WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ News News en-us Copyright 2023, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Wed, 29 Mar 2023 HH:03:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Police asking public for help to identify man involved in Tigerland shooting https://www.wbrz.com/news/police-asking-public-for-help-to-identify-man-involved-in-tigerland-shooting/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/police-asking-public-for-help-to-identify-man-involved-in-tigerland-shooting/ News Wed, 29 Mar 2023 3:28:33 PM Logan Cullop Police asking public for help to identify man involved in Tigerland shooting

BATON ROUGE - Police are asking the public for help in identifying a man who was involved in a gun battle in Tigerland. 

WBRZ obtained video of the gun battle at 9 a.m. on Feb 23. Security footage shows two men standing on one side of the Tigerland area and firing multiple shots across to the other side. 

Law enforcement responded to the shooting, but said all people involved had left the area. 

Anyone with information should call (225) 344-7867. 

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Headed to Dallas? Here's how much resale tickets are going for https://www.wbrz.com/news/headed-to-dallas-here-s-how-much-resale-tickets-are-going-for/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/headed-to-dallas-here-s-how-much-resale-tickets-are-going-for/ News Wed, 29 Mar 2023 2:59:49 PM Jonathan Shelley Headed to Dallas? Here's how much resale tickets are going for

DALLAS - LSU fans who don't already have tickets to Friday night's Final Four double-header will be paying a steep price in the secondary market.

Online brokerage sites on Wednesday showed plenty of resale options, but nothing below the $200 mark. That was the threshold WBRZ found on several sites when looking for the cheapest available seat in the American Airlines Center -- and most resales then add a chunky service fee on top of that.

The venue seats about 20,000 people for basketball games, and the game is officially sold out.

Hotel rooms remained widely available, with budget options and high-end resorts still in play, and a wide range of rates being offered.

The LSU Tigers play Virginia Tech on Friday night. If they win, the team advances to the NCAA Div. I Championship on Sunday. That game airs at 2 p.m. Central Time on WBRZ TV.

Watch for reports from Michael Cauble and Matt Trent, in Dallas, as the Tigers get set for tip-off.

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Vatican: Pope to be hospitalized for days for lung infection https://www.wbrz.com/news/vatican-pope-to-be-hospitalized-for-days-for-lung-infection/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/vatican-pope-to-be-hospitalized-for-days-for-lung-infection/ News Wed, 29 Mar 2023 2:06:17 PM Associated Press Vatican: Pope to be hospitalized for days for lung infection

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis was hospitalized with a lung infection Wednesday after experiencing difficulty breathing in recent days and will remain in the hospital for several days of treatment, the Vatican said.

The 86-year-old pope doesn’t have COVID-19, spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement late Wednesday.

The hospitalization was the first since Francis spent 10 days at the Gemelli in July 2021 to have 33 centimeters (13 inches) of his colon removed.

It immediately raised questions about Francis’ overall health, and his ability to celebrate the busy Holy Week events that are due to begin this weekend with Palm Sunday.

Bruni said Francis had been suffering breathing troubles in recent days and went to the Gemelli hospital for tests.

“The tests showed a respiratory infection (COVID-19 infection excluded) that will require some days of medical therapy,” Bruni’s statement said.

Francis appeared in relatively good form during his regularly scheduled general audience earlier Wednesday, though he grimaced strongly while getting in and out of the “popemobile.”

Francis had part of one lung removed when he was a young man due to a respiratory infection, and he often speaks in a whisper. But he got through the worst phases of the COVID-19 pandemic without at least any public word of ever testing positive.

Francis had been due to celebrate Palm Sunday this weekend, kicking off the Vatican’s Holy Week observances: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and finally Easter Sunday on April 9. He has canceled all audiences through Friday, but it wasn’t clear whether he could keep the Holy Week plans.

Francis has used a wheelchair for over a year due to strained ligaments in his right knee and a small knee fracture. He has said the injury was healing and been walking more with a cane of late.

Francis also has said he resisted having surgery for the knee problems because he didn’t respond well to general anesthesia during the 2021 intestinal surgery.

He said soon after the surgery that he had recovered fully and could eat normally. But in a Jan. 24 interview with The Associated Press, Francis said his diverticulosis, or bulges in the intestinal wall, had “returned.”

