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Lafayette Crime Blotter for July 29

Arrests posted July 28, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website. LONDON ALEX: 19, of the 200 block of Pearl Street, Lafayette. He was booked on fugitive. HEATHER NICOLE ARNAUD: 33, of the 2800 block of Twin Lane, Maurice. She was booked on resisting an officer and four counts of warrant/bench warrant.… Continue reading →

Police release photos of movie theater gunman’s car in hopes of retracing his steps in south Louisiana

This undated photo provided by the Lafayette Police Department shows the car John Russel Houser was driving before he opened fire in a movie theater July 23, 2015, in Lafayette, La. Lafayette police said in an email Tuesday, July 28, that they are releasing the photographs in hopes that people may have seen the blue 1995 Lincoln Continental and may remember encountering Houser. (Lafayette Police Department via AP)

Police in the Lafayette have released photos of a car that a gunman was driving before he opened fire in a movie theater. Lafayette police said in an email Tuesday that they released the photographs in hopes that people may have seen the blue 1995 Lincoln Continental and may remember encountering John “Rusty” Houser. Mike Edmonson,… Continue reading →

Healing through music, prayers: ‘Lafayette Strong’ event scheduled Thursday; city-wide prayers Wednesday

Advocate staff file photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  The sign outside Marcello's Wine Market in Lafayette reads "Be Strong Lafayette" Monday, July 27, 2015, in response to the act of violence that occurred last Thursday when a gunman opened fire in the Grand 16 Theatre killing two and injuring nine others before killing himself.

Community leaders are pulling together what’s being called a “gathering for healing” Thursday in the wake of last week’s theater shootings. The specifics were still being worked out late Tuesday, but the event — “Lafayette Strong: United. Honor. Heal” — is scheduled to run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Blackham Coliseum on Johnston Street.… Continue reading →

Lafayette Visitors and Convention Bureau reaches $61,363 settlement with BP for Deepwater Horizon disaster

The Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission reached a $61,363 settlement with BP for tourism losses linked to the 2010 Gulf oil spill, LCVC President and CEO Ben Berthelot said Tuesday. BP agreed to a tentative settlement earlier this month to pay the federal government, Louisiana and four other states a total of $18.7 billion… Continue reading →

As investigation winds down on the Grand 16 Theatre mass shooting, Lafayette police turn attention to other shootings

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  A sign is seen attached to a light pole Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in response the shooting that left three dead, including the gunman, and nine injured last Thursday at The Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette, La. Police have turned the theater back over to its owners, but it has not yet re-opened.

Two moviegoers who suffered bullet wounds at the hands of John “Rusty” Houser remained hospitalized in Lafayette on Tuesday afternoon as the Coroner’s Office prepared to release the gunman’s body to his out-of-state relatives. After the 59-year-old Houser shot 11 people during a screening of the comedy film “Trainwreck” on Thursday night, he opened his mouth… Continue reading →

Two Lafayette men injured in North Loop shooting Tuesday

Two Lafayette men were hospitalized with moderate injuries Tuesday afternoon after someone shot them three times each in the 100 block of North Loop. Police responded to the scene about 3:50 p.m. and found the two men, ages 20 and 27, suffering from bullet wounds, according to a Lafayette Police Department news release. The men… Continue reading →

Eunice man on trial in death of toddler — doctor says bruises on the girl were the worst he’s ever seen

Grading changes proposed for Lafayette School Board consideration

Advocate file photo by BRAD KEMP -- The Lafayette Parish School Board discuss the budget during a May 12, 2015 , meeting in Lafayette, LA. The board currently is looking at a number of changes in the way it will conduct the meetings.

The Lafayette Parish School Board will consider changes to its high school grading practices at its Aug. 5 meeting as part of recommendations to update the pupil progression plan. The pupil progression plan is updated annually. The proposed high school grading changes are based on recommendations from teachers and administrators to ensure the same grading weight… Continue reading →

Blood drive organized for Lafayette theater shooting victims

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  Patricia Hauth decorates a prayer flag with the French words, "Je Suis Lafayette," which translates to "I Am Lafayette," during a gathering Monday, July 27, 2015, on Cajundome Boulevard in Lafayette in memory of those killed and injured last Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the Grand 16 Theatre killing two and injuring nine before turning the gun on himself.

