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Press Releases from East Baton Rouge Parish



Copyright: Copyright 2006 City-Parish of East Baton Rouge
 



Mayor Broome urges caution on EBR roads due to flooding

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST

Office of Mayor-President

City Of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge

SHARON WESTON BROOME

Mayor-President

Jan 19, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

JoAnne Moreau, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, (225) 389 – 2100

Dr. Tamiara Wade, Asst. Chief Administrative Officer: (225) 389-3100

Michelle McCalope, Communications Office: (225) 389-7957

BATON ROUGE -- Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and officials from the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (MOHSEP) are urging motorists to take caution as they travel on East Baton Rouge roadways.

Several roads have been closed due to high water and some schools are dismissing early. A flash flood warning for East Baton Rouge has been extended until 2:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. A flash flood watch is in effect until 6 p.m.

“We are urging caution as drivers travel on our highways as there is high water and flooding in some areas,” Mayor Broome said.

With heavy rain remaining a concern, Mayor Broome urges all citizens, to continue to monitor the storm forecasts throughout the next couple of days as this is a developing system. Remember it is never safe to drive or walk into flood waters. Remember "Turn Around Don't Drown.” There are many road closures at this time so please plan ahead before driving.

Officials also encourage drivers to follow these precautionary tips.

• If you come upon flood waters, stop, turn around, and go another way. Climb to higher ground. If it is moving swiftly, even water six inches deep can knock you off your feet. Many people are swept away wading through flood waters, resulting in injury or death.

• Stay away from flooded areas. Even if it seems safe, flood waters may still be rising.

• Never try to walk, swim, drive, or play in flood water. You may not be able to see on the surface how fast flood water is moving or see holes and submerged debris.

• If you are in a vehicle and become surrounded by water, if you can get out safely, do so immediately and move to higher ground. Vehicles can be swept away in two feet of water.

• Watch out for snakes in areas that were flooded. Flood waters flush snakes from their homes.

• Stay away from creek and stream banks in flooded and recently flooded areas. The soaked banks often become unstable due to heavy rainfall and can suddenly give way, tossing you into rapidly moving water.

• Never play around high water, storm drains, ditches, ravines, or culverts. It is very easy to be swept away by fast moving water.

• Throw away all food that has come into contact with flood waters. Contaminated flood water contains bacteria and germs. Eating foods exposed to flood waters can make you very sick.

For more information please visit www.redstickready.com or contact the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at (225) 389-2100.

####

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Traffic shifting on Jones Creek Road between Coursey Boulevard and Tiger Bend Road starting Jan. 23

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST

Office of Mayor-President

City Of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge

SHARON WESTON BROOME

Mayor-President

Jan 19, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Mike Olson, Project Engineer, (225) 389-3202

Dr. Tamiara Wade, Asst. Chief Administrative Officer: (225) 389-3100

Michelle McCalope, Communications Office: (225) 389-7957

TRAFFIC ADVISORY

City Parish officials announced that traffic will be shifting on Jones Creek Road between Coursey Boulevard and Tiger Bend Road due to construction.

The southbound traffic on Jones Creek Road will move to the far west side of the newly-constructed section of Jones Creek Road. The location of the northbound traffic lane will remain on the far eastern side of the existing roadway. Phase 2 construction will start between these two lanes, in the center of Jones Creek Road on Jan. 23, weather permitting. This phase of construction is expected to last about two months.

As construction progresses, the left turn access between the two lanes will be restricted. Also due to space constraints large trucks will be prohibited from making left turns and U-turns.

Drivers are encouraged to plan their route accordingly, using caution throughout the construction zone. For more information, call Project Engineer Mike Olson at (225) 389-3202.

####

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Barnes and Noble Citiplace donates more than 1,600 books to My Brother’s Keeper

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST

Office of Mayor-President

City Of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge

SHARON WESTON BROOME

Mayor-President

Jan 18, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Erin Porche’, Youth Project Manager, (225) 389-4222

Dr. Tamiara Wade, Asst. Chief Administrative Officer: (225) 389-3100

Michelle McCalope, Communications Office: (225) 389-7957

BATON ROUGE -- Barnes and Noble Citiplace has donated 1,636 books to My Brother’s Keeper- Baton Rouge (MBK-BR) program through its Holiday Book Drive.

The book drive was held from Nov. 1 to Jan.1 at Barnes and Noble, 2590 Citiplace Court, in Baton Rouge. Customers were asked to give the gift of reading by purchasing a book at the store to donate to MBK-BR.

“Thanks to Barnes and Noble Citiplace and their customers for this wonderful gift that really keeps on giving,” Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said. “These books will help hundreds of kids in our community improve their reading skills and inspire their love for reading.”

The books will be distributed to Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS), the Line 4 Line-Books in Barbershops program and at various MBK-BR events to help promote and support literacy throughout the community.

