city-parish charter change
LAFAYETTE — A Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce task force is exploring a tweak to city-parish government that could give council members from the city more control over city affairs.
The move comes after voters in 2011 soundly defeated a deconsolidation proposal to undo the 1996 merger of the once-separate city and parish governments, with 63 percent voting against the measure.
The chamber had opposed the deconsolidation proposal but advocated for some arrangement short of separation that would give city council members more control over city issues, such as the budgets.
2 St. Martinville residents die in crash on La. 347
BREAUX BRIDGE — A single-vehicle crash on La. 347 near Breaux Bridge killed two St. Martinville residents.
State police say the accident occurred late Saturday night.
Trooper Stephen Hammons says 45-year-old Danny Boudreaux was southbound in his Corvette when he ran off the road, hit a ditch and struck a tree.
Hammons says Boudreaux was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car, but his passenger, 44-year-old Tammy Boudreaux was wearing a seat belt.
The St. Martin Parish Coroner’s Office pronounced the Boudreauxs dead at the scene.
La. high court to hear voucher case
BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s top court next month will hear the state’s appeal of a Baton Rouge judge’s ruling that Louisiana’s expanded voucher program unconstitutionally divert public funds to private and parochial schools.
The state Supreme Court is scheduled to entertain oral arguments March 19 in New Orleans.
State District Judge Tim Kelley’s Nov. 30 ruling came at the end of a three-day trial of consolidated lawsuits, filed by Louisiana’s two largest teacher unions and the state’s school boards association.
The new expanded program began with the start of the school year in August. Before the new law, the state offered vouchers only to certain students in New Orleans.
Council gathering information for coast
BATON ROUGE — The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council will hold several public meetings to gather public comments regarding formation of a Comprehensive Plan for Gulf Coast restoration.
The council was set up by the Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, Tourism, Opportunities Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012, also known as the RESTORE Act.
The council was tasked with putting together a comprehensive plan which will, among other things, direct where part of the money from civil and administrative penalties stemming from the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill will be spent.
Public sessions are planned for Feb. 19 at the Terrebonne Civic Center, Feb. 20 at the University of New Orleans and Feb. 21, at the Lake Charles Civic Center.
I-10 work nearly finished
BATON ROUGE — Motorists who use Interstate 10 between the I-10/12 split and Siegen Lane in Baton Rouge will have an additional lane in each direction starting today.
The work began in January 2009.
It was initially set to be finished by late 2011.
But state officials announced that year the work was 10 months behind schedule.
The state also replaced the lead contractor, Austin Bridge & Road Inc., with Boh Bros. Construction of New Orleans.
At one time officials thought the $86.2 million project might be finished by the end of 2012, and then by January of this year.
About 73,000 drivers use the corridor daily.
Hattaway, Copeland join La. Political Hall of Fame
WINNFIELD, — Former Grant Parish Sheriff L.R Hattaway and Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland were among six men and one family who were inducted into the state Political Hall of Fame over the weekend.
Hattaway was longest serving sheriff in Grant Parish history, holding it for 32 years.
Copeland was elected mayor of Vidalia in 1992 and remains in that position today.
Also inducted were:
—Charles Barham of Ruston, who was elected to five terms in the Legislature.
—George Dement, who served as mayor of Bossier City for 16 years.
—Angelo Roppolo of Bossier City, who was a famed political consultant.
—Raymond Strother, a former Northwestern State student who became a consultant in American politics.
—And the Chabert family — Leonard Chabert Sr., Marty J. Chabert and Norbert Chabert.
Man dies in shooting
LECOMPTE — Rapides Parish sheriff’s deputies say a 19-year-old Alexandria man was fatally shot at a bar in Lecompte.
Deputies identified the victim as Nicholas Griffin.
Austin Adon Dean, 21, of Pineville, has been booked with second-degree murder.
Deputies say the shooting happened 4:40 a.m. Sunday at the Super Daqx Sports Bar.
Authorities say the shooting occurred after a fight in the parking lot.
Kenner man dies
of gunshot wound
KENNER — A Kenner man dropped off at the Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner on Saturday with a gunshot wound to his leg has died, police say.
Kenner investigators said they are trying to determine who left Brandon Joseph, 24, at the hospital.
Authorities say they don’t know whether he was shot in Kenner or elsewhere or whether the shooting took place during commission of a crime.
They say they have no motive for the shooting.
Woman injured at parade
HOUMA — A Thibodaux woman was injured at Saturday’s Krewe of Mardi Gras parade, Houma police say.
Police said a trailer ran over the foot of the woman, who was identified only as in her mid-40s.
Houma Police Lt. Dana Coleman said the woman walked up to the trailer to speak with someone she knew, and was injured as the trailer pulled away.
The woman was taken to Thibodaux Regional Medical Center.
Terrebonne job recruiters seek to fill 820 jobs
HOUMA — The Terrebonne Parish Economic Development Authority has launched a recruiting drive to help employers in the parish fill about 820 vacant jobs.
Steve Vassallo, the authority’s chief executive officer, says the effort is going on in Louisiana and Mississippi.
He said recruiters have visited Oxford, Brookhaven and Horn Lake, Miss., where students in technical vocations may be interested in jobs in Terrebonne.
The tour includes 30 agencies and academic institutions based in 26 cities. Upcoming stops in Mississippi include Hattiesburg, Jackson and Gulfport. Louisiana stops include Chalmette, New Orleans, Luling, Baton Rouge, Sorrento, Hammond, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Covington, Jefferson, Opelousas, Deridder, Natchitoches, Alexandria, Shreveport, Monroe, Mansfield, Jonesville, Bossier City and Ruston.
Officials in each region are receiving a workforce development book detailing employment opportunities in the coastal parish.
From The Associated Press.