Acadiana crime blotter: Johnston Street IberiaBank robbed

Two men robbed a branch of IberiaBank on Monday afternoon, with one remaining near the bank entrance while the other donned a Halloween mask and hat to rob the bank of an unknown amount of cash before both fled, officials said. The robbery occurred about 3:30 p.m. at the 3701 Johnston St. branch, … Continue reading →

Around Acadiana for Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

From left, Richard Burgess, Marsha Sills and Billy Gunn.

The Lafayette Education Foundation is now accepting nominations for its 17th annual Teacher Awards. Nominations may be submitted by anyone who wishes to recognize active Lafayette Parish public, private or parochial educators who teach in preschool through 12th grade. Finalists will be recognized during the foundation’s annual Academy Awards-style awards show Jan. 22. … Continue reading →

Iberia sheriff investigating shooting at Sugar Cane Festival

An argument between two males at the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival on Saturday resulted in one of them pulling a gun, firing and hitting a woman whose leg was grazed by the bullet, officials said. The victim, who was not identified, was treated and released at a Lafayette hospital, Iberia Parish Sheriff’s … Continue reading →

A few minutes with . . . René Stansbury

Rene Stansbury

RenĂ© Stansbury is the co-chairwoman of the Acadiana Healthy Communities Coalition, a network of about 30 different health and community agencies that work together on initiatives and events to improve the health of area residents. Stansbury has worked in the health education field for about 14 years and is currently regional manager for the Louisiana Campaign … Continue reading →

Two vie for Lafayette school board seat now held by Awbrey

For the first time in eight years, voters in District 6 will have a new Lafayette Parish School Board member representing them. Justin Centanni, R-Lafayette, and Kathleen Schott Espinoza, No Party-Lafayette, are vying for the seat now held by Greg Awbrey, who opted not to seek re-election. Centanni offers a finance … Continue reading →

Vermilion eyes flood walls to protect vulnerable schools

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Students at Dozier Elementary in Erath head from the classroom to the playground, which means passing through a large gate in the flood wall surrounding the school, on Tuesday Sept. 23.

Determined not to see a replay of problems encountered with flooded schools following Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008, authorities in Vermilion Parish are moving ahead with plans for a concrete wall and pump system to protect more of the parish’s schools from floodwaters. The latest project calls for … Continue reading →

Truck veers off road in Vermilion, slams into vacant house

State Police said an 18-wheeler veered off La. 82 in Vermilion Parish after the driver fell asleep and drove through 400 feet of an empty field before slamming into a vacant house at around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. The driver, who received minor injuries, was cited for careless operation of a vehicle, said Master Trooper Brooks David, a … Continue reading →

Durel reviving tax plan to support animal control services

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Katina Richard, adoption coordinator for the Lafayette Animal Shelter, carries two puppies to see their mother, who came in to the shelter heartworm positive, on Tuesday afternoon. Richard said the puppies are about fourteen weeks old, and will be going up for adoption soon.

LAFAYETTE — City-Parish President Joey Durel is reviving a failed proposal to support animal control services using property taxes now restricted to mosquito control and the parish health unit. The tax deal died a quick and quiet death at the Sept. 16 City-Parish Council meeting when a motion by Councilman Jay Castille to bring the issue up … Continue reading →

Crowley man booked with carnal knowledge

Alex Thomas

A Crowley man has been arrested on a count of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, Crowley police said. Alex Thomas, 20, was booked into the Acadia Parish Jail with bond being set at $100,000, police said. “Our agency received a complaint from the juvenile victim’s guardian regarding the suspect and victim having sexual intercourse,” Chief … Continue reading →

Lafayette grand jury indicts three people in two murder cases

A Lafayette Parish grand jury indicted three people in two unrelated murder cases this week. Sergio Vasquez, 30, was charged with second-degree murder, and Magdalena Huerta Rojas, 26, faces a principal to second-degree murder charge in the May shooting death of 30-year-old Martin Dominguez. Dominguez was found with … Continue reading →

