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Gramercy man arrested in Lafayette shooting death after going to pay a fine

Authorities in Jefferson Parish on Friday arrested a Gramercy man wanted in a Lafayette shooting death earlier in the week. Kendrick Anthony Fobb, 28, is accused of first-degree murder in the slaying of 51-year-old Christopher Isaac, who died Monday at his Lafayette apartment on Duval Street, according to the Lafayette Police Department. Fobb had gone to… Continue reading →

Battle brewing over whether to sell, or keep, the land under Lafayette’s long-vacant old federal courthouse

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  The former Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, now vacant, is pictured Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in downtown Lafayette, La.

A plan to redevelop the site of the abandoned old federal courthouse downtown into a mix of residential and commercial space seems no closer to reality than when it was first floated six years ago. City-Parish President Joey Durel’s proposed budget for next year calls for spending $1.5 million to demolish the hulking eyesore… Continue reading →

Federal lawsuit settled in beating of inmate at Lafayette Parish Correctional Center

Brandon Gallien, left, and Michael McSheffrey

A federal lawsuit against the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office in the beating of an inmate in April 2014 has been settled for an undisclosed amount of money. Jason Brungardt, 41, of Lafayette, filed the suit last year after he said two deputies — Brandon Gallien, 29, of Opelousas, and Michael McSheffrey, 35, of Lafayette — beat and pepper-sprayed him… Continue reading →

Lafayette Crime Blotter for Aug. 28

Arrests posted Aug. 28, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website: ALEXANDRA ELIZABETH ARDOIN: 18, homeless, Lafayette. She was booked on distribution or possession with intent to distribute Schedule IV narcotics; misdemeanor distribution or possession with intent to distribute Schedule I narcotics; and misdemeanor hit-and-run driving. THOMAS JOSEPH ARNAUD: 26,… Continue reading →

Lafayette Crime Blotter for Aug. 27

Arrests posted Aug. 26, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website. MONTANA JAMES ALLEMAN: 26, of the 1500 block of North Wilderness Trail, Carencro. He was booked on prohibited activities (drug paraphernalia). ENGLISH NICOLE ASBERRY: 31, of the 1600 block of East Simcoe Street, Lafayette. She was booked on identity theft and felony… Continue reading →

Suspect in Sunset slayings found ‘unresponsive’ in jail, taken to hospital; authorities suspect man was faking illness

Harrison Lee Riley

The St. Landry Parish man accused in the fatal shooting of a Sunset police officer and stabbing death of a woman didn’t appear for his bond hearing Friday after apparently faking a medical condition that got him transported to a local hospital. But the hearing proceeded anyway, and 27th Judicial… Continue reading →

Four announced candidates for Lafayette sheriff tackle mental healthcare issues in forum Thursday

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Attendees listen to candidates as they respond to questions concerning the sheriff's race during a forum held Thursday at the public safety complex on Willow St.

All four announced candidates for Lafayette Parish sheriff agree action is needed to improve law enforcement’s approach to mental health care, each saying cross-agency collaboration is necessary while offering varied perspectives on the sheriff’s responsibility toward the issue. Each candidate — Rick Chargois, Mark Garber, Chad Leger and John Rogers — took turns standing solo before a… Continue reading →

Small town of Sunset tries to make sense of Wednesday’s slayings — and loss of two beloved community members

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- Wilbert Johnson and his daughter, Shaterral Johnson, talk Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, about the knife attack on his wife, Jacqueline, Shaterral's mother and daughters Shameka and Surlay Johnson, Shaterral's sisters, that occurred Wednesday evening on Anna Street in Sunset. Shameka Johnson and responding Sunset police Officer Henry Nelson, who was shot after his weapon was taken from him by the suspect, were both killed in the attack, police said.

