Long overdue in arguably the most bustling parish in the state, land use regulations for unincorporated Lafayette Parish are a necessary adjustment to the pace of development. The issue, pushed by councilmen Jay Castille and Kevin Naquin, is a recurring source of consternation before the council as rural residents deal with inevitable encroachment by commercial interests. The wide-ranging rules that delineate everything from buffer zones to business signs also include a notification process for residents affected by commercial development, something that could help avoid vexing legal entanglements like the lawsuit LCG is facing after the Sunbeam Lane waste-transfer station fracas. That a pair of councilmen who represent large swaths of unincorporated north Lafayette Parish are bringing this issue to the fore — especially Castille, a land developer — gives the issue a credibility it might not have if some “city folks” were pushing the issue.
Controversy surrounding the Lafayette Police Department continues to get darker, according to a report last week in The Daily Advertiser. A pair of attorneys representing nine officers alleging widespread corruption in the PD say they have proof the department covered up for one of its own who got fall-down drunk and drove away from an after-hours bender at a downtown bar — the bar was given a misdemeanor citation for illegal operation but that was later dismissed — only to allegedly be found unconscious in his car in a fast-food parking lot near the UL campus. The lawyers, according to the daily, further allege they have an audio recording of Chief Jim Craft acknowledging that Officer Jeremy Dupuis was drunk enough to have killed someone. Dupuis was slapped with a one-day suspension for what should have been — if the allegations are true — an offense worthy of termination. Thin blue line indeed.
When Louisiana Tech mascot Tech XX, a 4-year-old English bulldog, vanished last week from the Ruston animal clinic he called home, the small north Louisiana community rallied around the cause of bringing the pup home. The veterinarian who owns the clinic offered a $2,000 reward. Chat rooms and message boards were abuzz. But by midweek the university community learned the depressing news: Tech XX had been let out to do his business on Sunday and the employee who let the dog out forgot to let him back in. The high temp that day was 102 degrees. Tech XX evidently succumbed to the heat and, in an apparent act of panic, the un-named clinic employee fabricated a canard about a pooch on the lam. The LA Tech community is left to do what all other universities that use live mascots must do: replace Tech XX with another English bulldog and move on to a more important matter — football.