Wednesday February 1, 2012C'est Bon
Once adrift and rudderless, the 15th Judicial District Public Defender’s Office, which represents people accused of crimes in Lafayette, Acadia and Vermilion parishes who cannot afford a private attorney, is not only making progress, it’s becoming a model for public defender offices statewide, according to a recent account in The Advocate. Following an examination of the office by an outside legal aid group hired by the state Public Defender Board — a probe prompted by an ACLU complaint — the 15th JDC’s former chief public defender, David Balfour, resigned. Balfour has disputed characterizations of the office made in a very unflattering report by the National Legal Aid & Defender Association. What isn’t in dispute is that new chief public defender G. Paul Marx (above) is now managing a team of seven full-time attorneys — the office had no full-time legal staff under Balfour’s direction, and the contract attorneys, according to the NLADA’s report, had little supervision — and has contracted the services of five investigators, earning a thumbs-up from the chairman of the state Public Defender Board.
Skirting prison regs, convicted serial killer Derrick Todd Lee has evidently converted his modest art skills into meager earnings, hooking up with a macabre serial killer-themed Florida website to sell at least one colored-pencil drawing — another as of press time was still for sale — for $75, $20 of which, according to an investigation by The Advocate, went to the notorious Death Row resident. Lee has been linked to the murders of seven South Louisiana women including Dené Colomb of Lafayette. Lee was indicted for Colomb’s November 2002 death, but the Colomb family decided not to pursue a trial in Lafayette because Lee had already been convicted and sentenced to death in connection with another victim. The subject matter of Lee’s art — swans and a panda — is innocuous, but the fact that he has profited from a lurid public fascination with murder memorabilia is south of contemptible.
So much for Bako’s new tacos. When former LaFonda partner Gabe Bako struck out on his own — with partners Richard Dunbar and Sylvia Lopez — and announced in the pages of this newspaper his eponymous new Tex-Mex restaurant at the corner of Johnston and Doucet in the old Serranos Salsa Company building, foodies in Lafayette were abuzz. Three months later, in what now appears to have been a ham-fisted attempt to camouflage an epic failure, the owners posted a sign on the now-closed restaurant announcing it was shuttered temporarily for plumbing repairs. But a former manager now says that’s a bunch of toro — telling us employees were notified three days before the sign went up that Bako’s was going out of business. Period. Bako’s meltdown with late LaFonda owner Leebob Cox’s children, who later bought him out, was the stuff of rumor in Lafayette restaurant circles, and Bako clearly saw his success with the new venture as a validation of his restaurateur skills. But as that now-unemployed Bako’s manager observed, “You can’t open a business out of revenge.”
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Three bedroom traditional Lafayette home or three bedroom Breaux Bridge home
Style market slated for old Artesia
The city prosecutor has released the case file for Lafayette Parish School Board member Tehmi Chassion’s simple battery complaint against Superintendent Pat Cooper, and the seven witness statements given to police illustrate two very different scenarios.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana fell one spot in an annual national ranking of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.
A federal judge has decided he doesn't need to hear more arguments in the case of a gay couple who want a Louisiana marriage license.
Saints again bring playoff aspirations into 2014 campaign.
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Citing conflicting witness accounts, the city prosecutor will not pursue Tehmi Chassion’s allegation of simple battery against Superintendent Pat Cooper.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Smoked meat, fresh sides and the best boudin around
Michael Sam focuses on making the team; Christians flee Mosul; Kerry at work in Middle East and more national and international news for Wednesdays, July 23, 2014.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers opens on Johnston.
Cirque du Soleil effortlessly combines circus art with beloved Michael Jackson hits.
Kelly Guidry Open House
Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards sued Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday over his actions against the multi-state standards, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An arrest was announced this morning in connection with last week’s bomb scare at UL Lafayette.
Attorneys, judges and others interviewed by LaPolitics expect 15 to 20 district judge races this year.
"I feel like I'm under siege," an attorney said recently over drinks at Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. "We all do. Every time I turn around somebody wants a check. District attorney races. The judges. They're killing us."
As a requirement for running for Congress in the 6th District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has filed his financial disclosure statement with the U.S. House showing his income in 2013 totaling $242,787.
Unlike those swindled by Bernie Madoff, the victims of Texas businessman Robert Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme won’t be getting any relief from the Securities Investor Protection Corp.’s emergency fund after a recent appellate court ruling.
Acadiana's Top 50 Private Companies
It would be an understatement to say Schumacher Group had a challenging year in 2013.
Hampton Toyota has been serving Acadiana as the premier Toyota dealership for more than 10 years. And now, the glossy Johnston Street dealership is looking forward to a makeover.
Even when Floyd Degueyter is on “vacation” he’s hard at work.
As the second largest metal heat treating company in the country, Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1979.
When the Prohibition era came to an end in 1933, Joseph R. Streva saw an opportunity to make a little extra money to supplement his day job.
When a hurricane hits, Brent Mouton doesn’t run. The convenience store chain owner is proof that the challenges of mother nature can almost break a business, but Mouton learned to grow out of temporary closure from near devastation in 2002 and of lost potential revenue.