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Six hours after release from jail on a DWI count, Duson man is arrested again after fatal car crash in Evangeline Parish

Six hours after he was released from jail on a DWI count, a Duson man believed to be drunk drove into another car Friday, killing its 52-year-old driver, State Police said. Michael Fontenot, 47, was arrested on vehicular homicide in the crash at 5:30 p.m. on La. 3042 near the intersection with Lincoln Road in Evangeline… Continue reading →

Lafayette’s emergency command to get first new director in 36 years

Capt. Craig Stansbury, left, and Capt. John Babin

Lafayette Parish’s emergency command, which oversees the local 911 system and emergency and homeland security operations, will undergo a leadership change for the first time in three decades after its director retires in March. Capt. Craig Stansbury, who serves as executive officer of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office enforcement division, will replace William Vincent… Continue reading →

Lafayette man accepts plea deal in 2010 beating death of UL-Lafayette student

Police arrested three people Thursday in the Oct. 28 beating death of a UL Lafayette student and the attempted killing of the man's roommate on McKinley Street.    Ian Trahan and Wayland J. Guillory both were arrested on counts of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.  Cody Moore was arrested on counts of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

One of two men scheduled to stand trial this year in the October 2010 beating death of a Lafayette college student pleaded guilty to manslaughter this past week. The plea deal requires Wayland Guillory to testify against the other defendant, Ian Trahan. Guillory, of Lafayette, and Trahan, of Youngsville, were both charged with… Continue reading →

UL-Lafayette faculty, staff receive pay raises

For the first time in six years, University of Louisiana at Lafayette faculty and staff received pay raises. Increases in student enrollment and tuition helped ensure the university could fund the average 4 percent pay boosts this month for both faculty and staff based on merit evaluations, said James Henderson, UL-Lafayette provost and academic vice president.… Continue reading →

Lafayette espresso bar wants to turn signature piano into work of art

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Carpe Diem!, a Lafayette gelato and espresso bar, is calling on local artists to submit ideas for turning the signature piano that sits outside into a work of art. The Paint the Piano Project is Carpe Diem!âs part in Lafayette Consolidated Governmentâs Project Front Yard, in which business and civic leaders look for ways to clean up and beautify the city.

Carpe Diem!, a Lafayette gelato and espresso bar, is calling on local artists to submit ideas for turning the signature piano that sits outside into a work of art. The upright Hobart M. Cable piano is played by anyone who can, filling the ears of those passing by the popular Jefferson Street establishment.… Continue reading →

State Fire Marshal: Marksville house fire claims four lives late Thursday

A man, his two children and his mother were killed late Thursday night after a fire tore through their home in the 600 block of Bill Belt Road, authorities said. Stanley Charrier, 32, perished in the fire, as did his 62-year-old mother, Catherine Charrier, his 9-year-old son, Carlin, and his 12-year-old stepdaughter, Emily Graham, the State… Continue reading →

Lafayette man, 25, identified as victim in Broussard shooting

Pictured from left to right, Steve Trahan Sr., 43, Steve Trahan Jr., 23 and Dillon Trahan, 21

Authorities on Friday identified the victim of a Wednesday fatal shooting in Broussard as 25-year-old Silas Tate, of Lafayette. Tate died at an area hospital Thursday after he was shot once in the head about 10 p.m. the night before, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office said. Witnesses identified 21-year-old Dillon Trahan as the shooter, according… Continue reading →

Uber launches ride-share service in Lafayette

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Dixie Cab will soon have some competition as the Uber ride sharing service begins operations Friday in Lafayette.

Lafayette residents in need of a lift can now just tap on their smartphones. Uber launched Friday in Lafayette, offering a taxilike service that connects riders with contract drivers through a smartphone app. The growing company, which operates in more than 270 cities worldwide, rolled out service last year in Continue reading →

New Iberia man booked in shooting injury of 24-year-old son

Youngsville council declares emergency on Chemin Metairie Parkway repairs

Advocate file photo by BRAD BOWIE -- The roundabout at the intersection of Chemin Metairie and E. Milton Avenue is seen Thursday Nov. 6, 2014 in Youngsville.