According to the Campaign for Grade-Level reading, about 80 of low-income children do not read proficiently by the end of third grade and struggling readers living in poverty are six times more likely to not complete high school.

MBK-BR Reads is a key initiative to help close the gap. MBK-Reads has partnered with VIPS and East Baton Rouge Parish schools to provide individualized reading assistance for Pre-K through second grade students who read below grade level during school, in barbershops, after-school programs, and at home with parents or family members. But there are still hundreds of children without a reading friend.

MBK-BR needs everyone to become a partner and volunteer to help children read on grade level. If you’d like to volunteer for MBK-BR Reads, visit www.mbkbr.com to sign up or contact Erin Porche’, Youth Project Manager, via email at mbkbr@brgov.com or (225) 389-4222.

####

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor proclaims National Day of Racial Healing

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Dr. Tamiara Wade, Asst. Chief Administrative Officer: (225) 389-3100

Michelle McCalope, Communications Office: (225) 389-7957

John Deveney, Denise Davila, Media Contacts: (225) 389-5100

January 17, 2017

Baton Rouge, LA

Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, today with Baton Rouge community leaders and partners, is pleased to proclaim January 17, 2017, as a National Day of Racial Healing.

This proclamation comes in conjunction with the City and Mayor’s collaboration with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which has called upon civic, religious, community and philanthropic organizations to facilitate racial healing in their communities. This nationwide effort includes more than 130 other leaders and leading organizations and municipalities across the country.

“The timing of this commemoration is ideal,” said Mayor Broome. “This extends our tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a meaningful way. On the eve of this presidential inauguration, our nation, and especially our Baton Rouge community, hungers for unity. The National Day of Racial Healing calls us to come together, to reach through the divides that diminish, weaken and impoverish us. This day seeks to transform our commitment to collaborate and create a more equitable community.”

Mayor Broome urges residents, businesses and organizations to recognize the National Day of Racial Healing through thoughtful and concerted efforts to come together. She encourages constructive dialogue, healing, and ultimately, transformation.

As part of The National Day of Racial Healing, the Baton Rouge area community can get involved by:

Mapping the Movement, sponsored by Urban Congress, featuring events for dialogue among African-American men in Baton Rouge: Thursday, Jan. 19, 6 p.m., McKinley Alumni Center (1520 Thomas H. Delpit Drive, Baton Rouge, LA, 70802). RSVP at www.theurbancongress.com.

“We have to come together and commit to changes that will impact our community and make it a better place to live, work and play. Participating in The National Day of Racial Healing is a step towards bringing us all together, closing the divide which separates us from greater prosperity, and will help propel the region forward by relegating bias firmly in the past.”

“This can be more than a day or an observance. This is the start of our community’s collective march toward unity and greater prosperity”, Broome said.

In the days ahead, Mayor Broome plans to announce programs, initiatives, partnerships and municipal leaders that will advance the city’s efforts to unify Baton Rouge, the central platform of her election campaign.

####

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




City Parish partnering with community groups to celebrate MLK Day

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST

Office of Mayor-President

City Of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge

SHARON WESTON BROOME

Mayor-President

Jan 12, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Kia Bickham, Chief Service Officer, (225) 389-3100

Dr. Tamiara Wade, Asst. Chief Administrative Officer: (225) 389-3100

Michelle McCalope, Communications Office: (225) 389-7957

BATON ROUGE, La – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced today that the City Parish is partnering with local organizations to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As part of the Third Annual MLK Day Festival of Service, various City Parish departments are joining the Mid City Redevelopment Alliance, the Walls Project, and more than 70 other organizations to help paint murals, repair homes, plant community gardens, and clean up blighted properties.

“We’re so excited to be partnering with our community organizations to help improve our neighborhoods and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” Mayor Broome said. “We thank all of our employees and the other volunteers for giving their time and effort to make this happen.”

The MLK Day Festival of Service will take place Jan. 13 through Jan. 16 on Gus Young Avenue from 39th to 49th Streets. On Jan. 16, Mayor Broome will speak at 2 p.m. at Gus Young Park, 4200 Gus Young Avenue. Also on Monday, the festivities which will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. will kick off at 9 a.m. at the park with a performance by Bryson “Cupid” Bernard who is best known for his song “Cupid Shuffle.”

BR Hope Zone will also host a community resource fair on this day to showcase various organizations and resources that are available in the community. There will be food and activities for the children.

Please note that Gus Young Avenue will be closed to traffic on Jan. 16 from 6 a.m. to noon from 39th to 49th Streets.

