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    Energy Assistance Funds Available for Low-Income EBR Residents

    Applications to be accepted starting Monday, Feb. 2

    East Baton Rouge’s Office of Social Services has funds available to assist qualifying low-income households with their energy bills through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

    To qualify for assistance through the program, a household’s total monthly income cannot exceed the limits in the table below. Qualifying households cannot have received a previous benefit within the past six months.

    Household Size                       Maximum Income
    Per household                            per month
    1                                                       $1,807
    2                                                       $2,363
    3                                                       $2,920
    4                                                       $3,476
    5                                                       $4,032
    6                                                      $4,588
    7                                                      $4,692
    8                                                      $4,796
    9                                                      $4,901
    10                                                    $5,005
    11                                                     $5,109
    12                                                    $5,214
    13                                                    $5,318
    14                                                    $5,422
    15                                                    $5,526

    All applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis according to the program’s waiting list. To get on the waiting list, please call the nearest Office of Social Services location (see table of zip codes below) on Fridays, 8am – noon. Applications will then be taken by appointment only, beginning Monday, Feb. 2nd.

    Applicants must provide, at a minimum, the following documentation at the time the application is taken:
    (1) Copies of each household member’s social security card
    (2) Proof of income of all household members age 18 or older
    (3) A copy of an energy bill (must be within the last 6 months)
    (4) A photo I.D. of the applicant
    (5) At least one other document that was mailed to the applicant at the service address indicated on the energy bill.

    If additional documentation is required, the applicant will be notified at the time of application. Households reporting zero income will also be required to provide additional documentation. All information provided with the application will be subject to verification. Intentional misrepresentation of information may result in criminal prosecution of the applicant and anyone assisting in the misrepresentation.

    Income eligible applicants who have received a Disconnect Notice and who have not received assistance for a Disconnect Notice in the prior 12 months may also apply.

    LIHEAP Application Sites

    • Central Office, 4523 Plank Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70805 358-4561 70805
    • Chaneyville Community Center, 13211 Jackson Road, Zachary, LA 70791 658-9790
    • Charles R. Kelly Community Center (Delmont Service Center, 3535 Riley Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70805 357-5013
    • Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Center, 950 East Washington St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802 389-4814
    • Dr. Martin L. King Community Center, 4000 Gus Young Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70802 389-7679
    • Jewel J. Newman Community Center (North Baton Rouge Community Center), 2013 Central Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70807 778-1007
    • Rural Program, 5736 Rollins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70791 658-7494 70791
    Read more »
  • Capitol City Golf Association celebrates 49 years

    Before Tiger Woods swung his first golf club, the Capitol City Golf Association had been recruiting Black golf enthusiast for more than two decades.

    “There was time where blacks could work on any golf course, but were only welcomed to play at a few, especially in the south”, said Don Watson CCGA Tournament Coordinator. This year the Capitol City Golf Association celebrated its 49th anniversary.

    To commemorate almost half of century of promoting the golf among the community the CCGA hosted its annual golf tournament.

    Ronald Williams, Corey Grant, Al Ridley, Henry Pointer, Mophi Mmopi,Don Watson, CCGA Tournament Committee chair Huston Williams, CCGA president Sidney Brown III, Mark Young, and CCGA treasurer Paul Levy

    During Father’s day weekend golfers representing Southern Association of Amateur Golfers registered golf clubs from Louisiana, and throughout the southern region of country, united at the Coppermill Golf Club, in Zachary La., for two days of competition.

    “Our mission is to promote the sport of golf and share the benefits that can be gained from taking up the sport at an early age” said Sid- ney Brown III CCGA President

    swing

    Tyler Armstrong takes a swing as part of the Frist Tee Program.

    In order build on the legacy set by the CCGA ,and engage youth golf enthusiast, the organization partnered for the first time with the Baton Rouge chapter of the First Tee program.

    “Golf is a sport that doesn’t discriminate, you don’t have be to certain height or have certain build, and almost anyone can play,” Watson said, “All you need is a desire to learn the game.”

    The First Tee is a national program that introduces the game of golf to young people and uses it to teach character education and life skills that help young people pre- pare for success in high school, college and beyond.

    Brown said this year the organization would work with First Tee to provide mentors, coaches, and scholarships for the program.This year’s the competition saw the greatest variety in age among participants, with youngest being 13 and the oldest 72 years old.

    According to a study by Harvard Medical School senior citizens who play golf regularly are likely to benefit from a stronger heart and sharper memory.

    To celebrate the vast variety of age groups and states represented by the more than 80 SAAG members who participated, and its 49- year history, the CCGA hosted a banquet.

    “Our organization has grown from the support our chapter members and other organizations, the annual banquet is our way of thanking those who supported promoting unity off the golf course,” said Huston Williams

    The CCGA was organized in 1961 to provide amateur golfers with opportunities to develop their individual skills and encourage others in the community to participate in the game.

