WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ On Your Side On Your Side en-us Copyright 2018, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sun, 21 Jan 2018 HH:01:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Homeowner still waiting on $3,500 repairs http://www.wbrz.com/news/homeowner-still-waiting-on-3-500-repairs/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/homeowner-still-waiting-on-3-500-repairs/ On Your Side Fri, 19 Jan 2018 5:50:31 PM Brittany Weiss Homeowner still waiting on $3,500 repairs

CENTRAL - Promises made and not kept. It's what one Central homeowner says happened to her when she ordered a $3,500 door for her flood-damaged home.

Carolyn Blount and her husband rebuilt their home after the flood. One of the last things that needs to be built and replaced is their front door. Blount says she's always been careful with who she hires, but this time she feels like she let her family down.

After doing business with them before, she contacted Frank's Doors and Building Supply. She says a man named Daryl Dispensire answered the phone.

Blount says Dispensire came to the house, he measured the door frame and gave an estimate of $3,575. When Blount went to write a check, she learned the business is now called Quality Doors and More, LLC.

Blount wrote the check July 19, 2017, and it was cashed. She knew Dispensire would be out of work for a few weeks but would get started on her door when he returned.

"I called to check on him, you know, a few weeks after," Blount said. "He said that he would be getting back to me."

But Blount says he never got back to her. She continued to call him but says he was always busy and wouldn't work in the rain.

Text messages show on September 28, 2017, Blount asked for a refund. Dispensire responded saying he was ill with the flu but had the door. Another week passes and Blount sends another text message saying "We need you to either get the job done or return our money," and gave him until October 7, 2017, to complete the work. There was no response.

In November, Blount sent Dispensire a certified letter terminating the contract and demanding a refund. The certified letter was not signed for and it was returned. Soon after, Blount contacted 2 On Your Side.

WBRZ called Dispensire, who agreed to meet with Blount to settle the job and complete the work. Blount says Dispensire canceled that meeting the morning of January 5, 2018.

Holding onto hope Dispensire would complete the job, Blount gave him until January 12, 2018. The project remains in limbo.

"I really just tried to appeal to him just to do the right thing," she said.

While at Blount's home Friday, 2 On Your Side contacted Dispensire once again. He said last Friday it rained and this week he was having issues with water at his home. He sent photos of pooled water in his yard.

Dispensire says he has the materials but has not had time to assemble the door. He tells 2 On Your Side he still plans to build the door.

More than six months after the order was given, Blount says she's not holding her breath and wants her money returned.

"He's creative, I don't know," she said.

2 On Your Side asked Dispensire to see photos of the door materials and they were not provided.




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Even contractors fed up with slow Restore LA process http://www.wbrz.com/news/even-contractors-fed-up-with-slow-restore-la-process/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/even-contractors-fed-up-with-slow-restore-la-process/ On Your Side Wed, 10 Jan 2018 6:19:34 PM Brittany Weiss Even contractors fed up with slow Restore LA process

BATON ROUGE - Flood victims continue to express their frustration with Restore Louisiana. Many homeowners say they're waiting for paperwork to be approved in order to receive a check. For some, the process continues to be drawn-out.

Baton Rouge contractors working to repair flood homes say they feel the heat too. An option for reimbursement through the Restore Louisiana program allows homeowners to choose to hire their own contractor or working with a contractor through the program. Oscar Martinez says his company, Marquez Construction, LLC has completed work on a handful of homes and has been waiting for payment.

"We're basically footing the bill in every single one of these houses," said Martinez.

Marquez Construction has completed work for about 400 flood-damaged homes. Its team of about 140 crew members is working to rebuild Baton Rouge. The company has purchased cabinets, flooring, countertops, and tubs and they're ready to be paid but clients don't have the money to pay them.

Martinez says for months now, while work goes on, he's been hearing the same line from his clients. That their checks will be coming from Restore Louisiana in three weeks following an inspection.

"They said a check would be received in 2-3 weeks, it's been double that time," said Aundrika Wheller. "My contractor's done, he's finished with the work, no payment."

Wheller says Martinez finished construction in her home off Sherwood Forest before Thanksgiving. She has a 75 percent completion inspection with Restore Louisiana in November but two weeks later found that there was an issue with her paperwork and a new inspection would need to be rescheduled. It's pushed back her check arrival date.

Restore Louisiana is asking homeowners to be patient. It says there is a lot of paperwork that has to travel through multiple departments that all has to be reviewed and approved by multiple people. It isn't until everything's approved that a check is processed and then, homeowner's can count on that three week quote time.

Martinez called 2 On Your Side concerned about whether he should take on more clients that are approved for Restore Louisiana funding.

"{In one case} they had a different case manager take over and when that happened it was like the process started all over again," he said.

As the company continues to take on work, Martinez says he's hesitant, but dedicated to helping people rebuild. Although he says he can't continue working this way forever.

"These are people's lives, these are their homes, people need to get back into their homes," he said.

Restore Louisiana acknowledges some people have expressed their frustration with the process but says it's ultimately the homeowner's responsibility to work out their own contract with their contractor and provide proof the work is being done.


