Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Fight the good fight, HUD. No, not the Ragin’ Cajuns head football coach. Well, him too. But we’re referring to the federal department of Housing and Urban Development. It’s only speculation at this point, but there are indications that HUD, in its role running the Lafayette Housing Authority, will show some backbone and fight former Disaster Housing Assistance Program case manager Chris Williams, who filed suit seeking back wages from the LHA, the board of which canned Williams and four case workers in the wake of a scathing independent audit. The LHA, via HUD, settled to the tune of $40,000 suits brought by two of the ousted case workers. But the Williams case is different: The audit revealed that he was being paid full-time for his DHAP services while also maintaining a full-time job at UL. Williams wants nearly $20,000 from the LHA. But The Advertiser reported last week that HUD officials were huddling to discuss a strategy, a possible indicator that Williams will not get our — the taxpayers’ — money without a fight.
Gov. Bobby Jindal can spin it all he wants, but recent news that Louisiana is gaining more population than it loses doesn’t represent a net plus for the state. In fact, as The Advocate points out, digging beneath the surface of the 2010 census data reveals that Louisiana lost nearly 2,000 people with advanced graduate and professional degrees than it gained in the new population figures. That’s a net loss of brain power. What’s more, as Shreveport demographic analyst Elliott Stonecipher points out, much of the population “gain” can likely be attributed to former residents who were displaced by hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav returning to the state. Don’t believe the hype, folks: The sun rose this morning without the help of Bobby Jindal.
There are capers like the 1971 D.B. Cooper hijacking, and then there is the pickled fruit from the plant of the same name. Two New Iberia men arrested by Lafayette Police officers last week fit the latter category. According to a PD press release, the men are accused of using a pay phone — there are still pay phones? — at a Circle K convenience store on West University Avenue to call in a bomb threat at Our Lady of Fatima School. The phony bomb threat, according to investigators, was meant to divert police so the bumbling bomb bandits could rob a nearby bank. Unfortunately for them, police quickly traced the call to the pay phone, and surveillance footage led to their quick arrest. As of this writing both men remain in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on charges that include conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree couillon.
in case you missed it