The eight-part investigative series from The Times-Picayune on the state of Louisiana’s prison system gave Louisianans a troubling glimpse of how we became — and why we remain — the world’s prison capital. But included in the staggering statistics was one shining tidbit about Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mike Neustrom and his efforts to offer training and rehabilitation services to the state and local prisoners he houses in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. In its “Louisiana Incarcerated” series, The T-P reports that Neustrom, “one of the few Louisiana sheriffs who has made rehabilitating inmates a priority,” spends roughly $2.5 million a year on education, mental health and substance abuse programs for prisoners; he’s been described as a model for other local sheriffs to follow in trying to correct the decades-old debacle of housing state prisoners for parish profit.
Lafayette Consolidated Government appears ready to follow through with City-Parish President Joey Durel’s pledge to sever LCG’s relationship with the city of Broussard. According to the smaller Lafayette Parish municipality, LCG is declining to renew a $40,000 contract with Broussard to provide fire protection to unincorporated parts of Broussard. The town learned the news this week when Broussard Fire Chief Bryan Champagne contacted his counterpart in Lafayette, Chief Robert Benoit. Champagne is assuring residents in unincorporated Lafayette Parish that Broussard will respond to calls in their area. Amy Jones, a Lafayette-based publicist who is representing Broussard in its ongoing public relations battle with Durel and LCG, accuses Durel and consolidated government of risking public safety to grind an ax: “We cannot continue to play games with public safety and put citizens in the unincorporated areas at risk,” Jones says. “The city of Broussard will continue responding as long as it can, but the city of Lafayette’s refusal to sign this contract will eventually lead to less fire protection in the unincorporated areas.” Can this rocky relationship get any worse? Oh, yeah.
The 15 freshman GOP representatives in the House Tea Party Caucus rode a populist, anti-bailout wave into Congress in 2010, castigating the federal government for its bailouts of Wall Street and the auto industry and their attendant contribution to the national debt. If they shared one thing in common it was the ire they reserved especially for the Wall Street “Too Big to Fail” bailout, otherwise known as the Troubled Assets Relief Program, a Bush administration initiative they hung around the neck of Bush’s successor. Yet according to an analysis of federal campaign contributions, voting records and public statements by the 15 conducted by the group ThinkProgress, each of those Tea Party freshmen has taken thousands of dollars from political action committees representing TARP-rescued financial institutions, and now they’re effectively shills for Wall Street. Most have also taken campaign cash from the American Bankers Association. One of their members, U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry of New Iberia was the least egregious among them, accepting less than $3,000 from a TARP entity and nothing from the ABA.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.