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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013





FEDERAL PROSECUTORS HAVE MOVED TO SEIZE OWNERSHIP OF THE NOW CLOSED DESPERADO’S NORTH OF LAFAYETTE. DESPERADO’S WAS CLOSED AFTER THE CLUB WAS RAIDED IN DECEMBER BY FEDERAL AGENTS WHO WERE CONDUCTING A DRUG AND PROSTITUTION INVESTIGATION. THE MANAGER OF DESPERADO’S JAMES PANOS HAS BEEN INDICTED ON ONE COUNT OF CONSPIRACY TO OPERATE A DRUG-INVOLVED PREMISES. PANOS’ LAWYER, SCOTT ILES, SAYS ITS UNUSUAL FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TAKE STEPS TO SEIZE PROPERTY BEFORE THERE IS A CONVICTION.





A LAKE CHARLES MAN WHO WAS WANTED FOR SECOND DEGREE MURDER WAS FOUND AND APPREHENDED IN BEAUMONT LAST NIGHT. KIM MYERS OF THE CALCASIEU PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE SAYS THEY RECEIVED INFORMATION THAT 23-YEAR-OLD JORDAN MIKOLE DAVIS WAS IN BEAUMONT AND ASKED FOR HELP FROM TEXAS LAW ENFORCEMENT. DAVIS IS ACCUSED OF SHOOTING AND KILLING 33-YEAR-OLD QUINCY JAMES LEDE OF LAKE CHARLES IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE KEG NIGHTCLUB AFTER A VERBAL ALTERCATION. LAKE CHARLES POLICE HAVE ALSO ARRESTED DAVIS’ COUSIN, 23-YEAR-OLD ROBERT LOUIS DAVIS, FOR ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT TO SECOND DEGREE MURDER.





A LAFAYETTE JUDGE HAS DENIED MOST OF BRANDON LAVERGNE’S REQUEST SFOR DOCUMENTS RELATED TO HIS CONVICTION IN THE MURDERS OF MICKEY SHUNICK AND LISA PATE. LAVERGNE OF CHURCH POINT PLED GUILTY TO THE MURDERS IN AUGUST BUT HAS SINCE SAID HE FELT PRESSURE TO DO SO AND IS APPEALING THE CONVICTION. JUDGE HERMAN CLAUSE DENIED A NUMBER OF REQUESTS FOR DOCUMENTS RELATED TO HIS CONVICTION INCLUDING A REQUEST TO RETURN PROPERTY SEIZED FROM LAVERGNE. CLAUSE HOWEVER DID NOT RULE ON WHETHER HIS CONFESSION AND CONVICTION SHOULD BE SET ASIDE AND A NEW TRIAL BE GRANTED.





Republicans on the House budget-writing committee criticized Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget proposal as an elaborate shell game balanced by shaky financing and improper money maneuvers. The complaints came Tuesday in testy exchanges with Jindal administration leaders as the House Appropriations Committee opened its hearings on the governor's spending proposals for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Jindal relies on anticipated savings from the privatization of most LSU-run public hospitals, which hasn't yet happened, and patchwork financing from property sales and other not-yet-completed fund sweeps. Jindal's budget chief, Kristy Nichols, says she is confident in the financing arrangements and is certain the proposal follows the constitution.





THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN RECEIVEING A PRE-KINDERGARTEN EDUCATION IS GROWING IN LAFAYETTE PARISH. THE LAFAYETTE PARISH SCHOOL DISTRICT THIS YEAR HAS 52 PRE-K CLASSES SERVING 948 STUDENTS, NUMBERS WHICH ARE UP OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS. THE DISTRICT’S DIRECTOR OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, CHRISTINE DUAY(DOO ee), SAYS THEY HAVE IDENTIFIED 332 AT-RISK KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS WHO STAYED HOME BEFORE ENTERING SCHOOL, THOUGH THEY BELIEVE THE ACTUAL NUMBER IS MUCH HIGHER. BILLY STOKES OF THE PICARD CENTER FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT SAYS THERE ARE LONG TERM STUDIES THAT SHOW KIDS FROM LOW-INCOME HOMES WHO HAVE ACCESS TO EDUCATION BEFORE KINDERGARTEN END UP WITH TEST SCORES CLOSER TO THE NATIONAL AVERAGE.





THE MAYOR PRO TEMPORE OF WESTLAKE, WALLY ANDERSON, RESPONDED TO AN AUDIT BY THE STATE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR’S OFFICE THAT FOUND MAYOR DAN CUPIT MAY HAVE VIOLATED STATE LAWS. THE AUDIT ACCUSED CUPIT OF USING A CITY-OWNED VEHICLE FOR PERSONAL TRIPS, HAD BLUE LIGHTS IMPROPERLY INSTALLED ON HIS CITY OWNED VEHICLE, AND IMPROPERLY APPOINTED DEPARTMENT HEADS. ANDERSON TOLD THE AMERICAN PRESS THAT THE AUDIT REVEALS WHY THERE HAS BEEN FRICTION BETWEEN THE WESTLAKE CITY ADMINISTRATION AND THREE COUNCIL MEMBERS OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS. HE SAYS THE ADMINISTRATION HAS SHOWN A COMPLETE LACK OF BUDGETARY CONTROL AND HAS NO TRANSPARENCY WITH THE THREE COUNCIL MEMBERS.





AUTHORITIES ARE INVESTIGATING A HOMOCIDE IN THE FOUR THOUSAND BLOCK OF LOREAUVILLE ROAD IN IBERIA PARISH.





An Iberia Parish lawmaker again is seeking to put term limits on all statewide elected officials, after voters overwhelmingly supported such limits for school boards. Republican Rep. Simone Champagne has filed the proposal to limit statewide elected officials to three consecutive four-year terms. Lawmakers will consider the measure in the legislative session that begins in April. Champagne has proposed the idea in past sessions, but it failed to win enough support for passage.



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