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Baker police looking for man who allegedly shot ex's new boyfriend https://www.wbrz.com/news/baker-police-looking-for-man-who-allegedly-shot-ex-s-new-boyfriend/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/baker-police-looking-for-man-who-allegedly-shot-ex-s-new-boyfriend/ News Wed, 29 Mar 2023 1:14:29 PM WBRZ Staff Baker police looking for man who allegedly shot ex's new boyfriend

BAKER - Police are looking for a man accused of shooting at a car that his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend were riding in.

The shooting was reported Tuesday on Seville Drive, but few other details were immediately available. Police said both victims were in the car at the time, but only the boyfriend was shot.  

The man survived the shooting, but his condition is unknown.

Police are still looking for the suspect, identified as Keldrick Coates. He is wanted on two counts of attempted murder, as well as counts for felon in possession of a firearm and illegal use of weapons. 

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact police at (225) 775-6000, Ext 1.

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Funeral arrangements set for 11-year-old shooting victim after city-backed fundraiser https://www.wbrz.com/news/funeral-arrangements-set-for-11-year-old-shooting-victim-after-city-backed-fundraiser/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/funeral-arrangements-set-for-11-year-old-shooting-victim-after-city-backed-fundraiser/ News Wed, 29 Mar 2023 12:53:11 PM WBRZ Staff Funeral arrangements set for 11-year-old shooting victim after city-backed fundraiser

BATON ROUGE - City officials have announced funeral arrangements for an 11-year-old who was shot to death by a 17-year-old who was allegedly holding the boy's family hostage. 

The city-parish says services for Matthew Fortenberry will be held 11 a.m. Friday, March 31 at Wilson-Wooddale Funeral Home on Wooddale Boulevard. A repast will be held at the Charles R. Kelly Community Center located at 3535 Riley Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70805 immediately following the service.

Last week, city leaders announced a fundraiser to help the family pay for Matthew's funeral.

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Men wanted for kidnapping, armed robbery after potentially gang-related attack in Darrow https://www.wbrz.com/news/men-wanted-for-kidnapping-armed-robbery-after-potentially-gang-related-attack-in-darrow/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/men-wanted-for-kidnapping-armed-robbery-after-potentially-gang-related-attack-in-darrow/ News Wed, 29 Mar 2023 10:15:14 AM WBRZ Staff Men wanted for kidnapping, armed robbery after potentially gang-related attack in Darrow

DARROW - Deputies are searching for two men allegedly connected to an armed robbery and gunfire in Ascension Parish, suggesting that the suspects may be tied to gang activity.

According to the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office, deputies are searching for Calvin Adams III and Kevin Ross Jr. after law enforcement responded to report of a shooting near Galaxy and Neptune Boulevards in Darrow around 9 a.m. Monday. 

Detectives found multiple spent shell casings and "other evidence" indicating a shooting had happened, but no injuries were reported. No injuries were reported, but deputies learned Adams and Ross allegedly orchestrated a "targeted attack" on a male victim. 

The two men have warrants for their arrests for multiple charges, including attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery, second-degree kidnapping, and patterns of criminal street gang activity. 

Anyone with information about the incident or the men's whereabouts is encouraged to call authorities at (225) 344-7867. 

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Southern University announces new men's basketball coach https://www.wbrz.com/news/southern-university-announces-new-men-s-basketball-coach/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/southern-university-announces-new-men-s-basketball-coach/ News Wed, 29 Mar 2023 11:04:47 AM WBRZ Staff Southern University announces new men's basketball coach

BATON ROUGE - Southern University has announced that Kevin Johnson, previously an assistant coach at Tulane and University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has been selected as the new men's basketball coach for the Jaguars. 

Johnson has spent decades coaching in several Louisiana colleges, including Nicholls State and Louisiana Tech along with his time at Tulane and UL. 

You can read more about Johnson's coaching record on UL's website here and on Tulane's website here.

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Train derails in Port Allen; no injuries, no immediate danger to public https://www.wbrz.com/news/train-derails-in-port-allen-no-injuries-no-immediate-danger-to-public/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/train-derails-in-port-allen-no-injuries-no-immediate-danger-to-public/ News Wed, 29 Mar 2023 9:50:09 AM WBRZ Staff Train derails in Port Allen; no injuries, no immediate danger to public

PORT ALLEN - A train derailed in Port Allen Wednesday morning, but officials are saying the situation is not severe. 

The derailment happened around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday on a railroad that runs parallel to LA-1 near the Anchorage overpass. The West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said there was currently no known threat to the public, and no injuries were reported. 

The Louisiana State Police Hazmat team was called to the scene to investigate, according to WBRSO.

State Police released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that the train was carrying potentially hazardous material but that no leak was detected. 

"This morning at approximately 8:30a.m.,Louisiana State Police -Hazardous Materials was contacted in reference to a train derailment involving several rail cars containing butadiene and liquid petroleum gas near LA - 1 and Anchorage Overpass. Upon arrival, representatives from Louisiana State Police-Hazmat, Department of Environmental Quality, West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, Baton Rouge Fire Department, and Union Pacific Railroad began assessing the scene. Crews did not detect any release of hazardous chemicals. At this time, there are no reported injuries and this remains a active investigation."

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Deputies searching for man accused of theft from Renaissance Festival site https://www.wbrz.com/news/deputies-searching-for-man-accused-of-theft-from-renaissance-festival-site/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/deputies-searching-for-man-accused-of-theft-from-renaissance-festival-site/ News Wed, 29 Mar 2023 9:42:14 AM WBRZ Staff Deputies searching for man accused of theft from Renaissance Festival site

HAMMOND - Tangipahoa Parish deputies are searching for a man accused of a theft that happened on the site of the Louisiana Renaissance Festival. 

According to the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office, Chad Babb, 49, is allegedly connected to a theft from the festival's site at 46468 River Road on March 7. 

Babb currently has warrants out for his arrest on counts of simple burglary, obstruction of justice, and criminal damage to property. 

Though deputies did not specify what was stolen, WBRZ has reached out and asked for more information. 

The Louisiana Renaissance Festival is currently in its off-season. It's unclear if there was anyone on the site when the theft allegedly happened. 

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'Basic training without yelling': Baton Rouge native benefits from Army basic training prep course https://www.wbrz.com/news/basic-training-without-yelling-baton-rouge-native-benefits-from-army-basic-training-prep-course/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/basic-training-without-yelling-baton-rouge-native-benefits-from-army-basic-training-prep-course/ News Wed, 29 Mar 2023 7:36:35 AM Associated Press 'Basic training without yelling': Baton Rouge native benefits from Army basic training prep course

WASHINGTON (AP) — Last August, Daysia Holiday decided to try one more time to join the Army.

She’d taken the academic test and failed three times. So, when she was offered a slot in a new Army prep course to help improve her scores and qualify for basic training, she jumped at the chance.

Seven months later, Pvt. 2nd Class Holiday is a proud graduate of Army basic training, and is finishing her advanced instruction at Fort Lee, Virginia, to become a power generation specialist who will maintain engines and other equipment for the service.

Holiday is an early beneficiary of the new program, which gives lower-performing recruits up to 90 days of academic or fitness instruction to help them meet military standards. In place for only eight months, it is already making a significant difference for both the Army and those who want to serve in it.

So far, 5,400 soldiers have made it through the prep course since it started in August at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. That’s an important boost since the Army fell dramatically short of its recruiting goals last year, due to low unemployment and general wariness about military service. And at least one other military service, the Navy, took notice and is setting up a similar course.

For those who make it through the program, it can be life-changing. Holiday, 23, said many of her peers in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, didn’t make it out of high school, with some “dead or in jail.” Sitting outside the class building in her Army fatigues last summer, she talked about trying to pass the academic test for two years with no success.

She said she wanted to set an example, especially for her younger siblings. The prep course gave her a second chance. She raised her academic score by more than 20 points.

The course, she said, was like “basic training without the yelling.” It also allowed her to bond with fellow students. “We helped each other out throughout basic training, so it was easy,” she said. “All of us actually passed, so it was a good experience. And we all keep in touch.”

Army leaders say the program — it involves classroom instruction and training ranging from how to wear the uniform and properly make a bed to fitness and discipline — gives recruits like Holiday an advantage.

