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.
In a statement, Michael Ranatza, executive director of the association, said Landrieu's "senior status" and her continued support for the sheriffs throughout her career were deciding factors.
The position puts him at odds with GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal, but could bolster support from the business community as the senator raises money for the 2015 governor's race.
On the cusp of a new school year, with the fallout from The IND’s special report, “What’s the Matter at Fatima,” still settling, the administration at Our Lady of Fatima is reaching out to the school “family” to offer reassurances about the academic and spiritual health of the institution.
The Hayride — Louisiana’s one-stop shop for far-right perspectives — has come to the defense of state Rep. Lenar Whitney following her embarrassing, early-exit interview last week with Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman.
The Catholic Diocese of Lafayette says a 1992 investigation cleared the Rev. Gilbert Dutel of pedophilia allegations, yet when asked to produce those records, church officials came up empty-handed.
The former president and longtime board member of the Council on the Development of French in Louisiana has taken a Texas lawmaker to task over his use of the slur “coonass” during a legislative hearing.
Hundreds of new laws take effect Friday, with the start of August. A look at some of the changes on the books:
Marques Colston let out a laugh and shrugged his shoulders when the subject of his NFL longevity arose.
The state is accepting public comments on a plan that would invest $1 million in a new Homeowner Rehabilitation Program for low- to moderate-income residents whose homes were damaged after Hurricane Isaac.
A Senate Bill passed Thursday now awaits the president’s signature authorizing long-awaited reforms of the Veterans Affairs Administration, including new clinics for Lafayette and Lake Charles.
Behind the scenes a growing number of parents are saying, ‘We want our school back!’
Is sending a 16-year-old boy to prison with men for up to 99 years really the way to address juvenile crime?
How Lafayette’s family businesses have survived despite the odds
Lafayette is ready to embark on a master plan for growth, but will old habits impede our progress?
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The recently concluded World Cup is awash in analogies.
The new tool for breast cancer detection
A new tool to beat runner’s pain
Gaza truce unravels; Cantor exits early; immigration bill fails and more national and international news for Friday, August 1, 2014.
The City-Parish Council on Tuesday will be asked to sign off on an agreement between UL Lafayette and Lafayette Consolidated Government that would expand mass transit opportunities for UL students by adding five additional buses to its shuttle run between Cajun Field and campus.
Louisiana's high school seniors are making increased strides on Advanced Placement exams.
The Alabama game is sold out but tickets for all other homes games can be purchased online at www.LSUtix.net.
Among the one-percenters nationally, Louisiana's fattest cat is a relative pauper.
The Republican governor sent a letter Thursday to the president, saying placement of the children in Louisiana could have "potential negative ramifications."
Many laws are minor, though some impact health care options, change educational programs and reach into people's everyday activities.