WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ News News en-us Copyright 2021, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sat, 18 Sep 2021 HH:09:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 One dead, one wanted in West Baton Rouge shooting early Saturday morning https://www.wbrz.com/news/one-dead-one-wanted-in-west-baton-rouge-shooting-early-saturday-morning/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/one-dead-one-wanted-in-west-baton-rouge-shooting-early-saturday-morning/ News Sat, 18 Sep 2021 11:55:39 AM WBRZ Staff One dead, one wanted in West Baton Rouge shooting early Saturday morning

WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH - One person is dead following a shooting at a West Baton Rouge bar early Saturday morning.

According to West Baton Rouge Sheriff Maj. Zack Simmers, the victim was shot near Raxx Bar and taken to the hospital where they later died.

Authorities do have a person of interest however no arrest have been made.

The investigation is on going.

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Police look for Laundrie in reserve; Petito still not found https://www.wbrz.com/news/police-look-for-laundrie-in-reserve-petito-still-not-found/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/police-look-for-laundrie-in-reserve-petito-still-not-found/ News Sat, 18 Sep 2021 11:22:35 AM Associate Press Police look for Laundrie in reserve; Petito still not found

NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — Police in Florida on Saturday searched a vast wildlife reserve near the Gulf Coast for 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito.

Dozens of North Port police officers, FBI agents and members of other law enforcement agencies searched the 24,000-acre (9,712-hectare) Carlton Reserve in the Sarasota, Florida area.

“His family says they believe he entered the area earlier this week,” North Port Police tweeted Saturday.

Laundrie’s family earlier told officers that they haven’t seen him since Tuesday. Police said the conversation Friday evening was the first time they’d spoken with the Laundries in detail about the case, and that the meeting came at the family’s request. An attorney for the family called FBI investigators and said they wanted to talk about Laundrie’s disappearance, police said.

Laundrie and Petito, 22, left in July on a cross-country trek in a converted van to visit national parks in the U.S. West. Police said Laundrie was alone when he drove the van back to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1. Petito’s family filed a missing persons report Sept. 11 with police in Suffolk County, New York.

Laundrie has been identified as a person of interest in the case.

“It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby’s disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime,” North Port police said in Friday’s statement. It added that the investigation is now a “multiple missing person” case.

An attorney for Brian Laundrie, Steven Bertolino, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press on Friday night.

Attorneys for the Petito family released a statement saying that Laundrie was not “missing.”

“All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing,” the statement from the law office of Richard B. Stafford said.

Earlier in the week, Petito’s family pleaded for the Laundrie family to tell them where their son last saw her. Petito and Laundrie were childhood sweethearts who met while growing up on Long Island, New York. His parents later moved to North Port, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Sarasota.

Police video released by the Moab Police Department in Utah showed that an officer pulled the van over on Aug. 12 after it was seen speeding and hitting a curb near the entrance to Arches National Park. The body cam video showed an emotional Petito, who sat inside a police cruiser while officers also questioned Laundrie.

Laundrie says on the video the couple got into a minor scuffle that began when he climbed into the van with dirty feet, and said he didn’t want to pursue a domestic violence charge against Petito, who officers decided was the aggressor.

Ultimately Moab police decided not file any charges and instead separated the couple for the night, with Laundrie checking into a motel and Petito remaining with the converted sleeper van.

The official conversation with the family Friday came shortly after the North Port Chief Todd Garrison had publicly vented frustration over Brian Laundrie’s lack of help on Wednesday, pleading for Laundrie’s lawyer to arrange a conversation. “Two people left on a trip and one person returned!” an earlier tweet by the police chief had said.

Their trek in the Fort Transit van began in July from Long Island. They intended to reach Oregon by Halloween according to their social media accounts, but Petito vanished after her last known contact with family in late August from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, authorities said.

In other developments, a sheriff in Utah said Friday that detectives have determined there is no connection between Petito’s disappearance on the trip and a still-unsolved slaying of two women who were fatally shot at a campsite near Moab, Utah. The bodies of the two women, Kylen Schulte, 24, and Crystal Turner, 38, were found six days after the traffic stop involving Laundrie and Petito.

