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Environment
4:20 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Geismar Plant Explosion Claims a Second Life

Thursday’s chemical plant explosion in Geismar, La. has claimed another life. Seven remained hospitalized Friday with burns and respiratory complications.

Williams Companies CEO Alan Armstrong visited with workers and their families Friday. He called the incident a “major” explosion.

“This is a terrible and unprecedented tragedy," Armstrong said. "I’ve talked with a few of our employees and I know they are hurting, however, I’ve also seen and been inspired by their courage.”

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Education
5:49 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Seeds Planted for Chess Culture in Baton Rouge Schools

Clairborne Elementary gifted resource teacher Chris Wilson (front right) plays special education resource teacher Annie Fox in the chess tournament as Audubon Elementary computer lab teacher Contessa Hunt (back left) and Melsrose Elementary fourth grade teacher Michelle Vinson (back right) scrutinize their moves.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

About 200 teachers from 42 schools in the East Baton Rouge Parish district have signed up for workshops this summer to learn how to start chess clubs and use the game in their classrooms. The first batch of teachers capped off their training with a mini tournament Thursday.


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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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