Judge Conque said Tuesday he will retire at end of year

Judge Durwood Conque

Lafayette Parish Judge Durwood Conque announced Tuesday he would retire when his six-year term ends in December. Conque was first elected to the 15th Judicial District bench in 1987. During his tenure, he served as chief judge for the three-parish judicial district composed of Lafayette, Vermilion and Acadia parishes, and was a member … Continue reading →

Lafayette High School mourns teacher’s death

Lafayette High School teacher Alicia Gauthier died Monday after falling ill while teaching a social studies class, Superintendent Pat Cooper said. “Her commitment to her students, her co-faculty and the staff at Lafayette High School was so great that all who knew her well know that she left us while doing what … Continue reading →

Girard Park death ruled as accidental drowning

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Balloons and stuffed animals hang from a section of fence near the drainage ditch where Alexandria Shelton's body was discovered in Girard Park, on Monday morning. Shelton was a student at Grambling State University and was due to graduate next month.

An autopsy revealed Monday that 21-year-old aspiring lawyer Alexandria Shelton accidentally drowned in the Girard Park drainage ditch where police found her body early Sunday morning. Lafayette police Sgt. Randal Leger said the circumstances that led to Shelton’s drowning are unclear since the young woman was alone in the park. “The coroner … Continue reading →

Lafayette crime blotter for Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Patterson man is in critical condition following a single-vehicle crash early Monday morning and faces arrest for third-offense DWI and vehicular homicide because his passenger died, State Trooper Stephen Hammons said. Autoro Garcia, 32, of Patterson, was driving a 2001 Chevrolet Blazer west on La. 182 after 3:30 a.m. … Continue reading →

Police seek suspect in April 9 bank robbery

Harold James Carmouche Jr.

Coroner: Grambling State student died by accidental drowning

Alexandria Shelton

Alexandria Shelton accidentally drowned in the drainage ditch where her body was found after midnight Sunday, said Lafayette Police Sgt. Randal Leger. An autopsy showed her death was an accidental drowning and there were no signs of foul play, Leger said. The 21-year-old Lafayette woman was a senior at Grambling State University … Continue reading →

SUV hits bicycle, kills rider in New Iberia

A 38-year-old New Iberia man died Saturday night after he was struck by a Jeep as he tried to cross East St. Peter Street on his bicycle, an Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman said. Lt. Anthony Green said Tony “3rd Gear” Parker was found lying in the 500 block of East St. Peter Street at about 10:20 … Continue reading →

Woman, 21, found dead in Girard Park

Lafayette police are investigating what they are calling a suspicious death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch near a pond in Girard Park. Cpl. Paul Mouton, a police spokesman, said detectives, who say the death is suspicious, have not ruled out foul play in the death of the woman, … Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Putting it on paper counts

Deanie Chesson, Clarice Burch

America has always been the land of innovation and the next new thing. Several companies now offer online wedding invitations allowing you to tweet, track and torture people for days leading up to the main event. You’re likely to hear the touting of paperless wedding invitations on the grounds you’re going green, hip, … Continue reading →

Students hope to see ‘Atlas’ shoulder title

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Connor Stevens, 17, talks about building Team Phenomena's latest robotic creation,

A Lafayette Parish robotics team bestowed a mighty name on the robot its members spent the past six weeks designing and building: Atlas. However, this robot won’t exactly live up to the myth of the Titan it’s named for. Rather than holding the weight of the world on its shoulders, this Atlas … Continue reading →

Lafayette police blotter for April 13, 2014

Arrests posted Apr. 12, 2014, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office website: PAGE LEIGH ADDISON: 33, of the 300 block of Fuselier Street, Arnaudville. She was booked on distribution or possession with intent to distribute Schedule IV narcotics; disturbing the peace; for St. Martin Parish; misdemeanor possession of … Continue reading →

Lafayette crime blotter for April 12, 2014

Investigators suspect arson in an early morning fire that damaged a vacant home at 107 Hobson St., the Lafayette Fire Department reported. Firefighters were called to the fire at about 1 a.m. Friday and had it out in about 15 minutes, the Fire Department reported. The fire, which heavily … Continue reading →

Fla. firm acquires Landry Harris agency in Lafayette

Landry Harris & Co. in Lafayette has been acquired by AssuredPartners Gulf Coast Insurance Agency, a subsidiary of Florida-based AssuredPartners Inc. Landry Harris & Co. specializes in commercial insurance, bonds, employee benefit programs and personal insurance, with annual revenue of about $10 million. As part of the acquisition, 37 Landry Harris employees will join AssuredPartners Gulf … Continue reading →

Holy Week crawfish supply should satisfy demand

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Jose Ortiz ties off a bag of crawfish with pond owner Stephen Mienville Wednesday in New Iberia.

Louisiana crawfishermen and the merchants who sell the crustacean to retail customers say the supply should be enough to satisfy appetites during Holy Week and Easter weekend, a welcome turn to a season marred by a harsh winter that stunted crawfish growth, limited the catch and made profit forecasts bleak. In the … Continue reading →

Three-For-All scheduled for Saturday in Lafayette

Advocate photo by TERRI FENSEL -- University of Louisiana at Lafayette Running back Alonzo Harris practices with the team Thursday in Lafayette.

