According to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Justice, Louisiana still has the highest incarceration rate in the nation. For every 100,000 Louisiana residents, there are 814 prisoners serving more than a year behind bars. Across the country, state incarceration rates rose by 1.6 percent, while federal inmates increased by 5.1 percent. As of June last year, there were 36,745 people in Louisiana incarcerated by the state, an increase of 1.8 percent from the previous year. Nationally, 1 in every 138 ' some 2.1 million people ' are behind bars. ' RRF
CAILLIER TO RETIRE?
"I, Larry J. Caillier, am retiring and am requesting my annual leave payment."
That was the surprising one-sentence note delivered to the Opelousas City Budget Committee last week by embattled Opelousas Police Chief Larry Caillier. The usually defiant Caillier was indicted on five counts of malfeasance in office by a state grand jury last month ' and those indictments only relate to Caillier's alleged orders to his officers not to respond to fights at a battle-of-the-bands competition last September. The grand jury is scheduled to meet twice more concerning allegations that Caillier misused more than $200,000 in federal funds.
Caillier has declined comment on both matters and has yet to file an official resignation letter. ' SJ
COMPUTERS FOR THE FUTURE
The Multicultural Arts Association held its seventh computer workshop and give-away this past weekend at the J. Carlton James Activity Center. The workshops aim to help bridge the digital divide by teaching low-income, disadvantaged youth about assembling and operating used computers donated by local companies and organizations. In its fourth year, MAA has recycled approximately 175 used computers and aims to hold another workshop in the fall. "It gives an opportunity to a kid who would normally not have any opportunity to work on a computer," says organizer Je'Nelle Chargois. "And then they get to take them home." Anyone interested in donating old computer parts or volunteering to help the students reconstruct and use the machines can call Chargois at 232-4262 or Don Thibodeaux at 984-4445. ' NS
UL HONORS ITS OWN
The University of Louisiana Foundation has announced its Distinguished Professor of the Year and Excellence in Teaching awards. This year's Distinguished Professor is Dr. Jack Damico, the Doris B. Hawthorne Eminent Scholar in Communicative Disorders, who established UL's doctoral program in applied language and speech sciences. Three educators earned the Excellence in Teaching Award: Anne Broussard, professor of nursing, Tom Sammons, professor of architecture, and Dr. Jeff Sandoz, assistant professor of educational foundations and leadership. The awards recognize commitment and effectiveness in teaching and instructional innovation. ' MT
THE ADVOCATE/ADVERTISER SHUFFLE
The Acadiana Bureau of The Advocate recently added reporter Richard Burgess to its Lafayette office. Burgess, a native of Pineville, La., is a veteran of both The Daily Iberian and The Daily Advertiser, where he spent the last five years. "It's an absolute blue chip [hire] for the paper," says Acadiana Bureau Chief Patrick Courreges. "We're lucky a guy like this is sticking around in the state, much less coming over to our paper." Burgess replaces longtime Advocate reporter Angela Simoneaux, who joined the Lafayette Parish School System earlier this year as a coordinator for its Schools of Choice program. Burgess is covering courts, college and environmental issues for the Advocate's Acadiana Bureau. ' NS
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
Corporations spending in state elections; Kenny G and Hong Kong; states resist gay marriage and more national and international news for Thursday, October 23, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.