Freshman state Rep. Stephen Ortego is teaming up with Lafayette Parish School System Superintendent Pat Cooper in an innovative attempt to bring Cooper’s proven model of school-based health and wellness to Lafayette Parish. Ortego has introduced legislation that if passed would create a formal partnership between LPSS and University Medical Center. The goals of the partnership outlined in House Bill 867 are, among other things, to provide primary care services to students and their families with an emphasis on preventive care, and to make the model one that can be replicated in other communities. Cooper’s approach to neutralizing problems in public schools by addressing issues facing pre-school children and their families in poverty helped turn around school districts in West Feliciana Parish and McComb, Miss., where he formerly served as super. “Dr. Cooper has already proven that comprehensive school reform is best achieved through a truly comprehensive health and wellness model in public schools,” Ortego says in a press release announcing the legislation. “It may also be a great fit for our LSU hospital system which already specializes in caring for the communities that need it the most.”
Gov. Bobby Jindal sent “a chilling message,” as gubernatorial gadfly/blogger C.B. Forgotston aptly put it, when he fired the executive director of the state Office of Elderly Affairs last week after she spoke candidly — and contrary to the administration party line — about a plan in the governor’s proposed budget to consolidate her office within the much larger bureaucracy of the Department of Health and Hospitals. Mary Manuel told a legislative committee she thought the move would diminish the state’s ability to serve Louisiana’s elderly population. For her candor Manuel was rewarded the next day with a pink slip, delivered in the form of a phone call from a Jindal underling. Granted, state agency directors serve at the pleasure of the governor, but as political commentators rightly observe, Jindal’s ouster of Manuel reinforces the notion that state lawmakers will only get yes-man (and woman) assessments of state operations and policies from Jindal’s appointees — not honesty.
We held our collective tongue recently after the brain trust at UL’s student newspaper decided it would be a good idea to sell the front page of The Vermilion — the front damn page! — to an advertiser. Even university-underwritten student newspapers are cash-starved we guess. But last week’s crudely rendered — editorially as well as artistically — cartoon pantomiming the most threadbare cliché about black America’s insatiable fondness for fried chicken was just, well, stupid. The cartoon depicts a black customer opting for a more expensive version of a high-end television because the set, as the salesman puts it, “comes bundled with grape soda and a bucket of fried chicken.” Yes, they did. The Verm’s editor defended the cartoon, telling KATC it was drawn by a black cartoonist and a black person wouldn’t do anything to offend blacks. Unfortunately the many black students at the university who were offended didn’t get that memo. And grape soda? Really?
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.