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  • Edwards says wetlands needs priority over roads in request to federal government

    March 8, 2017 10:34 AM

    BATON ROUGE – One of the governor's five priority projects for coastal protection he's asked the president to consider under an executive order is a project to re-establish natural freshwater in Maurepas Swamp. The swamp project could cost as much as $187 million. It'd divert freshwater through a diversion... more »
  • Getting EBR public schools back to normal will be expensive

    February 16, 2017 6:25 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge Parish School System is working to get as many schools as possible back to some sort of normal following the August flood. At a school board meeting Thursday evening, members were scheduled to be briefed on the first stages of six projects.... more »
  • Hawaiian, Delta top on-time ratings for US airlines

    January 17, 2017 12:34 PM

    Here are the government's rankings of the leading U.S. airlines and their on-time performance for November. The federal government counts a flight as on time if it arrives within 14 minutes of schedule. 1. Hawaiian Airlines, 91.5 percent 2. Delta Air Lines, 91.4 percent 3. Alaska Airlines, 88.0 percent 4.... more »
  • Front doors of capitol still closed due to failing facade

    January 5, 2017 4:48 PM

    BATON ROUGE – The State Capitol's front doors will remain closed will into the summer since work to repair falling masonry above won't start until after lawmakers end their annual meeting in June. WBRZ's political reporter, Mark Armstrong , tweeted Thursday the front steps and entrance remain closed months... more »
  • FBI raids Hammond Police, local sheriff's office Thursday Play Video

    December 15, 2016 12:59 PM

    HAMMOND – Federal agents with the FBI raided the Hammond Police Department and Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office Thursday afternoon. According to Jeffrey Sallet, agents conducted "multiple court-authorized searches" inside the two offices around 12:20 p.m. Thursday. Officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Justice were also... more »
  • WBRZ hosts first live TV debate for EBR Mayor-President Play Video

    November 29, 2016 7:44 PM

    BATON ROUGE – WBRZ hosted an hour-long mayoral debate Tuesday. The two candidates vying for the seat, State Senator Bodi White and former State Senator Sharon Weston Broome, fielded questions ranging from the shooting death of Alton Sterling to dealing with traffic and the long recovery following the August... more »
  • Grand jury hearing involving Ascension president postponed until Friday

    November 14, 2016 4:56 PM

    GONZALES - The Louisiana Attorney General's Office will take over a bribery investigation involving Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa. Ascension Parish District Attorney Ricky Babin told Chris Nakamoto , the chief investigator of WBRZ's Investigative Unit , the A.G. will handle the case going forward because Babin's office has... more »
  • Click here for election results

    November 8, 2016 12:21 PM

    BATON ROUGE - WBRZ is covering around seventy races as the country votes for president and regional elections are decided. State-wide, voters are electing a U.S. Senator and members of the U.S. House of Representatives along with constitutional amendments. Locally, voters are making decisions on city and parish leaders... more »
  • Council agrees naming rights for 'Raising Cane's River Center' Play Video

    October 26, 2016 6:49 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The city's downtown performing arts, entertainment and convention space will likely be known - officially - as the Raising Cane's River Center following a vote by the Metro Council Wednesday afternoon. The mayor's office and River Center managers told the council at a meeting a group... more »
  • There is a shortage of FEMA trailers in La. Play Video

    October 14, 2016 12:46 PM

    CENTRAL - State and Louisiana-elected federal leaders are frustrated with word that FEMA is scrambling to find more Mobile Housing Units; the common house trailers that have been towed to flood victims across the region. Central Mayor Jr. Shelton told WBRZ Friday, a n early-morning meeting with FEMA is... more »
  • Jay Dardenne hospitalized following chest pains this weekend Play Video

    October 10, 2016 11:39 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The state's budget czar was hospitalized with chest pains this weekend, WBRZ learned Monday. Jay Dardenne, the Commissioner of Administration, said in a statement he was taken to the hospital Saturday. Doctors found he had blockages. Dardenne said when he woke up Saturday, he felt... more »
  • $146 million paid so far in ongoing flood recovery

    October 3, 2016 12:09 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana has received $146 million in disaster assistance from FEMA, the federal government announced Monday. The funds are for the state to use to reimburse local entities for expenses related to response and recovery efforts as a result of August’s severe storms and floods. The... more »
  • WEB EXTRA: Bus rider moves so he won't have to ride CATS anymore

