Wednesday May 23, 2012
At last report the state Senate Finance Committee was demonstrating the restorative power of wisdom in the face of the House’s slash-and-burn budget priorities. Committee members late last week struck a receptive tone to state Inspector General Stephen Street’s pleas to restore his office’s budget, which the House cut as it finalized the state budget for the coming fiscal year. The 24-year-old IG office, established by former Gov. Buddy Roemer and made permanent by Gov. Bobby Jindal as part of his 2008 ethics reform agenda, has proven itself to be an effective, independent means of ferreting out corruption in Louisiana’s halls of power. As the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana correctly posits, Louisiana “needs a self-motivated watchdog agency to stop waste, mismanagement, abuse and fraud in executive-branch government.”
Louisiana’s representation in Congress — two senators and seven representatives — is a bunch of sophomores when it comes to the level of sophistication at work in their speeches delivered in their respective chambers. The state’s congressional delegation averaged out at a 10.6 grade level for the complexity of their speeches, based on an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation, a non-partisan, open-government group whose researchers ran the Congressional Record through a computer algorithm. That’s dead-on average for Congress as a whole. The most troubling aspect of the data is not that the Louisiana delegation speaks collectively at the level of a sophomore in high school, it’s that the entire Congress’ speech has fallen nearly a full grade level since 2005 — from 11.5 seven years ago — when the foundation began rating congressional speeches. One could argue that the Tea Party has had a dumbing-down effect on Congress: Of the 20 members with the lowest scores for grade-level speech, 85 percent are Republicans, 65 percent are freshmen and 90 percent are members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Buttressing this supposition, Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia and a freshman GOP member of the Tea Party Caucus, scored the lowest in the Bayou State delegation — at the 8.6 grade level or 518th among the 531 members.
A sportswriter’s frustration with tardy statistics led last week to national notoriety and to his new persona: former sportswriter. Kade Siebold was canned by the tiny — it doesn’t even have a website; what newspaper doesn’t have a website? — Rayne Independent, a weekly paper in the small Acadia Parish town, after inserting into a story about the statistical achievements of the Rayne High softball team the line, “Hailey Habetz had great [sic] year on the mound but unfortunately no stats were available due to the coach’s bulls**t and laziness.” The asterisks are ours, but the sentiment no doubt is shared by every sportswriter who has ever had to wait for a coach to call in numbers as deadline looms. In fact, Siebold told KATC that although the insertion was a mistake and he regrets it, he heard from sportswriters and bloggers “telling me that I’m their hero because I printed something that they’ve always wanted to print.” In other words, Kade Siebold took one for the team.
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seenh on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
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.
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.
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