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Two candidates slugging it out for Lafayette marshal’s job

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP Lafayette City Marshal candidate Mark Pope, right, shakes hands with Zydeco musician Rockin Dupsie, Jr. while campaign at El Sido's Zydeco & Blues Club during the annual Thanksgiving Zydeco & Blues Food Drive in Lafayette, La., Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014.

With just two weeks remaining before the Dec. 6 runoff election for Lafayette city marshal, the campaigns have taken a mean and personal edge as two men vie for a job that’s been held by one person for the last 30 years. Kip Judice, a captain on leave from… Continue reading →

Maurice man killed when truck overturns near Jeanerette

State Police said a 67-year-old man was killed early Saturday when his tractor trailer overturned on US 90 near La. 668 near Jeanerette in Iberia Parish. Russell Charles, of Maurice, was driving east on US 90 at around 7:15 a.m. when his trailer began to leave the right side of the highway, said Master Trooper Brooks… Continue reading →

Crowley police arrest S.C. man accused in fatal shooting, home invasion and other Acadiana police news

Photo provided by CROWLEY POLICE DEPARTMENT -- Aaronton Williams, 22, of Jennings, was booked Nov. 19, 2014, on a count of principal to attempted first-degree murder and a count of principal to home invasion in connection with the Nov. 16, 2014, shootings of two people on East 15th Street in Crowley.

Police say they arrested a South Carolina man Friday who is accused in the Oct. 12 death of 22-year-old Taylor Beverly and the shootings on Sunday of two people on East 15th Street. D’Avondre Marquest Williams, 18, of Beaufort, South Carolina, was arrested Friday on a count of… Continue reading →

Bailey’s again opening doors to needy in Acadiana for Thanksgiving

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Bailey's Restaurant and Ema's Cafe' owner Ema Haq.

Ema Haq opened the doors to Bailey’s Seafood & Grill 22 years ago and has been hosting an annual Thanksgiving luncheon ever since that provides a proper holiday meal to struggling Lafayette residents. Haq, 51, a native of Bangladesh, moved to Lafayette when he was 19… Continue reading →

Lafayette shootings leave one dead, two hospitalized

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Lafayette Police work the scene of some shootings near the intersection of Gilman Road and Happiness Street Friday in Lafayette.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. A Lafayette man was booked on a second count of attempted second degree murder Saturday in a string of shootings on Friday in North Lafayette that left one man dead and two others hospitalized. Meanwhile, authorities identified the man who was found shot to death Saturday in the 800 block of West… Continue reading →

Judge sets bail in Romanian Internet scheme

Three people charged in a Romanian-based Internet scam that netted at least $1.4 million were back in custody Thursday after being released on their own recognizance last week. Ten people arrested in the case since October each had faced an initial bail of $1 million, but 15th Judicial District Judge Edward Rubin last… Continue reading →

Teens arrested in bomb hoax at Comeaux High School

Two Comeaux High School students were arrested Thursday morning after allegedly posting sticky notes that warned there was a bomb on campus, KATC-TV reported. School administrators and the campus resource officer identified the students through video surveillance and pulled them from class, Cpl. Paul Mouton said. They were identified within 15 minutes of… Continue reading →

Acadiana news briefs for Nov. 21, 2014

University of Louisiana at Lafayette architecture professor Geoff Gjertson will discuss his book, “Generating Hope: Stories of the BeauSoleil Louisiana Solar Home” from noon to 1 p.m. Friday at Fletcher Hall, Room 134 on the university’s campus. Gjertson will discuss lessons learned since the home’s completion… Continue reading →

Judge rules accused Acadiana cop killer too mentally ill to stand trial

Advocate file photo by BRYAN TUCK. -- A memorial to fallen Chitimacha Tribal Police Sgt. Rick Riggenbach had been set up outside the police station in Charenton.

A state district judge ruled Thursday that a man claiming to be the “son of God” is too mentally ill to stand trial for the violent deaths of a police officer and another man in Charenton in 2013 and instead ordered him to undergo psychiatric treatment at a state hospital. District Judge… Continue reading →

Lafayette holding recruitment fair as tech companies plan moves

A recruitment and networking fair for job hunters who are interested in prospects associated with three information technology companies moving to Lafayette will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Abdalla Hall, 635 Cajundome Blvd. Combined, the companies — CGI, Enquero and Perficient — plan to fill about 1,000… Continue reading →

Mayor seeks funds from St. Landry to restore Sunset High building

Sunset Mayor Cecil Lavergne asked the St. Landry Parish Council on Wednesday night for money to restore the former Sunset High building. Lavergne asked for a maximum of $50,000 for the project, but said he’d be happy to get $30,000 to $35,000 to repair the 89-year-old building. The… Continue reading →

Two business owners arrested in drug raid and other Lafayette area police news

Photo provided by LAFAYETTE PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- Austin Hack, 17, of Lafayette, was booked on a count of attempted second-degree murder and is accused of shooting someone twice in the back Nov. 18, 2014, in the 100 block of Castille Avenue

