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JUNE 2021 • FREE BLACK MEN RUN 12 PANDEMIC PETS 24 COMMUNITY RADIO 85

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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UPFRONT //

Wild Baton Rouge WE MIGHT NOT realize it as we go about our busy lives, but we are coexisting with Baton Rouge’s wildlife every single day. That includes the animals under the care of local attractions such as BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo, the brandnew Blue Zoo aquarium inside the Mall of Louisiana, and the verymuch-worth-the-drive Barn Hill Preserve. But it also includes the raccoons or foxes you might have spotted in the woodsy area behind your home. It includes the snakes that you can find at BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center—and yes, the snakes that might be slithering around your backyard this very moment. Our June issue is an ode to all of those creatures and more. In this month’s cover story, we’re bringing you up close and personal with some of the most fascinating wildlife in our area. We spent a day with the zookeepers at the Baton Rouge Zoo to find out just what it takes to keep the facility running—and keep its more than 700 animals healthy and happy. We met up with starfish, stingrays and snakes at the Blue Zoo for a glimpse at how an unlikely space inside a mall can be transformed to an underwater world containing creatures from more than 20 countries. We wandered the boardwalks of BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, and met some baby gators inside its exhibit building. We learned about the incredible, internationally renowned research and specimens inside the LSU Museum of Natural Science. Animal Control officers shared some of the wildest encounters, like the time they rescued a lemur (yes, a lemur!) from a local front yard. They also offered tips for what you should do if you spot a scary looking critter near your home. And we even met up with everyone’s favorite local Bengal for

BY JULIO MELARA

a look at what life is like for Mike the Tiger—and how LSU Vet School students are involved in the care of the school’s live mascot. Turn to page 28 for all of this and so much more. And be sure to tell us your favorite local wildlife encounters by emailing editor@225batonrouge.com!

Airwave anniversary WHYR Community Radio is celebrating a decade on the air, with volunteerled shows that display each host’s interests and creativity. The station was born with the goal of feeding every listener’s taste—broadcast airwaves are publicly owned, after all. “Just like national parks and the interstate highway system, they’re there for all of us,” says founding board member and program committee chair Brian Marks. It’s why you can now tune into 96.6 FM and expect a diverse array of Cajun music, swamp pop, modern country, rock ’n’ roll, new age, local hip-hop, rap and “gutbucket,” or traditional country, blues, gospel and folk. We spoke with some of the station’s hosts and board members about WHYR’s longstanding impact on the community. Turn to page 85 for more.

Save the pets The pandemic was hard for many of us, but it had a silver lining for one local group: pets. At the end of 2019, Companion Animal Alliance was reporting a 76% save rate. By the end of 2021’s first quarter, it had jumped all the way to 92%. The organization credits the increase to pet fostering. After the stay-at-home order was issued last year, CAA put out an emergency plea

for pet fosters since the facility would be temporarily closed for adoptions. The community responded with an outpouring of support, with a line out the door of those willing to take home a dog or cat. Demand never died down, and as fostering has continued, it has led to more adoptions, too. Fostering provides an immediate multiplier effect, because foster families actively help pets find permanent homes. It’s been a gamechanger for CAA, giving it more time to care for animals who need extra resources. Turn to page 24 to read all about it.

Celebrate the Best of 225 The votes are in, and we have set a new record for the number of people who participated this year! More than 13,000 Capital Region residents cast Best of 225 ballots in 2021. Are you ready to see who won this year’s awards? Meet us downtown June 29, 5:30-8 p.m., at the River Center Branch Library for our 2021 Best of 225 Experience. You’ll be the first to get your hands on our July issue, revealing all of this year’s reader-selected winners. Better yet, we’re turning this year’s celebration into a foodie event. Eight local restaurants and bars will be on hand, serving tastings and signature cocktails. Enjoy great food and drinks while taking in the library’s sweeping views of the downtown riverfront. Special thanks to our event partners Basis Charter Schools, Studyville, Three Roll Estate and Runningboards Marketing of Baton Rouge. Tickets and attendance are limited, so be sure to RSVP at 225batonrouge. com/225experience. We hope to see you there!

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR HOME IS REALLY WORTH IN TODAY’S MARKET? CALL JERRY DEL RIO FOR AN ACCURATE HOME VALUE ASSESSMENT 225.218.0888 • DELRIOREALESTATEBR.COM

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[225] June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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CONTENTS // ON THE COVER

Wild Baton Rouge WHILE YOU WON’T find real alligators in the Bluebonnet Swamp, you can come up close to little ones like this young gator inside BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. The exhibit building on the edge of the pristine swampland is home to several scaly critters to help locals learn about all the wildlife to be found in our backyard. Photographer Collin Richie shot this alligator for our cover story all about the animal encounters you can find in the Baton Rouge area—from zoos, preserves and aquariums to the creatures roaming our own neighborhoods. Turn to page 28 for more.

Features 24 How residents are fostering more pets since the pandemic

69 One local creative who put her talents into wallpaper

power bowls

85

Which local radio station is marking its 10th anniversary

Departments 12 21 27 28 69 75 85 91 8

What’s Up Our City I am 225 Cover story Style Taste Culture Calendar

Summertime

WELLNESS Special Advertising Section, pg. 47

One of several colorful macaws that are able to roam freely at Barn Hill Preserve.

28 COLLIN RICHIE

80 What to add to your own homemade

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If swinging into summer doesn’t go as planned...

A S K T H E S TA FF

What animal do you most identify with? Publisher: Julio Melara

EDITORIAL

We’re here for every Oops, Ouch, and Uh-Oh! “The dolphin! I love that they’re so playful and fun, but also smart. They also don’t like being alone and live in all of the best places.” —Julia Claire-Evans

Editorial director: Penny Font Editor: Jennifer Tormo Managing editor: Benjamin Leger Features writer: Maggie Heyn Richardson Digital content editor: Mark Clements Staff photographer: Collin Richie Contributing writers: Cynthea Corfah, Julia-Claire Evans, Brittney Forbes, Caroline Hebert, Tracey Koch, Stephanie Riegel Contributing photographers: Ariana Allison, Sean Gasser, Amy Shutt, Haskell Whittington

ADVERTISING

Sales director: Erin Palmintier-Pou Account executives: Manny Fajardo, André Hellickson Savoie, Jamie Hernandez, Kaitlyn Maranto, Olivia Robb Advertising coordinator: Devyn MacDonald

“A bird. I love to spread my wings and go, but my favorite place is my nest at home.” —Erin Palmintier-Pou

CORPOR ATE MEDIA

Editor: Lisa Tramontana Content strategist: Allyson Guay Multimedia strategy manager: Tim Coles Client experience coordinator, Studio E: Nicole Prunty “Probably the dolphin. It represents playfulness and wisdom and is a master communicator and unifier. Or maybe I just like the water! Haha!” —Manny Fajardo

MARKETING

Chief marketing officer: Elizabeth McCollister Hebert Marketing & events assistant: Taylor Falgout Events: Abby Hamilton Community liaison: Jeanne McCollister McNeil

ADMINISTR ATION

Assistant business manager: Tiffany Durocher Business associate: Kirsten Milano Office coordinator: Tara Lane Receptionist: Cathy Brown

PRODUCTION/DESIGN Art director: Hoa Vu Graphic designers: Melinda Gonzalez, Emily Witt

“The pelican. Growing up in Baton Rouge, I was always fascinated by our state flag and its meaning: In order to save her babies from starvation, the devoted mother makes her own sacrifices—I think a lot of moms can relate ...” —Allyson Guay

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT

“The ferret: half cat, half dog, curious and silly!” —Cathy Brown

LakeUrgentCare.com Follow Us

facebook.com/LakeAfterHours @lakeurgentcare

Audience development director and digital manager: James Hume Audience development coordinator: Ivana Oubre Audience development associate: Jordan Kozar A publication of Louisiana Business Inc. Chairman: Rolfe H. McCollister Jr. Executive assistant: Tara Broussard President and CEO: Julio Melara Executive assistant: Brooke Motto 9029 Jefferson Highway, Suite 300 Baton Rouge, LA 70809 225-214-5225 • FAX 225-926-1329 225batonrouge.com

©Copyright 2021 by Louisiana Business Incorporated. All rights reserved by LBI. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. Business address: 9029 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. Telephone (225) 214-5225. 225 Magazine cannot be responsible for the return of unsolicited material—manuscripts or photographs—with or without the inclusion of a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. Information in this publication is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed.

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F E E D B AC K / / W H AT ’ S O N L I N E / / MAY 2021 • FREE

Stay hydrated

264

Kyron Bush gets his hair cut at O’Neil’s Barber and Beauty Shop while reading a book.

AS PART OF our May cover story, we spoke to former LSU and NFL quarterback Matt Flynn about his transition to life after sports. Flynn has found success not far from athletics, creating MyHy, a low-sugar liquid concentrate hydration product that can be added to a bottle of water and keep cramps and dizziness at bay. Our readers seem to have found success with MyHy as well as they work on their fitness.

COLLIN RICHIE

Number of likes on Instagram for our post about the story

A book and a cut IN OUR MAY issue, Maggie Heyn Richardson wrote about the nonprofit literacy program Line 4 Line. Its founders O’Neil Curtis and Lucy Perera run it out of Curtis’ barber shop on Acadian Thruway. The premise is that youths can come into the barber shop for a free haircut as long as they read a book aloud to their barber. It’s become so successful that the Line 4 Line team is adding a book mobile this summer and is joining three other nonprofit partners to convert the former Sarkis Oriental Rug store on Government Street into a new youth-focused nonprofit consortium called Youth City Lab. Our followers on Instagram had a lot of positive things to say about Line 4 Line.

“Wonderful idea! Now that’s giving back to the community in a big way!”

“The only thing that keeps us feeling good running in the summer in Louisiana! 10/10 would recommend!”

—@lea0620

“Wow! Amazing people changing lives! Servant’s heart .”

—@firthcookies

—@leannelaplace

NRO UGE

SUM MER

.COM

62

READS 69

Former athl etes are now business and commun local ity leaders

01 Cover.indd

F E AT U R ING: Matt Flyn + former athle n tes like Pete Bush, Artie Varn ado, Darry Beck with Jr. and Jenn i Peters

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“I keep them in my gym bag. Ended up giving one to a rugby player that came out with cramps on Saturday … you’ve got a new purchaser!” —@lsmith616

Nothing but the best

“Wow! This guy is a saint!!!”

It’s time to party and celebrate the Best of 225! To see who won in all the categories of the 2021 Best of 225 Awards, be on the lookout for our July issue hitting stands at the end of this month. And mark your calendars for the Best of 225 Experience on June 29, 5:30-8 p.m., at the River Center Branch Library downtown. Head to 225batonrouge. com/225experience to get tickets!

—@tucker71

“This is awesome!!

GOLF IN BR 20 OUTDOO R DINI NG

Afte gthae mre 225B ATO

—@marthadominguewilliams

CONNECT WITH US facebook.com/225magazine

twitter.com/225batonrouge

instagram.com/225batonrouge

pinterest.com/225batonrouge

youtube.com/225magazine

The Class of 2021 was offered admission to 124 colleges and universities. $18.3 million in scholarship money was offered to 52.6 percent of the Class of 2021 (does not include TOPS information. TOPS data is not yet available for the Class of 2021). 125 seniors went above and beyond the required service hours during each of their four years.

the class of 2021 CONGRATULATIONS TO

3015 Broussard Street Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Four-time U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence 1991 1996 2002 2016 SJA has a non-discriminatory admissions policy.

1991 • 1996 • 2002 • 2016

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(225) 383-7207 www.sjabr.org

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2021

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PHOTOS BY COLLIN RICHIE

June

No man left behind IT STARTED WITH a T-shirt. In 2014, Kenny Ricard was running in the Louisiana Half Marathon when something caught his eye. A T-shirt worn by a passing runner read “Black Men Run.” “It got my attention because he and I were the only African American men I could see out there that day,” Ricard recalls. “I sped up to ask him about it, and he pointed to the website on the shirt and told me to look it up.” The man sped off, and Ricard never caught his name, nor saw him again. But when Ricard got home later that day, he discovered Black Men Run was an organization that promotes running as a way to improve Black men’s health. The nonprofit has more than 50 national and international chapters and is focused on reducing rates of heart disease and stroke among Black males, which are statistically higher than the rates of their white counterparts. Ricard was immediately motivated to start a Baton Rouge chapter, which celebrated its seventh anniversary earlier this year.

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The local organization has about 200 members, whose ages range from 19 to 67. The only requirement, Ricard says, is that members post about their completed workouts at least every 45 days on the group’s private Facebook page. A core group of about 20 meets a few times a week to run at City Park, the LSU Lakes and Southern University. New members of every ability level are welcome to join, Ricard says. Baton Rouge’s Black Men Run chapter has also signaled the importance of safety for Black runners after the death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery last year. Arbery, a Black man, was jogging in a small town in Georgia when he was confronted by three white men. He was killed in a struggle over a shotgun. Black Men Run was one of scores of organizations nationwide that held Run for Ahmaud tribute runs in 2020. Ricard, 63, started running 14 years ago after his doctor issued a stern warning during an annual physical.

“He poked me in the stomach and told me I needed to lose weight,” Ricard says. “I was also diabetic and had hypertension.” Ricard took up running, he says, because a health club membership wasn’t in the budget. Running shoes were. Ricard’s first runs were slow and frustrating. And they were followed by aches and pains. He kept at it, though, and combined his new exercise regimen with a healthier diet. He also began drinking water throughout the day— Ricard has worked for years at East Baton Rouge Parish Mosquito Abatement—in order to stay hydrated for evening runs. “Running was so hard at first, I could hardly breathe,” he says. “But I didn’t quit. I lost weight. I had more energy. Eventually, it got easier.” The Southern University campus became a regular route for Ricard, a Southern alumnus who once played clarinet in its famed marching band, the Human Jukebox. Several months into his new pastime, Ricard realized he had run

Members from Baton Rouge’s Black Men Run chapter, led by founder Kenny Ricard (pictured center in gray T-shirt and red do-rag).

a full 6 miles through his alma mater’s grounds without stopping. Eventually, he worked his way up to being able to run full marathons. He ran two at age 59. Exercise is a central part of Ricard’s life, and one he shares with his wife, Kaylin, an avid triathlete. His weekly routine includes five days of running and regular cycling. “I get nervous if I go more than a couple of days without running,” he says. Founding Baton Rouge’s Black Men Run chapter has introduced Ricard to new friends in the Capital City—and around the country. When he travels, he makes a point of reaching out to local chapters. Members have invited him on runs and to social events, or simply dropped off complimentary water and shared route information. “Our motto is ‘No man left behind,’” Ricard says. “It’s a great thing, and a great brotherhood, and I know that we have actually saved some lives.” blackmenrun.com —MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

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W H AT ’ S U P / /

Yes, we can

DIGITS

A local business is feeding the newfound interest in canning TOILET PAPER AND hand sanitizer weren’t the only things in short supply in 2020. Canning supplies were hard to find, too. Freer schedules last year invited new hobbies, and many home cooks mastered jarring their own pickles, sauces, jellies and preserves. “At one point, it was almost impossible to find canning supplies,” says Ashley Andermann, founder of GrinningJupiter Jammery in Baton Rouge. “People had more time at home to do things they were curious about, like starting a garden and preserving all that produce. I definitely noticed a lack of jars, and especially lids.” Canners often reuse jars, but they change out lids for food safety. The same jar and lid shortage Andermann saw locally was unfolding nationwide, with shelves of supermarkets, hardware stores and big box stores chronically low on canning supplies. Andermann bought as much as she could find in Baton Rouge and online in order to maintain her company’s production. Supplies are plentiful now, giving canners the materials to put up summer tomatoes and pickles, or try fruit preserves and pepper jellies. New adapters can look into one of Andermann’s canning classes, which take place twice a month at Red Stick Spice Co. Recently, she’s added a session on making low-sugar jams and preserves. For more information on classes, visit redstickspice.com, and for information on GrinningJupiter products, visit the company’s Facebook page.

COURTESY LSU AGCENTER FOOD INCUBATOR

150

Combined tons of the products made by artisan food producers at the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator in 2020. With the opening of the Incubator’s new bottling plant earlier this year, that figure is expected to double by the end of 2021. lsuagcenter.com

STOCK PHOTO

“At one point, it was almost impossible to find canning supplies.” —Ashley Andermann

W H AT ’ S I N A N A M E ?

“I would like to remove Lee Drive, and some others.”

FILE PHOTOS

A LITTLE OVER a month after Davis Rhorer’s March 8 death from coronavirus complications, the Metro Council passed a resolution renaming City Hall Plaza in his honor. It was a fitting spot to memorialize Rhorer, Downtown Development District’s founder and executive director. The plaza is the physical nexus of the new downtown library, the City Hall complex, the Old State Capitol and restaurants lining North Boulevard. The plaza also connects to the first phase of the Downtown Greenway, a planned 2.75-mile bike trail that Rhorer held dear. He was frequently spotted cycling around town, one of the many ways he personally championed downtown’s growing amenities. Under his leadership, the area saw $2.4 billion in new investments, including the Shaw Center for the Arts and numerous new hotels, restaurants and housing units.

STOCK PHOTO

Davis S. Rhorer Plaza

—District 6 Metro Council Member Cleve Dunn Jr. about the possibility of renaming Baton Rouge street signs with references to the Confederacy. Subsequent to Dunn’s comments, the Metro Council established an advisory committee that will spend one year identifying streets with ties to divisive figures or events and whether or not to remove them. 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2021

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W H AT ’ S U P / /

STYLE & BEAUTY NEWS

W H AT ’ S N E W

Buzz feed By Julia-Claire Evans

Summer openings After a tough year, the restaurant industry is fighting its way back. Here are some new arrivals to watch for this season:

Mint relocation

The boutique moved to Jefferson Highway in March. The shop, which stocks art, furniture and shoes, now occupies the former Saunders Lux Jeweler space. allthingsmint.com

HairByTrademark Studios

Southern grad and longtime local hairstylist Jericka Lathers plans to open her new salon on May 31 at 1111 N. Lobdell Blvd. Her new shop mainly caters to women. hairbytrademark.com

Agile Brewery The dish: This new brewery will offer 20 rotating taps—including kombucha and nitro cold brew coffee—in the old Southern Craft Brewing Company space on Airline Highway.

City Pork at Highland Park Marketplace The dish: The fourth City Pork will take over the space previously occupied by Adrian’s, bringing back favorite dishes from previous City Pork ventures such as Kitchen & Pie and Deli & Charcuterie.

When to expect it: July or August

When to expect it: Early summer

Cheba Hut

BRcade

The dish: The cannabis-themed sandwich shop will serve up its signature toasted subs and munchies-worthy sides.

