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.”
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Casual cool for Thanksgiving
Shop Lafayette goes strong
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
A divided 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a Lafayette district judge’s ruling absolving the co-owner of a New Iberia accounting firm of liability in an embezzlement case.
Our View: It’s reasonable, temporary and invests in Lafayette’s future.
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By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
Three bedroom in Port Barre or two bedroom in Opelousas
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.
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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.
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.