He was somewhat of an outsider to this small town straddling a rural highway of antique shops, liquor stores and Cajun-inflected art and music joints. Those who knew the four Johnson sisters, one of whom was slain Wednesday and another critically knifed on the very lawn where they were raised in Sunset, population… Continue reading →

Gramercy man sought in Lafayette shooting death

Police on Thursday issued a first-degree murder warrant for a Gramercy man wanted in a Monday shooting death at a Lafayette apartment complex. Kendrick Anthony Fobb, 28, is accused of killing Christopher Isaac, 51, at his apartment in the 200 block of Duval Street, according to the Lafayette Police Department. Police are also searching for Dontae… Continue reading →

Authorities arrest student in bomb threat at Lafayette Middle School

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  Lafayette Police and K-9 units respond to a bomb threat Wednesday, August 26, 2015, at Lafayette Middle School in Lafayette, La.

A Lafayette Middle School student arrested Thursday is accused of scrawling a bomb threat on a bathroom wall, leading to the school’s evacuation. A school resource officer investigating the threat Wednesday identified a student believed responsible for the writing, which had caused the school’s students to be evacuated to a nearby elementary school while police swept and… Continue reading →

Bell Helicopter to begin hiring workers for $23.6M Lafayette facility in 2016

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel, left, tries his hand at flying the Bell 505 Ranger X Helicopter in a simulator with the help of Bell helicopters Robert "Red" Hoar during grand opening of the assembly plant for the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015 at Lafayette Regional Airport in Lafayette, La.

Bell Helicopter in early 2016 will begin hiring most of the 115 Acadiana employees needed at the company’s new $23.6 million assembly plant, an 82,300-square-foot facility located at Lafayette Regional Airport that will start producing the 505 Jet Ranger X next year. “We know what types of people live, work and play in this region,” said… Continue reading →

St. Landry economic development effort to focus on accentuating the positive with ‘We’re Moving Forward’ campaign

Bright spot in a depressed oil and gas industry: The Bayou Companies to expand at Port of Iberia

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Facilities belonging to the Bayou Companies are seen on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015 at the Port of Iberia.

Another oil and gas service company will expand operations at the Port of Iberia, officials announced Wednesday. Bayou Companies is embarking on $39 million in upgrades to the pipe-coating facility at the port. The upgrades will provide specialty anticorrosion coating for deepwater pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico. A new… Continue reading →

Lafayette prosecutor asks appellate court to review Seth Fontenot 13-month prison sentence in fatal shooting, calling it ‘illegally lenient’

Seth Fontenot

An appellate court has been asked to review the 13-month sentence Seth Fontenot received in July for killing one teen and wounding two others, a prison term a Lafayette Parish prosecutor called “illegal and illegally lenient.” J.N. Prather Jr., an assistant district attorney for Lafayette Parish, said in papers filed with the 3rd Circuit Court of… Continue reading →

In town where 'we know everybody,' tragedy crosses family lines: Slain police officer was suspect's cousin

Police Officer Henry Nelson, left, and Shameka Johnson were killed Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, when a man went on a stabbing and shooting rampage in the St. Landry town of Sunset.

The man accused of stabbing three people, one of whom died, and of then killing a Sunset police officer with his own gun before barricading himself inside a convenience store was a cousin of the slain officer, officials said. St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said the officer who was killed was Henry Nelson, 51. Also… Continue reading →

Fireworks exploded to scare off stray dogs causes nearby Chitimacha school to be put in lockdown Wednesday

Gunfire reported Wednesday morning from a school on the Chitimacha reservation turned out to be neighbors popping fireworks to scare off stray dogs, police said. “The good thing was it did give the school a live drill, so to speak. And they performed flawlessly,” Chitimacha Tribal Police Chief Hal Hutchinson said. Chitimacha Tribal School administrators called… Continue reading →

Lafayette police make arrest made in North Loop Street shooting

A Lafayette man accused of shooting and injuring two men last month on North Loop Street was in Lafayette Parish jail Wednesday, where he’s being held on two counts of attempted first-degree murder. Police arrested Javari Guidry, 19, on Tuesday in the 300 block of Eric Street, Lafayette Police Department spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton said.… Continue reading →

Lafayette Crime Blotter for Aug. 26

Arrests posted Aug. 25, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s web site: BROOKE ELIZABETH ABSHIRE: 31, of the 7700 block of Sara Drive, Maurice. She was booked on simple burglary. RYAN MITCHELL ALEXANDER: 21, of the 100 block of Kevin Drive, Duson. He was booked on two counts of warrant/bench warrant.… Continue reading →

Lafayette considering expanding recycling to apartments, rural residents

Advocate staff file photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  Collectors for Recycling Foundation, Inc. pick up residents' recycling waste on Howard Street Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Lafayette, La.

