfield basically went on a shopping spree for over two years."

Brown said the investigation into the alleged illegal purchases began after Whitfield and his wife were arrested in December 2014 for felony theft. Investigators said Whitfield had pawned a pole-saw, which an East Baton Rouge Sheriff's deputy bought and discovered was actually the property of the Baker School System.

Brown said that if the deputy had not become involved through sheer chance, Whitfield would still be making illegal purchases.

Joseph did not agree to do an interview for this story but the president of the Baker School board, Elaine Davis, said the board has strengthened is oversight procedures and is working to get the system's money returned.

 


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Baker's superintendent plans retirement http://www.wbrz.com/news/baker-s-superintendent-plans-retirement/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/baker-s-superintendent-plans-retirement/ Top Story Mon, 30 Mar 2015 3:40:14 PM Trey Schmaltz Baker's superintendent plans retirement

BAKER - The community school system here will be searching for a new leader.

Two agenda items deal with the retirement of current superintendent Ulysses Joseph. Joseph is anticipating retiring on May 28. Joseph has been superintendent since January 2011.

The board will meet in a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the retirement and to begin the search for a new superintendent.

Joseph stonewalled WBRZ Monday on a story relating to the arrest of an employee who he directly oversaw. Emmitt Whitfield faces theft charges and is accused of charging $127,000 worth of purchases to the school system credit card over two years. Whitfield was arrested most recently last week and resigned last year. He was also arrested in December. Joseph was typically the person who approved purchases Whitfield made and police told WBRZ News 2, they are frustrated the superintendent wasn't more responsible in tracking the purchasing.
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Trial pushed back in gas station beating http://www.wbrz.com/news/trial-pushed-back-in-gas-station-beating/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/trial-pushed-back-in-gas-station-beating/ Top Story Mon, 30 Mar 2015 2:48:26 PM Troy Gaulden Trial pushed back in gas station beating

BATON ROUGE - The trial for a man accused of a racially charged beating at a gas station was pushed back to July after the man's lawyer said he has not seen all the evidence in the case.

On Mother's Day two years ago, Donald Dickerson allegedly told another man that he "stopped in the wrong neighborhood" and then beat him at the gas station near Scenic Highway and Plank Road. Dickerson now faces a second-degree battery charge.

The trial was supposed to begin Monday morning, but District Judge Lou Daniel moved the trial to July 13 and said he's not pleased with how the day turned out in court. Dickerson's defense attorney, Bernard Blair, says prosecutors failed to give him all of the evidence, but prosecutor Barry Fontenot disagrees.

"Well they believe there was some items of evidence that they didn't receive," said Fontenot. "Obviously, we have a different point of view on that. You know, I believe we have it resolved, and we're going to be ready to try this case."

After court Blair had choice words about the case.

"If he didn't have dreadlocks...if he wasn't black...he wouldn't be here today. I hate to say that, but that's the truth," he said. "Now he's done four times as much time sitting in jail, and now he's gonna have to wait until at least July to go forward with this."

The East Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office is seeking to charge Dickerson as an habitual offender, which would mean a life sentence for Dickerson if he's convicted in the gas station attack. Dickerson has been convicted of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, armed robbery and purse snatching in the past.

"He's not fighting to beat a charge. He's fighting for his life, because Hillar Moore wants to put him away for basically the rest of his life based upon what he may have done in the past and that's not fair. This was just a fight," said Blair.

Judge Daniel ordered both sides to meet within the next month to go over evidence together to be on the same page for the new July trial date.

 


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Common Core lawsuit from Jindal, lawmakers thrown out http://www.wbrz.com/news/common-core-lawsuit-from-jindal-lawmakers-thrown-out/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/common-core-lawsuit-from-jindal-lawmakers-thrown-out/ Top Story Mon, 30 Mar 2015 10:00:48 AM Russell Jones Common Core lawsuit from Jindal, lawmakers thrown out

BATON ROUGE - A judge threw out the lawsuit filed by Louisiana lawmakers and Governor Bobby Jindal which challenged the state's adoption of the Common Core education standards.

The lawsuit claimed education officials didn't properly follow state oversight and public notice laws when adopting the standards. Attorneys for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education argued any challenges should have been filed within two years after the standards were adopted in 2010. Judge Tim Kelley agreed, and dismissed the lawsuit on a technicality.

State Education Superintendent John White said Judge Tim Kelley's decision to dismiss the suit allows the state to move forward with adopting higher education standards for Louisiana's students.