The Lafayette Association of Principals has organized a blood drive to help support victims of last week’s theater shootings. The Lourdes Blood Center blood drive is scheduled Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy, 805 Teurlings Drive, and donations will help offset medical costs of shooting victims. One… Continue reading →

Program helps teachers, school staff identify signs of mental health problems in students

Children and teens spend the majority of their waking moments on school campuses, where their teachers and other adults get a daily, firsthand look at mood or behavior changes in students. Lafayette Parish School System teachers and other staff will have the opportunity to learn how to detect symptoms of mental health issues… Continue reading →

Lafayette Crime Blotter for July 28

Arrests posted July 28, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website. LIONEL AMOS JR.: 51, of the 300 block of Sunset Drive, Lafayette. He was booked on careless operation and misdemeanor hit-and-run driving. WAYNE EDWARD ANGELLE: 20, homeless, Lafayette. He was booked on shoplifting and disturbing the peace by intoxication. Mary… Continue reading →

Aug. 5 seminar to help Acadiana companies capitalize on growing aviation industry

Acadiana manufacturers are invited to an Aug. 5 seminar in Lafayette on how companies can capitalize on the region’s growing aviation industry. The seminar is being hosted by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, One Acadiana, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana and South Louisiana Community College. Preregistration is requested and is available at Continue reading →

Lafayette theater gunman could legally buy handgun because he was never involuntarily committed for psychiatric care

John Russell Houser

The gunman who shot 11 people in a Lafayette movie theater last week wasn’t added to a database of people prohibited from buying firearms because he had not been involuntarily committed, Georgia officials said Monday, although John “Rusty” Houser’s troubled mental health did send him into hospital care. These statements help explain how Houser legally bought… Continue reading →

Police relinquish custody of Lafayette theater, now focusing on trove of information gathered about the shooter

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP One of the remaining cars is picked up from the Grand Theater parking lot  Saturday July 25, 2015 after last thursdays shooting in Lafayette, La.

Police on Monday afternoon relinquished custody of the Lafayette theater where a gunman last week killed two people and injured nine before turning the gun on himself, now turning their attention to processing the massive trove of information collected after Thursday’s shootings. Although authorities have not released many new details about 59-year-old John “Rusty” Houser since… Continue reading →

Franklin mourners remember Mayci Breaux, young woman looking forward to married life, new job

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Ali Breaux, the sister of Mayci Breaux, exits the Church of the Assumption following a funeral mass for Mayci on Monday in Franklin.

Mayci Marie Breaux was anticipating married life with her boyfriend, a new job at a Lafayette hospital and the birth of her third niece. Instead, her family and hundreds more laid Breaux to rest in her hometown of Franklin on Monday, days after she and another woman were killed and… Continue reading →

Friends and family send off Jillian Johnson, remembering artist, musician and businesswoman

Members of the Figs, Jillian Johnson's band, perform a song during the funeral service of shooting victim Jillian Johnson at Delhomme Funeral Home in Lafayette, La., Monday, July 27, 2015. Johnson was a victim of the The Grand 16 movie theater shooting in Lafayette on Thursday. Johnson, 33, and Mayci Breaux, 21, were shot and killed last Thursday while watching the movie "Trainwreck" at The Grand 16 movie theater in Lafayette, leaving stunned friends and family questioning how two lives off to such promising starts could end so tragically. (Paul Kieu/The Daily Advertiser via AP, Pool) ORG XMIT: LAPK108

Jillian Johnson’s band mates from The Figs swayed from side to side Monday at her celebration of life, singing her own words to say farewell: “Goodbye land-loving strangers, don’t shed a tear for me.” About 250 people — many unable to stop shedding tears — crowded into a wooden chapel with a vaulted… Continue reading →

One dead, another injured in shooting Monday afternoon in Lafayette

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  Kenneth Boudreaux, Lafayette City-Parish councilman for District 4, speaks to bystanders as police investigate the scene of a homicide Monday, July 27, 2015, at a home in the 300 block of Sunnyside Lane near Pinhook Road in Lafayette, La. One person was killed and another critically injured.

An 18-year-old male was killed and a 19-year-old was critically injured in a shooting Monday afternoon inside a house on Sunnyside Lane. Lafayette police spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton said five people were inside the home at 318 Sunnyside Lane off Pinhook when two men drove up in a red pickup truck, walked into the home and… Continue reading →

Lafayette Parish prison bookings for July 27, 2015

Arrests posted July 27, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s web site: BARRY JOSEPH ABSHIRE: 38, of the 600 block of Madison Street, Lafayette. He was booked on fugitive. DYLAN BURGESS: 19, of the 100 block of Squirrel Run, Youngsville. He was booked on contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.… Continue reading →

Lafayette School Board to take step toward placing 7.2-mill property tax renewal on November ballot

The Lafayette Parish School Board will meet this week to discuss facilities and an existing operation’s tax up for renewal. In a special meeting set for 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, the board will get the ball rolling to place a property tax renewal on the fall ballot. The meeting, which will likely be short, is mainly procedural… Continue reading →

Around Acadiana for July 28, 2015

Learn the basics of beekeeping during Vermilionville’s monthly Les Mains Guidées workshop. Beekeeper Michael Vincent will teach the art of beekeeping during the workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Vermilionville. Vincent assists his family with its beekeeping business, Santa Rita Honey Bee Farm, where natural products are created from beeswax for his company, Max’s Au… Continue reading →

Community garden in Lafayette provides both nature and nurture for residents of the Freetown neighborhood

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  A sunflower blocks out the sun Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in the Freetown Community Garden at the intersection of Vermilion and Garfield Streets in Lafayette, La. The garden offers residents of Freetown, which is a neighborhood near downtown Lafayette, an opportunity to rent a plot in the garden for $10 per year.

