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?
Jindal describes the privatization as a cost-cutting move to save the state more than $100 million this year, while improving services and medical training.
A Baton Rouge judge is reconsidering his decision to throw out Gov. Bobby Jindal's revamp of teacher tenure and salary laws.
Ambassador François Delattre will also receive an honorary doctorate of francophone studies at the commencement at the Cajundome.
During the past seven games, the Saints have forced two turnovers — a league low during that span. Now they're trying to figure out what has changed since their first seven games, when they forced 15 turnovers.
Choice cuts from Acadiana’s news media for Friday, Dec. 20, 2013:
For many fans, it was their third consecutive year participating in French Quarter parade.
Sugar, spice and everything nice
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, December 20, 2013:
Last minute game day options
Jaryd Lane channels Bob Seger and his inner modern cowboy on ‘78.’
Lafayette Parish School Board member Greg Awbrey deserves an attaboy for his unexpected vote during Wednesday’s meeting approving a mediation session between the board and Superintendent Pat Cooper.
The cable television network's suspension of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson from the hit reality show has drawn criticism from the governor of Robertson's home state.
The State Bond Commission gave preliminary approval to the borrowing plan Thursday without objection.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal has upheld a district court ruling out of Opelousas that could have wide-ranging effects on the tax burden of the Louisiana oil and gas industry.
Eat your way through New Orleans over the bowl weekend with this guide to local dining. Go hungry, leave satisfied.
The Pediatric Clinic is housed in the same location previously closed by state budget cuts in June 2012.
Chitimacha Tribe celebrates humble beginnings to becoming Louisiana's first land-based casino.
Lafayette businessman Mike Moreno’s Green Field Energy Services announced Tuesday a plan to sell the business and assets as part of its bankruptcy reorganization effort.
Three-term Louisiana senator facing tough re-election battle is next in line for Energy Committee chairmanship.
In a letter distributed during Wednesday night's meeting, Lafayette Parish School Board member Shelton Cobb, in his final meeting as board president, called on his fellow board members to start focusing on the children and stop battling Superintendent Pat Cooper.