Utah’s Grand County Sheriff Steven White said without elaboration in a news release the two cases were unrelated.

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EBRSO looking for suspect wanted for vehicle burglary https://www.wbrz.com/news/ebrso-looking-for-suspect-wanted-for-vehicle-burglary/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/ebrso-looking-for-suspect-wanted-for-vehicle-burglary/ News Sat, 18 Sep 2021 8:44:58 AM WBRZ Staff EBRSO looking for suspect wanted for vehicle burglary

BATON ROUGE - Sheriff Detectives are looking for a man accused of vehicle burglary around 4500 Burbank Dr.

During this investigation, it was learned that entry was made into the victims’ vehicle through an unlocked door and a purse containing credit cards was taken.  Later on that day, the stolen credit card was used at multiple businesses in the Baton Rouge area.  Still shots of the suspect were obtained but a medical mask is obstructing his face.

If anyone has information about the above pictured suspect, please contact EBRSO Burglary and Robbery Division at 225-389-5064 or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP.

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High School Football Scores - Week 3 https://www.wbrz.com/news/high-school-football-scores-week-3-145965/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/high-school-football-scores-week-3-145965/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 11:30:12 PM High School Football Scores - Week 3


Abbeville 43, Vermilion Catholic 0

Alexandria 49, Marksville 7

Amite 27, Sumner 7

Ascension Christian School 47, Ben Franklin 22

Ascension Episcopal 32, North Vermilion 0

Avoyelles 34, Eunice 7

Baton Rouge Episcopal 25, Country Day 20

Beau Chene 39, Mamou 34

Benton 41, Richwood 12

Bossier 39, Logansport 14

Brusly 33, West Feliciana 30

Bunkie 31, Pickering 8

Calvary Baptist Academy 62, Arcadia 0

Captain Shreve 22, Union Parish 21

Cecilia 48, Denham Springs 44

Cedar Creek 38, Delhi 6

Central - B.R. 48, Belaire 0

Central Hinds Aca., Miss. 43, Riverfield 27

Central Private 47, Independence 12

Church Point 25, RHS 0

DeQuincy 21, South Beauregard 14

DeRidder 28, Jennings 27

Delcambre 34, Gueydan 7

Delta Charter 30, River Oaks 16

Dutchtown 37, Covington 15

E.D. White 7, Assumption 0

Easton 42, Scotlandville 28

Erath 29, St. Louis 21

Franklin 20, Berwick 7

Franklinton 45, Fontainebleau 20

General Trass (Lake Providence) 26, Bastrop 6

Glenbrook 48, Lincoln Preparatory School 14

Grant def. Block, forfeit

Haughton 40, B.T. Washington 0

Haynesville 40, Junction City, Ark. 28

Helen Cox 42, Livingston Collegiate Academy 7

Highland Baptist 14, St. John 10

Holy Cross 27, Chalmette 10

Homer 69, Ringgold 0

Huntington 38, Parkway 31

Iota 47, Crowley 6

Iowa 48, Sulphur 29

Jesuit 52, Riverdale 0

Jonesboro-Hodge def. Vidalia, forfeit

Kaplan 31, Northwest 28

Karr 33, John Curtis Christian 19

LaSalle 32, Merryville 20

Lafayette 31, Carencro 28, 2OT

Lafayette Christian Academy 14, Acadiana 13

Lake Charles College Prep 37, Southwood 0

Leesville 50, LaGrange 14

Lena Northwood 24, Ville Platte 0

Liberty 52, East Iberville 0

Live Oak 14, St. Michael 0

Loreauville 41, Kinder 8

Lutcher 62, West Harrison, Miss. 34

M.L. King Charter 20, Istrouma 7

Madison Prep 42, Parkview Baptist 3

Mangham 35, Caldwell Parish 7

Many 50, North DeSoto 0

Minden 34, North Webster 27

Montgomery def. Beekman, forfeit

Morgan City 34, Covenant Christian Academy 22

NDHS 27, Comeaux 7

Natchitoches Central 34, West Ouachita 6

Neville 28, Jena 8

Newman 28, Vandebilt Catholic 0

North Caddo 50, Bolton 14

Northeast 20, Broadmoor 0

Northshore 31, Lakeshore 10

Oakdale 33, Oberlin 7

Opelousas Catholic 20, Port Barre 0

Ouachita Christian 47, Sicily Island 12

Pine 35, Pearl River 25

Pine Prairie 48, Buckeye 12

Plain Dealing 56, Magnolia School of Excellence 22

