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.
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.
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Cassidy 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
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"I want to take an opportunity to thank the people of Lafayette for allowing me to serve you for the last three years as your school superintendent."