The dish: This retro arcade bar moving into the former Pop Shop Records space on Government Street will allow visitors to play their favorite classics while sipping from a full bar.

When to expect it: Early July

Spoke N’ Hub

When to expect it: Early summer

The dish: Restaurateur Stephen Hightower brings his newest venture to Government Street, a neighborhood restaurant that will occupy the former Bistro Byronz location on Government Street.

Social Coffee The dish: You might have tried its pop-up coffee counter in Chow Yum Phat. Now, Social Coffee will be relocating to a storefront downtown.

When to expect it: July

Bistro Byronz The dish: The restaurant’s newest location is setting up in the now-closed White Star Market space alongside the upcoming Tap 65. Look forward to an expanded outdoor dining area. When to expect it: Mid-summer

Tap 65 The dish: This self-pour concept from the owners of Mid Tap will bring 65 craft brews, 65 different types of bourbon, signature cocktails and a menu of small plates and shareable dishes inspired by Indian and a variety of other cultural cuisines. It will share the old White Star Market space with Bistro Byronz. When to expect it: Late July or August

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Jet to the beach

Local Louisiana honey

Thinking of frequenting the Gulf Coast shore this summer? Now you can get to paradise even faster. Baton Rouge Metro Airport will be offering flights directly from Baton Rouge to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach starting June 3 via Ultimate Jetcharters. The $490 round trip tickets bring travelers from Baton Rouge to Jack Edwards National Airport in less than one hour.

Biggie Bee Farms is buzzing in! The West Baton Rouge farm’s honey became available at Hive Pizza in March, and it also stocks honey in local spots such as Calandro’s, Calvin’s, Red Stick Spice Co. and the Red Stick Farmers Market. Buying local is buying delicious. biggiebee.com

FILE PHOTOS BY COLLIN RICHIE AND AMY SHUTT. COURTESY PHOTOS BY CALEB BOURQUE / TAP 65 AND SOCIAL COFFEE

When to expect it: Early summer

[225] June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL

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W H AT ’ S U P / /

Pup

paintings A Baton Rouge artist paints pet portraits of your furry friends By Cynthea Corfah // Photos by Collin Richie

“People light up when they talk about their pets.” —Paige Gresell

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BEFORE THE PANDEMIC, Paige Gresell put down her paintbrush to pursue a passion in skin care. After majoring in painting and drawing at LSU, she wanted a break from art. The 29-year-old became a skin care advisor at Sephora, where she educated customers on new products, trends and techniques. Once COVID-19 reached Louisiana, her skin care career came to a halt. People were spending more time at home and less on makeup and beauty products. With her new down time, the Baton Rouge creative started making art again. Back in December 2019, Gresell made mini pet portraits of a friend’s two dogs as Christmas gifts. Initially she didn’t think much of it—until she was asked to make more. During the stayat-home order, people started requesting pet portraits again, and her art business was up and running. Gresell began PMG Paint in 2020. Today, pet portraits are her most requested artwork, but she also creates custom home portraits and abstract paintings. Her pet portraits are painted on pocket-sized mini canvases and standard 5-by-7-inch canvases. During the holidays, she paints festive, mini pet portraits on wooden ornaments. All of her work is made with acrylics, in bold, realistic colors that bring the animals to life. No portrait is the same. Each pet painting is eye-catching, animated and has its own special character. Gresell paints the animals with special backgrounds depending on the customer’s request or the theme of the painting. In one of her creations, she depicted a brown and white striped cat with a jungle background. The cat wears a leopard-print outfit while surrounded by dangling plants. In another portrait, she painted a dog in a New Orleans Saints jersey in front of a gold background with black stars and white polka dots. Her favorite part of her business is hearing the stories of her customers and their four-legged friends. “People light up when they talk about their pets,” Gresell says. She doesn’t just love painting animals, she also loves supporting them, and most importantly, giving them a home. Every month, she donates a portion of her shop proceeds to a local animal shelter. In 2021, she also started fostering homeless dogs. This year, she plans to start partnering with more animal shelters to volunteer and donate funds. Customers shop Gresell’s art primarily online through Local Pop-Up’s website and on Etsy. She plans to launch her own website, where customers can order unique portraits and other art in one place. “I’m really proud,” she says, “of where my art has taken me.” etsy.com/shop/PaigeMontanaGresell

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W H AT ’ S U P / /

YOUR FLAVOR Dream car

Candace Li Author, Wings 36

Porsche Cayenne SUV

Range Rover

Kristie Wilkerson Revenue management consultant 30

Cornelius Thomas Jr.

Life coach, author, poet; Owner, Lyrical Giant Movement LLC 40

Favorite way to connect with nature

My kids

I love to be on the beach in front of the rolling ocean.

Words to live by

Daily habits make the woman or man.

Best candle scent

Your board game pick

Lemongrass

Life

Lavender

James LeBlanc

Physical therapist and clinical director, Kleinpeter Physical Therapy 34

The cutest animal

An all-black Audi A8

Antique Rolls-Royce

Golden retriever puppy

Hiking in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Clue. It’s fun but not too long.

Scrabble

Golden lab puppy

I volunteer with BREC Conservation, and I love hiking.

“Be kind always” is my life motto.

Satsuma. It’s like heaven!

My favorite animals are lions and German shepherds

Dive right in and get out in it. I like green scenery and being by the water.

Life is for living, and it can’t be rehearsed. Respect the 24 hours.

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W H AT ’ S U P / / 225 PEOPLE

Getting back out there

By 225 Staff // Photos by Ariana Allison

After a year at home, events finally began returning to Baton Rouge this spring. Here’s a small sampling of recent happenings:

“Best in Show” winner OAK AND WILLOW FLORAL DESIGN

The Flower Fest

Attendees AMANDA PROCTOR and ZACHARY BORDAS

Beauvoir Park’s #SXSP Fest

The city’s first-ever Flower Fest competition and gala debuted April 3-4 at PointeMarie. Eleven professional florists created larger-thanlife installations utilizing local flowers and greenery. Attendees participated in flower workshops, enjoyed food truck bites—and, of course, took lots of photos. The event raised money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. theflowerfest.com

Balloons by ANIMATED ART BALLOON DECOR AND ENTERTAINMENT

JESSICA MCCRARY and CAILA MICELI

LUCKY LAW FIRM

THE PRANCING BABYCAKES

Beauvoir Park was one of the few venues to continue live music events during the pandemic, and it also brought back the city’s first music festival since March 2020. At the multi-day South By St. Paddy’s Fest, 14 bands performed under the Perkins Road overpass from March 11-20. instagram.com/beauvoirpark

Mid City Gras’ MASK-erade LOUISIANA YARD DOGS

Mardi Gras wasn’t ready for a full return this season, but Mid City Gras made the best of the situation. Krewe members held a reverse parade Feb. 7, with neighborhood homes decked out in “costumes,” dance troupes performing and krewe members handing out socially distant throws. midcitygras.org

Opera Louisiane’s Open Air Fair Opera Louisiane’s Young People’s Opera Program presented a family-friendly, educational opera and art show March 27 at the Main Library at Goodwood. operalouisiane.com

ROBERT SHERMAN and RYAN MURRAY of Bloco Jacare, a Brazilian drumming ensemble

TREY NELSON and BARBARA RUIZ of Baton Rouge General

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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THE LOWDOWN

5 STEPS TO FREEDOM: HOW TO SOLVE AN IRS TAX PROBLEM

A

letter in the mailbox from the IRS usually doesn’t bring good news. Maybe you’re being audited or dealing with paying back taxes. Or maybe you’re in trouble for never even filing a return in the first place. Issues with the IRS will never magically go away on their own, and the longer you ignore them, the more you’ll end up owing. Going up against the IRS often leaves people feeling helpless and alone, but partnering with a tax attorney can help to reach the best possible outcome and even fit your budget. Bryson Law Firm, LLC brings decades of experience in tax law and tax resolution. Unlike the ‘cookie-cutter’ national firms, Bryson is a local, Louisiana-based Law Firm that focuses 100% of their offorts on tax law. Cary and Angie Bryson have assembled a team of lawyers, analysts, and tax specialists—committed to representing clients of all walks of life—to hear your story,uncover all aspects of your tax dilemma, custom-craft a solution to your problem, and negotiate with the taxing authorities until the matter is resolved. “Unfortunately, many of our clients come to us only after they’ve used one of those national tax resolution firms advertised on TV or elsewhere,” says Attorney Cary Bryson. “Many of these fly-by-night outfits aren’t even licensed to practice law in Louisiana. Like traveling salesmen, they are here today, gone tomorrow.” Bryson Law Firm, LLC takes a very holistic, comprehensive approach with fixed rates so clients don’t have to worry about being charged separately when they talk to them. Consulting a tax attorney is liberating. Call Bryson Law Firm, LLC to set up your free initial consultation to get started on the road to freedom.

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Every case is different, so just because someone you know may have reached a settlement for a particular amount, Resolution Plans vary for each unique situation. One thing that is the same is the process. Bryson Law Firm, LLC has established a five-step process to create a successful strategy and resolve your tax issue:

STEP 1: INITIAL CONSULTATION—FREE Before spending thousands of dollars on a faceless, national tax firm, set up a free initial consultation with Bryson Law Firm, LLC. When you call, you’ll speak to a friendly Case Intake Coordinator who will get your contact information and learn a little bit about your tax issues. Once it’s established that Bryson can help, you’ll be scheduled for a virtual consultation with a Tax Attorney and receive a pre-consultation information packet with further instructions on how to prepare for your consultation. In your consultation, you’ll share a bit more about your tax situation and the Attorney will present you with a tentative Case Plan towards Tax Resolution and a fixed fee quote to accompany that Resolution Plan. Once you say yes to engaging Bryson Law Firm, LLC, you’re assigned to a Team of Tax Professionals to initiate work on your case.

STEP 2: CASE DISCOVERY During the Discovery phase, Bryson Law Firm, LLC will submit a Power of Attorney form to the IRS. This means the IRS will no longer call you at home or at work. All phone calls, personal visits and correspondence from the IRS must immediately go through the law firm. You’ll have a lead Tax Attorney to guide you through the process, provide expert insight, and drive your case forward. Your Client Coordinator and Case Diagnostic Specialist assists the lead Attorney by compiling your financial information and documentation and completing relevant IRS and Louisiana state tax forms. Overseeing it all is one of Bryson’s senior managing Attorneys, who will be constantly reviewing the strategy to ensure the strategy meets your individual needs.

STEP 3: ACCOUNTING AND TAX RETURNS During and after the Discovery phase, Bryson will ensure you are ready for the Resolution phase by ensuring that you are current and compliant with the IRS and/or State taxing authority in both your filing and payment requirements. In order to successfully present a Resolution Plan to the IRS or State for acceptance, your tax returns must be up to date and you must be current in making any tax payments due for the current tax periods.

STEP 4: RESOLUTION Next, your Attorney presents your case to the IRS or Louisiana state tax agents, proposing the best option for you, based on your situation and finances. Your situation is unique, so you need a firm like Bryson Law Firm, LLC to formulate a successful strategy that considers your unique situation and represents your best interest, not that of the IRS or state taxing authority. Bryson will present a cohesive plan that clearly states the rationale for the resolution they are seeking for you and will work to negotiate with the IRS or state taxing authority to secure a formal resolution on your behalf.

STEP 5: FREEDOM Finally, after months or even years of stress, you can finally breathe easy. Your case is resolved. The team at Bryson will then prepare you for life after resolution, staying current on your taxes moving forward so you won’t find yourself in a similar tax situation in the future. Consulting a Tax Attorney is liberating. Call Bryson Law Firm, LLC to set up your free initial consultation to get started on the road to freedom.

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True grit

I N S I D E : Pet adoption during the pandemic

In the wake of LSU’s sexual misconduct findings, sexual assault services provider STAR has never been asked to do more

B Y M AG G I E HE Y N R I C HA R D S O N / / P H OTO S BY S E AN GAS S E R

Angela Golden, Racheal Hebert, Morgan Lamandre and Kirsten Raby of STAR get ready to lobby at the state capitol for issues concerning their nonprofit.

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“People at LSU feel betrayed because the system didn’t protect them. … That, to me, is one of the biggest things about LSU’s culture that needs to change.” —STAR founder, president and CEO Racheal Hebert (pictured second from left)

BEFORE LSU’S MULTI-YEAR mishandling of sexual misconduct cases was exposed, and before student survivors delivered difficult testimonies to a committee hearing at the State Legislature earlier this year, the Baton Rouge nonprofit Sexual Trauma Assistance and Response had been advocating for a culture change at LSU. “We’ve definitely noticed significant issues when it comes to supporting survivors of sexual assault,” says STAR founder, president and CEO Racheal Hebert. After the USA Today story about the LSU scandal broke in November, Hebert posted a response that read, “Over the years, STAR has repeatedly offered to assist LSU in developing and improving its efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault on campus. And while we have been fortunate to partner consistently with programs such as the LSU Women’s Center, the Women’s and Gender Studies Department, and the LSU Lighthouse Program, which provides support to survivors of sexual assault on campus, we have been ignored and dismissed by other departments and programs

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within the university that we know are hotspots for sexual assault, specifically LSU’s Greek system and the athletics department.” Now STAR has been asked to play a role in attempting to change the culture at LSU. Following the HuschBlackwell report, which uncovered a system of mismanagement in addressing sexual misconduct issues, the university hired STAR to assess its current climate and make recommendations on how to improve it. This includes looking at a mandatory training faculty and staff currently take on how to handle sexual misconduct issues, and updating it to be more effective. STAR has also been asked to update training on sexual misconduct and dating violence for students. In a separate contract, LSU Athletics has hired STAR to assess its workplace climate concerning issues of sexual misconduct and to develop a training for staff. These are initial steps in improving how LSU responds to—and tries to prevent—dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault and sexual harassment, Hebert says. STAR is working directly with LSU Interim

Vice President for Civil Rights and Title IX Jane Cassidy on this first round of work, which also includes training the Title IX office’s recently expanded staff. “This is us trying to change the culture on our own campus. We’re trying to promote a culture change where we all think the same thing about these things,” Cassidy says. “We’re fortunate to have STAR in the community. They are subject matter experts.” Just how things will change at the university is still unknown. New bills before the Louisiana Legislature this spring could alter how state universities handle employees who fail to report violations, and the Biden administration could recommend changes to Title IX laws, as the Trump administration did previously. The changes won’t happen overnight. STAR will ultimately be encouraging LSU to create a culture that supports those who report misconduct, rather than discourages them through fear of retaliation, and that will take time. “That, to me, is one of the biggest things about LSU’s culture that needs to change,” Hebert says. “People at

LSU feel betrayed because the system didn’t protect them.”

STAR’s growth Baton Rouge-based STAR has been focused on supporting survivors of sexual assault and educating the community about sexual violence for nearly a decade. It is Louisiana’s largest sexual assault service provider, and its counselors work with thousands of sexual assault victims every year through offices in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Alexandria. The organization began as the Rape Crisis Center, a unit situated in the District Attorney’s Office in Baton Rouge. Hebert, a licensed clinical social worker who earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from LSU, was then a Rape Crisis Center employee. She led its transition to an independent nonprofit, as well as a rebranding. The move placed the organization in a stronger position to fundraise and grow its badly needed programs, Hebert says. Hebert and her team, who have won numerous awards for their work,

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OUR CITY //

have grown STAR’s reach considerably through the years. They secured major federal grants from the Justice Department’s Office of Violence Against Women, which allowed STAR to expand its counseling staff. Federal grants also enabled the organization to open a legal division that helps survivors through both criminal and Title IX proceedings. STAR’s staff attorneys advocate for changes in the legal system that support survivors’ rights. One example is a bill before the current legislative session that adds sexual assault to the reasons a Louisiana renter can terminate a lease early. In 2016, private funding enabled STAR to open divisions in New Orleans and in Alexandria, which serves eight Central Louisiana parishes. Before the Alexandria branch opened, that region had been without a sexual assault service provider for five years.

A threefold mission “The first part of our mission is supporting survivors,” Hebert says. “That is largely what we’re known for in the community: our confidential and free services to survivors, as well as our educational work.”

Secondly, STAR aims to improve “system response,” which includes how an organization (like LSU) reports sexual assault and holds offenders accountable. STAR’s third objective is to change a culture that has historically blamed and shamed victims to one that seeks to reduce and eliminate sexual violence and supports those who report it. The trauma of sexual assault doesn’t end with the incident itself, Hebert says. “Time and time again, survivors will tell us, ‘It wasn’t just the rape; it was what happened after. I told someone, and they didn’t believe me.’ Or, ‘I tried to report it, and I had to go through all these hoops just for him to not get suspended or arrested.’” Hebert credits survivors for keeping the pressure on LSU. “Survivors are changing the institution of LSU forever,” says Hebert. “And that’s pretty significant.” But she also believes that the survivors who have come forward are the tip of the iceberg. “There are so many more people that don’t want the public spotlight,” Hebert says. “It’s pervasive.”

Surging demand amid cutbacks STAR has managed to expand its services and physical reach over its history against a backdrop of funding challenges. Unlike some states, Louisiana does not support sexual assault service providers with a budget allocation. “Sexual assault centers across the state desperately need funding for what they’re already doing,” Hebert says. “(Louisiana) needs to make a real investment in new centers. When someone is sexually assaulted, it’s a crime against the state.” STAR’s budget comes primarily from federal grants, some private fundraising, and normally, $200,000 in dedicated annual funding from the 19th Judicial District Attorney’s office. The DA allotment was recently eliminated due to city-parish cutbacks, Hebert says. STAR is currently raising money to fill the gap created by the loss of its DA funding. A private donor has pledged $150,000 and is encouraging the community to match it. This comes at a time when demand for STAR’s services is at an all-time high. In the last few months, dozens of organizations have called the agency

for sexual misconduct training, Hebert says. Meanwhile, more survivors are requesting confidential help, she says. Hebert and her team aren’t sure if it’s because recent news reports about the university’s violations have increased awareness, or because COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted and individuals are feeling more comfortable about going to hospitals, but numbers are up appreciably. Hebert says calls on the organization’s hotline increased 50% this spring. In its Alexandria branch, the team that meets rape survivors in hospitals went out on one or two callouts a day in the month of March— triple the normal level for that office. “Requests for services have increased so much over the past three months,” Hebert says. “It has been overwhelming, really. And we do not turn survivors away.”

Find out more For more information about STAR, visit the organization’s website, star.ngo. STAR’s free and confidential hotline is (855) 435-STAR. Read LSU’s response to its Title IX scandal at lsu.edu/titleix-review.