LAFAYETTE — Authorities arrested two men and seized almost seven pounds of synthetic marijuana and more than a half-pound of marijuana Tuesday after raiding two neighboring businesses on South Pierce Street, KATC-TV reported. Ratib Abuelouf, 32, and Nemer Abuelouf, 26 — who authorities say own convenience store Simcoe Food World and Jr’s Apple Tree,… Continue reading →

Feds indict 14 in ‘meth ring’ distributing drugs to southwest Louisiana

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Alec Van Hook, First Assistant U.S. Attorney, right, with Joseph Shepherd, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, announces the indictment of 14 suspects accused of distributing methamphetamine on Wednesday afternoon at the Lafayette Federal Courthouse. 12 of the 14 suspects have already been placed in police custody.

A federal grand jury has indicted 14 people in what prosecutors allege was a major methamphetamine ring that funneled drugs from Texas to south Louisiana. “I think this case should majorly disrupt the flow of methamphetamine in this part of the state,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Alec Van Hook said. The… Continue reading →

Superintendent says prayer at St. Mary student assembly ‘inconsistent’ with school policy

An introductory prayer during a Veterans Day assembly at Morgan City High School last week was inconsistent with a school district policy forbidding mandatory religious activities, St. Mary Parish school officials said Wednesday. The response came a day after the Washington-based American Humanist Association threatened in a letter… Continue reading →

Lafayette Council approves public health tax for ballot

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- The old Federal Couthouse, right, is located on Jefferson Street in downtown Lafayette Tuesday.

The Lafayette City-Parish Council voted Tuesday to let voters decide in a special election March 28 whether to consolidate two existing property taxes into a single public health millage that would pay for animal control. But the council refused to give its blessing to an administration plan to advance with negotiations to Continue reading →

Angola warden preaches power of religion to criminal justice students

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Louisiana State Penitentiary Warden Burl Cain speaks about his career and the prison he runs in Angola, Louisiana Tuesday to a group of criminal justice students at South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette.

Prison Warden Burl Cain on Tuesday told South Louisiana Community College students a tale he’s told to thousands around the world. Hard-core criminals are immoral; their crimes, often violent and sadistic, are what got them sentenced to prison. But most are not lost causes, even if they’ve received life sentences, he said.… Continue reading →

Acadiana news briefs for Nov. 19, 2014

The giving nature of Lafayette Parish residents helped the Lafayette Parish School System receive a $10,000 donation from the Champions for Kids SIMPLE Giving program. In April, the nonprofit organization held a food donation competition at Wal-Mart stores across the country asking customers to donate… Continue reading →

Lafayette recognized for student gains in Advanced Placement courses

The Lafayette Parish School System is one of only three districts in Louisiana recognized by the College Board for its increased participation and improved student performance on Advanced Placement courses. Lafayette, DeSoto and Vernon Parish school systems made it onto The College Board’s AP District Honor Roll, a list of… Continue reading →

Superintendent may get pay raise

Advocate staff file photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Interim Superintendent Burnell Lejeune

The job of interim school superintendent could come with a $50,000 pay boost for Burnell LeJeune, the longtime school system employee appointed as the Lafayette schools chief last week. The Lafayette Parish School Board will discuss the salary for LeJeune as interim superintendent during its 5:30 p.m. meeting Wednesday. LeJeuene would… Continue reading →

Lafayette corrections officer booked on malfeasance, obstruction counts

Jerrod Brashear and Megan Huval

A Lafayette Parish corrections officer has been arrested along with an inmate who is accused of disabling a surveillance camera that was set up in an internal investigation of the female deputy and the male inmate, officials said. Megan Huval, a 22-year-old deputy, was fired, then jailed, on counts of malfeasance in… Continue reading →

Washington group demands St. Mary Parish officials omit prayer from school events

A Washington-based humanist group has written a letter to St. Mary Parish school officials demanding they omit prayer from school-sponsored events after a Morgan City High School student complained about a school-led Christian prayer during a Veterans Day assembly last week. If the district does not take corrective action on the… Continue reading →

Arsonist sets fire to home just as tenants prepare to move in

Lee Albert Sam Jr.

An arsonist set fire just before 1 a.m. Monday to a rental house on Madison Street, causing minor fire and smoke damage to the home as tenants were preparing to move in, authorities said. “Investigators determined that multiple fires were set inside the dwelling,” said Alton Trahan, public information officer for the Lafayette… Continue reading →

Children ‘teach’ parents at Academic Super Bowl

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Gerald Singleton works out a math problem at an Academic Superbowl Monday at the Cajundome Convention Center in Lafayette. Parents and students had an opportunity to work with local educators on ways to futher education at home during the event.

