Spicy, tender pork roast with sweet potatoes. Fried chicken. Cornbread dressing. Biscuits to die for. All a thing of the past?
Say it isn't so.
Stanley Leece, owner of 15-year-old Edie's Restaurant in the Acadian Village Shopping Center at the corner of Pinhook and Kaliste Saloom roads, confirms that his business has shut down, effective this week. Though he gives no specific reasons for the closure, Leece plans to expand his breakfast joint Edie's Express located at Pinhook and Bendel, where he sells Edie's famous biscuits. The eatery is open Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Leece is taking over the spot next door that formerly housed Chargrill Now.
"I was shocked that Stanley was not going to renew his lease," says Mike Maraist, who has owned the Acadian Village shopping center since about 1990, when Leece was firing up his down home eatery.
Maraist says Leece's Edie's, with its combination of Cajun, Creole and American fare, contributed a high level of energy to his shopping center. "He was certainly a great tenant," Maraist says. "I wish we could have kept him. I'd like to replace him with someone who's going to bring that same kind of clientele." ' Leslie Turk
MANN BOYS HEAD SOUTH
Brothers Ben and Dave Mann, who own Louisiana Motors Inc. along with family members, have purchased J.P. Thibodeaux's Cadillac, GMC and Lincoln Mercury brands. Louisiana Motors assumed control of the New Iberia dealerships, located at 501 W. Admiral Doyle Drive, on Nov. 1.
"We are retaining all of the employees that work with those three franchises," Dave Mann says.
J.P. Thibodeaux is keeping its Honda, Nissan, Kia and Mitsubishi brands, according to General Manager Jess Tourne. Honda will join Nissan at J.P. Thibodeaux's new facility at 2417 U.S. Hwy. 90 W. in New Iberia, he says, and the Kia and Mitsubishi lines are staying on Admiral Doyle.
Louisiana Motors will also take over J.P. Thibodeaux's body shop and used car operations three miles south of Le Triomphe on Hwy. 90, where the Manns plan to construct a facility to house their three New Iberia dealerships.
The Mann family's Lafayette holdings include Louisiana Motors at 900 E. Simcoe St. downtown, which sells Pontiac, Buick, used cars and also houses a body shop; and Saturn of Lafayette and Saturn Premium Used Cars at 4010 Ambassador Caffery Parkway.
Louisiana Motors has been in business for 68 years. ' Leslie Turk
Lafayette Consolidated Government President Joey Durel says creating small cities of FEMA trailers isn't the answer to the housing crisis for hurricane evacuees ' at least not in Lafayette. But some Lafayette residents are in discussion with FEMA to lease their private land for that purpose, despite the protest of Durel and other residents. "In my opinion," Durel says, "FEMA should have been focusing on the parishes as close to their homes [in New Orleans] this whole time. Why not get them as close to their personal homes as possible to deal with the rebuilding? Here in Lafayette, I would like to work with FEMA in trying to find more permanent housing for these people if they decide they want to stay." Durel says alternatives could include manufactured homes on concrete slabs and working with the Lafayette Housing Authority and the Section 8 housing program. "I have to believe that the people FEMA is trying to help don't want to live in a FEMA [trailer] city anymore than we want a FEMA city. If we could have some kind of discussion with the state, we could talk about some plans. If you come up with a plan, FEMA does a great job of helping you implement that plan. You cannot go to FEMA and say, 'Please, help us,' and then walk out of the room. We have to be a part of it." ' R. Reese Fuller
DRILLING IN NEW IBERIA
Company representatives from the SK Group, headquartered in Seoul, Korea, visited their first U.S. oil exploration site in New Iberia last week.
Although the company has been specializing in energy and chemicals for more than 20 years, with operations in 19 countries, the Edmee Mestayer wells represent their first American venture. State Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle says the event is historic for Louisiana and further places Iberia Parish in the global marketplace.
It also has a direct impact during a time of recovery from two Gulf hurricanes. "It's rewarding to know that these operations extend jobs to a number of our own workers in the oil and gas industry," Angelle says.
Direction drilling at the site off of Darnell Road recently reached a depth of 7,600 feet. The operations have relied heavily on local firms and contractors, many from Lafayette.
The SK Group generated revenues in excess of $17.3 billion last year and employs more than 5,000 workers at its offices in Houston, London, Peru, Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul and Singapore.
