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Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court Louis Perret is questionable for Saturday night’s Saints-Lions game with a strained hamstring. Perret’s unremarkable hammy pull happened last week in a remarkable moment as the parish’s chief record keeper leapt from his car and tried to chase down a hand-cuffed prisoner who had bolted from police officers as they entered the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. As Perret fell from his injury an excruciating “ack!” was heard to usher forth from beneath his well-groomed mustache. (We made that last part up; it’s called artistic license.) Although Perret didn’t get his man, sheriff’s deputies did, and law enforcement praised Perret’s bravery in an account in The Daily Advertiser.

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If possible air pollution and groundwater contamination weren’t enough to red-flag fracking, now come earthquakes rumbling into the picture. Recent reports have linked fracking, the controversial process used to extract natural gas from thousands of feet below the earth’s surface by fracturing rock with a cocktail of chemicals and other liquids, to a series of rare earthquakes in Ohio and other states. The most recent occurred in Youngstown, Ohio, Saturday and has halted work on injection wells at certain Ohio fracking sites until further notice. Those wells act as a disposal for waste fluid that is a byproduct of hydraulic fracking. Fracking in north Louisiana’s Haynesville Shale has lifted natural gas production levels in Louisiana to their highest in more than 25 years, but several recent reports question whether oil and gas industry leaders are accurate — and credible — in their assertions that the process is safe.

When Professor John Oller filed suit against UL recently we got a look at the dark side of university tenure: keeping nutty professors on staff despite the adverse effect they can have on impressionable students. A champion of creationism and its pseudo-scientific sibling Intelligent Design, Oller alleges in the suit that fellow members of the Communicative Disorders Department have marginalized him by reducing his class size, banning his self-authored textbooks and limiting his lecture opportunities. Oller is also a proponent of the discredited theory linking autism to childhood vaccines. His 2010 book on the topic was graced with a forward written by Andrew Wakefield, the Brit who first began disseminating the idea that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine causes autism. It was later discovered that Wakefield was being paid by a law firm that was suing the maker of the MMR vaccine while also planning to introduce his own measles vaccine. The British medical journal Lancet later retracted Wakefield’s original article after Wakefield was found guilty of professional misconduct and had his medical license revoked. A linguist by education, Oller has no expertise in immunology or biological sciences, yet he continues to press his various causes, serving as an “expert” witness before the Louisiana Legislature on behalf of the Louisiana Family Forum in its attempts to insert Intelligent Design into the state’s high school biology curriculum.

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