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
Lafayette Parish School Board member Kermit Bouillion says he will defend his District 5 seat in the upcoming election.
The Louisiana chapter of Americans for Prosperity sent the pledge request to all 144 lawmakers in February.
The 5-foot-10, 203-pound former second-round pick has gone to three Pro Bowls in his five seasons.
U.S. District Judge James Brady had ruled that the corrections department must reveal by this week the information about where it obtained its two lethal injection drugs.
The enrollment period ends this month.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, March 12, 2014:
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.