    The CCGA is the Baton Rouge Chapter of the Southern Association of Amateur Golfers. The SAAG is to a regional organization of 18 golf clubs spanning throughout the southern region of the United States.

    Cameron James

    City News Manager

    Read more »
  • LA Democrats revel in past, plan for future

     

    EBR Parish Democratic Executive Committee hosts Banquet

    BATON ROUGE-A desire for change, growth and honor brought Democrats from all over Louisiana to East Baton Rouge Parish to celebrate the party’s history and make plans for the future.

    The event, “Remembering Our Roots: Every Man a King”, the first of what will be an annual banquet for the group, was held May 31 at the MJ Womack Center in Baton Rouge. It honored three EBR Democrats for their service to the party.

    “If we don’t remember the past we will not understand much of the present and have no conception of the future,” said former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards who served as the keynote speaker. “The past is important because we build on it to make things better.”

    L to r:Ben Jeffers, Dawn P Collins, Represenative Patricia Haynes-Smith, Louis Reine

    State Rep. Patricia Haynes-Smith was given the J.K. Haynes Sr. Award of Advocacy in Action; Louis Reine, president of American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations Louisiana was given the Victor Bussie Award of Excellence and the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Ben Jeffers.

    “Receiving an honor from the party that I have worked hard for is a humbling and gratifying experience,” said Jeffers, who was honored for being the first Black person to serve as the Chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party.

    Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell and John Bel Edwards discussed some of the issues the state is facing.

    “We have a charity hospital system in this state that has been in place since the 1700s, it has survived the civil war, the world wars, hurricanes, but it could not survive Bobby Jindal and the Republican majority,” Edwards said.

    Campbell pointed to some of the issues facing Louisiana, such as budget cuts and coastal erosion.

    “The state constitution says only domestic oil can be taxed,” Campbell said. “Since 1922 we refine 95% foreign oil in the state of Louisiana and only refine 5% Louisiana oil, but we only tax the oil refined in the state.

    Campbell continued that Louisiana’s biggest problem is coastal erosion and that every hour – land equal to the size of one football field – is being washed away from the state’s coast.

    Along with discussing issues facing the state, speakers highlighted the unity within the party.

    State representative Edward “Ted” James said that the beauty of the Democratic Party is that it is made up of a variety of ages, socio-economic backgrounds and races with similar ideas.

    “We will not be successful if we don’t give our resources, change will not happen if we continue to let this state be red,” James said. “If you can’t afford to write a thousand dollar check, you can give your time and call a thousand people, if you can’t call a thousand people you can knock on a thousand doors, we have to come together.”

    Representative Edward "Ted" James and Volunteer Maria Harmon

    Representative Edward “Ted” James and Volunteer Maria Harmon

    James said that the melting pot of citizens who come together with ideas and work hard to put them into action to create a better Louisiana is the party’s greatest asset.

    Maria Harmon, a volunteer for the East Baton Rouge Democratic Party, is one of those helping the party attain the assets James referenced.

    “Since I graduated this summer with my Masters I have been looking for a job,” Harmon said. “The hard work the Party has been doing inspired me to work voluntarily [with them] as I search”

    Harmon said as volunteer she learned no matter who a person is or where they come from. everyone is affected by the decisions made by elected officials.

    “There are so many issues affecting young people right now, such as budget cuts to higher education, health care, pay day lending and equal pay for women – all of these things affect us as young people,” she said. “A lot of younger people today are more progressive, more liberal and we need to have our voices heard.”

    Former governor Edwards is one of the pioneers for diversity among politics in Louisiana. During his time as governor, he appointed more Blacks and women to high positions in his administration than his predecessors anywhere in the nation.

    Edwards reflected on the first time he took the step to create racial equality by appointing the state’s first Black post master Huey Fontenot. He said its something he still considers one of his proudest moments.

    Councilwoman C.Denise Marcel

    Even though Edwards held acclaim for such doings, he is now more widely known for being convicted of 17 counts of racketeering, extortion, money laundering, mail fraud and wire fraud in 2001. He was sentenced to 10 years and was released in 2011.

    “At night I would reflect on how people supported me and how we worked together to better this state, how we were the voice for people who couldn’t speak,” Edwards said. “I’d sit and wonder what it would be like when I got out.  The last conscious thought I’d have would be for the people of Louisiana. All those concerns were washed away when I got out and realized you had not forgotten me.”

    Earlier this year Edwards announced he would run for the vacant seat on Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District.

    The Democratic Executive Committee had only six weeks to prepare for the event, making it clear that the banquet’s theme, inspired by Huey P. Long, still resonates with people in the capitol city and beyond.

    By Cameron James

    Read more »
  • Erotic author, Zane, talks entrepreneurship

    INSTEAD OF TELLING EROTIC tales Author Zane discussed how to become a successful entrepreneur at Southern University, April 1.