Pointe Coupee Catholic 44, St. Martin's 14

Ponchatoula 37, St. Helena 6

Port Allen 31, Livonia 0

Rayville 32, Lakeview 6

Red River 54, Mansfield 44

Rosepine 55, East Beauregard 20

Ruston 50, Airline 0

Sacred Heart 19, Basile 0

Saint Paul's 17, New Iberia Catholic 13

Salmen 27, Bogalusa 6

Seminole, Okla. 35, Evangel Christian Academy 14

Shreveport Northwood def. Loyola College Prep, forfeit

Slaughter 24, Centerville 20

Southern Lab 48, McKinley 12

Southside 28, Opelousas 6

St. Edmund Catholic 43, Tara 0

St. Frederick Catholic 28, Tensas 0

St. Martinville def. Breaux Bridge, forfeit

St. Mary's 31, Holy Savior Menard 17

St. Thomas More 63, Plaquemine 0

Sterlington 34, Oak Grove 16

Teurlings Catholic 52, Barbe 25

Tioga 7, Pineville 6

Varnado 26, Northlake Christian 14

Walker 56, Mandeville 28

Warren, Ark. 42, Franklin Parish 10

Washington-Marion 43, Peabody 22

Westgate 35, New Iberia 3

Westlake 40, Vinton 12

Westminster Christian 16, Hanson Memorial 13

Winnfield 24, Delhi Charter 8

Woodlawn (BR) def. Madison, forfeit

Woodlawn (SH) 48, North Central 0

Wossman 28, Green Oaks 0

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Temporarily stricter development restrictions leave room for planning commission to allow some flood-zone projects https://www.wbrz.com/news/temporarily-stricter-development-restrictions-leave-room-for-planning-commission-to-allow-some-flood-zone-projects/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/temporarily-stricter-development-restrictions-leave-room-for-planning-commission-to-allow-some-flood-zone-projects/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 10:05:40 PM Johnston von Springer Temporarily stricter development restrictions leave room for planning commission to allow some flood-zone projects

BATON ROUGE - Tougher drainage requirements for development in flood zones take effect Saturday, but do not apply to several residential projects being considered Monday by the Planning Commission.

In a unanimous vote Sept. 8, the Metro Council approved a year-long tightening of building standards for projects in flood zones. Any project filed before Sept. 1 is exempt from what proponents have labeled a moratorium.

Councilman Rowdy Gaudet, who represents District Three, says the engineer handling one of the projects told him it will be built to the stricter standard even though it's technically exempt. Maple Cove is an 11-acre, 60-home development on Burbank Drive.

"He recognized the sense of the community was 'we need changes, we need those increased design requirements,'" Gaudet said. "He recognized that a unanimous vote of the council is a message that it's time to start looking at doing things a bit differently."

All items on the Sept. 20 agenda have satisfied the needed criteria, according to planning commission staff.

"From a policy perspective, as a Metro Council, we've got to be cognizant of, do we change our policy for development going forward," Gaudet said. "We shouldn't put an onus on the planning commission to halt development. That's a policy-level decision. That's frankly what the metro council and your local government representatives should be doing."

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Amazon hopes to bring jobs, business to the capital area with new warehouse https://www.wbrz.com/news/amazon-hopes-to-bring-jobs-business-to-the-capital-area-with-new-warehouse/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/amazon-hopes-to-bring-jobs-business-to-the-capital-area-with-new-warehouse/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 8:13:30 PM Falon Brown Amazon hopes to bring jobs, business to the capital area with new warehouse

BATON ROUGE - In place of the old Cortana Mall, tucked away from public view by a large green fence, lies what will be the future Baton Rouge Amazon distribution center.

