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Two Acadiana friends find smoking turkeys to feed the needy a ritual that makes their ownThanksgiving special

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- Several of 24 total turkeys that Hunter Moody and Michael Marceaux bought to cook and donate to St. Joseph Diner smoke in a pit Tuesday, November 24, 2015, in Lafayette, La. Moody and Marceaux have been cooking and donating turkeys to St. Joseph Diner, which gets Thanksgiving food donated from additional sources as well, for three years.

It was still two days until Thanksgiving, but Hunter Moody and his friend Michael Marceaux woke up early, prepped 24 turkeys and began the eight-hour smoking process promptly at 6:30 a.m. They delivered the juicy, golden-brown smoked birds that afternoon to St. Joseph Diner to help feed the anticipated 150 to 200 hungry patrons on Thanksgiving… Continue reading →

Lafayette Airport Commission looking for architectural firm for airport projects

The Lafayette Airport Commission has released its solicitation to architectural and engineering firms that want to be involved in the construction of $150 million in Lafayette Regional Airport projects over the next three to five years, including the centerpiece $90 million passenger terminal. Airport consulting firm Sides & Associates said the request for qualifications is the first… Continue reading →

Lafayette detective to focus on investigating crimes of domestic violence in newly-created position

As part of a parishwide effort to increase services for domestic violence victims, the Lafayette Police Department is creating a new detective position focused solely on investigating those crimes. Lafayette Cpl. Dorian Brabham, who wrote a federal grant to fund the position, said the detective will work from within the Family Justice Center of… Continue reading →

Lafayette group seeks to put Azalea Trail back on the map for tourists, flower lovers

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  Jen Badeaux, a member of the Myrtle Place Parent Teacher Organization, helps replant donated Azalea bushes Friday, November 20, 2015, on the grounds of Myrtle Place Elementary School in Lafayette, La. The planting is part of an effort headed by Scenic Lafayette to revitalize The Azalea Trail in Acadiana.

It was touted in a 1950s brochure as “one of the greatest floral treats in the South” and “a display of such breathtaking floral color and beauty that it cannot be described in words,” but Lafayette’s Azalea Trail hasn’t attracted much attention lately. The beautification group Scenic Lafayette now hopes to revive interest in… Continue reading →

Lafayette crime blotter for Nov. 25, 2015

Arrests posted Nov. 25, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s web site: KENNETH RAY BOB: 28, of the 500 block of Orchid Drive, Lafayette. He was booked on warrant/bench warrant. TYRONE JAMES BONNET: 29, of the 1900 block of N.… Continue reading →

Broussard, Morgan City strip clubs among clubs cited in statewide sting operation

State investigators cited a Broussard strip club for prostitution during a statewide sting operation that also led to the emergency suspensions of two Morgan City strip clubs, the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control announced on Tuesday. The owners of Michael’s, located at 4000 U.S. 90, will be scheduled for an administrative hearing in coming weeks… Continue reading →


As a child, Mary Francis “Cissy” Whipp would sit in class and ponder the dances she could perform to illustrate her teacher’s lesson. Her 30-year dance career has brought her to classrooms of her own at universities across the country, including the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. For the past 14 years, Whipp’s career has come… Continue reading →

Fake ‘movie’ prop money popping up in South Louisiana; two arrested

Fake money created for use as props in movies is circulating across several parishes in southeast Louisiana, with authorities receiving multiple complaints about the counterfeit cash from banks, bars and convenience stores. Police have already arrested two people accused of using the fake bills and expect to make more arrests, Morgan City Sgt. Rick Hartley said.… Continue reading →

Lafayette arrest report for Nov. 24

Arrests posted Nov. 23, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website: KENNETH JOHN CARMOUCHE JR.: 27, of the 1000 block of Nanny Road, Breaux Bridge. He was booked on criminal trespass; having no safety belt; misdemeanor theft; operating a vehicle with a suspended license; and three counts of warrant/bench warrant. THERON JAMES CHARLES:… Continue reading →

Thanksgiving Eve at Downtown Alive!; and other Around Acadiana items for Nov. 24, 2015

