Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ginger Rabalais, the Youngsville resident who generously allowed use of her property for a temporary bypass road in order to save the city’s Heritage Oak, makes a compelling case for this week’s c’est bon. But the honor has to go to the Lafayette High boys soccer team and coach Jeremy Cart. On Feb. 6, near the end of a playoff game against Pineville, the LHS skipper approached his Cen-La counterpart and offered to let a Pineville senior player who had just taken the field score a goal. That player, Ross Barron, has Down Syndrome. Pineville coach Grant Eloi told KATC he teared up when Cart made the offer. Players on both teams embraced the gesture and worked in unison, and Barron scored his first and only goal as a high school soccer player that night. Final score: Lafayette 8 - Pineville 1. The Mighty Lions went on to defeat East Ascension 5-2 and at press time were preparing to take on STM in the state quarterfinals Feb. 15.

Paula Scott could be key to a grand jury determining whether charges should be filed stemming from the Lafayette Housing Authority fiasco. But Scott’s problems are more immediate. Last week District Attorney Mike Harson told The Ind that, upon further review, Scott was thousands of dollars behind on restitution after pleading guilty in May 2010 to diverting $46,000 in hurricane assistance money to family and friends while employed at Acadiana Outreach. Scott, who recently signed an affidavit indicating she worked for former City-Parish Councilman Chris Williams in the LHA’s Disaster Housing Assistance Program — it’s beyond ironic that DHAP helps hurricane victims, because Scott helped herself to funds intended for same — was supposed to be paying $769 per month. In fact, Harson estimates, Scott has only paid about $250 total.

We’re not sure which is the tail and which is the dog, but something ain’t wagging right at the Lafayette Parish School System. Members of the school board were right to raise a collective eyebrow last week when they learned that Kenny Mire, the shamelessly mulleted bus driver who had been enjoying a posh paid suspension for the last 15 months following a DWI arrest, had been pulled back into service as a bus attendant. Mire’s assignment was at the behest of the central office, which was advised by its lawyer that paying Mire his $17,000 annual salary without receiving any services from Mire might violate the state constitution, even though other public employees like police officers are routinely suspended with pay pending investigation/adjudication. At the crux of this imbroglio is the fact that bus drivers in Louisiana receive tenure, which prohibited the board from canning Mire or, at the very least, placing him on unpaid suspension pending the conclusion of his case.

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