News roundup: Downtown library branch to close Wednesday for demolition … Louisiana Culinary Institute and Jay Ducote to host James Beard preview dinner … Louisiana’s historic black colleges making a comeback

    In transition: The downtown River Center library branch will close for demolition on Wednesday. A new downtown library will be constructed in its place at 120 Louis St. following demolition. Books, computers and other materials will be moved to a temporary site at 447 3rd St. The library will be open for its normal hours today. According to a news release, the temporary location will open later this month. The bulk of the branch’s collections will remain in storage for the duration of the River Center Branch Library Construction Project.

    A little taste: Baton Rougeans can get a preview of the five-course meal chef Jay Ducote plans to serve on July 21 at New York City’s world renowned James Beard’s House. The Louisiana Culinary Institute, 10550 Airline Hwy., is hosting a preview dinner including cocktails, appetizers, a five-course menu and wine on Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $100, with proceeds from the event going to the Louisiana Culinary Institute and the James Beard Foundation. See the full menu and get tickets. Ducote announced in early May that he had been invited to cook an LSU-tailgate dinner for 80 guest at the James Beard House, a nonprofit culinary organization. 

    Inching up: After years of decline, brought on by tougher admission standards and stringent requirements for student loans, enrollment at most historically black colleges and Universities in Louisiana has risen modestly, The Shreveport Times reports. Last year, Grambling State University’s fall enrollment totaled 4,553—an increase of 49 students from the previous fall. Similarly, Southern University in Baton Rouge saw a fall enrollment increase of 322 students in 2015, according to data reported by the Louisiana Board of Regents. And overall enrollment within the Southern University System increased by 628 students for that same year. Higher education experts say the increase could be due in part to a rise in the number of non-black students attending HBCUs, as well as recent racial conflicts at predominantly white institutions. Read the full story.

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