"Five years ago, after review by hundreds of educators and Louisiana organizations, our state adopted higher expectations," White said. "For five years teachers, students, and parents in Louisiana prepared to compete on a level playing field with states across America. Two weeks ago, 99 percent of Louisiana students for the first time were provided that playing field."

Jindal initially supported Common Core's higher standards before joining national conservative opposition to the standards last summer. He took executive action to try and end the state's involvement in Common Core, which he called a federal takeover of the state's education system, and later filed suit against the U. S. Department of Education over Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind waivers tied to Common Core.

Today the governor said lawmakers planned to appeal the decision, and that he supported their efforts.

"The Administrative Procedures Act ensures that before agencies adopt rules and regulations, they get input from stakeholders and the public. BESE did not follow this public process before adopting Common Core. We are also pursuing legislation to make clear that public agencies must follow the APA before adopting rules and regulations," he said.

According to their website, the Common Core standards were developed by a coalition of volunteers from multiple states to create a common set of education goals that states could use to compare their progress with each other. Opponents of the standards criticized the PARCC test schools starting using in Louisiana this year to test students, and some anti-Common Core activists claimed at a BESE hearing it was influenced by the Saudi Arabian government and had a pro-Muslim bias in Common Core-aligned textbooks.

White said Monday opponents of Common Core were following an "extremist, political path" to try and derail five years' worth of work and money spent to adopt the standards.

"Today's court decision...is another validation that there is no academic or legal basis for the extremist path," he said. "Louisiana deserves a professional plan, not a political plan."

Students administered the PARCC exam two weeks ago. The state Department of Education said efforts through social media to get parents to opt their children out of the tests resulted in less than one percent of students across the state not taking the exam.


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St. George petition short more than 2,600 signatures http://www.wbrz.com/news/st-george-petition-short-more-than-2-600-signatures/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/st-george-petition-short-more-than-2-600-signatures/ Top Story Mon, 30 Mar 2015 8:51:46 AM Russell Jones St. George petition short more than 2,600 signatures

BATON ROUGE - The Registrar of Voters said a petition to get a portion of East Baton Rouge Parish incorporated into a new city called St. George is short of its goal by more than two thousand signatures.

The registrar's office said the petition was short by 2,694 signatures. Organizers have 60 days to make up the difference.

Organizers of the petition said on social media that they've already collected another 1,500 signatures to add to the petition. The group said if people want to sign the petition and haven't already, they can contact organizers and they will bring the petition to them.

St. George supporters needed 25 percent of the 71,436 residents living in the area to be incorporated, which according to the registrar worked out to be 17,859 signatures. The office said only 15,165 of the more than 18,000 which were turned in were verified as good.

The registrar's office said some people contacted them to get their signatures removed from the petition during their verification process. A few people also reported that their names had been forged on the petition, and St. George supporters said they will give the names of the people who collected those signatures to law enforcement for investigation.

The St. George movement's supporters said they want to form a breakaway city in the southern part of the city-parish so they can build a better school system than the East Baton Rouge Parish School system.


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Family, friends gather today to remember fallen U.S. Marshal http://www.wbrz.com/news/family-friends-gather-today-to-remember-fallen-u-s-marshal/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/family-friends-gather-today-to-remember-fallen-u-s-marshal/ Top Story Tue, 17 Mar 2015 6:15:48 AM Hunter Robinson Family, friends gather today to remember fallen U.S. Marshal

MOSS POINT, MS - Family and friends will gather Tuesday morning to say goodbye to U.S. Marshal who was killed in the line of duty in Baton Rouge a week ago.

Josie Wells was shot and killed at a Baton Rouge motel last week. The man accused of shooting him was also wanted on double murder charges in New Roads.

Jamie Croom had been on the run from Point Coupee Parish authorities for the past month. Detectives believe he was responsible deaths of Sinica and Lichelle Williams at the Sugar Shack in February. Croom was shot five times after shooting and killing Wells and died at a local hospital the following night.

A day after the shooting, a procession escorted Wells' body from Baton Rouge to his hometown of Moss Point, Mississippi. Wells, 27, was a four-year veteran of the U.S. Marshal. After his death, News 2 learned he and his wife were expecting a child.

His funeral service is at 11 a.m. at Wade Baptist Church. He will be laid to rest at Davis Chapel Cemetery afterward.

