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
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.