“I think an interesting thing we’ve seen is that the kids coming out of that course, who go into basic, actually seem to have a little bit of a leg up,” said Army Secretary Christine Wormuth. “During basic training, certain young individuals who show a little bit more leadership skills than others get selected to have leadership positions. And what we’re seeing is the kids coming out of the prep course are often the ones who are being chosen for that.”

As of March 17, nearly 8,400 people had been admitted to the prep course and more than 5,400 had graduated and gone on to basic training. Army Lt. Col. Randy Ready, spokesman for the Army Center for Initial Military Training, said about 6% of those recruits don’t make it through basic and advanced individual training, about the same attrition rate as for those who don’t go through the prep course.

Ready said almost 4,000 of the graduates were in the academic track and about 1,400 were in the fitness track. Students in the academic program increased their test scores by an average of 19 points, he said.

“It has been largely very, very successful,” said Maj. Gen. Johnny Davis, head of Army Recruiting Command, adding that students who go through the prep course come out more prepared. “It instills a level of positively and confidence in those future soldiers.”

Gen. James McConville, Army chief of staff, told a House committee on Tuesday that students in the program are improving their academic scores and losing 4% to 6% of their body fat.

“We’re really giving them discipline,” he said. “They’re getting in shape. We’re giving them a head start. So when going into initial military training, where they were at the lowest category, they’re actually excelling and in some ways exceeding the standards — becoming the student leaders.”

Once in the program, recruits are tested every week. And every three weeks they can move into basic training if they pass the military’s academic test — the Armed Services Voluntary Aptitude Battery — or if they meet the physical standards. If they don’t pass or meet the standards after the first three weeks, they can stay on and keep testing for up to 90 days, but they have to leave the Army if they haven’t succeeded by then.

Army leaders initially thought they might open as many as four locations for the prep course, but they haven’t seen the need. Instead, they doubled the capacity at Fort Jackson and created a smaller, similar program at Fort Benning, Georgia, which gives young soldiers a chance to raise their academic scores if they want to qualify for higher-skilled jobs or bonuses.

The program got the Navy’s attention. Late last November, Navy Capt. Frank Brown and several others visited Fort Jackson, and as a result will open a new sailor fitness prep course next month. Brown said recruits who are 6% above the body composition requirements will take a three-week fitness course, and can repeat it for up to 90 days to meet the standards and go on to boot camp.

Brown, the director of operations for training at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois, said 60 to 80 recruits will start the course on April 10. He said the Navy is also planning a pilot program for an academic course, likely this summer, to allow lower-scoring recruits to improve so they can qualify for higher-skilled jobs.

Air Force officials said they haven’t ruled out doing a prep program, but are currently using other ways to boost recruiting.

“We are focusing our efforts on eliminating unnecessary or outdated policy barriers to recruiting, adapting our outreach strategy, and adjusting our recruiting approach” to better reach potential recruits, said Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, commander of the Air Force Recruiting Service.

As for Holiday, when she graduates Wednesday she will head to her first post, in Fort Carson, Colorado. “I’m very much glad that I did it,” she said. “It’s been a good journey for me.”

And she’s got bigger ambitions.

“I still want to try to do the Green Beret (course),” she said. “And, I want to do other courses — airborne and stuff like that. And I want to also try to become an officer as well.”

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Two dead, including suspected gunman, after overnight standoff in Slidell https://www.wbrz.com/news/two-dead-including-suspected-gunman-after-overnight-standoff-in-slidell/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/two-dead-including-suspected-gunman-after-overnight-standoff-in-slidell/ News Wed, 29 Mar 2023 6:58:11 AM WBRZ Staff Two dead, including suspected gunman, after overnight standoff in Slidell

SLIDELL - Two people, including a gunman, were left dead after a standoff with deputies Tuesday night. 

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, along with SWAT team members, detectives, and crime scene technicians responded to a home on Lake Village Boulevard shortly after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Deputies made contact with a man inside the home, who said there had been an "exchange of gunfire" between him and an acquaintance. 

The STPSO did not specify how long the situation went on but said once SWAT team members entered the home, they found two people dead inside, one of which was the suspected gunman who deputies believe killed himself before law enforcement entered the home. 

No more information about the standoff was immediately released. 