The event is free and open to the public. If you’d like to volunteer or participate in the community resource fair, call (225) 389-3100 or Register HERE: http://www.123contactform.com/form-2384638/Event-Registration-Form

####

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Broome proclaims January as National Mentoring Month

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST

Office of Mayor-PresidentCity Of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge SHARON WESTON BROOMEMayor-PresidentJan 10, 2017FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECONTACT:Erin Porche’, Youth Project Manager, (225) 389-4222Dr. Tamiara Wade, Asst. Chief Administrative Officer: (225) 389-3100 Michelle McCalope, Communications Office: (225) 389-7957BATON ROUGE, La. – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome has issued a proclamation declaring January as National Mentoring Month in the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge. “National Mentoring Month is a perfect time to highlight the quality mentoring programs in our city that connects thousands of youth to mentors,” said Mayor Broome. “These mentors provide invaluable guidance and support to help prepare our youth to become productive citizens of our community.”The Mayor’s Office My Brother’s Keeper – Baton Rouge (MBK-BR) Initiative is celebrating 15 years of supporting and promoting mentoring opportunities in the Baton Rouge area. In celebration of National Mentoring Month, MBK-BR is encouraging residents to become active mentors and support the various events that are being sponsored throughout the month.These events include: – January 12, 2017: “I Am a Mentor Day,” a day for volunteer Mentors to celebrate their role and reflect on the ways mentees have enhanced their world and share their stories about being a Mentor on social media using #MentorIRL and #MBKBR.– January 16, 2017: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, a day to share in the inspirational words of MLK, Jr. and elevate the spirit of service through volunteerism.– January 17, 2017: International Mentoring Day, a day of international conversations on social media where photos, video and messages to share powerful mentoring stories.– January 19, 2017: “Thank Your Mentor Day,” a day for all who have real life mentoring experiences to thank those who helped them on their path to adulthood and beyond. We encourage anyone who has had a Mentor to say thank you by sending a note, a card or sharing a story on social media using #MentorIRL #MBKBR.– January 26, 2017: Big Buddy Program presents the Mentoring in Real Life Awards Ceremony. They are honoring selected groups and organizations who have exhibited mentoring in a way that has impacted our community.Research has shown that when matched through quality mentoring programs, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and engaged in schools, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities.In a recent national report called The Mentoring Effect, young people who were at-risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor were 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor. They were also:• 81 more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities• 78 more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities• More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports teamThat same report showed that one in three youth will reach age 19 without a mentor.National Mentoring Month is also being celebrated in cities across the country. Click here to view the proclamation.About MBK-BR My Brother’s Keeper-Baton Rouge Extended Learning Opportunities through Mentorship initiative focuses on integrating mentoring into local initiatives aimed at reducing poverty, drug abuse and violence and promoting healthy decision making. For more information about MBK-BR or to learn how you can become a mentor, go to www.brgov.com/mbkbr or call Erin Porche’ at (225) 389-4222. ####(from the office of: Mayor-President) [...]



Mayor Broome urges residents to “stay off the roads” in light of wintry weather conditions

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CST

Office of Mayor-President

City Of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge

SHARON WESTON BROOME

Mayor-President

Jan. 6, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

JoAnne Moreau, Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness: (225) 389-2100

Dr. Tamiara Wade, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer: (225) 389-3100

Michelle McCalope, Communications Office: (225) 389-7957

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced today that the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (MOHSEP) has been activated in light of the wintry weather conditions in the Baton Rouge Area.

MOHSEP personnel along with law enforcement and emergency response officials will be monitoring the conditions closely during the duration of this weather event to ensure the safety of all citizens.

“Right now, we’re telling residents to stay off the roads,” Mayor Broome said during a news conference. “Anyone who must drive is urged to use extreme caution.”

City-Parish employees were dismissed early in light of expected icy conditions on the roadway. The Mayor is asking residents to take the necessary steps to protect their family and neighbors as well as pets and pipes.

The Mayor has also been in touch with the Governor’s office, the Department of Transportation and Development, elected officials and volunteer organizations to help coordinate efforts if the need arises. Additionally, the Department of Public Works has trucks loaded with sand on standby.

For more information, call 389-2100.

####

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Holiday curbside recycling and garbage guidelines

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST

December 28, 2016

For release: IMMEDIATELY

For more information contact:

Adam Smith, Department of Environmental Services: (225) 389-4865

Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-5101

Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-7957

Garbage (both in cart and out of cart woody waste/bulky items) and recycling will be picked up on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. However, the North Landfill will remain closed on Monday in observance of the City-Parish New Year’s Day holiday and will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. The extended operating hours previously scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 are no longer necessary since garbage will be collected as usual.

All sizes of clean, folded flattened cardboard boxes are accepted inside or next to the curbside recycling cart. Wrapping paper may be placed inside the recycling cart. No tissue paper or foil paper accepted for recycling.

Residents who need to report a missed garbage or recycling collection or who would like a garbage or recycling cart, should call the Citizen Service Call Center at 3-1-1, or 225-389-3090.

