This past Saturday night, Jefferson Street became a one-way street from 11 p.m. until 2:30 a.m., from Johnston Street all the way down to Evangeline Thruway. There has been increasing concern that downtown's explosion in late-night crowds has created congestion on both the streets and the sidewalks ("Rained Out," June 1).
"The problem is we're getting bottlenecks from the cruisers," says Lafayette Police Cpl. Mark Francis. "They're coming in here just to ride around. A lot of time they're stopping in the roadway, congesting and backing up traffic two and three blocks. If, in the event we need to get an emergency vehicle in there, we have a problem because traffic is not moving."
Francis says the one-way traffic flow is minimizing opportunities for passing drivers to stop in the road to talk with one another. In addition to keeping the traffic flowing, Lafayette Police were also keeping the foot traffic moving. "We're not going to allow you to loiter," Francis says. "You've got a lot of people who are not going to the establishments; they're just hanging out. We want to move those people on."
Francis says the main problem for the Lafayette Police is a matter of resources. "We have limited resources," he says, "and to get the resources we need, it's going to take money. So we're looking at everything we can do, that's humanly possible, to deal with this situation so that we can keep it safe." ' RRF
Fiber 411 began a rallying cry last year to have the residents of Lafayette vote on whether they wanted Lafayette Utilities System's fiber-to-the-home project. The three amigos behind the group ' Neal Breakfield, Bill LeBlanc and Tim Supple ' got what they wanted, a referendum scheduled for July 16.
But now the trio wants Lafayette Consolidated Government to pass an ordinance, before the July 16 vote, that would allow LUS to forgo paying the in-lieu-of tax in the infancy of the fiber project.
In a press release titled "Fiber 411 supports fiber, but rejects 'in lieu tax,'" the group stated: "If the City Council will not adopt such ordnance [sic], we have no choice but to vote against the bonds and suggest all citizens consider the same." Supple told The Advocate that if the ordinance was passed, he would vote for fiber on July 16, while both Breakfield and LeBlanc told the paper that they would still vote against it, regardless of the passing of their proposed ordinance. ' RRF
UL'S PRINCETON REVIEW
The Princeton Review recently cited UL Lafayette as one of the best college values in the nation for 2006 ' the only Louisiana school to receive the distinction. Only 81 schools in the nation were selected after considering factors like tuition amounts, the average financial aid granted to students, as well as the average debt incurred by graduating seniors.
Last year, Princeton Review ranked UL as one of the best 357 colleges nationally, but when it came to whether students thought their teachers were good, unfortunately UL ranked No. 10 in the category of teachers receiving low marks from their students. And when it came to studying, UL ranked No. 20 in the schools whose students rarely crack a book. (Luckily, LSU beat UL in that category, coming in at No. 15.) But UL ranked No. 11 in schools with the best relations between students and the local community.
The Review's annual report for 2006, with the 361 best colleges nationwide, is scheduled for publication in late August. ' RRF
METZGER MOVES ON
The Daily Advertiser is looking for a new executive editor. After 22 months on the job, Juli Metzger is moving back to her native Indiana (and moving into the sales side of publishing) to become the president and publisher of two Gannett-owned newspapers ' The Star Press in Munice, Ind., and Chronicle-Tribune in Marion, Ind.
Ted Power, president and publisher of South Louisiana Publishing ' which oversees the operations of Gannett papers The Daily Advertiser, The Times of Acadiana, Opelousas Daily World and the Quik Quarter ' says that a new executive editor has not been named. "We'll certainly see if anybody applies here," he says, "and we'll see if anybody applies from outside of the newspaper. Then we'll pick the best candidate for Lafayette." Until the position is filled, Managing Editor Marc Gilbert will oversee the daily operations of the paper.
Power is uncertain whether the new executive editor will also oversee the operation of the weekly newspaper The Times, as has been done in the past. "I think it would depend on the experiences of the candidates who apply," Power says. "Certainly, you'd like to have as little change as possible, but we'll see what fits each of the candidates that we might interview and make a decision from there."
Power estimates that the executive editor position should be filled within three months. ' RRF
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.