Congressional elections are right around the corner, and state Sen. Craig Romero, a Republican from New Iberia, continues his quest to claim a title that he lost about two years ago ' after being pushed out of the runoff by less than 1 percent. Since being defeated by current Democratic Congressman Charlie Melancon, Romero has never ceased his fundraising operations. He has about $284,000 in cash on hand, according to the latest finance reports, which is meager compared to the incumbent's $700,000-plus total. But Romero seems to be positioning himself with major GOP players. Shortly after the storm, he was criticized for circulating a flyer in Washington, D.C., detailing how the storms forced out several Democratic bases in the 3rd Congressional District, which encompasses a large portion of south central and eastern Louisiana. And just last week, Romero made an aggressive media appeal for coverage of a hurricane wreckage tour he conducted with Congressman Bobby Jindal, the Metairie Republican who has become a power broker of sorts in D.C. ' Jeremy Alford
Last week the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal handed down a ruling that ' again ' has sidetracked Lafayette Utilities System's plan to bring high-speed fiber optics into Lafayette homes. The new ruling favors BellSouth, but LUS can appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court to hear the case. If the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, then Lafayette Consolidated Government would have to rewrite an ordinance for the bonds that were approved by residents to be brought into accordance with the Local Government Fair Competition Act. Gary McGoffin, local attorney and former chairman of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, says there's a good chance the Supreme Court will hear the case. "It's a public policy issue," he says, "and it's a significant issue." LUS has 30 days to appeal the ruling. ' R. Reese Fuller
BLANCO STEPS IT UP
Gov. Kathleen Blanco's been assaulted with non-stop criticism in the last four months for her lack of leadership, but maybe she's turned a corner. Blanco headed to New Orleans last week to try and stop the political idiocy in the Crescent City that's been holding up FEMA trailer deliveries. Crescent City Mayor Ray Nagin and New Orleans city council members have been squabbling for weeks over who has the final authority to approve trailer sites ' while thousands of residents who need trailers remain homeless. "This disagreement over housing cannot continue," Blanco told the council. "It must end, and it must end now." Blanco offered her services as a liaison to break the logjam and promised to listen to all parties, but also said she would take action, promising to "solve it myself" if the fighting continues. ' Scott Jordan
REMEMBERING A HERO
It only took the United States 30 years to acknowledge Hugh Thompson's heroism. In 1998, he received the Soldier's Medal from the U.S. Army for putting an end to the My Lai massacre in 1968, in which U.S. soldiers killed 504 Vietnamese civilians. Helicopter pilot Thompson and his gunner managed to save nine civilians.
The Georgia native called Lafayette home for the last 22 years. Funeral services will be held today for Thompson at the Delhomme Funeral Home Chapel. Over the holidays, Thompson was diagnosed with cancer and passed away shortly thereafter on Friday, Jan. 6, at the V.A. Medical Center in Pineville. He was 62 years old.
Trent Angers, the author of The Forgotten Hero of My Lai: The Hugh Thompson Story, has published his thoughts on the lessons learned from Thompson's life at www.acadianhouse.com. ' RRF
PEEBLES LEAVING LOURDES
After only 2.5 years as president and chief executive officer at Our Lady of Lourdes, Bob Peebles is returning to Michigan. He previously worked for St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers in New York, where he commuted weekly from Michigan.
In a memo to the hospital staff and board, Peebles says he will leave the hospital by March 1. "This has been a difficult personal decision, but one that I need to make," he writes. "This involves family. I leave knowing that the foundation of the organization remains strong and the mission is clearly intact."
Within two months of joining Lourdes, Peebles began preparing the not-for-profit hospital for impending competition from Heart Hospital of Lafayette and Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital in part by eliminating 11 middle management positions; similar cuts followed. Since that time, he has continued to guide it through tough economic times.
