Nearly 15 years in the making and created out of the tragedy of beloved Lafayette musician (and physician) Tommy Comeaux’s death in a cycling accident in 1997, a bachelor’s degree in traditional music — read, Cajun and zydeco — is nearly a reality at UL Lafayette. The university announced recently that the Louisiana Board of Regents has approved the new bachelor of arts program in music focusing on traditional music and the music business. The university in the epicenter of Cajun/Creole culture is awaiting the National Association of Schools of Music to grant accreditation for the program, which will not only teach indigenous music to our sons and daughters but will also be a source of employment for hard-working musicians in traditional music — an art form that provides much joy to locals and a tourism dollars in our coffers but often, unfortunately, something less than a livable wage for its practitioners. Read more about the program on Page 10.
Local officials appear to have been simply doing their jobs in the case involving allegations of inappropriate touching by a Lafayette teacher — except for the police department’s decision to arrest Katie Champagne, 30, for indecent behavior with juveniles before collecting more evidence. Last week a grand jury declined to accept charges against the Lafayette High dance teacher, whom six students claimed had inappropriately touched their breasts and buttocks — in class, in front of other students, all while a video camera was recording. Champagne’s attorney, William Goode, says had police waited for the grand jury to hear the evidence, Champagne would not have been arrested. “In this day and time, everybody has to be hyper-vigilant,” says Goode, arguing Champagne being removed from the classroom and placed on administrative leave would have been a more appropriate course of action, one that would have spared her and her family much expense and humiliation. Champagne has a stellar teaching record, no criminal history and is married and living in the area, posing no risk of flight, he says. Asked if the students simply misinterpreted the touching as something inappropriate, the lawyer remarks, “I think it was more [that the students were] out to get her than misinterpretation.”
How quickly will the St. Martin Parish School board burn through $88,000? Infinitely more quickly than it took the 450 acres of cypress and tupelo trees in a swath of the Atchafalaya Basin to grow into a harvestable commodity. In an epic exercise in short-sightedness, the board last week voted to sell off the acreage in Section 16 of the basin to timber company Good Hope Inc. for what amounts to the entry level salaries of a few teachers. That’s a pristine habitat for migratory birds, a hurricane buffer and a symbol of Louisiana’s natural beauty and abundance in exchange for one-time chump change. All hope isn’t lost, however: It looks like the group Atchafalaya Basinkeepers is poised to fight the sale on legal grounds, and if enough citizens who give a damn about the basin get behind the effort, who knows?
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Oscar de la Renta dies; Pistorius sentenced; World Series begins and more national and international news for Tuesday, October 21, 2014.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
Three bedroom in Lawtell or two bedroom in Rayne
Fall's new darling
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
"I feel it is appropriate to speak up when there are topics that are being bandied about with little or no factual data to back them."
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Two bedroom cottage in Lafayette or three bedroom traditional in Erath
Gulf Brew ready threads
Lawmakers have sidestepped a decision on whether they accept claims from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration that the state closed last year's books with a nearly $179 million surplus.
Coming off the high of a fourth quarter comeback against Tampa Bay and a helpful bye week, linebacker Junior Galette sees a real turnaround coming for New Orleans' struggling defense.
Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
We welcome nominations from readers and leaders throughout the business community in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Ebola is kind of terrifying if you watch too much Fox News and CNN. Especially Fox, which makes everything look terrifying because, well, War on Christmas and Obama and all.
Local developer’s Lake Charles Gardens LLC purchases buildings and leases; land still owned by Dugas family.
One bedroom townhouse or two bedroom townhouse in Lafayette
Hit the barre for a good cause
Whatever district you are in, please do your research. Find out what the schools need in order to teach. Better yet, ask your child’s teacher. They know!
Get your groove on with two free concerts in Downtown Lafayette Friday, both at Parc Sans Souci.
After the season's signature win (so far), here are some helpful tips for Cajun Nation during the conference stretch.