While alligator boots may be de rigueur for the jean and Stetson crowd in most parts of the country, down here in Cajun country, even our toes need air-conditioning nine months of the year. That’s where alligator skin craftsman Mark Staton stepped in. Seeing an obvious need for the fashion conscious, the carbon footprint cognizant, and the gator gladiator, Stanton created an alligator sandal that will satisfy all three of these disparate desires. Staton buys Louisiana alligator hide, has it tanned, and then turns the luxe skins into deluxe footware. The men’s sandals are macho or swank, depending on your point of view. Women’s are just plain gorgeous. Each pair is entirely hand-made, so no two pairs of shoes are ever exactly alike. Starting at $125-$250. Call Staton, 988-9964, or visit his Web site, www.markstatonco.net. — Mary Tutwiler
THRILL OF THE GRILL
OK, emissions from burning charcoal ain’t exactly environmentally friendly. But grill we must. And when we must grill on the go, disposable barbecue pits can actually be a lot greener than you might image. Products such as the EZ Grill are made from earth-friendly recycled materials, the charcoal is 100-percent natural and the aluminum pit is recyclable, too; virtually nothing is thrown away. The pits light with a single match and burns for about an hour and half — plenty of time to knock out a meal at the beach or while camping. EZ Grills are available online at ezgrill.com and come in two sizes: regular (9.8” x 12.2”) and party size (18.9” x 12.2”). A pack of four regular grills or two party grills is $19.99. They’re also available in brick-and-mortar stores like Winn-Dixie and Wal-Mart. — Walter Pierce
While “smart growth” is the code word for progressive urban planning, most people don’t exactly know what it is. A new manual, by new urbanists Andres Duany and Jeff Speck, authors of the acclaimed Suburban Nation, provides a clear picture. The Smart Growth Manual presents a clear blueprint for developing cities and suburbs in the most user-friendly, cost-efficient and environmentally sustainable manner. The authors explain how to create and enhance mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly communities as an alternative to urban sprawl. For anyone working on a master plan for a community (hint: this book would be a great gift for our City-Parish Council members), The Smart Growth Manual should be required bedside reading. $24.95 at real and virtual bookstores everywhere. — MT
Abshire has rejoined the Lafayette Bar Association, where she previously served as marketing coordinator under longtime Executive Director Susan Holliday
Home-grown Baton Rouge market/deli heads to Lafayette.
Deadline for submitting noms for annual competition is March 15
Whitney Bank officials have confirmed that the downtown branch will cease to exist when it relocates its regional headquarters to River Ranch at the end of May.
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Downtown Lafayette restaurant launches new concept near Le Triomphe
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Yeah, it's smoked venison sausage stuffed in a suckling pig stuffed in a lamb and roasted over an open fire.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Reamco founders Brent Milam and Ashley Lane now shareholders in acquiring company and part of its management team.
Low heels, high style
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.