Written by The Independent Staff
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Festival International de Louisiane introduced several new innovations for this year’s event, an iPhone app and social media stage scheduling among them. And the best free festival on the planet is offering another innovation most of us will embrace: a smoke-free festival. FIL is merely encouraging smokers to snuff (and shake) their butts; there will be no cigarette police on patrol. And the country-come-to-town factor has always been far lower for Fest than it is for Mardi Gras, so it stands to reason that smokers — increasingly a blue-collar demographic — will be fewer anyway. But if even some of the festival-going smokers partake away from the populated areas — especially the stages where the humanity gets thick and the air is shared — we’ll all breathe a little easier.
Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Brandon Shelvin is continuing to shirk his financial obligations — and this time he’s hit a new low: The bishop of his church and the bishop’s wife have been pulled into Shelvin’s ever-expanding financial crisis. Last week Liberty Bank & Trust Co. filed suit against Shelvin, also naming Stanley and Cora Sinegal, claiming Shelvin defaulted on the loan. In early 2008, Shelvin borrowed $70,000, and the Sinegals pledged as collateral property they own at 755 JL Drive in Scott, valued at $100,000. When contacted by us Thursday, Stanley Sinegal said he was unaware of the lawsuit and did not even know Shelvin was in default. “This is news to me,” said Sinegal, the bishop of First United Full Gospel Assembly in Lafayette. The loan was to finance vehicles as part of his partnership with Shelvin in the used car dealership, Thrifty Way Car Sales. “The dealership went bottom up, but I had no idea it was at this extent,” he added, cutting the interview short. “I’m going to have to end this, because this is upsetting. I need to make a phone call. ... I’ll get back to you.” Sinegal could not be reached for follow-up by press time Monday; as usual, Shelvin did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Open letter to Kevin Ray, the Opelousas resident and former LUS employee sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, and doing it on his LCG-issued laptop: Dear Kevin, seriously, you didn’t know that every 15-year-old girl in a sleazy online chat room is an undercover police officer trying to catch creeps? Teenage girls don’t frequent chat rooms, Kevin; they hang out at the mall, and on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, and they’re feverishly texting. They’re not trawling the ’net for 45-year-old men sucking Viagra like lozenges at their work computers. We hope your time in the hoosegow is spent productively. Remember, don’t drop the soap.
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Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be a way for the company and victims of the spill to avoid years of costly litigation — if all the pieces fall into place.
BP says it recently obtained correspondence between Patrick Juneau's Lafayette law firm and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility showing he argued for liberal compensation, flexible documentation requirements and other terms that would help Louisiana claimants at BP's expense.
The circumstances surrounding the death last March while in the backseat of a sheriff’s cruiser of Victor White III, long a source of dispute by White’s family, have earned an investigation by federal officials.
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With six of the LPSB’s nine members poised for Pat Cooper’s termination, a request was filed Tuesday for a fast-tracked hearing on the federal lawsuit calling for the disqualification of two board members from voting on the matter due to bias.
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Louisiana's Republican Party has filed a complaint against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu with the Senate's ethics committee about her use of private chartered planes.
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An attorney signs up to run against LPSB's Mark Cockerham, and within a week a lawsuit is filed by a former LPSS employee in an attempt to disqualify him. Coincidence?
According to Gov. Bobby Jindal, President Barack Obama needs to stop talking about “justice” and start murdering people, even if we have to go alone.
A replacement is expected by January to fill the vacancy left when Greg Roberts resigned after allegedly pointing a fake gun at an engineer during a June meeting.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
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A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
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The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
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Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.