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Pandemic pets An increase in fostering over the last year has improved the save rate, keeping more Baton Rouge pets alive By Maggie Heyn Richardson // Photos by Collin Richie

One of the dogs awaiting adoption at Companion Animal Alliance

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CARRIE KAHN WAS one of dozens of volunteers who lined up outside Companion Animal Alliance late last March to help the agency find foster homes for its sheltered animals. Gov. John Bel Edwards had just issued Louisiana’s COVID-19 stayat-home order, and CAA, Baton Rouge’s nonprofit animal shelter, issued emergency pleas to volunteers to foster a dog or cat. The facility was going to be closed to the public for adoptions during the shutdown, while also having to continue to take in stray dogs. “I think I waited four hours outside, since they were limiting the number of visitors inside at the time,” Kahn recalls. “So many people showed up to foster that day. It was truly incredible to see the community step up.” One by one, prospective fosters entered the building to pick out an animal they felt would fit well into their lives. Some were already trained to foster pets, and newcomers had trained online before arriving, or received an orientation on the spot. By the end of the day, CAA had found successful matches for about 130 of the 200 mostly dogs at the shelter. Those remaining weren’t adoptable anyway—they had been picked up by Animal Control, but had owners. The all-call was a huge accomplishment, and one that’s had a lasting impact on the shelter’s operations more than a year later, says CAA Philanthropy Director Emily Jackson. “Our save rate at the end of 2019 was 76%,” Jackson says. “By the end of the first quarter of this year, it was 92%, which we credit to fostering.” CAA was established in 2010 to improve Baton Rouge’s animal save rate, which was just 20% at the time. The organization has achieved this remarkable increase through robust adoption and foster programs, community partnerships, a humane and state-of-the-art facility on Gourrier Drive and a partnership with the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. While pet adoptions are essential in increasing a community’s save rate, fostering is an equally powerful strategy because it provides an immediate multiplier effect, Jackson says. Foster families care for adoptable pets and actively help find permanent homes, freeing up CAA to care for animals who need extra resources. “It’s unreal what it’s done for our team to be able to focus on animals

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pet equipment, Jackson says. with problems,” Jackson says. “We There are three different ways to were having the luxury of saying ‘We foster, according to Jackson. Longhave the time to save a life, or two or term fosters, who are especially 100.’ The foster program relieves the important, accept an animal of their burden of not having enough space. It choice until a permanent family comes significantly increases our capacity of along. Long-term fosters are asked care.” to help promote the animal on social With the pandemic keeping workers media and bring it to community at home much of last year, many adoptions held by CAA partners. residents felt more comfortable taking Long-term fosters have to be flexible, on a foster pet. because it’s hard to say when a willing “I was volunteering (at the shelter) adopter will come along. and walking the dogs, but wanted Another option is transport fosto do more when the pandemic hit,” tering, a two-week commitment in Kahn says. “I found out I would be which an animal stays in a home until working from home and decided to go it’s moved to another shelter (usually for it.” in the northern U.S.) with a smaller Kahn picked up her first foster dog population of animals. This, of course, on the day before the shutdown, and increases its chances of being adopted. a total of six dogs since. All but her The third option is weekend current dog have been adopted, but it fostering, which gives animals a brief will remain with her until his forever respite from shelter life. family comes along, she says. “It’s a great opportunity for indiGoing back to work hasn’t been an viduals or families to try it out for a issue, Kahn adds. Her foster dogs have couple of nights to see if they want to handled it fine. invest more time,” Jackson says. While fostering is at an all-time “We have an amazing network of high, Jackson believes it will continue fosters,” she adds. “They’re not only to grow. CAA has a current network there for the dogs, but also for each of about 400 foster volunteers. Those Issue 2021 Ad proof #1 other.” who are Date: regularsJune support each other • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. For more information about how by providing occasional pet-sitting if • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours youdeadlines. can help, visit caabr.org. someone to travel, sharing from receiptneeds of this proof. A shorterortimeframe willofapply for tight

“The foster program relieves the burden of not having enough space. It significantly increases our capacity of care.” —CAA Philanthropy Director Emily Jackson

• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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PARKVIEW BAPTIST SCHOOL

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EDUCATION

with an ETERNAL FOUNDATION

5750 PARKVIEW CHURCH ROAD l (225) 291-2500 EXT. 104

Parkview Baptist School admits students of any race, color and national or ethnic origin.

[225 June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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I AM 225 //

Emanuel ‘Boo’ Milton

“I can do so many things, but at the heart of it all is people.”

WHEN EMANUEL “BOO” Milton sets his mind on an idea, he makes it happen. It’s been that way for as long as he could put a pencil to paper. His big ideas and even bigger personality have landed the 25-year-old on stages across the country. The Baton Rouge music artist and community strategist has hosted global conferences from California to Virginia. He hosted Cities United 2019 Annual Convening, where they commemorated the 400-year remembrance of the arrival of the first Africans in British North America. Milton’s local philanthropic efforts and community involvement led to national recognition by organizations like The Obama Foundation and even a segment on the talk show Live with Kelly and Ryan. While Milton has a commanding and powerful voice and skilled musical background, it’s his actions that make him stand out. In high school, he was a local rapper on the rise. His popular singles included “G Step,” “Start the Line” and “Roller Coaster” featuring rapper Kevin Gates. After experiencing a spiritual awakening, Milton paused his music career and went from rapping on concert stages to hosting conferences, summits and community discussions about youth programs, education and underserved people in Baton Rouge. Ever since, Milton’s friendly smile and bright persona has been spotted all over Baton Rouge. He was a radio personality at local radio station Max 94.1 for four years. He started the annual Boo Milton & Friends All-Star Dodgeball Tournament in 2018 to raise money for different causes. Milton chose 80 to 120 community leaders and business owners to play dodgeball in support of local organizations like Front Yard Bikes and Walls Project. He has a passion for giving and helping youth reach their highest potential. In 2020, he launched Spark Box, a line of activity kits for children ages 6 to 8. He was inspired to create the boxes after seeing how COVID-19 prevented children from connecting. Milton was a youth summer camp leader for years, so he knew how important it was to fill the educational and social voids with engaging activities and writing prompts. More than 2,000 Spark Boxes were mailed and distributed to children around the United States last year. After taking a hiatus from performing as an artist, Milton is ready to return to his first love: music. This time with a new style, uplifting and encouraging lyrics, and a more seasoned sound. He plans to release new rap and pop music in summer 2021. But he’s not stopping his community work just yet. He’ll continue his behind-the-scenes involvement in the community with organizations like Cities United—all while sharing his story and touching people through his music. boomilton.com

COLLIN RICHIE

—CYNTHEA CORFAH

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A friendly Asian small-clawed otter plays in the water at Barn Hill Preserve near Ethel.

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COLLIN RICHIE

C OV E R S T ORY

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d l i W

C OV E R S T ORY

BY BENJAMIN LEGER TEP OUTSIDE YOUR home at night in these early summer days, and you just might feel like you’re deep in a tropical jungle. The air is wet, bugs are fluttering about. There’s a constant chime of cicadas and a rhythm of croaking frogs. Something scurries by in the trees above you, shaking the dew off the leaves. The muggy, warm days bring out the critters we may love or hate, but their presence is a constant reminder of the lushness of south Louisiana. Wildlife thrives here in a way it might not in other urban areas. Just head over to BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp to see for yourself—it’s surrounded on all sides by office parks, townhomes and residential subdivisions. Yet once you step onto the boardwalks above the swampy waters, it feels like you’re far away from the bustle of the city. For our cover story this month, we wanted to dive deep into the wild places of Baton Rouge. From the creature encounters you might have in your own backyard—think snakes, opossums and even foxes—to the exotic animal attractions around us that draw families and visitors, we got up close to it all.

Because despite the plethora of local wildlife you can spot just by taking a walk around the block or in a local park, there are now more places than ever locally to get hands on with animals you might have only seen before on the Discovery Channel. In the next pages, we take you to visit the kangaroos, otters and wild cats at Barn Hill Preserve near Ethel, as well as the sharks, stingrays and seahorses of the new Blue Zoo inside the Mall of Louisiana. We even browse through the many curios and animal specimens stored in the LSU Museum of Natural Science, and get tips on photographing wildlife from one of Louisiana’s most renowned outdoor photographers. Turn the page for more. It’s our hope these stories help you take a second to observe and appreciate all that nature has to offer around us here in Baton Rouge. And we want to hear your stories, too! Tell us about your craziest or most fascinating animal encounters around town by sending us an email at editor@225batonrouge.com.

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Barn Hill CEO Gabe Ligon bottle feeds T’challa, a 9-month-old giraffe that will stand 18 feet tall once fully grown.

close encounters Meeting the exotic animals at the ever-expanding Barn Hill Preserve

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ESY BARN HIL

other small animals to birthday parties and events. “Then I decided it seemed like a cool thing to get into more seriously. So I bought one acre of land,” he says. “This is the original barn (which houses the gift shop and offices), and I started buying more land. We started a pumpkin patch, doing field trips, animal shows, and we started slowly acquiring more animals.” Now in its ninth year, the count at Barn Hill is 165 animals representing more than 50 species cared for by a staff of 17. There’s a 9-month-old giraffe (still taller than any of us) named

The Asian small-clawed otters are quite an attraction for visitors. Not only are they an energetic animal to watch splash around, visitors can swim with them, as well.

IMAGES COURT

HE MENTION OF barnyard animals might make you think of sheep, goats and other livestock—and Barn Hill Preserve definitely has those. But you’re more likely to make the trek out to this isolated attraction near Ethel for the giraffes, the sloths, the kangaroos and a chance to swim with otters. Yes, otters. It’s the biggest draw here, according to Barn Hill’s CEO Gabe Ligon. There are few exhibits like it in the country, making it a destination for locals and out-of-state visitors. Ligon says he’s always loved animals and helping educate others about them through hands-on experiences. He got his start bringing parrots and

L PRESERVE

B Y BE NJA MIN L E G E R // P H OTOS B Y CO L L I N R I C H I E AND S E AN GAS S E R

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C OV E R S T ORY

T’challa that you can feed with a bottle. There’s an enclosure of sleepy sloths resting overhead but just within arm’s reach if you want to feed them a handful of strawberries. There’s an African serval—a type of wild cat— that’s docile enough for the educators to walk it around on a leash to greet tours. And then there are those playful otters. Barn Hill has several Asian small-clawed otters and a shallow, temperature-controlled saltwater pool where guests can wade while they swim about—occasionally jumping into your arms or using your shoulders as a perch before their next dive.

Good old birds

BARN HILL HOUSES a variety of macaws that are rescues or had been abandoned by their owners. The birds can live to about 80 years old, which makes them hard for families to maintain. The oldest—the red macaw in the background—just celebrated its 74th birthday. Ligon says the macaws are usually allowed to fly freely around the preserve.

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Kovu, the African serval, has a vertical leap of up to 10 feet, but is also docile enoug h to be leash-trained by staff. They tend to eat rodents and small birds. “Com pared to lions and leopards, they have a highe r kill rate than most of the other anim als, just because they’re so nimble and acrobatic,” Ligon says.

The success of the animal encounters has helped Barn Hill become an everexpanding adventureland in the woods of East Feliciana Parish. Last year, Ligon opened Magnolia Ridge, a 32-acre zipline and obstacle course park, just south of Barn Hill along the Comite River. Guests meet at Barn Hill and are then shuttled to the zipline site, or they can buy a full package to experience both the preserve and the ziplines. Ligon says he was partially inspired to build the adventure park by the COVID-19 stay-at-home order and

the desire to be outdoors. “Honestly, I was bored during COVID, and I saw this beautiful property down the road,” he says. “We wanted to do something outdoors. So we took the gamble. And we opened in the heat of COVID. But it’s been really great.” Next up is an 11-acre safari park, where guests will be able to drive through and see a variety of friendly animals. It’s also where that young giraffe T’challa will eventually move,

and you’ll be able to observe him from the comfort of your car window. Ligon also has plans for a lodge where guests can stay overnight for weddings, field trips and other special events. Over its nearly decade-long growth, the attraction has hosted weddings, birthday parties, wine tastings and even kangaroo yoga events on its grounds. That’s quite a wild journey for a place that was once just a barn on a hill.

VISIT BARN HILL

Barn Hill Preserve is at 11342 LA-955 near Ethel. All visits are guided and require reservations. Tours are held daily until 4 p.m. Find out more at barnhillpreserve. com. Reservations are also required for the ziplines at Magnolia Ridge. Find out more at magnoliaridgeadventurepark.com.

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A day in the life of a C OV E R S T ORY

r e p e e k o o z

We followed along for a day of feeding, cleaning habitats, checking the vitals—and more feeding and cleaning—at Baton Rouge Zoo BY MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON P HOTO S B Y S EAN G ASS ER

4 to 8 a.m.

Breakfast for 700

Before zookeepers arrive, an early morning commissary crew is hard at work preparing meals—called diets—for each species. They follow pages of clipboard instructions that ensure the animals are given healthy amounts of varied, tasty foods. For example, fruit bats get salads of chopped fresh fruits and vegetables. Birds of prey dine on appropriately sized mice and rats. Carnivores get a variety of lean meats. Spider monkeys are fed something called monkey biscuits that are soaked in apple juice. “When it comes to the animals, you have to make sure you are focused on giving them the right amount,” says 16-year zoo employee Commonisea Samuel. “It’s our job to take care of them and their health.”

Sandra Hally and Titus Fortune prepare bowls of fruits, vegetables, nuts and more food to meet the varied nutritional needs of the zoo’s animals.

HINK YOU KNOW your dog or cat? It’s nothing compared to the insights a zookeeper develops about the wild animals in their care. Zookeepers are like observant parents, watching over their animals’ behavior, health and demeanor. They make sure animals eat well, live in safe, clean conditions, enjoy fresh stimuli and develop new skills that keep their senses alert. If an animal needs help, it’s the zookeeper who’ll spot it first. Zookeepers at BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo tend to more than 700 individual animals, working in four teams assigned by species. One team handles birds, and a different team cares for hoof stock animals like deer, elk and ibex. Another watches over primates and carnivores, which have similar safety considerations. A fourth team is assigned to the children’s petting zoo and aquarium. But no matter what creatures they’re caring for, zookeepers follow a prescriptive daily plan they say prioritizes the animals’ wellness. There’s a lot to do before the zoo even opens for the day, and plenty more items to mark off the checklist before they put up their charges for the night. brzoo.org

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8 a.m.

Feeding time Zookeepers arrive and head to the commissary to pick up the animal diets, some loading them onto staff trikes for easy transport. If necessary, they also head to the animal hospital to pick up medicines their animals might need. Next, they make rounds at their exhibits to give out those morning diets. Keepers can enter the enclosures of certain animals, like birds, but they feed others through food chutes.

9 a.m. to noon On the lookout

Like parents, keepers tidy up after the meal is over, including removing feeding bowls, cleaning pens and maintaining the exhibit so the animals live in healthy conditions. They’re also preparing for visitors to arrive at 9:30 a.m. All the while, they’re carefully observing the animals to make sure they’ve eaten well and are exhibiting normal behavior. This takes developing a sixth sense about them, says bird zookeeper Gina Guidry, so keepers can quickly spot something amiss. “After I feed them, I’m checking to make sure no one has any injuries, or is sick or in distress,” Guidry says. “Then I’ll come back and do a closer check on everyone to make sure their behavior is still normal.”

Zookeeper Julianna Johnson gives meatball snacks to Sumatran tiger, Satu (left), and Malayan tiger, Intan (above).

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C OV E R S T ORY

1 to 3:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

Many animals get a second feeding, sending the keepers back to the commissary for another round of diets. After feeding the animals and cleaning their pens again, keepers carry out enrichment activities meant to stimulate and engage. This ranges from giving a primate occasional fragrant treats, like kiwis, introducing a toy with a new smell on it to a tiger, or building a platform for a bird to perch and interact. Keepers also engage in training. They have direct contact with some animals, while others are trained through a protective barrier. Keeper training isn’t about teaching tricks; it’s about teaching the animals to carry out specific activities that make their care easier. “We do training sessions almost every day,” says primate and carnivore zookeeper Julianna Johnson. “They’re trained to do things like show me their paws or the inside of their mouths, so they can actually participate in their own wellness.” Throughout the afternoon, keepers take careful notes on what they’ve observed about their animals for their exhibit’s curator to review. After COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, they’ll conduct Keeper Chats throughout the day, sharing facts about the animals with visitors.

Weather is a big consideration for zookeepers, since falling temperatures and rainstorms require some animals to be placed in enclosures to manage their stress and safety. When this happens, herding the animals requires different strategies. For example, the giant tortoises can be attracted by an orange bucket, which they associate with food. Moving the animals takes time, so a keeper has to be vigilant about daily weather conditions. “I have like four weather apps,” Guidry says.

Lunch and learn

34

Bird zookeeper Gina Guidry checks in on her flock, including the Victoria Crowned Pigeon (left), a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (above), and a Red-Sided Eclectus Parrot (below).

How’s the weather?

4 to 5 p.m.

Down for the night

As closing time approaches, the keepers prepare their final steps, making sure the exhibits are clean and ready for bedtime and that the animals are safe and content for the night. “Timing is a big part of it,” Guidry says. “Especially in the evenings, you have to give yourself enough time to get everything taken care of for the animals before you leave.”

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Biodlibiverrasryity

The LSU Museum of Natural Science’s research collection is open by appointment to students and researchers.

Stories from the LSU Museum of Natural Science, home to a world-renowned collection of animal specimens B Y JE N N IFER TO R MO // P H OTOS B Y CO L L I N R I C HI E

museum. Past the public displays, HRISTOPHER AUSTIN IS there’s a whole other world of objects convinced all children are stored away. It’s full of millions of born naturalists. specimens of mammals, fishes, “If you take a snake up to a amphibians and other creatures. 4-month-old, nothing hapDown long hallways, shelves are pens. The babies are usually lined with hundreds of thousands of really entertained by the snake, snakes, frogs and fishes preserved in actually,” he says. “Snakes, lizards jars of alcohol. Thousands of colorful and frogs are really accessible to kids, birds are cataloged inside giant pullespecially here in Louisiana. They’re in out tray drawers. Each specimen is our backyards, in the ditches behind dated and tagged with its scientific our houses. Most kids love them—until name and place of origin. something in society eventually makes This is where you’ll find the most people afraid of snakes.” third-largest university bird collection This is Austin’s answer to why he in the world. In terms of magnitude, became a herpetologist. Before he was it’s right up there with Harvard. The the curator of amphibians and reptiles planet’s largest and oldest collection at the LSU Museum of Natural Science, of DNA and frozen tissues is right here he grew up admiring tadpoles. in Baton Rouge, and it’s an incredible Watching their metamorphosis into resource for national and international frogs felt like pure magic to him. By scientists workthe time ing on a variety he was a of studies. teenager, Students he knew come from all studying over the globe reptiles was just to be a part what he of the research wanted to do happening with the rest here. of his life. The Today, students and Austin is also professors the director um of Natural The public exhibits at the LSU Muse alike all have of the LSU fall. this en reop to cted expe Science are one shared Museum mission: to better understand the of Natural biodiversity of the planet. They go on Science. To the 10,000 visitors expeditions to remote destinations who come through the museum’s across the globe. They helicopter doors in a normal year, they know to the tops of mountains, collect Austin’s workplace as the museum’s specimens, and bring them back to educational exhibits. They think LSU to study. of the 1960s and ’70s dioramas of Those specimens get loaned out taxidermied polar bears and tigers. to other national and international They picture its lifelike depictions of researchers working on their own Central American rainforest habitats, studies. California mountains and Louisiana They sequence genomes. They study landscapes. regional and global evolution patterns. But Austin’s office is also a research

36

And they encounter previously undiscovered creatures. The museum has been responsible for the discovery of 134 new species—and counting. “We do not know how many species there are on the planet. We just don’t,” Austin says. “There are estimates, but they vary wildly.” The museum’s collection dates back to 1936. And as long as today’s specimens are well preserved, they will continue to be incredibly valuable, because they will be studied for hundreds more years. It’s why Austin is always thinking 500 years into the future. He knows his biology research will long outlive all of us—and our kids, grandkids and grandkids’ kids. “We are doing things with specimens today that I had no idea we would ever be able to do 30 years ago when I was a graduate student. Who knows what we’ll be able to do with them in 100 years,” he says. “The specimens we are collecting now will be used by generations down the line. The LSU Museum of Natural Science is a library for biodiversity.” lsu.edu/mns

en collections m i c e p S

around town 1 MILLION

Insects and related arthropod specimens at the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum

225,000

Bird specimens in the LSU Museum of Natural Science’s world-renowned collection

65 MILLION YEARS

Age of the 1,500-pound Triceratops skull on display at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, where you can also see an ancient meteorite that is a billion years older than any other known rock on the planet.

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C OV E R S T ORY

Mysteries

he talksfiethreeldtopics om tAustin frChristopher

he and his colleagues are studying at the LSU Museum of Natural Science As told to Jennifer Tormo

The New Guinea puzzle

“A LOT OF my research focus is on the island of New Guinea. It’s the largest, tallest tropical island in the world, just north of Australia. And it’s a biodiversity hotspot. It’s less than 1% of the world’s land area, but it’s predicted to have 5-7% of the world’s biodiversity. Its main mountain range is about 5 million years old, and from a biology and geology standpoint, that’s super, super young. And yet, it has a ton of biodiversity. As opposed to a place like the Amazon, which also has lots of biodiversity but has been very, very geologically consistent over the course of more than 55 million years. So it’s sort of a conundrum about why there’s so much biodiversity on this island.”

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the green-blooded lizard

“THERE ARE LIZARDS from New Guinea that have green blood. Their bones are green, their muscles are green, their heart is green, and their tongue is green. The lining of their mouth is green, as well. So, what the heck is going on with these lizards? They have so much green pigment in their blood it overshadows the crimson-red color. It’s a biopigment called biliverdin that causes jaundice in all vertebrates. You have biliverdin in your blood right now, but not very much. Your liver is like the oil filter of your car, and if you’re healthy, it is filtering those biopigments out. But these lizards have concentrations of biopigments in their blood, that if you or if I had them, we would be dead. One of the things my lab is working on is piecing together the story of these greenblooded lizards and trying to understand why they aren’t dead.”

The world’s smallest vertebrate

“IN 2009, I did an expedition to the south coast of New Guinea, and we collected a new species of frog. It turned out to be the smallest vertebrate in the world. Adults are 7.7 millimeters in length, on average. That’s really, really tiny. What’s cool about these frogs is that they don’t sound like frogs. They sound like insects, and that’s why the species had gone undetected for 100-plus years. When herpetologists walked in the forests at night, they heard these things and thought they were crickets or insects, not frogs. All amphibians are highly susceptible to water loss. And when they’re as tiny as these micro-frogs, they would dry up if you put them in the sun. Up until our 2012 publication about these frogs, the smallest known vertebrate in the world was a fish. Of course, fish live in water, and they don’t have to worry about drying out. And so it’s really interesting that these frogs have evolved into a habitat that presumably has been stable enough, from a water perspective, that they can survive there.”

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C OV E R S T ORY

p m a Swpeople For those who listen closely, the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is a chance to become one with nature

B Y J E N N IFE R TO R M O / / P HOTO S BY CO L L I N R I C H I E

.34 miles

Length of the Inner Loop Trail, the shortest trail loop at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. It is an easy walk on gravel and boardwalk that transports visitors through the upland hardwood forest, into a cypress-tupelo swamp and by a meadow. The other two trails are still both under a mile, with the Outer Loop Trail spanning .49 miles and the Library Trail running .31 miles one-way.

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C OV E R S T ORY

HE CORN SNAKE is watching me. It opens its mouth as I peer into its habitat inside BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. Its long, orange-brown patterned body is still, but its eyes follow me as I move. We stare calmly at each other, both comforted by the window that safely separates us. This is one of the more than 20 snakes housed inside the nature center’s exhibit building. One snake sticks its tongue out at me as I watch it. Some stoically slither their wavy, textured bodies across their enclosures as I walk by. Others blend into their environments so well, I can’t even find their camouflaged bodies. The 9,500-square-foot exhibit building is home to live animals ranging from snakes to salamanders. Turtles sun themselves in windowfacing aquariums. In the largest habitat, baby alligators float unblinkingly in the rippling water, their heads about the size of my palm. During camps and educational programs, kids and families can learn about and even touch some visiting.” of the center’s Guthrie is Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center creatures. referring both is open Tuesday-Saturday, While the to the Louisiana 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, noon-5 welcome center wildlife we all p.m. It also has plenty of summer does house coexist with in programming in the works: some venomous our neighborJUNE 5 + JULY 3 snakes, most of hoods, and more Early Bird Extended Hours its 20-plus spespecifically, the Venture into the swamp as early as cies are nonvenBluebonnet 7 a.m. for some Saturday morning omous. Printed Swamp Nature bird watching. displays and Center itself. JUNE 19 knowledgeable The sprawlDog Day at the Swamp staff help visitors ing, 103-acre Give your leashed pet this oncelearn how to tell conservation a-quarter opportunity to explore the swamp. the difference area includes a between the two. cypress-tupelo AUG. 13 And that is swamp and Swamp Flashlight Night the best part beech-magnolia Experience the swamp after dark. of the job, says and hardwood Staff will be on-hand offering animal encounters, too. Jessica Guthrie, forests. It’s conservation home to lizards, manager of ducks, rabbits, education centers. opossums, armadillos, otters, and even “It’s the interactions with patrons, foxes, coyotes and deer. There are lots especially young children with a fear of interesting bugs and critters, like of snakes. We get to educate them the lubber grasshopper, a large blackand change the perspective about an and-red striped species that might animal everybody thinks is awful.” seem scary at first. It, too, is harmless, Most snakes are harmless to Guthrie says. humans, and they play an important The swamp is tucked just off role in the ecosystem since they prey Bluebonnet Boulevard, surrounded by on rodents and pests. Besides, as development on all sides. It’s a conveGuthrie reminds visitors: nient location for those who want to “Anything that wants to live out walk its boardwalks. But it’s not always there, gets to. It’s their home you’re a mutually beneficial relationship for

EXPLORE

THE SWAMP

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center team member Sean Golden shows off Boudreaux, a rat snake that lives in the exhibit building.

the creatures who live there. “Because we are surrounded by neighborhoods, everything they do, everything they send down the drain, is slowly filling in the swamp and changing it over time,” Guthrie says. She encourages residents to be mindful of the chemicals they use to wash their cars or the pesticides they use on their lawns. Nothing might be quite so indicative of humans’ impact on the swamp as how the animals behaved during last spring’s stay-at-home order. With less traffic on the roads and little action at the nature center, bobcats weren’t afraid to walk up to the doors of the exhibit building for the first time. The swamp’s conservation is in all our hands, and Guthrie encourages us to respect it the same way it nurtures us. She thinks of the children who gleefully spot a new caterpillar on the boardwalk. The birders who arrive in the early hours in hopes of spotting some of the hundreds of species who live there. Those who visit the swamp as a spectator—not as a disruptor—will appreciate its beauty most. “Be a part of it,” Guthrie says. “A lot of visitors just keep walking the boardwalk. But if you have time, and a little bit of luck, you can sit and let nature be nature.” Perhaps no one knows that better

While you’ll find baby alligators inside Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center’s exhibit building, you won’t typically find gators outdoors in its swamp. It doesn’t have enough water supply to sustain the reptiles, says conservation manager of education centers Jessica Guthrie.

than John Hartgerink, a longtime volunteer I run into on my visit. A retired ExxonMobil employee turned self-taught-photographer, he’s captured thousands of photos for the center since he began volunteering in 2002. This afternoon, he’s wearing a beige hat, vest and boots. His camera is slung over his shoulder. He’s spent the morning capturing photos of Barbara and Barry, two owls that Guthrie insists like to show off for Hartgerink’s camera. As I bid Hartgerink and Guthrie goodbye, I take my own turn at walking the trails. It’s a quiet April afternoon, and for about 30 minutes I seem to be the only human presence left in the swamp. The sole sounds are the rustling of leaves and creatures calling out in languages I don’t understand. I spot scraggly looking spiders dangling off the boardwalk. I watch the trees sway gently in the breeze, so tall they seem to stretch straight into the sun. I even spot the owl habitat Hartgerink has just photographed. A red and black caterpillar somehow finds its way onto me, crawling up my arm. But as I exit the swamp, I’m thinking more about all I didn’t see. I wonder how many animals were lurking past my line of sight, just as fascinated by all of us visitors as we are by them. brec.org 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2021

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under

C OV E R S T ORY

control

Animal Control officer Anna Catalanello holds a baby opossum, one of the furry critters the organization often traps in local backyards and properties.

Animal Control officers come face to face with some of the most interesting animals to roam the parish By Julia-Claire Evans // Photos by Sean Gasser

ATS, DOGS AND … lemurs? A few years ago, East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control responded to a call in a Baton Rouge neighborhood about an animal they had very little experience with: a lemur, one of the stripe-tailed primates native to Madagascar. The lemur was being housed in an animal pen in the resident’s front yard, and a neighbor had called it in. “Apparently you can have those in Texas, but the guy brought it over here,” says Animal Control director Daniel Piatkiewicz. “That’s about as crazy as it gets.” The lemur was soon handed over to Wildlife and Fisheries officers. “It’s definitely one of the weirdest calls we’ve ever responded to and one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen,” says Animal Control officer Anna Catalanello. As if lemurs weren’t enough, Animal Control is starting to see more and more non-native tortoises wandering about. “People are keeping them as pets, and they keep getting out,” Piatkiewicz says. When they’re not responding to calls about exotic animals like lemurs and tortoises, the officers are dealing daily with more domesticated animals like dogs and cats. East Baton Rouge Animal Control services the entirety of East Baton Rouge Parish, answering to all animalrelated calls. Depending on the day, Pietkiewicz and his officers can respond to a minimum of 10 and as many as 50 calls a day. It depends on the time of year and area of town the officers are patrolling,

Catalanello says. Spring and summer are usually busier. Catalanello personally responds to anywhere between one and 12 calls a day. She mostly responds to incidents involving animals in humane or run-ofthe-mill wildlife traps. Callers share stories ranging from animal cruelty and dog fighting to stray animals or those caught in traps, Piatkiewicz says. Stray and loose animals are the most common. “We try to protect people from animals, and animals from people,” Catalanello says. The traps are usually “Have A Heart” traps rented out by Animal Control. The traps don’t harm the animal, keeping it contained until an officer can pick them up. The majority of creatures found in the traps are cats, squirrels, raccoons and opossums. “People just have to rent the trap, bait it with something like cat food, leave it out overnight, and you’ll have something in it by the next morning,” Catalanello says. Animal Control also partners with Companion Animal Alliance. The nonprofit animal shelter near LSU’s campus took over sheltering domestic pets captured by Animal Control. Keeping people and animals safe is just a part of the job, and it’s not surprising Piatkiewicz’s favorite part of the work day is a simple thing. “I just really enjoy the people I work with on a daily basis,” he says. “And of course, being able to help the people and animals of this parish.” Find East Baton Rouge Animal Control on the brla.gov website.

Catalanello moves a fully grown opossum that was captured at a Baton Rouge home. “We try to protect people from animals, and animals from people,” she says.

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What to do if you see ...

—MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON

Foxes

Numerous sightings of foxes have been documented around Baton Rouge over the last several years, and a few groups have formed to both rehabilitate the animals and document their whereabouts. Foxes don’t tend to be aggressive, but if you see one, don’t feed or touch it. And no matter how cute it is, don’t consider bringing it home for a pet. Raising a wild animal is illegal in Louisiana. The Canid Project is a multimedia effort that helps rehab foxes. Find it at thecanidproject.com. LSU researcher Linda Hooper-Bui documents local fox sightings as part of a research project. Upload photos and video to the Facebook page “Fox Finders.”

Snakes

The vast majority of Louisiana’s native snakes are nonvenomous, and they do things most of us would appreciate, like eat rodents. Herpetologists encourage the public to learn more about snakes so they’ll be inclined to let nonvenomous ones go about their business. BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp, where you can spot nonvenomous species along the trail and in the interpretive center, is a great place to get educated about snakes. If you do come across a nuisance venomous snake, contact the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. brec.org and wlf.louisiana.gov

Raccoons and opossums

Both primarily nocturnal, these neighborhood dwellers often come out when it’s dark and quiet to scrounge through garbage and pet food. So be sure to secure these items, especially before you turn in for the night. Raccoons and opossums are also inclined to kill

Bear in mind

backyard chickens and eat their eggs. Chicken enclosures should be secured on all sides, and from the bottom, so that these clever creatures won’t circumvent security. To get rid of nuisance animals, contact East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control through brla.gov, or reach out to one of the several pest control agencies in the region. If you want the removal to be humane, contact the national organization Humane Wildlife Removal, which compiles local resources on its website, humaneraccoonremoval. org. Animal Control will also rent out humane box traps along with detailed instructions on how to set and bait it. Once an animal is captured, you can call Animal Control to retrieve it.

Alligators

Alligators are synonymous with Louisiana, and occasionally, one is spotted in a densely populated area. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries partners with approved nuisance alligator hunters to get rid of such animals. Just because you spot an alligator doesn’t mean it’s a nuisance. Only alligators more than 4 feet in length that present a threat to pets, livestock or humans are considered a nuisance. Contact Wildlife and Fisheries at wlf.louisiana.gov.

Additional resources Other nuisance wildlife removal

Other nuisance animals, such as bats, squirrels, armadillos and others, can be removed by one of Wildlife and Fisheries’ assigned wildlife control operators. Find one in your area through the wlf.louisiana.gov website.

Injured wildlife

If you come across an injured wild animal, contact a trained and permitted wildlife rehabilitator. Wildlife and Fisheries maintains a list of approved individuals by parish. Injured wildlife can also be brought to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine veterinary hospital. Find the hospital through lsu.edu.

RESIDENTS IN WEST Baton Rouge Parish had two close encounters with black bears this spring. One was spotted multiple times in the Port Allen area before it was euthanized in late April for coming too close to populated areas and scrounging for food in garbage cans, according to news reports. The second incident happened in early May when a driver traveling east on I-10 in West Baton Rouge Parish struck a black bear crossing the interstate. Black bears are common in rural areas of the state and are most likely to be encountered on roadways, according to Wildlife and Fisheries. Check out bearwise.org for tips on what to do to protect yourself and your property from wandering bears.

IMAGES COURTESY C.C. LOCKWOOD

THAT SNAKE YOU spotted sunning on your patio—the one you’re eager to get rid of—is likely doing more good than harm in your backyard. And that fox you eyed in the woods behind your home? Research scientists would love for you to snap a picture or video. Even in urban areas, wildlife sometimes still makes its presence known. Experts can help in situations that merit removal of nuisance animals. And in benign cases, wildlife advocates are there to help you learn more about coexisting safely. Here’s our guide for knowing what to do. Patience and a good lens helped Lockwood capture these elusive young foxes.

Wildlife

ca ptured

Tips on photographing the area’s wildlife from Baton Rouge’s most acclaimed wildlife photographer

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

By C.C. Lockwood // As told to Benjamin Leger

Just do it! Get yourself to national parks, state parks, wildlife refuges, botanical gardens, arboretums or even your backyard. The more you are out there, the better chance you have of seeing something Instagram-worthy. To me, four things go into a great photograph—plus a few little kickers. These are equipment, technique, composition and location. Of course, you have to have a camera. Find out what model and lens will fit your areas of interest, such as birds, landscapes, close ups, underwater or whatever. Buy the equipment to fit those interests. Then learn to use it and how aperture and shutter speed affect your photographs. Next, make sure you point your camera in the right direction—compose it right. Finally, see tip No. 1: Get out in nature. Then, the kicker is looking for fantastic light, which will help you achieve that award-winning image. Use a tripod enough to be quick and comfortable with it. Always use it when it will make your photo better. Not only will it make your image steadier, but it will also help you commit to making a better composition. Join a camera club—or better yet, join the North American Nature Photography Association. Read and study nature photography books and magazines. You don’t need to copy anyone’s work, but studying others will pay off when you are looking at any subject. Have locations in mind near your home when the light is beautiful. Let’s say you’re on the way home from work, the sun is nearing sunset, and you see red and yellow with streaks of white clouds and a deep blue cold front sky. Know a tree, a building or a pond that you can look west over, and go there for that perfect shot.

A tripod would help you get a clear shot of these roseate spoonbills.

