$2.7 billion Economic cost of six-month moratorium on deepwater offshore drilling activity nationwide
$2.1 billion Economic cost of moratorium on Gulf communities (along with the loss of 8,000 jobs) Source: LSU banking prof/economist Joseph R. Mason’s “The Economic Cost of a Moratorium on Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration to the Gulf Region” $7.3 million Amount of federal tax liens against Phil Mazzella Jr., who pleaded guilty to federal gambling charges in 2006 after being accused of leading a multimillion-dollar sports book-making operation in Milton. Mazzella was one of five people charged in a case dubbed “Operation Player’s Paradise” by state police. The investigation also targeted former Vermilion Parish Police Juror Ernal J. Broussard, who five years ago was sentenced to two years probation on charges of “aiding and abetting” the illegal gambling operation. This year Broussard tried to run for the Abbeville City Council — until the Louisiana Supreme Court made it clear convicted felons have to wait 15 years after completing their sentence before running for office. Source: Legal News, 7-6-2010
$185,608 Amount of Rapid Response grant from the National Science Foundation to help two UL Lafayette biology professors, Drs. Darryl Felder and Suzanne Fredericq, determine the impact of the BP oil spill and dispersants on the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem. They will lead two expeditions in the Gulf to revisit banks and pinnacles where offshore seaweeds and macrocrustaceans have previously been documented.
44 Louisiana’s ranking in CNBC’s survey of the top states for business. The survey ranks states in 10 categories, among which are economy, workforce, transportation, education and technology/innovation, and this is the second year Louisiana finishes 44th. Louisiana ran in the middle of the pack in several categories but was dragged down by its 50th place finish in quality of life, which includes local attractions, crime rate and health care.
15 Number of metro areas across the country, including Lafayette and Baton Rouge, with 12 small business bankruptcies or less during the first quarter of 2010. Among other southern metros were Gainsville and Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Fla.; Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas; and Columbus, Ga.-Ala. The most small business bankruptcies in the first quarter were in California. Source: Equifax
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
Is it a crime for citizens to photograph, video, or take notes of a police officer in the line of duty, or a right protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Locally, such activity, as witnessed recently, will at the very least result in a night spent behind bars.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.