Ragin’ Cajuns fans can get their fill Saturday with not one, not two, but three University of Louisiana at Lafayette sports games at a special Three-For-All event. Cajun Field gates open at 11 a.m. for the annual Red-White spring football game, followed by the nationally ranked baseball and softball teams both … Continue reading →

SLCC offers financial aid options

South Louisiana Community College is now eligible to offer its students more federal financial aid options through federal work-study and direct loan programs. The additional financial aid options will be available to students starting in the fall. Current financial aid options available to students include: the federal Pell Grant program, National Guard tuition … Continue reading →

Arson suspected in early Friday morning fire

LAFAYETTE — Investigators suspect arson in a early morning fire that damaged a vacant home at 107 Hobson St., the Lafayette Fire Department reported. Firefighters were called to the fire at about 1 a.m. Friday and put out the blaze in about 15 mintues, the fire department reported. The fire heavily damaged the home’s exterior and is … Continue reading →

St. Martinville boy injured after scooter crashes into bus

A five-year-old St. Martinville boy is recovering from injuries sustained Thursday evening after running into the back of a school bus with his scooter, said St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Maj. Ginny Higgins. The boy was riding his scooter around 5:30 p.m. Thursday on Daniel Drive in St. Martinville and was unable … Continue reading →

Youngsville looks to ban tobacco from sports complex

The City Council voted Thursday to introduce an ordinance that would ban all tobacco products in the new youth sports complex set to open in the spring. “We are trying to promote health, fitness and the well-being of the citizens with this complex,” said Councilman Ken Ritter. “I think … Continue reading →

Louisiana man receives French Legion of Honor medal

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- World War II Veteran Hewitt Gomez stands with some military memoribilia at his Lafayette home Tuesday.

Hewitt Gomez was dropped off by train under the cover of darkness at Harrington Airfield in England, then informed, to his surprise, that he had been tapped for one of the most secretive U.S. operations of World War II. “They said, ‘You are not to tell your wife, your parents, nobody,’ ” the … Continue reading →

Acadiana crime blotter for April 11, 2014

Barry Gilmore

A man suspected in a Tuesday bank robbery in Bayou Vista was arrested Thursday in Morgan City. Barry P. Gilmore, 53, of Patterson, was booked on one count of simple robbery after Morgan City police found him at a restaurant on La. 182 in Morgan City at around 7:30 a.m. The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s … Continue reading →

Health education focus of ‘PLAYday’ in Lafayette Saturday

The Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center and the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Kids Specialty Center will host PLAYday 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The event will feature sports, fun jumps, a rock wall, obstacle course, exercise demonstrations and information on healthful eating and snacking. … Continue reading →

Lafayette charter school using lottery to fill some slots

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Bryson Istre, left, and his mother Elizabeth Istre celebrate the announcement that he and his sister, Makeila, were accepted into the Willow Charter Academy during their lottery at the Clifton Chenier Center Thursday in Lafayette.

After being put on waiting lists for two Lafayette Parish school system programs, Amanda Ashford was relieved when her daughter’s name was drawn Thursday for a spot at a new charter school planned just blocks from where her daughter attends school now. “She’s at a failing school — J.W. Faulk,” Ashford said. … Continue reading →

Acadiana briefs for Friday, April 11, 2014

May 1 is the deadline for South Louisiana Community College students to apply for more than $60,000 in available scholarships for the upcoming academic year. New and continuing students may begin applying for SLCC scholarships Saturday. For more information or to apply, visit www.solacc.edu and click on Student Scholarships under … Continue reading →

Missing boy, girl from St. Landry found safe in New Orleans

Henry Bieber, Jr.; Ariel Robin

OPELOUSAS — Two Acadiana youths, who suffer from depression and had been missing since Sunday night, were found Thursday in the New Orleans area, the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office said. The parents of Ariel Blaze Robin, 12, and Henry Bieber Jr., 15, were traveling Thursday afternoon to New Orleans to bring them back home, Capt. Megan … Continue reading →

Acadiana Crime Blotter for April 10, 2014

Photo provided by Lafayette Police Department -- These two suspects are being sought in connection for their part in a robbery of a Moss Street bank.

NEW IBERIA — Two people were killed Tuesday night in a head-on crash on La. 182 in Iberia Parish, State Police said. Creig Broussard, 53, of St. Martinville, was driving a 2000 Chevrolet truck west on La. 182 when he crossed the center line and crashed into an eastbound 2004 … Continue reading →

SLCC launches study abroad program

South Louisiana Community College will launch its first study abroad program this summer in Paris and a French diplomat’s visit to the college Thursday opens the door for future learning opportunities in France for students. “These programs are important cultural and life changing experiences for students,” said Olivier Ch√Ętelain de Pronville, … Continue reading →

Lafayette firm being acquired by BancorpSouth Insurance

Lafayette-based Knox Insurance Group LLC’s assets are being acquired by BancorpSouth Insurance Services Inc., a subsidiary of BancorpSouth Bank in Tupelo, Miss. Financial terms were not disclosed Wednesday, and the transaction was expected to be completed immediately. Knox was formed in 1972 and produces annual revenue of about $3 million. “The Knox acquisition gives … Continue reading →

Masked men rob Lafayette bank, no one injured

Photo provided by Lafayette Police Department -- These two suspects are being sought in connection for their part in a robbery of a Moss Street bank.

LAFAYETTE — Lafayette police are searching for two men who robbed a Chase Bank branch on Moss Street Wednesday morning. The robbers entered the building at around 10:15 a.m. and ordered everyone to drop to the floor before demanding money from tellers, Cpl. Paul Mouton said in a release. The men left the building with an undisclosed amount of … Continue reading →