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?
Co-founder Ryan Trahan goes solo to keep it local.
Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be a way for the company and victims of the spill to avoid years of costly litigation — if all the pieces fall into place.
BP says it recently obtained correspondence between Patrick Juneau's Lafayette law firm and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility showing he argued for liberal compensation, flexible documentation requirements and other terms that would help Louisiana claimants at BP's expense.
The circumstances surrounding the death last March while in the backseat of a sheriff’s cruiser of Victor White III, long a source of dispute by White’s family, have earned an investigation by federal officials.
Lafayette patio home or Port Barre waterfront cottage
With six of the LPSB’s nine members poised for Pat Cooper’s termination, a request was filed Tuesday for a fast-tracked hearing on the federal lawsuit calling for the disqualification of two board members from voting on the matter due to bias.
A few of my favorite things
Louisiana's Republican Party has filed a complaint against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu with the Senate's ethics committee about her use of private chartered planes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An attorney signs up to run against LPSB's Mark Cockerham, and within a week a lawsuit is filed by a former LPSS employee in an attempt to disqualify him. Coincidence?
According to Gov. Bobby Jindal, President Barack Obama needs to stop talking about “justice” and start murdering people, even if we have to go alone.
A replacement is expected by January to fill the vacancy left when Greg Roberts resigned after allegedly pointing a fake gun at an engineer during a June meeting.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.