Wednesday, February 23, 2011
By The Independent Staff
We were reminded Saturday night in the Cajundome why UL basketball fans had such high hopes for the Bob Marlin era entering the 2010-2011 season, and why college basketball can be so addictive. Following a head-scratching 3-14 start — including 1-5 in Sun Belt Conference play — and dwindling attendance at the ’dome, the Cajuns have been on fire, winning nine in a row including eight straight conference games, and filling the arena with raving, vermilion-clad fans. And with the success has come a slogan: “Fear the Beard” — a homage to the beards sported by several Cajun players. Fans have taken to wearing fake — and real — beards to games, and the university has rewarded them with discounted tickets for their faux (and real) facial fur. UL hosts Denver Thursday and closes the regular season at UL Monroe Saturday. Wins in both assure the Cajuns a first-round bye in the SBC tournament beginning March 5 in Hot Springs, Ark.
Leadership at the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce no doubt breathed a sigh of relief Saturday night after state Rep. Jonathan Perry edged businessman Nathan Granger in the special election for the state Senate District 26 seat. Last week the chamber blundered into the political arena (again) by endorsing Perry in the race over Granger, who built a small business — what’s a chamber of commerce’s mission again? — into one of Acadiana’s top 50 privately held companies. The GLCC’s star chamber got an earful from outraged membership who wondered how a chamber of commerce could endorse an attorney/Cajun comic over one of the region’s most successful businessmen. We seriously doubt the chamber endorsement helped Perry pull out the victory. In fact, based on the reaction in Lafayette, which Granger won — Senate 26 includes about a quarter of our parish — Perry may have cringed when the “coveted” endorsement was announced.
When the owners of a chicken-finger franchise blamed the federal drilling moratorium — or “permatorium,” as the criers of economic calamity have taken to calling it — for their Lafayette and Breaux Bridge restaurants going under, they were laughed out of town. But on Feb. 11, when Houston-based Seahawk Energy announced it was filing for bankruptcy and cited White House energy policies for its demise, the industry narrative — Obama is bad! — got a shot in the arm. U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu maxed her blowout preventer first, observing that “the worst-case predictions are now true, and we are still living this economic nightmare.” Gov. Bobby Jindal predictably chimed in, too, saying in a press release that “bad federal policy from the Obama administration has had bad effects on businesses and jobs.” But as Advocate columnist Mark Ballard pointed out over the weekend, Seahawk’s financial woes are much more nuanced, and its bankruptcy can probably be attributed more to legal fights with other companies, a future tax liability with the Mexican government — Calderón is bad, too! — and a persistent inability to fill key management positions. Folks, unemployment has fallen in Louisiana as tax collections, oil prices and consumer spending have risen. We’re handling this permatorium with aplomb, thank you very much.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seenh on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
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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.
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.
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."