 


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National Guard to speak about chopper crash that killed 11 http://www.wbrz.com/news/national-guard-to-speak-about-chopper-crash-that-killed-11/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/national-guard-to-speak-about-chopper-crash-that-killed-11/ Top Story Mon, 16 Mar 2015 1:53:49 AM Hunter Robinson National Guard to speak about chopper crash that killed 11

NEW ORLEANS - The Louisiana National Guard is expected to release the names of four members killed last week when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed off Florida's Panhandle during nighttime training.

The head of the Louisiana National Guard, Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, has scheduled a news conference late Monday morning at the Jackson Barracks Museum in New Orleans.

Gov. Bobby Jindal has ordered flags at the state Capitol and all other state buildings and institutions to fly at half-staff until sunset March 20 to honor the guard members and seven Marines who died in the crash March 10.

The soldiers from Hammond each did two tours in Iraq and participated in humanitarian missions after Gulf Coast hurricanes and the 2010 BP oil spill off Louisiana.

The press conference is Monday morning at 11 a.m. at the Jackson Barracks in New Orleans.


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Helicopter search efforts now turning to recovery http://www.wbrz.com/news/helicopter-search-efforts-now-turning-to-recovery/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/helicopter-search-efforts-now-turning-to-recovery/ Top Story Thu, 12 Mar 2015 8:58:34 AM Russell Jones Helicopter search efforts now turning to recovery

PENSACOLA, FL - Authorities announced Thursday morning that search efforts for survivors of a military helicopter crash in Florida have shifted to recovery of debris and remains.

Military officials said 11 soldiers, 7 Marines out of Camp Lejeune and 4 National Guard members out of Hammond, were missing and presumed dead after the crash.

A military spokesperson said searchers got a sonar ping off what they believed was the helicopter, and divers found the main body of the wreck shortly after. The military said some human remains had also washed ashore after the crash. Col. Monte Cannon said Thursday that officials are not hopeful any survivors will be found, and that the military is not yet releasing the names of those killed or any details about them.

The Associated Press reported that a family member of one of the victims, a Marine from Wisconsin, identified him as Kerry Kemp. Lora Waraksa said they were notified about her brother-in-law's death overnight. She described Kemp as "proud Marine, a loving husband and most wonderful father." She says her sister and Kemp have a child about 1 year old.

Authorities said the soldiers were taking part in a training exercise in an area with heavy fog late Tuesday when the crash happened. They said a second helicopter involved in the training turned back and landed due to the fog.

A special hotline has been set up for people in the Florida panhandle to call if they find debris washed up on the beach. They've been told not to touch it.


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Wreck on Mississippi River Bridge jams traffic http://www.wbrz.com/news/wreck-on-mississippi-river-bridge-jams-traffic/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/wreck-on-mississippi-river-bridge-jams-traffic/ Top Story Sat, 7 Mar 2015 5:06:08 PM Caroline McDougall Wreck on Mississippi River Bridge jams traffic

BATON ROUGE - A wreck of three to four vehicle has occured on the Mississippi River Bridge.

The accident happened in the left lane going eastbound on I-10 of the bridge. All traffic is passing through the left lane.

Emergency responders are arriving at the scene. No further details have been reported at this time.


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Woman wanted for bomb threat at Fairwood Library http://www.wbrz.com/news/woman-wanted-for-bomb-threat-at-fairwood-library/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/woman-wanted-for-bomb-threat-at-fairwood-library/ Top Story Sat, 7 Mar 2015 10:43:46 AM Caroline McDougall Woman wanted for bomb threat at Fairwood Library

BATON ROUGE - Baton Rouge police say they are looking for a woman who threatened having a bomb strapped onto her inside Fairwood Library this afternoon.

The report came in around 12:10 p.m. at the branch location on 12910 Old Hammond Hwy.

Police say the woman fled the scene before police arrived, and no evacuation was made.

Officers say the scene is under control, and a search is underway to find the woman.


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Union optimistic about pay plan http://www.wbrz.com/news/union-optimistic-about-pay-plan/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/union-optimistic-about-pay-plan/ Top Story Fri, 6 Mar 2015 8:23:29 PM Trey Schmaltz Union optimistic about pay plan

BATON ROUGE - The Baton Rouge Police Union approved one of the first pay raise proposals in years for officers Friday evening.

In a 232 to 201 vote, 54% of union members signed off on the city's plan that institutes between two and four percent raises for the police department.

"We're happy that it is approved, it's better than we have had before," union president Chris Stewart told WBRZ News 2 late Friday. "We are looking forward to moving ahead, but realize this is a short-term fix to a long-term problem," he added.