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Friends and family mourn the loss of two Louisiana natives killed in Nashville school shooting https://www.wbrz.com/news/friends-and-family-mourn-the-loss-of-two-louisiana-natives-killed-in-nashville-school-shooting/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/friends-and-family-mourn-the-loss-of-two-louisiana-natives-killed-in-nashville-school-shooting/ News Tue, 28 Mar 2023 8:12:39 PM Bess Casserleigh Friends and family mourn the loss of two Louisiana natives killed in Nashville school shooting

When a shooter opened fire on a Christian elementary school in Nashville, killing three children and three adults, hundreds of lives were changed for ever.

Here in Baton Rouge, family of Dr. Katherine Koonce, headmaster at The Covenant School, are mourning the wife and mother of two.

A graduate of the University High class of '81, she went on to LSU and then Vanderbilt in Tennessee.

61-year-old Cynthia Peak, a substitute teacher, from the small town of Leesville in West Louisiana leaves behind three children. Her family had deep roots in the town and she frequently came back to visit.

"Little towns like Leesvile are very tight circles," said Peak's life-long friend Chuck Owen. "Even though Cynthia has been gone a long time, our community has stayed connected. We have a very active alumni association. People come back for homecomings and reunions and things like that."

Owen and his sister grew up with Peak and saw her at their last reunion.

"She was a sweet person. She was a devout follower of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and she is going to leave a legacy of love. She leaves a husband and three children behind and brothers and sister who are going to grieve for a long time of course many of her friends are too. I am just grief stricken over it because she was such a good person."

U High sent an email to parents and faculty in honor of Koonce on Tuesday:

Dear Cub Family,

We were deeply saddened to learn on the news of the tragic passing of Dr. Katherine Koonce, a U-High alumna and educator. She was the Head of School at The Covenant School in Brentwood, TN. As a Cub Community, we mourn our loss and offer comfort and prayers to her family and loved ones during this most difficult time.

Katherine attended LSU before transferring to Vanderbilt University where she earned a BS in Education. She also earned Master’s Degree in Education from Georgia State University and a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Research and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University. Katherine graduated from University Lab School in 1981. Her sisters also graduated from U-High: Jeanne in 1983 and Anne Louise in 1985. Katherine is preceded in death by her mother, Baton Rouge native and ULS alumna Anne Shirley, and her father, Richard James Shirley.

Any time there is an active shooter event, everyone’s attention is drawn to our own security measures. As evidenced by different drills conducted by law enforcement, a team of officers would be mobilized and on site in 30 seconds in the event of an incident. We have enhanced security features at our facility to neutralize a would-be attacker and we conduct drills periodically to ensure all staff and students know what to do in emergency situations. We are also upgrading our camera systems along with the LSU campus to incorporate smart surveillance features to our repertoire of safety enhancements. You will soon see a remodel of our entrance to establish a single point of entry and we will continue to utilize LSU PD to patrol our campus, inside and out, throughout the school day. Safety is our number one priority, and it is something we think about and plan around with safety experts. We pray for the best and plan for the worst. Thank you for trusting us with your children. It is not something we take lightly.

Yours in service,
ULS Administration

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LIVE UPDATES: Wednesday Commute https://www.wbrz.com/news/live-updates-wednesday-commute-158040/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/live-updates-wednesday-commute-158040/ News Wed, 29 Mar 2023 5:10:48 AM Lauren Hawkins LIVE UPDATES: Wednesday Commute


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Man in coma after possible hit-and-run crash; police unresponsive about search for suspect https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-in-coma-after-possible-hit-and-run-crash-police-unresponsive-about-search-for-suspect/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/man-in-coma-after-possible-hit-and-run-crash-police-unresponsive-about-search-for-suspect/ News Tue, 28 Mar 2023 10:33:44 PM Nick Perlin Man in coma after possible hit-and-run crash; police unresponsive about search for suspect

BATON ROUGE - Surveillance video from neighbors on Reymond Avenue shows a light-colored truck drive down the road at roughly 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

Neighbors in the area believe resident James Bartee was hit by a vehicle and left on the road to die. Witnesses who don't want to be identified told WBRZ they were driving down the normally quiet Reymond Avenue at around 3 a.m. and found Bartee.

"We saw that he was very injured, he had a head injury, his shoes were knocked off, and he was bleeding."

