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.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
A refreshing twist at a Lafayette institution comes served with a black bean salad stuffed avocado
Marijuana source of disputes for HOAs; experts say still safe to fly; Russian-supported attacks on Ukraine and more national and international news for Friday, July 25, 2014.
Louisiana's 21 casinos took in $203.5 million statewide in June, edging up one-half of a percentage point from a year earlier.
Three bedroom Sunset Victorian or three bedroom Opelousas Acadian home
Louisiana designer commissioned for NYC Awards gift
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.
Business First Bank has announced plans for a Baton Rouge market expansion through a merger deal with American Gateway Financial Corp.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The latest meeting of a south Louisiana flood board that stirred political turmoil with a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry is taking place amid uncertainty over the future of the lawsuit — and the board's own membership.
The photos taken nearly a mile under the Gulf of Mexico are so clear that small holes are visible in a lifeboat that may have gone down or been scuttled when a passenger ship was sunk by a Nazi submarine in 1942.
Advocate columnist and Jindal shill Quin Hillyer has been against the New Orleans levee board lawsuit from day one, but a recent piece targeting author/activist John Barry prompted the perfect rebuttal from the board’s former vice-president, who takes Hillyer to task on just about every distorted claim he’s made on the issue.
INDEats and EatLafayette want to give one lucky foodie and friends the most memorable meal — here’s how you can win
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Three bedroom traditional Lafayette home or three bedroom Breaux Bridge home
Style market slated for old Artesia
The city prosecutor has released the case file for Lafayette Parish School Board member Tehmi Chassion’s simple battery complaint against Superintendent Pat Cooper, and the seven witness statements given to police illustrate two very different scenarios.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana fell one spot in an annual national ranking of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.
A federal judge has decided he doesn't need to hear more arguments in the case of a gay couple who want a Louisiana marriage license.
Saints again bring playoff aspirations into 2014 campaign.
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Citing conflicting witness accounts, the city prosecutor will not pursue Tehmi Chassion’s allegation of simple battery against Superintendent Pat Cooper.
Smoked meat, fresh sides and the best boudin around
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers opens on Johnston.
Cirque du Soleil effortlessly combines circus art with beloved Michael Jackson hits.