Acadiana crime, fire news: Opelousas man guilty in death of 2-year-old

Dominque Jackson

A St. Landry Parish jury on Thursday found Dominique Jackson guilty of second-degree murder in the December 2011 death of 2-year-old Derrion Sam. Jackson, 24, of Opelousas, will be sentenced March 5. He faces mandatory life in prison. Sam’s mother, 23-year-old Latricia Hunt, is awaiting trial on second-degree cruelty to a juvenile,… Continue reading →

Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy expansion nears completion

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Construction continues Thursday on a new wing of classrooms at David Thibodaux STEM Academy in Lafayette.

A $9 million expansion of David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy is expected to be complete this spring. Construction in separate areas of the campus will add an engineering lab to one section of the school and a wing of science classrooms and labs to the opposite side of the campus. The engineering lab is expected… Continue reading →

Smoking ban proposal headed to Lafayette council before summer

Advocate Photo by BRAD KEMP Bar patron Jake Kulbeth, right, holds a cigarette while sitting at the bar in Marley's downtown Lafayette, La., Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015.

The City-Parish Council could decide before the summer whether to ban smoking in bars. Council Chairman Kenneth Boudreaux announced at a news conference on Wednesday that he plans to bring a proposed ban to the full council within 90 days. The councilman said he has no illusions of easy passage, considering the nine-member council is… Continue reading →

Special ed teacher sues Carencro principal for alleged harrassment

Advocate file photo by Bryan Tuck.-- Carencro Middle School.

A special education teacher claims Carencro Middle School Principal Spurgeon Banyard sexually harassed her during her time working at the school and denied her leave for medical appointments because she rebuffed his advances. Special education teacher Sandra Stevens filed suit in state district court Monday against the “state of Louisiana through Lafayette Parish School… Continue reading →

Lack of adequate fire services in portions of Lafayette Parish at a critical stage

One-third of the households in Lafayette Parish are in unincorporated areas with no full-time fire departments, and volunteers to battle blazes in the growing number of rural subdivisions are getting harder to come by, a consultant told the City-Parish Council in a presentation Tuesday that prompted calls to beef up service. “There are big subdivisions. There… Continue reading →

Acadiana Crime Blotter: Lafayette Police investigating bank robbery

Photo provided by LAFAYETTE PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- Leroy L. Schexnayder Jr., 42, of Duson, was arrested Jan. 26, 2015, on accusations he was buying hardware on his former employer's account then reselling the goods for cash, Scott Police said.

Lafayette Police are investigating a Tuesday afternoon robbery at the IberiaBank in the 3700 block of Johnston Street near Arnould Boulevard. A man used a note to demand money from the clerk around 1 p.m. and left with an undisclosed amount of cash, police spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton said. The robber is described as a… Continue reading →

Jindal: State to honor $4.5 million pledge to UL-Lafayette’s computing and informatics school

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal speaks with dignitaries before a press conference announcing the construction of a new IT business Tuesday in Lafayette.

Although Louisiana’s public colleges face up to $300 million in state funding cuts next fiscal year, the state will fulfill a pledge to funnel $4.5 million over the next decade to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s computing and informatics school, the governor said Tuesday. The deal is part of what led Montreal-based information… Continue reading →

Lafayette School Board attorney challenges lawsuit filed by former special assistant Thad Welch

Advocate File Photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Thad Welch, former special assistant to the superintendant for grounds, facilities, maintenance and transportation in Lafayette Parish, checks on the well-being of Comeaux High School's chicken coop in January 2014 following a winter storm that closed schools throughout the state. Welch's hiring fueled tensions between the school board and former superintendent Pat Cooper, and both were later fired.