Lourdes spokesman Berch Stelly says Peebles is declining media interviews. ' Leslie Turk
BEADS AND BARRICADES
This Mardi Gras season expect a couple weeks of barricades lining Lafayette streets along the parade route. With The Krewe of Carnivale en Rio scheduled to roll earlier than parades in previous years, Lafayette Consolidated Government Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley says residents will also see barriers along the parade route as early as Feb. 16. "The barricades will be pushed out of the way as they are in between Sunday and Tuesday," Stanley says, "so we're asking motorists to be very patient and very cautious for the extra days that the barricades will be out there." With the recent surge in traffic congestion and the added barricades in the right of way, Lafayette rush hour commutes should be more challenging than ever during Mardi Gras. ' RRF
Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards sued Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday over his actions against the multi-state standards, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
An arrest was announced this morning in connection with last week’s bomb scare at UL Lafayette.
Attorneys, judges and others interviewed by LaPolitics expect 15 to 20 district judge races this year.
"I feel like I'm under siege," an attorney said recently over drinks at Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. "We all do. Every time I turn around somebody wants a check. District attorney races. The judges. They're killing us."
As a requirement for running for Congress in the 6th District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has filed his financial disclosure statement with the U.S. House showing his income in 2013 totaling $242,787.
Unlike those swindled by Bernie Madoff, the victims of Texas businessman Robert Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme won’t be getting any relief from the Securities Investor Protection Corp.’s emergency fund after a recent appellate court ruling.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Prince George turns 1 today; crash victims' bodies headed home; homeless attacked in New Mexico and more national and international news for Tuesday, July 22, 2014.
The legal challenge is part of a continuing struggle over Common Core, which has become controversial since the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the standards in 2010.
The lone Democrat to announce he's running for governor, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, criticized Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's budgeting tactics as "running the state like a big Ponzi scheme."
State police have arrested a 42-year-old Kaplan man in the July 7 hit and run fatality crash that killed a bicyclist on Louisiana Highway 92 near Milton.
Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy has picked up support for his U.S. Senate campaign from a former GOP competitor.
Lisa Hargis Smith lived a mysterious life as seen with her death earlier this month and its impact on the community of those who knew her, whether as a star student in Lafayette High’s class of ‘69, or later as a woman struggling with homelessness and mental illness.
Attorney Valerie Gotch Garrett will announce on Tuesday that she plans to run for the Division E seat of the 15th Judicial District Court.
Back in 2012, three Baton Rouge attorneys came to the aid of several disgruntled police officers with a high-profile lawsuit against the Lafayette Police chief and a number of higher-ups in city-parish government, but in a federal courtroom Thursday, their claims of conspiracy coupled with a lack of evidence backfired and the case was dismissed.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration intends to rework how it pays the private managed care networks that provide health services to two-thirds of Louisiana's Medicaid patients.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is raising health insurance rates and cutting benefits for state employees and retirees, to keep their insurance program solvent.
Local, state and federal law enforcement officials spent much of Thursday reviewing their reaction to this week’s bomb threat, which led to the closure and evacuation of UL Lafayette and Girard Park, and a massive search Wednesday for two alleged explosive devices.
"We're not in a better place from the policy perspective than we were two weeks ago," says Education Superintendent John White, commenting on Thursday's face-to-face meeting with Gov. Bobby Jindal to discuss their dispute over Common Core.
Gov. Bobby Jindal appears to remain unmoved by offers of a compromise on procuring testing materials tied to the Common Core based on a terse statement his office released following a meeting Thursday with Superintendent John White.
Wednesday's Senate vote on contraception legislation is the latest example of Democrats' win-by-losing strategy, which forces Republicans to vote on sensitive matters that might rile women this fall.
A benefit will be held tonight at Romacelli Bistro in Youngsville to raise money for the family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas.
After weeks of public disagreement, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Education Superintendent John White are sitting down to talk about standardized testing for the upcoming school year.
Two members of the Lafayette Parish law enforcement community who also serve on the Lafayette Parish Communications District will not be allowed to apply for the paid position of director of the agency.
After determining that the two reported bomb-like devices at Girard Park and UL Lafayette this morning were non-explosive, authorities have lifted the barricades, and an investigation into who was responsible is now under way.