Although it doesn't look like much more than dirt piles and trucks right now, one day it will be a major warehouse for Amazon, creating hundreds of jobs for people in the capital area. 

“We’ve got more than 900 available and these are roles in picking, packing, shipping, and leadership,” said Jenna Powers from Amazon. 

The price tag for the project is $200 million. Bringing a big economic impact to the parish, especially right near the former site of Cortana Mall. 

In August, the Metro Council approved a five-year plan for an economic development district where a large portion of sales tax revenue will go right back into redevelopment. 

Amazon will pay higher salaries, which is expected to result in more spending in established Baton Rouge businesses. 

"We have a starting wage of 15 dollars an hour which, of course, is double the federal minimum wage, health benefits available on day 1, 20 weeks of paid parental leave,” said Powers. 

Amazon will also pay tuition for college students, and say they offer opportunities to climb the ladder. 

"We offer certification programs such as our career choice program which allows people to upscale themselves in high-demand areas, but then take that certification to a different job in Amazon, or even outside of Amazon," said Powers. 

The warehouse is expected to be fully operational by December 2022. 

Anyone interested in a job at Amazon can find more information here. 

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BR mayor meets with feds inspecting storm aftermath in New Orleans https://www.wbrz.com/news/br-mayor-meets-with-feds-inspecting-storm-aftermath-in-new-orleans/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/br-mayor-meets-with-feds-inspecting-storm-aftermath-in-new-orleans/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 7:22:29 PM Earl Phelps BR mayor meets with feds inspecting storm aftermath in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS - East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome met with U.S. Department of Housing and Development in New Orleans on Friday as the secretary toured several HUD housing complexes.

"Her and I have something in common. She used to be a mayor, so she understands how local government works," Mayor Broome said.

Mayor Broome and Secretary Marcia Fudge along with Senator John Kennedy and Congressman. Troy Carter served lunch for residents at the Guste Senior Housing Authority,
a HUD-funded complex.

The HUD secretary also toured the The Westminster Towers in Kenner, another senior housing complex that was hit by Hurricane Ida. Residents had to evacuate because on the damage.

"It isn't just what I saw here, just even from the airport. Certainly you can see the remnants of all the damage, and I'm just really excited about the fact that I can help," Secretary Fudge said.

Mayor Broome also took the opportunity to talk with the HUD secretary about increasing federal housing dollars for the Capital Region and making better use of that funding.

"Basically, the theme is how we can maximize the dollars we get from HUD to make an impact in the Baton Rouge community," Broome said

Mayor Broome and Secretary Fudge also met with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards at the New Orleans East Hospital to promote COVID vaccine efforts.

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BRPD officer hit by drunk driver finally going home nearly a month later https://www.wbrz.com/news/brpd-officer-hit-by-drunk-driver-finally-going-home-nearly-a-month-later/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/brpd-officer-hit-by-drunk-driver-finally-going-home-nearly-a-month-later/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 5:41:46 PM Tristen Land BRPD officer hit by drunk driver finally going home nearly a month later
CENTRAL- Baton Rouge Police Sergeant Jason Martin, who was severely injured when an accused drunk driver struck multiple police officers, is finally home after nearly a month of rehabilitation. 
Martin was greeted Friday by a motorcade of family and fellow officers at Zoar Baptist Church in Central.
"It's absolutely amazing to see the amount of support. I didn't expect this in any way shape or form," Martin said.
Police say an intoxicated driver crashed into three officers back in August as they were investigating another crash on I-10.  All three officers were hurt, but Sgt. Martin suffered from a broken leg and required surgery. 
His mother, Kathy, says her son's progress is nothing short of a miracle given the extent of his injuries. 
"He did lose his right leg, but he's going to be able to get a prosthetic and he'll be back at work and doing great. We're just glad he's here," Kathy Martin said. 
Martin has spent 14 years on the DWI task force at BRPD. He also traveled around the state, warning others of the dangers of drunk driving, which his family said makes the accident ironic and all the more tragic.
Martin says he's grateful to be surrounded by friends, family and the community he protects. He adds that it's that support that will motivate him on his road to recovery. 
"It's unbelievable the amount of support that we've had. From the bottom of my heart and from Officer Carboni, thank you all," he said. 

