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!
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
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The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
The recently established Downtown Lafayette Restaurant & Bar Association will host a special viewing of the upcoming New Orleans Saints taking on the Carolina Panthers in the open air of Parc Sans Souci on Thursday, Oct. 30.
Belief in a national outbreak of the Ebola zombie virus is becoming more of a threat every day, and The Hayride — Louisiana’s one true bastion for unrelentingly conservative political commentaries — thought it wise to share a certain special someone's “important message” with readers Tuesday on what to do when, not if, it comes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
JPMorgan Chase is giving $1 million to Louisiana's community and technical colleges, to help with workforce training efforts to match students to available jobs.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising.
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Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.