closed Carencro strip club
LAFAYETTE — Federal prosecutors are taking steps to seize ownership of property associated with the now-closed Desperado’s Gentlemen’s Cabaret north of Lafayette.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed civil case papers that identifies the land and building in Carencro, which was raided by authorities in December in a drug and prostitution investigation.
The Lafayette man who prosecutors have said owned and operated the strip club, 54-year-old James Panos, was indicted Dec. 19 on one count of conspiracy to operate drug-involved premises.
Panos’ attorney, Scott Iles, said Tuesday that Panos does not own the property that prosecutors want to seize.
Iles said the land, building and business is owned by a Baton Rouge company called Diversified Asset Group.
2 indicted in septic tank bribery scheme
BATON ROUGE — A former Louisiana septic tank contractor and a former state septic system inspector have been indicted in Baton Rouge federal court on charges related to an alleged series of bribes totaling about $50,000.
U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux Jr. said 71-year-old Glenn Kelly Johnson is the former contractor, who now lives in Brookhaven, Miss.
Also indicted was 52-year-old Alan Forrest Pogue, of Covington. He is a former septic system inspector.
The indictment alleges that Pogue accessed computer databases of the Onsite Wastewater Program to make handwritten lists of applicants for permits to install septic tanks. Johnson is alleged to have paid cash for those lists.
Johnson then solicited business from the applicants named on those lists.
Fiscal crisis looms
for Lafayette schools
LAFAYETTE — Lafayette school officials have asked area legislators to push for a funding increase for public education and for relief from some unfunded state mandates to help the district overcome a $12 million deficit in the next school year.
Officials presented a list of advocacy issues to legislators on Wednesday, including an appeal for at least a 2.75 percent increase in the Minimum Foundation Program, the formula the state uses to allocate per pupil funding.
Billy Guidry, chief financial officer, says for the past four years, districts haven’t received the 2.75 percent increase, which resulted in a cumulative loss of $10 million for the Lafayette Parish School System.
Guidry says the district has few options to reduce $12 million from its budget in the upcoming fiscal year.
Man arrested in deaths of couple
GRETNA — A 20-year-old Baton Rouge man is accused of killing two men whose badly decomposed bodies were found in a Metairie apartment on Feb. 14, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said.
He said Miller was arrested Wednesday in Baton Rouge and booked on a charge of violating parole.
Normand said in a news release that Detective Rhonda Goff secured a warrant accusing Miller of second-degree murder in the deaths of 33-year-old Akeen Boudreaux and 36-year-old Morris Williams, a transgender woman who went by the name Milan Boudreaux.
Miller allegedly fled in the couple’s car after police were called to a domestic disturbance in Baton Rouge. He denied being in New Orleans when Boudreaux and Williams were killed and told investigators he got the car from a stranger in Baton Rouge, but Normand says cellphone records put him in the area.
He also allegedly had the victims’ computer and cellphone, Normand said.
EBR casinos allowed
to serve alcohol all night
BATON ROUGE — The East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council voted, 7-4, with one abstention, in favor of creating a special license for casinos that will allow them to sell alcohol past 2 a.m. — unlike other Baton Rouge bars and stores.
Baton Rouge’s casinos, while open 24 hours a day, are the only ones in the state that shut off alcohol sales at 2 a.m., per local law.
The change, approved Wednesday, won’t go into effect for 12 days unless the mayor-president signs it into law sooner, and then the casinos will have to purchase their $5,000 licenses.
All three of Baton Rouge’s casinos have said they supported the change in the law and would purchase the license to extend their alcohol sales.
Shreveport foundation may run 2 LSU hospitals
SHREVEPORT — A Shreveport foundation is interested in taking over the public hospital in Monroe as well as the one in Shreveport.
The Biomedical Research Foundation is interested in a partnership with both the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport and E.A. Conway Medical Center in Monroe, spokesman Jay Meyers said Wednesday. He wouldn’t name other potential partners.
Conway had had been negotiating with St. Francis Medical Center of Monroe. Those talks broke off Monday when LSU officials preferred to explore the foundation option.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s budget relies on savings expected from turning public hospitals run by LSU over to private parties. The hospitals are struggling to fill budget gaps caused by state cuts.
The foundation board will consider a proposal at a special meeting Friday. Myers said the proposed memorandum of understanding would spell out organizations and companies involved.
The foundation could control the hospitals directly or through a separate nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation.
If approved by the foundation board and LSU, a northern Louisiana board would be created to govern the hospitals.
The foundation gets $2.5 million a year from a 2-mill property tax administered by the Caddo Parish Commission and gets $4 million to $5 million a year leasing leases research labs to the LSU System. BRF also operates a venture capital fund, a science and technology park, a positron emission tomography scanning program and a company that creates and sells the isotopes used in for such scanning.
Automatic spending cuts cancel Barksdale air show
SHREVEPORT— Barksdale Air Force Base officials say an air show scheduled May 4-5 is off because of automatic spending cuts forced by the congressional budget battle.
A notice Wednesday on the base website announced the cancellation.
Col. Andrew Gebara, commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing, said times are challenging.
One of his predecessors, retired Brig. Gen. Peyton Cole, says he expected the cancellation and is worried it will hurt squadrons that rely on air show sales to bring in money for such things as farewell or wedding gifts for squadron members.
Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Shawn Bohannon says air shows help recruiting by letting civilians see what the Air Force does.
Maj. Warren Carroll says planners are working on a date for next year’s show.
From The Associated Press.