Hidden in one of Lafayette’s oldest neighborhoods, nestled between the railroad tracks and the paved streets, is a vegetable garden that nurtures the ideals of Freetown’s residents. “The garden was established to bring the community together and to see each other regularly, which we do,” said community gardener Joe Paris, a Freetown… Continue reading →

Four theater shooting victims still in hospital; police prepare to return movie theater to operators

Mourners leave flowers outside of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic church to remember and honor the victims of a deadly shooting at the Grand 16 theater, Sunday, July 26, 2015, in Lafayette, La. John Russell Houser fired on the audience with a semi-automatic handgun about 20 minutes into Thursday night's showing of "Trainwreck", killing at least two people and wounding nine with a semi-automatic handgun.  (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

A cluster of news vans remained parked outside The Grand 16 Theatre on Sunday, with bright yellow police tape still separating the crime scene from the numerous local, state and national reporters camped on the parking lot’s scorching pavement since their arrivals following the fatal shooting Thursday night. Police expected to put the building back in the… Continue reading →

ACLU weighs in on Jindal’s executive order protecting mourners during funerals for theater shooting victims

The ACLU of Louisiana responded Sunday to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s executive order for law enforcement protection against protests at the funerals of the Lafayette theater shooting victims, calling the governor’s action “misguided” and “contradictory” with the potential to infringe on protesters’ rights. Jindal issued the order Saturday after the controversial Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas,… Continue reading →

Bicyclist killed after being hit by car in Lafayette

Lafayette police responded to a car accident Saturday night that left a male bicyclist dead near Interstate 49. The woman driving the vehicle told police she was traveling north on Northwest Frontage Road on I-49 when the bicyclist merged onto the road, police spokesman Cpl. Paul L. Mouton said in a news release. The accident occurred at… Continue reading →

Services set for Jillian Johnson, one of two women killed by a gunman at a Lafayette theatre on Thursday

Funeral services for one of the two women killed by a movie theater gunman in Lafayette last week are set for Monday. Jillian Johnson’s family will celebrate her life at the Delhomme Chapel of the Flowers in Lafayette at 12:30 p.m. Monday. Visitation will be Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and from… Continue reading →

Acadiana residents gather to pray for the victims of the Thursday theater shooting in Lafayette

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP Gordan Eatley removes ayard signs  after cutting it while customers wait Saturday July 25, 2015 at Pixus Digital Printing in Lafayette, La. The company sold over 500 yard signs in the first hour. All of the proceeds go to the victims families from last Thursdays shooting at the Grand Theater.

Hundreds from Acadiana prayed and many of them wept Saturday evening, gathering at a downtown Lafayette park to mourn the victims of a gunman who killed two women and wounded nine other moviegoers Thursday. “It’s very upsetting, what happened,” said Aimée Dominique, who, like the others Saturday came out on a humid July… Continue reading →

Lafayette theater gunman bought gun despite federal restrictions on gun purchases by mentally ill people

John Russell Houser

Lafayette theater gunman John Houser bought his weapon legally last year from an Alabama gun shop, despite his family seeking to have him committed against his will for mental health treatment six years earlier. If Houser was involuntarily committted, that purchase would be in direct contrast to a federal law that prohibits the sale or transfer of… Continue reading →

Lafayette Parish crime blotter for July 25, 2015

Arrests posted July 25, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office website: JACOB THOMAS BORDELON: 20, homeless, Lafayette. He was booked on felony distribution or possession with intent to distribute Schedule I narcotics and transactions involving proceeds from drug offenses. EUGENE WARREN BRIAN JR.: 60, of the 100… Continue reading →

Louisiana remembers movie theater shooting victims with prayer flags

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- A wreath featuring the Red Arrow Workshop logo greets the public to the Acadiana Center for the Arts on Saturday, where people were invited to make prayer flags. Jillian Johnson, a victim of the Grand Theater shooting, was a part owner of Red Arrow Workshop.