A former Lafayette Parish School System employee who filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the School Board had no contract and no property right to his job, the board’s attorney says in recent court filings. Thad Welch was hired in 2012 to work as a special assistant to then-superintendent Pat Cooper. In early… Continue reading →

Ethics Board files charge against former Lafayette School Board consultant

The Louisiana Board of Ethics found the Lafayette Parish School Board’s former insurance consultant violated ethics laws by offering a board member tickets to a Saints game while conducting business with the School Board. The Ethics Board filed a charge against Rina Tikia, owner of Tikia Consulting Group, on Jan. 15 for giving then-board… Continue reading →

Breaux Bridge woman pleads guilty in mother’s strangling death

Advocate staff photo by BILLY GUNN -- Heller Marie Dupuis is walked back to a St. Martin Parish jail cell after pleading guilty to killing her mother in 2011.

A Breaux Bridge woman Tuesday admitted to a judge that she was one of two people who strangled her elderly mother in 2011, drove her body to Lake Martin and left it in a car for others to find. Heller Marie Dupuis, 51, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the November 2011… Continue reading →

Acadiana police, fire news: Wind spreads Scott field fire

A fire set by students to a field to clear it for baseball season was spread by winds, burning about five acres Monday before firefighters brought it under control. Scott Fire Chief Chad Sonnier said Acadiana High School agricultural students were burning the field around 1:30 p.m., but high… Continue reading →

Historic black church in New Iberia destroyed by fire

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- The Little Zorah Baptist Church was destroyed by fire over the weekend in New Iberia.

Less than 12 hours after a Sunday evening service at Little Zorah Baptist Church in New Iberia, only charred remains were left of the 128-year-old wooden structure after it was destroyed in an overnight fire. The Rev. Shawn Watson, Little Zorah’s pastor for 14 years, lives two doors down from the church in the 3600 block of… Continue reading →

Louisiana needs more aggressive approach to drunk driving, officials say

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- John Leblanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, right,  with fellow panelists, Rob Reardon, director of corrections for the Lafayette Parish Correctional Facility, left, and Lafayette City Court Judge Douglas Saloom discuss potential solutions to the problems associated with drinking and driving during a forum held at The Daily Advertiser on Monday. The forum was held during a monthly meeting of the Acadiana Press Club.

Louisiana could do a lot more to curb the number of people who drive drunk and endanger others, including inputting every arrest in a statewide database, Lafayette officials said Monday. Other measures range from trying more to modify Louisiana’s laissez-faire attitude toward getting drunk and implementing programs to get the hard-core drinkers off the roads, court… Continue reading →

Lafayette education officials seek help from legislative delegation

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Lafayette Parish Schools Superintendent Burnell LeJuene speaks to a group of school board employees and local legislators on issues affecting the school system during a breakfast Monday at the W.D. and Mary Baker Smith Career Center in Lafayette.

Lafayette Parish School System leaders appealed to their state representatives and senator for help in supporting legislation during the upcoming session that could provide fixes to accountability issues, critical teacher shortages and school and student health services funding. Some of the issues were discussed last year at the school system’s annual legislative breakfast, such as making… Continue reading →

Armed robbery suspect found dead in Crowley field

Slye Mier

The body of an 18-year-old Crowley man suspected in a Sunday armed robbery was found Monday morning in a field off Ebenezer Road, authorities said. Slye Mier was found face down around 10 a.m. in the Crowley field in the 6500 block of Ebenezer Road, but his cause of death is uncertain at this point, said Maxine… Continue reading →

University Hospital and Clinics going tobacco free on Feb. 1

Lafayette’s public hospital is going smoke-free on Feb. 1, bringing its policies in line with every private hospital in the city. University Hospital & Clinics, a state-owned hospital privately managed by Lafayette General Health, will ban cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes and cigars on all hospital property, including buildings, sidewalks and parking lots, UHC announced… Continue reading →

Around Acadiana for Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015

Naturalist Bill Fontenot will give a presentation on “Colonial Louisiana’s Most Useful Plants” from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife Park on Fisher Road in Lafayette. The presentation is part of Vermilionville’s “Healing Tradition” series, which offers lectures on traditional healing and medicinal plants. Admission is free,… Continue reading →

Lafayette airport served more than a half-million passengers in 2014; sixth record-breaking year

Advocate file photo by BRYAN TUCK -- A plane sits at the terminal of the Lafayette Regional Airport in Lafayette.

