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.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
I was interested to hear what Lessig would say to an almost exclusively conservative audience of successful businessmen and businesswomen in the heart of what is now a deeply red area of the country.
Three bedroom traditional or two bedroom Victorian cottage
Snuggle worthy wear
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Louisiana's Republican governor has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration, accusing it of illegally using federal grant money and regulations to force states to adopt the Common Core education standards.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Fifa under fire for fake turf plans; freed journalist back home; corporate conversions rising and more national and international news for Wednesday, August 27, 2014.
Newly established honor recognizes outstanding local attorneys; Neuner and McGoffin win President's Award; and Blanchard named Outstanding Young Lawyer.
Daily paper constructing new digs near production plant on Rieger Road at Siegen Lane, near I-10.
Investigation finds Arnaud’s Furniture, Carroll Building Specialties and Crazy Charlie’s Shoes running misleading going-out-of-business sales.
Critics say workers and retirees are being held responsible for the Jindal administration's mismanagement of their program.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
"This is yet another example of the failed leadership and lack of focus that Hunter Beasley has exhibited. He’s shown zero regard for kids, teachers or even passing a budget for the school year that’s already started."
Five bedroom Acadian style home or four bedroom traditional home
Cutting edge if you dare
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.
"Just as the devil does not deserve equal time with God, and a lie does not deserve equal time with the truth, the remarks of William Donahue have no place in any respectable journal seriously dealing with a serious story and pursuing truth."
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her lead GOP challenger Congressman Bill Cassidy are running close when it comes to money. Landrieu has $5.5 million to Cassidy’s $5.6 million in the bank.
With expectations mounting that Gov. Bobby Jindal will soon announce his campaign for president, attention is turning to not only who he will bring along with him but also what will transpire politically back home during the transition.