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!
Casual cool for Thanksgiving
Shop Lafayette goes strong
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
A divided 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a Lafayette district judge’s ruling absolving the co-owner of a New Iberia accounting firm of liability in an embezzlement case.
Our View: It’s reasonable, temporary and invests in Lafayette’s future.
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By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
Three bedroom in Port Barre or two bedroom in Opelousas
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
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State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
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