The contract lasts for twenty months, from April to the end of 2016.

Union members spent the day voting at the new police headquarters. Voting ended at 10 p.m.

An officer, new to the force but with some experience working the street makes about $32,300.

The mayor will introduce a pay raise for all city workers at Wednesday's Metro Council meeting.

Earlier this week, rank and file union members approved a 2% pay raise plan.

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Victim identified in early morning shooting http://www.wbrz.com/news/victim-identified-in-early-morning-shooting-70311/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/victim-identified-in-early-morning-shooting-70311/ Top Story Sun, 1 Mar 2015 9:15:12 AM Caroline McDougall Victim identified in early morning shooting

BATON ROUGE - Police identified the victim who was found shot dead in his front yard early Sunday morning.

Police identified the victim as 24-year-old Eddie Simon Jr. who was found with a gun wound to his head on 2800 73rd Ave. around 1:45 a.m. Authorities were originally dispatched to the scene for reports of a traffic crash.

Investigators say they believe the victim was standing in his front yard when an unknown suspect walked up, fired several shots at the victim and fled.

Neighbors in the area say this incident is just another sign of their community going downhill and it has been spiraling downward for the past five years.

The victim was pronounced dead after he arrived to the hospital. Police are still investigating the incident.


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Deputies freezin' for a reason in Gonzales http://www.wbrz.com/news/deputies-freezin-for-a-reason-in-gonzales/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/deputies-freezin-for-a-reason-in-gonzales/ Top Story Sat, 28 Feb 2015 4:48:31 PM Caroline McDougall Deputies freezin' for a reason in Gonzales

GONZALES - Ascension, Livingston and East Baton Rouge sheriff's deputies joined forces to take a dive into some chilly waters Saturday morning at the 7th Annual Polar Plunge.

The teams jumped into the freezing waters at Cabela's in Gonzales all to raise money for athletes in the Louisiana Special Olympics.

Deputies Sheriff Sid Gautreaux and the EBRSO Team say they were thrilled to be a part of the the plunge this year.

Together the teams raised more than $60,000 for the cause.

 


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Second arrest as deputies look for double murder connections http://www.wbrz.com/news/second-arrest-as-deputies-look-for-double-murder-connections/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/second-arrest-as-deputies-look-for-double-murder-connections/ Top Story Fri, 27 Feb 2015 8:06:22 PM Trey Schmaltz Second arrest as deputies look for double murder connections

NEW ROADS- As deputies continue to search for double-murder suspect Jamie Croom, investigators are putting pressure on some of his closest pals.

Friday, WBRZ News 2 learned, his half-brother, Elie Edwards, was arrested in connection with the investigation of the shooting deaths of Sinica and Lechelle Williams. Edwards was charged with being a felon in possession with a firearm.

Last week, Terry Matthews was arrested on similar charges as detectives look into all aspects of the Ash Wednesday murder.

"We know they were at the bar, we know they had firearms," a source who is familiar with the investigation said Friday night. The source could not elaborate on the specifics about how detectives know the pair were at the bar with guns.

Edwards was arrested in East Baton Rouge, the source said. He was transferred to Pointe Coupee Parish Friday morning.

Croom is still wanted and the sheriff has described him as the most wanted person in Pointe Coupee Parish.

The Williams were killed in a hail of gunfire in the parking lot of the Sugar Shack after Mardi Gras. Witnesses said there may have been multiple shooters. Casings recovered from the scene came from two different weapons.
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3 of 4 candidates for governor bash Common Core in debate http://www.wbrz.com/news/3-of-4-candidates-for-governor-bash-common-core-in-debate/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/3-of-4-candidates-for-governor-bash-common-core-in-debate/ Top Story Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:11:20 AM Brock Sues 3 of 4 candidates for governor bash Common Core in debate

BATON ROUGE - Three out of the four contenders to be the state's next governor attacked Louisiana's use of Common Core academic standards in a gubernatorial debate Tuesday morning.

The two-hour forum, held in Shreveport, saw comment from David Vitter, John Edwards and Scott Angelle concerning the divisive, multistate testing standards for English and mathematics to be used in public school classrooms.

Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards said it is possible for the state to have high educational standards without the need for Common Core. Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter expressed his continued opposition to the system's overhaul and the accompanying tests known as PARCC.

Republican Scott Angelle also announced his opposition to Common Core at the debate, saying the standards don't have a monopoly on high academic achievement for Louisiana's public school students.

