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
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, December 13, 2013:
The Louisiana Supreme Court has punted on its first chance to decide whether a new state constitutional provision declaring gun possession a fundamental right could void a long list of criminal statutes that regulate firearms.
New Orleans' offense, which ranks sixth in the NFL, isn't helping many of its skill players pile up Pro Bowl-type stats. Rather, the approach of coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees has enabled a wide range of play-makers to emerge periodically with high-production outings.
An ordinance phasing out a rebate businesses receive for collecting and remitting sales taxes is tabled, but it doesn’t solve the vexing issue of government revenue.
As part of a national undertaking known by industry insiders as the “Butterfly Project,” a rebranded version of The Daily Advertiser is set to launch with Sunday’s edition of the Gannett-owned paper.
Louisiana moved up a slot to 48th in the ranking of healthy states — once again, thank God for Mississippi! — so all this frettin’ about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s refusal to expand Medicaid per Obamacare ... fuggidaboutit! We don’t need Medicaid no more!
The Denham Springs woman who placed Christmas lights in the shape of a butter finger on her roof in a display of anger directed at neighbors has doubled the trouble for the 2013 holiday season.
The 30-second commercial, to run around the state, is the Democratic senator's first TV spot in her bid for re-election to a fourth term.
It's a number that has edged up but falls far short of the thousands who are eligible for subsidized coverage.
A group of mostly higher education leaders will make recommendations to state lawmakers about how to tweak the policies governing tuition rates charged at the state's public colleges.
That would be Congressman John Fleming talking about Sen. David Vitter.
The alleged mastermind behind the bribery scheme that went on for four years under DA Mike Harson’s nose isn’t just schizophrenic, bipolar and recovering from mini strokes; he now says he has cancer.
Louisiana's higher education leaders are trying to work out a financing deal to keep the state's public colleges from running low on state cash to operate their campuses.
With their latest triumph, the Saints left little doubt about how tough they are to beat in the Superdome. Unfortunately, two of their remaining three games are on the road.
For the first time in at least five years, retired teachers, state workers and school system employees could see an increase in their pension checks.
Lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration shared a collective sigh of relief with the news that Louisiana's tax amnesty program brought in the $200 million that they used to help balance this year's budget.
Drew Brees often makes the extraordinary look routine, particularly during night games in the Superdome.
The teams were extended invitations Sunday for the New Year's Day matchup played at Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
If all 44 projects are approved, about $300 million would remain in the fund set up as a down payment to help the Gulf.
Last week, the Saints gave up 429 yards to Seattle, second most in a game this season.
Since Anthony Jennings and Brooks Haack were not expected to contribute until next year at the earliest, it seemed like a sneak peek at hidden Christmas gifts.
Louisiana National Guard personnel seeking benefits for same-sex spouses will have an easier time filing the requests, despite a state refusal to let its workers process the paperwork.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera sees one potential flaw with his team's stellar defensive play so far this season. "Apparently we like to bite on the double moves," Rivera said.
Computer hackers may have gained access to the personal information of thousands of Louisiana residents who use debit cards issued by JPMorgan Chase for three state agencies, authorities said Wednesday.
Jim Purcell, who has been in the job since February 2011, notified the Board of Regents about his decision at its monthly meeting.