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!
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.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
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.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.