The recycling drop off is open 24 hours, seven days a week at Waste Connections, 7923 Tom Dr., 70806. No Christmas trees are accepted at this drop off.

####

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Curbside Christmas Tree collection begins Jan. 9, drop-off sites open Dec. 26 – Jan. 28

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST

Dec. 21, 2016

For release: IMMEDIATELY

For more information contact:

Susan Hamilton, Recycling Director: (225) 389-5194

Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-5101

Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-7957

The City-Parish Christmas tree recycling program will provide curbside collection of trees for East Baton Rouge residents, except in Baker and Zachary. Several drop-off locations will also be available.

Recycling Director Susan Hamilton said that Republic Services will collect Christmas trees placed on the curb between Jan. 9 through Jan. 21. There will only be one pickup in each area, so leave tree out at curb during those two weeks. Trees may be placed at the curb for recycling any time after Christmas Day. However, collection will not begin until Jan. 9.

“The trees will be collected in rear loaders or brush trucks during the Christmas tree recycling curbside collection dates,” Hamilton said. “The Christmas trees are then delivered to Natural Resources Recovery, the City-Parish woody-waste recycling contractor, where they are mulched for beneficial re-use.”

Christmas trees should be placed at the curb separate from other unbundled trash and woody waste. Residents should remove tinsel, stands, lights, ornaments or plastic tree bags from trees before recycling them because those items can contaminate mulch and compost.

The following drop-off collection sites will open Monday, Dec. 26 through Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017:

• Independence Park, parking lot off Lobdell between tennis courts and Liberty Lagoon

• Highland Road Park, 14024 Highland Road

• Memorial Stadium, grassy lot near the corner of Scenic and Foss

• Flannery Road Park, 801 S. Flannery Road

• LSU, Skip Bertman Drive in lot across from Vet School

Sponsors of the Christmas tree recycling program are the Environmental Services Division, East Baton Rouge Parish Recycling Office, Waste Connections, Republic Services, Natural Resources Recovery, BREC, and LSU.

For more information, visit our recycling website at www.brgov.com/recycle.

####

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Holden announces launch of Zipcar downtown Baton Rouge

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST

Dec. 14, 2016

For more information, contact:

John Price, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, (225) 389-3100

Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office, (225) 389-5101

Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office, (225) 389-7957

As part of the City-Parish’s ongoing efforts to help improve and transform downtown Baton Rouge, Mayor-President Melvin L. Kip Holden announced today the launch of the Zipcar pilot program in downtown Baton Rouge.

Zipcar is the world’s leading car-sharing network, providing on-demand, self-service vehicles for people who don’t own a car as well as for those who have a car, but want access to a second without buying one. As part of the City-Parish partnership, Zipcar will provide four cars at various locations downtown that can be reserved on an hourly or daily basis. The cars are located in designated spots for convenient pick up and drop off.

“We’re excited to give our residents and visitors another option for getting around town,” said Mayor Holden. “We also hope to achieve additional cost savings in the City Parish coffers by reducing the size of our fleet and using Zipcars instead.”

“Baton Rouge is the first city in the state of Louisiana to launch a Zipcar program and we couldn’t be more excited to bring our service to the area,” said Vilaire Lazard, Zipcar general manager. “Residents now have access to wheels when they want them without having to own a car or buy a second.”

Zipcar’s membership fee is $7 per month or $70 per year with hourly rates ranging from $8 to $10 per hour, including the cost of gas, maintenance, insurance and 180 miles of driving. Prospective members can join instantly on the mobile app, as well as online or over the phone. The Zipcar program is also active at LSU and the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

The pilot program will last for a year. Metro Council must approve any extension of the program. For more information, call (225) 389-3100.

####

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




City-Parish officials break ground on Phase 1 Paulat Bouvelard, part of Green Light Plan

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST

Dec. 8, 2016

For release: IMMEDIATELY

For more information contact:

Stephen Bonnette, Department of Transportation and Drainage: (225) 389-3158

Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-5101

Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-7957

Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden and other parish officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Paulat Boulevard project at Perkins Rowe.

"We’re excited and looking forward to a more efficient and connected corridor in this part of our great city,” said Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden. “This project, like all Green Light Plan projects, will provide our residents an alternate and safe route as they travel across our city.”

As part of the Paulat Boulevard project, a new two-lane curb and gutter road will be constructed in Phase I, allowing alternate access from Perkins Road to Perkins Rowe. The project will also include the installation of bridges across Dawson Creek, an underpass at the Kansas City Southern railroad, and retaining walls near the railroad underpass in Phase II. When completed, the Paulat Boulevard project will include a total of three new bridges, a railroad underpass, and more than 6,700 feet of new curb and gutter roadway with sidewalks and multi-use paths.

The project is part of the Green Light Plan, a half-cents sales tax road improvement program approved by voters in 2005. Since then, more than $700 million in road enhancements and construction have been completed.