    “To me the erotic ele- ments of my books are re- ally minor compared to the underlying issues I’m try- ing to deal with in the book, I do think everything is an element in life and sexual- ity is part of it,” Zane said.

    She said that her much deeper purpose to help peo- ple navigate through toxic relationships, because no matter what their goals are the relationships they have will affect them.

    The author of more than 30 romance novels shared with fans some how she was able to transform herself from woman who wrote just to pass the time into a New York Times best seller.

    To be successful some- one must be focused, compassionate, and passionate, she said.

    “The way you can tell someone is really passionate about what they are doing is because it never looks like they are work- ing,” she said.

    Zane has executive produced and written the scripts for the movies to her books, but her passion is what get keeps her going. In history, some of the most successful people “failed” before they found their success.

    “It shouldn’t be about failing or succeeding, you shouldn’t be afraid to do either one and you can’t spend time worrying about either,” she said.

    The author said she no- ticed that most successful people have what she refers to as “I.E.” personality.

    “These people are in- ternally motivated, but ex- ternally focused. They see world as a big picture and bigger than themselves,” she said.

    One of the biggest reason people don’t achieve their goals is because they spend too much time worried about other people. Zane said she believes that judging other people is based on our own insecurities and that it is the only reason for someone to ex- cited or happy when some- one is seemingly failing at something.

    “If you’re compassionate and care about what happens to other people and care about leaving the world a better place than how you found it. It will al- ways be a constant motivation bigger than anything else,” she said.

    Read more »
  • CATS to Make passenger friendly changes

    LAST YEAR THE CAPITAL AREA Transit System (CATS) serviced nearly 2.5 million people in the Greater Baton Rouge area.  During  2014 the transportation agency said they are working to provide and have already made some of the following changes:

    Added three new mechanics in the maintenance workforce to ensure all vehicles in top condition.

    • Launch an app called RouteMatch that will provide customers with voice announcements and automatic updates on all routes and CATS fleet in April.
    • Replace 12 existing buses.
    • Purchase ten eight-passenger; two- wheelchair vans to support its Para transit business.
    • Work with LSU, Cortana Mall and Mall of Louisiana to develop transfer location plans.
    • Hire an additional 31 employees by the end of February.

     

    Read more »
  • ExxonMobil to pay $2 million

    ExxonMobil Ordered to must pay $2.329 million in a settlement.

    ExxonMobil must pay $2.329 million in a settlement, announced by the state’s Dept. of Environ-mental Quality last August and finalized early this month, to address violations from 2008 into 2013 at its greater Baton Rouge facilities.

    The settlement was DEQ’s biggest with any company last year. But critics question whether the agreement was large enough or even appropriate. Exxon was cited with many infractions at its refinery and resinfinishing and chemical plants in East Baton Rouge Parish and its tank-farm facility in West Baton Rouge.

    Early this month, DEQ said the settlement was approved following a public review period late last year and was signed by state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell in December.In addition to paying a civil penalty of $300,000 to DEQ, Exxon under the agreement must spend no less than $1 million on Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures or SPCC projects at its Baton Rouge complex and will fund beneficial environmental projects or BEPs totaling $1.029 million.

    In terms of funding, the top four BEPs approved under the settlement are $400,000 for a Groundwater Reduction Project to trim the company’s groundwater usage; a $250,000 donation to DEQ to improve its Early Warning Organic Chemical Detection system; a $100,000 donation to the East Baton Rouge Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness/ Local Emergency Planning Committee to implement the ExxonMobil North Baton Rouge Emergency Preparedness Initiative; and a $100,000 donation to Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge for weather proofing and air tightening of homes, especially those next to ExxonMobil facilities.

    In the settlement, Exxon also agreed to a $50,000 donation to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation for groundwater-conservation awareness in East Baton Rouge Parish; a $50,000 donation to DEQ to fund the agency’s Expanded Age Distribution and Vehicle Population Data Project on emissions in Louisiana; a $29,000 donation to the Louisiana Foundation for Excellence in Science, Technology and Education, or LaFESTE, for the Baton Rouge Clean Air Coalition; a $25,000 donation to Baton Rouge Green Association Inc.’s Neighbor Woods project near the refi nery; and $25,000 payment to install a meteorological station at the company’s Baton Rouge refinery complex.

    Read more »
  • Red Stick Ready.com available for severe weather updates

    In times of severe weather Mayor President  Melvin “Kip” Holden is encouraging  East Baton Rouge Parish citizens to visit Red Stick Ready for information on the effects it could have on the parish.

    Created by Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden and the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency the website provides information on how to prepare for, respond to and recover from all emergency situations.

    The site presents parish-wide road conditions, crime reports, and disaster assistance information. Red Stick Ready’s Facebook page provides hourly updates.

    Baton Rouge is one of only two cities in Louisiana to be certified as a “Storm Ready Community” by the National Weather Service.

    Read more »
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