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WATCH: First all-civilian space crew gives update on Inspiration4 mission from Earth's orbit https://www.wbrz.com/news/watch-first-all-civilian-space-crew-gives-update-on-inspiration4-mission-from-earth-s-orbit/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/watch-first-all-civilian-space-crew-gives-update-on-inspiration4-mission-from-earth-s-orbit/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 1:04:52 PM Associated Press WATCH: First all-civilian space crew gives update on Inspiration4 mission from Earth's orbit

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX’s first space tourists are taking in sweeping views of Earth that few have witnessed and motivating children with cancer.

The capsule’s four passengers are flying exceedingly high, even by NASA standards. The crew gave a live update on the mission from Earth's orbit Friday afternoon.

SpaceX got them into a 363-mile (585-kilometer) orbit following Wednesday night’s launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. That’s 100 miles (160 kilometers) higher than the International Space Station. It’s so high that they’re completing 15 orbits of Earth daily, compared with 16 for station astronauts.

Until this all-amateur crew, relatively few NASA astronauts had soared that high. The most recent were the shuttle astronauts who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope over multiple flights in the 1990s and 2000s.

To enhance the views, SpaceX outfitted the automated Dragon capsule with a custom, bubble-shaped dome. Photos of them looking out this large window were posted online after their first day in space, but otherwise little has been released publicly since liftoff.

The passengers — two contest winners, a hospital worker and their billionaire sponsor — will wrap up their three-day flight this weekend with a splashdown off the Florida coast, weather permitting.

Hayley Arceneaux, a childhood cancer survivor, chatted Thursday with patients at the hospital that saved her life almost 20 years ago: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. According to a tweet, the children wanted to know whether there are cows on the moon — like in the nursery rhyme. The video linkup was not broadcast live.

Now a physician assistant at St. Jude, Arceneaux took up an old photo of herself — bald from treatment for bone cancer at age 10. She said before the flight that she wanted the children to see her long hair floating in weightlessness, to give them hope.

At 29, Arceneaux is the youngest American in space.

Pennsylvania entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, 38, purchased the entire flight for an undisclosed amount. He’s seeking to raise $200 million for St. Jude through the flight he’s named Inspiration4, half of that coming from his own pocket.

The two other Dragon riders won their seats through a pair of contests sponsored by Isaacman: Chris Sembroski, 42, a data engineer, and Sian Proctor, 51, a community college educator.

All four share SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s quest to open space to everyone.

“Missions like Inspiration4 help advance spaceflight to enable ultimately anyone to go to orbit & beyond,” Musk tweeted Thursday after chatting with his orbiting pioneers.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Suspects steal thousands of dollars of wire from Home Depot in Gonzales https://www.wbrz.com/news/suspects-steal-thousands-of-dollars-of-wire-from-home-depot-in-gonzales/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/suspects-steal-thousands-of-dollars-of-wire-from-home-depot-in-gonzales/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 4:12:59 PM WBRZ Suspects steal thousands of dollars of wire from Home Depot in Gonzales
Gonzales Police hope you can help them identify these two people following a theft at the Gonzales Home Depot.  Police say on August 21st, these suspects stole wire valued at $2,148.00.  If you know their identity or have information related to this theft, please contact Detective Burchell at 225-647-9536.

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Final Livingston Parish school set to reopen Monday https://www.wbrz.com/news/final-livingston-parish-school-set-to-reopen-monday/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/final-livingston-parish-school-set-to-reopen-monday/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 3:45:03 PM Letitia Walker Final Livingston Parish school set to reopen Monday

The final school in Livingston Parish that remained closed following Hurricane Ida's landfall will reopen next week. 

According to Superintendent Joe Murphy, power has been restored to the Maurepas School campus, allowing the school to reopen to employees on Monday (Sept. 20) and students on Tuesday (Sept. 21).

Maruepas was the last of Livingston's 49 schools to open.