City-parish government is considering changes to local recycling services that could include expanding to rural areas and apartment complexes. The City-Parish Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to end its current contract with the Recycling Foundation, which has provided recycling services in the city since the 1980s. The Recycling Foundation could re bid… Continue reading →

Budgets pass, but Opelousas mayor annoyed with single no vote

At least $350,000 raised so far for Lafayette’s Grand 16 Theatre shooting victims; groups researching how to distribute the funds

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  A "Lafayette Strong" yard sign stands near weeks-old flowers, stuffed animals, candles and other memorial offerings that remain near the base of the marquee sign at the Grand 16 Theatre, where a gunman opened fire July 23 killing three, including himself, and injuring nine others, Tuesday, August 25, 2015, in Lafayette, La.

Area businesses have raised at least $350,000 for the 11 people shot, two fatally, in a Lafayette movie theater last month, and the donations continue to grow as those groups discuss how best to distribute the money among the victims. A handful of people representing those businesses and other nonprofits involved in the effort met Tuesday… Continue reading →

Pineville man sought for two weeks after crash that killed motorcyclist is found and arrested in Monroe

State troopers on Monday booked a Pineville man authorities had been seeking for two weeks as a suspect in a fatal hit-and-run crash in Bayou Vista. The Monroe Police Department had located and detained Mark Joseph Montie Jr., 31, who is accused of fleeing an Aug. 11 fatal crash that killed 32-year-old motorcyclist Jerome Rudolph Jr.… Continue reading →

Lafayette Crime Blotter for Aug. 25

Arrests posted Aug. 24, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website. WILLIAM EDWARD BRUBAKER: 34, of Quarterhorse Lane, Kinder. He was booked on hold for Jefferson Parish and felony theft of a motor vehicle. JASON KEITH BRUNO: 17, of the 600 block of East Vermilion Street, Lafayette. He was booked on prohibited activities… Continue reading →

Lafayette Clerk of Court recommends separating the courthouse-jail tax as first step to building new courthouse

Advocate staff file photo by BRAD BOWIE -- The Lafayette Parish Courthouse

In a pitch he’s made before, Lafayette Parish’s Clerk of Court Louis Perret said Monday that it’s past time to replace the 50-year-old state district courthouse in downtown Lafayette, and he asked a citizens committee for help in implementing a first step. Perret wants Lafayette City-Parish Government to amend the legal and accounting documents… Continue reading →

Wish list for Lafayette’s new high school envisions 3-story building with atrium, 2-story library, auditorium

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  Joe Craig, chief administrative officer for the Lafayette Parish School System, listens during a meeting of architects, school officials and community members at one in a series of charrettes, or planning sessions, to discuss the building of a new high school in Youngsville Monday, August 24, 2015, at the Lafayette Parish School System conference room in Lafayette, La.

A vision for the Lafayette Parish School System’s first newly constructed high school in 47 years is slowly starting to take shape with input from residents, school officials and the architects who will put those ideas into their design. That vision involves a three-story school that offers students an option to study the fields of energy… Continue reading →

Hunting safety courses offered and other Around Acadiana items for Aug. 25, 2015

The St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold hunter safety courses in August, September and October, with one course each month consisting of a day-and-a-half of training. The courses will be held at the Sheriff’s Office Training Academy, 1815 Terrace Highway in St. Martinville.… Continue reading →

Sister-in-law says suspect in state trooper shooting ‘troubled,’ threatened her family

2:25 p.m. The sister-in-law of the man accused of fatally shooting a Louisiana state trooper in southwest Louisiana described him as “a good person until he started drinking.” Diane Daigle said Tuesday that her brother-in-law Kevin Daigle needed help for problems but received very little. She described him as in and out of jail for the past decade, in… Continue reading →