They say Bartee was conscious and had his eyes open, but had a hard time breathing. The witnesses called the police and roughly eight minutes later paramedics arrived. 

That's when Bartee's injuries became more apparent.

"They started shining lights and he was bleeding profusely from his head."

We're told Bartee was out that night near the Perkins Underpass and was walking home. Bartee lives on Orpine Avenue, which is near Reymond Avenue.

Many neighbors say they didn't hear any police sirens, or a crash Saturday morning. That corresponds with witnesses' accounts of the accident, telling WBRZ the paramedics' lights were on, but no sirens.

Friends tell WBRZ Bartee is in a coma, has multiple broken bones, and lost his spleen. It will be a long road to recovery, but they think he will survive.

WBRZ reached out to a BRPD spokesperson about the incident Tuesday afternoon, but they have not responded.

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No. 1 LSU Baseball beats Grambling 17-5 in 7 innings https://www.wbrz.com/news/no-1-lsu-baseball-beats-grambling-17-5-in-7-innings/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/no-1-lsu-baseball-beats-grambling-17-5-in-7-innings/ News Tue, 28 Mar 2023 9:17:25 PM Corey Rholdon No. 1 LSU Baseball beats Grambling 17-5 in 7 innings

BATON ROUGE - The LSU baseball team run ruled their opponent for the 9th time this season, as the Tigers get win number 22 over Grambling 17-5 in seven innings. 

The Tigers exploded offensively in the third and fourth innings, having a combined 13 runs. It started in the third with Cade Beloso's three-run homer, then right after that Jared Jones also hit a longball.

Blake Money gets his first win of the season, although he struggled in two innings giving up a three-run homer. The Tigers will now get ready to host Tennessee in a weekend series starting on Thursday. 

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Officials not expecting to install Basin Bridge speed cameras until 2024 https://www.wbrz.com/news/officials-not-expecting-to-install-basin-bridge-speed-cameras-until-2024/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/officials-not-expecting-to-install-basin-bridge-speed-cameras-until-2024/ News Tue, 28 Mar 2023 6:16:59 PM Falon Brown Officials not expecting to install Basin Bridge speed cameras until 2024

BATON ROUGE - Whether you're heading to Lafayette or Baton Rouge, if you take I-10, you'll have to drive across 18 miles of the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. 

If drivers happen to cross that bridge in fewer than 18 minutes, they'll be subject to a fine of up to $1,000.

“If you’re going over the speed limit, you’re going to get a ticket. And while you believe there’s some people who don’t like it, we believe that there’s a lot of people who do like it," Rodney Mallet, a spokesperson for DOTD, said.

Mallet says the somewhat controversial plan to control speeding drivers on the Basin Bridge is something the agency sees as a lifesaving effort. According to DOTD, around 70% of crashes that occur between Lafayette and Baton Rouge are rear-endings and sideswipes that are caused by distracted or speeding drivers.

“There’s no shoulders, there’s very little room to make a mistake. We’ve seen that numerous times. Ya know, we could minimize a lot of these crashes by maintaining the speed."

The efforts to minimize speeding on the Basin Bridge will be implemented in three phases. The first phase included posting signs warning of higher fines, which went up in August of 2022. 

The second phase includes 'speed feedback signs' which are digital signs that will tell drivers how fast they are going. That is set to be complete by the end of 2023. 

For the third and final phase, DOTD will install cameras to track speeding drivers along the bridge. Mallet says that will be complete by the end of 2024. 

“People who do drive the speed limit, people who want to see a safer corridor… they’re the ones who really pushed for this legislation."

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BRPD looking into their protocols following deadly helicopter crash https://www.wbrz.com/news/brpd-looking-into-their-protocols-following-deadly-helicopter-crash/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/brpd-looking-into-their-protocols-following-deadly-helicopter-crash/ News Tue, 28 Mar 2023 5:35:42 PM Katie Easter BRPD looking into their protocols following deadly helicopter crash

BATON ROUGE- It was another grim day at BRPD headquarters Tuesday, where flags flew at half-staff and a memorial stood in front of the building with flowers.

The department is remembering Sgt. David Poirrier and Cpl. Scotty Canezaro, who died from blunt force trauma after the BRPD chopper they were in crashed early Sunday. That happened as they assisted with a chase that started on Sherwood Forest Boulevard.

