Research underway on structure in path of I-49 work

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- The Lafayette Downtown Development Authority is opposing plans by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to demolish a disused building on the corner of 2nd and Cypress Streets.

A 19th-century building set to be demolished to make way for a planned Interstate 49 interchange in downtown Lafayette is being researched as a possible nominee for the National Register of Historic Places, a spokesman for the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism said this week. But … Continue reading →

Five more qualify in crowded Lafayette School Board race

Five more candidates have qualified to run for seats on the Lafayette School Board, where a faction of the current board has been in an increasingly bitter fight with Superintendent Pat Cooper. The five qualifying with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office on Thursday brings the total number of candidates running in … Continue reading →

Acadiana crime blotter for Aug. 22, 2014

An Acadia Parish grand jury has indicted two juveniles as adults in an investigation of an attempted murder on April 26 in the 1200 block of Jacobs Avenue, Crowley Police Chief K.P. Gibson said Thursday. “During the initial investigation, multiple rounds were fired into a residence which was occupied … Continue reading →

Lafayette school cafeteria evacuated after gas leak found

Edgar Martin Middle School cafeteria workers were evacuated early Thursday after carbon monoxide was discovered leaking from one of the stove burners. Four employees were taken to the hospital, saying they were dizzy, and one even passed out, authorities said. Students were not in the cafeteria. A bag lunch will be given to students today, … Continue reading →

St. Landry council calls for audit of parish animal shelter

The St. Landry Parish Council is asking the state Legislative Auditor’s Office to perform a three-year financial audit of the parish animal shelter. Council member Wayne Ardoin said parish government has spent heavily over the past year to improve conditions at the facility, located at the St. Landry Airport northwest of Opelousas. … Continue reading →

Lafayette School Board election drawing crowded field

At least three incumbent School Board members and eight newcomers had qualified to have their names placed on the ballot for the Nov. 4 election as of the close of the first day of qualifying Wednesday. District 1 is guaranteed a new representative as the incumbent for that area, Mark Allen Babineaux, … Continue reading →

Acadiana crime blotter for Aug. 21, 2014

Parker Madison

St. Mary Parish sheriff’s deputies responded to an unusual 911 call at 3:45 a.m. Wednesday — a report of a naked man wandering around the bathroom area of the Butte Larose Welcome Center. The Sheriff’s Office reported the suspect had already left the scene by the time deputies arrived. But … Continue reading →

Acadiana crime blotter for Aug. 20, 2014

A Lafayette woman attempting to cross U.S. 90 near Garber Road was killed shortly before 6 a.m. Tuesday morning after she was struck by a truck, police said. Police said Vivian Sue Travis, 56, who died at the scene, was attempting to cross the highway when she was struck by the passenger side mirror of … Continue reading →

Accident shuts down U.S. 90 southbound

LAFAYETTE — A woman is dead after she was struck by a truck this morning in Lafayette, an accident that has shut a section of the southbound thoroughfare, city police reported. The crash took place just before 6 a.m. near the corner of U.S. 90 and Garber Road. Police have closed the southbound lanes of U.S. 90 at Verot … Continue reading →

Superintendents say teachers still teaching Common Core

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- The Acadiana Press Club hosted a group of Acadiana-area School Superintendents during their meeting Monday in Lafayette. In attendence, from left, were Lafayette Superintendent Pat Cooper, Iberia Superintendent Dale Henderson, Vermilion Superintendent Jerome Puyau, Jefferson Davis Parish Superintendent Brian LeJeune, St. Martin Parish Superintendent Lottie Beebe and Acadia Parish Superintendent John Bourque.

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s attempt to slam the brakes on Common Core state standards, along with the court challenges to that move, haven’t changed what students are learning in Acadiana classrooms, six school superintendents said Monday. Teachers are moving forward with lessons aligned to the new learning standards that were fully implemented in the … Continue reading →

Vermilion-Lafayette boundary dispute heading to court

Vermilion Parish is fighting efforts by neighboring Lafayette Parish to move the parish line farther south, taking land Vermilion considers its own under a 2002 boundary agreement thought to have ended decades of dispute over whe re the border should be. The Vermilion Parish Police Jury filed a lawsuit … Continue reading →

Man booked, 4 injured in St. Martinville shooting

Dequincy Lewis

St. Mary Parish inmates accused in beating of other inmate

Seven inmates at the St. Mary Parish Law Enforcement Center have been accused of beating another inmate in the parish jail, causing injuries that sent the victim to a nearby hospital for treatment, officials said. The attack occurred Friday, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Traci Landry said. “Deputies observed a 46 … Continue reading →

Romanian immigrant booked on DWI after crash

A Romanian immigrant who allegedly was driving drunk and passing vehicles in Scott when he hit another car Sunday, a crash that trapped the driver of the other vehicle before emergency workers could free him, officials said. Officers booked Popa Ionel, 47, on several counts, including operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, Scott … Continue reading →

Breaux Bridge man killed in crash Sunday

A 52-year-old man was killed Sunday in a single-vehicle crash after his vehicle veered off the road, struck a tree and overturned in Breaux Bridge, officials said. Daniel Benoit, of Breaux Bridge, was driving east in the 1100 block of Hebert Avenue when he crashed, St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Maj. … Continue reading →

Acadiana Crime Blotter for Monday, Aug. 18, 2014

Lafayette Police say a suspect in a drive-by shooting turned himself in on Sunday. Charles Guidry Jr., 57, of Lafayette, is suspected of firing a gun Saturday at another driver while driving on Martial Avenue, said Cpl. Paul Mouton, a Lafayette Police spokesman. Police believe … Continue reading →

Lafayette SB landscape may change with fall elections

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Members of the Lafayette Parish School Board discuss the upcoming budget at a special meeting on Thursday, August 12 at School Board offices.

