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.
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.