Baton Rouge

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Southern University says its medical marijuana grower has planted its first crop, as Louisiana edges nearer to having product available to patients.

The Baton Rouge university announced Thursday that seeds were planted two days earlier by Ilera Holistic Healthcare. The school estimates its medical marijuana could be in pharmacies by the fall.

Southern says the growing facility located in nearby Baker received the final needed approvals Monday from the state agriculture department, which oversees Louisiana's medical marijuana program.

Brandon Anderson / /

 A body found in southwest Louisiana last week has been identified and a murder warrant has been issued in connection with his death.

KPLC-TV reports the body of 29-year-old Zaccheus H. Burton, of Baton Rouge, was found July 17 at the end of a dead-end road near DeQuincy.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso says Burton's body was severely burned and was identified using DNA.

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Data from the Louisiana Department of Health shows cases of Hepatitis A have been continuing to increase across the state.

There have been 375 reported cases since the outbreak began in January 2018 through July 18, 2019, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports .

The outbreak is mostly affecting drug users and homeless people, said Louisiana Bureau of Community Preparedness Medical Director Frank Welch.

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 Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued an emergency declaration after malware attacks against three school systems in the state have been detected.

Edwards didn't provide details about the attacks affecting school systems in Sabine and Morehouse parishes and the City of Monroe. He says the declaration makes state resources available to help local governments respond to the cyberattacks and stop future data loss.

Edwards' office says the declaration will remain in effect through Aug. 21, unless terminated earlier.

Cyberslayer/ /

 A former Louisiana State University employee blamed for ruining the commercialization of a medical software program says the real blame lies with school President F. King Alexander.

The Advocate reports Dr. Frank Opelka gave his version of events Monday, prompting Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera to reopen an investigation into how LSU created affiliated nonprofits and private companies.

2C2KPhotography/ /

 A former band director at Southern University in Louisiana is accused of pocketing more than $293,000 from public funds owed to the school.

A report released Monday by Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera says Nathan Haymer set up a collection system with an unauthorized third party to collect the money.

Man Arrested In Slaying Of 75-year-old Community Activist

Jul 17, 2019
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The suspect in the slaying of a community leader who founded Baton Rouge's African American history museum was a tenant who owed her back rent, authorities said Tuesday.

Ronn Jermaine Bell, 38, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of first-degree murder, city Police Chief Murphy J. Paul told news reporters. Bell is being held in the East Baton Rouge Parish jail. It's unclear whether he's represented by an attorney.

Abish Falcon/ /

A toxicologist has testified that a fraternity pledge was a "dead man walking" after chugging liquor during a hazing event.

The Advocate reports that Dr. Patricia Williams told the court Tuesday there was no way Max Gruver's 19-year-old body could have survived that level of intoxication. Gruver had a blood-alcohol level of more than six times the legal driving limit when he died in 2017 after a Phi Delta Theta event called "Bible study."

Gage Skidmore/ /

 Louisiana Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham says he'll pay for four minority congresswomen to leave the country, piggybacking off comments by President Donald Trump.

Trump tweeted Sunday that the "progressive" Democrat congresswomen should go back to the "broken and crime infested places" they came from. He said they hail from countries whose governments are the most inept in the world.

Coroner Rules Museum Founder's Death A Homicide

Jul 16, 2019
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The founder of Baton Rouge's African American history museum died of suffocation and her death was a homicide, a coroner ruled Monday, as residents of Louisiana's capital city struggled to come to terms with the slaying of the well-respected, 75-year-old community leader.

East Baton Rouge Coroner Beau Clark released preliminary autopsy results that show Sadie Roberts-Joseph was suffocated before her body was found in the trunk of a car Friday.