Thursday, August 15, 2013
LAFAYETTE CITY PARISH OFFICIALS WERE ON HAND FOR THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE SETTLER’S TRACE ROAD EXTENSION. THE CONSOLIDATED GOVERNMENT SPENT 350 THOUSAND DOLLARS TO EXTEND SETTLER’S TRACE FROM WEST FARRELL ROAD TO HOMESTEAD WAY. PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR TOM CARROLL SAYS THE PURPOSE OF THE EXTENSION IS TO HELP RELIEVE TRAFFIC CONGESTION. THE PROJECT WAS DELAYED A NUMBER OF YEARS AFTER A COUPLE WHO LIVED IN THE AREA SUED TO STOP IT. THE STATE SUPREME COURT RULED IN FAVOR OF THE CITY PARISH GOVERNMENT IN 2011.
A JUDGE HAS ORDERED THAT 20 THOUSAND DOLLARS IN CASH BELONGING TO WILLIAM FELIX VAIL BE USED TO PAY FOR EXPERT WITNESSES IN HIS MURDER DEFENSE. VAIL IS ACCUSED OF KILLING HIS WIFE, MARY HORTON VAIL, IN 1962 WHEN SHE DROWNED IN THE CALCASIEU RIVER. HER DEATH ORGINALLY WAS RULED ACCIDENTAL, BUT RECENTLY CALCASIEU PARISH CORONER TERRY WELKE DETERMINED HER DEATH WAS A HOMOCIDE. JUDGE ROBERT WYATT DENIED A REQUEST BY DEFENSE ATTORNEY ANDREW CASANAVE, WHO WANTS THE PROSECUTION TO EXPLAIN WHY THEY NOW THINK VAIL’S WIFE WAS MURDERED.
THE OWNER OF SOUTHWEST RICE MILL IN CROWLEY HAS PLED GUILTY TO NOT ALERTING AUTHORITIES ABOUT 266 GALLONS OF WASTE OIL THAT LEAKED FROM A DAMAGED TANK NEAR THE MILL. A CREW WORKING FOR 60-YEAR-OLD FREDERICK M. DE LA HOUSSAYE ACCIDENTALLY DAMAGED THE OIL STORAGE TANK WITH AN EXCAVATOR TWO YEARS AGO, CAUSING OIL TO LEAK INTO A DRAINAGE DITCH AND INTO BAYOU BLANC. STATE AND FEDERAL AUTHORITIES HAD TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE CLEANUP AFTER DE LA HOUSSAYE DECLINED TO BRING IN PRIVATE CONTRACTORS, EVEN THOUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY TOLD HIM HE WAS LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE. DE LA HOUSSAYE WAS ORDERED TO PAY ONE MILLION DOLLARS TO REIMBURSE THE AGENCIES, AND HE WAS GIVEN TWO YEARS OF SUPERVISED PROBATION.
Another state lawmaker is joining the field of candidates for Louisiana's 5th District congressional seat representing northeast and central Louisiana. State Rep. Robert Johnson, a Democrat from Marksville, said Wednesday that he will formally announce his campaign on Thursday at a local public high school. Johnson, a lawyer, has been a frequent critic of Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal. He becomes the fourth lawmaker who has said they intend to run for the seat in the October special election.
A SCOTT MAN WAS ARRESTED AFTER MIDNIGHT WEDNESDAY BECAUSE HE RODE HIS HORSE INTO COWBOY’S SALOON AND LASSOED A MAN IN THE PARKING LOT. EMPLOYEES AT THE BAR DISPUTE REPORTS THAT 26-YEAR-OLD JEREMY MOUTON DRAGGED THE MAN AROUND THE PARKING LOT. MOUTON THEN RODE HIS HORSE HOME AND RETURNED ON FOOT TO THE BAR WHERE HE WAS ARRESTED. POLICE FOUND HIM HIDING BEHIND HORSE TRAILERS.
A FEDERAL GRANT OF 322 THOUSAND DOLLARS HAS BEEN AWARDED TO HELP RESTORE ONE OF LAKE CHARLES OLDEST NEIGHBORHOODS. THE BOOKER T. WASHINGTON HOUSING COMPLEX WAS THE CITY’S FIRST HOUSING COMPLEX BUILT IN THE 1940’S. EARLIER THIS YEAR, 72 OF THE 92 HOUSING UNITS WERE TORN DOWN, MANY OF WHICH WERE DAMAGED BY RECENT HURRICANES. PROJECT SUPERVISOR, PETER BRUCHNKE (BROOCH nee), SAYS THE REBUILD IS SIXTY PERCENT COMPLETE AND THEY SHOULD BE FINISHED BY THE END OF THE YEAR.
JULIE DARCY HAS AN UPDATE ON CLEANUP AT THE LAWTELL TRAIN DERAILMENT SITE.
Treasurer John Kennedy's office has sent final demand letters to 19 nonprofits that received tax money from lawmakers, saying they aren't complying with financial reporting requirements. Kennedy announced last month that he's going to refer the noncompliant organizations to the state's new debt recovery office, seeking to get the money repaid. The letters sent this week are the last notification to non-government organizations that haven't filed required documents, like progress reports about the use of state money. Since Kennedy raised the issue, five nonprofits have turned over documents, while several others have contacted the treasurer's office, seeking to avoid repayment.