“We are glad to announce that next week, with the return of Maurepas School, all of our students will be back in our classrooms,” Murphy said. “We know that having all our schools open doesn’t mean that our communities have returned to their normal routines, but it is a major step forward.”

Most of the Livingston Parish schools reopened on September 10th, five reopened on September 13th, and schools in Albany and Springfield opened on September 16th.  

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Nursing home owner plans to fight back after licenses pulled in wake of deadly Ida evacuation https://www.wbrz.com/news/nursing-home-owner-plans-to-fight-back-after-licenses-pulled-in-wake-of-deadly-ida-evacuation/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/nursing-home-owner-plans-to-fight-back-after-licenses-pulled-in-wake-of-deadly-ida-evacuation/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 3:12:04 PM Letitia Walker Nursing home owner plans to fight back after licenses pulled in wake of deadly Ida evacuation

A Baton Rouge nursing home owner under investigation following a deadly mass evacuation to a makeshift shelter ahead of Hurricane Ida plans to fight back after his licenses were revoked.

Bob Dean Jr.'s attorney, John McLindon, tells WBRZ they are "absolutely filing an appeal" within the next two weeks, claiming the grounds the Louisiana Department of Health used to justify the revocation of his seven nursing home licenses weren't correct. 

So far at least five lawsuits have been filed after more than 800 residents were kept in reportedly sub-standard conditions in a Tangipahoa warehouse to ride out the storm; the state attorney general has said he's also investigating the incident. 

When asked about the conditions at the shelter, McLindon says it wasn't as bad as the press portrayed it.  He also says members of the staff he spoke with are upset because they felt they worked extremely hard in a very difficult situation, and now they're being attacked. 

McLindon also addressed the dozens of 911 calls made from the shelter, some of which came from residents, that WBRZ's Investigative team uncovered.  He said he asked administrators about it, and he was told it wasn't uncommon for residents to make calls to 911, and they'll make those calls just about every day under normal circumstances.  

Ultimately, McLindon says the evacuation plan was approved by LDH, but admits they may have gone over the capacity levels "a little bit."  He said when they realized the hurricane was shifting, they decided to put the patients in the strongest of the three buildings they had. 

As far as criminal charges, Dean's attorney says he hasn't seen any evidence that would rise to the level of criminal charges being filed.   

Seven people housed at the warehouse-turned-makeshift shelter have died, and a dozen more needed urgent medical care and hospitalization after being rescued.  Hundreds more were transferred to state shelters.  

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LIVE UPDATES: Friday afternoon commute https://www.wbrz.com/news/live-updates-friday-afternoon-commute-145950/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/live-updates-friday-afternoon-commute-145950/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 2:15:49 PM Falon Brown LIVE UPDATES: Friday afternoon commute

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WANTED: Burglary suspects who took more than $2K worth of prescription drugs https://www.wbrz.com/news/wanted-burglary-suspects-who-took-more-than-2k-worth-of-prescription-drugs/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/wanted-burglary-suspects-who-took-more-than-2k-worth-of-prescription-drugs/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 12:32:42 PM WBRZ WANTED: Burglary suspects who took more than $2K worth of prescription drugs
Morgan City Police need your help identifying the suspects of a business burglary. 
It happened the morning of September 4th, in the area of Victor II Blvd.  Police say the suspects stole prescription narcotics worth more than $2,500.  They were seen in what is believed to be a silver Dodge Charger. 
If you have information in regards to this investigation you're asked to contact the Morgan City Police Department Detectives Division at (985)380-4605. Tips can be made anonymously on their web page at www.morgancitypolice.org.

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Birds found with oil on them following Hurricane Ida are rehabilitated and released https://www.wbrz.com/news/birds-found-with-oil-on-them-following-hurricane-ida-are-rehabilitated-and-released/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/birds-found-with-oil-on-them-following-hurricane-ida-are-rehabilitated-and-released/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 12:11:26 PM WBRZ Birds found with oil on them following Hurricane Ida are rehabilitated and released

Two birds who were found covered in oil following Hurricane Ida have been rehabilitated and released by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

They are among dozens found at a Belle Chasse refinery in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

The birds were released at the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge in Franklin.  Officials say they've documented more than 100 oiled birds with some degree of oil on their bodies; at least 34 birds have been captured and are at a rehabilitation facility in New Iberia. The department does plan to capture more birds for rehabilitation.

