Last year it was held in Reno. The year before that in the burgeoning technological research hub of Charlotte, N.C. This year, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers — the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology — is bringing its annual Virtual Reality Conference to Lafayette. The event comes to the Cajundome Convention Center March 14-18, thanks in large part to IEEE senior member and event chair Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, chief scientist at UL Lafayette and, until recently, executive director of the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise. The event is expected to draw some 350 attendees and showcase LITE and Lafayette’s fiber-to-the-home project for some of the world’s preeminent virtual reality and 3-D user interface experts. For more info, visit http://conferences.computer.org/vr/2009 .
Sure Shootin’. Rep. Ernest Wooten is back with a vengeance, once again taking aim at college campuses’ firearm free zones. His bill to allow college students to pack guns in their backpacks got shot down last year, but Wooten is vowing to return for another showdown in the Legislature this year. The proposal has drawn near unanimous opposition from campus police, faculties and student bodies across the state, but Wooten still thinks it’s high time our universities return to the good old days of Wild West vigilante justice. If the Legislature has any sense, this bill will be dead on arrival.
Apparently perturbed that a SafeSpeed van had tagged him for speeding Friday night as he drove down Ambassador Caffery Parkway, 42-year-old Douglas A. Begnaud of Scott allegedly approached the van and began yelling at the operator. When the operator opened the door to the vehicle, Begnaud allegedly grabbed the operator, then returned to his truck and rammed the speed van multiple times, pushing the van into a ditch. On Monday morning Begnaud turned himself in and was charged with simple criminal damage to property and simple battery. Let’s just say SafeSpeed reps had very little doubt the alleged perp would be caught. “The violator left before police arrived,” SafeSpeed’s customer relations manager, Christina Barnes, wrote in a Saturday e-mail to LCG’s Tony Tramel notifying him of the incident. “But we captured his plate and a good face shot, which the police are already using to help locate him.”
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JUL 23 This post on Mashable says Louisiana is poised to be the next (and better) Hollywood. Sure, blogger Travis Andrews is talking Louisiana in general, but the focus really is on New Orleans. And that's fine, because if NOLA and Hollywood get into a ambiance/food/style/crazy contest, we like NOLA's chances.
JUL 23 Here's New York Magazine's profile of Edwin Edwards, a well-written, thoughtful (and still unvarnished) look at Louisiana's most famous felon. There's a lot of history, but author Mark Jacobson doesn't get bogged down in pedantic rehashes here. It's a really good read.
JUL 23 Tom Aswell turns over his blog to Fred Aldrich for this post, in which Aldrich offers his critique of State Police Commander Mike Edmonson's recent radio appearance. During that visit, Edmonson commented upon the 11th-hour bill that added $30K to his annual retirement income. Spoiler alert: Aldrich was not impressed.
JUL 23 Blogger CB Forgotston has more on the Edmonson retirement issue in this post. This time, he's trying to ascertain exactly who offered the 11th-hour amendment that added $30K to the State Police chief's annual retirement check. Six legislators are claiming that a Senate staffer stuck it in, CB says.
JUL 23 Choice Foundation, which owns and operates charter schools, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing Bobby Jindal of overstepping his bounds in cancelling Common Core, the Washington Post reports here. The lawsuit (there's a link to it here) alleges that Jindal does not have the authority to remove the curriculum from Louisiana.
JUL 23 Here's an interesting perspective on the 2015 governor's race from Picayune reporter Julia O'Donoghue. She's looking at David Vitter, John Bel Edwards and Jay Dardenne. But instead of looking at their differences, she's examining their similarities.
JUL 23 Here are the first jewels unearthed from the Vault, a new database of public records that The Lens is making available. In this post, The Lens is taking a look at what municipal employees are paid over in NOLA. There's some pretty interesting stuff here.
JUL 23 Blogger Stephen Sabludowsky is attempting to clear away some of the smoke that Bobby Jindal's been blowing about our economy. The press releases and "presidential campaign claims" of Jindal notwithstanding, the outlook is not that rosy, Sabludowsky says. He's got some comment here from the head of GNO Inc. as well.
JUL 22 This is a fascinating piece in the Picayune about the murder of a doctor in her St. Charles Avenue home 50 years ago. It's fascinating because of the mysteries and myths that have swirled around the incident for those decades, and because of the possible connection to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. There are a lot of interesting names in here, including Ochsner and Marcello, and as usual the comments below the story are nearly as entertaining as the story itself.
JUL 22 The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is "a lock" to win the Sun Belt Conference in football, Fox Sports opines in this post. There's a rundown of the other teams in the conference, but ULL is predicted to win the conference, thanks in large part to an "explosive" offense. Is it football season yet?
JUL 22 Columnist Stephanie Grace says Gov. Bobby Jindal may be meeting with state education officials (hey - you mean HIS education officials, don't you, Steph?) but it is clear he's not looking for a solution in the Common Core fracas. Bobby wants an issue he can take on the road, and this one seems to be it, she says.
JUL 22 Here's a love letter from New York Daily News' Alex Palmer to Louisiana. In some ways it is the typical tourism article (with pronunciation guides and food definitions) but in another way it goes beyond that to list lesser-known spots to visit for food or tours.
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