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.”
Abshire has rejoined the Lafayette Bar Association, where she previously served as marketing coordinator under longtime Executive Director Susan Holliday
Home-grown Baton Rouge market/deli heads to Lafayette.
Deadline for submitting noms for annual competition is March 15
Whitney Bank officials have confirmed that the downtown branch will cease to exist when it relocates its regional headquarters to River Ranch at the end of May.
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Downtown Lafayette restaurant launches new concept near Le Triomphe
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Yeah, it's smoked venison sausage stuffed in a suckling pig stuffed in a lamb and roasted over an open fire.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Reamco founders Brent Milam and Ashley Lane now shareholders in acquiring company and part of its management team.
Low heels, high style
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.