Wednesday, March 21, 2012
With little surprise but with much fanfare Lafayette proudly accepted the sobriquet “South’s Tastiest Town” last week during a reception at the Acadiana Center of the Arts. The distinction came complements of Lafayette garnering nearly 200,000 votes in the eponymous contest sponsored by Southern Living magazine. We beat Louisville, Ky., by about 35,000. Louisville is best known for the dish ... well, they have the Kentucky Derby. That’s something. In all more than half a million people voted in the competition among 10 cities, most of them metropoli with far larger populations than ours. Competing city Houston probably wasn’t helped much when one of its own food writers raved in January about Lafayette’s food scene, noting especially the success of locally owned restaurants: “What I really adored about Lafayette, though, is how — by the nature of the strong Cajun culture there — the town is light-years ahead of other cities in its emphasis on supporting local businesses.”
Political payback has a long, bipartisan history in state politics, so it came as little surprise last week when Rep. Harold Ritchie, D-Bogalusa, was canned from his post as vice chairman of the House Committee on Insurance by Speaker Chuck Kleckley. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s choice for the top leadership post in the House was coy about the ouster, reserving public comment to praise for Ritchie’s effectiveness as a lawmaker. Mmm-hmm. Ritchie’s transgression against Team Jindal had nothing to do with insurance issues; instead it was for voting against an education tax rebate plan pushed by Jindal, and it amounted to another signal from the governor that differences of opinion on the centerpiece of his 2012 legislative agenda will not be tolerated. To paraphrase Sen. Mary Landrieu, if Jindal really wants education reform to be an open process with input from all sides of the issue, Ritchie’s firing sends the wrong signal. If Jindal really wanted that.
Amazingly, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone is still getting his federal prosecutor paycheck — he’s on annual paid leave as of this writing — even though his boss in New Orleans, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, revealed last week that Perricone had confessed to being the anonymous reader who posted hundreds of comments on The Times-Picayune’s website, most of them snarky attacks on Fred Heebe, the River Birch Landfill owner facing a federal corruption probe. Evidently Perricone couldn’t wait for a trail and decided to try Heebe in the court of public opinion. The prosecutor was suspected after the deep-pocketed Heebe hired a former FBI linguist to review nearly 600 comments posted under Perricone’s nom de plume, Henry L Mencken1951. Heebe has filed a defamation suit against Perricone, who has been yanked from the River Birch case and whose anonymous sliming of federal defendants might jeopardize other cases handled by Letten’s office.
Abshire has rejoined the Lafayette Bar Association, where she previously served as marketing coordinator under longtime Executive Director Susan Holliday
Home-grown Baton Rouge market/deli heads to Lafayette.
Deadline for submitting noms for annual competition is March 15
Whitney Bank officials have confirmed that the downtown branch will cease to exist when it relocates its regional headquarters to River Ranch at the end of May.
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Downtown Lafayette restaurant launches new concept near Le Triomphe
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Yeah, it's smoked venison sausage stuffed in a suckling pig stuffed in a lamb and roasted over an open fire.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Reamco founders Brent Milam and Ashley Lane now shareholders in acquiring company and part of its management team.
Low heels, high style
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
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.