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.
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.