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- Billy Gunn, clockwise from top left, Richard Burgess, Lanie Cook and Marsha Sills

The Pine Leaf Boys will perform and the official city Christmas tree will be lit Wednesday during the annual Thanksgiving Eve celebration and Lafayette’s final gathering of Downtown Alive! this year. Gumbo, s’mores and hot chocolate will be served and toy donations will be collected for Toys for Tots. Anyone dressed as Santa or an elf may… Continue reading →

Lafayette Regional Airport has a new deputy director

Daniel Elsea

Lafayette Regional Airport’s former assistant project manager has been promoted to deputy director, airport officials said. As deputy director, Daniel Elsea’s duties are being expanded to include managing contract administration, fund procurement, regulatory compliance program supervision and promoting Lafayette Regional’s improvements and expansion, airport director Steven Picou said in a news release. Elsea has experience supervising… Continue reading →

Lafayette deputies seek armed robber of Dollar General

Photo provided by LAFAYETTE PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- An armed robber entered the Dollar General on La. 1252 in Lafayette Parish on the night of Nov. 22, 2015, and demanded money from a clerk before fleeing the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Detectives are searching for a man who robbed a discount store clerk at gunpoint Sunday night in Lafayette Parish. The robber entered the Dollar General around 9:06 p.m. in the 800 block of La. 1252 while brandishing a handgun. He demanded money and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. The Sheriff’s Office described him… Continue reading →

Stanley to join Lafayette-based public relations firm in January after losing bid to become parish president

Dee Stanley

Lafayette City-Parish Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley will join Lafayette advertising and public relations firm SIDES & Associates as a vice president in January, the company said Monday. Stanley lost an election last month to succeed City-Parish President Joey Durel. Stanley has served as CAO for Lafayette Consolidated Government since 2004. “I have learned a lot… Continue reading →

Lafayette Board gives nod to advancing property tax proposals for April 9 ballot

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- A call box and security camera, pictured Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, are in use outside the front doors of J. Wallace James Elementary School in Lafayette, La. Security upgrades for schools across the parish are at the top of a list of priority projects that could be funded by a new tax initiative.

The Lafayette Parish School Board decided Monday to consider placing a 14-mill property tax proposal on the ballot to pay for priority school projects and maintenance and a separate 2-mill property tax for programming such as security and technology upgrades. Of the 14 mills, 11.5 mills would be used to refund up to about $360 million… Continue reading →

Lafayette arrest report Nov. 23

Arrests posted Nov. 22, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website. CHRISTOPHER BRYAN ARSEMENT: 33, of the 200 block of Reggie Road, Duson. He was booked on misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated; no lamp over license plate; and speeding over 30 mph above the limit. DERICK ANDREW BARKER: 24, of the 100… Continue reading →

Acadiana Crime Blotter for Monday, Nov. 23, 2015

A blackjack dealer at the Golden Nugget casino in Lake Charles was arrested Saturday and accused of stealing a thousand dollars in casino chips, State Police said. The Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division was tipped off Friday by security at L’Auberge Casino Resort, also in Lake Charles, that a Golden Nugget employee had exchanged… Continue reading →

Jean-Paul Coussan wins House District 45 seat

In a nail-biter, Jean-Paul Coussan pulled out a victory Saturday to win the House District 45 seat, besting AndrĂ© Comeaux by a few hundred votes for a four-year term representing the Lafayette legislative district. With all 26 precincts reporting, Coussan received 5,765 votes to Comeaux’s 5,509. Both candidates are Republicans. District 45 was held for three… Continue reading →

Mark Garber elected Lafayette Parish Sheriff, defeating Chad Leger

Advocate staff file photo by BRYAN TUCK --  Mark Garber, a candidate for Lafayette Parish sheriff

Voters on Saturday overwhelmingly elected Mark Garber as the next Lafayette Parish sheriff, marking an end to a more than 10-month campaign to become the parish’s first new chief law enforcement leader since 2000. Garber bested Chad Leger, the Scott police chief, building on his first-place lead in the October primary election.… Continue reading →