Now voters are being asked to approve the Green Light Plan 2 program to continue to ease traffic and congestion in our area. The Green Light Plan 2 program calls for a parish-wide, 5-mill property tax over 30 years to fund an estimated $452 million in road and street improvements.

For more information, go to https://brgov.com/greenlight.

###

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Holden announces winner of EBR school recycling competition

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 00:00:00 CST

For more information, contact:Adam Smith, Interim Director, Department of Environmental Services: (225) 389-4865Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-5101Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-7957After a month-long recycling competition through which more than 7,000 pounds of recyclable materials were collected by Baton Rouge area schools, Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden announced Kenilworth Science and Technology School as the winning school today, with 3,291 pounds collected by students during the month of October. The competition – held in honor of a national initiative to promote recycling called America Recycles Day – served as a core component of the Department of Environmental Services’ Adopt-A-School Program, which Mayor Holden launched earlier this year as part of a pilot program to educate and engage area K-12 students in the mission and core functions of the department tasked with overseeing the East Baton Rouge parish wastewater system, garbage collection, recycling services, and environmental compliance issues throughout Baton Rouge.“I’m continually amazed by what can happen when our youngest citizens can come together to learn about the importance of positively contributing to the Baton Rouge environment while in the process learning more about the work our City-Parish does on a daily basis,” said Mayor Holden. “I want to congratulate the work of the students at Kenilworth Science and Technology for their efforts through this competition, and my hope is that all the students across East Baton Rouge Parish who participated will be able to carry the lessons they have learned about recycling well into the rest of their lives.”In honor of the work of the Kenilworth students through this recycling competition, Mayor Holden proclaimed Nov. 15, 2016 as “Kenilworth Science and Technology School Day.” In total, participating students and schools – which also included Scotlandville High, and Scotlandville Middle, The Dunham School, and Westdale Elementary – collected 7,379 pounds of recyclable materials, which were then delivered to the East Baton Rouge Parish recycling facility in coordination with Waste Connections, Inc., the City-Parish recycling contractor."The recycling contest created an opportunity for students to see the reality of how much recyclable material could have been wasted in just a month,” said Hasan Suzuk, Principal of Kenilworth Science and Technology Principal. “Students directly got to see the important role the Department of Environmental Services plays in Baton Rouge and now are instilled with a desire to continue recycling efforts.”This Adopt-A-School program provides educational support and helps to create meaningful connections between City-Parish staff and Baton Rouge area elementary, middle, and high school students related to STEM concepts and other key topics involving services or functions overseen by the Department of Environmental Services.“Through this program, our team at the Department of Environmental Services has been able to work closely with students across Baton Rouge to educate them on the importance of creating a sustainable environment and future for Baton Rouge, creating a win-win for our community in the process,” said Adam Smith, Interim Director of the Department of Environmental Services. “It’s so critical for students to learn these habits at a young age, and I’m proud of the work we’ve been able to do throughout the semester in helping to incorporate a positive, intentional mindset about recycling through school engagement and classroom activities.”# # # # # (from the office of: Mayor-President) [...]



Baton Rouge named Top 10 Digital City in America for second consecutive year

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 00:00:00 CST

For more information, contact: Eric Romero, Department of Information Services: (225) 389-3070Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-5101Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-7957 Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden announced today that Baton Rouge has been named a Top 10 Digital City for the second consecutive year, moving up the rankings from 10th overall in 2015 to 5th in 2016. Each year, the Center for Digital Government recognizes leading cities across four population categories using technology to improve services and boost efficiencies with a focus on citizen engagement, policy, operations, and technology and data. Through a comprehensive Digital Cities Survey process in which surveys are distributed to all U.S. cities, towns, villages, and consolidated city/county governments, responding cities are then judged based on various criteria related to the prior year’s accomplishments, ranging from open government, transparency, and open data to citizen engagement and innovative best practices. “Over the past several years, we have made tremendous progress in how we are utilizing technology to create a more transparent, engaging, and efficient City-Parish – efforts that have put Baton Rouge squarely on the map and in a leadership position among our peers when it comes to digital innovation,” said Mayor Holden. “When we established a vision of turning Baton Rouge into a digital city, we were very serious and had a roadmap in place to make it happen. This latest announcement and a Top 10 Digital City ranking for the second year in a row is validation that we are well on our way to achieving that vision, which has only been possible through a commitment to hard work, technology, teamwork, and innovation wherever and however possible.” Baton Rouge placed as a Top 10 Digital City within the Center for Digital Government’s third-largest population category, ranked ahead of cities such as Pasadena, California; Norfolk, Virginia; Scottsdale, Arizona; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and more. “I can’t say enough about the work of our entire team throughout the past year in terms of all the strides we’ve made with technology, particularly given some of these advances have come during one of the most devastating natural disasters in the history of the U.S.,” said Eric Romero, Interim Director of the Department of Information Services. “Whether it is through how we now use social media or GIS technologies to both engage and inform Baton Rouge residents or investments in new platforms or systems that help our City-Parish departments serve the public more efficiently than ever before, we are committed to continue taking the necessary steps to keep Baton Rouge at the forefront of how local government can and should utilize technology to most effectively serve citizens through a digital city model for innovation.”A number of City-Parish initiatives supported this year’s Top 10 Digital City ranking, including:• The launch of a dedicated smartphone application and website for residents to use in requesting services and reporting issues through the City-Parish 311 system• A formalized data-sharing partnership between the City-Parish and Waze, the free, real-time crowdsourced navigation app powered by the world’s largest community of drivers – joining 65 other communities around the world as global partners within the Waze Connected Citizens Program to promote greater efficiency, deeper insights and safer roads for citizens in Baton Rouge• The City-Parish’s use of social media in innovative ways, such as using the City of Baton Rouge Facebook page to coordinate search and rescue operations immediately following the August 2016 flooding wit[...]



