Wednesday, 11 August 2010 01:00
by IND Monthly Staff
C’EST BON The 15th Judicial District’s Drug Court program works, and now there’s a long-term study to prove it. Headquartered in Lafayette, the program is funded in large part through the Louisiana Supreme Court, which commissioned an analysis that finds that graduates of Drug Court — a diversion program that offers first-offense, non-violent drug offenders an opportunity to enter a yearlong system of drug treatment, supervision, education and random drug testing and to have the arrest expunged from their record — are more likely to kick the habit and stay out of trouble. The study’s findings are stark. Among them: Drug Court graduates are six times less likely to be rearrested within six months of completion of the program than are offenders eligible for the program who opt instead to accept probation. Drug Court graduates are also far less likely to be arrested a year later than are eligible candidates who don’t enter the program.
PAS BON The avaricious among us never met a disaster they didn’t see as an opportunity for fraud, and the BP oil spill is bringing the shysters out of the woodwork. In just a matter of a few days last week, the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries arrested three commercial fishermen — two of them Iberia Parish men who conspired together; the third is from Chauvin — of falsifying documents showing earnings prior to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill. These so-called “trip tickets” are used by BP to establish an earnings average for out-of-work fishermen, who are then reimbursed for their lost wages. Each faces felony charges. With the recent announcement that beginning in September rig workers impacted by the moratorium can apply for financial assistance grants ranging from $3,000 to $30,000 — part of a $100 million fund BP established to bankroll the program — expect the fraud to continue. BP isn’t exactly a sympathetic victim here, but come on.
COUILLON It’s not so much “ethics reform” as it is “ethics, re-formed.” Gov. Bobby Jindal proves time and again that while he may still be a fresh face in politics, he can be plenty old-school in his style in governance. Last week LSU System President John Lombardi named Lafayette’s Elaine Abell chairman of the governing board for the planned teaching hospital in New Orleans. Lombardi is supposed to be the sole authority in such decisions. The LSU System released a statement announcing Abell’s appointment. So far so good. But the next day, in a tersely worded press release that wasn’t even issued on LSU System letterhead, it was announced that, woops, Abell wouldn’t be board chairman after all; that honor would go to Bobby Yarborough. Bobby Yarborough is Jindal’s campaign treasurer. Jindal’s ethics reformation: Do as I say, not as I do.
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AUG 29 Everyone who cares about Louisiana should take time to peruse this story about coastal loss from Bob Marshall of The Lens. It's not enough to call it a story; it's an interactive experience packed with data and amazing graphics, timelines, history, photos and excellent writing. Set aside some time, because you can't go through this one in a few minutes.
JUN 29 This bizarre story from the Advocate on the shooting of a Baton Rouge television personality reads like the script of a soap opera - but not a good one. The allegations against him include sexual abuse of children, including the alleged shooter, and a sham immigration marriage involving his own daughter. The other side? He was a chaplin for the Sheriff's Office in Baton Rouge and preached in a local church.
AUG 29 Here's a story from CBS News about a killer amoeba found in the water system of St. John the Baptist Parish. The story made all three networks (CBS, ABC, NBC) as well as Fox "News," although they have not yet found out how it is Obama's fault. Seriously, the good news is that so far officials know of no one sickened by the water.
AUG 29 Huffington Post has a blog called Love Letters, which is grandly described as "an anthology of reflections on places the world over." This entry is from LSU Football Coach Les Miles, who, it appears, loves Baton Rouge. (Of course he does; he's a rich straight white man.) And certainly Baton Rouge loves him - unless he loses (ask Curley "Golden Flake" Hallman about that) or leaves (ask Nick Saban).
AUG 29 Blogger Bob Mann comments here upon Governor Bobby Jindal's federal lawsuit about Common Core. Mann calls it a "thinly veiled campaign document" and that might be the nicest thing he says in this post. Most troubling for Jindal and his aspirations, Mann has unearthed what Bobby said just a few years ago when he first decided to shove Common Core down our throats.
AUG 29 Blogger Tom Aswell has several developments here related to the so-called Edmonson amendment. The most entertaining one is possibly Tom's acknowledgement that a State Police official is (allegedly) calling the bloggers covering the story some colorful names. Listen up, cowboy: You really think two veterans like Tom Aswell and CB Forgotston care if you call them idiots?
AUG 29 Gotta love those journalists who write something with the enthusiasm that implies they're the first one to figure something out. Mostly, they're not. This is one of those times; the post on Slate Magazine says that Bobby Jindal's Common Core lawsuit is a political stunt. Well - Duh.
AUG 29 This story by WVLA tells us about a guy who got busted for speeding in Baton Rouge. Who cares? This guy took that infraction to new heights by going 129 miles per hour on Nicholson Drive. Poor fella - he probably has spent so much time sitting in Baton Rouge traffic he just had to cut lose.
AUG 28 As the controversy surrounding the Office of Group Benefits intensifies, blogger Tom Aswell gives us some background on the current problems. The OGB, which handles health insurance for current and retired state employees, is deep in the red since it was privatized by Jindal, and Aswell gives us the skinny: this great plan was designed by ALEC. The company handling it? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana - a longtime member of ALEC.
AUG 28 Blogger CB Forgotston has a concept for a new reality show: the wives of the "Dork Dynasty." That's the name that some troopers have given to State Police Commander Mike Edmonson and his inner circle. The ladies CB has picked for his cast are not just housewives, however, and the connections here are pretty interesting.
AUG 28 Blogger Ian McGibboney is writing about the strife in Ferguson in this post, and articulating what many people down south are saying. There's a fairy tale about how there's tons of racism in the South, but it's all hunky dory up North. (Really? Look again.)
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