There's a new organization for Francophiles in Acadiana. Alliance FranÃ§ais de Lafayette ' the newest member of a 100-year-old national federation promoting French language and culture ' just kicked off its membership drive. Faustine Hillard, an administrative assistant at CODOFIL and executive director of the new alliance, says the time is right. She regularly receives phone calls from locals needing travel information, as well as from visitors from France in search of French-speaking Louisianans. "There was a desire for a meeting place," she says. The alliance will provide a cultural meeting center for travelers, as well as an ambitious schedule of French classes and programming.
Building on local French conversation groups that Hillard describes as "islands of French," the alliance will offer classes in standard, Cajun and Creole French. "The lost generation, those from 30 to 60 years in age, their parents learned, their children are learning, they want to be able to talk to both," says Hillard. Beginner, intermediate and conversational French classes will be offered.
Wednesday nights the public is invited to activities ranging from lectures on the culture of Francophone counties to cinema franÃ§ais. French cooking classes, wine tastings, Francophone dinners, theatrical productions and storytelling for children are also in the works. Hillard particularly emphasizes the theatre, which is aimed at high school students who have completed French immersion programs. "Those who have come back from the four-week immersion in Nova Scotia, they have nowhere to continue," she says.
Classes and plays will be held at CitÃ© Des Arts, building on an established tradition of conversational French meetings. The Acadiana Center for the Arts will host cultural activities as well. Other partners in the alliance include Louisiana Folk Roots, Le Centre International de Lafayette, UL Lafayette and Philippe's Wine Cellar. Classes and activities begin in October, and more information and membership rates are available by calling 262-5810. ' MT
During a Lafayette Consolidated Government budget session last week, Cajundome Director Greg Davis asked the city-parish council to step up its support of the aging arena, which will be 20 years old in November.
Davis wants local government to help him lobby the state for $10.5 million to renovate the dome. For the past three years, the state legislature has turned down the Cajundome's requests for the capital improvement funds.Â This has come in spite of the state's plans to spendÂ more than $15 million for new civic centers in New Iberia and Shreveport, according to this year's capital outlay budget.
Davis argues that the increased competition the dome now faces from other regional arenas makes the need for renovations even more pressing. He warned the council that if the dome is not properly maintained, it could end up suffering the same fate as the Seattle Kingdome, which was imploded in 2000.Â
The Cajundome's struggle to get state funding prompted Councilman Rob Stevenson to say, "It's time for our Lafayette delegation to get together and do something for us besides just holding office." ' NS
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.