Renovations underway for new IT business; expected to draw young professionals downtown

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Construction continues Friday on the interior of the former offices of the Daily Advertiser building in downtown Lafayette.

Old wallboard and ceiling tiles are giving way to a New Age-style office in a space on Jefferson Street in downtown Lafayette that will be home to Montreal-based information technology consulting firm CGI Federal. The company is putting down roots, making its home in the building — between nightclub B.E.D. and furniture store Workplace Solutions… Continue reading →

LITE works to become self-sufficient, keep up product development as state funding ends

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Matthew Williamson demonstrates some facial recognition software being developed Friday at the LITE Center in Lafayette.

As LITE moves toward self-sufficiency ahead of an expected end to state funding in the next fiscal year, Lafayette’s destination technology center is exploring new sources for revenue. Like its parking lot. There’s nothing cutting edge about the parking lot at the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise on Cajundome Boulevard. But when LITE’s 12-member staff took turns… Continue reading →

Narcotics agents arrest three in Breaux Bridge drug bust

Photos provided by the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office -- From left, Christopher Alexander, Christopher Celestine and Damien Joubert.

St. Martin Parish sheriff’s narcotics agents on Saturday arrested three Breaux Bridge men accused of carrying stolen guns and drugs that had an estimated street value of $40,000. Investigators executing a search warrant on Zin Zin Road in Breaux Bridge, found a “significant amount” of high-grade marijuana, methamphetamine, carisoprodol, and hydrocodone, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Ginny… Continue reading →

Do-Re-ME! Music program helps Acadiana youngsters learn

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Preschool students, from left, Ke'ani Page, Scarlett Brooks, Sa'niya Broussard, Harlee Burkhart, and Khylen Taylor, practice using

Each day, a chorus of “Hello! Hello!” starts a lesson for a group of 4-year-olds at Truman Early Childhood Education Center, a ritual designed to reinforce what students are learning in the classroom through fun songs, movements and music. The music lessons are taught through Do-Re-ME!, a curriculum created by faculty at the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra… Continue reading →

Police seek ID of woman who left man at hospital

Photo provided by LAFAYETTE POLICE DEPARTMENT -- Detectives are working to identify the woman captured on surveillance video Jan. 22, 2015, bringing 24-year-old Neil McDaniel of Lafayette to an area hospital, where he soon died.

Detectives are trying to identify a woman captured on video Thursday bringing an unresponsive Lafayette man to the hospital before he died, police said. Neil McDaniel, 24, died around 1 p.m. Thursday after a woman in a silver 2006 Toyota Camry dropped him off at an area hospital, Lafayette Police spokesman Cpl.… Continue reading →

Drunk driving to be focus of Acadiana Press Club forum

A panel of experts will discuss the serious problem of drunken driving and vehicular homicide in Acadiana during the Acadiana Press Club’s monthly newsmaker forum at noon Monday at The Daily Advertiser, 1100 Bertrand Drive. The panel will include: John A. LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission; Jacob Corbell, specialty court director for… Continue reading →

Youngsville police force growing with the city

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Youngsville Police Chief Rickey Boudreaux.

By the end of next week, the city of Youngsville will have four new police officers patrolling the streets, cops who will share public safety duties with the current 10 officers on the city’s roster. Police Chief Rickey Boudreaux said the four new officers are veterans who hail from area police agencies… Continue reading →

Frank’s International taps former Chevron exec as new CEO

Gary Luquette Frank's International CEO

The board of directors of Frank’s International on Friday appointed former Chevron executive Gary Luquette as president and chief executive to succeed D. Keith Mosing, a third-generation leader of the oil and gas service company Mosing’s grandfather started in 1938. Frank’s board members approved the changes at a special shareholders meeting at the company’s international headquarters… Continue reading →

Acadiana Crime News: Acadia jailer accused of smuggling contraband

An Acadia Parish Detention Center employee was arrested Thursday on accusations he was smuggling drugs and tobacco products to inmates. Lester J. Landry, 25, of the 200 block of Mary Street, Iota, was booked on malfeasance in office and bringing contraband into a penal institution, said Maxine Trahan, Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman. Authorities found drugs, tobacco… Continue reading →