Tuesday, March 12, 2013
JUDGES IN THE 15TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT SPENT NEARLY 900 THOUSAND DOLLARS OVER A FIVE YEAR PERIOD FOR EXPENSES, ACCORDING TO A REPORT FROM THE DAILY ADVERTISER. EACH OF THE 14 JUDGES IN THE DISTRICT WHICH COVERS LAFAYETTE, VERMILLION AND ACADIA PARISHES SPENT ANYWHERE FROM SEVEN TO 15 THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR ON EXPENSES. THE MONEY WAS SPENT ON VARIOUS THINGS SUCH AS AQUARIUMS FOR THE OFFICE, PERSONAL PORTRAITS, HANDMADE JUDICIAL ROBES AND FOR CONFERENCES. IN ADDITION, THE JUDGES ALSO SPENT 276,500 DOLLARS FROM 2008 TO 2012 ON AUTOMOBILE LEASES.
AN AUDIT OF THE CITY OF WESTLAKE BY THE STATE LEGISLATIVE AUDITORíS OFFICE HAS FOUND SEVERAL POSSIBLE VIOLATIONS OF STATE LAW. AMONG THE FINDINGS OF THE AUDIT, MAYOR DAN CUPIT USED A CITY VEHICLE FOR PERSONAL USE WITHOUT COUNCIL APPROVAL, HE DID NOT GET THE COUNCILíS APPROVAL FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF TWO DEPARTMENT HEADS AND A CITY VEHICLE WAS IMPROPERLY EQUIPPED WITH BLUE LIGHTS. CUPIT SAYS THE USE OF A CITY VEHICLE WAS NOT FOR PLEASURE OR VACATIONS BUT HE WILL FROM NOW ON USE HIS PERSONAL VEHICLE FOR THINGS LIKE GOING TO SABINE RIVER AUTHORITY MEETINGS. CUPIT SAYS THE CITY HAS COMPLETED OR ARE IN THE PROCESS OF COMPLETING ALL OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY THE AUDITOR.
AUTHORITIES ARRESTED THE MAN WHO WAS ALLEGEDLY BEHIND A SHOOTING IN BREAUX BRIDGE.
Louisiana's education department says students can now register online for a program enabling 42 organizations to provide classes to public school students. LSU and other universities, as well as private firms as diverse as Acadian Ambulance and Sylvan Learning Center, are among those offering courses online or in other nontraditional settings. The state is going ahead with the "Course Choice" program despite a judge's ruling last year that funding the program through the state's public school financing formula violates the Louisiana Constitution. That ruling is under appeal.
A NEW 45 MEMBER CITIZENíS COMMITTEE APPOINTED BY THE LAFAYETTE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD HELD ITíS FIRST MEETING YESTERDAY. THE COMMITTEE WILL LOOK AT WAYS TO IMPROVE EDUCATION AND THE FACILITIES IN THE PARISH AND THE WAYS TO FUND THEM. THEY WILL MEET EVERY OTHER WEEK FOR THREE MONTHS AND COME UP WITH RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WILL BE PRESENTED TO THE SCHOOL BOARD BY JUNE 30TH. AT YESTERDAYíS MEETING, SUPERINTENDENT PAT COOPER AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER BILLY GUIDRY GAVE THE COMMITTEE DATA AND OTHER INFORMATION ON THE SCHOOL SYSTEMíS PRESENT SITUATION.
CARBOLINE RECENTLY FINISHED MOVING INTO A NEW DISTRIBUTION WAREHOUSE AT THE CORNER OF FRUGE AND MALCOLM STREETS IN LAKE CHARLES. PLANT MANAGER ED YEZIC SAYS THE 100 THOUSAND SQUARE FOOT WAREHOUSE HAS STATE OF THE ART AMENITIES AND TEN BAY DOORS. HE TELLS THE AMERICAN PRESS THEY WILL BE ADDING MORE EMPLOYEES AT SOME POINT. HE SAYS THE GOAL FOR THE FUTURE IS TO INCREASE MANUFACTURING AT THEIR PLANT ON OPELOUSAS STREET AND EXPAND THEIR SHIPPING CAPABILITIES IN LAKE CHARLES. CARBOLINE PRODUCES INDUSTRIAL COATING AND FIRE COATING MATERIALS.
A THREE VEHICLE ACCIDENT IN ACADIA PARISH WHICH RESULTED IN ONE FATALITY WAS CAUSED BY A SUSPECTED DRUNK DRIVER. STATE POLICE SAY 28-YEAR-OLD GERARDO ROBLES OF CHURCH POINT WAS TRAVELING ON L-A 95 NORTH OF THE INTERSTATE WHEN HE REAR-ENDED A VEHICLE AND THEN CROSSED THE CENTER LINE SLAMMING INTO AN ONCOMING CAR. THE DRIVER IN THE ONCOMING CAR, 63-YEAR-OLD GEORGE FISHER OF EUNICE, WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE, WHILE ROBLES AND A PASSENGER IN FISHERíS VEHICLE WERE TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL AND ARE LISTED IN CRITICAL CONDITION. STATE POLICE SAYS ROBLES WILL BE PLACED UNDER ARREST WHEN HE IS RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL AND WILL FACE A NUMBER OF CHARGES INCLUDING VEHICULAR HOMOCIDE.
An executive from the company that was BP's cement contractor on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig says he learned of some "irregularities" in tests that the contractor's employees performed after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf. Timothy Probert, a Halliburton president who served as the company's safety chief at the time of the spill, didn't specify the nature of those irregularities. He testified Monday at a trial designed to assign fault to the companies involved in the deadly disaster. But a plaintiffs' attorney who questioned Probert claimed Halliburton employees conducted "off-the-record" tests and didn't record some test results because they feared how they could affect litigation spawned by the spill.