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
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seenh on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her lead GOP challenger Congressman Bill Cassidy are running close when it comes to money. Landrieu has $5.5 million to Cassidy’s $5.6 million in the bank.
With expectations mounting that Gov. Bobby Jindal will soon announce his campaign for president, attention is turning to not only who he will bring along with him but also what will transpire politically back home during the transition.
Seven of the 11 U.S. cities in a new ranking of “most dangerous diets” are in the Bayou and Lone Star states, but the ranking is more about poverty than fried oysters.
Lafayette police are investigating a fatal shooting involving an alleged burglar and homeowner.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham got the message from the NFL. He's not dunking footballs over goal posts any more.
With qualifying over, the start of campaign season is official, and for the Lafayette Parish School Board, the race toward Nov. 4 will pit 20 candidates in battles for all 9 of the district’s available seats.
An abortion rights organization has filed the first court challenge to a Louisiana law that would require doctors who perform abortions to be able to admit patients to a nearby hospital.