    September 29, 2016 3:28 PM

    BATON ROUGE – A former bus rider said Thursday he became so frustrated with spotty service on the taxpayer funded CATS, he moved. In the inner circles of the often-criticized management team of Capital Area Transit System leaders, Frank Lanasa might be widely disliked. Routinely, Lanasa sends emails to... more »
  • CATS will shutter riderless Garden District route

    September 19, 2016 4:46 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Tuesday, the board overseeing the public bus company agreed to shut down its Garden District trolley service. CATS created the route through the historic neighborhood about 18 months ago. Combustion engine buses built to look like trolleys run the route that drives through Downtown Baton Rouge,... more »
  • Walker hires attorneys in planned lawsuit over flooding

    September 19, 2016 3:23 PM

    WALKER - The city announced Monday, it hired attorneys for a planned lawsuit over the August flood. The city said Michael C. Palmintier, APLC and John Neale deGravelles, LLC of Baton Rouge will handle a possible lawsuit against state and federal government agencies related to the flood. Days after... more »
  • Edwards, other officials meet in D.C. to talk flood aid

    September 7, 2016 3:44 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and other high-ranking state elected leaders traveled to Washington, D.C., Thursday to lobby for additional flood relief. The group is scheduled to be in D.C. Thursday and Friday. Traveling with Edwards will be Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and Lt. Governor Billy... more »
  • Jailer fired over sexual harassment complaint

    September 6, 2016 1:51 PM

    PORT ALLEN - A West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office jailer was fired following a sexual harassment complaint, WBRZ learned Tuesday. The department declined to release the former employee's name, but said an internal investigation was conducted and the jailer was released from their employment. The jailer touched another... more »
  • Q & A: Do I need to elevate my home? Play Video

    September 1, 2016 5:00 PM

    BATON ROUGE- The unnamed storm that swept through our area last month will go down as the fourth most expensive flood in the National Flood Insurance Program's history, according to Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. A group of lawmakers gathered at the Capitol today to discuss flood recovery and response. ... more »
  • Post flood 'normal' means more traffic in BR; Road repairs underway

    August 25, 2016 4:38 PM

    BATON ROUGE – State road engineers are busy checking highways and bridges as water recedes from areas inundated by the flood last week. More than 1,400 bridges have been checked and every highway that was flooded has also been scrutinized by experts, Shawn Wilson, the head of the state... more »
  • All state offices to reopen Monday

    August 20, 2016 4:37 PM

    BATON ROUGE – State officials announced Saturday that all state offices in Louisiana will re-open Monday. According to a release from Commissioner Jay Dardenne’s office Saturday afternoon, state offices in all parishes will re-open on Aug. 22. “I thank the many state workers who have worked diligently during... more »
  • Power cut to Plaquemine overnight Thursday for repairs Play Video

    August 3, 2016 1:15 PM

    PLAQUEMINE - The entire city will be without power overnight Thursday. Power will be cut to repair a switch on a substation that feeds all of Plaquemine. The outage is due to repairs being made by Entergy, the city said in a news release, trying to avoid blame for... more »
  • New Roads mayor focus of theft, malfeasance grand jury probe Play Video

    July 29, 2016 12:18 PM

    NEW ROADS - The mayor of New Roads received a grand jury target letter , the WBRZ Investigative Unit learned. Mayor Robert Myer has been the focus of an Inspector General investigation into charges on a city credit card. The Investigative Unit found in a series of reports, at... more »
  • Scene of deadly ambush becomes memorial to officers Play Video

    July 18, 2016 11:31 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The B Quick convenience store where a man from Missouri ambushed and killed three law enforcement officers Sunday has become an emotional memorial to the victims. Monday morning, police officers from other jurisdictions prayed among flowers left at the scene. Citizens brought their children to leave... more »
  • March to Capitol, other protests Sunday in Baton Rouge Play Video

    July 10, 2016 11:20 AM

    BATON ROUGE - A youth-led march took to the streets of Baton Rouge Sunday afternoon. Louisiana Progress Action marched with a group from Wesley United Methodist Church to the State Capitol at 4 p.m. The group said it is demanding justice for Alton Sterling. Sterling was shot and killed... more »
  • Jail releases list of people booked into jail following protest overnight

    July 9, 2016 11:18 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The city police department - which has remained relatively quiet since the shooting death of Alton Sterling Tuesday - booked more than two dozen people into jail for blocking Airline Highway during a protest outside police headquarters. Just before noon, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's... more »
  • Politicians comment on deadly officer-involved shooting

