PORT ALLEN — A state district judge has granted a temporary restraining order blocking Port Allen Mayor Demetric Slaughter from firing the city’s chief financial officer and ordered Slaughter to show cause why his order should not become permanent.
Judge Alvin Batiste on Thursday set a hearing regarding Slaughter’s firing of CFO Audrey McCain for Wednesday.
The mayor dismissed McCain on Monday from her jobs as city chief financial officer and municipal clerk.
Slaughter informed City Council members of McCain’s firing in a letter, an action that stirred up negative responses among a majority of council members during their meeting Wednesday night.
Slaughter wrote that she dismissed McCain because of accounting deficiencies cited in an audit of the city’s financial records for fiscal year 2011.
Faculty criticizes online contract
BATON ROUGE — Southern University System President Ronald Mason spent the bulk of a Thursday faculty meeting fending off charges that he’s recklessly negotiated a partnership with an online education service provider that will hurt the university in the long run.
Members of Southern’s Faculty Senate accused Mason of freezing faculty out of the decision-making process, negotiating a bad contract and then using scare tactics to build support for a plan that gives Education Online Services Corp.
Mason said Southern doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure to attract large numbers of online students, shepherd them through the financial aid process and then cater to their needs.
of killing father
HAMMOND — Police say a 30-year-old Hammond man has been arrested on a count of first-degree murder after calling 911 to report he had shot his father.
Hammond police Lt. Vince Giannobile said Robert Lafargue allegedly told police dispatchers that he had shot his father, 67-year-old Laurent Lafargue.
Giammobile says Robert Lafargue surrendered without resistance when police arrived.
Robert was booked into the Hammond City Jail then transfer to the Tangipahoa Parish Jail in Amite.
A motive for the slaying was not released.
Man arrested in Sorrento slaying
BATON ROUGE — A 41-year-old Baton Rouge man has become the third suspect arrested in the slaying of Gerald Wilkins last month in Ascension Parish.
Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley said in a news release that Darryl Jones was arrested Thursday. Ascension sheriff’s deputies had been seeking Jones for about two weeks.
Jones was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Baton Rouge. He was booked into the Ascension Parish Jail on one count of being a principal to second-degree murder.
The 41-year-old Wilkins was found shot to death on the side of LV Road in Sorrento on Jan. 12.
Indicted strip club owner seeks change of venue
LAFAYETTE — The indicted owner of a closed Carencro strip club has filed a motion in federal court seeking to move his trial out of Lafayette where he said media coverage has prejudiced potential jurors.
James Panos, who owns Desperado’s Gentleman’s Cabaret, also said in the motion that he wants a review of the government’s case against him, including a sample of any illicit drug on which federal prosecutors have based their criminal case against him.
Scott Iles, who is Panos’ Lafayette attorney, wrote in the motion that his client wants enough of a drug sample so that an independent chemist can analyze the substance.
Panos was indicted in December on one count of “maintaining drug involved premises.”
School district prepares for cuts
GREENSBURG — The St. Helena Parish School Board has approved a reduction in force policy for 2013-14 in case declines in state funding and federal and local grants require the district to cut employees.
Superintendent Kelli Joseph says school officials are not certain that a reduction in force would be necessary, but must take appropriate steps now in case layoffs are required.
The school district is facing the potential loss of state funding for numerous reasons.
They include local contributions to the Recovery School District which runs the parish’s middle school, student participation in the voucher and course choice programs and proposed changes to the special education funding formula.
From The Associated Press.