All we can say is it’s about time. Thanks to City-Parish Councilman William Theriot, we now know what a mess the Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority has been for God knows how long. The Legislative Auditor slammed the public trust’s board and its longtime attorney in an advisory services report (it wasn’t even a full-blown audit), noting that every year since 2008 two different independent audit firms reported to the entity that it had significant deficiencies and material weaknesses in its accounting and financial statements. The deficiencies were still present when the Legislative Auditor came calling. Shockingly, the LPTFA does not even prepare or adopt an annual budget, despite that it is required to do so by state law, and — worst of all — LPTFA’s lack of an ethics code and training for its board members was likely a factor in ethics charges against its former chairman, Greg Gachassin. Those charges, filed by the Board of Ethics last year, prompted Theriot and community activists like Carol Ross to call for an inquiry into its operations. These are only a few of the problems cited in the report. Let’s hope the council demands some answers from LPTFA’s board and its attorney, Richard Becker.
It was with shock and dismay that Lafayette learned longtime Festival International de Louisiane Executive Director Dana Baker abruptly resigned her position and parted ways with the board. To outside observers festival operations were running like the German rail system, with our beloved April shindig getting bigger and better — almost to the point of outgrowing downtown Lafayette — each year during her tenure. What was inexplicable in the divorce was how tight-lipped both sides were in revealing the reason for the departure, leading to no small amount of speculation and some unfortunate rumors that painted a picture of parochialism and small-town politics run amok. Baker’s abrupt departure also precluded implementing a smooth succession plan. When a respected executive at a beloved entity resigns suddenly and without reason, something’s up, and in this case silence isn’t golden — it’s ugly.
What used to be known as the “Sore Four” on the Lafayette Parish School Board has grown into a simple(-minded) majority with the spoiling of board member Tehmi Chassion, and they’re making Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives look downright cooperative. Their goal, evidently, is to oppose Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper at every turn, students and schools be damned, and they’ve taken throwing the baby out with the bath water to new lows. Most recently the board voted 5-4 to yank half the funding from an innovative aspect of Cooper’s Turnaround Plan that would provide teen moms in the school district with special educational services and training along with childcare. The program planned for Northside High is also designed to get those teen moms’ children academically prepared for kindergarten, and upon graduation, the mothers would receive certification qualifying them to work in child care. Chassion, who represents Northside High, joined the obstructionist faction on the board in voting to pull the funding.
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.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.