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Baton Rouge Press Releases



Press Releases from East Baton Rouge Parish



Copyright: Copyright 2006 City-Parish of East Baton Rouge
 



Mayor's new task force aims to fight blight

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For media inquiries:

Rachel Haney

Chief Communications Officer

rhaney@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mobile: 504-920-9569

Mayor Broome Creates Blight Strike Team

BATON ROUGE, LA — February 15, 2018 —Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced on Thursday the creation of a Blight Strike Team tasked with reviewing the blight elimination process and recommending administrative changes to improve blight remediation efforts in East Baton Rouge Parish.

“The Blight Strike Team brings together several community partners with an interest in swiftly and efficiently addressing blighted properties throughout East Baton Rouge Parish,” said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “I look forward to working with them toward solutions. Blight elimination is of vital importance to improving public safety and advancing economic development efforts in our communities.”

The Blight Strike Team will include community partners, City-Parish department leaders, redevelopment officials, and Metro Council members, and will work side-by-side with the Metro Council’s Blight Study Committee, which will focus on code issues.

The team will also include two Mayoral appointments and two Metro Council appointments, and will be chaired by Bettsie Baker Miller. Ms. Miller has an extensive background in administrative management, finance, accounting, and public affairs issues. Ms. Miller holds a BS and MBA from LSU with an emphasis in economics, management, and accounting.

One member from each of the following organizations will join the Blight Strike Team:

Federation of Civic Association

Baton Rouge North Economic Development District

Mid-City Redevelopment Alliance

Downtown Development District

Citizens Against Drugs and Violence

Together Baton Rouge

East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority

Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation

Scotlandville Community Development Corporation

North Baton Rouge Blue Ribbon Committee

Parish Attorney’s Office

City-Parish Department of Development

Center City Development District

Blight Court

311 Call Center

Baton Rouge Police Department

East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Department

District Attorney’s Office

Center for Planning Excellence

City-Parish Planning Commission

Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors

Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce

The Blight Strike Team will meet for the first time on March 1, 2018, at 2 p.m.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor visits officer who was shot on 2/11/18 call

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For media inquiries:

Rachel Haney

Chief Communications Officer

rhaney@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mobile: 504-920-9569

STATEMENT BY THE MAYOR-PRESIDENT

BATON ROUGE, LA — February 12, 2018 — Last night, one of our own BRPD officers sustained gunshot injuries while responding to a call on Lettsworth Street. I immediately went to the hospital once I was made aware of the incident, and was relieved to learn that the officer is expected to make a full recovery. We express our deepest gratitude for his brave service, and I ask for all residents to keep this officer and his family in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Over 1,000 Free Smoke Alarms Installed in East Baton Rouge Parish

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For media inquiries:

Rachel Haney

Chief Communications Officer

rhaney@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mobile: 504-920-9569

Over 1,000 Smoke Alarms Distributed in East Baton Rouge Parish

BATON ROUGE, LA — January 30, 2018 — In response to the spike in fire-related accidents in the early days of 2018, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome championed an initiative to distribute free smoke alarms to residents of East Baton Rouge Parish. Mayor Broome partnered with the American Red Cross, the United Cajun Navy, the Cajun Army, the Baton Rouge Fire Department, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal, and faith-based organizations to combat this epidemic. To date, more than 1,000 free smoke alarms have been installed throughout the parish.

“After the tragic fire on Iroquois Street, I knew that something more must be done to keep our residents safe,” said Mayor Broome. “I commend our partners for their efforts and urge residents to continue to be proactive when heating their homes during winter weather.”

The recent rise in fires has had a devastating effect on the Capital Area, where home fires have claimed nine lives since the beginning of the year.

“In the first nine days of the new year, the American Red Cross responded to nearly 60 percent more home fires nationally than in 2017,” says Joshua Joachim, chief executive for the Louisiana Red Cross. “Having a working smoke alarm can reduce the chance of death or injury during a home fire by nearly half. The Louisiana Red Cross is proud to support the office of Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and our local fire departments to provide smoke alarm installations along with home fire education to the Capital Area community free of charge.”