The fourth participant in the forum, Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, maintained his support for Common Core, while taking the opportunity to attack his rivals on their unified stance concerning the standards.

Image: Alexandria Burris / The Shreveport Times


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Arson blamed for fires at two vacant homes http://www.wbrz.com/news/arson-blamed-for-fires-at-two-vacant-homes/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/arson-blamed-for-fires-at-two-vacant-homes/ Top Story Mon, 23 Feb 2015 7:23:58 PM WBRZ Staff Arson blamed for fires at two vacant homes

BATON ROUGE - Fire investigators are investigating at least two fires at vacant house fires in Baton Rouge Monday night/Tuesday morning.

Crews were called to an abandoned home in Old South Baton Rouge after a massive blaze gutted the structure Monday evening.

The fire was at the intersection of Cotton and St. Joseph, off Terrace near Highland Road. Smoke filled the sky between LSU and downtown as fire crews worked to put the fire out.

Bright, orange flames and dark, billowing smoke could be seen from the WBRZ tower cam overlooking the inferno.

The Baton Rouge Fire Department determined the cause of the fire was arson.

They also say arson is to blame for a fire that destroyed a vacant home in the 4300 block of Jefferson Ave. early Tuesday morning.

 Anyone with information about either fire should contact fire investigators at (225)354-1419.

Check back for updates.
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Strike set for Shell, Motiva plants in La. http://www.wbrz.com/news/strike-set-for-shell-motiva-plants-in-la-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/strike-set-for-shell-motiva-plants-in-la-/ Top Story Sat, 21 Feb 2015 11:16:40 AM Caroline McDougall Strike set for Shell, Motiva plants in La.

BATON ROUGE - The first nationwide, oil refinery strike in more than 30 years is growing to encompass four new plants, including the largest U.S. refinery in Port Arthur, Texas.

The United Steelworkers union says workers at the Motiva Enterprises refinery in Port Arthur started their strike at midnight Friday. Employees at two other refineries and a chemical plant in Louisiana will strike at the end of Saturday.

The expansion adds another 1,350 union-represented workers to the strike, which began Feb. 1 at refineries mostly in Texas and California. It later grew to include Ohio and Indiana refineries.

The union started negotiating last month with Shell Oil Co., which is serving as the lead company in national bargaining talks.


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Rogers' will could become next saga; estate valued at $165,000 http://www.wbrz.com/news/rogers-will-could-become-next-saga-estate-valued-at-165-000/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/rogers-will-could-become-next-saga-estate-valued-at-165-000/ Top Story Fri, 20 Feb 2015 3:56:27 PM Trey Schmaltz Rogers' will could become next saga; estate valued at $165,000

ST. GABRIEL - A day after details about the double-life TV personality Scott Rogers was living came to light, more of his past unraveled Friday.

Rogers' friend, Darla O'Connor, told WBRZ in an exclusive interview, Rogers became unrecognizable.

"He became a man I did not know," she said. "A person I'd never seen," she added.

O'Connor was interviewed by sheriff's deputies following Rogers' death. Her conversation was recorded and was released with numerous CDs containing hours of interviews with O'Connor, a man named Stuart, and another woman named Maria Edwards. The WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit obtained the case files through a public records request to the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office once Rogers' death investigation was closed.

Details of the files were first reported on WBRZ.com and WBRZ News 2 at TEN on Thursday.

O'Connor told investigators during her interview she was unaware of the allegations made against Rogers by Stuart dealing with sexual abuse. Stuart said he and the man who killed Rogers, Mathew Hodgkinson, moved to Louisiana with Rogers from Dallas and before that England and were, essentially, brainwashed into serving Rogers. In recorded interviews with deputies, Stuart said Rogers assaulted them and other boys.

Click HERE to see a timeline of how Rogers and the group got to Iberville Parish.

"I met him when I was 12; by the time I was 13, he was engaging in sexual abuse with me," he said in a recorded interview with deputies. "There were at least three other kids that I know of because that sexual abuse was group in nature."

"I believe that the stories from England are true and I believe that Stuart is telling the truth," O'Connor told WBRZ investigator Ryan Naquin. Naquin first reported the details of the case on television Thursday.

"I do not know that any children from the United States were touched, but I would put my house on anything that Stuart says," she added.

It was revealed in case files that Rogers planned the murder-suicide and convinced Hodgkinson to the pull the trigger after learning a grand jury was looking into if he doctored adoption papers for two foster children he was caring for.