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Underground leak causes enormous water bill http://www.wbrz.com/news/underground-leak-causes-enormous-water-bill/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/underground-leak-causes-enormous-water-bill/ On Your Side Tue, 9 Jan 2018 5:40:38 PM Brittany Weiss Underground leak causes enormous water bill

PRAIRIEVILLE - A man says he was shocked when he opened his mail Monday. A bill that's normally just a few bucks grew by about 75 times what it normally is.

"I can't pay a bill like that," said James McCasland.

Being on a fixed income, McCasland has a pretty good idea what he'll be spending on bills for the month. But when he opened his Ascension Water Company bill, it was in the quadruple digits at $1,147.63. His water bill is normally around $15 a month.

"I said, Something's wrong,'" said McCasland.

After opening his bill Monday, McCasland went outside to find the meter. He saw pooling water and some bubbling. A neighbor helped him dig about 16 inches below ground to find the problem and fix a loose pipe. McCasland only wishes he knew about it sooner.

McCasland tells 2 On Your Side Ascension Water Company told him they put a blue note on his door notifying him of a leak. He says he goes in and out of his front door every day and has not seen one.

The water company says it first read the meter and noticed the leak December 22 and read it again December 28. McCasland says he didn't find out about an underground leak until after he opened his bill Monday.

"If they would have notified me I would have turned it off right then," he said.

Ascension Water Company tells 2 On Your Side it's going to work with McCasland to come up with a solution and help him with his bill. It first has to visit the property to confirm the leak has been stopped.


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Deep freeze affecting natural gas supply to subdivision http://www.wbrz.com/news/deep-freeze-affecting-natural-gas-supply-to-subdivision/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/deep-freeze-affecting-natural-gas-supply-to-subdivision/ On Your Side Thu, 4 Jan 2018 5:20:48 PM Brittany Weiss Deep freeze affecting natural gas supply to subdivision

WALKER - Imagine waking up and having no heat. It's happening in the Woodland Crossing Subdivision in Walker and dozens of households are being affected.

Residents say it's happening in the middle of the night. Walker Gas & Water tell 2 On Your Side it's known about the issue for years, but an obstacle is preventing them from fixing the problem.

"You're waking up in the morning, trying to start your day and you're freezing," said Woodland Crossing resident Kelly Schayot.

It's been a rough week for Schayot and her family. She says ever time the temperature takes a deep dive, there's no natural gas. It cuts off sometime in the middle of the night and doesn't come on until late morning. It's been going on for years.

"It's always the same story," she said.

It's affecting her neighbors, too. Schayot says there's a post on the Nextdoor App with nearly 80 comments from people chiming in about the issue. One says, "I live on Palmwood Court and I don't have gas, either."

The thermostat in Schayot's house is set to 69 degrees. She says she woke up this morning and it was 62 degrees in the house. She got up at 5 a.m. to put a heating blanket on her young daughter.

"I planned for it last night," she said. "Now every single time there's a hard freeze I have to plan that we will have no heat until noon the next day."

Walker Gas & Water tells 2 On Your Side the supply pipe to handle the capacity that's requested to the Woodland Crossing Subdivision is too small. The city has a permit to fix the issue and install a larger pipe, but there's a holdup.

Walker is working on servitude access. It says one property owner has not accepted a fair market offer from the city to move forward. The land has been reappraised and the property owner has been sitting on his second offer since June 2016.

"We made the best offer we could and we're still trying to work with him to get that resolved," said Superintendent Jamie Etheridge.

Until then, Etheridge says there's a temporary fix. The City of Walker signed a contract Thursday with a portable gas company. The contract will allow tank trucks to place in the subdivision and supply households with natural gas. The contract takes 48 hours to become activated.

Meanwhile, Schayot is preparing for another cold night in her house. The lowest temperature the thermostat read this week was 58 degrees. She's looking for a permanent fix.

"You pay for a service and then when you need it the most it doesn't work," she said.




    


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Car damaged during car wash, business does not take responsibility http://www.wbrz.com/news/car-damaged-during-car-wash-business-does-not-take-responsibility/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/car-damaged-during-car-wash-business-does-not-take-responsibility/ On Your Side Wed, 3 Jan 2018 5:04:11 PM Brittany Weiss Car damaged during car wash, business does not take responsibility

WALKER - It's not the way Dale Pourciau wanted to start out the New Year. He says a car wash damaged his wife's ride and he should not have to foot the bill.

"I was just in shock," said Pourciau. "I said surely they'll help me out here."

But shocked he is after he says he asked for help and was denied. Both of the mirrors on his wife's Ford Fusion have been damaged. One of the side mirrors was left dangling by a wire and scraped up the paint on the vehicle, the other side mirror is cracked and broken.

Pourciau says he took his wife's car to Big Bad Ben Car Wash on Walker South Road. He purchased the $5 express wash and began to pull forward, a tenant guiding him along on the track. Seconds later, he says he saw his passenger side mirror had been knocked off. Then the other was knocked too.

"It's going to be some expensive damage because it scraped the door here," said Pourciau.

He says the attendant at the car wash apologized and was told to come back in a couple of days to speak with management about the damage.