Smoke alarm installation efforts are ongoing. The Cajun Navy will be distributing alarms and making installations on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday of this week.

“Unity is strength and our volunteers were proud to lend a hand to the residents of Baton Rouge in their time of need,” said Todd Terrell of the United Cajun Navy.

To request a smoke alarm, please contact the Office of the Mayor-President at (225) 389-3100.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Broome Administration Announces $1M Award for St. Vincent de Paul Shelter

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For media inquiries:

Rachel Haney

Chief Communications Officer

rhaney@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mobile: 504-920-9569

Broome Administration Announces $1M Award for St. Vincent de Paul Shelter

BATON ROUGE, LA — January 29, 2018 — Today, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced that $1M in disaster recovery funds will be dedicated to the expansion of St. Vincent de Paul’s Day and Disaster/Emergency Shelter Services. The 3,500 square foot expansion, to be constructed on the current St. Vincent de Paul Campus, will be designated as a women’s and children’s shelter, and will increase the number of families served by providing 36 additional bed accommodations.

“Recent winter weather events have reinforced the need for additional emergency shelters in our parish,” said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “We are so pleased that St. Vincent de Paul, a tremendous partner and resource for our region, is the recipient of these funds, and we look forward to the grand opening of the expanded shelter next year.”

The space will also have the capacity to be converted to emergency shelter beds for adverse weather events, with adequate bathroom and laundry facilities for the expanded populations. Equipment and supplies needed to furnish the building and outfit the facility for emergencies will be purchased as well.

"We are so excited about being a part of the Mayor's vision of responding to the needs of the homeless, especially mothers and children who have no place to turn for help," said Michael Acaldo, President & CEO of St. Vincent de Paul. "We believe this new facility will position our community for success in responding to the needs of the homeless during cold winter nights, as well as hurricanes and other natural disasters."

Groundbreaking on this project is expected to take place in June of this year with an anticipated completion date of June 2019.

“By expanding capacity at St. Vincent de Paul’s main campus with a new construction disaster shelter, we will be able to provide our homeless population with a safe harbor during disaster events,” Office of Community Development Executive Director Pat Forbes said. “The state is committed to sheltering our most vulnerable residents during emergency conditions and is pleased that East Baton Rouge Parish is using $1 million in Community Development Block Grant funding for this important project.”

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




EBR Joins Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

BATON ROUGE, LA – January 23 2018 – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced today that the Parish of East Baton Rouge is taking a long-needed step to hold accountable the companies responsible for dumping millions of dollars’ worth of prescription opiates into our community, filing a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical drug manufacturers and wholesale drug distributors that made the opioid epidemic possible.

East Baton Rouge Parish has filed suit against five of the largest manufacturers of prescription opioids and their related companies and against the country’s three largest wholesale drug distributors. The manufacturing companies pushed highly addictive, dangerous opioids, falsely representing to doctors that patients would only rarely succumb to drug addiction, while the distributors breached their legal duties to monitor, detect, investigate, refuse, and report suspicious orders of prescription opioids. East Baton Rouge Parish is joining a growing list of city and county governments across the country that are taking action against the drug manufacturers and distributors for fueling the opioid crisis in their communities.

Because prescription opioids are a highly addictive substance, in 1970 Congress designed a system to control the volume of opioid pills being distributed in this country. It let only a select few wholesalers gain the right to deliver opioids. In exchange, those companies agreed to do a very important job – halt suspicious orders and control against the diversion of these dangerous drugs to illegitimate uses. But in recent years they failed to do that, and today the Baton Rouge community is paying the price.

Mayor-President Broome and the Parish Council are working with a consortium of law firms to hold pharmaceutical wholesale distributors accountable for failing to do what they were charged with doing under the federal Controlled Substances Act – monitor, identify, and report suspicious activity in the size and frequency of opioid shipments to pharmacies and hospitals.

“As Mayor-President, I am determined to do everything in my power to stop this epidemic from further destroying the lives of the people of Baton Rouge,” Mayor-President Broome said. “But until we address the source of this epidemic and force drug makers and distributors to follow the law, we will continue to face an uphill battle.”

