LAFAYETTE PARISH VOTERS WILL DECIDE WHETHER TO APPROVE A NEW TEN YEAR, HALF CENT SALES TAX, WHICH WOULD PROVIDE 200 MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. THE SCHOOL BOARD LAST NIGHT UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED PUTTING THE TAX BEFORE VOTERS IN THE APRIL 29TH ELECTION. IF APPROVED, THE MONEY WOULD BE USED TO EXPAND THE FACILITIES AT 12 CAMPUSES, ELIMINATING 248 TEMPORARY CLASSROOMS. THOSE CAMPUSES ARE LAFAYETTE HIGH AND THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS: PRAIRIE, CARENCRO HEIGHTS, EVANGELINE, BROADMOOR, BOUCHER, PLANTATION, RIDGE, WOODVALE, DUSON, LEO JUDICE AND OSSUN.
THE LAKE CHARLES CITY COUNCIL VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO EXTEND THEIR RIGHTS TO BUY BACK THE OLD SEARS PROPERTY UNTIL DECEMBER 31ST. F-P-L PURCHASED THE PROPERTY FOR JUST OVER ONE MILLION DOLLARS IN JUNE OF 2013, WITH PLANS TO BUILD A 43 MILLION DOLLAR LUXURY APARTMENT COMPLEX, BUT CONSTRUCTION HAS BEEN ON HOLD. CITY ATTORNEY BILLY LOFTIN SAYS THE COUNCIL WANTED TO PROTECT THEIR RIGHT TO BUY BACK THE LAND AT THE ORIGINAL PURCHASE PRICE. HOWEVER, HE SAYS, IT’S NOT THEIR DESIRE TO BUY IT BACK, CONSIDERING ALL OF THE EFFORT THAT’S BEEN MADE.
ANOTHER ARREST HAS BEEN MADE IN THE THEFT OF A EUNICE WOMAN’S LIFE SAVINGS. THE WOMAN’S NEIGHBOR, 45-YEAR-OLD CHADRICK JUDE LAVERGNE, WAS ARRESTED LAST FRIDAY FOR STEALING HER SAFE AND GETTING MORE THAN 100 THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM IT. ST. LANDRY PARISH SHERIFF BOBBY GUIDROZ SAYS ON TUESDAY THEY ARRESTED 25-YEAR-OLD TAYLER BROOKE LEJEUNE OF BASILE FOR ALLEGEDLY HELPING LAVERGNE. GUIDROZ SAYS THE TWO WENT TO KINDER TO GAMBLE WITH THE MONEY, AND INVESTIGATORS DETERMINED THAT LEJEUNE ALSO TOOK MONEY AND BOUGHT A CAR AND DRUGS, AND WENT ON A SHOPPING SPREE.
House Republicans have started advancing two budget-rebalancing proposals that cut more deeply than Gov. John Bel Edwards wants and hit agencies he wanted to protect. The Appropriations Committee approved both plans Wednesday. The first proposal from Chairman Cameron Henry would use nearly $75 million from Louisiana’s “rainy day” fund — $45 million less than Edwards proposes — to close a $304 million deficit.A second plan sponsored by Reps. Tony Bacala and Rick Edmonds wouldn’t use rainy day money at all. The full House will debate the proposals Friday.
THE LAFAYETTE AIRPORT COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY CHOSE ONE OF THREE DESIGN CONCEPTS PUT FORWARD FOR THE NINETY MILLION DOLLAR TERMINAL PROJECT. THE DESIGN THAT WAS CHOSEN, ENTITLED “JOURNEY”, WAS ALSO THE NUMBER ONE CHOICE OF THE PUBLIC, WHICH RATED IT AN AVERAGE OF 4-POINT-1-8 ON A FIVE POINT SCALE. DESIGNER FRANK GRATTON USED AS INSPIRATION ELEMENTS OF ACADIANA CULTURE, INCLUDING FOOD, MUSIC AND FESTIVALS. THE NEW TERMINAL IS SCHEDULED TO BE COMPLETED BY 2020 AND WILL BE NEARLY TWICE THE SIZE OF THE CURRENT TERMINAL, WHICH IS ALMOST SIXTY-YEARS-OLD.
THE TOWN OF WELSH IS HONORING ITS ONLY VIETNAM WAR CASUALTY BY RENAMING THE I-TEN RAMPS IN HIS NAME. DONALD CHARLES GILLETT ATTENDED WELSH HIGH SCHOOL IN THE MID-1960’S. HE DIED WHILE EXITING A HELICOPTER IN THE JUNGLES OF VIETNAM AND WAS IDENTIFIED BY FELLOW WELSH HIGH GRADUATE WAYNE PHENICE, WHO ALSO WAS SERVING IN VIETNAM. IN A CEREMONY MARCH FOURTH AT TWO P-M, THE TOWN OF WELSH WILL DEDICATE THE TWO MARKERS DESIGNATING THE RAMPS AS THE DONALD C. GILLET MEMORIAL INTERCHANGE.
POLICE SAY A TEENAGER IS NOW CHARGED FOR FALSELY REPORTING AN ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING IN OPELOUSAS MONDAY. JULIE DARCE HAS MORE.
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Gov. John Bel Edwards raised nearly $3.3 million for his re-election bid during his first year in office, giving him a hefty campaign account years ahead of the 2019 governor’s race. The Democratic governor’s latest fundraising report, covering all contributions and spending for 2016, was filed Wednesday with the state ethics administration office. Edwards reports he ended the year with about $3.3 million cash on hand, after accounting for dollars left from 2015 and campaign expenses.
Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry, a possible Edwards competitor in 2019, reported drawing $899,000 in campaign donations last year and ending with $544,000 on hand.