Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Louisiana is finally getting creative with people who welsh on their obligations to their children. In another savvy move, the state is ensuring deadbeats pay their back child support before they get a dime of BP disaster money, according to a report this week in The Advocate. Louisiana residents owe a staggering $1.2 billion in outstanding child support payments, and the state Department of Children and Family Services, in coordination with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, is comparing those who file claims with BP to the list of those who are behind on court-ordered child support. More than 9,000 people owing about $101 million have been identified thus far. To date, the effort has intercepted $5.5 million — a drop in the proverbial bucket but a start nonetheless. Also in the queue: The Department is gearing up to begin skimming child support obligations from casino winnings.
There’s no question that LSU is great at recruiting the top athletic talent in the country, but recruiting the top faculty could get tougher. The American Association of University Professors, in a blistering 30-page report issued Monday, stops short of placing LSU on its Censure List, but says it reserves the right to do so — tantamount to a black eye in academic circles that could make it difficult to recruit and retain faculty in the future, according to The Associated Press. The AAUP is a 50,000-member organization devoted to protecting academic freedom. The LSU report focuses on the firing in 2009 of coastal researcher Ivor van Heerdon, an outspoken post-Katrina critic of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who has a federal suit pending against the university; and the 2010 ouster of biology professor Dominique Homberger, who was yanked from the classroom mid-semester amid student complaints that her grading and policies were too severe. LSU had no comment on van Heerdon’s lawsuit, but the university’s Faculty Senate president tells The Advocate the issue is “more about the ‘systemic problems’ of higher education budget-cutting issues in Louisiana, and the pressures to increase graduation rates, which are part of the calculation for how much funding a university receives.”
OK, we took some heat from readers this week for questioning why some prominent companies in Lafayette are partnering with District 3 Councilman Brandon Shelvin for an “equipping our kids to learn, back to school rally” in light of Shelvin’s ongoing financial and ethics issues. Just to make sure we weren’t speaking out of turn, we contacted Kathleen Allen, chief administrator of the Louisiana Ethics Administration, to see if Shelvin had caught up on the $1,900 (of a $2,000) fine he owes Ethics for a campaign reporting violation tied to his 2007 run for office. Turns out he hasn’t. Shelvin is a case study in why the Legislature this year overwhelmingly approved a bill that requires candidates for public office to pay their ethics fines before qualifying to run. Previously, as was the case with the District 3 councilman, a candidate only had to enter into a payment plan before qualifying. Now the fine has to be paid in full before qualifying. We applaud efforts to help disadvantaged children get the supplies they need to start the school year. But we can’t help thinking that in Shelvin’s case, this is less about the children and more about the District 3 councilman’s re-election and public relations campaigns.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our capital in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
The former star of Saturday Night Live throws in his 2 cents on the Big Oil lawsuit.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, March 10, 2014:
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.