Woman’s body found on bridge in St. Mary Parish

Detectives are investigating the death of a woman whose body was found Tuesday on the two-lane La. 182 bridge that crosses the Atchafalaya River connecting Berwick and Morgan City, officials said. The body was discovered at around 4 a.m., St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Traci Landry said. Authorities provided no information … Continue reading →

Authorities make arrest in Abbeville community hall shooting

Bryson Provost

Vermilion Parish authorities have arrested a Loreauville man in the Saturday shooting at a community hall that injured seven people, officials said. Bryson Provost, 20, was booked into the Vermilion Parish Correctional Center on seven counts of attempted first-degree murder, Sheriff Mike Couvillon said. Provost was arrested Monday afternoon at his home by … Continue reading →

Joseph Bowman Cormier seeks city marshal’s position

Joseph Bowman “J.B.” Cormier has announced he is a candidate in the Lafayette city marshal’s race. Cormier, who has 35 years of law enforcement experience, is a former member of the Lafayette Police Department and the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, and for nine years was an investigator for the Louisiana Attorney General’s … Continue reading →

Lafayette board approves budget that Cooper claims is illegal

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Lafayette Parish Schools Superintendent Pat Cooper, left, speaks with school sytem CFO Billy Guidry, right and Finance Director Matt Dugas before a budget adoption meeting Monday in Lafayette.

The Lafayette Parish School Board adopted a nearly $430 million budget Monday despite Superintendent Pat Cooper’s warnings that those who voted in support of the plan “are knowingly breaking the law.” Cooper said the board’s version of the budget violates portions of a state law, known as Act 1, that gives school boards … Continue reading →

Teenage pedestrian struck by truck, critically injured

A Lafayette teen was in critical condition after he was hit by a truck while walking near the 2700 block of Northeast Evangeline Thruway over the weekend, officials said. The 17-year-old, who was not identified, was hit at around 2:15 a.m. Sunday by a truck whose driver did not stop, Lafayette police Cpl. … Continue reading →

Acadiana Crime Blotter for Sept. 15, 2014

Seven people were shot and wounded, though none of them seriously, in a fight during a party at the Woodman of World lodge in Abbeville at about 1 a.m. Sunday, KATC reports. Deputies said the shooting happened during a birthday party at the lodge in the … Continue reading →

Signs of the times: Collector values signs from the homeless

Photo provided by Willie Baronet -- Willie Baronet is shown with signs he has collected from homeless people during travels across the United States.

Willie Baronet is not quite sure why he started buying signs from homeless people in the 1990s, but his growing collection of handmade, mostly cardboard creations has transformed into a project he hopes will bring public attention to a population that is often ignored. The 54-year-old Lafayette native’s unusual … Continue reading →

Center celebrates Ernest J. Gaines, 50th anniversary of first novel

Ernest J. Gaines

Literature survives because it teaches us universal lessons. The Ernest J. Gaines Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is planning to commemorate exactly that Sept. 17 through Nov. 21. In events planned with public libraries, the center will mark the 50th anniversary of Gaines’ first novel “Catherine Carmier” as well as … Continue reading →

Lafayette police blotter for Sept. 14, 2014

Arrests posted Sept. 13, 2014, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office website: DUSTIN JAMES AGUILLARD: 24, of the 300 block of East Oak, Crowley. He was booked on probation violation. ANN JONES ALEX: 49, of the 500 block of St. Anne Street, Carencro. She was booked on aggravated assault. … Continue reading →

Lafayette program helping teen moms stay in school

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Ariel Cormier, right, greets her daughter, Kennedie Cormier, 7 months, after finishing her day at Northside High School Friday in Lafayette.

Amber Boudreaux’s junior year of high school could have begun a bit differently than the one she started last month at Northside High School. “I probably would have stayed at home and home-schooled because I wouldn’t have had a babysitter,” Boudreaux, 17, said. Instead, the teen mom attends … Continue reading →

Lafayette man arrested in shoot out with police

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Willow Park Apartments Friday in Lafayette.