"The attendant apologized, but the manager refusing to even talk to me or even look at the car was to me, unprofessional," said Pourciau. "He kept pointing to the sign that says we're not responsible for damages."

Wednesday, an attendant at Big Bad Ben Car Wash told 2 On Your Side something similar happened to another car that went through the wash recently. The attendant also said everything is in working order and referenced a sign at the car wash that says the business is not responsible for damages.

A large green sign near the entrance of the car wash says although the wash is very safe, it can't be held responsible for a number of things including antennas, loose molding or chrome, previous damage to vehicle, bug shields and sun visors, anything non-factory, damage due to drivers negligence, isolated scratches, windshield wipers, side mirrors, or any vehicle over six years old.

Pourciau says he does not appreciate how things were handled and he won't be returning to that car wash. He got a repair estimate today of $800 to fix the paint and two side mirrors.


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Plumbers busy working calls for frozen, broken lines http://www.wbrz.com/news/plumbers-busy-working-calls-for-frozen-broken-lines/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/plumbers-busy-working-calls-for-frozen-broken-lines/ On Your Side Tue, 2 Jan 2018 5:34:12 PM Brittany Weiss Plumbers busy working calls for frozen, broken lines

CENTRAL - The weather is keeping plumbing companies busy this week repairing frozen and split pipes. The emergency calls increased Tuesday morning and rose steadily throughout the afternoon.

Central Plumbing Company is having to shift their normal work to address emergencies at homes, daycare centers and dentist offices. Industrial Manager Brandon LeBlanc says their work is just getting started.

"The calls are really starting to come in," he said. "People realizing they don't have water, maybe frozen pipes."

Late Tuesday morning, a pipe at the front of Wisteria Lakes Subdivision in Central split in half, spraying water. At the time, temperatures were just barely above freezing. Another customer along Sullivan Road reported frozen pipes this morning. A pipe feeding a hose above ground froze and split creating an icy display in front of the house.

"If they have pipes on the outside and they're not covered, they're going to freeze," said LeBlanc.

He says if you don't have water running inside the house and think your pipes are frozen, find the shut-off valve or the meter and turn it off.

"The last thing you want is for a pipe to burst while they're not home," he said.

Plumbers say don't let your guard down yet and take precautions if you haven't already. The freeze/thaw will continue through the week and Central Plumbing Company says it hasn't seen the worst of it yet.

Just Tuesday afternoon, Central Plumbing Company said it received well over 60 phone calls for frozen or broken lines. It's working to get as many people taken care of as possible.


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Brides still waiting on wedding photos months after wedding http://www.wbrz.com/news/brides-still-waiting-on-wedding-photos-months-after-wedding/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/brides-still-waiting-on-wedding-photos-months-after-wedding/ On Your Side Thu, 28 Dec 2017 6:20:33 PM Brittany Weiss Brides still waiting on wedding photos months after wedding

LAFAYETTE - Dozens of brides all over the country are missing their wedding photos and videos. They called 2 On Your Side after hiring a Lafayette-based wedding photographer who they say took their money and didn't deliver the product he promised.

Melissa Quintel says she hired Tregg Istre of 63 Films to take photos of her wedding in Washington State. She paid him in full and says he drove to capture her small wedding.

"My dad walking me down the aisle was probably one of the most important pictures," says Quintel.

It's an image she fears she'll never see after she paid him $5,000. Quintel says Istre sent her eight photos two days after her wedding and then communication stopped.

"Why do such a good job, hire us, come up and do all this stuff and not give anyone photos or their videos," she said.

Quintel quickly found she wasn't alone. There are dozens of poor reviews online dating back to early 2016. "They stole my money and my memories," says one review on weddingwire.com. "Does not respond to messages, calls or email," says another.

Quintel joined a Facebook group with about 250 members, all people she says had similar experiences with Istre and 63 Films. Hallie Landry started the Facebook group after her experience but considers herself lucky. After hiring a lawyer, Landry got her wedding photos months after her wedding. She says a judge awarded her all the raw video footage and a full refund, but Landry's still waiting for the money.

"I don't have my wedding video of me and my husband, that's the worst," said Landry.

Thursday afternoon, 2 On Your Side spoke with Istre. He says work has been piling up since his team of photographers recently left and he took over the work himself. Istre issued an apology to the brides that are waiting.

"I'm absolutely 100 percent sorry that we got behind," said Istre. "Projects are still being knocked out and delivered on a weekly basis."

Istre says there is no one that is not going to get their full project, but it's going to take time and he's asking for patience.

Brides 2 On Your Side spoke with don't buy it, and say this has been going on for at least a year.

Britni Duplantis says her wedding was in January 2017 and according to her contract with Istre, the photos were due to her in May. The month passed and it took Duplantis going to Istre's house to get the raw files from him.

"We all tried working with him," she said.

The website for 63 Films says it's done weddings all over the country.

"He's doing it in Oregon as well, in Texas," said Landry.

"A lot of them haven't received a single photo," said Quintel. "They don't even know what their wedding looked like."

Istre says he has less than 50 projects to finish and that he's not taking on any new projects until he's done. He hopes that will be five months from now.


