During the recent Hurricane Alicia exercise in Baker, a drill for evacuating New Orleans evacuees living in trailers was cancelled because state and federal officials couldn't decide which agency should issue the evacuation order. The Advocate reported that dozens of volunteers and emergency management officials were in place and waiting at the Renaissance Village trailer park for hurricane evacuees ' for more than 5 hours ' before local officials finally called it off.
Both Jo Anne Moreau, director of the East Baton Rouge Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, and Police Chief Sid Gautreaux cancelled the drill. Moreau reportedly stated, "This was not a failure to act. What we had was a failure at a higher level to make a decision."
Mark Smith, spokesman for the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness admitted that there was "a disconnect" and said his office was looking into why it happened. ' R. Reese Fuller
CHRIS WILLIAMS HIRE UNPOPULAR WITH LTC FACULTY
Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Chris Williams' approval rating from faculty members at the campuses he oversees appears to be in the tank. Williams was recently promoted to the newly created position of regional director ' part of an administrative streamlining of the state's community and technical college system ' but another candidate was the overwhelming favorite among members of the eight-campus faculty senate.
For the past five years, Williams has served as vice chancellor of the Louisiana Technical College's Acadiana region, a position that has been eliminated, but faculty members wanted the dean of the Lafayette campus, Phyllis Dupuis, to direct their institutions.
Jerrylene Fontenot, who teaches at the Charles B. Coreil campus in Ville Platte and is president of the faculty senate for Region IV (the Acadiana area), says of the 129 votes cast, there were 13 abstentions, 11 votes for Williams and a whopping 105 for Dupuis. "The vote just came out very lopsided," she says. The senate then sent the results to Dr. Walter Bumphus, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, but was aware its vote may not influence the outcome. "I think they were hoping it would," notes Fontenot, "but we knew it was not part of the selection process. The faculty wanted an opportunity to voice an opinion."
Williams did not respond to a call for comment by press time.
Fontenot also served on the committee that interviewed the four candidates for the position and forwarded the top two applicants, Williams and Dupuis, to Bumphus.
Bumphus, who had the authority in naming the new regional director, recommended Williams to the system's board of supervisors, and the board approved his choice.
"There are a lot of people disappointed that it wasn't Phyllis," says Fontenot, who declined to speculate on Bumphus' decision. "I really hate to get into that."
Bumphus, who is recovering from surgery, could not be reached for comment. ' Leslie Turk
Business organizations opposed the proposal, saying it would lead to job losses and higher prices for goods and services.
An attempt to repeal a six-year-old law that permits public school science teachers to use material outside a classroom's adopted textbook has been rejected by the Senate Education Committee.
New York Times poll shows Obama, Jindal have identical approval and disapproval ratings in the state.
OK, so they’re bentgrass, the type used on golf course greens. But grass is grass.
The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill Wednesday, despite opponents who argued it would shut down the storefront lenders.
A measure to allow the state to implement its own, less stringent plan for limiting carbon dioxide emissions unanimously passed the Senate.
FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, Jodie Foster gets married, Vermont to require labels on genetically-modified food, and more news for today, April 24, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”
It took a few weeks for the pitfalls to emerge in the governor’s $25 billion budget, but the time of judgment has finally arrived.
With pressure continuing to build for him to resign, Congressman Vance McAllister announced plans recently to remain secluded during the Easter break, but the Swartz Republican has said he’ll be back on the Hill casting votes and attending committee meetings when the congressional recess ends April 28.
A bid to limit the use of unmanned aircraft on private property in Louisiana stalled Monday in the Louisiana Senate.
A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he's scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.
Attorney hopes fellow lawyers will join him in urging the D.A. to step aside and allow a competent, ethical challenger to take over the scandal-ridden office.
An official with the Louisiana Department of Education was arrested on a range of charges Friday after allegedly breaking into a home and brandishing a knife.