A Lafayette police officer remained in stable condition at an area hospital Friday following a shoot out Thursday night in an apartment on Willow Street. The man said to have shot him, Chase Chaisson, 23, of Lafayette, is also hospitalized with gunshot wounds sustained during the exchange, police said. … Continue reading →

Sheriff seeks help finding missing Opelousas man

Gervis Riggs

The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Department is asking for the community’s help in locating an Opelousas man who was last seen at his home on Sept. 7. Gervis Riggs, 56, of 9277 Hwy. 182 did not report to work as scheduled, and his family has been unable to make contact with him. Anyone with information regarding … Continue reading →

Suspect in shooting of Lafayette officer identified; officer, suspect both hospitalized with gunshot wounds

Chase Chaisson

Updated at 11 a.m. – LAFAYETTE — Lafayette police have identified the man accused of shooting a police officer late Thursday at an apartment complex on West Willow Street. The officer, a three-and-a-half-year veteran of the police force, was in stable condition at a local hospital. The shooting suspect, Chase Chaisson, 23, of Lafayette was also hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Police issued … Continue reading →

Council approves pay boost for Lafayette police

Joey Durel

Police officers could be in line for their biggest raise in years. The City-Parish Council on Thursday cobbled together an additional $600,000 to bridge the gap between a pay raise plan from the administration and one pushed by the local police union. The shuffling of funds for police … Continue reading →

Acadiana Crime Blotter: Alcohol permit suspended on Broussard bar

Jersey’s Daiquiris Sports Bar had its state alcohol permit suspended after the bar was found guilty Thursday of selling alcohol to a minor, according to the state Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control. During an administrative hearing in Baton Rouge, Commissioner Troy Hebert found the bar guilty of third-offense sale of alcohol to … Continue reading →

Lafayette Junior League awards grants to community programs

The Junior League of Lafayette recently awarded $135,000 in grants to community programs that support the well-being of women and the healthy development of children. In addition to financial support, Junior League of Lafayette provides volunteer resources to many of the organizations to help with their programs and assist them in … Continue reading →

Lafayette education group creates advisory council

The group Power of Public Education Lafayette recently created an advisory council of educators, parents and community activists to guide the nonprofit’s efforts to promote effective public education for all in the parish. “The advisory council will expand our outreach and guide our direction,” said Toby Daspit, the organization’s president. … Continue reading →

CEO joins emergency response board

Katie Hebert

St. Martin Hospital CEO Katie Hebert has been appointed to the board of the Louisiana Emergency Response Network, a state agency whose responsibilities include coordinating care in natural disasters and large-scale emergencies. Hebert was nominated by the Rural Hospital Coalition to represent hospitals with fewer than 60 beds. Gov. Bobby Jindal appointed … Continue reading →

Opelousas man sentenced for part in international fraud scheme

An Opelousas man this week was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison for his role in an international fraud scheme that bilked U.S. banks and people, officials said. Nelson Durald, 49, also was ordered by U.S. District Judge Richard Haik to pay restitution to victims of the counterfeit financial instruments scheme that … Continue reading →

Federal grand jury charges Lafayette man with income tax fraud

A federal grand jury this week charged a 56-year-old Lafayette man with income tax fraud for allegedly failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, officials said. Donald Domingues was indicted Wednesday on one count each of tax evasion and filing a false tax return, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said. … Continue reading →

Iberia detectives nab man wanted on fraud in four parishes

Detectives with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested a contractor wanted on fraud in four Acadiana parishes, Sheriff Louis Ackal announced late Thursday. Neil Laperouse, 52, faces outstanding warrants from Iberia, Acadia, St. Martin and Lafayette parishes, Ackal said in a news release. Acting on a tip that Laperouse was in the Loreauville area of Iberia … Continue reading →

Lafayette City-Parish budget debate expected to be lively

The Lafayette City-Parish Council has some big-ticket budget disputes to hash out at a Thursday meeting, as well as a few squabbles over expenses for individual council members. The most substantial proposed changes to City-Parish President Joey Durel’s budget are tied to efforts by the council to find more … Continue reading →

Acadiana crime blotter: Man ingests lethal amount of drugs

A suspected dealer of synthetic marijuana in Iberia Parish, confronted by narcotics agents Tuesday, barricaded himself inside a home in Iberia Parish and ingested a potentially lethal amount of illegal narcotics that required a trip to the hospital, officials said. Heath Duplechain, 35, on Wednesday afternoon remained in a medically induced … Continue reading →