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Missing paperwork keeping flood victims from potential Restore LA funding http://www.wbrz.com/news/missing-paperwork-keeping-flood-victims-from-potential-restore-la-funding/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/missing-paperwork-keeping-flood-victims-from-potential-restore-la-funding/ On Your Side Wed, 27 Dec 2017 6:21:09 PM Brittany Weiss Missing paperwork keeping flood victims from potential Restore LA funding

LIVINGSTON - A family in Livingston Parish is having trouble providing proof of home ownership following the August 2016 flood. They need proof in order to move forward with their Restore LA application.

Cathy Sanchez says the water came up fast and reached the doorway to her parent's home. She says the flood water drenched everything, seeping up through the floor and walls.

"All the insulation in the floors, gone," she said.

Sanchez tells 2 On Your Side the price tag to fix everything was more than it was worth so a crew hauled the trailer away and took it to a lot in Denham Springs.

Her parents purchased the trailer home new from an unknown Gonzales location in 1982. Sanchez says her parents paid it off and lived on a family member's property. After the flood, FEMA money helped pay to build up the land to make way for a new home.

"We did all the work ourselves like the water line, the sewage line," she said in order to save money.

The FEMA funds were used to put a down payment on a new trailer home and soon after, Sanchez helped her parents apply for assistance through the Restore Louisiana program. She hopes if she's approved for assistance, it'll help with payments her family will be making for the next 15 years on the trailer.

"Anything would help," she said. "They're 78-years-old, they live on social security."

They filled out an application, but have hit a roadblock.

"Their title, all their paperwork was lost in the flood," said Sanchez.

She's having trouble proving that her parents owned the trailer home they lost in the flood. It's something Restore Louisiana says it needs to move forward. It's a possible mix-up that dates back decades, since the Office of Motor Vehicles and the courthouse can't find record of it. Sanchez says she can't located a VIN either.

"They told me without the title there was nothing they could do for me," she said.

Restore Louisiana tells 2 On Your Side it helps with locating documentation but it's ultimately up to the homeowner to provide proof of ownership.

"I asked them why wouldn't they accept the documents that were submitted to FEMA?" she said.

The best Sanchez can do is provide utility bills and major repair bills. She says everything else is gone.

Restore Louisiana says it needs some sort of proof of ownership before it can help. Mobile home ownership should be on record with the Office of Motor Vehicles but in this case, it's not. According to Restore, other forms of ownership include things like a bill of sale or a tax bill for the mobile home.

The agency continues to work with Sanchez.


    


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Utility trailer sitting outside house for years finally removed http://www.wbrz.com/news/utility-trailer-sitting-outside-house-for-years-finally-removed/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/utility-trailer-sitting-outside-house-for-years-finally-removed/ On Your Side Thu, 21 Dec 2017 6:16:09 PM Brittany Weiss Utility trailer sitting outside house for years finally removed

BATON ROUGE - Frances Watson tells 2 On Your Side she's been looking at a dump outside her house for the last year and a half.

The problem is feet from her driveway and Watson says she's tired of looking at it.

"No one really looks at it every day except for me," she said.

The problem is with a utility trailer that's been over-filled with garbage, scrap wood, metal, and other items. Watson isn't sure where the trailer came from but says it's been there since July 2016. It's pushed to the end of a dead-end street near I-10.

Frustrated, she called 2 On Your Side after multiple calls to the City-Parish went unanswered. She says she's tired of picking up trash that falls from the trailer and blows in the wind.

"It's a little bit of the dump, right there in front of my house," she said.

The City-Parish 311 call center confirmed the report.

According to Google Maps, the same trailer was seen on Watson's street in April 2011. It somehow made it to Watson's end of the road and has sat there ever since.

As more time passes, plywood walls on the trailer have given way and the tires are flat. Watson says she's been fighting this fight for too long and wants the trailer gone so her nice neighborhood can go back to being just that.

It's a bit of a mystery as to what happened next. Thursday afternoon, 2 On Your Side received an anonymous call from someone saying the trailer had been removed. The City-Parish did not take responsibility. Watson sent a photo to WBRZ and the trailer is no longer on her street.


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Postal Service anticipating busy week of deliveries http://www.wbrz.com/news/postal-service-anticipating-busy-week-of-deliveries/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/postal-service-anticipating-busy-week-of-deliveries/ On Your Side Tue, 19 Dec 2017 5:47:11 PM WBRZ staff Postal Service anticipating busy week of deliveries

BATON ROUGE - Millions of packages are being shipped to their destinations this holiday season.

The United States Postal Service expects to process and deliver three billion pieces of First-Class Mail this week. It also expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages this week. To keep up with the large volume of mail, the Postal Service has hired seasonal workers and has been delivering packages on Sundays.

Tuesday was the last day to ship First-Class to make sure packages arrive in time for Christmas.

Kim Trosclair visited the downtown Baton Rouge post office Tuesday afternoon to send out a package to her daughter in Delaware. She told WBRZ she'd pay whatever the cost to get the package there before the weekend.

"As long as it arrives before Christmas," said Trosclair.