    July 5, 2016 11:08 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Mayoral candidate Sharon Weston Broome became the latest official to comment on a deadly officer-involved shooting when she issued a news release late Tuesday evening. > The NAACP called for the mayor and police chief to resign at a news conference on the steps of city hall... more »
  • Cattle were stolen from farm, left on I-12 authorities reveal

    June 28, 2016 10:29 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Eighteen stolen cattle will be returned to the owner Wednesday after the cattle were found in a trailer abandoned on the side of I-12 last week . The cattle were left on the side of I-12 eastbound near Hammond in a stolen cattle trailer. The trailer... more »
  • 'I did a terrible job,' Matassa says of how he handled employee's firing

    May 17, 2016 1:18 PM

    GONZALES - In a letter emailed to WBRZ Tuesday afternoon, Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa apologized for his handling of an employee's termination recently. The firing of planning director Ricky Compton was the focus of a WBRZ Investigative Unit report last week . In a recording, land owner Dempsey... more »
  • Lawsuit filed over April 2015 shooting of teen by deputies

    April 27, 2016 5:17 PM

    FRENCH SETTLEMENT - An attorney for a teen injured after being shot by sheriff's deputies last year claims in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Livingston Parish Sheriff's deputies are inadequately trained. The suit filed on behalf of Matthew Peyronnin named Sheriff Jason Ard and three sheriff's deputies in the lawsuit.... more »
  • State to require job training for food stamps

    April 21, 2016 4:32 PM

    HAMMOND - The governor said he plans to require able-bodied adults ages 18-49, who have no dependents, to get workforce training for food stamps Thursday. The new regulation would keep 47,000 people on the food stamp program if they all participate. The individuals faced being kicked off food stamps... more »
  • Mayor Holden nixes north Baton Rouge development idea Play Video

    April 20, 2016 5:11 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The mayor vetoed a proposal to create an economic development district in north Baton Rouge. Mayor Kip Holden denied the request Wednesday, citing vague language in how the development district would be organized and concern over the state's budget. Previously, the Metro Council unanimously approved the... more »
  • CATS CEO quits Tuesday; read his resignation here Play Video

    April 5, 2016 7:36 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Bob Mirabito, the often-criticized chief of the city's public transit system has resigned. Mirabito wrote to the Capital Area Transit System board, he will leave his post as CEO on May 6. Mirabito said he will return to the private sector where he is "most comfortable."... more »
  • Where's your tax refund? Details on why it's taking longer this year Play Video

    March 31, 2016 6:00 PM

    BATON ROUGE - State tax refunds are taking longer than usual for some people since the Louisiana Department of Revenue has purposely slowed the refund process down to fight fraud. Numerous people have complained to WBRZ about the time it has taken to receive refunds. People reported waiting weeks,... more »
  • Still upset about delegates, Trump says La. primary is 'bad politics'

    March 30, 2016 12:24 PM

    MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin - Presidential hopeful Donald Trump angrily discussed his disdain for the outcome of the Louisiana primary Tuesday night. Trump, along with Ted Cruz and John Kasich, participated in a cable TV political discussion. At one point during the program, Trump called the situation involving Louisiana's delegates bad... more »
  • DOTD warns of possible week-long outage of traffic data

    March 29, 2016 3:20 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A network outage will cut off traffic data along heavily congested areas of I-10 and Airline Highway, DOTD revealed Tuesday afternoon. In a tweet, state traffic officials said the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) could be down for a week starting Tuesday. The ITS is a system... more »
  • Two schools close as area deals with losses due to oil price free fall

    March 28, 2016 12:42 PM

    MORGAN CITY - An elementary school in this onetime oil rich St. Mary Parish city will close because of a significant loss in sales taxes. M.D. Shannon Elementary is one of two schools slated for closure recently. The other, J.A. Hernandez Elementary in Franklin, will also close its doors.... more »
  • Leaders avoid questions; Nakamoto escorted away in handcuffs, given summons Play Video

    March 23, 2016 3:32 PM

    WHITE CASTLE - Police detained WBRZ reporter Chris Nakamoto while Nakamoto was pursuing a story on town government operations Wednesday. Nakamoto was put in handcuffs, escorted to the police department and written a misdemeanor summons. The summons was written for an alleged violation of statute 14:63, remaining after being... more »
  • Burl Cain cleared of wrongdoing; Ex-Angola warden to hold press conference Wednesday

    March 22, 2016 5:29 PM

    ANGOLA - Allegations of wrongdoing made against former State Penitentiary Warden Burl Cain are unfounded, a multi-agency investigation revealed Tuesday afternoon. The Inspector General, State Police and Department of Corrections has spent the last few months investigating complaints that Cain acted inappropriately in his role as chief of the... more »
  • 2-vote loss, other upsets in Saturday election

