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Environment
1:18 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Deadly Chemical Plant Explosion in Geismar

The plant on fire after it reportedly exploded Thursday in the town of Geismar, La.
Credit Ryan Meador / AP

UPDATED 9:22 p.m. CST:

The injured count is up to 77  and a 29-year-old man is dead after a chemical explosion in Geismar, La. Thursday. 

300 people were evacuated from the Williams Olefins plant, which produces over a billion pounds of propylene and ethylene a year for use in the production of other chemical and plastic products. It was propylene that caught fire after the explosion. Ten workers stayed behind to monitor a burn-off.

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Super-Region
4:52 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Survey Says LA Swift Shut Down Could Hurt Jobs

State plans to shut down the low-cost bus from Baton Rouge to New Orleans may harm economic ties between the cities.

According to a survey released Wednesday by The Center for Planning Excellence, more than half of LA Swift riders use the service to get to and from work.

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East Baton Rouge Parish Metro
11:32 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Crime Still A Major Concern For EBR Parish Residents

A widespread fear of crime remains among the residents of East Baton Rouge Parish. That’s according to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s latest City Stats report released Monday.

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Newspaper War
6:56 am
Tue June 11, 2013

The Advocate's Secret Weapon: A Speedy Press

FILE: The Advocate's Production Facility on Reiger Road in Baton Rouge, La.
Credit The Advocate

It's sort of a fluke.

The Baton Rouge paper had been nursing its 1950s era letterpresses for years when it finally had to bite the bullet and invest in a new production facility. The speedy offset press came online in 2006, just as the country headed into a recession and the newspaper industry was tanking.

So when John Georges closed the deal to buy The Advocate in May, it came with one of the newest printing presses in the country.


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East Baton Rouge Parish Metro
12:11 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

BRAF Releases City Stats 2013

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation released its annual City Stats report Monday. The survey, which looks at over 70 indicators, revealed some surprising answers this year.

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Capitol Access
8:12 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Legislative Session Wrap-Up: What Sticks, What Doesn't

State lawmakers cheered the end of the 2013 legislative session Thursday.

WRKF’s Kelly Connelly has been following every twist and turn over the past 2 months. News Director Amy Jeffries spoke with Kelly about her time covering the session.

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Capitol Access
9:34 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Lawmakers Head Home with Budget and More

Lawmakers are going home having passed a bipartisan $24 billion state spending plan. 

But they're bringing home more than just the budget to their constituents. WRKF asked lawmakers about the most important thing they passed for their constituents.

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Capitol Access
9:03 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Budget Deal Reached, Final Vote Awaits

After lawmakers negotiated for days, Gov. Bobby Jindal was the first to call a press conference, at around 7 p.m. Wednesday, to announce the budget deal had been reached.

According to The Advocate, the conference was premature — many representatives had yet to talk to their delegations and the final papers had yet been signed.

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Capitol Access
8:10 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Money-Generating Bills Held Hostage for Budget Reforms

The fate of next year’s budget rests in the hands of a few legislative leaders, picked by the chambers’ chairs to sort things out behind closed-doors.

This year is a little different than years past. 

First, the House changed some rules so that more voices could be at the table for the final negotiations. 

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Education
5:29 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Career Diploma Given Short Shrift

Welding in action at Louisiana School for the Agricultural Sciences.
Credit Sue Lincoln

Louisiana’s Department of Education is hosting a series of regional meetings this month to talk about simplifying the state’s high school diploma options.

The department is looking to put more emphasis on career training, after lawmakers’, employers’, and teachers’ repeated complaints that the state is too focused on sending kids on to college, instead of preparing them for real-world jobs.


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