“The people of Baton Rouge continue to bear the burden of the cost of the epidemic, as the costs of treatment for addiction, education, and law enforcement have continued to rise,” Mayor-President Broome said. “Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for nine consecutive years, from 2006-2014, opioid prescriptions ranged from over 103 to almost 131 prescriptions per 100 persons in Baton Rouge. That is more than one opioid prescription for every man, woman and child. The numbers have gone down slightly in the past 2 years, but are still too high, hovering at over 9 opioid prescriptions for every 10 residents of East Baton Rouge Parish in 2015 and 2016. The pharmaceutical industry, not the taxpayer, should pay for the damages caused by this crisis.”

In 2017, a record number of people in East Baton Rouge died from drug overdose deaths, the vast majority of which involved opioids. EMS paramedics administered over 737 doses of naloxone to individuals who were overdosing in 2017.

East Baton Rouge Parish has hired expert law firms, experienced in holding the powerful pharmaceutical industry accountable. Those firms include: Baron & Budd; Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor; Greene Ketchum Bailey Farrell & Tweel; Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler; and McHugh Fuller Law Group.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Broome Introduces Resolution Opposing Rent Charged to FEMA MHU Occupants

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For media inquiries:

Rachel Haney

Chief Communications Officer

rhaney@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mobile: 504-920-9569

Broome Introduces Resolution Opposing Rent Charged to FEMA MHU Occupants

BATON ROUGE, LA — January 19, 2018 — Mayor Broome has introduced a resolution to the East Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council opposing FEMA’s decision to charge rent to citizens still occupying a Manufactured Housing Unit as a result of the August 2016 flood. FEMA issued a decision in November 2017 extending Direct Housing Assistance and the use of MHUs to homeowners and renters until May 15, 2018. In that approval, FEMA also outlined that all eligible occupants who remain in FEMA MHU’s between February 14, 2018 and the new deadline will be charged rent.

The resolution being introduced by Mayor Broome opposes charging rent to residents who are still in the midst of rebuilding their homes and working toward their recovery.

“I am grateful for the extension for residents to continue utilizing FEMA MHU's as they continue their recovery,” said Broome. “But to charge rent to our citizens who are not in these MHUs by their own choice is unfathomable. As Mayor-President, I want to be on record in conjunction with the state in opposing this decision to charge rent.”

The resolution outlines that citizens in recovery have experienced hardships with rebuilding for a number of reasons, such as complications with accessing funds, contractor availability, supply of building materials, contractor fraud, limited affordable rental housing units, and landlord leasing requirements.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Broome to Sign Fast-Track Cities Treaty at HIV Summit

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

BATON ROUGE, LA. — January 18, 2018 — On Saturday, January 20, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome will host an HIV Summit at the BRCC Magnolia Theatre from 8:30am — 1:30pm. The Summit will be led by Mayor Broome, Natalie Cooley of the Louisiana Department of Health, and 94.1 Radio Host Latangela Sherman. The event will include panel discussions and presentations by physicians, HIV peer advocates, and prevention specialists.

The HIV Summit will bring together local, state, national, and international HIV partners to discuss the state of HIV in Baton Rouge and educate the community on prevention and treatment.

The Mayor will also sign the Fast-Track Cities Treaty. The Fast-Track Cities Initiative is a global partnership between UNAIDS, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, and the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, whose aim is to address the following targets:

90 percent of all people living with HIV (PLHIV) will know their status

90 percent of all PLHIV will receive sustained Anti-Retroviral Therapy

90 percent of all PLHIV on ART will have durable viral suppression

The Fast-Track Cities Initiative offers Baton Rouge and other cities with a high burden of HIV the opportunity to build upon, strengthen, and leverage existing HIV programs and strengthen the local AIDS response. New Orleans is currently participating in the initiative.

The Fast-Track Cities Initiative is aligned with the UNAIDS Fast-Track Strategy for ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.

