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Nearly two years after the death of LSU student Maxwell Gruver, a jury in Baton Rouge found Matthew Naquin guilty of negligent homicide Wednesday.

Gruver, of Roswell, GA, was beginning his first year at LSU and pledging the Phi Delta Theta fraternity when he died of alcohol poisoning stemming from a hazing ritual. Gruver’s blood alcohol content was 0.495%, well over the Louisiana’s legal driving limit of 0.08%.

Wallis Watkins

As Hurricane Barry was developing in the Gulf of Mexico, so was the race for governor in Louisiana. In light of the storm, Governor John Bel Edwards officially postponed a campaign bus tour across the state. And one of his opponents, Republican congressman Ralph Abraham, followed suit, putting his campaign on pause.

But the lines between natural disasters and politics can be delicate in Louisiana.

The East Baton Rouge Parish coroner released a preliminary autopsy report Monday determining that the death of Sadie Roberts-Joseph, a prominent figure in the Baton Rouge African-American community, was a homicide.

East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Beau Clark said in the report that Roberts-Joseph was killed by “traumatic asphyxia, including suffocation.”

Roberts-Joseph was found dead Friday afternoon in the trunk of a car in the 2300 block of North 20th Street in North Baton Rouge, approximately three miles from her Scotlandville home.

Sgt. L’Jean McKneely, a spokesperson for the Baton Rouge Police Department, said officers were directed to “a body inside of a vehicle” by an anonymous caller on their tip line.

Police identified Roberts-Joseph as the victim Saturday morning. Authorities have not identified any suspects.

Even as Hurricane Barry made its way through Louisiana, news of her killing earned national media attention and prompted reactions of shock from City-Parish officials at the unexpected loss.

Last Update 5:00 p.m., July 11, 2019

The latest forecasts have Tropical Storm Barry making landfall no longer as a hurricane, but as a tropical storm, just west of Morgan City, on Saturday. However, forecasters say the storm could still grow to hurricane force as it approaches the coast.

The main concern is still rain. Most of the New Orleans area can expect 10-15 inches of rain, but some areas could get up to 20 inches. Areas near Morgan City and Houma are predicted to get the worst of the deluge -- 20 to 25 inches.

Updated: 2019-07-10 5:33 p.m. Louisiana School Closures

Louisiana’s coast is a unique mix of cultures. For hundreds of years Europeans, Africans and Native Americans have lived off the land and water. But that land is disappearing, battered by storms and rising seas, and people are migrating north.

Now, the state is trying to preserve some local traditions before they disappear.

The Water Institute is a Baton Rouge-based research institution that works with the state and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on issues like land loss and river diversions. One of its former scientists is now under investigation by the FBI.

The Times Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate broke the story. WWNO’s Tegan Wendland talked with reporters Della Hasselle and Bryn Stole about the implications for coastal research.

Louisiana’s Department of Health is shutting down several oyster harvesting areas due to low salinity caused by a steady influx of freshwater from the Bonnet Carre Spillway. 

The spillway, which diverts flood water from the Mississippi River into Lake Pontchartrain, has been open for more than 95 days this year. That’s kept a steady stream of fresh water flowing into areas where oysters grow.

The commercial fishing industry on the Gulf Coast has seen two major disasters in the last 15 years: Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Now, some fear we’re on the cusp of a third. The culprit: historic flooding from the Mississippi River.

Louisiana has struck a deal with a pharmaceutical company to provide Hepatitis C treatment to the state's Medicaid patients and prisoners.

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