Air support is something the department has used more of to decrease the number of accidents that have happened on streets.

"Once the aircraft has the vehicle, the pursuit, the motor vehicles, back off," Neal Noel, Deputy Chief Operations Services and Special Operations said.

Last week, BRPD officials told Metro Council there have been 926 pursuits from 2016-2022. Those pursuits have led to 101 crashes and three deaths. Those numbers do not include anything from 2023.

Now BRPD is looking at its policies related to the chopper, such as when it's used and how it communicates with the officers flying it.

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Tuesday's Health Report https://www.wbrz.com/news/tuesday-s-health-report-158033/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/tuesday-s-health-report-158033/ News Tue, 28 Mar 2023 5:32:53 PM WBRZ Staff Tuesday's Health Report

Watch the 2 Your Health report for Tuesday, March 28, 2023. 

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Days after contentious sales tax failed, Livingston school system cancels career fair due to low sign-ups https://www.wbrz.com/news/days-after-contentious-sales-tax-failed-livingston-school-system-cancels-career-fair-due-to-low-sign-ups/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/days-after-contentious-sales-tax-failed-livingston-school-system-cancels-career-fair-due-to-low-sign-ups/ News Tue, 28 Mar 2023 5:32:48 PM WBRZ Staff Days after contentious sales tax failed, Livingston school system cancels career fair due to low sign-ups

LIVINGSTON - The Livingston Parish School System says it's canceling a career fair that was scheduled for this weekend, citing little interest in the event from potential job candidates.

Superintendent Joe Murphy announced the cancellation Tuesday, just a few days after parish residents voted down a one-percent sales tax that would have given more funding to the school system, namely giving faculty raises.

Murphy said only 49 applicants registered for the event seeking to fill openings at the system's 46 campuses. 

“At this time, we are postponing the career fair, as the turnout would be right at one
new teacher candidate per campus. There is no need to ask our people to give up their
Saturday for this level of response. We will route the applications to our individual schools and ask those applicants to setup interviews with the principals at their respective campuses,” Murphy said in a statement.

The school system says it will consider hosting another event in the summer if there is an increase in demand, asking those interested to fill out an application online. 

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After threatening to sue homeowner for ignoring letter, parish now admits it never sent it https://www.wbrz.com/news/after-threatening-to-sue-homeowner-for-ignoring-letter-parish-now-admits-it-never-sent-it/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/after-threatening-to-sue-homeowner-for-ignoring-letter-parish-now-admits-it-never-sent-it/ News Tue, 28 Mar 2023 4:38:07 PM Brittany Weiss After threatening to sue homeowner for ignoring letter, parish now admits it never sent it

PRAIRIEVILLE - There's more to the story about a fence in Ascension Parish. A parish official told 2 On Your Side on Thursday that a certified letter had been sent to the property owners with an official offer from the parish to move the fence to the servitude line.

Turns out, that letter never existed.

Earlier this month Nick Ehrhard and his wife were facing a lawsuit from Ascension Parish over their fence. The item appeared on the March 16 council agenda before it was removed by councilwoman Terri Casso.

The fence was built in January, and Ehrhard got a permit. Soon after that permit was issued, the parish said it was missing a signature and that it was not valid. Even though the fence aligns with all of the others, a fairly new ordinance says that fences are prohibited within a drainage servitude.

Realizing the error with the permit issued, Parish Attorney Jean-Paul Robert called Ehrhard with a compromise to move the fence at the parish's expense. Ehrhard had questions about the verbal offer and emailed them to the parish at the end of February. Since, Ehrhard says the questions have not been answered and phone calls have not been returned.

"The next thing we know our name is on a docket to be potentially sued by the government," he said.

The parish told 2 On Your Side last week it sent Ehrhard a certified letter with an official offer to move the fence. Monday, the parish admitted the certified letter never existed. The parish said the next step is to file a lawsuit since they never received a response to a letter, which did not exist.

"I'm perplexed why the parish finds it a good idea to have a lawsuit against one of their parish teachers and a social worker for a fence," Ehrhard said.

The parish was questioned about why it decided to move forward with a lawsuit without answering Ehrhard's questions. The inquiry was not addressed at the time this story aired.

The item regarding the lawsuit could reappear on the April council agenda.

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