Jostling for the 2007 District 24 state Senate election has already begun. District 44 State Rep. and former Lafayette City Councilman Wilfred Pierre is already off to the races with fund-raisers announcing his intentions to replace state Sen. Don Cravins. And Don Cravins Jr. isn't happy about it.
The elder Cravins is term limited out of his current seat in 2007 and recently announced his intentions to run for mayor of Opelousas in 2006. Pierre, now in his fourth term in the state House, also is prevented for running for re-election of his current seat in 2007.
In the past couple weeks, Pierre's office sent out letters inviting supporters to a $300 per person Baton Rouge fund-raiser for his Senate bid. Pierre did not return a call for comment by press time.
Pierre voted for term limits in 1995, but that does not prevent him from running for a different seat or taking a four-year break to run for his old seat again.
Don Cravins Jr., who many have speculated will also run for his father's District 24 state Senate seat in 2007, says Pierre is jumping the gun. "I think it's premature for anybody to come out and say we're running for something that won't come about until 2007," he says. "I can't do that. We've got so many things we need to deal with before the 2007 Senate election."
Cravins Jr. also contends it's disingenuous for legislators to approve term limits if they only intend to run for different legislative seats. "If everyone's just going to switch houses, we really didn't limit anything then," he says. "I hope new people are allowed to get involved in government."
The election for the District 24 Senate seat is now scheduled for October 2007. However, in the event that Sen. Cravins is elected mayor of Opelousas in next September's municipal elections, state Senate President Don Hines would need to call a special election prior to the 2007 spring legislative session to fill the Senate seat. ' NS
PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP FOR FIBER?
Lafayette Utilities System Director Terry Huval is seriously considering the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce's suggestion that LUS seek private partnerships in its effort to bring fiber into Lafayette Parish's homes. The chamber recommended a public-private partnership (which it says would be similar to a municipality constructing an airport terminal and runway and leasing space to airlines on the premises) in its unanimous endorsement of the LUS project last week. The chamber is encouraging LUS to conduct a nationwide request for proposal process if residents vote on July 16 to authorize the utility to sell $125 million in bonds for the project.
"There's no question we had that plan to begin with," says Huval, explaining that one likely scenario involves teaming with a company that runs a co-op specifically designed to buy cable programming in bulk for its members, both private and municipal small-system cable providers. "We'd be a member of that private company," he says.
Huval likens such partnerships to LUS' contract with a tree-trimming service, Asplundh, which helps maintain overhead utility lines obstructed by tree limbs. That company's base of resources and personnel across the country allows it to quickly deploy additional staff to Lafayette in the event of a natural disaster, Huval says.
If a full-fledged partnership opportunity emerges, LUS would have to rewrite its business plan, because it's likely the utility would not be able to use tax-exempt municipal bonds. Huval says such partnerships require extensive analysis. "I have seen way too many public entities go into public-private partnerships, which makes everybody feel good, and then the private company does not produce." ' LT
Around 1:15 a.m. Easter Sunday, French Teacher Xavier Colignon and his fellow French instructors were wrapping up a night of celebrating his birthday at the bar Marley's, in downtown Lafayette. After being punched in the face by an unidentified assailant, Colignon fell to the floor, fracturing his skull in two places. The assailant left through the bar's back door. Marley's co-owner Eric Cloutier says the entire incident was videotaped on his surveillance system, and the tape was handed over to Lafayette police. On Friday, Cpl. Mark Francis said that police had arrested 27-year-old Ben Thibodaux of Lafayette on charges of second-degree battery. Thibodaux is the son of Lafayette Parish School Board President David Thibodaux. ' RRF
It has been more than a year since the Lafayette Department of Environmental Quality held its last recycling day in November 2003. That event commemorated 15 years of recycling in the city and took in 20 tons of computers and electronics, 343 used car and truck tires and 150 large books for recycling and redistribution. This year, Environmental Quality Director Boyd Boswell says he is hoping to increase that haul by about 25 percent at "Recycling Spring Fling" from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, at 400 Dorset Ave. (near the railroad tracks off Pinhook Road).