    March 6, 2016 12:28 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The presidential preference primary and numerous municipal elections brought voters to polling locations across the region Saturday. Hillary Clinton ended the night the presidential primary leader for democrats. Donald Trump edged out Ted Cruz as the primary leader for republicans. Fewer than 11,000 votes separated Trump... more »
  • Bill Clinton rallies for Hillary in Baton Rouge ahead of primary Play Video

    March 3, 2016 10:58 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Former president Bill Clinton campaigned for his wife Hillary Clinton in Baton Rouge Thursday evening, just days before voters will go to the polls for Louisiana's presidental preference primary. Hearing @billclinton spent some extra time in Mississippi. Might be about 45 minutes out. #runninglate —... more »
  • Auditors concerned over ticketing procedure at area police department

    February 8, 2016 1:59 PM

    SPRINGFIELD - The town police department needs to do a better job of tracking traffic ticketing procedures, auditors found in a recent state audit. Ticket booklets are not organized or managed in a systematic way, leading to a lapse in assurances that all tickets are returned and accounted for,... more »
  • School system hopes to get about $200,000 for Old Clinton High School

    February 2, 2016 7:46 PM

    CLINTON - Again Tuesday, school leaders in East Feliciana Parish agreed to try to find someone to buy the Old Clinton High School on Plank Road near downtown. The building was built in 1903 and has been empty since the 1980's. The school district hopes to sell it to... more »
  • Inauguration, Ted Cruz and President Obama put spotlight on Baton Rouge Play Video

    January 11, 2016 10:32 PM

    BATON ROUGE - It's rare for Louisiana to get such political spotlight that is not involving scandal but this week, three major events put the state and the city of Baton Rouge at the center of politics. Monday, democrats and republicans were cross-town rivals. First, Governor John Bel Edwards,... more »
  • City council appoints replacement for Matassa's seat

    January 11, 2016 9:35 PM

    GONZALES - The city council here appointed David Guitreau to fill the rest of former councilman Kenny Matassa's term. Matassa was elected parish president in December. He had to resign from the council to run the parish. The vote Monday night is the second time Guitreau, a contractor,... more »
  • Central to add 2 to council by 2018

    December 8, 2015 11:24 PM

    CENTRAL - The city council approved adding two at-large seats to its elected body Tuesday. In addition to the two, new positions, the council will be divided into five districts instead of all five being at-large. By the 2018 election cycle, the council will have five people elected from... more »
  • Expert says 'almost impossible' for Texas refugee lawsuit to succeed

    December 3, 2015 2:26 PM

    AUSTIN, Texas - Texas is suing the U.S. government in an attempt to block six Syrian refugees from being resettled in Dallas this week. Here's what preceded the lawsuit and what it means: WHAT'S THE SIGNIFICANCE? Texas is the first state in the nation to ask a federal court to... more »
  • District hopes to sell voters on tax renewal for school building spree

    December 1, 2015 10:05 PM

    DONALDSONVILLE - Voters in Ascension Parish will be asked to extend a tax to fund a huge school building spree. The tax would generate about $120 million. Officials hope to sell it by explaining it is not a new tax, but a continuation of one that is already on... more »
  • Not a single person wants to buy this hundred-year-old school

    November 30, 2015 11:37 PM

    CLINTON - The school board will have to decide what to do with a hundred-year-old school since no one seems to be interested in buying it. At the beginning of November, the East Feliciana Parish School System announced plans to sell the Old Clinton High School on Plank Road.... more »
  • Gas prices are an early Christmas gift on Thanksgiving

    November 25, 2015 11:16 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Drivers are taking advantage of some of the cheapest gas prices in the country. Wednesday, ahead of one of the busiest weekends to hit the roads, a gallon of regular was as little as $1.59. The cheap fuel was at select locations - some requiring a... more »
  • Judge to decide if cop in jail should be released on bond

    November 20, 2015 4:07 PM

    MARKSVILLE - Lawyers for Norris Greenhouse, Jr., one of two part time city marshals in Avyolles Parish charged with the murder of a six-year-old, have filed a motion for Greenhouse to be immediately released from jail. Greenhouse and Derrick Stafford, the other officer involved in the death investigation, are... more »
  • State Police to alert sheriffs of refugees