At least eight challengers plan to seek a seat on the Lafayette Parish School Board with some possibly taking on incumbents. The full extent of the political battles won’t be known until candidates qualify. Qualifying is Wednesday through Friday for the Nov. 4 primary. The runoff election is Dec. 6. Some … Continue reading →

Acadiana crime blotter for Aug. 17, 2014

Two shootings unfolded in a 12-hour span in Lafayette, police say. In the first shooting, at 4 p.m. Friday, a man driving down Martial Avenue became enraged at another driver for unknown reasons and fired a single pistol shot at the driver’s car, said Cpl. Paul Mouton, a … Continue reading →

Acadiana news briefs for Aug. 16, 2014

Acadiana-area schools superintendents will discuss challenges in the 2014-15 school year during the Acadiana Press Club’s monthly forum at 11:45 a.m. Monday at The Daily Advertiser’s community room, 1100 Bertrand Drive. Confirmed panelists are Acadia Parish Superintendent John Bourque, Iberia Parish … Continue reading →

Acadiana crime blotter for Aug. 16, 2014

Two Iota men suspected of home invasion and attempted murder were arrested Thursday, with one leading Acadia Parish sheriff’s deputies on a six-hour search of woods off Eunice Iota Highway, police said. Billy West, 37, and James Rozas, 26, were booked on counts of attempted second-degree murder, home invasion and criminal damage … Continue reading →

Lafayette begins training 30 new firefighters

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Lafayette Fire Department Fire Training Officer Captain Gerald Newton conducts a class of firefighting students at the department's fire training facility Thursday in Lafayette.

The largest recruit class in the history of the Lafayette Fire Department has begun training to become full-fledged firefighters. The 30 new hires started their training last week. “They haven’t gotten their feet too wet yet,” Fire Department spokesman Alton Trahan said. “Last … Continue reading →

Authorities identify Crowley man shot by police

A man fatally shot by Crowley police officers after he reportedly shot at them during a disturbance call Monday has been identified as 53-year-old Melvin Leblanc of Crowley, according to State Police. State Police Master Trooper Brooks David said Crowley Police Chief K.P. Gibson contacted State Police Monday afternoon regarding an officer-involved shooting … Continue reading →

Cooper refuses directive to move board’s budget forward

Advocate staff file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Pat Cooper, Lafayette Parish Schools superintendent.

School Superintendent Pat Cooper said Friday he won’t move forward with the Lafayette Parish School Board’s version of the budget because it excludes services required by either board policy or state and federal laws. The board voted 6-3 on Thursday to direct the school system’s staff to advertise — or give public … Continue reading →

Morgan City sisters accused of exploiting elderly woman

Two sisters are accused of neglecting an elderly disabled woman in their care and stealing the victim’s money, officials said. Heaven Daigle, 21, was booked Thursday on counts of cruelty to the infirm, exploitation of the infirm and on a warrant for unauthorized use of a bank access card. Her sister, Bethany … Continue reading →

Residents oppose Multi-Chem permit for wastewater permit

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Vermilion Parish Resident Samatha Cormier speaks at a hearing on the Multi Chem facility a half-mile from her home Thursday at North Vermilion High School near Maurice.

Residents packed into a cafeteria at North Vermilion High School Thursday night to speak out about the Multi-Chem chemical plant that opened near Maurice last year following a 2011 explosion that destroyed the company’s facility in New Iberia. Multi-Chem, which is owned by Halliburton, blends chemicals for use in … Continue reading →

Cooper: Cuts could put budget out of compliance with law

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Lafayette Parish School Board Superintendent, Dr. Pat Cooper holds up a copy of the proposed budget while pointing out what he views as it's problems during a special budget hearing on Thursday evening at the school board offices.

The budget turf war between Superintendent Pat Cooper and a majority of the Lafayette Parish School Board continued Thursday with Cooper arguing that cuts the board has made place the district out of compliance with state and federal laws. The argument isn’t a new one posed to the board by Cooper or … Continue reading →

Youngsville to heed

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Acadiana crime blotter for Aug. 15, 2014

A woman awakened by someone busting through her front door escaped a fire at her mobile home near Duson early Thursday that was deliberately set, officials said. Her dog, however, was unable to get out. The fire at 2013 Denias Road was reported at 2:49 a.m. and drew a response from firefighters … Continue reading →

First MidSouth Bank location being demolished

The Pinhook Road location that housed MidSouth Bank when it opened for business in February 1985, known as “The Hut,” is being demolished. The 3,000-square-foot branch, located at 1926 W. Pinhook Road, has not been occupied by MidSouth Bank since 1993, when the bank moved its headquarters to downtown Lafayette. The building being razed due to structural … Continue reading →

Cooper presenting another budget proposal to Lafayette board

Superintendent Pat Cooper is putting another balanced budget proposal on the table for the Lafayette Parish School Board to consider at its meeting Thursday in lieu of the board’s previously approved cuts. The board has rejected previous balanced budget proposals from Cooper, though his latest proposal does not include any further reduction … Continue reading →