DEQ calls for an Ozone Action Day

An Ozone Action Day has been called for Friday in the Baton Rouge area because hot and sunny weather with little wind means conditions are right for ozone pollution to form today, according to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

Ozone air pollution forms when nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons from industry, car exhaust and many other sources combine in the air during hot and sunny days. Ozone pollution can cause breathing and other health problems, particularly for sensitive populations.

Industry and government agencies have plans to limit activities that can contribute to ozone formation on these days, such as putting off any painting, unloading of certain materials and lawn mowing. Residents are also asked to limit their driving and to mow grass and refuel cars in the evening instead of during the day.

Other tips to lower pollution during ozone action days are available at

Ascension sheriff searching for suspicious vehicle

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office asks residents to be on the lookout for a vehicle that was seen leaving the home of a murder victim at 39068 Venus St. in Darrow between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. June 27.

Darren Keith Smylie Jr., 19, was found shot to death at his home at 5 p.m. in the Astroland subdivision, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Smylie was a longshoreman and graduate of St. Amant High, where he played sports.

A news release says the vehicle seen leaving Smylie’s home is a white 1994 to 2004 Chevrolet S-10 pickup or a GMC Sonoma extended cab truck. A witness said the truck had a dark colored pen stripe down the side above the black molding. The rear and side windows are tinted.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (225) 621-4636 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867. A $1,000 reward is being offered by the Sheriff’s Office for information that leads to an arrest of the person responsible for the murder.

Prevent litter this holiday weekend

Keep Louisiana Beautiful offers a number of tips to prevent littering while traveling, especially with many people traveling this Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Bring a litter bag for trash; use an ashtray for cigarette butts; and use trash cans to empty out the vehicle when you stop for gas or food.

Litter costs Louisiana taxpayers $40 million every year and anyone caught littering can be fined anywhere from $50 to $5,000, according to Keep Louisiana Beautiful.

More information about littering is available at

Fourth of July tips from BR police

Baton Rouge police released a number of tips to help city-parish residents have a safer Fourth of July, according to a news release.

First, fireworks are illegal within East Baton Rouge Parish and the city limits of Baton Rouge and officers will be enforcing the law against anyone found firing a gun into the air.

In addition, there will be several patrols looking for drunk or otherwise impaired drivers on the roads across the city.

Downtown, police remind people they should arrive early Monday for the Fireworks on the Mississippi show presented by WBRZ Channel 2 and The Advocate that begins at 9 p.m. The downtown interstate exit ramps could be closed if traffic starts to back up onto the freeway, according to police.

The USS KIDD: Star-Spangled Celebration starts at noon with food and drink booths followed by live music, a mock air attack on the USS KIDD and fireworks show.

Ice chests, barbecue pits, tents and pets are not allowed at the festival.

City/Parish offices closed Monday

City-parish, state and federal offices and courts will be closed Monday in observance of Independence Day.

Garbage and recyclables will be collected Monday and the North Landfill will be open.

Regular mail will not be delivered or collected on the Fourth of July.

Post offices are closed Monday. Only Express Mail will be delivered.

Capital Area Transit System buses will run a Sunday schedule on Monday.

All East Baton Rouge Parish public libraries are closed Monday.

East Baton Rouge Parish School Board offices are closed Monday.

LSU, Southern University and Baton Rouge Community College are closed Monday.

Most banks are closed Monday.

More hot weather today

There won’t be much relief from the heat Friday thanks to a high pressure ridge centered over Memphis, Tenn., WBRZ Meteorologist Dave Nussbaum wrote in the station’s weather blog.

It will be mostly sunny, very hot and humid today with high temperatures in the mid 90s and a Heat Index between 100 and 105. Low temperatures will drop into the upper 70s this evening.

No newsletter on Monday

There will be no newsletter emailed Monday because of the Fourth of July holiday. Newsletter delivery will resume on Tuesday.