Local television broadcasting's loss is Matt Stuller's gain. Sixteen-year news and sports broadcaster Scott Brazda is leaving KATC-TV3 for a position as executive director of the Stuller Family Foundation, which provides grants to various community non-profit organizations and projects. Brazda and Stuller developed a relationship over the years through their mutual work with St. Jude Dream Home, KATC's biggest and most identifiable charitable project.
Brazda, 46, says he'll stay on at the station until a replacement is named, possibly till mid-August. Brazda likens his new post to his job as a reporter, as he'll be interviewing heads of organizations that make grant requests in order to assess the community's needs. "I'm going to be reporting back to [the foundation board] my thoughts on these requests," he says. As executive director of Stuller Family Foundation, he'll also be charged with helping various non-profits work together in order to avoid duplication of services. (Another primary responsibility will be coordination of one of the Stuller Family Foundation's major projects, the new Ascension High School in Sugar Mill Pond, slated to open in the fall of 2008.)
A 1982 UL grad who grew up in Lafayette, Brazda joined the station's sports department at the age of 30 and worked his way up to the coveted evening anchor spot. He was moved to sports director in December 2003 when Hoyt Harris returned to local TV. Though the sports post was a good fit for him, the transfer was a letdown ' Brazda had developed a greater zeal for the versatility of news.
Nonetheless, Brazda again excelled at the sports desk. "You can't go through life mad," he says. "The first six months weren't easy, because it wasn't my call. They made a business decision."
This time, it's Brazda who's made the call. "I was kind of looking for challenges," he says. "At TV3 I've done everything but weather. I was always open to new possibilities." ' Leslie Turk
GOP LINES UP BEHIND ROMERO
One of the biggest challenges state Sen. Craig Romero faced during the 2004 contest in the 3rd Congressional District ' aside from the fact it was one of the nastiest in the nation ' was tepid support from his own party. But now the New Iberia Republican is solidifying his base. The chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party has endorsed Romero's campaign, as has the national co-founder of the Christian Coalition. But last week Romero was truly brought into the conservative inner circle when House Speaker Dennis Hastert and House Majority Whip Roy Blunt wrote checks to Romero's campaign at a Washington, D.C. fundraiser. The event was also hosted by members of key congressional committees. ' Jeremy Alford
JINDAL: WASHINGTON, D.C. IGNORING BLANCO
Louisiana came one step closer last week to realizing its goal of increasing its share of offshore oil and gas royalties when the U.S. House approved legislation that would guarantee $9 billion over the next decade. Kenner Republican Rep. Bobby Jindal was the lead sponsor of the legislation, and didn't hesitate to use the victory for a subtle dig at Gov. Kathleen Blanco. The governor is pushing her own plan to up revenue sharing by refusing to sign off on offshore royalties in August, but Jindal says her threats aren't resonating. "D.C. never focuses on anything but today," he says. ' JA
NOLA OFFICIALS SOUND OFF ON ACADIANA PLANS
A few Crescent City officials have weighed in regarding The Independent Weekly's June 14 cover story, "The Tourism Trap," which detailed the plan by some Acadiana officials to market the region to tourists as an alternative to New Orleans while the southeastern part of the state recovers from Katrina. Steve Perry, president of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, says Acadiana should promote itself by any means necessary, but the new marketing message is off-base. "We're completely open and operating," Perry says. "Jazz Fest had a half-million people. This week marks the launch of three major conventions. The hospitality industry here is not only open, but it is thriving. The tourism experience is already back to normal." Perry also points to Jackson Square, which received minimal damage, and the aquarium, which is stocked full of fish and open to visitors. Sandy Shilstone, director of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, says Acadiana isn't trying anything new, and she doubts it would help New Orleans transition back to pre-Katrina times. "We appreciate the help from the Acadiana parishes," Shilstone says with a hearty laugh, "but New Orleans is up and running." ' JA
OLD GLORY ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Several polls conducted in June bolster forecast that flag-burning will be a fiery topic during the upcoming congressional races. CNN reports that 56 percent of its respondents favor a constitutional amendment banning flag desecration, while FOX Network boasts that 73 percent in its poll want to criminalize the act. NBC, meanwhile, touts a survey revealing 44 percent of voters are more likely to back a candidate with these convictions. When the U.S. Senate took up a constitutional amendment banning the burning last week, Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu threw a bone to conservatives with a press release touting her supportive vote. She called the American flag "our nation's most enduring symbol of freedom," and added, "Today's vote notwithstanding, I still believe this amendment and the Freedom of Speech can stand side-by-side in our Constitution." ' JA
Education leaders are seeking to broker a compromise with Gov. Bobby Jindal on the standardized tests used in public schools next year.
