Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Lafayette authorities will present the case of a kidnap suspect's death to the local district attorney for a decision on whether the case should go to a grand jury. Twenty-nine-year-old Scott Thomas of Leonville was shot Friday at a vacant house where kidnap victim Bethany Arceneaux, also 29, was rescued. Arceneaux, the mother of Thomas' child, had been stabbed multiple times. Lafayette Parish Sheriff's spokesman Kip Judice said it appears the shooter ó whom authorities are not identifying ó acted to save Arceneaux's life.
OUT OF RAYNE, AUTHORITIES SAY RIGHT BEFORE SIX P-M LAST NIGHT THERE WAS A FATAL ACCIDENT INVOLVING A CAR AND A PEDESTRIAN. HOPE FORD HAS MORE.
For the past several years, The Advocate reports the Louisiana State Coroners Association has been about as active as a cadaver awaiting autopsy. The group failed to hold annual meetings, in contravention of its bylaws, and struggled to maintain any semblance of organization. Dr. Todd Thoma, the Caddo Parish coroner, recently became president of the association. Thoma says the days of dormancy have drawn to an end, as the association is undergoing an overhaul that includes the election of new officers, revisiting decades-old laws affecting coroners and a push to house the group permanently in Baton Rouge.
ABOUT 200 PEOPLE WERE IN ATTENDANCE YESTERDAY FOR A SPECIAL VETERANíS DAY PROGRAM AT ST. MARGARETíS CATHOLIC SCHOOL IN LAKE CHARLES. THE STUDENTíS PUT THE PROGRAM TOGETHER, AND IT INCLUDED THE READING OF PERSONAL POEMS, A SKIT, AN ORIGINAL SONG BY THE PRE-K CLASS AND THE PLAYING OF THE ďARMED FORCES MEDLYĒ BY THE ST. LOUIS HIGH SCHOOL BAND. THE PRINCIPAL, WENDY WICKE, SAYS AS THE STUDENTS WENT THROUGH THE PROCESS OF PREPARING THE PROGRAM, THEY WERE EDUCATED ON THE IMPORTANCE OF IT. SHE TELLS THE AMERICAN PRESS THAT THEY WANT TO HOST OTHER PROGRAMS THAT HONOR VETERANS SO THAT STUDENTS WILL LEARN THE IMPACT OF MILITARY SERVICE.
VISITORS FROM ALL OVER CONVERGED ON THE ORANGE GROVE AND GRACELAND CEMETARY IN LAKE CHARLES TO SEE THE AVENUE OF FLAGS, WHICH WAS ON DISPLAY FOR VETERANíS DAY. EACH FLAG REPRESENTED A DIFFERENT VETERAN WHOSE FAMILY RECEIVED A FLAG AT THEIR FUNERAL. THERE WERE 904 FLAGS ON DISPLAY, WHICH, ACCORDING TO AVENUE OF FLAGS BOARD MEMBER MISTI WATERS, IS THE BIGGEST CASKET FLAG DISPLAY IN THE COUNTRY. THE EVENT BEGAN WITH JUST FIFTY FLAGS.
A FEDERAL JUDGE HAS AGREED TO POSTPONE THE SCHEDULED DECEMBER 16TH BRIBERY TRIAL OF PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR ROBERT WILLIAMSON OF LAFAYETTE. WILLIAMSON IS ACCUSED OF ORGANIZING A SCHEME TO BRIBE EMPLOYEES OF THE 15TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEYíS OFFICE IN EXCHANGE FOR FAVORABLE TREATMENT FOR CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS. WILLIAMSONíS ATTORNEY, THOMAS DAMICO, ASKED FOR THE POSTPONEMENT BECAUSE HE SAID HIS CLIENT NEEDED IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE AND WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE TO HELP DAMICO PREPARE A DEFENSE. JUDGE ELIZABETH FOOTE MOVED THE TRIAL BACK THREE MONTHS TO MARCH TENTH.
SOME STUDENTS AT IBERIA PARISH SCHOOLS HAVE TO WAIT MORE THAN AN HOUR AFTER SCHOOL TO GO HOME BECAUSE OF A SHORTAGE OF BUS DRIVERS. THE SUPERVISOR OF TRANSPORTATION RAYMOND NOEL SAYS THE PAY THEY OFFER IS MAKING IT HARD TO RECRUIT NEW BUS DRIVERS. CONTRACT BUS DRIVER CLAUDE LOPEZ, WHO HAS DRIVEN A BUS FOR THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OVER 20 YEARS, SAYS THE THE AMOUNT PAID TO BUS DRIVERS FOR MAINTENANCE AND COSTS HASNíT BEEN INCREASED FOR THE LAST SEVEN YEARS. HE TELLS K-A-T-C THAT IF THEY WERE PAID MORE FOR EXPENSES, IT WOULD BE AN INCENTIVE TO STAY IN THE JOB FOR THE LONG HAUL.
Hefty investment earnings increased the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana's assets more than $1 billion during the past fiscal year ending June 30.
TRSL Executive Director Maureen Westgard tells The Advocate the investment return was 13.8 percent. System assets jumped from $13.5 billion to $14.66 billion, according to the latest valuation report by TRSL's actuary Shelley Johnson of Foster & Foster Actuaries. On those earnings, TRSL paid $1.6 billion in annual benefits to some 70,000 retirees.