Written by The Independent Staff
Wednesday, 7 April 2010

President Barack Obama’s announcement last week of a new policy to open offshore areas for oil and gas exploration and production could be a real shot in the arm for Louisiana’s and Acadiana’s economies — in particular the Eastern Gulf of Mexico because of its proximity to us. The state-based shipyards, fabricators, transportation companies and Acadiana’s many service and supply companies could see a tremendous increase in demand. U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu calls it a welcome change in federal policy and says the announcement “set the stage for the largest expansion of the offshore drilling program since its inception in 1953.” Of course, the plan still has to make it through Congress and regulators.

Seriously? The attorney for teacher Stephen McKay Hurst, 37, says his client wants to straighten out the mess he created at Acadiana High — astonishing actions that allegedly included allowing his students to have sex in his Lafayette apartment so he could film them. Hurst, who has admitted to many of the allegations against him, was arrested March 26. “His biggest concern the whole time is how do I make this right,” Charles Ferrara told the U.S. magistrate last week, according to The Advocate. Federal prosecutor Luke Walker, who was sure to note that Hurst allegedly destroyed his computer, cell phone and video camera when he learned of the investigation, made it clear there will be no making it right. “He was a teacher. These were his students. ... What he was doing was devastating to the children.”

St. Martin Parish Assistant District Attorney Chester Cedars was more than ready to put on his case against 43-year-old Tony Meyers of Church Point. Cedars hoped to put the couillon behind bars, but before the trial could start last week, Meyers pled guilty to felony aggravated cruelty to an animal. (The prosecutor had taken it upon himself to upgrade the original charge from simple cruelty.) In June 2007 Meyers brutalized his horse near Breaux Bridge when the mare refused to get in his trailer. Meyers fashioned a halter of rope and wire — “designed to cause undue torture to the animal,” Cedars says — and proceeded to drive while pulling the horse behind him. The horse was found lying on the ground, still tied to the trailer and clinging to life. Though Meyers’ sentence of three years at hard labor was suspended, his probation prohibits him from owning, training or keeping a horse for three years. He cannot be around a horse for the rest of his life unless he passes a court-monitored psychological evaluation finding he no longer poses a risk to animals. Let’s hope he flunks with flying colors; hell, let’s hope he violates his probation and goes to jail. The horse has since been adopted by a woman in Texas and has made a remarkable recovery, Cedars says.

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