Despite the bizarre fake handgun incident that ultimately led to his resignation, former Lafayette Regional Airport Aviation Director Greg Roberts will escape prosecution.
The Lafayette Police Department setup a roadblock in Freetown this afternoon after a body was discovered inside a nearby antique shop.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has scheduled a July 17 meeting with Education Superintendent John White to try to negotiate a compromise in their dispute over testing tied to the Common Core education standards, the governor's office announced Wednesday.
Beloved artist and former professor died Tuesday night after a brief illness.
The council approved an introductory ordinance two weeks ago watering down the zoning ordinance. If it approves it as a final ordinance on Tuesday, well, anyone can put up a sign in their yard or at their business for any future election.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Jazz fans want plots in Bronx cemetery; Nagin sentenced to 10 years; rapes ignored at colleges and more national and international news for Thursday, July 10, 2014.
Poor TV10, once a ratings juggernaut among Lafayette television-news consumers, reduced now to doddering among its ceramic cat collection in a musty TV parlor, muttering about the good old days as it adjusts the afghan on its lap.
The Lafayette Parish School Board made about $13 million in cuts during Tuesday’s special meeting, but what are the repercussions?
Gay and bisexual men, who are banned for life by the FDA from donating blood, are being urged to make a statement Saturday.
More than 8,800 students have been awarded vouchers to attend Louisiana private schools with taxpayer dollars in the upcoming school year, a 30 percent growth in the program championed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The Americans for Prosperity ad, which will air statewide on TV and also online, says Landrieu's position as leader of the Senate energy committee hasn't helped Louisiana, a heavy energy-producing state.
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his conviction on bribery, money laundering and other corruption charges.
The tumultuous fight between Louisiana landowners and the oil and gas industry over environmental damages and legacy lawsuits is an overly politicized process, which typically results in tainted lands being left as is.
To know the retired UL art history professor was to love him.
Both the House and Senate have voted to cancel the veto override session set to start this week.
The eight Republicans vying for the open 6th District congressional seat are trying to highlight differences among their personal resumes, as they strike largely similar policy positions.
In spite of the so-called “Jindal Miracle” — AKA smoke and mirrors — Gov. Bobby Jindal remains one of the most unpopular governors in the United States.
Chuck Huebner, the veteran anchor and investigative reporter at KLFY TV10, has been fired.
About 300 career and technical education teachers from across the state are attending training courses in Lafayette this week as part of the state's push to prepare high school students to take full advantage of Louisiana's growing jobs market.
It was sometime before 7 a.m. Monday when Lon Lomas was struck by an unidentified vehicle while cycling along La. 92 near Milton.
The audit, released Monday, says the monthly Bayou Health and Louisiana Behavioral Health Program payments were made for 2,644 inmates over the 23 months ending Dec. 31, 2013.
The Lafayette Parish School System is being investigated for alleged racial discrimination by the U.S. Department of Education.
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's steep descent from the days when he was seen as a fresh-faced reformer continues this week when he is sentenced in federal court on 20 criminal charges counts including bribery, money laundering and fraud.