About the photographer

C.C. Lockwood has produced 14 books, written articles for National Geographic and other magazines, taught photography workshops and has his own photography gallery. A few of his many awards include the Ansel Adams Award from the Sierra Club, and a Louisiana Legend award from Louisiana Public Broadcasting. His most recent book, Louisiana Wild, depicts the diverse lands owned by the Nature Conservancy in Louisiana. cclockwood.com 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2021

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Monitoring

Mike

How the LSU Vet School keeps watch over the university’s iconic live mascot By Caroline Hebert // Photos by Collin Richie

S THE LIGHTS in his night house come on in the early morning, LSU’s live tiger mascot Mike VII slowly wakes to the sound of his LSU School of Veterinary Medicine caretakers. But before the mascot is greeted by the veterinary team, they thoroughly check and clean his habitat to ensure safety for him and visitors—and make sure his favorite toys and scents are out for him to enjoy. During the day, Mike does his own thing, roaming the 15,000-squarefoot habitat, sleeping, swimming, playing with his ball and interacting with visitors through the glass barrier. But the Vet School team is always watching. The Bengal tiger is visited by his veterinarian weekly and monitored daily through cameras set up in the habitat. Once the evening arrives, his caretakers prepare 10 to 15 pounds of meat for dinner, pulverized into a mixture similar to ground beef. Once a week, Mike receives a frozen oxtail as a yummy treat to clean his teeth. Since the Vet School students only observe him through a fence, they have different tricks to examine him from afar, such as holding up a meatball to coax him to stand on his hind legs so they can check his stomach and underside. LSU has had a live mascot since 1936. In 2005, the university funded a $3.7 million habitat that provided plenty more space to roam and better vantage points for visitors to look in on the wild cat. Since Mike IV, each tiger has been donated to LSU. Mike VII was given to LSU from a sanctuary in Okeechobee, Florida, called the Wild

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Mike VII relaxes in his expansive habitat in the shadow of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and Tiger Stadium.

at Heart Wildlife Center. As the seventh Mike, the university has his care system down to a science. Mike’s caretakers are in the second phase of Vet School. The first phase is focused on lectures and labs, and the second provides more hands-on work with the hospital and Mike. And while Ginger Guttner is not one of Mike’s caretakers, she is the woman behind the Mike we all know. Her many hats include being a professor and the communications manager of the LSU Vet School, its website and social media. She is also the spokesperson for Mike. Guttner has been doing this long enough to be able to identify which Mikes are on LSU posters and signs. “I can tell by the stripes, because the stripes are like fingerprints,” she says. And it was the 2014 vet students and Guttner who came up with the famous idea of Mike’s meat art posted to social media. “It started as an inside joke,” Guttner says. When a Vet School student went to feed Mike the evening before the Alabama game, she shaped his meat dinner into the Alabama “A.” From there, the meat art tradition was born,

and has even been covered by ESPN. It’s all part of the Vet School’s goal of providing a safe home for Mike. “I would love if all tigers could live in the wild. That would be amazing,” Guttner says. “But the wildlife sanctuary where we got him had to get rid of some of their animals and had to find new homes for them, or

they were going to be shut down. They just had too many, and they couldn’t provide good enough care for the ones that they had, and so LSU is dedicated to providing a good home for a tiger.” Head to mikethetiger.com for more on LSU’s mascot and to view his live habitat webcam.

Check out those tee th! Mike’s caretaker s have various wa make sure he stays ys to monitor and healthy. inspect him

to

[225] June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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Issue Date: June 2021 Ad proof #3

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

C OV E R S T ORY

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Shopping MADE EASY AT

PHOTOS BY COLLIN RICHIE

Among the animals cared for by the LSU Vet School are this barred owl and bald eagle.

Who else does the LSU Vet School care for?

MOST ANIMALS THAT come through the Vet School hospital are dogs, cats, birds and pigs. But the school works closely with multiple zoos to treat exotic animals. Its wildlife program works with injured animals such as bald eagles, as well. The school has cared for:

a Sea lion

It performed a cataract surgery on one of these aquatic mammals from Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.

a Kangaroo a Japanese koi

Its vets did a CT scan on the Australian species.

The team did an endoscope on the fish, a complicated procedure involving a constantly running fountain to keep water flowing through the fish.

Who it doesn’t care for … The Vet School welcomes all animals, but encourages the public not to try and capture baby squirrels or opossums to bring in. Their mothers could be nearby but just out of sight, and may attack someone trying to handle its babies. —CAROLINE HEBERT

28,000

Number of visits from animals during the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

200

Number of horses and cows tended to by LSU vets off-site.

Corporate Blvd at Jefferson • 225.925.2344 townecenteratcedarlodge.com • HEALTH • BEAUTY • DESIGNER SHOPPING HOME DECOR • GOURMET DINING • AND MORE 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2021

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er Watworld

Mia McNell, 5, checks out a tank full of Pacu, also known as the “vegetarian piranhas.”

The Blue Zoo brings sea life, snakes, birds and more to a familiar Baton Rouge hangout BY JULIA -CL A IR E E VA N S // P H OTOS B Y CO L L I N R I C HI E

N ENTIRE UNDERWATER world has come alive—and it’s at a mall, of all places. The Blue Zoo interactive aquarium opened at the Mall of Louisiana in April, welcoming all ages to enjoy an immersive look at life under the sea. The aquarium is easy to find. Its bright blue windows stand out against the mall’s neutral tones, with colorful murals beckoning visitors inside. The real attraction is, of course, the underwater animals. Towering tanks house rainbow coral and bright tropical fish that zoom back and forth behind the glass. The touch pools are filled with friendly marine life, such as starfish and stingrays. The list of creatures to see is enormous. The underwater animals include fish like tangs, puffer fish and clown fish, jellyfish, stingrays, octopuses,

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starfish, seahorses and even sharks. A 40-foot shark tank houses quite a few impressive-looking black-tipped sharks. And the sights don’t stop at aquatic animals. The aquarium has several interactive play areas, houses parakeets in an interactive bird aviary, and even keeps reptiles like tortoises and snakes. The creatures hail from all over the world, including 20 different countries, says founder and CEO Wesley Haws. Haws first became interested in aquariums when he started building his own personal fish tanks in 2013. He then began building custom tanks for clients. After teaming up with a friend, Haws opened his first public aquarium in 2018 in Idaho

A school group dips their hands into a large, shallow pool filled with a variety of friendly stingrays.

Local student Carmen Cole was brave enough to hold this snake for our photo.

[225] June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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C OV E R S T ORY

Olive Hebert, 2, takes a peek at a tank of clown fish.

Falls, Idaho. He then decided to take his aquarium idea into the for-profit arena, opening the first Blue Zoo in a mall in Spokane, Washington, in 2019. “Malls have space,” Haws says, “they need to bring back traffic.” At the Mall of Louisiana, Blue Zoo takes up a sprawling section that was formerly home to Hollister Co., Gameware and Nawlins Sports stores. Haws decided to bring the concept to Baton Rouge after teaming up with a research company to analyze cities with almost 1 million people and no aquariums within a couple of hours away. Louisiana’s Capital City was on that list, Haws says. And with lots of young families, it was a perfect fit. “Big public aquariums are great, and you can see the animals that are rare,” Haws says, “but a lot of younger kids just walk through, and that’s all. We want them to have a hands-on learning experience.” Blue Zoo has four shows a week: a mermaid show, where kids can take pictures with mermaids; a pirate show, where customers can watch a choreographed sword fight; a dive show and a live shark feed. Along with the interaction visitors gain, Haws hopes the experience will

leave a lasting impression on even the youngest guests. “It’s really about young kids having a hands-on learning experience,” he says. “We give them a little bit more, so that they can really connect

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Guests can step inside a massive birdcage and interact directly with dozens of parakeets.

with nature and with animals. I think those kids connecting with animals will help them to be the people that save our planet one day.” Blue Zoo is located in the Mall of Louisiana near Dillard’s. batonrouge.bluezoo.us

CALL & MENTION 225! For Your $69 Tune Up Certified Technicians serving Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Help a child succeed. BECOME A CASA VOLUNTEER. Children in foster care who have a CASA volunteer are more likely to succeed in school and adjust to change. And they’re half as likely to re-enter the foster care system later. As a volunteer, you can make all the difference for a child who has experienced abuse or neglect in your community. Get involved, and change a child’s story.

Visit casabr.org to learn more.

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S P E C I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T I O N

Summertime

WELLNESS Raise your hand if your wellness routine has gotten a little dull. Well, that’s no surprise because it happens to most of us by mid-year. You may have started 2021 with great intentions, and now you find yourself a bit bored. Let 225 help freshen up your approach to self-care by sharing summer wellness trends from our partners. We will explore innovations in health care, aesthetics, fitness and overall wellness. It’s never too late to adopt new healthy habits, so kick back, relax and enjoy reading what’s trending in summer wellness in 2021.

S P O N S O R E D BY

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S P EC I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T I O N

TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT AGAINST COVID-19.

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are here, it’s time to get your shot! In Louisiana, people 16 and older can get the vaccine. It’s safe and effective and covered at $0 on most health plans. Members of Medicare and Medicaid plans can also get a COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. The more people who get the shot, the more immunity we create in our communities. And the sooner we get back to the life we know and love here in Louisiana.

Learn more at: www.brcovidsafe.com bcbsla.com 01MK7520 R04/21

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

[225] June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

SPONSORED CONTENT

THE LOWDOWN

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CHILDREN’S HEALTH:

3 THINGS YOUR PEDIATRICIAN WANTS YOU TO KNOW

BATON ROUGE’S PEDIATRIC SUPER-CLINIC

W

hat’s more important than your child’s health? That’s why it’s important to find the right pediatrician—one who will be your partner from the child’s infancy through adolescence and often beyond. The pediatrics team at Oschner Baton Rouge provides extensive care options for children, making that partnership possible. Besides general pediatrics, Ochsner has pediatric doctors specializing in gastroenterology, neurology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, orthopedics, urology, cancer care, ENT (ear, nose & throat), allergy, dermatology, pulmonology, and child and adolescent psychiatry. They also offer EEG testing, infusion services, pulmonary exams and lactation support services. Dr. James Wayne Jr. is one of the many pediatric specialists at Ochsner Baton Rouge. Dr. Wayne shares three important things that your child’s pediatrician wants you to know.

1. WELL-CHILD VISITS ARE IMPORTANT.

Parents typically do an excellent job of bringing their children in for well-child visits in the first year or two of life. With infants and toddlers, parents have a lot of questions about nutrition, growth and development.

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They also know children should have routine immunizations. However, once children turn 4 years old and get the immunizations that they need to start school, they often go several years without a wellness visit. It’s essential for parents to still bring their children in for a yearly visit even if they don’t need immunizations. At these visits, we discuss your child’s overall health, growth and development, nutrition, goal setting and safety. Even after they start kindergarten, plan on bringing your child in for a yearly visit. Schedule it around their birthday, so you don’t forget.

2. ANTIBIOTICS ARE FOR BACTERIAL INFECTIONS, NOT VIRAL INFECTIONS.

If your child has a low-grade fever, runny nose, congestion and cough, they are most likely suffering from a cold. Many different viruses can cause these symptoms, and antibiotics can treat none of them. Antibiotics can only treat bacterial infections like strep throat, ear infections, bacterial pneumonia and skin abscesses. Using antibiotics for a viral infection doesn’t work and is harmful. The antibiotics kill off some of the body’s healthy bacteria and can leave behind some resistant bacteria. Ultimately, when we need an antibiotic to help fight something like pneumonia, our choices are limited because we are fighting resistant bacteria. Parents can help physicians be good stewards of antibiotics by not

Ochsner Baton Rouge is expanding Ochsner Medical Complex – The Grove to include a pediatric super-clinic with 38 exam/treatment rooms on the fifth floor and a dedicated 3,632 square-foot child development center. This area within the super-clinic will feature physical, occupational, speech and feeding therapy. In addition, the new super-clinic will provide children with a friendly and welcoming environment that, as it becomes a familiar space, will help lower anxiety.

requesting antibiotics to treat viruses like the common cold and not using leftover antibiotics.

3. THERE IS STILL NO CURE FOR THE COMMON COLD.

When a child is sick, parents will do anything to try to help them to feel better. They will give them vitamin C, herbal tea, echinacea, elderberry syrup or Vick’s VapoRub. Dr. Wayne has even seen families put onions in their children’s socks to help treat fever. Pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars on a wide variety of overthe-counter cough and cold medications, each claiming to treat cold symptoms effectively. The reality is that none of them actually cure the common cold, they only manage the symptoms. Instead of looking for a miracle medicine or supplement, try this: • Make sure they drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. • Use a cool-mist humidifier to help them to clear mucus. • Treat fever with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. • Make sure they get plenty of rest. • Give it some time. To make an appointment at an Ochsner Health Center, call 225.761.5200, or visit Ochsner.org/ BatonRouge.

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[225] June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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Issue Date: June 2021 Ad proof #3 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

S P EC I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S EC T I O N

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Therapeutic Massage & Skincare Services for the Mind, Body & Spirit “I highly recommend Jennifer and her friendly staff! Her place is always quiet and clean and smells wonderful. Jennifer is extremely experienced in finding those annoying tight spots and knots! She’s patient and laid back, and I feel very comfortable with her. I’m so thankful to finally have a spa nearly in our front yard.” -Missy F.

Call us today or go online to book an appointment! 225-725-4239 • 6473 LA-44 Suite 108, Gonzales, LA 70737 • Therelaxationcompany.org • Find us here:

Exceptional cancer care that centers around you.

Personalized. We take the time to get to know each patient. Treatment plans are tailored with support to meet patient needs. Beyond chemo. We care for the whole patient. Our nurses assist patients with managing symptoms, nutritional guidance and social work support. Convenient. Our clinics are in convenient locations, with in-house laboratory, pathology, infusion and pharmacy services all under one roof. Affordable. We provide care at lower costs ensuring best possible outcomes. We’ve helped our patients with over $8 million in patient assistance. Innovative. As a strategic research site for Sarah Cannon Research Institute, we provide patients access to clinical trials.

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S P EC I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T I O N

Exceptional care for heads, shoulders, knees and toes (and a whole lot more). From active little bodies all the way up to those on the verge of adulthood, our skilled team of pediatricians is here to provide exceptional care through every stage of your child’s life. Should you ever need specialty services such as pediatric orthopedics, neurosurgery, oncology and more, choosing a pediatrician with the strength of a statewide network at their back can make a difference.

Our Pediatric Clinics Offer: • Video or in-office appointments • Online scheduling • Physicals & immunizations • A network of more than 180 providers dedicated to pediatrics across the state

Exceptional care starts here. Schedule online at ololchildrens.org/pediatrics or call (225) 374-HEAL to make an appointment.

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

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MEN MATTER:

ANTI-AGING SERVICES DESIGNED FOR GENTS

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hile most aesthetic and anti-aging services are geared toward women, men worry about aging gracefully, too. The Aesthetic Medicine and Anti-Aging Clinics of Louisiana has plenty of options to help make men (and women) feel more youthful, energetic and confident. The array of services goes beyond just cosmetic treatments like Botox or fillers to tackle the face. While those are definitely available and utilized by men, The Aesthetic Medicine and Anti-Aging Clinics provide specialty care designed specifically for men’s needs. Call to schedule a private, complimentary consultation or stop by to tour the state-of-the-art facility on Bluebonnet Blvd.

GENTLEMEN ONLY

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EXPLORE SOME OF THE MEN’S SERVICES AVAILABLE AT THE AESTHETIC MEDICINE AND ANTI-AGING CLINIC.

RADIESSE® FOR MEN addresses moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, which can lead to a loss of self-confidence in men. Radiesse® can help subtly refresh your appearance without any tell-tale signs that you have undergone a cosmetic treatment. These fast, easy injections offer convenient and flexible scheduling for even the busiest patients. It immediately lifts male skin, smoothing wrinkles and lines and creating a tighter, firmer appearance. Aside from slight reddening, bruising, and slight swelling, there are no side effects and no downtime. Results may vary, and multiple treatments may be necessary for the best results. The Aesthetic Medicine and Anti-Aging Clinics’ specialists will create a customized treatment plan for you outlining how many sessions you may need, what you can expect, and how you can maintain your results. PRP FOR HAIR RESTORATION Use the powerhouse benefits of platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, to regenerate the growth of thinning hair. PRP is concentrated blood plasma containing approximately five times the number of platelets found in normal circulating blood. Platelets promote healing and aid in the clotting of blood at the site of a wound. Administering PRP to damaged hair follicles amplifies the body’s naturally occurring wound-healing mechanism. Some doctors around the world believe PRP can be used to stimulate the growth of hair follicles preventing hair loss.

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HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY Human Growth Hormone Therapy, or HGH, can help you regain your bone density, cardiovascular function, and general well-being. A deficiency usually results from the destruction of normal pituitary and/or hypothalamic tissue from a tumor or surgical and/or radiation therapy. Individuals with decreased growth hormone levels may have impacted sleep patterns and decreased immune system function. Visit Dr. Howell at the Baton Rouge office. He often recommends HGH therapy for adults if, after adequate laboratory testing and appropriate evaluation, an individual is diagnosed with HGH deficiency and he believes that the patient could benefit from HGH Replacement Therapy. TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT Testosterone is the most important sex hormone (otherwise known as androgens) produced in the male body. It is the hormone that is primarily responsible for producing the typical adult male attributes. Regain what makes you a man with therapy tailored to your needs at The Aesthetic Medicine and AntiAging Clinics. Some symptoms related to low testosterone are similar to those seen during menopause in women. In younger men, low testosterone production may reduce the development of body and facial hair, muscle mass and genitals. In addition, voices also may fail to deepen. Doctors at The Aesthetic Medicine and Anti-Aging Clinics can prescribe testosterone for patients diagnosed as having testosterone deficiency.

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S P EC I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T I O N

When life’s got you down, we’re here to lift you up. St. Ann, a mental health and wellness service of Our Lady of the Lake, offers outpatient services to individuals 18 and older. • Individual psychotherapy • Group psychotherapy • Psychiatric evaluation and medication management For more information about our services, admissions process, and insurance coverage, call (225) 765-7807 or visit ololrmc.com/stann

St. Ann Mental and Behavioral Health 5120 Dijon Drive

Issue Baton Date:Rouge, June 2021 Ad1 proof #1 LA 70808

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

We Take Your Health Personally Take the first step in a healthier direction by scheduling your initial consultation. Call (225) 928-0486.

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[225] June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

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FEEL YOUR BEST:

THREE NEW WELLNESS THERAPIES TO TRY IN BATON ROUGE

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orking out and eating well is just the beginning of your wellness journey. Three new therapies can take you the rest of the way, improving your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. The Covery, on Corporate Boulevard, offers an immersive, instant gratification of all the “feel good” and “good for you” treatments which Baton Rouge has never been offered before, all in one location. The new concept emphasizes wellness, recovery and injury prevention, and its offerings include Cryotherapy, IV Infusion, Float Therapy, HYPERBARIC Oxygen Therapy, NAD+, hydrafacials, compression therapy and lymphatic drainage, and much more “When you go so hard, you have to take time to slow down and recover,” says The Covery and REGYMEN Fitness Co-Founder and Vice President of Construction & Logistics, Troy Archer. “The mind and the body need to re-store. This is your time—no calls, no emails—the world does not exist. Stress will always tighten the soul, you have to make time to recover. ” Troy shares three new therapies available to experience at The Covery Baton Rouge. Recover, recharge and feel your absolute best. A session of our NAD and IV therapy will help reset the body and eliminate the brain fog we all feel at times.

BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

Our daily lives are filled with a variety of distractions and stressing situations. Most individuals walk around in a chronic state of mild dehydration, which causes a reduction in energy levels, lessened mental clarity, and the impact our overall

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feeling of wellbeing. If you live with anxiety, depression, cardio-vascular disease, chronic muscle spasms, fibromyalgia or another lack of sleep, IV infusion therapy might be able to provide relief. The Covery can administer an immune-boosting IV that provides you with the fluid and vitamins your body needs to function properly. Boosting your intake of everything from vitamin C and vitamin B complex to zinc and glutathione, which can Increase energy, help detox the body, and slow the effects of aging. The Covery also specializes in NAD+, the miracle nutrient which turns back time, heals the body at a cellular level, and helps clear the brain fog that occurs in all of us. To speak with an IV infusion therapist at The Covery, call 225.256.7319.

INVIGORATE AND RECOVER WITH CRYOTHERAPY

The Covery provides cryotherapy care to those who want to improve their energy, metabolism, immunity and mobility. Cryotherapy has been linked to stimulating the Vagus Nerve, which is essentially the captain of your inner nerve center, reducing the mental and physical impact of anxiety and fatique, as well as helping in Pain Management. Whole body cryotherapy is exposing your whole body to “cold” therapy. The goal is to expose as much skin as possible to temperatures of -166F or below for a short period of time (2-3 minutes) to create a drop in the external skin temperature of 30-40 degrees. This rapid drop triggers a unique beneficial process for the body, sending your blood is rushing from your extremities to your core. Besides the recovery benefits, Cryotherapy has also been known to reduce inflammation, help allieviate muscle spasms,

as well as increase metabolism. Cryo-bonus: When you complete a session of cryotherapy, it increases the production of the “fight or flight” hormonal response; triggering an increased level of energy, wellbeing, and happiness!

FLOAT ON

The mind needs to be “unplugged” in order to fully recharge. We are bombarded with stress, daily demands from work and home, and we are attached to our technology. You cannot be on top of your game when you are mentally drained, and physically exhausted. The solution to this is the FLOAT. Sensory deprivation tanks and float therapy have grown a faithful following. This sort of wellness treatment can benefit people suffering from insomnia or chronic pain, enhance cognitive function and creativity, and aid in athletic recovery. Traditional Float Therapy, which utilizes baths filled with water and minerals, is intended to deeply nourish and remove toxins. Dry flotation is completely different, in that the focus is on relaxation of the muscles and joints by imparting a feeling of weightlessness and deep relaxation. While you float, you can experience an IV infusion, redlight therapy, and so much more, or you can just simply FLOAT away. Life is a sport; business is a sport; you should recover like an athlete, as we are the athletes of everyday life. Experience the healing. The Covery offers a plethora of services, including Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments, Whole-Body Cryotherapy, Hydrafacials, IV Therapy, and more with membership or drop-in based pricing. Call today or visit thecovery.com for more information.

5/14/21 4:28 PM


Issue Date: June 2021 Ad proof #4 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

for:ICORRECT ADDRESS SCarefully P EC I Acheck L Athis DVad E RT SING SE C T I O N• CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS

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This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Come Get Stuck on Our Walls With free rental shoes this June if you show this ad at check-in*

find your wellness at

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[225] June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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Issue Date: June 2021 Ad proof #3 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

S P EC I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S EC T I O N

ADVERTISEMENT

HOW A SIMPLE PROCEDURE IS BEATING SKIN CANCER IN BATON ROUGE

W

hen skin cancer is caught early on, patients have quite a few treatment options. For many, the first warning is unusual blemishes on the surface of the skin, discolored patches, raised bumps or lifted brown spots with uneven surfaces. Cancerous cells are usually found on patches of skin that are frequently exposed to UV rays. If you notice any early warning signs or have a family history of skin cancer, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to have it checked. Baton Rouge patients are grateful for the doctors at The Dermatology Clinic where Mohs Surgery, a simple procedure, is saving lives. Mohs micrographic surgery is a highly effective treatment for skin cancer, considered to be the most effective technique for treating many basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). The procedure is done in stages, including lab work, while the patient waits. This allows the removal of all cancerous cells for the highest cure rate while sparing healthy tissue and leaving the smallest possible scar. Dermatologists with advanced training in the procedure usually perform Mohs surgery. At the Dermatology Clinic, Dr. Scott Dunbar specializes in this surgery and has performed over DR. DUNBAR 10,000 Mohs and skin surgery cases. Dr. Dunbar is one of a very small number of doctors in Baton Rouge who perform Mohs Surgery. “I get to cure cancer every day,” Dunbar smiles. Dr. Dunbar completed his internal

Medicine internship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and his Dermatology Residency at Washington University in St. Louis. After residency, Dr. Dunbar moved back to New York to complete his ACGME- accredited Mohs Surgery, Cutaneous Oncology, and Cosmetic Dermatology fellowship with acclaimed surgeon and laser expert Dr. David Goldberg. Dr. Dunbar shares the benefits and risks of Mohs surgery to help patients have a better understanding of the options and whether they may be a good candidate for the procedure.

MORE ABOUT MOHS Dr. Frederic Mohs developed the technique that became known as Mohs surgery in the 1930s. Over the years, the process has been refined and now is considered the most effective treatment for most basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Mohs surgery is a highly effective treatment of skin cancer, limiting the size of scars because it preserves healthy tissue. Besides having the highest cure rate of all current treatments for skin cancer, Mohs has some additional benefits: CONVENIENCE: Mohs surgery is typically performed in a doctor’s office. Doctors use local anesthetic to numb the area they will be working on, so patients are not sedated for surgery. Because there is no general anesthetic, patients are allowed (and encouraged) to eat breakfast the day of surgery and snacks as needed on the day of surgery. In most cases, Mohs surgery requires just one day. HIGHER RATE OF CURE: According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the cure rate for Mohs surgery is over 99% for skin cancers that have not been treated before. In Mohs surgery, the doctor removes all visible cancer and a small layer of surrounding

tissue. That tissue is examined for evidence of cancer cells and if any traces of cancer are apparent, the surgeon removes another thin layer of skin and checks it under the microscope. LOWER COST: Because Mohs surgery doesn’t require a fully equipped operating room, it’s less costly than more extensive surgeries. And because it’s such an effective cancer treatment, most patients will not need additional treatment. MINIMAL RECOVERY AND SCARRING: Because surgeons only remove a sliver of tissue at a time and stop to assess before removing any more, you can be sure your doctor will only remove as much tissue as necessary. Healthy skin is left undisturbed. Patients usually go home right after receiving Mohs surgery. Doctors sometimes recommend avoiding strenuous activity or exercise for up to seven days depending on the wound. Pain usually responds to over-the-counter medicines. Some patients experience swelling, bruising, and minor pain. Applying ice packs helps with swelling and bruising. If you have any questionable moles or skin concerns due to sun damage, contact The Dermatology Clinic today to schedule a consultation with a trusted dermatologist. Dr. Dunbar and his team can set up a screening. At the Dermatology Clinic, patients can even get help with a skincare routine to help battle any sun damage they’ve already done and to prevent more from occurring in the future. Click SPONSORED BY: here to schedule an appointment online or call 225.416.5109.

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MUST-READ HEALTHY LIVING TOPICS Looking to bring more health and wellness into your life? You came to the right place. 225 sought out our partners who specialize in health care, beauty, fitness and wellness to share must-read healthy living blogs this summer. Enjoy content from the best of the best who champion subjects like pediatric health, mental wellness, summer beauty routines, and much more! No doubt, these blogs will give you insight on what’s going on locally, and we’re confident that you will want to try the newest wellness trends this summer.

WELLNESS BLOGS COMING THIS SUMMER FROM: Children’s Hospital New Orleans | Sugar & Bronze St. Ann Mental & Behavioral Health Orangetheory Fitness | Hematology Oncology Clinic Louisiana Regenerative Medicine Center Lifecyle Air Products

SCAN THE QR CODE OR VISIT 225BATONROUGE.COM/SUMMERWELLNESS2021

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S P EC I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S EC T I O N

CHARLES AYCOCK, MD

FRANK BREAUX, MD

JILL BADER, MD

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BRITANI BONADONA, MD

ALLYSON BOUDREAUX, MD

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LIN DANG, MD

SARAH DAVIS, MD

RYAN DICKERSON, MD

STEVEN FEIGLEY, MD

LISA GAUTREAU, MD

WENDY HOLDEN-PARKER, MD

NICOLLE HOLLIER, MD

CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITY, One Woman At A Time.

SHAWN KLEINPETER, MD

CHARLES LAWLER, MD

SHARON LEE, MD

PAMELA LEWIS,MD

JULIE MARTIN, MD

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AMANDA PEARSON, MD

MICHAEL PERNICIARO, MD

SAMANTHA PRATS, MD

KIRK ROUSSET, MD

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Obstetrics & Gynecology PHYSICIAN OFFICE BUILDING AT WOMAN’S HOSPITAL • 500 RUE DE LA VIE, SUITE 100 • BATON ROUGE, LA 70817 • (225) 201-2000 • www.LWHA.com

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S P EC I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T I O N

Put their little hands in the hands of our experts. Children’s Hospital New Orleans brings a world of expertise to make sure your little ones have everything they need to get back to being happy and healthy kids again. From ENT to Dermatology and Cardiology to Orthopedics, Children’s Hospital New Orleans offers unmatched pediatric expertise, sized just for kids in Baton Rouge and beyond.

Specialty Care Baton Rouge

Learn more at chnola.org/BatonRouge

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S P EC I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T I O N

New Northshore Location

Cypress Pointe, Hammond Accepting Patient Appointments Visit spinecenterbr.com Call 833-SPINEBR

TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE!

Louisiana’s Leader in Minimally-Invasive Spine Surgery Make back pain history and fill your future with possibility. Louisiana’s leader in minimally invasive spine surgery is now serving the greater Tangipahoa Parish area with our new Hammond location. Laser Spine Surgery | Non-Surgical Procedures | Pain Management Therapies

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BATON ROUGE • PRAIRIEVILLE • WALKER • HAMMOND

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Issue Date: June 2021 Ad2 proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

S P EC I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S EC T I O N

HEALTHCARE SERVICES

right around the corner

SERVICES

Medical • Dental • Behavioral Health • Pediatrics • WIC Podiatry • OBGYN • HIV/AIDS • COVID-19 Vaccines/Testing

BATON ROU G E | Z AC HAR Y | P L AQ U E MIN E | DO N A L D S ONV I L L E

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S P EC I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T I O N

WE KNOW THAT IT’S IMPORTANT FOR KIDS TO GET

ANNUAL CHECKUPS AND VACCINATIONS,

BUT IT’S IMPORTANT FOR ADULTS TOO! Mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many of us into isolation over the past year, and caused patients to skip their annual physicals. Having a yearly physical is an important part of staying healthy. Annual physical exams and preventive health screenings detect early signs of chronic disease and allow us the opportunity to discuss the latest recommendations for your continued good health.

HAVE YOU HAD YOUR: BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKED COLONOSCOPY PSA MAMMOGRAM TDAP WITHIN 10 YEARS CHOLESTEROL EVERY 5 YEARS (yearly if on meds, high risk, or abnormal)

TOBACCO USE ASSESSMENT ASCVD RISK ASSESSMENT BMI EVALUATED ALCOHOL SCREENING FLU SHOT COVID VACCINE

TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH ONE OF OUR INTERNISTS, PLEASE CALL (225) 246-9240. MAIN CLINIC: 7373 PERKINS ROAD l BATON ROUGE, LA 70808 l (225) 769-4044 l BATONROUGECLINIC.COM 64

[225] June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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Issue Date: June 2021 Ad proof #2 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

S P EC I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S EC T I O N

It’s Bathing Suit Season

LET’S GET YOU READY TO REVEAL BEAUTIFUL SKIN BOOK YOUR RESERVATION TODAY First Wax Free or 50% off a Brazilian Wax

Highland Park • 225-228-1383 | Towne Center • 225-228-1373 | Perkins Rowe • 225-800-3636 *First Wax Free offer: First-time guests only. Valid only for select services. Additional terms may apply. Participation may vary; please visit waxcenter.com for general terms and conditions. European Wax Center locations are individually owned and operated. ©2021 EWC Franchise, LLC. All rights reserved. European Wax Center® is a registered trademark.

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2021

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Issue Date: June 2021 Ad proof #3 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

for:ICORRECT ADDRESS SCarefully P EC I Acheck L Athis DVad E RT SING SE C T I O N• CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

CLEAN AIR

Everyone deserves it. Now you can have it. Prices lower than you’ve ever seen

WHOLE HOUSE AIR PURIFICATION SYSTEM BENEFITS: Removes allergy and asthma symptoms Rapidly destroys contaminates like fungi, mold, and odor causing bacteria Improves sleep | Safe for pets

CALL US NOW AT 225-620-6618 LIFECYCLEAIRPRODUCTS.COM Installed by licensed AC Technicians

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S P EC I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S EC T I O N

SUMMER BEAUTY GIVEAWAY

Hydrate, Renew & Reveal Your True Glow SPONSORED BY

ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THE ULTIMATE SKINCARE PACKAGE Includes two Platinum HydraFacials plus 20 units of wrinkle relaxant. Originally valued at $760

TO ENTER, SCAN THE QR CODE OR VISIT 225BATONROUGE.COM/SUMMERWELLNESS2021

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2021

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On the Horizon...

Proudly Introducing The Lakes At Harveston

H

The Lakes at Harveston is on the horizon.

Homes from the $550s.

Cathy Cusimano, Realtor | 225-413-9801 A Wampold/Fetzer Development

225-769-1500 68

[225] June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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I N S I D E : EJ & Co.’s soothing natural fragrances The "Roadside Picks" wallpaper pattern in mustard from Hope Johnson's new collection

Holding INTERIORS

patterns

Central designer Hope Johnson’s first wallpaper collection is infused with art and interiors history—and her own history, too

COURTESY HOPE JOHNSON

B Y JE N N IFE R TO R MO

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COLLIN RICHIE

STYLE //

Hope Johnson creates her wallpaper and textile designs in her backyard studio.

“I’m not an interior designer, but I have always had a knack for making the home feel good. I don’t think you have to have a degree or be an interior designer to have that feeling.”

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painting more than ever—and with more than enough material to digitize and convert to her first wallpaper line. The collection of 19 patterns—with more to come this fall—debuted in late April. The wallpaper rolls ship to interior designers and decor enthusiasts around the country. Checked with gingham patterns and floral prints in shades of warm mustard, soothing olive and moody charcoal, Johnson wanted the designs to look plucked right out of a vintage home. On her interiors moodboard: architectural Victorian-era houses; folky, romantic vignettes from the arts and crafts movement; and antique farmhouses from the 1800s and early 1900s. She loves a funky 1970s color palette, too. “My aunt looked at one of my patterns and said it was exactly like what we took down at my uncle’s house in the ’70s. And it was like, the biggest compliment ever,” Johnson says. “If my designs can feel like that but a little bit modern, then that’s the goal.” Her family is embedded in her wallpaper designs, too. On her “Forest Friends” print, sage green animals

home, the art of collecting, and how to maintain an organized space with kids. “I’m not an interior designer, but I have always had a knack for making the home feel good,” she says. “I don’t think you have to have a degree or be an interior designer to have that feeling. I’m a big advocate for being a homebody and giving people permission to make their home feel how they want it to.” Johnson is looking forward to the summer. She has a lot on her agenda: working on new wallpaper and textile collections, and even exploring upholstery fabrics. But the year’s sunniest, longest days are when she feels most inspired and makes the most art. Besides, her kids will be home with her all day. “The artwork I fall in love with the most is the stuff that happens by accident,” she says. “Most times, next to my kids.” byhopejohnson.com

WALLPAPER 101 • By Hope Johnson wallpaper requires traditional installation. Johnson recommends working with a professional to get it secured.

COURTESY HOPE JOHNSON

HOPE JOHNSON’S FAMILY lives in everything she creates. Inside her backyard studio in Central, the surface designer works on her art. Her three children are never far. Climb the studio’s wooden step ladder, and you’ll find them playing in an upstairs loft. Some days, her kiddos keep to themselves, coloring or reading. Other times, they’ll join mom in painting. This is how Johnson’s second textile collection—“Dear Isla,” released this March by Cotton + Steel—came together. She and her young daughter, Isla, drew swirly rainbows, suns and clouds in muted colors and pastels. “It was that moment in motherhood where you just have to stop and paint, and ignore the house and all the things you have to do. That collection is such a tribute to her,” she says. It’s also how her brand-new wallpaper collection came together. Johnson wanted to turn her work into a custom wallpaper for Java Mama, the family-friendly cafe in Central she co-owns with her sister. But during a year spent mostly at home with her kids, she found herself

COLLIN RICHIE

—Hope Johnson

float whimsically on a cloud-colored background. Each animal’s name is written in a cursive penned by Johnson’s grandmother. “I just love her handwriting. It’s not formal calligraphy. It’s so organic,” she says. “And if you knew my grandmother, organic is definitely a good word. She was an antique collector her whole life.” Johnson studied art at LSU and later became a stationery and wedding invitation designer. She still has two letterpresses that are nearly 100 years old. But she says her passion for art and interiors was truly born inside her own childhood home, a 1911 Victorianstyle house that was originally built downtown and later moved to Central. Today, she likens her love for homes to an “obsession.” She went as far as to create a 20-page guide to “The Habits of Being a Homebody,” a digital handbook customers can download from her website. It covers sustainability at

• The designs are printed on a matte, non-woven vellum. She also has some commercial-grade options that are made for high-traffic areas—including restaurants and bars, which she says she’d love to work with more. • Each roll is made-to-order and ships in four to six weeks.

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

SPONSORED CONTENT

THE LOWDOWN

SPONSORED BY:

MIDDLE SCHOOL MATTERS:

HOW THIS K-8 MODEL HELPS STUDENTS SUCCEED

B

eing a middle-schooler isn’t easy. Awkward gangly arms and legs, voices changing, and of course, the hormones. When you toss in a major transition like changing schools, things can get dicey for an adolescent. Studies show that a K-8 model can reduce stress and boost students’ academic performance and sense of well-being. Students in K-8 schools report fewer social issues than their peers in traditional middle schools. It’s the consistent school environment over a longer period of time while they are experiencing considerable physical, cognitive, and social growth that makes that happen. Studies have shown and administrators agree: K-8 schools allow for a stronger sense of community. Since 1957, St. Luke’s Episcopal School has been one of our city’s finest. It’s also the only Episcopal school in Baton Rouge offering a K-8 model. The atmosphere at St. Luke’s nurtures each student’s individuality with small class sizes to allow teachers to quickly recognize each child’s special gifts and needs.

STRONG ROOTS GROW STRONG STUDENTS

The traditions at St. Luke’s are celebrated by its students and carried with its graduates. Its K-8 model makes it possible. The

school’s buddies program gives older students chances to demonstrate the values of caring, generosity and mentoring. Younger students get to lead their peers through jobs in the classroom and by serving in chapel. When children are afforded these opportunities, they gain confidence, and have a stronger buy-in to learning. It is truly a joy to watch—when the little buddy becomes the big one—carrying on the tradition of mentorship and community to the next generation.

and spring sports are available to students in grades 5 through 8: the years when being part of a team can make a big impact. Perhaps the most important benefit to a K-8 model is the environment that allows for tremendous change during the early teenage years. Middle school is a time for exploring new interests and adjusting to amazing physical and social transformations. All this newness is best experienced in a setting that is comfortable and safe. When you combine the benefits of K-8 education with the Episcopal school belief of small class sizes and experienced, loving teachers, you get students who are truly ready to change their world.

A CURRICULUM THAT CONNECTS

Children thrive with enrichment classes like liberal, visual and performing arts; foreign language; and technology. In addition to these, St. Luke’s also offers after-school activities and clubs. Classmates become teammates with St. Luke’s athletic programs. Fall, winter

Find out more about the K-8 model at St. Luke’s Episcopal School and schedule a tour. Call 225.927.8601 or visit stlukesbrschool.org.

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2021

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STYLE //

MEET THE MAKER

Be the light Meet the family behind EJ & Co., a local company that makes luxurious and natural candles and home fragrances B Y CY N T H E A CO R FA H P H OTOS BY CO L L I N R I C H I E

Jamie Green (pictured) founded EJ & Co. fragrance brand with her sister, Jodie Green.

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STYLE //

EJ & Co. makes its natural candles, reed diffusers and room sprays in Baton Rouge and ships the products all over the country.

“I just love when people take something I made and they enjoy it so much that they want to share it with others.” —Jamie Green, co-owner of EJ & Co.

WHEN SISTERS JAMIE and Jodie Green started watching candlemaking tutorials on YouTube, they never imagined six years later they’d be shipping candles to customers all over the U.S. and as far as London. Jamie and Jodie are the owners of EJ & Co., a Baton Rouge company that sells natural candles, reed diffusers and room spray. What started as a small home-based business in 2015 steadily grew into a full-fledged fragrance line with two studio spaces at N the Art Space, a design and arts education complex with artist studios on Jefferson Highway. In 2020, EJ & Co. had an influx in sales. With more people inside due to the stay-at-home order,

customers began buying candles for themselves and gifting them to friends. In fact, 80% of the purchases were gifts for other people, Jamie and Jodie say. During the first few months of the pandemic, the sisters shipped more candles than ever before. “Making candles relaxes me to no end,” Jamie says. Jamie and Jodie work at the studio daily. They pour soy coconut wax candles twice a week and use the rest of the time to package and ship orders, market their products or conceptualize collections. The candle company has three main candle collections: Lightkeeper, Seduction and the

Signature Collection. Lightkeeper candles include cheery and uplifting scents. Each candle features a positive affirmation like “you are enough,” “choose happy” or “alone is a lie.” Seduction candles have sultry scents like rose petal, and the Signature Collection includes classic scents like Egyptian Amber, Very Vanilla and Fresh Coffee. EJ & Co. also releases seasonal collections during the holidays. Its room sprays are made with essential oils, and its reed diffusers feature some of the same scents as the candles. Before the pandemic, Jamie and Jodie sold their products at MidCity Makers Market and the Red Stick

Farmers Market. Now, they’ve shifted to selling primarily online and at their stand at Southern Cofe’s Scotland Avenue location. They offer curbside pick-up services for locals. Next, the sisters hope to sell their candles and fragrances at local boutiques and eventually get a warehouse and larger workspace. Because nothing would make them happier than brightening more people’s days with their home fragrances—especially those who pass along their products as gifts. “I just love when people take something I made and they enjoy it so much that they want to share it with others,” Jamie says. “It’s like they’re taking a little piece of me with them.” ejcandles.com 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2021

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2 S 2 of E T 5 B E X PE R I E N C E June 29 – 5:30-8:00PM River Center Branch Library Downtown – 4th floor & terrace

Buy your tickets NOW for the 225 FOODIE EXPERIENCE. Join us as we celebrate the 2021 Best of 225 WINNERS and enjoy tastings from 8 local restaurants!

Tickets are limited Scan here to purchase yours today!

Special Thanks to Our Event Partners:

Three Roll Estate

(Must be 21 & older)

BASIS charter schools Studyville Runningboards Marketing of Baton Rouge 225batonrouge.com/225experience SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS:

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Serious about seafood

I N S I D E : Recipes for a summertime power bowl

COLLIN RICHIE

It’s known for its charbroiled oysters, but we’re also sampling some of the other dishes you can find at Drago’s

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2021

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Your Adventure

This Month [ J U N E ]

@ BREC

TWILIGHT TOURS

DOG DAY AT THE SWAMP

Every Tuesday + Thursday in June + July 6-7:30 p.m.

June 19 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo

DREAMNIGHT AT THE ZOO

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo June 4 | 6-7 p.m.

GUEST APPRECIATION DAYS

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo June 5 + 6

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

SUNSET PADDLE

Milford Wampold Memorial Park June 16 + 30 | 7-8:30 p.m.

NICK BROSSETTE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL 7V7 TOURNAMENT Various Locations June 26 + 27

CELEBRATION OF FATHERHOOD Nairn Drive Park

June 12 | noon-4 p.m.

BREC.ORg/thismonth BREC does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, veteran status or sexual orientation in its programs and activities.

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TA ST E / /

R E S TA U R A N T R E V I E W

Drago’s Seafood Restaurant BY D. J . BEAUTI C I A P HOTO S B Y CO LLIN RICHIE Our food critic’s name may be false, but the credentials are not. This gastronome has studied the history, cultivation, preparation, science and technology of food for more than 30 years.

C

dragosrestaurant.com 4580 Constitution Ave. Daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

FOR YEARS I’VE heard a variety of opinions about Drago’s from friends who visited the longtime New Orleans The Boudin Stuffed Shrimp entree restaurant. Ever since the Drago’s serves the spicy crustaceans over family opened a Baton Rouge outpost, I boudin stuffing, all nestled in a peppery brown gravy. had been curious to try it out. With an empty fridge and an envie for seafood, we threw caution to the wind and made the trek to Constitution Avenue. The menu is extensive with a dozen appetizers vying for your attention even before the soups and salads. By the time I finished reading, I was famished from the effort. The Crawfish Meatball sounded like a unique starter to our meal. As presented, it THE BASICS: Drago and was an unexpected fried Klara Cvitanovich opened seafood ball stuffed with the original Drago’s in New loads of crabmeat and Orleans in 1969. By the crawfish. The bright, popularity of its charbroiled oysters and seafood dishes, piquant, cheese-laden the restaurant expanded to marinara sauce covering locations in Metairie; Lafayette; it was wonderful and Jackson, Mississippi; and here would have been in Baton Rouge in January 2020. excellent on pasta. Overall, this appetizer WHAT’S A MUST: There’s satisfies cravings for nothing wrong with starting off both seafood and Italian the meal with those famous red sauce. Win, win. charbroiled oysters. We also Wanting to try a and Crabmeat Mediterranean wide swath of dishes, I Salad. For a hefty entree, created a meal out of the try the spicy Boudin Stuffed Crabmeat Mediterranean Shrimp. Close dinner out on a sweet note with the Key Lime Side Salad, Chicken Parfait. & Andouille Sausage Gumbo and a side order of Red Beans & Rice. The salad was a light and fresh starter, with copious crabmeat piled 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2021

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If you’re thinking of going the soup and salad route, don’t miss the Crabmeat Mediterranean Salad, with an ample helping of lump crabmeat on top.

atop iceberg lettuce for a chilled crunch. A sprightly, creamy dressing with a touch of black pepper deliciously enrobed everything, and a squeeze of the delightful Creole seasoning-coated lemon wedges helped marry all the flavors. The gumbo was thick in the bowl and heavy on the palate with little nuance and overt black pepper that overpowered the dish. But the red beans and rice side was creamy, homey comfort-food goodness with a great rice-to-bean ratio. I only wished there had been more sausage. My partner was torn by some of the more unique entrees at Drago’s, settling on the Boudin Stuffed Shrimp with maque choux on the side. From the name, we expected butterflied and stuffed shrimp that would then be fried, similar to those found at other seafood restaurants. Instead the boudin was served out of the casing as a meaty/rice base to grilled shrimp. The boudin on its own was only average. But the fantastically juicy, highly spiced grilled shrimp were outstanding and could’ve stood alone. A thick brown gravy sauced the whole dish. Unfortunately it wasn’t until three quarters in that we noticed the maque choux side was missing. Corn would

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The Crawfish Meatball is a satisfying starter that marries crawfish and crabmeat with an Italian-style red sauce.

For dessert: The Key Lime Parfait is Drago’s take on the tropical classic.

have definitely brightened this entree. We were almost overwhelmed by the sheer number of dessert offerings, though the count fell two short of the appetizers. Few of the desserts are made in house, but there was one housemade option we had already zeroed in on. Key Lime Parfait sounded like a lighter version of the traditional pie. Served in a glass, it was filled with loads of whipped cream that hid an ethereally light, tart mousse-like key lime fluff. Once the spoon hit bottom I heard a distinct crunch and was surprised to discover a crumbled chocolate cookie foundation. Though I would have never thought chocolate and key lime would play well together, they did quite nicely. Most of our meal was good—with noteworthy items like the Crawfish Meatball and its Italian-influenced sauce and the red beans and rice. For a casual eatery, the pricing seemed on the higher side, with many dinner entrees ranging from $20 to $30. But if those famous charbroiled oysters and traditional Cajun and Creole dishes are what you seek, give it a try. Bonus: You get dinner and a show with the chargrilling station front and center.

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DINING IN

Bowled over Keep it fresh and simple this month with our how-to on satisfying power bowls

B Y TRACE Y KO CH A N D ST E PH A N IE R I E G E L PHOTOS B Y A M Y S H UT T

POWER BOWLS ARE one of the hot trends in the food world today. You’ve probably noticed them popping up all over menus across town. This just might be a trend worth perpetuating. The concept is easy and versatile, and it can be customized to suit any palate. It’s a complete meal in a bowl and a great balance of protein, carbs and veggies that is satisfying

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and delicious. They’re also easy to prepare in advance—plan on about 30-40 minutes of meal prep—yet they will yield several healthy meals throughout the week. For this month’s menu, we wanted to put together something simple for the hot days of June. The ingredients are fresh, there isn’t a lot of time spent over a hot stove, and you’ll feel good about yourself

during a time of year when we’re all trying to get ready for a season of days at the beach or pool. And what’s more refreshing to wash down those grains and veggies than a citrusy cocktail? We’re diving into the tradition of Daisy cocktails with a homemade raspberry simple syrup. Read on for the recipes, and enjoy these warm, sunny days!

On the menu • Power Bowl • Perfect Roasted Vegetables • Daisy Cocktails with Raspberry Simple Syrup Recipes by Tracey Koch

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Power Bowl how-to We like to start the process of constructing a power bowl with roasting a couple pans of vegetables along with cooking a few servings of our favorite grains, such as brown rice or quinoa. Then, it’s time to grill some protein, like chicken, shrimp, tuna or salmon. While the protein is cooking, we cut up a variety of raw vegetables. Once everything is prepped, we package items separately in containers and store it all in the fridge until we are ready to build the power bowls. The best part of keeping these ingredients on hand is the fun we have mixing textures and flavors for our power bowls. To help keep them interesting, we recommend making sure to have a few of your favorite dressings, salsas and sauces on hand to add fun, bold flavors. Below is a template for putting together a well-balanced power bowl. We will leave the creative combinations to your own taste! POWER BOWL RATIO 1 cup mixed greens, fresh baby spinach or shredded cabbage 1 ⁄3 cup cooked grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, barley or farro ½ cup or 4 ounces of lean protein (grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, turkey, chickpeas, edamame, tofu or beans) 1 cup roasted vegetables (combine ingredients like sweet potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, asparagus, red onions or bell peppers) 1 cup raw vegetables (shredded carrots, chopped cucumbers, tomatoes) ¼ cup toppings (chopped avocados, toasted nuts, sunflower seeds, wasabi peas, dried cranberries, salsa, feta or shredded cheese, hummus) ¼ cup dressing or sauce of your choice TO ASSEMBLE

1. Place the greens into a bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of your desired dressing.

2. Top with 1⁄3 cup of the cooked grain of your choice, followed by

1 cup of roasted vegetables (see roasting tips on next page). Drizzle with another tablespoon of dressing or sauce.

3. Add 4 ounces of protein along with another tablespoon of dressing or sauce.

4. Finish building your power bowl with 1 cup of raw vegetables

and ¼ cup of your favorite toppings. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of dressing and serve.

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Perfect Roasted Vegetables Roasting is our favorite way to prepare vegetables. The process brings out their natural sugars and gives them a nutty and sweet flavor. You can roast just about any type of vegetable, making this a very versatile way to suit any flavor profile. There are just a few things to remember to ensure you have success every time. Cut the vegetables into equal sizes to help them all roast evenly. Remember that different vegetables have different densities and moisture content that will affect cooking time, as well. To combat this, we suggest staggering the cooking times when roasting a variety of vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots will all take about 20 to 25 minutes to roast. Asparagus, bell pepper, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, green beans and onions will only take about 15 to 20 minutes. Finally, make sure to keep the vegetables in a single layer when roasting to keep them from steaming as they roast—they tend to get mushy that way.

Servings: 6

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2

large baking sheets with non-stick aluminum foil.

2. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Toss with half of the olive oil, salt and pepper. 3. Place them on a single layer on one of

the lined baking sheets. Roast them in the oven for 7-10 minutes.

4. While the first batch of vegetables begins to roast, place the remaining vegetables into the mixing bowl and toss with the remaining oil, salt and pepper.

5. Put these vegetables in a single layer on the second baking sheet.

6. Once the first batch has roasted for 10 minutes, use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently stir them around to ensure even roasting.

7. Put the second batch of vegetables into 16 ounces broccoli florets 16 ounces cauliflower florets 16 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved 16 ounces sweet potatoes, cut into uniform chunks 16 ounces zucchini, cut into chunks 16 ounces yellow squash, cut into chunks

the oven along with the first batch and set the timer for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, give all the vegetables one last stir and continue roasting 4 to 5 more minutes, or until the vegetables are a little toasted on the outside and tender, but still hold their shape.

1 medium red or yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks 1 medium red onion, cut into chunks 4 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

8. Place all the roasted vegetables together on a serving platter and serve.

Daisy Cocktails The Daisy cocktail has been around since the mid-19th century. It’s not a particular type of cocktail, but one of the classic styles belonging to a branch of the sour cocktail family. Just as there are “mother sauces” in classic French cuisine, there are also several different families in the world of cocktails. A Daisy cocktail starts as a pure sour cocktail—which combines 2 ounces of liquor, ¾ ounce of citrus juice and 1 ounce of simple syrup—but then is modified by the addition of a liqueur. The addition of Cointreau, triple sec or other liqueur turns this classic sour cocktail into a Daisy. You can make it with any base liquor, though brandy was used in the original recipes, followed by gin during the 1930s and ’40s. Common variations include the Gin Daisy, margarita, cosmopolitan and sidecar, just to name a few. We decided to give the true Daisy cocktail a little recognition, considering its longevity and how many of our favorite summertime cocktails actually stem from it. We like making ours with vodka and Cointreau. For an added twist, we created a homemade raspberry-infused simple syrup. It not only gives the cocktail a sweet and fruity touch, it’s also a wonderful way to sweeten iced tea and fresh lemonade. RASPBERRY SIMPLE SYRUP

Servings: Yields 1 cup of syrup 16 ounces fresh raspberries 2 cups water 1 cup sugar or ¾ cup sweetener

1. Place the raspberries into a strainer and rinse thoroughly. Set aside.

2. In a heavy sauce pot, combine the water and

sugar or sweetener over medium heat. Gently stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved.

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3. Add in the raspberries and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Use a large spoon to skim off any foam created as the berries begin to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, skimming any more foam if necessary. 4.

pour the raspberry mixture into the strainer. Use a small spatula to press all the excess liquid out of the raspberries, making sure to get as much of the liquid out of them as possible.

5. Rinse the pot and place it back onto the stove. Pour the strained mixture back into the pot, and turn the heat back on low. Simmer the raspberry syrup for another 7 to 10 minutes or until the syrup is thick and coats the back of a spoon.

6. Turn off the heat and allow the syrup to cool

completely. Pour the syrup into a container with a in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

DAISY COCKTAIL RATIOS 1½ ounces vodka, gin, rum or brandy 1 ounce liqueur (such as Cointreau or triple sec) ¾ to 1 ounce fresh lemon or lime juice 1 ounce simple syrup 2-3 ounces sparkling water

1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. 2. Pour in your favorite liquor followed by the li-

queur, fresh lemon or lime juice and simple syrup.

3. Shake vigorously and strain into a festive glass. Top with a little sparkling water, and serve.

Note: Daisy cocktails may be served straight up or on the rocks.

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CULTURE I N S I D E : Red Stick Reads / Artist Megan Buccere / Arts and music events

Fair air

WHYR Community Radio celebrates 10 years of broadcasting eclectic and diverse local shows B Y MAG G IE H E YN R ICH A R DSO N // P HOTO S BY CO L L I N R I C H I E

ON FRIDAY EVENINGS at 6 p.m., Leah Smith is ready to spin vinyl. Her hour-long radio show, “Off the Record with Leah Smith,” plays quirky, B-side tunes from the ’50s and ’60s. It’s an upbeat retro romp Smith broadcasts from WHYR Community Radio’s modest studio on Main Street in downtown east. “My show can be a little hard to explain,” Smith says. “It’s a lot of rock ’n’ roll and rockabilly, and sometimes I go back to blues from the ’20s and ’30s, or play new bands who send me music.” Smith is one of dozens of volunteer hosts who fill WHYR’s airwaves with their personal passions and creative interests. The commercial-free radio station,

96.6 FM on the dial, is likely Baton Rouge’s most eclectic—a hodgepodge of local deejay-created shows that represent scores of musical genres. That sort of diversity was exactly what WHYR’s founders intended when they first conceived of such a station in 2000. It took several years for the idea to become reality. But indeed it did. The station celebrates 10 years on the air this month. Founding board member and program committee chair Brian Marks says the project grew out of the awareness that, in the United States, broadcast airwaves are publicly owned. “Just like national parks and the interstate highway system, they’re there for all of us,” Marks says.