    November 19, 2015 8:30 PM

    BATON ROUGE - State Police will discuss re-settlement initiatives of Syrian refugees with local sheriffs. In a conference call with the Louisiana Sheriff's Association Thursday, it was revealed the Fusion Center at State Police Headquarters will share information with local authorities. State officials will provide information to others as... more »
  • BREC to close Howell Golf Course

    November 19, 2015 12:05 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The park commission approved closing the Howell Golf Course and re-opening the space as a traditional park. The decision was made by BREC leaders Wednesday after three years of studies and discussions. In October 2012 , BREC started to review courses following consistent deficits. There are... more »
  • Proposed city budget grows police to largest force in history

    November 18, 2015 11:56 PM

    BATON ROUGE - City leaders have started to discuss the next budget, a 6% increase from 2015. Wednesday, the Metro Council analyzed the first group of proposals. Among them, the spending plan for Baton Rouge Police. The mayor is asking to increase spending by 2% for the department. ... more »
  • Police officers arrested for shooting, killing 6-year-old Play Video

    November 6, 2015 10:26 PM

    MARKSVILLE – Two of four city marshals involved in a deadly shooting where a six-year-old died were booked into jail Friday night. Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse were charged with murder and attempted murder for the shooting death of Jeremy Mardis and the shooting and injury of his father,... more »
  • Suspended CATS bus drivers awarded back pay

    October 1, 2015 9:37 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Bus driver union representatives said four CATS drivers will be rewarded back pay after fighting their suspensions. The drivers were suspended earlier this year for taking part in protests , union president Namoi Guy said Thursday evening. In February, people held signs outside the CATS terminal... more »
  • Board votes to demolish gym group fought to save

    September 28, 2015 10:04 PM

    CENTRAL – The school board voted to tear down an old, wood-framed gym some have spent the last year fighting to save. Since last August, the Central Cultural Foundation has been working to raise money and draft plans to rent and restore the old high school gym on Sullivan... more »
  • Late mayor's wife to serve rest of his term

    September 23, 2015 12:06 AM

    PLAQUEMINE - The late mayor's wife was appointed to serve the rest of his term Tuesday night. Mary Gulotta will be mayor through next year. Gulotta's husband, Tony, died nearly two weeks ago of a heart attack. The next mayoral election will be November 2016. ************** ... more »
  • Town will decide if police chief should be elected

    September 21, 2015 9:09 PM

    FRENCH SETTLEMENT- In November, residents of this small town in Livingston Parish will be asked to change the way their police chief is selected. Currently, the chief is elected. But, Monday night, the board of aldermen approved asking people to vote on if the chief should be elected. ... more »
  • Too many people have applied for storm grant Play Video

    September 15, 2015 11:46 PM

    GONZALES - Grant administrators will have to sift through more applications than money as they assign awards through a storm relief program. There is about $200,000 available for people who had damage from Gustav and Ike. But, more people have applied than there is money to be awarded. ... more »
  • US budget deficit drops to $64.4 billion in August

    September 11, 2015 2:05 PM

    WASHINGTON - The federal government ran up a much smaller budget deficit in August than a year ago, remaining on track to record the smallest annual deficit in eight years. The Treasury Department says the deficit in August totaled $64.4 billion, a drop of 50 percent from the same... more »
  • Chinese drywall suit still not served

    September 7, 2015 11:39 AM

    NEW ORLEANS - More than a year after suing the Cabinet agency that oversees China's biggest state-owned companies, lawyers for people who say their homes were ruined by Chinese drywall are still trying to get the lawsuit served. And arguments are scheduled in December about whether other defendants are shielded... more »
  • Students ask federal government to erase their college debt

    September 3, 2015 9:32 AM

    WASHINGTON- Almost 12,000 students are asking the federal government to forgive their college loan debt, asserting their school either closed or lied to them about job prospects. The figure represents an unprecedented spike in what's called a "borrower's defense" claim following the collapse Corinthian Colleges for-profit college chain, which had... more »
  • BP settlement money flows to governments in far-flung places

    August 20, 2015 3:16 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Clusters of municipalities more than 100 miles from the Gulf Coast have secured millions of dollars in BP money through settlements designed to compensate local governments for economic damage after the company's 2010 oil spill. This week, BP finished making approximately $687 million in settlement payments to... more »
  • Walker approves policies for its police body cameras

    August 10, 2015 10:10 PM

    WALKER - City leaders approved policies dealing with the three-month old police body camera system. "It's been up to this point, non controversial," mayor Rick Ramsey said Monday night after the council agreed on the rules based on suggestions from the International Association of Chiefs of Police . ... more »

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