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.
The continued refusal by LPSB President Hunter Beasley and attorney Dennis Blunt to release a draft copy of the investigation into Superintendent Pat Cooper has resulted in a lawsuit by The Daily Advertiser.
The New Orleans Saints' early season slide is the kind of scenario Sean Payton had in mind when the coach and his staff placed a premium on character during player evaluations.
Long before a man was diagnosed with the Ebola virus in neighboring Texas, Louisiana's health department was working on what to do in case someone with the disease showed up in the state.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Women sue over sperm mix-up; Romney on campaign trail; Ebola patient was released from hospital and more national and international news for Thursday, October 02, 2014.
State Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, surprised few in the Hub City Wednesday afternoon when he made (semi) official what most of us have known for months: He is running to replace Joey Durel as city-parish president.
Louisiana's first black Republican state senator since Reconstruction — who was a Republican before he was a Democrat before he was a Republican again — is accusing Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of using the black community for votes and providing nothing in return.
LSU's governing board has backed new hospital privatization contracts that give hospital managers greater ease to leave the deal and fewer restrictions about must-have services.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is courting young voters in several appearances across Louisiana this week, talking about her support for legislation that could lower students' college costs.
Stage 4 vet takes on cancer and reminds us all what it really means to get involved.
Is Mary fading as Vitter solidifies his lock on the fourth floor?
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has renegotiated contracts for six LSU hospital privatization deals, hoping to reach a compromise with federal health officials that will keep Medicaid dollars flowing to the privatized patient services.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is defending her record on gun rights, seeking to rebut sharp criticism from the NRA in a state where the right to bear arms is given special constitutional protection.
Citizens, you have less than a week to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election. Remember, if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the outcome. Well, you can but it’s kind of hypocritical.
After being forced out by its former landlords last year, the community garden has a new location and a 10-year lease.
The party says it has hit a milestone, reaching 10,000 registered voters in the state.
Defensive captain Junior Galette is disgusted by the Saints' sluggish start.
The use of $60 million in Louisiana's public school financing formula to pay for nearly three dozen charter schools violates the state constitution, a statewide teachers' union claimed Monday in a lawsuit.
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
There was a time when United Ballot had a political stranglehold so tight on Lafayette’s black community it was nearly unbreakable, but that grip might be loosening.
The race for Lafayette city marshal may not be the most exciting of this year’s local political contests, but it could prove the most historic.
With the DA’s race too close to call and negative media coverage of Mike Harson on the ebb, will challenger Keith Stutes take the gloves off?
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.