For more information on the HIV Summit, contact Jared Hymowitz, Director of Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative, at JHYMOWITZ@brgov.com.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




City-Parish Offices to Reopen Friday

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

BATON ROUGE, LA. — January 18, 2018 — Today, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced that City-Parish government offices would reopen on Friday, January 19. Garbage and recycling collection will also resume tomorrow.

Extended hours for residential garbage services will be offered on Saturday, January 20 and Monday, January 22 to accommodate customers who’s service days were cancelled due to weather conditions.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




City-Parish Offices to Remain Closed Thursday (1/18/2018)

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

BATON ROUGE, LA. — January 17, 2018 — Today, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced that City-Parish government offices will remain closed Thursday, January 18.

“With Interstate-10 remaining closed to traffic through tonight, hazardous driving conditions on some of our bridges and surface streets, and tonight’s temperatures forecast in the teens, we are closing City-Parish government offices tomorrow," said Mayor Broome. "We continue to advise citizens to stay off of roads unless absolutely necessary.”

Additionally, Thursday’s residential garbage and recycling collection will be suspended. Extended hours for residential garbage services will be offered on Saturday, January 20 and Monday, January 22 to accommodate customers who’s service days were cancelled due to weather conditions.

Mayor Broome urges residents to stay safe and warm as Baton Rouge braces for another night of below freezing temperatures. On Tuesday, Mayor Broome activated the Crisis Action Team at the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, with crews monitoring weather and road conditions around the clock. Crews have been working to distribute de-icing products on roads, bridges and airport runways.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Issues Statement on Closure of Sam's Club

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For media inquiries:

Rachel Haney

Chief Communications Officer

rhaney@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mobile: 504-920-9569

STATEMENT BY THE MAYOR-PRESIDENT

BATON ROUGE, LA — January 12, 2018 — My office was informed yesterday of the closure of Sam’s Club at 9598 Cortana Place. Sam's Club is closing 63 stores nationwide, attributing the decision to the need to better fulfill online orders, less population growth than expected in some markets, and too many competing locations.

I reached out to Sam's Club and am committed to working closely with their team to develop and execute a transition strategy. Our goal is to ensure that all 176 displaced employees are either transferred to nearby Sam's Clubs or Walmarts or are assisted with job placement and/or training.

I am also involved in a number of conversations regarding the revival of the property at Cortana Mall. It has great potential to be a catalyst for economic development in our parish. There are obviously many shifts taking place in the retail industry nationally, but we are fortunate that we continue to have a growing retail base here in Baton Rouge.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Issues Statement on Buckskin ''Bill'' Black

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

BATON ROUGE, LA — January 12, 2018 — I am deeply saddened by the loss of the beloved Buckskin Bill, Mr. William “Bill” Black. So many in our community have fond memories of Buckskin Bill and his cherished television program. Not only did he delight generations of Baton Rouge children by giving them their first opportunity to appear on television, he did so while providing some of the first multimedia educational materials in the country and teaching the importance of charity and community.

He was a man ahead of his time and lived his life demonstrating that it is the community’s central mission to take care of each other. On behalf of our community, my thoughts and love go out to his children and family. I think we should all continue to practice his famed advice, “you’re never completely dressed until you put on a smile.”

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor-President Broome Announces Women’s Advancement Commission

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For media inquiries:

Rachel Haney

Chief Communications Officer

rhaney@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mobile: 504-920-9569

Mayor-President Broome Announces Women’s Advancement Commission

Commission to address needs of women and girls of East Baton Rouge Parish

BATON ROUGE, LA — January 11, 2018 — Today Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced the creation of her Women’s Advancement Commission which will promote policies and services that address and respond to the needs of women in our community.

From promoting pay equity to preventing sexual assault, increasingly our society is aware of gender-based gaps, disparities, and inequalities. The commission will also explore opportunities to improve the lives and status of women and girls in East Baton Rouge Parish through public policy, service delivery, and the promotion of cultural norms that advance equity, equality, and safety.

“Women are joining forces nationwide to address gender inequality issues, and their voices are being heard,” said Mayor-President Broome. “When I took office, I pledged to listen, learn, and lead. The advancement of women is critical to the success of our city and is certainly a priority of my administration.”

