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.
Abshire has rejoined the Lafayette Bar Association, where she previously served as marketing coordinator under longtime Executive Director Susan Holliday
Home-grown Baton Rouge market/deli heads to Lafayette.
Deadline for submitting noms for annual competition is March 15
Whitney Bank officials have confirmed that the downtown branch will cease to exist when it relocates its regional headquarters to River Ranch at the end of May.
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Downtown Lafayette restaurant launches new concept near Le Triomphe
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Yeah, it's smoked venison sausage stuffed in a suckling pig stuffed in a lamb and roasted over an open fire.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Reamco founders Brent Milam and Ashley Lane now shareholders in acquiring company and part of its management team.
Low heels, high style
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.