Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Opelousas resident Hubert Vidrine’s 15-year battle with the feds over false criminal environmental charges and malicious prosecution ended Friday when Vidrine was awarded $1.67 million in damages from the federal government. Vidrine sued the government in 2007 on behalf of himself and his wife, seven years after he was accused by the feds of illegally storing hazardous waste at the Canal Refinery in Church Point, which he managed at the time. The indictment against Vidrine was dropped in 2003, and the EPA agent heading up the investigation was fired last summer amid revelations that he was having an illicit sexual affair with an FBI agent who was jointly investigating Vidrine — good reason to devote a lot of attention and travel from Texas to Louisiana for the case. Like the Giglios in this week’s cover story, the initial charges against Vidrine, although they would ultimately unravel, tainted his standing in the community. In awarding Vidrine $1.67 million in the case, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty noted that were punitive damages against Uncle Sam legal they would certainly be warranted in this case.
If you believe the candidates vying for Louisiana lieutenant governor, both are jerks and double dealers who aren’t fit for public office. Something’s gotta give. Incumbent Jay Dardenne and Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, both Republicans, have all but taken off the gloves, rolled up the sleeves and stepped into the alley to settle their long-distance accusations, bringing their mud-slinging campaigns to television and radio as the election draws near. The Dardenne-Nungesser tilt is also revealing fissures in conservative politics in Louisiana, with various right-leaning websites and groups lining up behind one or the other. Can the Louisiana GOP weather such extreme intra-party warfare? Of course it can — there are no Democrats left to pick up the scraps.
When it comes to representative democracy, the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce seems more empty suited than suited to politics. Less remarkable than the endorsements the GLCC’s political action committee issued last week are the races in which the chamber declined to take a position, especially the District 3 seat on the City-Parish Council. Incumbent Councilman Brandon Shelvin’s personal and legal problems have been well chronicled in this newspaper and numerous other media outlets going on two years now. Shelvin’s opponent, Lloyd Rochon, is, to the best of our knowledge, squeaky clean. So why sit this one out? There’s probably more to the story than is readily apparent, but the chamber’s ham-handed history — remember the endorsements of competing candidates in the school board races last year? — make it hard to take the GLCC seriously. And on second thought, a chamber endorsement in District 3 could be more of an albatross than an asset. Congratulations, Lloyd, you were NOT endorsed by the GLCC!
Lafayette native artist Rick Begneaud shines at AcA
Business organizations opposed the proposal, saying it would lead to job losses and higher prices for goods and services.
An attempt to repeal a six-year-old law that permits public school science teachers to use material outside a classroom's adopted textbook has been rejected by the Senate Education Committee.
New York Times poll shows Obama, Jindal have identical approval and disapproval ratings in the state.
See which events are taking place during INNOV8 Lafayette this Friday, April 25.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Lisa Boudreaux come and get your goodies.
OK, so they’re bentgrass, the type used on golf course greens. But grass is grass.
Jefferson Street restaurant and pub debuts during Festival with limited menu.
The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill Wednesday, despite opponents who argued it would shut down the storefront lenders.
A measure to allow the state to implement its own, less stringent plan for limiting carbon dioxide emissions unanimously passed the Senate.
FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, Jodie Foster gets married, Vermont to require labels on genetically-modified food, and more news for today, April 24, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
See which events are taking place during INNOV8 Lafayette this Thursday.
It’s on, y’all. Fest fIND, our annual Festival International de Louisiana reader contest, is now accepting photo submissions.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
Fashion and music make great bedfellows
Producers, manufacturers, restaurants and chefs host roundtable and tasting
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
The easy one-piece way to style
Comfy feet for long days
Newsy bits for the whole fam
Don't forget: our annual Festival International contest begins Thursday! Win. Cool. Stuff.