Three cheers for the calendar, people. We live for two seasons here in Acadiana — gumbo and crawfish. One is upon us and it feels great. The cool fronts are beginning to roll in from the plains, high schools and colleges are playing football, the Saints begin the ’09 season Sunday, the MLB pennant race is in full tilt, Downtown Alive! kicks off Friday, and the fall festivals are starting their engines. And to top it off, so-far-so-good as we move through the busiest stretch of the hurricane season. No complaints here. Sprinkle on a little filé, and we’re good to go.
The case is so large, so extensive and disturbing that a Terrebonne Parish grand jury will consider it exclusively. Seven employees of the parish’s juvenile detention center are facing charges in connection with allegations that adult workers at the facility were trading favors such as extra snacks and phone calls for sex. Five of the seven face molestation charges; two are accused of covering up the misdeeds. Allegations began surfacing last spring, and the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case says he has amassed so much evidence, he “didn’t want to tie up the regular grand jury and keep them from doing the work they have to do on other cases,” according to The Courier in Houma. Five teenage girls are said to be victims at this point, but more may come forward, and more arrests are expected.
It’s the cold case police cracked lickety-split. A 42-year-old Baker woman with a string of convictions muffed it again, getting arrested last week after a surveillance video in a quickie mart caught her doing an awkward waddle out of the store with a case of beer lodged between her legs. The camera shows the 42-year-old suspect snatching the brew by forcing it between her thighs and covering it with her pink muumuu. She is also accused of stuffing bottles of soda into her dress. The suspect’s freedom was undercut after police released the surveillance video to local TV stations, which had no small amount of fun with the story
Is it a crime for citizens to photograph, video, or take notes of a police officer in the line of duty, or a right protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Locally, such activity, as witnessed recently, will at the very least result in a night spent behind bars.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies.