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 U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Odell Beckham on the catch; chaos in Ferguson; snowstorm set to snarl travel and more national and international news for Tuesday, November 25, 2014.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Saints Street cottage or River Ranch condo
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Facing opposition from a powerful industry, the governor and many in the Legislature, a New Orleans-area flood board's lawsuit against dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies seemed doomed early on.
"I want to take an opportunity to thank the people of Lafayette for allowing me to serve you for the last three years as your school superintendent."
After Thanksgiving, the small town of Moreauville plans to confiscate and kill all rottweilers and pitbulls, including a service dog.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.