Leah Smith, a WHYR board member and host of “Off the Record with Leah Smith,” in front of the station’s downtown east office.

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C U LT U R E / /

on the air every week playing music they love or talking about issues they’re excited about.” “Off the Record” host Smith recalls how she felt when she first discovered the radio station at a neighborhood meet-and-greet. “I walked in and felt so comfortable with these people I’d never met before,” Smith says. “They were interested in learning, and in music and in communicating about music. I loved that it’s a community station run by a diverse group of volunteers.” The station is enjoyed not just by locals, but national listeners, too. Anyone can stream it from the station’s website. WHYR also airs nationally syndicated shows like “Democracy Now!,” “Le Show” with comic Harry Shearer, the “Ralph Nader Radio

Hour” and others. What’s most remarkable, Marks says, is that their dreams for the station didn’t falter over more than two decades, even as the volunteers’ lives changed. Members of the founding group got jobs, got married and had kids. Their lives got busier and their priorities shifted, but their commitment to the station continued. “Somehow we got it done, and I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Marks says. “We have become rather representative of the culture and democracy of the city, and of who the city is. That’s been a beautiful thing to observe over the years.” To celebrate the June anniversary, WHYR is hosting an on-air pledge drive beginning June 24. Find out more at whyr.org.

Lyndell Mitchell in the studio for his show “Louisiana All-American Sports Show”

In 2000, he and a group of fellow LSU students and community activists from the Baton Rouge Progressive Network (BRPN) filed a highly competitive FCC application to open a community-run radio station in the Capital City. The station, they imagined, would be an alternative to dominant conservative talk radio and would feature local hosts playing a rich variety of music. The mission fit squarely with the group’s progressive agenda, which also included anti-war protests and starting LSU’s recycling program. Their moonshot idea to form a community radio station stemmed from what they saw as a need for a forum that would welcome alternative viewpoints, Marks says. The group’s chances of securing a highly competitive FCC license were minimal. But four years later, the FCC granted approval. WHYR-Baton Rouge Community Radio was officially born—at least, as far as the legal requirements were concerned. With an all-volunteer team, opening the station would take several more years. It didn’t help when another group attempted to steal WHYR’s operating license, forcing the BRPN to hire a media law attorney

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and fight the issue in court. A formal investigation by the FCC sided with BRPN in 2010, and the next year, the station finally went on air. Community members were invited to submit proposals for shows. The station continues to receive scores of show proposals today. Marks says the beauty of Baton Rouge Community Radio is that there’s something for every listener’s taste. Current shows focus on Cajun music, swamp pop, modern country, rock ’n’ roll, new age, local hip-hop, rap and “gutbucket,” or traditional country, blues, gospel and folk. There are locally produced talk shows, as well, including one that takes a deep dive into high school and college sports and includes live coverage of high school games. And there are shows dedicated to breaking down the world of science, and to discussing Baton Rouge’s arts scene. Each host curates and produces their own show. “We are an open window for people who want to be on the air, and who are passionate about something, whether it’s local hip-hop, sports or roots music,” Marks says. “Dozens of people in and around Baton Rouge are

The vinyl and CD collection at WHYR

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BOOKS

BR’s reading nook Red Stick Reads aims to be your cozy local bookstore hangout to the general public with no appointment needed. It has hosted story time events for kids and has even been reserved for a child’s birthday party. The 350-square-foot space is cozy yet provides indoor and outdoor areas to read and hang out. Since space is limited, each book is hand-selected by Teresa, who seems to know the book world inside and Teresa and Jam out. And through James’ previous job es Hyfield insid e their Red Stick at a local Barnes & Noble, he learned Reads book sh op. how the bookstore industry works teacher, and James runs Red Stick and what types of novels Baton Rouge local Black-owned businesses that sell Reads during the week. Maintaining readers seek. comics, art and apparel. the store themselves makes it easier to James sees the quaint storefront as a The Hyfields’ future goals for Red put money back into the business, the way to curate a collection of books that Stick Reads are to expand the business Hyfields say. is small but significant. and gain more support from the Red Stick Reads participates in “We have reads that we want to community. monthly tent pop-ups with MidCity read, or that we have heard a lot about “My wife and I would love to have Markers Market and has even made and know that there’s a buzz about. a job that we can retire to and that we it to Earth Day at Beauvoir Park. We feel comfortable, (and that makes) actually enjoy by supporting ourselves It also hosts events just outside its us comfortable telling you it’s going to and our family,” James says. storefront, such as a recent pop-up be awesome,” James says. redstickreads.com shop of Blerd-ish and Lazy Nerds, two Teresa still holds her job as a

COURTESY RED

A BATON ROUGE couple took advantage of the pandemic to turn their love of books and reading into a business. Teresa and James Hyfield started the boutique bookstore Red Stick Reads in December 2020 on South Eugene Street with the hope of bringing Baton Rouge a local shop helmed by compassionate book lovers. James says they wanted to provide a “third space”—besides home and work—for people to spend their time. “We want to provide our community with the opportunity to get books and stories, to share books and stories, and to be the third space where they come and be comfortable,” he says. Since the business started in the pandemic, the shop has operated around a social distance-friendly schedule. Tuesday through Saturday mornings, 10 a.m.-noon, the shop is open by appointment only, so book lovers can browse on their own. After noon on those days, the shop is open

STICK READS

By Caroline Hebert

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MUSIC BEST BETS

ARTS BEST BETS

JUNE 3 Head to La Divina Italian Cafe to enjoy drinks and gelato while listening to local live music by Steve Levine. Find La Divina on Facebook

ALL MONTH The Louisiana Art & Science Museum is showcasing artwork that embodies the landscape, culture and people of Louisiana in its “Our Louisiana” exhibit, which was made by Louisiana-born and Louisiana-based artists. lasm.org

JUNE 8 Listen to some jazz while taking in the views of downtown from the Shaw Center for the Arts River Terrace, as the River City Jazz Masters Series presents critically acclaimed soul and jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan. manshiptheatre.org

COURTESY LASM

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ALL MONTH The Contemporary Fiber Artists of Louisiana is presenting its show, “Louisiana Stories,” with art pieces paying homage to the state. See how fiber art can tell the stories of Louisiana at the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library. contemporaryfiberartistsofla.com

IST

OC

K

JUNE 10 Grammy Award-winning Lost Bayou Ramblers take the stage at the Shaw Center for the Arts River Terrace with their Cajun sounds mixing Creole, punk and “psychedelic fuzz.” manshiptheatre.org JUNE 11 Spend an evening with “The Jazz Nurse,” as Betsy Braud takes her Louisiana jazz sound to the Chorum Hall patio for the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s Jazz Listening Room series. artsbr.org JUNE 24 Yes We Cannibal is hosting Texas-based folk musician Renée Reed for the release of her debut album. yeswecannibal.org

Conrad Albrizio’s “Jordan”

UNTIL JUNE 19 The Elizabethan Gallery is wrapping up its annual spring art show, “Mid City in Bloom.” This free event is open to the public and features many local artists showcasing new works. elizabethangallery.com

JUNE 5 The Baton Rouge Arts Market, presented by the Arts Council, is showcasing local artists at its monthly downtown open-air market. The event will be set up alongside the Red Stick Farmers Market. artsbr.org JUNE 18-20 Theatre Baton Rouge’s Young Actors Program performs a production of Shakespeare’s timeless comedy classic Twelfth Night. theatrebr.org

JUNE 3-5 The Christian Youth Theater is presenting performances of the musical Tuck Everlasting, based on the children’s classic by Natalie Babbitt. cytbatonrouge.org

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ARTIST’S PERSPEC TIVE

The local artist on her ‘Encapsulated’ piece and finding personal messages in art

About the artist Megan Buccere works primarily in soft pastels and oils. She received an art degree from LSU and is the head of the visual and performing arts department at Zachary High School. Her work is available through Ann Connelly Fine Art and her personal website, meganbuccere.com.

By Caroline Hebert

“INTERPRET HOW YOU wish.” That’s the message from local artist Megan Buccere when she talks about her work. Buccere uses art to cope with her struggles with anxiety. She creates dark, beautiful and sometimes surreal paintings, with subjects such as a woman entangled in string and a girl with bleeding black eyes. It’s given Buccere a different way to express herself. “It really does help to center me, and it takes a lot of the little chaotic aspects of my life and helps them fall into place,” she says. “It’s become an easier way for me to speak.” But as personal as those images are for herself, she wants viewers to see something personal about themselves in her work, too. “I want people to look at my artwork and get an overall aesthetic, but also take away from it what they want to take away from it by finding something in it that appeals to them,” she says. “It makes it more personal to them, making it so much better.” Buccere moved from Tennessee to the Baton Rouge area when she was 14, and since then, the Southern charm of Louisiana has inspired her life and work tremendously. “Louisiana almost seemed kind of magical in a way,” she says. It’s led some of her work to revolve around the dark and enchanting atmosphere of the Louisiana swamps— from the nighttime creatures like bats and owls to the arresting colors of the spoonbill. The move to Baton Rouge also introduced her to an art teacher who ultimately encouraged her to become one herself. Buccere has worked as an art teacher for more than 20 years, currently at Zachary High School as the head of the visual and performing arts department. Her goal is to provide many outlets for her students to express themselves and teach them how to transform their creativity into art. “A lot of times, they just focus on creativity, but you have to focus on all of it,” Buccere says. “That’s what I really hoped to do with my kids … to inspire them to keep learning, keep practicing, and that you can do it.”

“The oil painting’s sticky strings represent my sense of understanding of how anxiety appears and its hold on every aspect of my life. Additionally, the strings connect different facets of my life, seeming to strangle me and other sufferers. The gold encircling the subject of this piece is meant to act as a barrier between the subject and her need for freedom and change. A small cicada located at her navel denotes transformation and her longing to be set free from her mental anguish.” —Megan Buccere, about her oil painting “Encapsulated”

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IMAGE COURTESY MEGAN BUCCERE

COURTESY LASM

Megan Buccere

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Issue Date: June 2021 Ad proof #3 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

SUMMER READING

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

June 1 through August 15 Enjoy lots of virtual and in-house programs and activities throughout June and July!

Programs are available for everyone! Li’l Ones: ages 0 to 5, or non-readers Young Readers: ages 5 to 11 Teens: ages 11 to 18 Adults: 18 and up

Sign up at your local library branch or online at ebrpl.beanstack.org

East Baton Rouge Parish Library 7711 Goodwood Blvd.

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225-231-3760

www.ebrpl.com

www.facebook.com/ebrpl

[225] June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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CALENDAR //

18

ompiled b Brittney Fo y rbes

ALSO THIS MONTH

ON THE MARKET Kick off your weekend with the MidCity Makers Market at its new home, Circa 1857. Local and regional artists will show off their crafts while musicians play underneath the property’s live music shed. Food vendors will be on-hand serving up light bites, as well. midcitymakersmarket.com

all month STO

CK

PH

OT

O

HANDS ON At BREC’s “Pottery and Ceramics,” you’ll learn about the art of pottery. Bring your friends, and make things with each other as you throw, mold and fire clay creations. This event takes place on different days at various BREC parks throughout the month. Check brec.org for schedules and locations.

EVERY MONDAY, TUESDAY AND FRIDAY The Blue Zoo at the Mall of Louisiana is showing off its afternoon mermaid experience. Bring your kids to the Blue Zoo to listen to stories from a mermaid, free with admission into the aquarium. batonrouge.bluezoo.us

COURTESY JUSTIN LEMOINE

June

Where play aro to Baton R und o this monuge th C

JUNE 3-24 Channel your inner Serena Williams, and head to BREC’s Independence Park Tennis Center for a four-week program to sharpen your tennis game. The program is available at beginner and intermediate levels. Registration is required. brec.org

24, 26 + 27

13

(SOUL) FOOD FOR THE SOUL

STOCK PHOTO

CELEBRATE PRIDE Baton Rouge’s Splash Nightclub on Highland Road hosts Pride Drag Brunch. The event is catered by The Camp Seafood and Patio and features performances by RuPaul’s Drag Race star Silky Nutmeg Ganache and Louisiana queens London Manchester, Nakita London and Santana A. Savage. splashbr.com

ON THE ROAD NEW ORLEANS

EVERY WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY: Virtual concert: Jazz Foundation of America and New Orleans Jazz Museum present an all-star jazz ensemble, facebook.com/nolajazzmuseum/live

FILE PHOTO

JUNE 5 + 6 The Baton Rouge Zoo is celebrating its zoogoers during Guest Appreciation Weekend, where all guests can buy one admission and get one free. brzoo.org

504 ALL MONTH: Crescent City Farmers Market, crescentcityfarmersmarket.org

The 4th annual Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival is back, with three days of delicious Southern cuisine and live music. On Thursday night, indulge yourself at the Greens, Beans and Chicken Wings pre-party at Henry Turner Jr.’s Listening Room. That weekend, head over to the Riverfront Plaza for the familyfriendly, free event complete with food, drinks and entertainment from local and regional vendors. You’ll also get to hear your favorite blues, soul, R&B and gospel tunes from artists like Wyanda Paul, Xavier Shorts, Simon Oguinye and so much more. brsoulfoodfest.com

LAFAYETTE

NOW-JUNE 6: 33rd annual Cajun Heartland State Fair, Cajundome Convention Center, cajundome.com

JUNE 17 Louisiana strawberries are a staple, but have you tried to turn them into beautiful pastries? Chef Jeanne Mancuso will teach you how to turn the red gems into a strawberry shortcake, strawberry tart and strawberry lemonade cake in this handson class. lci.edu MORE EVENTS Be sure to subscribe to our daily e-newsletter, 225 Daily, for event roundups published every Monday and Tuesday. Send us event recommendations at editor@225batonrouge. com.

337 JUNE 19: Comedian Sean Patton at Club 337 inside the Doubletree Hotel, eventbrite.com

225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2021

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Issue Date: June 2021 Ad proof #1 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

DESIGN • BUILD • MAINTAIN

Something Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Right

IRRIGATION • LIGHTING • LAWN CARE MAINTENANCE • LANDSCAPING

225.937.9334 • relianceonescape.com 92

[225] June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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WRITE ON //

Metamorphosis stories, and my interviews were some I GREW UP catching tadpoles and of the most fascinating conversations frogs. I’ve had as a journalist. In elementary school, I’d spend the It all gave me a new appreciation afternoons with my childhood best for Louisiana wildlife. It especially friend, Lexy, roaming her backyard. gave me a fresh admiration for those We’d wander down to the who feed and take care of the animals neighborhood lake, wading in the at attractions like BREC’s Baton shallow waters on the lake’s edge. Our Rouge Zoo and Barn Hill Preserve, eyes were peeled for little tadpole tails and the scientists who study them at wiggling through the water. institutions like LSU’s Lexy, always braver and Museum of Natural bolder than I, would catch Science. the tadpoles between her But more than tiny fingers. I preferred anything, it made me to use a plastic, kid-sized wonder: When did I stop net. catching tadpoles? We’d study the Turns out this is amphibians, and over the a phenomenon that weeks, we’d watch their happens to most of us, metamorphosis from speculates Christopher tadpole to froglet to baby Austin, director of the frog. LSU Museum of Natural We’d stay outside, not By Jennifer Tormo Science. caring how sweaty or “I think kids are born dirty we were getting, naturalists. They love the outdoors,” he until our moms would call us back in told me. “And then as they get older, for dinner and it was time to set our society pressures them into spending slimy friends free. less time outdoors—and less time Lexy and I both wanted to be interested in lizards, frogs, butterflies marine biologists someday. Back in and birds.” first grade, those post-homework, Austin wasn’t necessarily stating a muddy lake excursions felt as close scientific fact or a proven trend. as we could get to studying aquatic We were simply having a creatures. conversation about how we, as During library trips, I’d bring home humans, relate to the other species giant stacks of books on rainbowthat share the earth with us—and colored tropical fish, humpback how that relationship changes as we whales, bottlenose dolphins and become adults. hammerhead sharks. Consumed by our busy work days, On Friday nights, the local science our families, our social lives, our museum would stay open until 10 p.m. screen time—and whatever else is It was the only place I ever wanted to occupying our attention—most of us kick off my weekend, watching spiny forget these creatures are here. Or we pufferfish and iridescent jellyfish glide forget about them until they become through the glowing aquarium. an inconvenience. Until that snake By the time I got to college, though, turns up in our garden, or we feel the my scientific ambitions were long need to call Animal Control about a gone. pesky raccoon in our yard. In fact, I’d mostly forgotten about But what if it wasn’t that way? them until working on this month’s What if we always felt that childlike issue of 225. wonder kids feel when they get to pet For our June cover story, our team the nonvenomous snakes at BREC’s examined all the wildlife you can find Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center? around Baton Rouge, from the exotic As Jessica Guthrie, the Nature animals housed at local zoos and Center’s conservation manager of attractions to the Louisiana critters education centers, told me, most of the hiding in our yards. children leave saying they can’t wait to It was a brilliant idea dreamt up come back and greet the snakes again. and directed by 225 managing editor And, as one of the few adults who Benjamin Leger. gets to work with these scaly creatures It’s one I’m especially grateful to every day, Guthrie says she would trust have gotten to work on. I learned them with anyone. so much reading and editing these

REACH JENNIFER TORMO AT JENNIFER@225BATONROUGE.COM. 225batonrouge.com | [225] June 2021

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FRAMED //

In every issue of 225, you’ll find a free print on this page. FRAMED celebrates life and art in Baton Rouge, each one featuring a local photographer, place or graphic designer. Cut it out to hang in your cubicle, or frame it for your home gallery wall. Show us where you hang them by tagging them on social media with #225prints.

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PAINTING BY LUKE ALEX ATKINSON / lukealexatkinson.com GET FEATURED We love spotlighting local photographers, artists and designers on this page! Shoot us an email at editor@225batonrouge.com to chat about being featured.

[225] June 2021 | 225batonrouge.com

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Issue Date: June 2021 Ad proof #3 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received within 24 hours from receipt of this proof. A shorter timeframe will apply for tight deadlines. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

A DV E R T I S E M E N T

What You See:

The Experience:

Hot Topic:

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So much to see. So much to do. Talk with the Louisiana leader in minimally invasive spine surgery about all the places a life without back pain can take you.

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BATON ROUGE • PRAIRIEVILLE • WALKER

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Profile for Baton Rouge Business Report

[225] Magazine - June 2021  

[225] Magazine - June 2021  

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