Lafayette Crime Blotter for Aug. 24

Arrests posted Aug. 23, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website. TYLON ADAMS: 19, of the 100 block of Carondelet Drive, Lafayette. He was booked on warrant/bench warrant. ANTONIO COLIN: 24, homeless, Lafayette. He was booked on failure to secure a driver’s license; misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated; and misdemeanor reckless… Continue reading →

Heavy rains followed by drought takes toll on Louisiana soybean crops; average yield per acre projected at less than half that for 2014

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  Andre Fabacher, an agronomist with Sanders farm supply in Eunice, pulls up soybean plants to look at the roots, which are much shorter than they would be in a normal growing season, Wednesday, August 12, 2015, in a field near Eunice, La. The area is currently experiencing a moderate drought.

After Louisiana farmers last year produced a record amount of soybeans, crops are suffering this season beneath extreme summer weather that lurched from weeks of incessant downpours to a weekslong drought. “We just had a poor season for soybeans,” LSU AgCenter soybean specialist Ronnie… Continue reading →

Lafayette crime blotter for Aug. 22, 2015

Arrests posted Aug. 22, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s web site: WANDA ADAMS: 48, of the 100 block of Anderson Circle, Scott. She was booked on unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. DANIEL JESUS ALVAREZ: 18, of the 100 block… Continue reading →

Lafayette sees drop in teachers retiring, resigning but concerns about staffing remain

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Lafayette Parish Association of Educators Rodolfo Espinoza speaks on school calender reform during the Lafayette Parish School Board meeting Wednesday in Lafayette.

Fewer Lafayette Parish School System teachers resigned and retired in the last school year compared to the past few years, records show, but staffing remains a concern. More than 300 teachers resigned annually over the past few years, leading one local teachers group to call the exodus a crisis for the school system. But while teacher… Continue reading →

Hunt continues in Evangeline Parish for man accused of shooting at father, threatening pastor and police, and killing a dog

Brandon Messer

Evangeline Parish residents are being advised to keep their homes and vehicles locked during the ongoing manhunt for Brandon Messer, who accused of shooting multiple rounds in a Lake Cove church parking lot, threatening the pastor and police, and killing a dog. Messer, 28, is considered armed and dangerous. “Messer made it clear that he would not… Continue reading →

Plaza Downtown remains open while city investigates if bar should be allowed in downtown Lafayette

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- The building located at 314 Jefferson Street, with a sign identifying itself as The Plaza Downtown, on Aug. 18, 2015.

The largest bar in downtown Lafayette can stay open, at least for the near future, despite a notice sent by city-parish government earlier this week directing The Plaza Downtown to immediately cease operations. Plaza Downtown manager Shannon Wilkerson confirmed the Jefferson Street club will open as scheduled this weekend, and City-Parish Attorney Michael Hebert… Continue reading →

Proposal to ban smoking in some Lafayette bars snuffed out before coming to council vote as advocates push for broader ban on smoking in all bars

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Scott Bernard smokes a cigarette inside Caffe Cottage on Friday afternoon. On Tuesday, the Lafayette City Council voted against a smoking ban for Lafayette bars.

A City-Parish Council proposal to prohibit smoking in bars with live music has died before coming to a vote. The council voted 5-4 in May against a ban on smoking in all bars, but a revised proposal was up for a vote on Sept. 1 to prohibit smoking in bars with live music while… Continue reading →

Youngsville files suit against engineering firm over Chemin Metairie Parkway failures

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  Motorists and cyclists travel down Chemin Metairie Parkway between Detente Road and Guillot Road (La. Hwy. 89) Friday, August 21, 2015, in Youngsville, La.

Youngsville this week filed a lawsuit against the engineering firm that designed and oversaw construction of Chemin Metairie Parkway Phase I, a 2.6-mile, two-lane stretch that started failing after it was opened in 2008. The suit, filed Wednesday against C. H. Fenstermaker and Associates LLC, seeks damages and attorney fees associated with repairs… Continue reading →