Jim Engster, our new state politics columnist, has been a fixture in Louisiana political journalism for more than two decades. New Orleans native Engster graduated from LSU with a bachelor's degree in journalism and has worked extensively in both radio and print. He worked for the Louisiana Radio Network for 20 years, serving as its news director from 1997-1998, and hosted the radio show Louisiana Live for five years. During Engster's tenure, Louisiana Live was named the best public affairs program three times by the Associated Press.
Engster also wrote the column "Political Perspectives" for Baton Rouge Business Report, and has been a longtime contributor to Tiger Rag, covering everything from politics and LSU sports to university issues. Engster is currently the general manager of radio station WRKF in Baton Rouge and hosts the Jim Engster Show, which airs weekdays at 9 a.m.
On the arts and entertainment beat, we're proud to formally announce Shala Carlson as The Independent's primary film critic. Carlson is an Opelousas native and former assistant editor of The Times of Acadiana. Since 1998, she's served as a film critic and managing editor for New Orleans' Gambit Weekly newspaper. Her work has also appeared in Baton Rouge Business Report, and in 2001 she was honored with the Ashton Phelps Memorial Award for Excellence in Editorial Writing from the New Orleans Press Club. Carlson's film reviews will appear bi-weekly beginning with this week's issue.
Also in our Living Ind section, we've made some additions to "The Week" calendar section. Each issue we'll now be including "Road Shows," noteworthy events that weekend in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houston and other surrounding areas. Another addition is "Coming Attractions," where we'll spotlight high-profile upcoming performances both in Lafayette and out of town. And to keep you in the loop on the latest and best DVDs, CDs and books (in addition to our regular features and reviews), we'll be spotlighting five recommendations every week.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, April 21, 2014:
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.