Voters support tax renewal for schools

A majority — 57 percent — of voters supported a tax renewal that generates about $14 million a year for Lafayette Parish School System operations, based on preliminary election results Saturday. Based on the results, 30,126 voters supported the renewal while 22,431 voters or 43 percent voted against the renewal. The 7.27-mil… Continue reading →

Lafayette crime blotter for Nov. 21, 2015

Arrests posted Nov. 21, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s web site: BRANDON TAVEN ALLEN: 38, of the 800 block of E. 6th Street, Kaplan. He was booked on fugitive. DOROTHY ALICIA BATISTE: 31, of the 200 block of High Meadows… Continue reading →

Dyson convicted of second-degree murder in fatal shooting of Lafayette good Samaritan

Corlious Dyson

Clement “C.J.” Amos’ family and friends filed out of the Lafayette Parish Courthouse on Friday with a renewed belief in justice after the conviction of the man who gunned down Amos as he was trying to help neighbors. Corlious Dyson, 31, was convicted of second-degree murder in Amos’ Aug. 26, 2012, death. The jury deliberated just… Continue reading →

National award winner Irma Trosclair tapped as turnaround administrator in Lafayette Parish

Advocate staff file photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Irma Trosclair, principal of South Crowley Elementary School, seen on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2015, outside of the school. Trosclair was one of seven principals in the country chosen to recieve the U.S. Department of Education's Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership.

A principal recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for her work turning around a low-performing school in Crowley will start working with struggling schools in Lafayette Parish next month as the school system’s first school improvement administrator. Irma Trosclair was selected for the new position on Friday and will start her work with the… Continue reading →

Decision near on asking Lafayette voters to approve new taxes to pay for new schools, system improvements

Advocate file photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Lafayette Parish Schools Superintendent  Don Aguillard discussed his plans for the upcoming school year during a May 21 interview in his office.

A long-awaited decision on seeking new taxes to pay for new Lafayette schools, security and technology upgrades and renovations across the school district could come Monday. The Lafayette Parish School Board is meeting in special session Monday to consider a proposal by the school system’s staff for a combination of a new 16-mill Continue reading →

Lafayette arrest report for Nov. 20

Arrests posted Nov. 19, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website. SAMUEL BRENT ANDERSON: 31, of the 21101 block of Kingsman Boulevard, Katy, Texas. He was booked on hold for the Department of Corrections. MARK ANTHONY ANZALONE: 52, of the 100 block of Chemin Metairie Road, Youngsville. He was booked on Schedule… Continue reading →

Crowd gathers to celebrate the reopening of The Grand 16 Theatre, closed since July 23 shooting that killed two

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Lafayette City Parish President Joey Durel,and Lafayette Chief of Police Jim Craft prepare to cut a ribbon to signify the re-opening of The Grand Theater on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, in Lafayette.

Sierra Pellerin had never seen a bullet wound until she rushed into The Grand 16 Theatre on July 23. As one of the first medics to enter the auditorium that night after a gunman opened fire on a crowd of moviegoers, killing two and wounding nine before turning the gun on himself, Pellerin said her Thursday… Continue reading →

Lafayette business group encourages voters to approve millage renewal for schools on Saturday

One Acadiana announced its endorsement of a 7.27-mill property tax renewal on Saturday’s ballot that supports Lafayette Parish School System operations. The millage has been on the rolls for more than 40 years and generates about $14 million a year for the school system. The revenue is equivalent to 215 teacher salaries and benefits, One… Continue reading →

St. Mary Sheriff’s Office: Jeanerette shooting victim struck by return fire after he shot another man

Photo provided by ST. MARY PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- Kendall Hines, 34, of 1016 Cypremort Road, was arrested on Nov. 18, 2015, in a Four Corners shooting three days earlier that left another 30-year-old man injured and also led another person to open fire on Hines.