Lafayette Parish School System students became teachers Monday night as they shared what they’ve been learning in class with parents during the districtwide Academic Super Bowl at the Cajundome Convention Center. Second-graders showed how to “decompose numbers” to easily break them down into tens and quickly solve math problems, while sixth- and seventh-graders… Continue reading →

Around Acadiana for Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014

The Cypress Lake Sextet and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Jazz Ensemble will play a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in downtown Lafayette. The concert will be in the ACA’s James Devin Moncus Theater. ACA is located at 101 W. Vermilion St. Admission will be $12 for general… Continue reading →

Federal government reaches settlement in dispute over claims for cattle killed during Hurricane Rita

Federal officials on Monday announced that a settlement was reached in the Department of Agriculture’s dispute with four people and two companies that claimed they lost cattle when Hurricane Rita tore through Cameron Parish in September 2005. U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said Monday that the four people and the two companies agreed to… Continue reading →

Cancer Center of Acadiana looks for volunteers to participate in clinical trial for experimental drug treatment

Cancer Center of Acadiana at Lafayette General Medical Center is seeking men and women, 18 and older, diagnosed with chronic phase myelogenous leukemia to participate in a clinical trial to compare experimental drug treatments with current treatments in newly diagnosed adult CPL patients. The research study is being conducted at multiple hospitals… Continue reading →

Court challenges in 16th Judicial District judge’s race fail, Landry election stands

Two separate court challenges to the Nov. 4 re-election of 16th Judicial District Judge Lori Landry were dismissed Monday. Candidates Carolyn Deal and Alisia Johnson Butler, both of whom ran against Landry and lost, filed petitions Thursday contesting Landry’s victory in a voting district that covers portions… Continue reading →

UL-Lafayette researcher part of team studying electric fishes

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Standing beside several aquariums,  James Albert, a professor of biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, talks about his work researching the evolution of electric organs at Wharton Hall on Thursday.

The future of biomedical science may be buzzing around in tanks on the fourth floor of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Wharton Hall. After 14 years of research, a group of scientists released an article in Science magazine that explains how the shock of electric… Continue reading →

Lafayette officials promoting temporary tax for airport improvements

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- A plane readies for takeoff Thursday at the Lafayette Regional Airport.

Lafayette Airport Commission members promoting a Dec. 6 tax election have heard time and again from voters that more terminal gates and parking are needed at Lafayette Regional Airport. What some are having a hard time believing is the temporary life of the proposed 1-cent sales tax that would… Continue reading →

Lafayette ‘steampunk’ fair celebrates community’s creative spirit

Advocate Photo by LEE CELANO  - Brooke Gutshall of the Lafayette Parish School System's Talented String Ensemble plays violin during second line at the Steampunk & Makers Fair in Lafayette Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014.

The top hat adorning Jezebel Lobelia’s head had a gear-shaped object perched atop it, and she wore a corset with a billowing lace dress. By her side was Christopher Slim, smartly attired in blazer, bow tie and pinstripe pants, with a holster holding a plastic toy gun on his… Continue reading →

Police discover body in burning car

Lafayette police on Saturday were continuing their investigation into the death of a 42-year-old man whose body was found in the backseat of a burning car Friday evening. Fire crews found the body while responding to a burning car on the 100 block of Bryce Street in Lafayette around 8 p.m., Lafayette Police Department spokesman… Continue reading →

Thanksgiving help for the needy in Lafayette has zydeco beat

For nearly three decades, Sid Williams has hosted a zydeco party to help put food on the tables for hungry families at Thanksgiving. The tradition continues Nov. 19 when his El Sido’s Zydeco & Blues Club on North St. Antoine Street will be the scene of the 28th annual Thanksgiving Drive.… Continue reading →

Body of man, 42, found in burning car in Lafayette

Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 42-year-old man whose body was found in the backseat of a burning car Friday evening. Fire crews found the body while responding to a burning car on the 100 block of Bryce Street in Lafayette around 8 p.m., Lafayette Police Department Spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton said. Investigators… Continue reading →

Desperado’s owners get jail time in drug case involving strip club

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Desperado's Cabaret in Lafayette.

The married couple who owned Desperado’s Gentlemen’s Cabaret in Carencro were sentenced to prison terms Friday, almost two years after the December 2012 raid that netted multiple drug and prostitution arrests and shuttered the longtime Carencro strip club for good. In sentencing James Panos, 58, to six years in federal prison and his… Continue reading →

Man accused in theft of boat motor from Port Barre home and other Acadiana area police news

Photo provided by ST. LANDRY PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- Samuel Hadley, 26, of Washington, was booked Nov. 13, 2014, on felony theft after a detective linked him to the May 2013 stealing of a boat motor in Port Barre.

Authorities say a Washington man booked Thursday on felony theft is accused of stealing a boat motor from a Port Barre home in May 2013. Samuel David Hadley, 26, was released on a $10,000 bond, said Sgt. Clay Higgins, spokesman with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Keith Dupre, a… Continue reading →

Latest Youngsville population estimated at 11,043

Youngsville continues its record population growth with a boost of 36.2 percent from 2010 to October 2014, demographer Mike Hefner told the City Council on Thursday. Hefner, chief demographer for Geographic Planning & Demographic Services, noted the census counted 8,105 residents in 2010 while the GPDS update shows an estimated… Continue reading →