Diehard Saints fans are as attached to their opinionated sportscasters as they are to their running backs, and have been since the inception of the Saints in 1967. There was nothing quite so local as sitting in a New Orleans neighborhood bar, drinking a Falstaff, and listening to the Ninth Ward accents of WDSU commentators Buddy Diliberto and Vince Marinello as they chewed on head coach Jim Mora when the Saints went 1-15 in 1980. That was the year Diliberto started watching games with a paper bag over his head. Outspoken, colorful, native sons, they were part of the golden years of broadcasting at Channel 6, where local sports, from winners of the daily double at the Fair Grounds to high school basketball rivalries, were as important as Archie Manning’s passing stats.
So it was certainly a shock when The Times-Picayune reported on Aug. 31, 2006, that Marinello’s wife, Mary Elizabeth, had been shot in the face in a parking lot in Metairie. But even that didn’t hold a candle to the Sept. 8, 2006, screaming headline, “Marinello Booked in Wife’s Murder.” The city was stunned and then transfixed as the bizarre details — disguises, bigamy, a to-do check list — of the alleged murder unfolded.
Two years later, Marinello will stand trial for the murder of his wife. Because of the publicity, defense attorneys felt that an unbiased jury could not be seated in New Orleans, so the judge moved the venue to Lafayette. The trial begins at the Federal Courthouse, Monday, Dec. 1. To read more of the Independent’s cover story on the strange tale of Vince Marinello, click here.
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.
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.
Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies.