Last week, Opelousas Police Chief Larry Caillier was indicted on five counts of malfeasance in office by a St. Landry Parish grand jury. The indictment stems from four fights that occurred on Sept. 25, 2004 within the Opelousas city limits, after the "battle of the bands" event at Donald Gardner stadium in Opelousas. The indictment contends that Caillier instructed his officers not to respond to calls for help and refused to offer assistance to the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office. Caillier's arraignment has been set for June 17. Kris Wartelle, spokeswoman for Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti's office, says the grand jury will reconvene in May to continue its investigation of Caillier. A state legislative audit released earlier this year has questioned the handling of funds within the Opelousas Police Department, including $225,000 in federal grant money for a bike patrols. Last week, before the indictment was handed down, four Opelousas police officers did not appear before the grand jury as instructed. Wartelle says those officers have been re-subpoenaed. "We're giving them the chance to explain their absence," she says, "and then we'll go from there." ' RRF
DOG DAY AFTERNOON
The next time your dog decides to poop in your neighbor's yard, a proposed ordinance would mandate that you clean up after your canine. District 5 Councilman Lenwood Broussard wants to crack down on Lafayette's rampant dog droppings. Broussard introduced what is commonly referred to as a "pooper-scooper ordinance" for both city and parish residents at last week's city-parish council meeting. If passed, the law would make it a misdemeanor (punishable by up to a $500 fine and/or up to 30 days jail time) to fail to clean up after your dog. "I don't think it's a big, big issue, but it's an issue," Broussard says. "When someone has a dog on a leash and allows it to use your yard, I think it's wrong." Broussard says he recently fielded a complaint from a concerned constituent whose property had become the frequent dumping ground of a neighborhood dog. Although he only received the one complaint, Broussard says, "I think that probably happens quite often" and adds that pooper-scooper ordinances are becoming commonplace across the country. The council is scheduled to vote on the issue at its May 3 meeting. ' NS
Dennis Seagraves never imagined in 1992, when he came to Acadiana to deliver goods and water to a Jeanerette Church in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, that he'd one day be running a company here ' much less owning one.
But on May 10, the court-appointed restructuring officer of Southern Structures learns whether he'll be the new owner of the company. Brought to the brink of financial ruin by its former management, the Youngsville-based manufacturer of metal buildings was put on the block as part of a liquidation plan filed in bankruptcy court earlier this year. Its former owner, Stefan Leonpacher, and his assistant/part-time church leader Terrie Kamm, ran the business under a cult-like atmosphere ("Fall from Grace," July 14, 2004).
"The creditors and I agreed that we would sell it for a minimum of $4 million," Seagraves says. Had the business been shut down and sold off in pieces, it was worth about $2.5 million, with $9 million in debt. Bids were due by Friday, April 1, and only one was submitted in writing, for less than the minimum.
Seagraves immediately sought and received approval from creditors and the court to place his own $4 million bid ' with the help of his employees. "I have potential investors if I need them, but we're looking at doing this, just me and the employees," Seagraves says.
As stipulated in the liquidation plan, on May 10 interested parties can bid in increments of $100,000, and Seagraves can counter in equal amounts. "Anyone who wants to bid can show up with proof of their ability to write the check," Seagraves says.
The manager, who relocated from Cabot, Ark., in July 2004, seems to have found his new niche in Acadiana. He's put 57 employees back on the payroll and Southern's business back in order ' not to mention building a community profile of his own, in part by recently helping start a Chamber of Commerce in Youngsville.
In early December, Seagraves' wife joined him, and the couple hopes to make the Broussard/Youngsville area its permanent home on May 10. "I have been well-accepted," Seagraves says.
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.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
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.