This year's event will include a 4,000-gallon truck from Aaron Oil company in Berwick to collect any old automotive fluids. Workers will not be accepting household chemicals such as paints and pesticides or TVs, VCRs and small appliances such as toasters and microwaves. Environmental Quality will also be handing out copies of its first-ever Parish Residents Interested in their Direct Environment (PRIDE) Guide at the event. "Obviously, I want to see people come out to properly to dispose of the items we're collecting," says Boswell. "But, more importantly, by handing out this PRIDE guide, we're telling people how to get rid of everything we're collecting any day of the week for free." ' NS
Despite sweeping changes enacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, the health insurance program for state workers and public school employees will have to use $88 million from its reserve fund to cover its costs this year.
The LPSB races are sure to get heated between now and Nov. 4, and with only 9 available seats, this year's field of 20 candidates will surely be wanting to set themselves apart from the crowd early; they'll get their chance next week, starting Tuesday with the kick-off of a three-day series of candidate forums.
Lawmakers say they've received complaints that waits have spiked, with people being forced to wait in line for more than an hour — and sometimes three hours — to handle routine tasks.
The campaign announced that Rep. Stuart Bishop of District 43 and Nancy Landry, District 31, have thrown their support behind the Naval Academy graduate and entrepreneur in his bid to unseat current Hunter Beasley in District 8.
A Lafayette man with an alleged taste for child porn was busted Thursday evening during a cyber crime sting launched by the Attorney General’s Office.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister says his chief of staff is on temporary leave after being booked with drunken driving.
It was a rare moment in Congress this week as Republicans briefly put aside partisanship in support of President Barack Obama's request to train and arm Syrian rebels, and while a number of Democrats opposed the measure, Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu found herself on the same side of the issue as her Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Home Depot breach bigger than Target; Alibaba IPO could be big; Rivers' last project and more national and international news for Friday, September 19, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
City-Parish President Joey Durel is asking the council to sign off on a resolution approving a pair of deals that would lead to razing the seedy Lesspay Motel at Four Corners to build a new police substation as well as transforming nearly a block Downtown where the old federal courthouse building now molders into a mixed-use development.
In 2013, the IRS — already the least popular governmental agency in the country — became the target of intense investigations after it was revealed that they had specifically and improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from organizations associated with the nascent Tea Party movement.
Improving the running game was "a point of emphasis" during the offseason and the results have manifested themselves in the form of substantially greater production.
Louisiana's health department said Wednesday that its evaluation of the state's Medicaid privatization was on target, despite criticism from the legislative auditor that it lacked key data and contained inconsistencies.
The feds converge on your office, seizing records on several employees as part of a pay-for-plea investigation. WWYD? If you’re Mike Harson, you give yourself a $12k raise.
It’s football season and after back-to-back winless weekends for the Saints and the Cajuns many citizens are finding it difficult to be civil much less happy. Well, chew on this.
Considering his repeated stays in the local penal system, David Narcisse Jr. should have known that having a semiautomatic shotgun, even one given to him by a friend, wasn’t the brightest of ideas.
A state district judge on Tuesday threw out a last-minute retirement hike lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent, ending a political firestorm over a pension boost passed without public scrutiny on the last day of the legislative session.
The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.
An obvious follow-up question for any Republican politician who accuses Democrats of being science deniers is one about science, to which Jindal bobbed and weaved like a welterweight champ.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council is expected to decide tonight (Tuesday) whether to go along with a proposal City-Parish President Joey Durel made in February’s State of the Parish Address and consolidate taxes for mosquito control and the parish health units into a broader tax program that would also cover animal control.
U.S. District Judge Richard Haik has dismissed Greg Davis’ lawsuit against the LPSB, yet in his ruling, the federal judge doesn’t bite his tongue in pointing out the "threat" being posed by certain board members.
Of all the political offices being contested throughout Lafayette Parish, the race for Broussard’s top police post has literally become one of the most heated.
A state district judge is deciding whether to issue an injunction against the enforcement of a last-minute retirement hike that lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent.
A new website is up for Louisiana's state government employees and retirees to choose their health insurance plans for next year, a choice they must make by October.
That fact that New Orleans led both games in the final 10 seconds of regulation, and lost each by a field goal or less, is of little solace.