A Jeanerette shooting victim arrested in Abbeville on Wednesday is accused of shooting and injuring another man before someone returned fire and hit him, the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office announced late Wednesday. Authorities located Kendall Hines, 34, of 1016 Cypremort Road, at an Abbeville residence and arrested him on counts of attempted second-degree murder, possession… Continue reading →

St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office rolls out new crime-reporting feature for citizens

The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office has announced a new crime-reporting feature that allows citizens to upload photos, videos, audio recordings and other files involving potential crimes to the Sheriff’s Office website. Those uploading the files have the option of doing so anonymously via computers or using devices such as smartphones and tablets. Files may be… Continue reading →

Lafayette arrest report for Nov. 19

Arrests posted Nov. 18, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s website. CORDEL BOLDEN: 20, of the 800 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Lafayette. He was booked on having no safety belt and failure to secure a driver’s license. DARYION JERMAL BONNET: 22, of the 100 block of Baywood Drive, Lafayette.… Continue reading →

Court hearing reveals more details on Sunset shooting, stabbing spree that left two people dead, one a police officer, and others injured

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  Harrison Lee Riley Jr., the man charged with killing Sunset  Police Officer Henry Nelson and Shameka Johnson and injuring three others Aug. 26, is seen through a window as he waits to be escorted out of the St. Landry Parish Courthouse following a hearing Wednesday, September 23, 2015, in Opelousas, La.

Harrison Riley Jr. made explicit death threats toward the people he killed and injured, including a teenage girl he fired a gun at during a rampage almost three months ago that began with an argument with his wife over his drug abuse, according to testimony in a court hearing Wednesday.… Continue reading →

UL-Lafayette grappling with issues of consent in proposed policy of prohibited sexual activities

Definitions of consent and incapacitation as it applies to sexual assault was a major issue brought up at a forum Wednesday about the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s proposed prohibited sexual activity policy. “Just because someone is drunk does not mean he or she is incapacitated to give consent,” said Christine Brasher, director of operational review… Continue reading →

Lafayette’s Grand 16 Theatre reopens today, nearly four months after shootings

Advocate staff file photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  A worker applies a fresh coat of paint to the outside of the Grand Theatre 16 on Oct. 21, 2015, in Lafayette, La. In July, a gunman opened fire in the theater killing two people and injuring nine before turning the gun on himself. The theater will reopen Thursday, Nov. 19.

The Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette will reopen Thursday with a brief ceremony, nearly four months after a man shot and killed two women there and injured nine others before taking his own life. A reception for law enforcement and other emergency personnel is scheduled 5 p.m. at the Mellow Mushroom restaurant near the… Continue reading →

Lafayette good samaritan’s killing described as wife testifies about encounter with stranger outside apartment complex

Corlious Dyson

In the moments before Clement Amos was killed in 2012, he asked a stranger what business he had outside the doors of a four-unit Hummingbird Lane apartment complex in Lafayette, where mostly older women lived. “Then he pointed a gun in my husband’s face,” Amos’ wife, Kelly Amos, said Wednesday. Kelly Amos was the first witness… Continue reading →

Lafayette arrest report for Nov. 18

Arrests posted Nov. 18, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s web site: BRANDON P. ADAMS: 24, of the 200 block of Psalm Court, Youngsville. He was booked on warrant/bench warrant. TONY JAMES ANGELLE: 39, of the 1000 block of Lee Gordon Road, Arnaudville. He was booked on three counts… Continue reading →

Louisiana CAT creates scholarships for South Louisiana Community College students

As a way to develop a future workforce, the heavy equipment dealership Louisiana CAT has created a $14,000 scholarships for South Louisiana Community College students majoring in diesel-powered equipment technology program or industrial/agricultural maintenance technology. The funds will be awarded over a three-year period, with the first scholarship awarded for the 2016 spring semester that begins… Continue reading →

Robideaux puts out call for job applicants as he prepares to take reins of Lafayette city-parish government

Joel Robideaux

Lafayette City-Parish President-elect Joel Robideaux put out a call Wednesday for job applicants, though no information was released on the status of current staff members when he takes office Jan. 4. “Joel is not cleaning house by any means, but we are looking at all unclassified employee positions, including directors and (Chief Administrative Officer),”… Continue reading →