Lafayette culinary teacher accused of defrauding elderly person

Carlos Russo

A grand jury this week indicted a Lafayette chef and culinary teacher accused of stealing money from an elderly, disabled person. Carlos Russo, 59, a co-owner of The Accidental Chef Cooking School, allegedly stole the person’s money “through the execution of a fraudulent or deceitful scheme” from December 2012 until June … Continue reading →

Lafayette chamber PAC endorses Hidalgo for school board seat

The Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee, Empower PAC, announced its endorsement Thursday of Lafayette Parish School Board District 9 candidate Jeremy Hidalgo. Hidalgo and Brian West are competing for the District 9 seat on Nov. 4 to replace outgoing board member Rae Trahan, who is not … Continue reading →

Lafayette School Board candidates lay out their opinions at forum

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- District six candidate Justin Centanni, far left, speaks during a forum of candidates running for the district four, five, and six seats of the Lafayette Parish School Board on Wednesday evening at the LITE Center. The other candidates attending were Kathleen Schott Espinoza, district six, second from left, Erica Williams, district four, second from right, and existing district five board member Kermit Boullion.

Another field of Lafayette Parish School Board candidates shared on Wednesday their opinions on issues they may encounter if elected during the second night of candidate forums. The forum, organized by the Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council, featured the following candidates: District 4: Erica Williams; District 5: Kermit Bouillion, the incumbent; … Continue reading →

Lafayette chamber’s PAC endorses Bouillion for re-election

The Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee announced Wednesday its endorsement of Lafayette Parish School Board District 5 candidate Kermit Bouillion. Bouillion is the incumbent and faces one challenger, Britt Latiolais, R-Lafayette, in the Nov. 4 election. “For the past four years, Kermit has been a rock-solid advocate for … Continue reading →

Lafayette inmate files federal suit over jailhouse beating

The Lafayette Parish man hospitalized following his April arrest has filed a federal lawsuit targeting Sheriff Mike Neustrom and the four former deputies who allegedly beat the 41-year-old. Jason Brungardt, of Lafayette, claims the former deputies who worked as jailers in the parish Correctional Center punched, kicked and pepper-sprayed him while … Continue reading →

Crowley authorities seek scam artist posing as detective

Crowley authorities are looking for a scam artist who they say is calling businesses claiming to be a police detective who needs the businesses’ credit card information, officials said. Police Chief K.P. Gibson said the caller, whose phone number is blocked, claims to be a detective with the police department’s fraud unit. … Continue reading →

Teen arrested as suspect in home invasion near Rayne

Acadia Parish authorities early Wednesday arrested a teenage boy in a suspected home invasion. Rayne police officers captured the teen when he reportedly tried to enter another home that was not his, officials said. Deputies were called at around 8 a.m. about a home invasion on the Interstate 10 service road near … Continue reading →

Former Saints player found dead near Lafayette church Sunday

Former New Orleans Saints player Scott Ross was found dead Sunday inside a vehicle at an East Broussard Road church in Lafayette on Sunday morning, officials said. Ross, 45, was a Saint in the 1991 season after playing college football at the University of Southern California. Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies reported no signs of … Continue reading →

Two arrested in Broussard car burglaries, police said

Burglars accused of breaking into cars parked at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and St. Cecilia School in Broussard on Monday were arrested at a residence just outside the city, where Broussard officers found goods stolen in other recent Lafayette Parish heists, officials said. Police Chief Brannon Decou said two cars on a parking … Continue reading →

Lafayette chamber PAC endorses school board candidate

Empower PAC, the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee, announced Tuesday its endorsement of Justin Centanni, a candidate for the Lafayette Parish School Board in District 6. It marks the first endorsement announcement by the chamber’s PAC for this year’s School Board election. The announcement comes the same day that … Continue reading →

Tolls are possible to complete Interstate 49 South

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Traffic moves north on the Hwy 90 corridor as it passes through Lafayette Monday just north of the Lafayette Regional Airport.

Tolls starting at 18 cents a mile could pay from one-quarter to one-half of the more than $3 billion price tag to complete Interstate 49 South from Lafayette to New Orleans, according to a state-funded feasibility study unveiled Monday. Discussions of tolls are in the early stages, but advocates … Continue reading →