As this month's issue of Acadiana Business, out on newsstands today, celebrates the success and contributions of local women, we also mourn the loss of one of our female pioneers: longtime Abbeville attorney and former 15th Judicial District Judge Sue Fontenot. The 62-year-old, a state district judge from 1976 to 1987, lost her battle with cancer early Tuesday.
Fontenot was active in politics for many years in areas not usually explored by women. She ran unsuccessfully against former District Attorney Nathan Stansbury in 1990 and again against District Attorney Mike Harson in 1994. She also ran for the state Senate in 1996.
“She paved the way for people like me, and other women in this business,” says Lafayette attorney Candice Hattan, a close friend and colleague of Fontenot. “It was a different world in Louisiana in the 1970s. Women started the decade not even being able to serve on juries, and ended it on the bench.”
Fontenot made headlines last year when she fought off a man who attacked her in her Mouton Cove home. Police advised people to be on the lookout for someone with eye injuries and bite marks.
Dee Stanley, CAO for Lafayette Consolidated Government, was a reporter and anchor at KLFY when Fontenot was on the bench. “She did not know an 8 to 5 work schedule,” Stanley says. “It was not unusual for her to be in court at midnight, and if she was there the lawyers had better be ready.”
Stanley calls Fontenot a female trailblazer in both politics and law in southwest Louisiana. “She certainly was a pioneer in a world that previously was assigned for men,” Stanley says. “And she functioned very comfortably in that world.”
Fontenot is survived by her brother, Michael Tenes Fontenot of Kaplan, and her children, Jean Paul Perrodin, a Lafayette physical therapist, and Ahna Sagrera, an Abbeville attorney. She was preceeded in death by her brother, James Fontenot, a former state senator, attorney, musician and activist in the French community.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.