The Postmaster Sarah Augustine says to get it there by Christmas, First-Class is not an option. Now customers are looking at Priority shipping or Express from here on out to get their packages delivered on time.

"The closer you get to Christmas Day, Express Mail is going to be the only way to go to make sure the packages and presents get home," said Augustine.

So far, the holiday shipping season has been a busy one with a 10 percent increase in package volume from last year.

"All the offices are current with getting everything out every day, everything's getting delivered every day," said Augustine. "It's going really well."

While it may have cost a bundle to ship, Trosclair has peace of mind that her daughter's gift will arrive in time.

No extra hours are scheduled at the post office this week in Baton Rouge. Customers can still ship express on Friday to get their packages to its destination in time for Christmas.


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Man says he was denied job because of life-saving service dog http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-allegedly-denied-job-because-of-life-saving-service-dog/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/man-allegedly-denied-job-because-of-life-saving-service-dog/ On Your Side Mon, 18 Dec 2017 5:26:41 PM Brittany Weiss Man says he was denied job because of life-saving service dog

BATON ROUGE - A man with a service animal says he was told he wouldn't be getting a job because of his dog.

David George is a diabetic and has lived with a service animal for three years. The trained and certified service dog named Pischouette alerts George if his blood sugar is too low or too high. George says that shouldn't prevent him from getting a job interview.

"She goes everywhere with me," he said. "She would protect me, she would die for me, I'm the same way."

So it's only natural for George to take Pischouette with him to a job interview like he did last week.

The job, a full-time position at MSI Inventory. What happened there has happened before and it's why George recorded the conversation. He tells 2 On Your Side when he walked into MSI Inventory on Sherwood Forest, a hiring manager inquired about his service dog and said the job is no place for a dog.

"We travel and we couldn't take a dog on the road with us," said the manager. "We travel every day to the job site."

George said the dog travels with him all the time.

"But, we can't, as the manager I'm not comfortable with traveling with an animal like I don't deal with animals at all," said the manager.

"I asked her, I said, 'Does this mean I'm not going to get an interview?' And she started saying, 'Yeah we'll give you an interview, but...'" said George. "I asked you a question you don't have to give me a million different reasons why."

"We don't have animals traveling with us," said the manager.

MSI Inventory Operations Manager Greg Lambert tells 2 On Your Side he was made aware of the issue at the Baton Rouge office and says, "Our local manager misinformed the applicant. That is not our policy. MSI Inventory Service does not discriminate against anyone. We have re-educated our local manager on our policy."

George says he's qualified for the job and that his disability should not stand in the way of him working.

"A disability doesn't make a person, a person makes a person," said George.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers must provide reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities. That reasonable accommodation could be a service animal.


    

      


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Renter helped repair house, losing house to higher rent http://www.wbrz.com/news/renter-helped-repair-house-losing-house-to-higher-rent/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/renter-helped-repair-house-losing-house-to-higher-rent/ On Your Side Fri, 15 Dec 2017 5:23:49 PM Brittany Weiss Renter helped repair house, losing house to higher rent

BATON ROUGE - A woman who's been renting a house for years is learning a tough lesson and will likely soon have to find a new place to live.

The house on Wyandotte Street in Baton Rouge has been fixed up from flood damage. Patricia Anders put some of her own money into the place to help make repairs but says the landlord is planning to rent it out for more money than she can afford.

Anders signed a lease and moved into the house in August 2001. She loves the house she's made a home.

"I love my neighbors, my neighborhood," she said.

Recently, she went to unlock the door and check on items she's left inside the house but the door wouldn't open. Anders says her landlord changed the locks.

Anders, who is on a fixed income, paid $425 a month to live in the house up until August 2016 when the house flooded.

"I'm not in the house so how could I pay rent?" she said.

During the last year or so, Anders spent about $2,000 fixing up the house. She says she spent money on flooring and bought a new window getting it ready for when she moves back in. The house is almost complete.

Anders swings by the house every day to check on the house and feed the neighborhood cats that have made it their home.

"I've been here twice a day ever since the water was able to go down for me to get in here," said Anders.

In November, Anders says her landlord came by to collect rent. Hopeful a new move in date would be approaching, she wrote her landlord Gerald Charlet of Affordable Housing a check for $425. The memo on the check said, "First month's rent when I move in" and it's been cashed.

Anders is ready to move back in but her landlord might have other ideas. A whiteboard outside the rental office on Shelly Street lists the Wyandotte house for rent for $775 a month. It troubles Anders who fears she could be losing the house she's known for years.

"I don't have anywhere else to go," she said. "I feel safe here."

Friday, 2 On Your Side spoke with Charlet who says Anders can rent the house for $775 a month. Charlet says he visited Anders earlier this month to collect another rent check for $425 and she did not pay. When asked if Anders could have her November rent check returned, Charlet did not respond.

Charlet could not provide a solid date for the home repairs to be finished but says he's aiming for January 1.


