Wednesday, July 27, 2011
By The Independent Staff
When Washington Parish-based Smith Creamery’s dairy plant exploded a couple of weeks ago, scattering debris for miles, the blast should have been music to the ears of Baton Rouge’s Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, Louisiana’s largest family-owned operation. Instead, Kleinpeter President Jeff Kleinpeter and Smith Creamery founder Warren Smith announced a week later that the competitors had entered into an agreement whereby Kleinpeter would take over production of Smith’s milk, half and half, and heavy cream products. When Smith rebuilds, assuming the company chooses to, operations will move back to the Mount Hermon headquarters of the smaller company. So is this just a public-relations stunt by Kleinpeter? Hardly. According to the Associated Press, both companies will earn a profit on the arrangement — Kleinpeter, obviously, for taking over the operation; but Smith will as well because Kleinpeter can package and distribute Smith’s products more cheaply than the smaller operation could before the explosion. And besides, we’ve met Jeff Kleinpeter. He’s a genuinely good guy. Good PR, yes, but good will, too.
When a suspect in a brutal home invasion, robbery and rape failed to show up for his trial last week in Lafayette, it may have been a surprise to District Judge Ed Rubin. It shouldn’t have been. Nineteen-year-old Nelson Chambers of Opelousas is facing an aggravated rape charge and life sentence for the 2009 attack in Lafayette. The day before his scheduled Tuesday trial, according to published reports, Chambers’ two co-defendants cut a deal with prosecutors, agreeing to testify against him in exchange for reduced sentences. Chambers should have been sitting in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center awaiting that trial, but several months ago, Rubin ruled against the prosecutor, who requested that Chambers be held without bond until his trial date. Assistant D.A. Keith Stutes wanted Chambers held because, Stutes pointed out to Rubin, since his initial release on bond for the rape arrest, the teen was arrested three more times in St. Landry Parish for drug and property crimes, and for failing to appear at court for traffic offenses. The soft-hearted judge countered that Chambers had made all his hearing dates in Lafayette and therefore didn’t pose a flight risk. By press time Monday for this issue of The Ind, Chambers remained on the lam. While hindsight is 20/20, we wish Judge Rubin had a little more foresight.
The town of Wa$hington might be good at catching speeders, but Mayor Joseph Pitre just can’t catch a break. Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera, according to the AP, reiterated last week that Wa$hington owes the state more than $220,000 for traffic fines it collected on Interstate 49 from motorists busted travelling less than 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. A state law designed to clamp down on speed traps like Wa$hington, which pad their meager budgets — in Wa$hington’s case about half its annual budget — requires redirecting the fines to the state when the offense is less than 10 miles over. The town and its beleaguered mayor have tried various means of keeping the cash, namely begging to keep the money and characterizing the law as racist. Pitre’s latest tactic: asking that a member of the legislative advisory council hearing the matter — state Rep. Ledricka Thierry, D-Opelousas, who represents the town of Wa$hington — be recused because Pitre plans to run against her in the fall election.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
Corporations spending in state elections; Kenny G and Hong Kong; states resist gay marriage and more national and international news for Thursday, October 23, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
Three bedroom Acadian or a two bedroom town home
Ready to geaux in purple and gold
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
The recently established Downtown Lafayette Restaurant & Bar Association will host a special viewing of the upcoming New Orleans Saints taking on the Carolina Panthers in the open air of Parc Sans Souci on Thursday, Oct. 30.
Belief in a national outbreak of the Ebola zombie virus is becoming more of a threat every day, and The Hayride — Louisiana’s one true bastion for unrelentingly conservative political commentaries — thought it wise to share a certain special someone's “important message” with readers Tuesday on what to do when, not if, it comes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
JPMorgan Chase is giving $1 million to Louisiana's community and technical colleges, to help with workforce training efforts to match students to available jobs.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising.
Three bedroom cottage or three bedroom ranch
Sheer lace perfection