Hodgkinson, who was also married to Rogers' daughter in what officials called a sham marriage arranged so he could stay in the country, left notes for the people the pair left behind.

"I am so sorry that you may now be in trouble for just saying 'yes' to me," Hodgkinson wrote to Rogers' daughter.

In another letter, left for Maria Edwards, Hodgkinson explained where money was hidden around the house for her and gave her access codes and passwords to accounts so she could handle bills and business.

Rogers ran a production company and hosted the "Around Town" TV show.

Hodgkinson also wrote Edwards should take custody of the foster children. The children were removed from his care prior to his death.

Just days before he died, Rogers changed his will and left everything to Edwards, who was inside the Rogers estate when the shooting happened and called 911.

At the Edwards' house Friday, Edwards' husband told WBRZ his wife was not interested in discussing the case but was shocked to learn Maria Edwards was listed as the person with the sole power over Rogers' assets.

While Edwards is listed as the beneficiary, court records show no will has been filed and Rogers' daughter, Kimberly, is listed as the administrator of her dad's estate, estimated at $165,000. There will likely be a court battle over the assets.

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This story was produced by the WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit and Ryan Naquin and Trey Schmaltz

 


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Redemptorist High, Jr. High decision not overturned http://www.wbrz.com/news/redemptorist-high-jr-high-decision-not-overturned/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/redemptorist-high-jr-high-decision-not-overturned/ Top Story Sat, 24 Jan 2015 10:34:28 AM Caroline McDougall Redemptorist High, Jr. High decision not overturned

BATON ROUGE - The decision to close Redemptorist High School and Junior High will not be overturned.

After multiple meetings scheduled by the Diocese of Baton Rouge school board to review the final plan, Bishop Robert Muench says the efforts are appreciated but the plan did not assure them that it would be able to keep the doors open at Redemptorist for years to come.

"After carefully considering the plan, all three entities unanimously recommended that the decision to close RHS should not be rescinded. In the collective judgment of these three groups, the plan did not assure the long-term viability of the schools in demonstrable, measurable and compelling ways."

The announcement comes after the diocese reviewed a plan sent on December 26 by parents and alumni to keep the school open.

The Bishop announced plans to close the school in a press conference on December 19. He cited plummeting enrollment as the primary reason for the decision, and said the schools would close at the end of the current academic year.

In December, Bishop Muench also met with parents and students in an expression of grief and to discuss how they can apply to other Catholic schools and to listen to grievances on the decision.

"Redemptorist Junior & Senior High Schools will forever hold a sacred place in the hearts not only of those who have been directly connected with it, but all who have benefitted from its proud sixty-five year history of positive impact.

The diocese says Redemptorist Elementary will remain open because it still has enough students to cover operational expenses.

 


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Doctor: someone at your work might be using synthetic weed http://www.wbrz.com/news/doctor-someone-at-your-work-might-be-using-synthetic-weed/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/doctor-someone-at-your-work-might-be-using-synthetic-weed/ Top Story Fri, 23 Jan 2015 8:20:07 PM Brittany Weiss Doctor: someone at your work might be using synthetic weed

BATON ROUGE - An ER doctor is asking companies to do more to help people kick the deadly habit of smoking synthetic pot.

Dr. Chuck Thompson says some of the area's largest employers need to watch their workers, because there's a good chance some are using.

"This drug will kill you," he said. "You're gone... Eventually."

Coroner Beau Clark says at least four recent deaths in Baton Rouge have been linked to Mojo, a brand name of synthetic marijuana. Two of those deaths are pending toxicology reports.

Synthetic marijuana is not new but still new enough that the law can't get a tight grip on it. The chemicals in synthetic pot constantly change making it hard for law enforcement to crack down.

Dr. Thompson says he's seen a spike in patients coming to the emergency room on Mojo.

"People are coming in from work with bizarre behavior," he said. "They're coming in from school and it's not just high school, it's junior high, acting bizarre, being aggressive and they're on this stuff."

Thompson is worried there is a growing trend of people on Mojo while at work. He's calling on employers to be more aware of the signs.

"When people show up at work on the stuff, they can be fairly normal and then all at once have a psychotic break," he said.

In 2014, Capital Area Human Services created a campaign against Mojo. A billboard stands along I-110 with a message that calls synthetic marijuana poison. It may look like marijuana, but it's often made overseas with dangerous chemicals.


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