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.”
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
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 23, 2014:
Newsy bits for the whole fam
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Don't forget: our annual Festival International contest begins Thursday! Win. Cool. Stuff.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
State bar foundation bestows honor on founder and managing partner of NeunerPate
This Wednesday, April 23, marks the first full day of INNOV8 Lafayette.
National awards recognize outstanding achievement in leadership development and leadership programs
A federal court magistrate has issued a seven-page schedule of hearings, conferences and deadlines leading up to January’s trial aimed at determining how much money BP will owe in Clean Water Act fines as a result of its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The state’s “greedy trial lawyers” haven’t scared this oil giant away.
Local boutique celebrates all things green
It took a few weeks for the pitfalls to emerge in the governor’s $25 billion budget, but the time of judgment has finally arrived.
With pressure continuing to build for him to resign, Congressman Vance McAllister announced plans recently to remain secluded during the Easter break, but the Swartz Republican has said he’ll be back on the Hill casting votes and attending committee meetings when the congressional recess ends April 28.
A bid to limit the use of unmanned aircraft on private property in Louisiana stalled Monday in the Louisiana Senate.
A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he's scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.
Tender meat and crispy bread create a white-linen-worthy sandwich
Attorney hopes fellow lawyers will join him in urging the D.A. to step aside and allow a competent, ethical challenger to take over the scandal-ridden office.
INNOV8 Lafayette launches its weeklong festival dedicated to cultivating innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
Smaller Microsoft Store installations sell a wide array of Microsoft products (Windows phones, Surface tablets and Xbox consoles) but don’t include everything.
Dirk Powell and Cedric Watson will perform together during an intimate gig at Parish Ink, 310 Jefferson St., from 9-11:30 p.m. Wednesday.
See cutting-edge technologies Thursday in brief presentations/demonstrations from 3rd Dimension Media, C&C Technologies, Cimation and UL Lafayette School of Engineering.
An official with the Louisiana Department of Education was arrested on a range of charges Friday after allegedly breaking into a home and brandishing a knife.