Commission members will use their expertise to consider how City-Parish government can promote policies and services that address the needs of women and their families in our parish.

Commission members include: Dr. Shon Baker, Dimi Ghawi, Twahna Harris, Rachael Hebert, Valerie Jackson-Jones, Mary Moss, Dianna Payton, Leah Phillips, John Price, Dr. Shanta Proctor, Dr. Valerie Richardson, Jan Ross, Summer Steib, Deborah Sternberg, and Yao Zeng.

The inaugural meeting of the Women’s Advancement Commission will be held on Wednesday, January 31 at 10:00 am. Subsequent meetings will be held monthly in the Office of the Mayor-President.

For more information, please contact Dr. Tamiara Wade, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, at 225-389-3100.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Broome Administration Announces Two New Hires

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFor media inquiries:Rachel HaneyChief Communications Officerrhaney@brgov.com Desk: 225-389-7957 Mobile: 504-920-9569 Broome Administration Announces Two New HiresMayor-President Broome officially announces Veneeth Iyengar as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer and Rachel Haney as Chief Communications Officer BATON ROUGE, LA — January 3, 2018 — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome is pleased to announce two new additions to her administration. As of today, the Mayor-President announces Veneeth Iyengar as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer and Rachel Haney as Chief Communications Officer. “I am excited to announce that Veneeth and Rachel are joining the administration as we begin the new year,” Mayor-President Broome said. “I am confident that their diverse skill sets will complement our strong team and deliver bold, new ideas to advance the mission of my administration.” Mr. Iyengar's portfolio includes issues pertaining to economic development, transportation, and healthcare. He received a Bachelors of Science in Economics from Purdue University in 2001 and served in the United State Peace Corps shortly after 9/11 where he was stationed in the Philippines handling economic development issues. He subsequently earned the Franklin Williams Award for outstanding achievement in the Peace Corps. The son of Indian immigrants who moved to Baton Rouge in 1979, he has deep family ties to Baton Rouge. He completed his K-12 education at area schools including McKinley Middle Magnet and Baton Rouge Magnet High School. After obtaining a Masters in Finance from Johns Hopkins University, Mr. Iyengar worked for the Honorable Robert Mosbacher, Jr., former CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, in Washington, D.C. before joining Sage Growth Partners where he helped build and lead their Healthcare Venture Capital/Private Equity Practice. “The greatest resource Baton Rouge has to chart a path into the 21st century is its people. This opportunity is a chance to honor my commitment to public service by investing in the growth and potential of our human capital through diverse and inclusive policies,” Veneeth Iyengar said. “The chance to serve my hometown has been a lifelong dream and I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and delivering results.” Ms. Haney, the Mayor-President’s new Chief Communications Officer, will manage a comprehensive and proactive communications strategy for the City of Baton Rouge. A native of Baton Rouge, Ms. Haney is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy and Louisiana State University’s Manship School where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. Prior to joining the Broome Administration, she worked for Robin & Associates, a government relations firm specializing in healthcare, infrastructure, and public utilities. Ms. Haney previously directed public relations and social media strategies for The National WWII Museum in New Orleans where she secured international media coverage for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. She also handled media relations efforts for Greater New Orleans, Inc., The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, and the Let’s Be Totally Clear Campaign for Tobacco Free Living in Louisiana. “I am honored to join the Broome administration to help develop a communications strategy focused on clearly conveying our mission to all residents of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish,” said Rachel Haney. “I look forward to applying my experience in the private sector to an administration dedicated to building a brighter future for my hometown.” ###(from the office of: Mayor-President) [...]



Murphy Paul to be sworn in as new Baton Rouge Police Chief

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 2, 2018

For media inquiries:

Regine Williams

frwilliams@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-4222

Mobile: 318-537-0929

Murphy Paul to be sworn in as new Baton Rouge Police Chief

BATON ROUGE, LA. — Murphy Paul, recently selected by Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome to be Chief of the Baton Rouge Police Department, will be officially sworn in on Monday, January 8. The ceremony, which is open to the public, will be held at 2 p.m. in the Metro Council Chambers of City Hall.

