The U.S. appears to be moving away from medical research on chimpanzees, announcing in late September that the National Institutes of Health will retire all 110 of its 563 research chimpanzees housed at UL Lafayette’s New Iberia Research Center. Non NIH-owned chimps will remain at the controversial facility. The Humane Society of the United States welcomed the NIH’s decision to make the chimps at the center “permanently ineligible” for research. NIH is moving 10 of the chimps to Chimp Haven, a sanctuary here in the state, and the remaining 100 are being sent to a research facility in San Antonio but will not be used for research. All of them will be moved out of NIRC before August 2013. NIRC, where The HSUS conducted a comprehensive and widely publicized undercover investigation in 2009, will no longer be receiving funds from NIH for chimpanzee research. “This is a significant step in winding down NIH’s investment in chimpanzee research based on the way science has evolved and our great sensitivity to the special nature of these remarkable animals, our closest relatives,” NIH Director Francis S. Collins told the Washington Post. He said the NIRC decided not to seek NIH funding for its chimpanzee program beyond August of next year, a decision that provided an opportunity for NIH to permanently move those chimps out of research.
Louisiana’s people are getting poorer, according to recent data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. That data was used by the economic news site 24/7 Wall St. to compile a top 10 of the nation’s richest and poorest states. Taking seventh place among the country’s poorest states was Louisiana, which had a 20.4 percent poverty rate in 2011 — 1.7 percentage points higher than in 2010. That makes Louisiana, according to Census Bureau data, the third most poverty-stricken state in the nation. Statewide, there are about 910,000 people living below the poverty line. For a single person, that equates to an annual income of less than $11,170 a year, or $19,090 a year for a three-person family. Also on the rise is the number of Louisianans deemed to be living in “deep poverty,” which is half the annual income established for the base poverty line. The number of deeply impoverished residents — about 419,000, or 9.4 percent of the population — climbed 8.1 percentage points from 2010. The Census Bureau data also shows that more black Louisianans, 34.7 percent, live in poverty, compared to 13.1 percent of the state’s white population.
Lafayette residents who fear that “smart meters” will sap their vitality, scramble their brains or otherwise render them incapable of living rich, fulfilling, private lives will have to pay a smidgen over $12 per month to keep one foot in the 20th century, assuming the City-Parish Council approves an ordinance setting the opt-out charge at $12.20/month. LUS began converting to so-called smart meters — meters that transmit utility-usage data remotely and consequently don’t require monthly visits from meter readers — in an effort to spy on, sorry, an effort to promote efficiency. Proponents say the new meters will also detect abnormalities in usage that can signal leaking water pipes or dangerous electrical situations, helping customers reduce their utility bills and not die. The meters are being installed through a Smart Grid Investment Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Smart meters came under attack from the Tin Foil Brigade as soon as they were announced, and in February the City-Parish Council approved an ordinance letting customers opt out of having the meters installed at their homes and businesses. According to an LUS memorandum sent to council members earlier this month, about 430 LUS customers, or less than 1 percent, opted out.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Citizens, you have less than a week to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election. Remember, if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the outcome. Well, you can but it’s kind of hypocritical.
After being forced out by its former landlords last year, the community garden has a new location and a 10-year lease.
The party says it has hit a milestone, reaching 10,000 registered voters in the state.
Defensive captain Junior Galette is disgusted by the Saints' sluggish start.
The use of $60 million in Louisiana's public school financing formula to pay for nearly three dozen charter schools violates the state constitution, a statewide teachers' union claimed Monday in a lawsuit.
Security breach at White House; Bejing won't back down from protesters; pressure on third-graders and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 30, 2014.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Lafayette Regional seeking new leadership after longtime director Greg Roberts’ June resignation.
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
T&T show behind the scenes
Four bedroom in Breaux Bridge or four bedroom in Opelousas
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims decreased to 2,068 from the previous week's total of 2,071. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,494 claims.
Museum of Fear opens its 2014 season with more scares than ever before.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The endorsements keep coming for District 9 LPSB candidate Jeremy Hidalgo, who picked up his fifth vow of support Thursday, this time from the Chamber’s political action committee.
Three bedroom traditional Broussard house or two bedroom Lafayette townhome
Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter will be out knocking on doors this weekend with anti-abortion activists encouraging people to vote against his colleague, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
The ACLU of Louisiana has sued Abbeville's mayor and police chief over a policy barring police from any social media use showing the city in a bad light.
Prospective Republican presidential candidates are expected to promote "religious liberty" at home and abroad at a gathering of religious conservatives Friday, with anti-Obama speeches from the likes of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The American Zombie blog by New Orleans independent journalist Jason Berry has a photograph of U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier having dinner with Lafayette attorney Pat Juneau — yeah, that Pat Juneau, the BP claims administrator whose fate Barbier will soon decide.