After nearly 50 years in business, Hamilton's Place hosted its last dance on Sunday night. Hundreds of dancers packed into the dance hall and spilled out onto the porch and the parking lot to dance to the music of Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie, along with Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band. William Hamilton's father opened the nightclub ' sometimes called the Hamilton Club ' on Verot School Road in 1956.
Hamilton says it's become increasingly difficult to make a living with the dance hall, citing dwindling crowds and increasing expenses. In January, due to rising insurance premiums, the club stopped serving alcohol. Hamilton wants to sell the club, but says the owner would have to move the building off of the Hamilton family's property. ' RRF
MALL OF ACADIANA HAS BUYER
Mum was still the word at press time Monday afternoon from officials at the Mall of Acadiana, but a source close to the mall confirms that a deal is on the table to sell the 26-year-old shopping center to CBL & Associates Properties of Chattanooga, Tenn.
Katie Knight, director of investor relations for CBL, a real estate investment trust, also would not release any information on the pending sale. CBL is a REIT listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company primarily owns regional malls like the Mall of Acadiana that are the dominant retail facility in middle market areas.
The 1.1 million-square-foot Mall of Acadiana is owned by Robert B. Aikens & Associates of Troy, Mich. Lafayette developer Dwight Andrus Jr. began working on the mall project seven years before the mall opened, securing the land and commitment from anchor tenant Sears. "Realizing I was small compared to the enormity of that business, what I did was seek a partner," Andrus says. "I knew I needed help." Andrus sold his interest to Aikens in the late 1990s. ' LT
CAILLIER PLEADS NOT GUILTY
Larry Caillier's arraignment last Friday could mark the beginning of a long line of court dates for the veteran Opelousas Police Chief. On Wednesday, June 22, a St. Landry Parish grand jury was set to reconvene to consider more state charges against Caillier. The grand jury will likely be considering evidence from a state auditor's report issued in January that identified more than $200,000 of funds and equipment that went unaccounted for in the department from 2000 to 2003. In May, the grand jury indicted former Opelousas Police Maj. Ronnie Trahan on 17 counts stemming from the audit report including criminal conspiracy, payroll fraud and money laundering. Last Friday, Caillier's attorney, Elbert Guillory, entered Caillier's written plea of not guilty for five state charges of malfeasance. The charges allege that Caillier ordered his officers not to respond to calls about fights breaking out at a Battle of the Bands event that sheriff's deputies were supplying security for. A pretrial trial hearing for that case is set for Sept. 29. ' NS
A preliminary ruling in the lawsuit filed by Iberia Parish Government against Mosquito Control Contractors Inc. has reduced the contract length between the parish and MCCI from five years to three ("Foggy Contract Breakdown," June 1). Based on a request by Assistant District Attorney Wayne Landry for summary judgment, the court found that the contract for 2003 through 2008 was in violation of the parish's home rule charter, which only allows a three-year term. The contract for mosquito spraying is now scheduled to end on April 30, 2006, unless MCCI appeals. Meanwhile, the trial, based on issues of overfilling and CPI misapplication, which was scheduled to begin on June 7, has been continued until Aug. 10. ' MT
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.