Wednesday, 29 June 2011 01:00
by IND Monthly Staff
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 Written by The Independent Staff
C’EST BON It was a textbook case of protecting and serving when The Advocate obtained and posted online video of the January 2010 traffic stop that resulted in a drunk driving charge against state Rep. Bobby Badon, D-Carencro — a charge that was recently thrown out on a technicality. On the one side you had a nervous, stammering, slurring-his-words Badon trying to protect his reputation and serve his own interests after being pulled over on his way home from a party. On the other was State Trooper James Lazard — composed and professional despite Badon’s name dropping and good-ole-boy appeals for deference to his status and “a little leniency.” Kudos to Lazard for standing his ground and following the law. And ditto to The Advocate for pursuing the public’s right to know.
PAS BON The kayaker who spotted the body of 29-year-old Cory Sonnier in Lake Martin the morning of June 24 was undoubtedly shaken up by the discovery of an apparent homicide victim. But when The Daily Advertiser tried to interview the unfortunate witness, he didn’t decline because he was too disturbed by what he found; rather, he told the Lafayette daily that he was “instructed by police not to speak with the media.” Since the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case — and said sheriff’s office has been known in the past to give the same “instructions” to other witnesses when newsworthy crimes take place in its jurisdiction — presumably the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office was again the issuer of an illegal gag order. What’s not explained in the daily’s crime story is that no law enforcement agency can prohibit witnesses from talking for the sake of preserving an investigation. That’s thanks to a little protection known as the First Amendment, which specifically gives Americans the freedom to speak about almost anything to Uncle T-Bob, Maw-Maw Barbara, friends and even the media. Also included in the First Amendment is the added protection of a free press, though nowhere in the document did our Founding Fathers outline the importance of a police state. We kindly ask the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office to brush up on its high school civics or Google the term “Bill of Rights.”
COUILLON Pity poor Washington. The little town that butters its bread with an interstate speed trap just can’t get its act together. The latest exhibit of incompetence came last week when it was learned that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is demanding the St. Landry Parish hamlet return more than $72,000 it was allocated following Hurricane Katrina for housing evacuees. Washington, it turns out, never provided the proper documentation demonstrating how it spent the money and, what’s more, it’s now been two years since the town was notified about the problem. This follows a recent revelation that Washington owes the state $200,000 for speeding tickets issued to motorists who were traveling less than 10 miles over the posted limit on I-49. While Washington Mayor Joseph Pitre, who is black, has suggested his town is the victim of a racially motivated conspiracy, we prefer to think of it as a karma.
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JUL 29 Saints Quarterback Drew Brees, who clearly is no slouch at public relations, countered any worries about his age by commenting from training camp that he'd like to play another 10 years on Friday. For the next two days, he says, he was subjected to "random" drug tests, this post on the Picayune says. Really?
JUL 29 This story in the Washington Post says Louisiana is in the top five of dog-loving states. According to this post, we have 1.27 dogs for every cat. Unfortunately, a whole lot of them are used for fighting or end up in shelters - left there by their owners. So maybe WaPo needs to reconsider that premise, because ownership doesn't necessarily equate with love.
JUL 29 Here's yet another "lady left her kids in a hot car" story, but this one is a little more ridiculous than most. KPLC reports that this lady (a Princess, no less!) Left her little kids unattended in a parking lot while she went to her boyfriend's car so she could provide him with some oral support. Hey, she left the windows down!
JUL 29 Environmental activist Wilma Subra made the Los Angeles Times this week, the star of this piece by Julie Cart in the "Great Reads" section. One interesting thing is the reference to Wilma as a "diminutive grandmother." Only someone who doesn't know her could possibly refer to her as "diminutive"!
JUL 29 Remember that "execution" in Arizona last week, the one where it took the inmate two gasping hours to die? Arizona uses the same drugs to kill its citizens as we do, this post on The Lens tells us. But hey, nothing to worry about, because state officials are "reviewing the protocol." OK!
JUL 29 Somebody over at LaPolitics is a big fan of the infographic! Here's another one, this time looking at the income of former governor, former reality TV star, and current Congressional candidate Edwin W. Edwards.
JUL 29 Blogger Crazy Crawfish got a tip that the state Department of Education was promoting a lot of people, and so he did some digging. Instead of asking a question to which he knew he would receive no answer, he just asked for payroll records. And, he found some pretty interesting stuff there.
JUL 29 Blogger Ian McGibboney is writing about the NRA in this post, and the absurdity of requiring people to follow one group's narrow philosophies. The NRA currently is floating the idea that children be required to demonstrate firearm proficiency in order to be promoted in school, and some other kinda nutty stuff. (Really?) Spoiler alert: Ian's not a fan.
JUL 27 Here's the first of four pieces from Minnesota Public Radio about the horrible legacy of Gilbert Gauthe, the pedophile who also was a priest and used his position to obtain victims. The story gets into the most shameful aspect of that time - the protection Gauthe received from the leaders of the church. This four-piece story promises to be more comprehensive than anything we've seen, because it is looking back from so far. Some of the information here has only been released recently.
JUL 27 The news gets worse in the case of the 11th hour bill that added a bunch of money to the retirement income of State Police Commander Mike Edmonson. Blogger CB Forgotston says here that the annual increase was not $30K, it was more like $55K. Also, it was Jindal buddy Neil Riser who tacked the action onto another bill - something he didn't feel compelled to tell us until now. But here's the best part - Edmonson turned down the money on Friday.
JUL 27 When you're telling people they have lost their jobs, you have to be careful about how you do it. When more layoffs were announced last week to the employees of the Office of Group Benefits, apparently that wasn't handled well, blogger Tom Aswell argues in this post. He's also got some info on who gets to stay - and how much they make. (Spoiler alert: It's a lot.)
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