The birds released Thursday were a Purple Gallinule and a King Rail.  Black-bellied whistling ducks, blue-winged teal and a variety of egret species were among some of the other birds identified as having oil on them. Other wildlife observed with some degree of oiling include alligators and river otters.

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Ascension Parish lifts burn ban Friday https://www.wbrz.com/news/ascension-parish-lifts-burn-ban-friday/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/ascension-parish-lifts-burn-ban-friday/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 11:58:30 AM WBRZ Staff Ascension Parish lifts burn ban Friday

ASCENSION PARISH - Clint Cointment, President of Ascension Parish, announced Friday that the area burn ban has been lifted.

Though the burn ban is no longer in effect as of Friday, September 17, residents are asked to practice fire safety at all times. 

Click here for more information on Ascension Parish. 

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Duck hunter fined $5k for violating hunting laws https://www.wbrz.com/news/duck-hunter-fined-5k-for-violating-hunting-laws/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/duck-hunter-fined-5k-for-violating-hunting-laws/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 11:44:56 AM Associated Press Duck hunter fined $5k for violating hunting laws

A Louisiana hunter must pay a $5,000 fine, serve two years of probation and complete 100 hours of community service for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, federal prosecutors said.

Kevin Berken, 60, of Lake Arthur, was charged in a bill of information with one count of violating the law by taking more than the daily bag limit of six ducks in any one calendar day, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Louisiana said in a news release Thursday.

Berken participated in two hunts for ducks on Dec. 27, 2018. He and other hunters jointly shot, killed and possessed 10 ducks. In a second hunt later that day, Berken and another hunter shot, killed and possessed 12 more ducks.

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Tangipahoa & Ascension Parishes lift curfew and burn ban following Hurricane Ida https://www.wbrz.com/news/tangipahoa-and-ascension-parishes-lift-curfew-and-burn-ban-following-hurricane-ida/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/tangipahoa-and-ascension-parishes-lift-curfew-and-burn-ban-following-hurricane-ida/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 11:34:29 AM Letitia Walker Tangipahoa & Ascension Parishes lift curfew and burn ban following Hurricane Ida

The burn ban and nightly curfew has been lifted in Tangipahoa and Ascension Parishes following Hurricane Ida's landfall. 

In Tangipahoa Parish, officials say the only Hurricane Ida-related restriction still in place involves recreational traffic on local waterways.  High water from Hurricane Nicholas and continued issues with Ida-related debris in local waterways are making recreational traffic too dangerous at this time. Camp owners are being allowed to travel to their properties.

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Acadian looking to hire and train 30 new EMTs https://www.wbrz.com/news/acadian-looking-to-hire-and-train-30-new-emts/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/acadian-looking-to-hire-and-train-30-new-emts/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 11:23:33 AM Letitia Walker Acadian looking to hire and train 30 new EMTs

Acadian Ambulance Service is looking to hire 30 Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), and they're willing to pay for the classes to become certified.

The National EMS Academy and Acadian Ambulance are teaming up to offer an accelerated program in order to earn your EMT certification.

 It's a seven-week course; typically a standard EMT course takes four months to complete. Approximately 30 applicants will be selected for the course and will be hired as full-time employees through Acadian Ambulance Service. 

 The course will begin on November 1, 2021, and classes will be held in the Baton Rouge area.

 Acadian will cover the fees and costs of the EMT course. According to their press release, while in school, the student will earn $11/hour. Upon graduation and passing the EMT National Registry exam, the individual will begin earning EMT pay and will work as an Acadian EMT in the Baton Rouge area.

