Written by The Independent Staff
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
The Louisiana Supreme Court, in reversing last week a Third Circuit Court of Appeal ruling that green-lighted a convicted felon’s candidacy for elected office, clarified an important aspect of state election law and underscored a universal tenet: Do the crime, do the time. Ernal Broussard wants to be a member of the Abbeville City Council. Problem is, he pleaded guilty five years ago to a federal felony — aiding and abetting an illegal gambling operation. State law says convicted felons have to wait 15 years after completion of sentence before running for office. Incumbent Francis Touchet Jr. challenged Broussard’s eligibility. A district court judge in Lafayette disqualified Broussard. The Third Circuit overruled, reasoning that the federal felony may not be a state felony. The high court settled the matter, ruling that it is.
The spring session is almost here, time for the annual running of the funding gauntlet by arts councils and cultural providers statewide. The executive budget released in February seeks a 41-percent reduction to both Decentralized Arts Funding and Statewide Arts Grants, two critical state-funded programs that help underwrite the festivals, fairs and other cultural activities that make Louisiana a destination for tourists worldwide. Forty-one percent is draconian, more so when total funding in 2009 for both programs was under $5 million, which is closer to a molecule than a drop in the budget bucket. If Louisiana government can throw down $50 million to save 1,600 jobs at a chicken plant, $5 million to buttress a cultural economy that employs many more sounds like a bird brainer.
There’s nothing like using your police department for a little paramilitary black-ops to keep residents on their toes. It was a trademark of former Opelousas Police Chief Larry Caillier, whose now legendary live-action police drills included an infamous mock hostage crisis at the Federal Building in Opelousas and a ‘terrorism situation enactment’ at a 9-11 memorial replete with explosions, tanks and an actor playing an Arab terrorist. In that grand tradition comes Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry Deen. Last week, Deen’s office announced it is launching a program called “Operation Exodus,” a policing plan for an end-of-the-world scenario involving a quasi-militia of ex-cops and a “war wagon” with a mounted .50 caliber machine gun. Lest you think Deen has been watching too much Mad Max, the inspiration for this apocalypto police state is actually, in part, the Bible. The part where all hell breaks loose.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
I was interested to hear what Lessig would say to an almost exclusively conservative audience of successful businessmen and businesswomen in the heart of what is now a deeply red area of the country.
Three bedroom traditional or two bedroom Victorian cottage
Snuggle worthy wear
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Louisiana's Republican governor has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration, accusing it of illegally using federal grant money and regulations to force states to adopt the Common Core education standards.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
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Newly established honor recognizes outstanding local attorneys; Neuner and McGoffin win President's Award; and Blanchard named Outstanding Young Lawyer.
Daily paper constructing new digs near production plant on Rieger Road at Siegen Lane, near I-10.
Investigation finds Arnaud’s Furniture, Carroll Building Specialties and Crazy Charlie’s Shoes running misleading going-out-of-business sales.
Critics say workers and retirees are being held responsible for the Jindal administration's mismanagement of their program.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
"This is yet another example of the failed leadership and lack of focus that Hunter Beasley has exhibited. He’s shown zero regard for kids, teachers or even passing a budget for the school year that’s already started."
Five bedroom Acadian style home or four bedroom traditional home
Cutting edge if you dare
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.
"Just as the devil does not deserve equal time with God, and a lie does not deserve equal time with the truth, the remarks of William Donahue have no place in any respectable journal seriously dealing with a serious story and pursuing truth."
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her lead GOP challenger Congressman Bill Cassidy are running close when it comes to money. Landrieu has $5.5 million to Cassidy’s $5.6 million in the bank.
With expectations mounting that Gov. Bobby Jindal will soon announce his campaign for president, attention is turning to not only who he will bring along with him but also what will transpire politically back home during the transition.