Paul was one of seven candidates publically interviewed by Mayor-President Broome’s chief selection review committee. He subsequently made the final round of interviews and was ultimately selected to lead the capital city’s police force. Paul, a native of New Orleans, holds a degree in criminal justice from Loyola University. He joined the Louisiana State Police in 1994 and became a lieutenant colonel, where he most recently served as the deputy superintendent of the Bureau of Investigation. During his years of service with LSP, he was assigned to narcotics, internal affairs, detectives, criminal intelligence and patrol.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Mayor Broome Issues Preventive Tips Regarding Influenza

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJanuary 1, 2018For media inquiries:Regine WilliamsFRWILLIAMS@BRGOV.COMDesk: 225-389-4222 Mobile: 318-537-0929Mayor Broome Issues Preventive Tips Regarding InfluenzaBATON ROUGE, La. — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and the Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative, in collaboration with local healthcare partners, are providing citizens with preventive tips and information about the current high incidence rate of the flu in our community.“I encourage all citizens and visitors in the Capital Region to protect themselves and others from the flu,” Mayor-President Broome said. To protect yourself I stress the importance of getting the flu shot if they haven’t already, by talking with their healthcare provider about preventive measures, and also by following common sense tips like staying home when sick, washing their hands often, and covering coughs and sneezes.”Flu season is typically from October to May, with peak months during January and February, and causes nearly 3,000 hospitalizations per year in Louisiana. Primary symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throats, runny nose, cough and congestion.Experts say that if a person comes down with the flu, they are contagious before showing symptoms. They are encouraged to stay home to avoid spreading the flu to family or co-workers. If someone in the household has the flu, every other member of the household is encouraged to take precaution and contact their healthcare provider.According to Suzy Sonnier, Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Health District, all hospital partners in this area are reporting more flu cases this year than in the past. Local hospitals are actively taking precautions to educate employees and the public in order to decrease flu exposure.“We encourage everyone to use caution and common sense,” said Sonnier "Take care of yourself and if you are not feeling well, seek assistance from your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Be thoughtful and limit unnecessary interactions with others to prevent further spread of the flu."Mayor-President Broome also encourages all businesses, schools and organizations to promote flu precautions to employees and members, as we all want to ensure our community remains healthy.“We have more access than ever before to primary care, urgent care and emergency room care if needed,” said Mayor Broome. “By working together as a community and following recommended precautions we can help take care of one another.”Recommended preventive tips to prevent the spreading of influenza:- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze-throw the tissue away after use.- If you get the flu try to avoid contact with others. - Wash your hands often with soap and water.- Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth to avoid the spread of germs. These actions can help prevent the spread of influenza and other respiratory viruses during cold and flu season.It is not too late to get the flu shot, even though this year it may not be as effective and people could still be at risk. With the flu shot, even if a person gets the flu, the vaccine helps prevent the severity of the symptoms.Many pharmacies and doctors' offices have the flu vaccine. The HealthMap Vaccine Finder (www.vaccinefinder.org) can help you locate a flu vaccine provider near you.(from the office of: Mayor-President) [...]



Metro Council Approves 2018 Budget

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 12, 2017

For media inquiries only, contact:

Janene Tate, Communications Director

jtate@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mobile: 504-913-9638

Metro Council Approves 2018 Budget

BATON ROUGE, La. — The East Baton Rouge Metro Council today approved Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s 2018 budget. The General Fund operating budget of $319 million has less than a 1 percent increase and is considered “standstill.”

“While this budget has not changed much from last year, we will continue to work diligently on behalf of the citizens that we serve daily,” Mayor-President Broome said. “We will collaborate with like-minded stakeholders and agencies to not only maintain services but improve the efficiency of such.”

Prior to today’s vote, Mayor-President Broome met with the councilmembers in small groups and discussed funding for police and fire academies, as well as the replacement of police and fire vehicles. Efforts are also being prioritized to increase entry-level pay for police officers.

Revenue collection efforts will also be increased. It has been cited that these have been complicated due to the effects of the August 2016 flood.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




MOHSEP Monitoring Potential Freezing Conditions, Offers Tips for Residents

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 6, 2017

For media inquiries only, contact:

Janene Tate, Communications Director

jtate@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Monitoring Potential Freezing Conditions, Offers Tips for Residents

BATON ROUGE, La. — The National Weather Service in Slidell has issued an advisory for East Baton Rouge Parish regarding the potential for winter weather and freezing temperatures. Forecasts are predicting a slight chance of snow flurries and a high chance of freezing temperatures. Winter precipitation will potentially occur Thursday night into Friday morning. Freezing temperatures are likely Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning. At this time, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome has not called for any closures or event cancellations in the parish. The Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (MOHSEP) is continuing to monitor the situation.

MOHSEP stressed that residents should check on neighbors and family members who may need assistance, and take care of their pets accordingly. Those who use heaters and fireplaces should be careful, including keeping children away from hot surfaces. A fire extinguisher should be ready for use as well.

Other tips include:

• Check family disaster supply kits to ensure they are prepared for the winter.

• Bring pets inside.

• Protect, cover or wrap water pipes.

• Protect plants as necessary.

• Ensure proper ventilation for fuel-burning equipment.

• Refuel heating sources outside.

• Test smoke detectors.

For more information, contact MOHSEP at 225-389-2100. Also, go to Redstickready and follow Red Stick Ready on social media for real-time updates and more tips. The free Red Stick Ready app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Executive Order to Expand Small Business Participation in City-Parish Contracts

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 13, 2017

For media inquiries only, contact:

Janene Tate, Communications Director

jtate@brgov.com

Desk: 225-389-7957

Mayor-President Broome Issues Executive Order

to Expand Small Business Participation in City-Parish Contracts

BATON ROUGE, La. — In accordance with her commitment to equitable progress and prosperity across East Baton Rouge Parish, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome today issued an executive order to expand efforts to increase the enterprise participation of small businesses in City-Parish contracts. The order also ensures that such businesses — including those owned by minorities, women and veterans — are afforded fair opportunities and do not face unfair barriers when seeking and performing City-Parish contracts.

“This executive order is much needed in our city and parish,” Mayor-President Broome said. “I have been consistently vocal and demonstrative about the need for equity in all areas of life in our community, and this includes business. Everyone should have equal opportunities to build and grow successful businesses in the place they call home. These businesses add to our economic development, and a diverse array of business owners creates a more welcoming, progressive city for both current and future residents.”

The order, which takes effect immediately, outlines accountability, inclusion and outreach efforts, and policy administration and operation in City-Parish departments. Stakeholder engagement is also prescribed, instructing the chief administrative officer in the Office of the Mayor-President to create more opportunities for members of the contracting community and for City-Parish departments, the Metropolitan Council, and others to work collaboratively on recommendations for how the City-Parish can better develop, deliver, monitor and measure a more successful small business enterprise program.

(from the office of: Mayor-President)