After days of anguish, the Lafayette community found some peace on Saturday afternoon as hundreds of people poured their grief into creating prayer flags at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. The small flags that members of the community created throughout the afternoon had adornments ranging from felt flowers to feathers to words of encouragement. Each flag… Continue reading →

Lafayette expo provides exposure for vendors and promotes a conservation for people who enjoy the outdoors

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Holden Greene admires his catch of a trout on Saturday at the Louisiana Outdoor Expo at the Cajundome on Saturday. The expo, which features all things hunting, fishing, camping and more, ends Sunday, July 27th.

Louisiana’s “Sportsman’s Paradise” moniker was on display Saturday as about 2,000 people visited the Louisiana Outdoor Expo at the Cajundome and Convention Center to get a look at new products on the market. Visitors to the expo, like Alex Beauchamp, of Morganza, took in the more than 50 booths offering hunting, fishing and… Continue reading →

Lafayette police evaluating evidence from theater shooting, say shooter has no ties, connections to Lafayette

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  City-Parish President Joey Durel speaks during a press 7:45 a.m. press conference about the shooting that left three people dead, including the shooter, and injured seven Friday, July 24, 2015, outside the Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette, La.

Lafayette’s Grand Theatre on Johnston Street is expected to remain a closed crime scene until at least Monday, as police this weekend evaluate the evidence they have collected since Thursday’s mass shooting. Cpl. Paul Mouton, Lafayette Police spokesman, said Saturday morning that no new information was available on how Lafayette shooter John “Rusty” Houser was able to… Continue reading →

Services set for Mayci Breaux, 21-year-old woman killed by Alabama gunman at Lafayette theater

Photo provided by Facebook -- Mayci Breaux

The funeral for Mayci Marie Breaux, 21, one of the two women killed by a gunman at a Lafayette movie theater last week, will be held Monday in Franklin. Services will take place at the Church of the Assumption in Franklin at 11 a.m., with burial following at Franklin Cemetery. The Rev. Lloyd… Continue reading →

Ted Nugent and Allen West pay respects at Lafayette theater site

Advocate photo by ANDREA GALLO-- Musician Ted Nugent and former congressman Col. Allen West paid respect for victims at the site of the Lafayette movie theater mass shooting.

Each armed with a bouquet of flowers and a prayer, musician Ted Nugent and former congressman Col. Allen West showed up Saturday morning at the Lafayette movie theater that was the site of a mass shooting earlier this week. The two men knelt down on the scorching pavement to place white roses and purple and yellow spring… Continue reading →

Lafayette theater shooter fired first 10 shots in less than a minute, police say

John “Rusty” Houser parked his blue, 1995 Lincoln Continental near an exit beside The Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette, got out and placed his keys atop one of the car’s tires. During his three-week stay in the city, the man from Phenix City, Alabama, had visited the theater before. Like another 25 people there on Thursday evening,… Continue reading →

Two Jeanerette teachers called heroes for their actions during theater shooting

Heroic teachers Jena Beaux, left, and Ali Martin via GoFundMe.

Two Jeanerette Senior High teachers, Ali Viator Martin and Jena Legnon Meaux, have been called heroes for their actions in Thursday night’s fatal shooting at the Grand Theatre. Suspected gunman John Russel Houser shot each woman, wounding them both in the leg. Martin was released from the hospital sometime late Thursday or early Friday while Meaux was… Continue reading →

United Airlines to end its direct Lafayette-to-Denver flights

After just over a year of offering the service, United Airlines on Oct. 23 will discontinue its Lafayette-Denver direct flights, which opened in August to accommodate leisure travelers and Acadiana’s oil and gas personnel working in Colorado. Lafayette Regional Airport Executive Director Steven Picou said United’s decision is puzzling, given the passenger numbers… Continue reading →

Opelousas tax preparer sentenced in federal tax evasion case

The owner of an Opelousas tax preparation company pleaded guilty this week in federal court to tax evasion and failing to pay more than $125,000 in taxes. Lachala Guidry Joseph, 37, pleaded guilty Wednesday in front of U.S. District Judge Richard Haik, said U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley. Joseph faces up to five years in prison,… Continue reading →

Lafayette Crime Blotter for July 24, 2015

Arrests posted July 23, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s web site: PRESTON ARCENEAUX: 49, of the 100 block of Crawford Street, Lafayette. He was booked on distribution or possession with intent to distribute Schedule II narcotics and prohibited activities (drug paraphernalia). JAMES ANTHONY BELLARD: 26, of the 700 block of… Continue reading →

Lafayette district exempt 16 students from rezoning that would have sent them to Broussard schools

All but two students who asked to be exempted from a rezoning plan that would have sent them to Broussard schools were granted hardship waivers that will allow them to remain in their Youngsville classrooms. The Lafayette Parish School System allowed parents to apply for hardship waivers to remain at either Green T. Lindon Elementary… Continue reading →