Gov. Bobby Jindal’s efforts to reform the sad state of public education in Louisiana were hit with staunch opposition from school boards and teacher unions during his first term, but the governor says he’s not backing down. Jindal, in announcing his top priorities for the first year of his second term, is focused on more choices for parents on where children can attend schools and expounding on teacher evaluations to link teacher rewards to improvements in student performance. The two measures are sure to keep the opposition camp fiery, and we’re happy to hear he’s ready for the fight. We still argue that Jindal’s backing of the Louisiana Science Education Act (read an entry for creationism in school science class) is the antithesis of forward-thinking education for the state, but his early commitment to inching our national education rankings up from the last rung of the ladder earns the governor an A for effort.
The courts will decide the issue of the controversial ordinance the City-Parish Council adopted to block construction of a waste facility already permitted and under way on Sunbeam Lane, and regardless of where you stand on this issue, that means taxpayers will take a hit on legal fees — and what could amount to millions in damages. Equally troubling is that this issue has the potential to discourage developers from setting up shop in Lafayette. City-Parish President Joey Durel told the council that he would not veto the ordinance, “even though my conscience tells me to do otherwise.” City residents on Sunbeam Lane began publicly opposing the facility in early October, roughly nine months after waste company IESI started the permitting process through LCG’s Planning, Zoning and Codes Department. The site is adjacent to a residential area of north Lafayette, but because the property is in a small pocket of unincorporated Lafayette Parish with no zoning regulations, PZC could not deny the permit. The company’s owners have publicly said they plan to sue if the permit is revoked, maintaining they’ve already put more than $1 million into the project.
Within days of climbing his way up to pas bon status, Louisiana’s education governor had already dropped down to the bottom rung. The website stimulatingbroadband.com reported last week that the Jindal administration prompted the termination of an $80.6 million broadband stimulus project by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Louisiana Broadband Alliance project would have supported the major academic institutions of the state with expanded optical fiber networking capacity — and helped rural areas no private company wants to serve. In an Oct. 26 letter, a grants officer at the U.S. Department of Commerce informed the Board of Regents, which had applied for the grant, that the $80.6 million grant had been rescinded. Based on stimulatingbroadband.com’s tracking of the status of all such federal projects, Louisiana’s cancellation is the largest termination to date, by dollar value of federal funding, of any such project under the Obama Administration’s $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program. U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu blamed the Jindal administration: “Despite receiving the green light for more than $80 million in federal funds, the state fumbled the ball and was either unable or unwilling to complete the project, which could have been a tremendous boost to central and Northeast Louisiana,” she stated. Jindal’s Commission of Administration Paul Rainwater called the grant a “government-heavy approach that would compete with and undermine, rather than partner with, the private sector and locals.”
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.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
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.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Odell Beckham on the catch; chaos in Ferguson; snowstorm set to snarl travel and more national and international news for Tuesday, November 25, 2014.
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.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Saints Street cottage or River Ranch condo
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Facing opposition from a powerful industry, the governor and many in the Legislature, a New Orleans-area flood board's lawsuit against dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies seemed doomed early on.
"I want to take an opportunity to thank the people of Lafayette for allowing me to serve you for the last three years as your school superintendent."
After Thanksgiving, the small town of Moreauville plans to confiscate and kill all rottweilers and pitbulls, including a service dog.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.