Baton Rouge Ranked Fifth Most Digital City in U.S. Among Mid-sized Cities

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:00:00 CST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENovember 9, 2017For media inquiries only, contact:Janene Tate, Communications Directorjtate@brgov.comDesk: 225-389-7957Baton Rouge Ranked Fifth Most Digital City in U.S. Among Mid-sized CitiesBATON ROUGE, La. – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome today announced that Baton Rouge has been named the fifth most digital city in the U.S. by the Center for Digital Government among cities with a population of 125,000 to 249,999. This distinction comes as the result of a competitive process that annually recognizes top-ranked cities demonstrating progress and capabilities across ten key characteristics of a digital city.“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized in such a visible way among so many other leading digital cities in the nation,” said Mayor-President Broome. “Moving forward, my entire administration remains focused on and committed to identifying ways to invest in our digital infrastructure and create a more effective and efficient City-Parish government for our citizens – using technology and innovation wherever possible to do so.”Other cities named to the Top 10 Digital City list within this population category – the third largest considered by the Center for Digital Government – include Cape Coral, Florida, Norfolk, Virginia, Scottsdale, Arizona, Pasadena, California, and Alexandria, Virginia, among others. Several key technology and digital initiatives that have taken place in 2017 were instrumental in this ranking, including the significant progress made through the broad use of GIS and integration of GIS capabilities across all facets of City-Parish government; the City-Parish’s expanded partnership with Waze in collaboration with Louisiana State University to analyze real-time Waze traffic data; Mayor-President Broome’s expansion of the body camera program to the entire Baton Rouge Police Department force; and the implementation of a streamlined workflow management system to support more efficient and accountable service delivery across public works agencies. Other internal measures undertaken to improve government efficiency include the launch of an enterprise resource planning system to replace disparate 20-year-old systems and an internal analysis of telecommunications service utilization and contracts that resulted in achieving real-dollar savings of $200,000 over a 12-month period.In addition, a number of related initiatives related to expanded use of technology within City-Parish government remain ongoing, such as an effort currently underway to redesign the City-Parish website with a mobile-first strategy for citizen engagement, a recently announced National Science Foundation research grant secured by Louisiana State University in collaboration with Mayor-President Broome to build research-driven solutions to issues such as blight and traffic, and efforts such as developing and adopting a formal open data policy and establishing data-based outcomes and performance metrics that continue to progress through the City-Parish’s partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of the What Works Cities program.“This year’s leading digital cities are leveraging technology to connect disadvantaged citizens with critical information and services, promote citizen inclusion in important government processes and share government data with the public,” said Teri Takai, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “Thanks to the efforts of these innovative cities, citizens can now meaningfully interact with city government more easily than in any other time in history. [...]



Mayor-President Broome Releases Draft Open Data Policy for Public Comment

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 00:00:00 CST

BATON ROUGE, La. — In keeping with her commitment to government transparency and data-driven decision making, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome today released a draft open data policy for the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge and announced the availability of the draft policy for public comment. The policy is a direct byproduct of the City-Parish’s work with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Sunlight Foundation through the What Works Cities program that began earlier this year with a focus on enhancing the use of data and evidence in local government. “I am excited to take our Open Data BR program to an entirely new level through the introduction of this open data policy,” Mayor-President Broome said. “It is my sincere hope that by taking this latest step in public transparency in our City-Parish government that we continue to demonstrate accountability to our citizens and identify new ways to utilize data that create efficiencies, spur innovation, and catalyze growth.” The purpose of this and related policy measures is to expand the City-Parish’s open data program and make all publishable City-Parish data and information easily available to the public, thereby helping to improve service delivery, increase transparency and access to public information, and enhance coordination and efficiency among departments, partner organizations, and residents. In March, Mayor-President Broome announced the launch of the Open Neighborhood BR platform, located at http://my.brla.gov. The platform serves as a digital resource for Baton Rouge residents that provides residents with up-to-date, map-based information on recent incidents involving City-Parish agencies — from recent police, fire, and traffic incidents to 311 requests for service and building permits. This policy will serve to continue that work and ensure the City-Parish establishes its commitment transparency and open data. All residents and members of the public are encouraged to review the draft policy and provide comments via https://mymadison.io/documents/baton-rouge-open-data-policy no later than Nov. 24. The City-Parish is seeking feedback on the governance and processes that the policy will define for the release of open data in the future. The platform is a free, open-source tool that allows users to support or oppose the open data policy text, leave comments, annotate specific content, and interact with other Baton Rouge residents on the proposed policy. All comments submitted by the Nov. 24 deadline will be reviewed closely and considered for incorporation by the Office of the Mayor-President and Department of Information Services. Once all public comments have been received and incorporated or addressed as necessary, Mayor-President Broome will submit the final proposed policy to the Metropolitan Council for formal adoption and a resolution expressing the support of its implementation. The Office of the Mayor-President will then work with all relevant City-Parish departments to ensure ongoing compliance with the related policy requirements, with data to published to the City-Parish’s Open Data BR portal located at http://data.brla.gov. When formally adopted, this open data policy will help to spur additional innovative uses of data beyond Open Neighborhood BR that help to better connect residents with information on the government services they receive, as well as internal applications that help City-Parish departments make better decisions and create more efficient operations in the process. (from the office of: Ma[...]