City Parish selects three companies to manage downtown public parking

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 00:00:00 CST

For more information, contact:

William Daniel, Chief Administrative Officer, (225) 389-3100

Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office, (225) 389-5101

Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office, (225) 389-7957

As part of the City-Parish’s ongoing efforts to help improve and transform downtown Baton Rouge, Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden announced today that three companies have been selected to manage the City-Parish public parking downtown. The companies will help improve street and garage parking by providing better facility management, customer service, and security as well as modernizing the entire downtown parking system - automating downtown parking services to allow payment by credit cards and cell phones and utilizing the latest technology to help drivers find available parking spaces.

The companies are Lanier Parking Solutions, SMG Worldwide Entertainment and Convention Center Management , and The Aaron Group.

“We’re excited about this new partnership,” said Mayor Holden. “These companies are worldwide experts in offstreet parking and venue management. They will help make our parking system more user-friendly as well as help generate more revenues so that our parking system can be self-funded. ”

The Selection Committee for the Downtown Parking Management RFP selected the companies after reviewing various submissions. The recommendation will be submitted to the Metro Council in December for approval. Once approved, the contract will go into effect in early 2017.

Downtown has 850 on street metered spaces, 1,350 spaces in the River Center parking garages, and 446 spaces in garages B-1 and B-2 at City Hall.

For more information, call (225) 389-5100.

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(from the office of: Mayor-President)




George O’Neal at Jones Creek Road will close, Coursey Boulevard at Jones Creek Road will reopen

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 00:00:00 CST

For more information, contact:

Stephen Bonnette, Department of Transportation and Drainage, (225) 389-3158

Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-5101

Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-7957

TRAFFIC ADVISORY

City Parish officials announced today that George O’Neal Road will be closed to through traffic just east of Jones Creek Road starting Nov. 6 at noon. The closure is part of an ongoing construction project. It will reopen Nov. 18 at 8 p.m.

Additionally, Coursey Boulevard at Jones Creek Road will be reopen on Nov. 6 at noon.

Drivers are encouraged to take an alternative route:

· The primary detour for the George O’Neal Road closure will be to and from Jones Creek Rd, Harrell’s Ferry Road, and O’Neal Lane.

· Access to local businesses will be maintained at all times.

· Jones Creek Road as well as Coursey Boulevard will remain open.

Advanced signage will be in place to direct detoured traffic around the closed section of the roadway. The closure will enable the construction of the Coursey Boulevard, Jones Creek Road and George O’Neal Road intersection improvements in a timely manner. It will reduce the construction of this portion of the intersection from several months to 12 days.

For more information, call Project Engineer Mike Olson (225) 389-3202.

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(from the office of: Mayor-President)




City-Parish hosting community conversations about policing

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 00:00:00 CST

For more information, contact:

Kia Bickham, Chief Service Officer, (225) 389-3100

Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-5101

Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-7957

Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden announced that the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge is hosting community conversations to discuss and review police policy and provide recommendations for a community action plan. The discussions will be led and facilitated by Synthia Taylor, Regional Director for the Department of Justice Community Relations Service –Southwest Region.

Topics include community policing, police accountability, body cameras, police civil service rules as well as training, recruitment, retention, residency requirements, and pay incentives.

“This is an opportunity to enhance community relations and develop more resources as we strive to continue to improve community policing,” said Mayor Holden. “We welcome the public’s input on these very important topics.”

The conversations will be held on Nov.3 from 6 p.m. to 8 at the Raising Cane's River Center, Exhibition Hall, meeting room 9. The room can be accessed from St. Louis Street. Remember St. Louis is now one-way southbound between North Boulevard and Government Street. The event is free and open to the public, but participants are encouraged to register at https://ebrcommunityconversation.eventbrite.com.

