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.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
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We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
Three bedroom in Lawtell or two bedroom in Rayne
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The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
"I feel it is appropriate to speak up when there are topics that are being bandied about with little or no factual data to back them."
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Two bedroom cottage in Lafayette or three bedroom traditional in Erath
Gulf Brew ready threads
Lawmakers have sidestepped a decision on whether they accept claims from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration that the state closed last year's books with a nearly $179 million surplus.
Coming off the high of a fourth quarter comeback against Tampa Bay and a helpful bye week, linebacker Junior Galette sees a real turnaround coming for New Orleans' struggling defense.
Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
We welcome nominations from readers and leaders throughout the business community in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Ebola is kind of terrifying if you watch too much Fox News and CNN. Especially Fox, which makes everything look terrifying because, well, War on Christmas and Obama and all.
Local developer’s Lake Charles Gardens LLC purchases buildings and leases; land still owned by Dugas family.