Wednesday, August 24, 2011
The financial woes of Acadiana Outreach Center, hit hard by dwindling government funding, flagging contributions from the community and mismanagement at its Three Graces treatment facility in Abbeville, have been well publicized. Not getting the accolades they deserve, however, are AOC’s board members, who have been frantically bailing to keep the boat sea-worthy, including dipping into their own wallets to make payroll and help the organization maintain some level of its vital services. As noted in last week’s Ind cover story, “Rehab,” several AOC board members have ponied up $10,000 each to keep the listing center afloat. We wish them smooth sailing in the nearest possible future.
Downtown Lafayette’s Tex-Mex dining quotient went from awesome to lonesome last Thursday night when flames erupted in the kitchen at Agave Mexican Grill & Catina on East Vermilion Street. As popular for its margarita-fueled nightlife as it is for its fish tacos and Extreme Burrito during the lunch hour, the eatery is now looking at a month-long stay on the injured reserve list. Thankfully no one was hurt in the blaze, which nonetheless inflicted heavy damage on the restaurant’s nerve center. Agave is honoring outstanding party reservations at neighboring Trynd Italian Ristorante, but for at least the next month or so Agave will be out of commission. A speedy recovery to big-hearted owner Nidal Balbeisi and crew.
When the League of Women Voters in Baton Rouge hosted a forum last week to discuss the pros and cons of privatizing the Office of Group Benefits — a major player in health insurance plans for tens of thousands of state employees and their dependents — Gov. Bobby Jindal and his top lieutenants, who had been invited to defend their hair-brained idea, were conspicuously yet not surprisingly absent. The LWV left Jindal et al’s seats vacant, complete with place settings and name cards, at the speakers’ table, according to an account in The Advocate, and the LWV’s Jean Armstrong even teasingly turned to those empty seats a few times seeking a response to the barrage of criticism over privatizing OGB, which is running a healthy $505 million surplus. According to Monroe’s News-Star, the OGB board’s vice chairman, Ken Kreft, recently acknowledged that four other states have contacted the agency to find out how OGB is maintaining such a robust surplus. But, it seems the Jindal administration is intent on remaining willfully ignorant of the concept that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
With six of the LPSB’s nine members poised for Pat Cooper’s termination, a request was filed Tuesday for a fast-tracked hearing on the federal lawsuit calling for the disqualification of two board members from voting on the matter due to bias.
A few of my favorite things
Louisiana's Republican Party has filed a complaint against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu with the Senate's ethics committee about her use of private chartered planes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An attorney signs up to run against LPSB's Mark Cockerham, and within a week a lawsuit is filed by a former LPSS employee in an attempt to disqualify him. Coincidence?
According to Gov. Bobby Jindal, President Barack Obama needs to stop talking about “justice” and start murdering people, even if we have to go alone.
A replacement is expected by January to fill the vacancy left when Greg Roberts resigned after allegedly pointing a fake gun at an engineer during a June meeting.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
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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.
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