For more information, call (225) 389-3100.

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(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Holden Announces Plans for Baton Rouge Bicentennial Kick-Off

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 00:00:00 CST

For release: IMMEDIATELYFor more information contact:Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-5101Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-7957Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden announced today that Baton Rouge will kick-off a year-long Bicentennial celebration on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the city’s 200th year since becoming an incorporated city. The Baton Rouge Bicentennial will officially kick-off at the 2016 Red Stick Revelry New Year’s Eve celebration at The Crest Stage in Galvez Plaza and the North Boulevard Town Square when the Red Stick drops at midnight. “We’re asking all of Baton Rouge’s great events that take place throughout 2017, as well as our organizations and institutions, to adopt the Baton Rouge Bicentennial logo and let everyone know it’s a great time to visit Baton Rouge,” Holden said. “There won’t be one single party next year – there will be many!”Earlier this year, Holden appointed a Bicentennial Committee, with honorary co-chairs Andre Moreau and actress Lynn Whitfield, to plan ways to recognize and celebrate Baton Rouge’s 200 years of history. The committee members represent a broad base of organizations throughout the city who have been working to incorporate the Bicentennial into wide-ranging programming in 2017.Holden noted that Visit Baton Rouge will incorporate the Bicentennial into its 2017 marketing, letting tourists, group meetings and conventions know it’s a great time to visit. The East Baton Rouge Parish Libraries are documenting the Bicentennial, working with Baton Rouge’s arts, cultural and educational organizations. “We endured a civil war, organized America’s first bus boycott against segregation back in the 50s, and boomed with the petrochemical industry in the 70s,” Holden told the crowd at a press conference in Town Square. “We welcomed over 200,000 displaced people from New Orleans after its devastation by Hurricane Katrina eleven years ago. And along the way, we became a boom town in our own right, landing new jobs and corporate facilities in technology, television and film production, digital arts and many other sectors.”Paul Arrigo, President of Visit Baton Rouge and Mary Stein, Assistant Director of the EBR Library system, provided additional details on how local groups can follow the celebration on social media, download the Bicentennial logo and plan events and celebrations to commemorate the Baton Rouge Bicentennial. More information about the Baton Rouge Bicentennial will be available as it develops at www.BatonRouge200.com, www.facebook.com/BatonRouge200 and on Twitter @BatonRouge200. BATON ROUGE BICENTENNIAL PRESENTING SPONSORS:Visit Baton Rouge Cox Communications Entergy Raising Cane’s Belle of Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge Bicentennial Committee members are:• Paul Arrigo, Visit Baton Rouge• Mary Stein, EBR Library• Renee Chatelain, Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge• Fairleigh Jackson, Foundation for Historical Louisiana• Adam Knapp, Baton Rouge Area Chamber• Stacy Simon, Visit Baton Rouge • Karron Alford, Visit Baton Rouge• Davis Rhorer, Downtown Development District• Kia Bickham, Office of the Mayor-President• Rannah Gray, Red Stick Revelry• Bishop Ivory Payne, The Weekly Press• Eric Dexter, Forum 35 President• Carolyn Bennett, community volunteer• Dr. F. King Alexander, Louisiana State University • Patricia Flood, Southern University• Philip Smith, Baton Rouge Community College• Carolyn McKnight, BREC• John Sykes, Magnolia Mound Plantation• Rebecca Hamilton, State Librarian• Verdi Adam, community volunteer[...]



Mayor’s office My Brother’s Keeper Initiative will be recipient Barnes and Noble Holiday Book Drive

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 00:00:00 CST

Nov. 1, 2016

For release: IMMEDIATELY

For more information, contact:

Erin Porche, Youth Project Manager, (225) 389-4222

Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-5101

Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-7957

Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden announced that his office’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK-BR) initiative will be the recipient of the Barnes and Noble Holiday Book Drive which kicks off today, Nov. 1.

The book drive will run through Jan. 1, 2017 at Barnes and Noble, 2590 Citiplace Court, in Baton Rouge. Customers can make monetary donations at the store. All of the proceeds will be used to purchase books that will be donated to MBK-BR. Last year, Barnes and Noble donated more than 1.5 million books to 650 local charities nationwide.

“We are so excited to be the recipients of this program,” said Mayor Holden. “Giving our children more books to read will not only improve their reading skills, but also help to expand their imagination.”

The books will be distributed to children up to eight years old at various community events. The books will also be used to help support literacy initiatives such as Volunteers in Public Schools and Line 4 Line- Books in Barbershops.

In February 2014, President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and to ensure that all young people reach their full potential. He also issued a challenge to mayors across the country to implement the program locally. Mayor Holden accepted the President’s community challenge and established MBK-BR, a community call-to-action to enact sustainable change through policy, programs, and partnerships.