 To learn more about the program and apply, visit  https://nationalemsacademy.com/programs/accelerated-emt-program-baton-rouge/


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FDA panel meets to decide whether or not it recommends Pfizer booster https://www.wbrz.com/news/fda-panel-meets-to-decide-whether-or-not-it-recommends-pfizer-booster/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/fda-panel-meets-to-decide-whether-or-not-it-recommends-pfizer-booster/ News Fri, 17 Sep 2021 9:39:40 AM Associated Press FDA panel meets to decide whether or not it recommends Pfizer booster

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration’s embattled plan to dispense COVID-19 booster shots to most Americans faced its first major hurdle Friday as a government advisory panel met to decide whether to endorse extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Scientists inside and outside the government have been divided in recent days over the need for boosters and who should get them, and the World Health Organization has strongly objected to rich nations giving a third round of shots when poor countries don’t have enough vaccine for their first.

The panel, made up of outside experts who advise the Food and Drug Administration, weighed a less than clear-cut case: While research suggests immunity levels in those who have been vaccinated wane over time and boosters can reverse that, the Pfizer vaccine is still highly protective against severe illness and death, even amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

The FDA experts were scheduled to vote on one basic question: Does the evidence show that a Pfizer booster would be safe and effective for people 16 and older? In the event of a yes vote, the FDA is expected to quickly approve boosters for Pfizer’s shot.

But that is just one step in the process. The more thorny question of who should get the shots and when will be debated on Wednesday by advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC generally adopts the recommendations of the group, which sets policy for U.S. vaccination campaigns.

The CDC has said it is considering boosters for older people, nursing home residents and front-line health care workers, rather than all adults.

Separate FDA and CDC decisions will be needed in order for people who received the Moderna or J&J shots to get boosters.

Friday’s meeting came as the delta variant continues to drive U.S. cases and deaths back to levels not seen since last winter. That has given urgency to efforts by top health officials to shore up Americans’ protection against the virus.

Dr. Peter Marks, FDA’s top vaccine regulator, acknowledged the intense disagreements in opening remarks to the advisory panel.

“We know there may be differing opinions in interpreting the data,” he said. “We strongly encourage all the different viewpoints to be voiced and discussed regarding the data, which is complex and evolving.”

Israel already is offering boosters to its citizens, and Britain this week announced plans to start giving them to people over 50 and certain other vulnerable groups once they are six months past their second dose.

In the first presentation of the day, British researcher Jonathan Sterne laid out the numerous problems with ongoing studies in showing exactly how effective vaccines are at different times in different countries.

“We should be very cautious of the apparent short-term benefits of vaccination,” he said.

Israeli health officials presented data from their experience offering extra doses to nearly 3 million adults since late July. The government launched that effort after signs that the Pfizer vaccine’s protection fell from 97% early this year to 85% by July among the first people vaccinated.

Sharon Alroy-Preis of Israel’s Ministry of Health said the booster dose improves protection tenfold against infection in people 60 and older.

“It’s like a fresh vaccine,” bringing protection back to original levels and helping Israel “dampen severe cases in the fourth wave,” she said.

Pfizer was expected to present data suggesting immunity from its vaccine wanes. A Pfizer study of 44,000 people showed effectiveness against symptomatic COVID-19 was 96% two months after the second dose, but had dropped to 84% by around six months.

President Joe Biden’s top health advisers, including the heads of the FDA and CDC, first announced plans for widespread booster shots a month ago, targeting the week of Sept. 20 as an all-but-certain start date. It said boosters would be dispensed eight months after the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

But that was before FDA staff scientists had completed their own assessments of the data. Some experts questioned whether Biden was breaking his own pledge to “follow the science” on COVID-19 by getting out ahead of government scientists.

Earlier this week, two top FDA vaccine reviewers joined a group of international scientists in publishing an editorial rejecting the need for boosters in healthy people. The scientists said continuing studies show the shots are working well despite the delta variant.

The Biden booster plan has also raised major ethical concerns about the fate of people in impoverished parts of the world. But the administration has argued that the plan is not an us-or-them choice, noting that the U.S. is supplying large quantities of vaccine to the rest of the globe.

The U.S. has already approved Pfizer and Moderna boosters for certain people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients and transplant recipients.

Some Americans, healthy or not, have managed to get boosters, in some cases simply by showing up and asking for a shot. And some health systems already are offering extra doses to high-risk people.

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