Wednesday, January 09, 2013
LAST NIGHT THE LAFAYETTE CITY PARISH COUNCIL APPROVED A RATE INCREASE FOR EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION PROVIDED BY ACADIAN AMBULANCE. THE TOTAL PRICE WILL GO UP BY ABOUT THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS BUT HALF OF THE RATE INCREASE WILL TAKE PLACE THIS YEAR AND THE OTHER HALF NEXT YEAR. ACADIAN AMBULANCE SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS JERRY ROMERO SAYS THEIR RATES IN LAFAYETTE ARE THE LOWEST IN THE STATE AND THEY CANNOT SUSTAIN OPERATIONS WITHOUT CHARGING MORE MONEY. THE RATE INCREASE WILL ONLY APPLY TO THOSE NOT ON MEDICARE OR MEDICAID.
THE U-S-S ORLECK COULD BE MOVING FROM ITS CURRENT HOME AT THE END OF NORTH ENTERPRISE BOULEVARD IN LAKE CHARLES SOMETIME LATER THIS YEAR. MARK BOUDREAUX OF THE ORLECK NAVAL MUSEUM SAYS THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS HAS APPROVED A PERMIT TO MOVE THE NAVAL DESTROYER NEXT TO THE ISLE OF CAPRI CASINO. BOUDREAUX SAYS THEY’VE ALWAYS DESIRED TO BE NEXT TO THE INTERSTATE IN ORDER TO ATTRACT MORE TOURISTS. HE SAYS THEY ARE SEEKING PRIVATE DONATIONS FOR DOCKSIDE FACILITIES, WHICH COULD COST BETWEEN THREE AND FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS.
THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS HE WILL NOT PURSUE CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST FORMER ST. LANDRY PARISH PRESIDENT DON MENARD FOR CHARGES MADE TO HIS PARISH-ISSUED CREDIT CARD. MENARD HAD MORE THAN 16 THOUSAND DOLLARS IN CHARGES ON THE CARD BETWEEN 2009 AND 2011 AND ONLY NINE RECIEPTS. AN AUDIT REPORT QUESTIONED WHETHER MENARD VIOLATED STATE LAW BY NOT DOCUMENTING ALL OF HIS CREDIT CARD PURCHASE. MENARD SAYS HE REGRETS NOT KEEPING BETTER RECORDS, BUT, OTHERWISE, HE DID NOTHING WRONG.
An advisory panel that will offer guidance to the LSU System board about ways to reorganize the system and its campuses has begun its work. The 10-person group, which held its first meeting Tuesday, is working on a tight timeline, expected to provide its first recommendations to the Board of Supervisors in March. The Board of Supervisors is merging the jobs of system president and chancellor of the flagship campus in Baton Rouge as part of a planned revamp of the multi-campus university system. The study panel, formally called the Transition Advisory Team, is expected to complete a final list of recommendations in July, about the same time a new president could be hired.
A FACEBOOK PAGE HAS BEEN SET UP AND PETITIONS STARTED TO PROTEST THE DESIGNS FOR A RENOVATION OF FLETCHER HALL ON THE U-L CAMPUS. HERMAN MHIRE, A VISUAL ARTIST, WHO STARTED THE FACEBOOK PAGE, WHICH HAS MORE THAN 13-HUNDRED MEMBERS, TELLS THE DAILY ADVERTISER THAT, FOR THOSE WHO TAKE DESIGN SERIOUSLY, IT IS AN OFFENSE. FLETCHER HALL IS THE HOME TO THE ARCHITECTURE PROGRAM. THE THREE-POINT-5 MILLION DOLLAR RENOVATION PROJECT WILL REPAIR DAMAGE TO THE BUILDING. U-L PRESIDENT JOSEPH SAVOIE AND THE ARCHITECT, JIM ZILER, MET THIS WEEK TO EXPLORE WHERE THEY CAN GO WITH THE DESIGN.
OLD STUDENT MARRIED HOUSING FACILITIES ON THE MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS, WHICH HAVE BEEN VACANT FOR A FEW YEARS, WILL BE DEMOLISHED, POSSIBLY IN THE NEXT THREE TO SIX MONTHS. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC INFORMATION CANDACE TOWNSEND SAYS THEY ARE SEEKING FUNDING FOR THE DEMOLITION AND PERMISSION FROM THE STATE BEFORE IT WILL HAPPEN. ONCE ITS COMPLETE TOWNSEND SAYS THE PROPERTY WILL BE USED FOR OVERFLOW PARKING FOR FOOTBALL GAMES AND TO EXPAND TAILGATING. TOWNSEND SAYS TALKS ABOUT PLACING A BASKETBALL ARENA OR ANOTHER ACADEMIC FACILITY THERE IS MORE OF A DREAM RIGHT NOW.
CONVICTED MURDERER BRANDON SCOTT LAVERGNE IS ASKING A JUDGE TO THROW OUT HIS GUILTY PLEAS. LAVERGNE PLED GUILTY TO FIRST DEGREE MURDER FOR THE DEATH OF MICKEY SHUNICK OF LAFAYETTE LAST YEAR, AND OF LISA PATE, A LAFAYETTE PARISH WOMAN WHOSE BODY WAS FOUND IN ACADIA PARISH IN 1999. LAVERGNE CLAIMS INDICTMENTS FOR MURDER BY A GRAND JURY ON JULY 18TH WERE ILLEGAL AND ANY EVIDENCE OBTAINED AFTER THAT IS ALSO ILLEGAL. LAVERGNE ALSO CLAIMS NUMEROUS ERRORS WERE MADE BY HIS COURT-APPOINTED ATTORNEYS, PROSECUTORS AND THE POLICE.
State environmental quality officials say they followed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's instructions on submitting a plan to reduce ozone, but they are unsure why Louisiana was included on a list of states that failed to do so. On Jan. 4, the EPA sent notices of failure to 28 states while also acknowledging that the letters are the result of unclear guidance from the federal agency. Sam Phillips, assistant secretary of the state Department of Environmental Quality, tells The Advocate he did not know why Louisiana received a failure notice since its draft plan was submitted before the EPA's January deadline. Phillips said there's no fine or other consequence from the notice of failure, but it's troubling that DEQ will have it on the department's record.