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
State Rep. Lenar Whitney — one of a handful of Republican candidates vying for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional district — has been described by Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman as one of the most “frightening or fact-averse candidate[s]” he’s ever met following her reaction to an interview last week.
Mid-August hearing dates have been set for dueling lawsuits over Louisiana's use of the Common Core education standards in public schools.
An investigation into the last-minute passage of a pension hike for the state police superintendent continues, despite Col. Mike Edmonson's decision not to accept the increase.
Safety Jairus Byrd practiced with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday for the first time since his signing in March.
Sentencing has been delayed for a businessman who provided key testimony in the corruption case that resulted in the conviction of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
The spectre of priest sex abuse has returned to haunt the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette following the recent release of an investigative report by Minnesota Public Radio, revealing new allegations of another child predator hiding behind the clerical collar.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Times Square impersonator crackdown; Israel shells Gaza school; Russia hit with sanctions and more national and international news for Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
The sponsor of a Louisiana law that requires doctors that perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges doesn't believe the provision is in jeopardy after a federal appeals court struck down a similar Mississippi law.
Louisiana's state school board has jumped into a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal that accuses the governor of illegally meddling in education policy through his efforts to block Common Core education standards.
Here's how one nationally recognized conservative political pundit reacted upon hearing the news Monday that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was leaning toward an endorsement of Louisiana’s lone Democrat senator.
With the qualifying deadline for Lafayette Parish School Board elections quickly approaching, a series of candidate forums have been announced by the Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council.
The investigation and potential prosecution of the man charged in the recent hit-and-run death of a Youngsville cyclist won’t happen overnight, according to local law enforcement officials.
Louisiana's state school board is holding a special meeting to consider whether to sue Gov. Bobby Jindal in an ongoing dispute over the Common Core education standards.
A bipartisan congressional deal to help improve veterans' health care access includes approval for new veterans clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles.
It wouldn’t be a first, however, as the Chamber has thrown money behind Landrieu before.
The Democratic incumbent, seeking her fourth term in office, is a strong supporter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of U.S. companies.
The world is a politically tense place these days with hot spots ranging from the Middle East to Ukraine. In Louisiana and Mississippi, where the political chessboard tends to be a lot less threatening and at times entertaining, this election season is living up to expectations.
Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
The Saints are being cautious in an effort to minimize risk of re-injury.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.