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Money Carlo match-to-win mailer misleading to consumers http://www.wbrz.com/news/money-carlo-match-to-win-mailer-misleading-to-consumers/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/money-carlo-match-to-win-mailer-misleading-to-consumers/ On Your Side Tue, 12 Dec 2017 6:24:35 PM Brittany Weiss Money Carlo match-to-win mailer misleading to consumers

BATON ROUGE - In the last few days, mailers advertising big prizes have shown up in thousands of Baton Rouge mailboxes. One man thought he won a brand new ATV but tells 2 On Your Side he was offered a different, much smaller prize.

"We won," Cleveland Johnson said. "This is my first time ever winning anything."

The feeling corresponded with winning the lottery, but Johnson says that excitement quickly turned to disappointment and he feels misled.

"They baited me in saying that I won, but then offered me much less and tried to sell me a car at the same time," Johnson said.

Last week, Acadian Used Cars says 50,000 Money Carlo's were delivered to mailboxes in various Baton Rouge zip codes. Johnson received one of them.

He tells 2 On Your Side that he opened the mailer with big prizes up for grabs that include a Chevrolet Camaro or a Honda ATV. Johnson says he played the game revealing a winning prize. The instructions say to lift the tabs on the card and if the card has a matching pair, it's a winning card. Johnson's revealed all sevens and he thought he won a Honda 500 4x4 ATV.

He called the telephone number on the Money Carlo and a voice on the other end confirmed he was indeed a winner.

"Thank you for calling Acadian Used Cars event headquarters, congratulations you are a winner!"

Johnson visited Acadian Used Cars Monday to claim his prize and while there, ran into someone else who thought they had won an ATV.

"I said, 'wow, I wonder how many they have to give away,'" he said.

Instead of walking away with an ATV, Johnson walked away with a certificate for a 3-day/2-night vacation package from www.paradisevacationforyou.com which redirects you to a site www.premiumtravelforless.com.

"I didn't come here for a vacation," said Johnson.

The owner of Acadian Used Cars Mike Corsentino says he's sent out the Money Carlo's before. Corsentino could not confirm to WBRZ that someone has won the grand prize in the past but does say the used 2017 Camaro is on the lot for someone to win this year.

The Louisiana Attorney General says if you received a mailer like the Money Carlo, pay attention to the asterisk next to the word "win."

"The fine print. The devil's always in the details," said Jeff Landry. "You certainly should be a lot more thorough in looking at the documents or walking your way through whatever the solicitation is to determine whether or not it is what it says on its face."

The details say the odds of winning the grand prize is 1 in 50,000 and the odds of winning a 3-day/2-night vacation package is 49,996 in 50,000.

Comments about "misleading advertisement" or "prize promotion" are growing in numbers on Acadian Used Cars Facebook page.

Corsentino tells 2 On Your Side there's an absolute winner sent out for each individual prize and it's up to that winner to claim their prize. He also says it's great for business and brings more people to his car lot.

"Everybody's a winner, no matter what," he said.

Johnson is not too happy to hear about the odds and feels like he was misled.

"Because I won something but only in the mind," said Johnson.

Following his experience, Johnson says he won't be partaking in that vacation but he will be checking the mail a little closer next time.

The Money Carlo mailers were approved by the Louisiana Used Motor Vehicle Commission.




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Pesky dispute between customer and Terminix resolved http://www.wbrz.com/news/pesky-dispute-between-customer-and-terminix-resolved/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pesky-dispute-between-customer-and-terminix-resolved/ On Your Side Thu, 7 Dec 2017 4:53:17 PM Brittany Weiss Pesky dispute between customer and Terminix resolved

BATON ROUGE - A woman who hired Terminix to take care of some pests is facing a large bill she says she shouldn't have to pay.

Bernice Lodge has been disputing the bill since June. It's a $1,700 charge to her Discover card from Terminix. Lodge says she hired the company to spray her daughter's house and agreed on a price of $350.

Lodge says the Terminix employee started to spray along the floorboards of one room and then suddenly had to go.

"He said, 'I'm sick, I'm going to have to come back,'" said Lodge.

The employee left and didn't leave any paperwork. Lodge says he did have her credit card number and got her signature. Soon after a charge for $1,700 showed up on her statement.

"I haven't seen him since," said Lodge.

She's disputed the charges and a back and forth between her credit card company and Terminix ensued.

"They took it off," she said. "The next time I looked at the bill it was back on there again."

That happened a couple more times and Lodge was told she had lost the dispute and the charge was sticking. That's when she called 2 On Your Side.

It's a charge that Lodge says shouldn't have been there in the first place.

"I can't afford to give Terminix $1,700," she said.

2 On Your Side contacted Terminix and it investigated. Lodge took a call from Terminix Wednesday saying she would get her money back. Lodge is currently waiting for those charges to be reversed permanently.


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WATCH: Holiday shopping gift guide http://www.wbrz.com/news/watch-holiday-shopping-gift-guide/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/watch-holiday-shopping-gift-guide/ On Your Side Wed, 6 Dec 2017 5:15:36 PM Brittany Weiss WATCH: Holiday shopping gift guide

BATON ROUGE - It's the 2017 holiday season, which means it's time to get your shopping list together.

With only 18 shopping days left before Christmas and six before Hanukkah, here are some of the hot items that won't break your bank this year.

A bigger shopping list can be found here.


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Flood victims continue to receive deductions on 2017 property taxes http://www.wbrz.com/news/flood-victims-continue-to-receive-deductions-on-2017-property-taxes/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/flood-victims-continue-to-receive-deductions-on-2017-property-taxes/ On Your Side Tue, 5 Dec 2017 4:58:30 PM Brittany Weiss Flood victims continue to receive deductions on 2017 property taxes

BATON ROUGE - Mike and Margie Johnson are just about done rebuilding from the August 2016 flood. They're still living in a Manufactured Housing Unit but like their neighbors, whether they flooded or not, property taxes are coming due.

Homeowners in Ascension, Livingston, and East Baton Rouge Parishes are all in different phases of rebuilding. It's why for the second year in a row, parishes are offering reductions in property taxes.

"If those properties haven't been fixed up they'll let us know and we'll give an additional decrease for them for 2017," said East Baton Rouge Parish Tax Assessor Brian Wilson.

The reductions for flood victims in East Baton Rouge vary. Wilson says it could be 10 to 20 percent based on where the homeowner is at in the rebuilding process. If a homeowner has reason to believe they should be receiving an additional reduction, they're asked to call the assessor's office.

Livingston Parish says because it's seen significant growth this past year, there will be 25 percent reduction for flood victims that are still rebuilding. There are also exemptions granted for homeowners in Ascension Parish that will last until the homeowner has rebuilt and moved back into their home.

According to the Ascension Assessor's Office, 34 percent of flood victims continue to rebuild. They retain the same exemptions they had in 2016.

Mike and Margie say they'll be calling the assessor's office to see if they qualify for any deductions since they're still rebuilding.

"A little more things I could do with the change, extra change coming back, yes indeed," said Mike Johnson.


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Rental house falling into sinkhole will be demolished http://www.wbrz.com/news/rental-house-falling-into-sinkhole-will-be-demolished/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/rental-house-falling-into-sinkhole-will-be-demolished/ On Your Side Mon, 4 Dec 2017 5:48:26 PM Brittany Weiss Rental house falling into sinkhole will be demolished

BATON ROUGE - A rental house with a growing sinkhole underneath it will soon be demolished. The City-Parish investigated, following an inquiry from 2 On Your Side and determined it would be the best option.

The homeowner received the news last week and says he's ready to wash his hands of the mess and move on with his life.

"They say they're going to take care of it, instead of me," said Jesse Hayes. "They going to take care of it."

The rental property was built by a previous owner but the City-Parish says it was improperly constructed on the servitude over a sewer line.

Hayes used to use the extra property for additional income but no one has been living in it for years. There's a big hole where the kitchen once was and the structure's foundation is separated from everything else. Hayes predicts the hole under the rent house is at least eight feet deep.

Records with the City-Parish show that Hayes has called to request service. Three weeks ago, 2 On Your Side discovered an address mix-up in 2016 fixed someone else's problem and left his wide open.

The City-Parish says it's going to demolish the rental house and fix the problem underground. The structure cannot be rebuilt but Hayes will have access to more yard and driveway.

The City-Parish is working on a timeline with Hayes to remove his property.


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Fundraiser this weekend to raise money for BRPD officer involved in accident http://www.wbrz.com/news/fundraiser-this-weekend-to-raise-money-for-brpd-officer-involved-in-accident/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/fundraiser-this-weekend-to-raise-money-for-brpd-officer-involved-in-accident/ On Your Side Thu, 30 Nov 2017 5:16:07 PM Brittany Weiss Fundraiser this weekend to raise money for BRPD officer involved in accident

BATON ROUGE - A Baton Rouge Police Officer is on a journey of recovery after he was involved in a single-vehicle accident earlier this year.

The needs of Officer Rickey Faust have changed significantly since March.

"I just thank god I'm still here," he said.

Faust, who gets around in a motorized wheelchair says he's blessed and determined to walk again. But while he's recovering and gaining strength, he needs some help to reach his goal.

On March 21, 2017, Faust's life changed. He was involved in a single-car crash responding to a call and swerved to avoid a car that changed lanes. Faust hit a concrete barrier.

Each day, there's a new challenge he must overcome but he's working on it one muscle movement at a time. Faust says his doctors told him he'd only have a 20 percent chance of breathing on his own and proved them wrong.

"I can move my toes and stuff," he said. "I've come a long ways."

Faust and his family have had to overcome many obstacles over the last few months. The Faust family is living in a temporary townhouse that is equipped for his needs while a permanent housing solution is found. Their permanent home is unsuitable to live in since being damaged by the August 2016 flood. Right now, the most immediate need is a van that can accommodate his wheelchair and family.

Without a van of their own, it's difficult to get around town. Faust goes to physical therapy five days a week and he's been taking Yellow Cab to and from. Family outings are rare and can come with a steep price tag.

"They're having to use public transportation," said Cpl. Rendy Richard. "When we found out that they're paying $50 to go take their family to church, I don't understand. We need to do better."

The Baton Rouge Police Department says Faust will need a full size 12 person van with modifications to accommodate his wheelchair and his family. Workman's comp insurance tells BRPD it will pay for the modifications needed if the Faust family can purchase a van.