The state Office of Conservation initially issued SK two permits for exploration and production in September. The two wells on the site, however, were not spudded until Oct. 11. ' Jeremy Alford
After 23 years in business, the downtown location of Chris' Po-Boys is closing its doors. Owner Richard Rivet cites a changing downtown business climate and the need to concentrate on the restaurant's other three Lafayette locations. "There's been so many restaurants and bars open downtown," Rivet says, "and there's so much competition. I just could use my people in other areas. There's been great growth downtown, but it's entirely different. I'm on the outer fringe now." Rivet cites the change in parade routes and the weekly relocating of Downtown Alive! events as prime examples. Since announcing the Jefferson Street closure, Rivet says, "The response has been phenomenal. People are downright upset that we're closing. So it might be appropriate to have some sort of going away debauchery, but I haven't made a final decision." Rivet says he hopes to close the Chris' downtown location just before the Christmas season. ' R. Reese Fuller
RARE ZYDECO ON DVD
A new documentary features performances from southwest Louisiana's zydeco musicians, culled from more than 30 years of music. The project, From La La to Zydeco, is a collaboration between UL Lafayette music professor Robert Willey and features footage recorded by KRVS 88.7 FM engineer Karl Fontenot, taken while he worked with Acadiana Open Channel. The 90-minute DVD, jam-packed with 22 musical performances and some rare bonus materials, isn't available in stores and isn't for sale ' anywhere. Only 2,000 copies of the DVD have been pressed, and you can only see it by checking out a copy from your local library. For a video clip of From La La to Zydeco and more information, visit www.willshare.com/zydeco. ' R. Reese Fuller
BRINGING UP THE REAR
If there's one thing that a growing number of college rankings all agree on, it's who belongs at the bottom.
U.S. News & World Report's popular college guide, released in late August, lists UL Lafayette as a Tier 4 cellar-dweller, along with Sun Belt conference rivals North Texas and Florida International. LSU and Louisiana Tech make it into the Tier 3 category next to Texas Tech and Arkansas. The rankings are based on common indicators such as class sizes and graduation and retention rates. (Harvard and Princeton tied for top honors.)
Washington Monthly, which has been a critic of U.S. News' rankings in the past, has countered with the debut of its own annual college guide. Instead of judging schools based on what they offer students, Washington Monthly judges its schools on what they give back to society. Its indicators include the percentage of students in a school who enroll in ROTC or the Peace Corps, research dollars spent and number of Ph.Ds awarded, and how many low-income students graduate from the university. And once again, Louisiana schools make a poor showing. UL Lafayette barely makes the list, coming in at 242 (out of 245), just below the University of New Orleans. LSU is 171 and Louisiana Tech is 180. It lists MIT and UCLA as the best schools (Harvard is 16, Princeton is 44). One notable Louisiana exception is Tulane University, which ranks 43 in U.S. News' rankings and 86 in Washington Monthly's. ' Nathan Stubbs
State Rep. Lenar Whitney — one of a handful of Republican candidates vying for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional district — has been described by Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman as one of the most “frightening or fact-averse candidate[s]” he’s ever met following her reaction to an interview last week.
Mid-August hearing dates have been set for dueling lawsuits over Louisiana's use of the Common Core education standards in public schools.
An investigation into the last-minute passage of a pension hike for the state police superintendent continues, despite Col. Mike Edmonson's decision not to accept the increase.
Safety Jairus Byrd practiced with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday for the first time since his signing in March.
Sentencing has been delayed for a businessman who provided key testimony in the corruption case that resulted in the conviction of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
The spectre of priest sex abuse has returned to haunt the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette following the recent release of an investigative report by Minnesota Public Radio, revealing new allegations of another child predator hiding behind the clerical collar.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Times Square impersonator crackdown; Israel shells Gaza school; Russia hit with sanctions and more national and international news for Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
The sponsor of a Louisiana law that requires doctors that perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges doesn't believe the provision is in jeopardy after a federal appeals court struck down a similar Mississippi law.
Louisiana's state school board has jumped into a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal that accuses the governor of illegally meddling in education policy through his efforts to block Common Core education standards.
Here's how one nationally recognized conservative political pundit reacted upon hearing the news Monday that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was leaning toward an endorsement of Louisiana’s lone Democrat senator.
With the qualifying deadline for Lafayette Parish School Board elections quickly approaching, a series of candidate forums have been announced by the Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council.
The investigation and potential prosecution of the man charged in the recent hit-and-run death of a Youngsville cyclist won’t happen overnight, according to local law enforcement officials.
Louisiana's state school board is holding a special meeting to consider whether to sue Gov. Bobby Jindal in an ongoing dispute over the Common Core education standards.
A bipartisan congressional deal to help improve veterans' health care access includes approval for new veterans clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles.
It wouldn’t be a first, however, as the Chamber has thrown money behind Landrieu before.
The Democratic incumbent, seeking her fourth term in office, is a strong supporter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of U.S. companies.
The world is a politically tense place these days with hot spots ranging from the Middle East to Ukraine. In Louisiana and Mississippi, where the political chessboard tends to be a lot less threatening and at times entertaining, this election season is living up to expectations.
Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
The Saints are being cautious in an effort to minimize risk of re-injury.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.