It's good, it's bad and it's just plain crazy.

 

CestBon

January:
Clerk of Court Louis Perret pulls a hammy trying to chase down a hand-cuffed prisoner who made a dash for it while being escorted into the parish courthouse. And, alas, Perret’s heroism is in vain; deputies nab the suspect.

February:
The Lafayette Comprehensive Master plan gets under way, agitating local Tea Party types steeped in suspicion about a United Nations takeover.

March:
acornsThe Evangeline Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America makes a 100-year commitment to the Atchafalaya Basin, putting that commitment to practice as hundreds of scouts plant 20,000 acorns in the Indian Bayou Wildlife Management Area and at Lake Fausse Point State Park.

SLApril2012D’uh: Lafayette is named “South’s Tastiest Town” by Southern Living Magazine.

New data show that Lafayette Consolidated Government’s SafeLight/SafeSpeed program is achieving its desired effect — raising reve ... er .. changing driver behavior.

Former Louisiana high schooler Zack Kopplin, now a sophomore at Rice University, is honored with a Friend of Darwin award for his valiant albeit failed efforts to repeal the creationist-friendly Louisiana Science Education Act. Kopplin will continue his pro-science campaign by targeting voucher schools that teach creationism.

April:
D’uh: Festival International de Louisiane is named Best World Music Festival in the 2012 About.com Readers’ Choice Awards.

The inaugural INNOV8 Lafayette event coincides with FIL and is a rousing success.

May:
A bachelor’s degree in traditional music at UL Lafayette, thanks to the Tommy Comeaux Fund, clears its final hurdle in becoming accredited.

An investigation by The Times-Picayune lifts the veil on Louisiana’s incarceration rate and reveals why the state is the world’s prison capital. Hint: privatization ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

June:
Thousands in New Orleans rally in what will be a failed effort to prevent the Times-Pic from slashing its circulation days and laying off hundreds of employees.

Lafayette is one of 25 cities to be selected for the US Ignite program in which government agencies and UL Lafayette team up with nonprofits and the private sector to focus on health care with the creation of a Living Lab for Health Innovation.

July:
treesThe St. Martin Parish School Board bends to overwhelming community pressure and votes to renegotiate its lease with a logging company, sparing some 450 acres of cypress and tupelo trees in the Atchafalaya Basin. The tree huggers stop barking.

City-Parish Councilmen Jay Castille and Kevin Naquin introduce land-use regulations for long-under-regulated unincorporated Lafayette Parish. The council actually passes the ordinance.

August:

shunick-stickerThe UL Ragin’ Cajuns football team unveils decals celebrating the life of slain anthropology student Mickey Shunick; the decals have been worn on the backs of helmets during the 2012 season.

September:
The News-Star, a Gannett daily in the north Louisiana city of Monroe, shows consistent moxie in covering the embarrassing school voucher program, hitting its stride when it files suit against the state Department of Education over the agency’s foot dragging on a public records request.

October:
It’s a start: the National Institutes of Health announces that 110 of the 563 research chimpanzees at UL Lafayette’s New Iberia Research Center are being retired from research.

November:
Ragin’ Nation rejoices as the UL football squad accepts an invitation to a second consecutive nationally televised R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.


 

PasBon

January:
bobby_jindalFormer La. Gov. Buddy Roemer gets no traction and no love from the GOP as he speaks truth to power in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Roemer’s hue and cry: money is corrupting our electoral process. The political establishment’s response: whatever, dude.

February:
Real estate developer Glenn Stewart knocks unconscious Erin May Fitzgerald, daughter of IND Monthly publishers Steve and Cherry Fisher May, following a scuffle over Stewart’s tasteless Mardi Gras float. Stewart is later indicted on a simple battery charge and remains bald.

A cozy relationship between the state Department of Health & Hospitals and the Louisiana Restaurant Association is revealed, leading to questions about DHH’s failure to promote its Eat Safe website, which posts details about restaurant inspections.

March:
FBI agents search offices under District Attorney Mike Harson in what turns out to be a probe related to the D.A.’s handling of drunk-driving cases, many of which Harson had transferred from the city prosecutor’s office. Longtime D.A. office administrator Barna Haynes, wife of City Prosecutor Gary Haynes, later resigns as the investigation widens.

Enmity between LUS Fiber and Cox Communications ramps up again when, following the release of a positive audit of LUS-F operations by the Public Service Commission, Cox files a so-called “notice of intervention” questioning the audit.

Gov. Bobby Jindal continues to send heavy-handed messages to his subordinates by firing those who speak out of turn or against the company line, canning the Office of Elderly Affairs’ executive director after she questioned the wisdom of consolidating her office with the DHH. State Rep. Harold Ritchie is also ousted from his post as vice chairman of the House Committee on Insurance after voting against an education tax rebate plan pushed by Jindal.

The New Orleans Saints “Bounty-gate” saga begins as the NFL announces the results of its investigation. Commissioner Roger Goodell becomes the most hated man in Louisiana.

April:
newspaperThe Daily Advertiser continues to shed deep knowledge about the community it covers as longtime news staffers Peter Piazza, Brad Kemp and Bruce Brown accept early-retirement offers and are replaced by a squirt, a punk and a chump.

May:
Police jump the gun and arrest Lafayette High dance teacher Katie Champagne, making a publicity stunt out of the case. Champagne is later cleared of charges.

A grammar analysis finds that Louisiana’s delegation to Congress speaks at the level of a sophomore in high school. U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry responds by making a farting noise with his armpit.

Tensions between the cities of Lafayette and Broussard, and specifically between Mayors Joey Durel and Charlie Langlinais, reach a troubling new timbre when Durel seeks to sever ties between Lafayette Consolidated Government and Broussard.

