During the recent Hurricane Alicia exercise in Baker, a drill for evacuating New Orleans evacuees living in trailers was cancelled because state and federal officials couldn't decide which agency should issue the evacuation order. The Advocate reported that dozens of volunteers and emergency management officials were in place and waiting at the Renaissance Village trailer park for hurricane evacuees ' for more than 5 hours ' before local officials finally called it off.
Both Jo Anne Moreau, director of the East Baton Rouge Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, and Police Chief Sid Gautreaux cancelled the drill. Moreau reportedly stated, "This was not a failure to act. What we had was a failure at a higher level to make a decision."
Mark Smith, spokesman for the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness admitted that there was "a disconnect" and said his office was looking into why it happened. ' R. Reese Fuller
CHRIS WILLIAMS HIRE UNPOPULAR WITH LTC FACULTY
Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Chris Williams' approval rating from faculty members at the campuses he oversees appears to be in the tank. Williams was recently promoted to the newly created position of regional director ' part of an administrative streamlining of the state's community and technical college system ' but another candidate was the overwhelming favorite among members of the eight-campus faculty senate.
For the past five years, Williams has served as vice chancellor of the Louisiana Technical College's Acadiana region, a position that has been eliminated, but faculty members wanted the dean of the Lafayette campus, Phyllis Dupuis, to direct their institutions.
Jerrylene Fontenot, who teaches at the Charles B. Coreil campus in Ville Platte and is president of the faculty senate for Region IV (the Acadiana area), says of the 129 votes cast, there were 13 abstentions, 11 votes for Williams and a whopping 105 for Dupuis. "The vote just came out very lopsided," she says. The senate then sent the results to Dr. Walter Bumphus, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, but was aware its vote may not influence the outcome. "I think they were hoping it would," notes Fontenot, "but we knew it was not part of the selection process. The faculty wanted an opportunity to voice an opinion."
Williams did not respond to a call for comment by press time.
Fontenot also served on the committee that interviewed the four candidates for the position and forwarded the top two applicants, Williams and Dupuis, to Bumphus.
Bumphus, who had the authority in naming the new regional director, recommended Williams to the system's board of supervisors, and the board approved his choice.
"There are a lot of people disappointed that it wasn't Phyllis," says Fontenot, who declined to speculate on Bumphus' decision. "I really hate to get into that."
Bumphus, who is recovering from surgery, could not be reached for comment. ' Leslie Turk
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.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.