Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Written by The Independent Staff
We’ll never know just how critical a role he played, but U.S. Sen. David Vitter certainly sufficiently pressured the SEC to make a determination on whether victims of Allen Stanford’s alleged Ponzi scheme are entitled to insurance coverage. The long-awaited recommendation came after a two-year battle that started with a Securities Investor Protection Corp. opinion that Stanford victims were not eligible to file claims. It also came a day after Vitter put a hold on two SEC member nominations. In its decision, the SEC said people who bought so-called CDs through the Stanford Group Co., Stanford’s U.S. brokerage arm, are entitled to the insurance; the SIPC says it’s studying the decision. Those who lost money can only recover up to $500,000 of their investment (unrecoverable is the interest most paid taxes on for years), which won’t make all local investors whole, but it’s a start to rebuilding their financial futures. Though its recommendation is a major victory for Stanford victims, the SEC’s Stanford problems are far from over, as local investors have sued the regulatory agency, alleging negligence and misconduct.
When Louisiana Family Forum backs a bill, be afraid — be very afraid. Joining a long list of bait-and-switch legislation, led by the granddaddy of them all — the Louisiana Science Education Act — is House Bill 580 by West Monroe Republican and avowed proponent of “academic freedom” for creationists Frank Hoffman. HB 580 neuters the state Board of Elementary & Secondary Education in its oversight role for vetting textbooks in public-school science classes, giving over authority for such purchases to local school boards and, consequently, opening the door for pseudo-scientific claptrap like Intelligent Design filtering into the curriculum. The Louisiana Coalition for Science and other groups have come out strongly against the bill, which sailed through the House with all of Lafayette Parish’s reps voting in favor. As The Ind headed to press Monday the bill was scheduled to be heard by the full Senate. By this reading it has likely passed and is headed to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has a biology degree yet, as we unfortunately know, holds his political base in higher esteem than he does the basics of mainstream science.
Maybe the best argument for evolution and its quirks is U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, who believes Intelligent Design — that’s creationism in a lab coat, kids — should be taught alongside evolution because, well, just because and Obama’s bad, America first, bomb Iran, hotdogs and apple pie. Bachman made an off-hand reference to Nobel laureates having doubts about evolution in 2006, a claim challenged by recent Louisiana high school graduate Zack Kopplin, leader of the doomed charge to repeal the LSEA in the legislative session and a top-notch student who, not coincidentally, will attend college outside Louisiana this fall. More than 40 Nobel laureates — all of them in the sciences — signed on to Kopplin’s mission to repeal the LSEA. The outspoken Tea Party fave was in New Orleans last week for the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference, and Gambit Editor Kevin Allman asked Bachman to enumerate her Nobel ringers on the anti-evolution side. Bachmann cited “reasonable doubt” in the evolution debate before rolling into a rambling answer involving “government bureaucracy,” states’ rights and block grants. What she didn’t do was answer Allman’s question.
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.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
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.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
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.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
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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 seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
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