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.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Two bedroom in Lafayette or two bedroom in Kaplan
Sennond trunk show at kiki
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thursday’s explosion aboard an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico is now under investigation by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Four hours after inviting supporters to a rally with Sen. Marco Rubio, Bill Cassidy claimed that Mary Landrieu “voted against stopping executive amnesty.”
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.
Money from the first and only settlement so far in a Louisiana flood board's lawsuit against dozens of energy companies will be placed in a special account dedicated to coastal restoration.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Ten departing CEOs rake in $430 million; profile of FSU gunman emerges; Buffalo's weather woes and more national and international news for Friday, November 21, 2014.
The Ethics Board gives the lame duck Youngsville mayor permission to offer a sweet parting gift to the community he’s presided over for three terms.
Carencro ranch style home or three bedroom traditional in St. Martinville
The money came through a general obligation bond sale Thursday.
A legend in the Acadiana Oil Patch, Comeaux died Monday, Nov. 17.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
With a growing number of alleged sexual assault victims coming out against Bill Cosby in recent weeks, upcoming projects have been canned by NBC and Netflix, but that won’t affect the once-loved comedian and actor’s scheduled performance in Lafayette.
The Baltimore Ravens' retooled secondary had no trouble against a rookie quarterback at home. This week, however, their task is far more challenging: stopping Drew Brees on the road in New Orleans.
Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry's name to the list of possible Republican presidential candidates flooding the campaign trail for GOP Senate candidate Bill Cassidy.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Florida this week with his fellow Republican governors for another gripe session aimed at their favorite target, the president, this time taking aim at his immigration plans.
Early voting for the runoff is shortened by two days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Coach Don” Gagnard is running for school board. Today he offers his critique of the socioeconomic relationship between government subsidies and obesity.
BP is heading to a federal appeals court in its effort to oust the administrator of damage settlement claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Former Le Rosier chef who cooked at the James Beard House and was named one of the “Best New Chefs in America” by Food & Wine magazine in 1995 was 48.
It was only a few months ago when the LPSB held the school system’s purse strings with a death grip, but oh how board President Hunter Beasley's demeanor seems to be changing with the ouster of Superintendent Pat Cooper.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.