Lafayette’s economy continues to redefine robust, ringing in a whopping $527 million in retail sales in June, the latest month for which figures are available. That’s 2.5 percent higher than June of last year and 6.5 percent above May of this year. Year-to-date retail sales are up to $2.96 billion, a 3.92 percent increase over the first six months of 2012. In fact, June was the third highest single month on record for Lafayette Parish. Hotel/motel receipts are also out-pacing 2012. It’s little wonder, although much appreciated, that Area Development magazine, which businesses use for scouting locations to open their doors, gave Lafayette a trifecta, naming it Best Midsize City, Best City in the South and Best Overall City among nearly 400 metro areas ranked.
Kerry Bertrand will almost certainly be convicted for the murder of his stepdaughter, 20-year-old Skylar Credeur, who was found drowned in her bathtub in Rayne — Bertrand, according to police, was found hiding in the attic — a week after she filed a protective order against him. Bertrand will get his day in court. But regardless of the outcome, the case underscores a level of dysfunction in the 15th Judicial District system that should give everyone pause. Bertrand had been released from the Acadia Parish Jail where he was being held on a molestation charge on Aug. 12. He had been jailed since May 31 on the charge, but was released because a bill of information was never filed in the case, a procedure required to keep a suspect behind bars. District Attorney Mike Harson blames state police, telling local media he didn’t receive a report from state police until 75 days after Bertrand’s arrest. State police argue the report wasn’t necessary to file the bill of information. Someone dropped the ball big time. And if Bertrand is ultimately convicted of a crime that could have been prevented had the legal system done its job and kept him in jail, Skylar Credeur’s death is at once tragic, senseless and an outrage.
Headlines in next year’s Senate race pitting incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu against, presumably, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, tell the tale: “Cassidy won’t support shutdown over Obamacare” (Aug. 22 at theind.com via The Associated Press) and “Cassidy supports government shutdown threat over Obamacare flap” (Aug. 25 in The Advocate). What happened in that three-day span? For starters, the arch conservative Heritage Foundation dropped Cassidy onto a target list for failing to join the far right wing of the GOP that wants to shut the federal government down if any spending resolutions include funding for the Affordable Care Act. He joined moderate Louisiana congressional Republican Reps. Charles Boustany and the soon-to-be-retired Rodney Alexander on said target list. According to The Advocate, Cassidy had no comment on his change of heart, although he released a statement reminding us that he has voted 40 times to repeal Obamacare because ... something Albert Einstein said about insanity.