For more information, contact Erin Porche’, Youth Project Manager at (225) 389-4222 or go to www.mbkbr.com.

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(from the office of: Mayor-President)




City-Parish officials announce final flood debris set-out deadline Nov. 6

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 00:00:00 CST

For more information, contact:

Adam Smith, Department of Environmental Services: (225) 389-4865

Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-5101

Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-7957

With East Baton Rouge Parish flood debris collection efforts moving into their final stages, City-Parish officials announced today that crews will soon conduct a final collection pass and asked residents to move any remaining flood debris curbside to the public right-of-way by Sunday, Nov. 6.

Debris removal teams will continue to collect flood debris in the weeks following this set-out deadline, at which point a final collection pass will be initiated across all flood impacted areas in the City of Baton Rouge and unincorporated areas of East Baton Rouge Parish. Any flood debris that is not curbside by Nov. 6 may not be collected by debris removal crews, based on when trucks initiate their final pass within certain neighborhoods or streets. City-Parish officials are urging any residents who are unable to meet this final flood debris set-out deadline to contact the Department of Environmental Services as soon as possible by dialing (225) 389-4865.

The City-Parish recently established a web-based form for residents to use in reporting specific addresses where flood debris still needs to be collected, located at http://gis.brla.gov/reportdebris. Residents who have moved their debris curbside should continue to use this form through Nov. 6 to report the location of their flood debris, or by calling 1-888-721-4372.

As a reminder, construction and reconstruction waste materials are not eligible for FEMA reimbursement and thus will not be collected by City-Parish debris removal crews. The disposal of any such materials is the responsibility of the homeowner and/or contractor. Residents who are initiating new construction or reconstruction efforts at their homes should use licensed contractors to perform this work and secure in writing how the contractor plans to dispose of any construction or reconstruction materials. To locate a licensed contractor, residents can go online to the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors (LSLBC) website, located at www.lslbc.louisiana.gov, and click the “Contractor Search” button.

More than 1.6 million cubic yards of flood debris have been collected by City-Parish crews since efforts first began Aug. 20, which represents one of the largest-ever flood debris removal efforts of its kind. For more information and to track the progress of these ongoing clean-up efforts, visit http://gis.brla.gov/debris.

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(from the office of: Mayor-President)




City-Parish initiative lets electric car owners charge for free

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 00:00:00 CST

For more information contact:Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-5101Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-7957Program begins in downtown with chargers in public parking spacesToday Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden unveiled a new City-Parish initiative called “Green Park Baton Rouge”, a program that will let drivers of electric cars charge their vehicles for free at prime public parking spots, starting in downtown and spreading to private businesses across the parish. Electric vehicles parking in metered spots must pay normal parking fees, but may use the charging station for free for up to four hours. Entergy is the lead sponsor of Green Park, providing a $75,000 grant to purchase and install the charging stations and covering the cost of electricity. Holden was joined for the announcement by Phillip May of Entergy, John Davies of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation which helped coordinate the program for the city, Ann Shaneyfelt of Louisiana Clean Fuels, a non-profit organization in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, and Davis Rhorer, Executive Director of the Downtown Development District. “With more individuals and companies buying electric cars, this will allow Baton Rouge to greatly expand access to charging stations and provide the same convenience we offer to drivers of gas powered autos,” Mayor Holden said. “We welcome these quiet, environmentally friendly electric cars so it just makes sense to accommodate the needs of all types of vehicles on our streets.”“Entergy is proud to be one of the cleanest power producers in the country,” said May. “These electric charging stations will be beneficial to people who drive electric cars and may even spur others to give them a try. In the long run, it can provide economic benefits for the drivers, as well as environmental benefits for all of us.” Holden announced the program at the North Boulevard Town Square in downtown Baton Rouge, where the first 10 Green Park spaces will be located. Pointing out that electric cars are no longer an oddity, Holden said price drops have made them affordable to more motorists. The Foundation and City-Parish officials are talking with private businesses and large institutions about adding Green Park charging stations at work locations. Though still a niche market, sales of electric cars are expected to rise rapidly as manufacturers produce cars that can travel farther without a charge, prices continue to decline and federal and state incentives are often available.Also at today’s press conference, Bill Deville, CEO of the Capital Area Transit System (CATS), announced the purchase of three electric buses to add to the existing fleet. “Our three new electric buses will not only reduce our emissions, they will also bring new energy to the aging CATS bus fleet,” said Deville. “We are committed to working with our city, state and federal partners to bring efficiency not only to our energy use, but also to our routes and services.”CATS has been awarded more than $2.3 million by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development through the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program to purchase three electric buses and charging systems to support them. CATS will cover 20 percent of the total cost of the project, which will cost more than $2.8 million. The three new buses, which should arrive in Baton Rouge in early 2017, will help support a planned Bus Rapid Transit line on Florida Boulevard.“Our plan is to use the t[...]