June:
Lawmakers in Baton Rouge slash state support for Decentralized Arts Funding and Statewide Arts Grants, two primary means of buttressing parish arts councils and helping Louisiana’s cultural economy continue to attract tourists. The problem of too many tourists with disposable income is solved.

Lafayette real estate developer Greg Gachassin is slapped with an ethics charge stemming from his tenure on the Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority. Gachassin will later face a $60,000 fine from the EPA for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act.

July:
It is revealed through a child-support hearing in Lafayette that state Rep. Vince Pierre lied during his campaign about his employment. Pierre’s attempt to have his child support payments reduced is denied.

Three low-performing schools in Lafayette — J.W. Faulk Elementary, Northside High and Alice Boucher Elementary — join a list of 180 schools in Louisiana facing takeover by the state. Superintendent Pat Cooper blames Bush.

August:
Lafayette pizzeria Dean-O’s is slapped with a cease-and-desist letter from a Baton Rouge restaurant claiming, accurately, that it has a trademark for the term “Boudin Pizza.” Pizza purveyors rush to trademark “pepperoni” and “sausage.”

After forcing former state Revenue Secretary Lilly Ledbe ..., er, Cynthia Bridges from office over a tax credit fracas, Gov. Bobby Jindal hires new Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield at double the salary. Barfield has a phallus, qualifying him for the handsome salary increase.

September:
A flyer announcing a spate of events for the St. Martinville Senior High class of 1973 reunion shows that the former high school chums still do some of their celebrating racially segregated. The KKK is not impressed, calling the white alums “half-assed.”

October:
moneyNew data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that overall Louisiana is the third-most poverty-stricken state in the country. Thank God once again for Mississippi.

November:
Two St. Landry Parish School Board members are indicted on federal bribery charges, accused of trying to sell their votes to a superintendent candidate for $5,000.

 

Couillon-o-meter

February
Former La Fonda co-owner Gabe Bako’s experiment in revenge against his former colleagues goes spectacularly awry when Bako’s closes at the cursed corner of Doucet and Johnston after only a few months in business.

April
Wild Salmon owner Steve Dimmick admits, contrary to long-standing claims and following a revelation that stream-caught salmon cannot be exported from Alaska, that the “wild” salmon on his plates come from a can.

August
Iberia Parish business owner Jacques Hebert plays dumb-dumb and hangs a “We Built This” banner outside his Jeanerette company — a company located on a service road adjacent to a federal highway built with taxpayer dollars.

October
A few dozen conspiracy theory-minded Lafayette residents get the blessing of the City-Parish Council to pay a $12 monthly fee so they can opt out of the “smart meter” program with LUS. Tin foil futures skyrocket on the Couillon Mercantile.

November
The promising football career of Tyrann Mathieu, AKA Honey Badger, goes up in smoke when he is arrested on a marijuana possession charge.

August
District 9 Lafayette Parish School Board member Rae Trahan spends nearly nine minutes at the end of a meeting refuting an IND analysis of her lackadaisical tenure on the board and insisting she’s not an ill-informed slacker.

May

Former N.P. Moss Middle School Principal Ken Douet seeks more than half a million dollars from the school system because he was prevented from taking over the same post at the Early College Academy, even as he pulls down a handsome salary doing basically nothing at the Vermilion Conference Center.

August
Scott Angelle, now a member of the Public Service Commission, resigns as secretary of Department of Natural Resources to run for PSC as the crisis with the Assumption Parish sinkhole begins to gain national notoriety, with emerging evidence showing that Angelle was aware of problems at the site months earlier.

April
State Rep. Vince Pierre, D-Lafayette, campaigned on a platform of improving educational and economic fortunes for his relatively impoverished district and beat incumbent Rep. Rickey Hardy in a runoff in 2011. Pierre’s record as a rookie state lawmaker: one insurance-related bill filed, but hey, at least it was signed into law.

January
UL linguistics professor, creationist and claptrap disseminator John Oller files suit against the university arguing he is being blackballed for believing ridiculous crap.

May
ThinkProgress reveals that the 15 Tea Party freshman in the U.S. House of Representatives including Rep. Jeff Landry took thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from PACs representing financial institutions that were part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program even as they railed against the “Wall Street Bailout” and made it a campaign issue.

May
Not to be outdone by Louisiana’s frequently flying governor, state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, it is reported, racks up the equivalent of $20,000 in free trips paid for by the insurance industry-cozy National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Fox, guard hen house.

June
Gov. Bobby Jindal strips $100,000 — nearly the entire budget — from the Lafayette-based Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, imperiling the parish’s French Immersion program.

September
U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry makes a big fuss in his campaign about declining congressional retirement benefits, but in fact the Tea Party Pooper is legally barred from declining the benefits.

May
The St. Martin Parish School Board agrees to lease 450 acres of cypress and tupelo trees in the Atchafalaya Basin to a logging company for $88,000.

July
Homophobes get their chastity belts in a bunch when they realize UL Lafayette has been offering a minor in Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual Studies using exiting course offerings. UL President Joe Savoie stands his ground. The Gay Apocalypse looms.

February
Redflex scofflaw Mark Henderson admits to the Daily Advertiser that he intentionally runs red lights in an effort to generate SafeLight tickets, of which he’s accumulated more than $13,000 worth, proving an important point: dat boy’s a couillon and a threat to public safety!

August
The state Department of Education begins awarding taxpayer-funded vouchers to help send students attending failing schools to private and parochial schools, some of which teach scientific gems like the Loch Ness monster confirms the biblical account of creation.

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