"He's a hero, I feel like we need to stand up and do something for him," said Richard.

To get the funds needed, BRPD along with non-profit organizations Back the Blue, Behind the Line BR and the Magnolia Peace Officers Association is holding a fundraiser. The event, "A Christmas of Hope," will be at BRPD headquarters, 9000 Airline Highway, on Sunday, December 3 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. People can buy 4" ornaments to be hung on the "Tree of Hope" in their name. An ornament costs $20. Large ornaments to be hung around the department headquarters will be sold for a donation of $100 and can be ordered online here.

"I'm going to vow to walk again," said Faust. "It might not be the prettiest walk in the world, I might have leg braces on, but that's my vow."

For a man who's only ever wanted to do one thing, which is helping people, this is a way to return the favor.


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Water running black or not at all in East Feliciana town http://www.wbrz.com/news/water-running-black-or-not-at-all-in-east-feliciana-town/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/water-running-black-or-not-at-all-in-east-feliciana-town/ On Your Side Wed, 29 Nov 2017 5:37:02 PM Brittany Weiss Water running black or not at all in East Feliciana town

JACKSON - There are about 300 customers in East Feliciana Parish that have been dealing with water problems for nearly a week. The water has been coming out of the tap black, other times there's no water at all.

The East Feliciana Rural Water System tells 2 On Your Side it's working to fix the problem. Betty McKowen says she's concerned about the lack of urgency her family has experienced after being told multiple times it would clear up within a couple of hours and it didn't happen.

"The longer it ran the darker it got, turned black," said McKowen.

On Wednesday morning, McKowen stands on her patio with a hose and a glass jar. As she sprays water into the jar from the hose, it looks more like black coffee than clear water.

"So you tell me if this is safe or not," she said. "That's how our bathtub and the sink looks like."

The household in Jackson, Louisiana has been dealing with water issue since Thanksgiving. Monday and Tuesday, McKowen says she turned the faucet on and found that instead of running water, it was blowing air.

"It just quit running," she said.

Thanksgiving was spent elsewhere, because as you can imagine there are things McKowen can't do at home, including cooking, taking a bath, and washing dishes.

The water starting running like black coffee again Wednesday morning.

The East Feliciana Rural Water System says there's a problem with the air compressor and it's causing there to be too much air in the system. A crew was working to fix the issue Wednesday morning. There has been no boil advisory because the water system says the pressure never dropped.

McKowen is positive she wouldn't use the water coming from her tap.

"You tell me if it's okay if you would drink this," she said.

In February, the same water system experienced a brown water incident. WBRZ offered the president of the water system, Richard King a sip. He declined.

McKowen is running the water at her house until it flushes clean and hopes this is the last time she'll be dealing with brown water.

The water system says the water is expected to clear up by Wednesday night or Thursday morning.


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Longer than expected headstone order preventing family from finding peace http://www.wbrz.com/news/longer-than-expected-headstone-order-preventing-family-from-finding-peace/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/longer-than-expected-headstone-order-preventing-family-from-finding-peace/ On Your Side Tue, 28 Nov 2017 5:57:24 PM Brittany Weiss Longer than expected headstone order preventing family from finding peace

WALKER - A woman who ordered a headstone from a Livingston Parish company says she's having a tough time putting her father to rest since her order from May hasn't been completed.

Krystle Walker buried her father at Vickers Cemetery months ago. Soon after his death, she ordered a double headstone for her mother and father from Louisiana Memorials and Signs. She wrote a check for the full amount of $2,295 and says the check was cashed two days later. Walker says she was quoted a 6-8 week delivery of the stone when she made the purchase.

"Now I haven't really got any direct answers on when or about when it will be ready," said Walker.

Phone calls and visits to the store have not produced results for Walker, who says she's only asking for what she paid for.

At the end of November, the 6-8 week time frame has passed. Today, her dad's plot is marked by a couple of trinkets, including toy work boots and a small Christmas tree while Walker waits for answers.

She opted to give the shop one more chance recently and asked to have the stone ready for Thanksgiving. Walker says she was told by an employee at the store it was possible, but never received a call from the business during Thanksgiving week.

"I'm just being strung along," said Walker.

Another woman in Livingston Parish called 2 On Your Side in October to report a similar issue she had with the same company in Denham Springs. Janette Berkley says she ordered her husband's headstone in April and was given the same 6-8 week quote time. She paid the $845 bill in full and the check was cashed days later. When 10 weeks passed, Berkley called to inquire about her purchase but says she did not hear back.

"It's the last thing I can do for my husband," said Berkley. "He said 6-8 weeks and this is months and months later."

Berkley's story does have a happy ending. Soon after 2 On Your Side called the business, the stone arrived and was installed at her husband's grave. The store said it was special order and took extra time.

Walker is still waiting for the final piece of the puzzle that's preventing her from finding peace.

"And I just feel like they're not respecting him," she said.

Tuesday, 2 On Your Side called Louisiana Memorials and Signs and was told the owner is out of the office and won't be back until Wednesday.


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