THE ADVOCATE IS REPORTING THAT AN AIDE TO LAFAYETTE MAYOR PRESIDENT JOEL ROBIDEAUX RECEIVED A 35 THOUSAND DOLLAR PRIVATE BUSINESS LOAN THAT WAS FUNDED BY FEDERAL GRANT MONEY. THEY SAY THAT AFTER MARCUS BRUNO RECEIVED THE LOAN THROUGH LAFAYETTE NEIGHBORHOODS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, A NONPROFIT, HE HELPED THEM OBTAIN MORE GRANT MONEY FROM THE CITY PARISH GOVERNMENT. ACCORDING TO REGULATIONS BY THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, WHICH PROVIDES THE GRANT MONEY, CITY PARISH EMPLOYEES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PERSONALLY BENEFIT FROM BLOCK GRANTS WHEN THEY ARE IN A POSITION TO PARTICIPATE IN DECISION MAKING. ROBIDEAUX ISSUED A STATEMENT THAT THE ADVOCATE’S HEADLINE AND STORY WAS MISLEADING AND THE LOAN WAS PROPERLY ISSUED.
KPLC TV HAS BEEN REBUFFED BY STATE POLICE IN THEIR ATTEMPTS TO GET MORE DETAILS ABOUT AN OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING LAST MONTH IN LAKE CHARLES. ALL THAT’S KNOWN AT THIS POINT IS 26-YEAR-OLD JUSTON LANDRY WAS SHOT BY OFFICER JOHNATHAN LANDRY ON NORTH MARTIN LUTHER KING HIGHWAY. STATE POLICE TOLD THE TV STATION THAT THEY ARE STILL INVESTIGATING THE SHOOTING AND THEY PLAN TO FORWARD THE FINDINGS TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE. FORMER STATE TROOPER DR. STEVE THOMPSON, WHO IS NOW A PROFESSOR AT MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY, SAYS IT’S STANDARD PROCEDURE, ESPECIALLY IN LOUISIANA, TO WITHHOLD INFORMATION UNTIL THE INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETED.
ACADIA PARISH SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES ARE INVESTIGATING A DEADLY HIT-AND-RUN CRASH THAT HAPPENED LATE LAST NIGHT. JEFF HORCHAK REPORTS.
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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards isn’t getting the financial boost he hoped would help pay for a teacher raise in his upcoming budget proposal. For a fourth time, Republican House Speaker Taylor Barras blocked the income forecast changes that economists are recommending and that the Democratic governor wants. Barras says he’s being cautious, describing economic uncertainty in Louisiana. The Edwards administration calls the move political, aimed at making it difficult for the governor to include the teacher raise in his budget proposal for next year, which he’ll release to lawmakers Feb. 22.
THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF LAFAYETTE IS NEARING COMPLETION OF A LIST OF PRIESTS ACCUSED OF SEXUALLY ABUSING CHILDREN. DIOCESE SPOKESWOMAN BLUE ROLFES SAYS THEY ANTICIPATE BEING ABLE TO RELEASE THE LIST IN A WEEK OR TWO. SHE SAYS A LAY REVIEW BOARD HAS BEEN COMBING THROUGH PERSONNEL RECORDS OVER THE PAST FIFTY YEARS SEARCHING FOR ACCUSATIONS. SO FAR THE DIOCESES IN BATON ROUGE, NEW ORLEANS, HOUMA-THIBODEAX AND ALEXANDRIA HAVE RELEASED THEIR OWN LISTS.
THE CALCASIEU PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE AND LAWYERS FOR DENNIS BARTIE ARE STILL DISPUTING WHETHER BARTIE’S CONFESSION ABOUT KILLING ROSE BORN IN 1998 CAN BE USED IN THE TRIAL. THE DEFENSE SAYS IT SHOULD BE TOSSED BECAUSE IT WAS COERCED AND FALSE, BUT THE THIRD CIRCUIT OF APPEALS RULED BARTIE’S CONFESSION BEFORE HE INVOKED HIS MIRANDA RIGHTS CAN BE USED. ASSISTANT D-A HUGO HOLLAND SAYS IN THAT PART OF THE CONFESSION, HE DENIED KNOWING THE VICTIM OR GOING TO HER PLACE OF BUSINESS, BUT HIS D-N-A WAS FOUND UNDER HER FINGERNAILS. BARTIE’S TRIAL IS SET FOR APRIL 22ND.
AN OPELOUSAS MAN HAS BEEN ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY STABBING HIS BROTHER MULTIPLE TIMES. IT HAPPENED FRIDAY NIGHT AT A HOME ON NICOLE LANE AFTER AN ONGOING DISPUTE BETWEEN THE TWO. 36-YEAR-OLD TERRELL GOODWILL WAS ARRESTED AND BOOKED INTO THE ST. LANDRY PARISH JAIL ON CHARGES OF ATTEMPTED SECOND DEGREE MURDER. HIS BROTHER WAS TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL FOR TREATMENT OF HIS WOUNDS AND THEN RELEASED.
The Louisiana Tax Commission’s top administrator has resigned in the wake of his arrest on accusations that he collected pay for time actually spent golfing, shopping, and engaging in similar personal activities. The Advocate reports an attorney for 51-year-old Charles Abels III of Baton Rouge confirmed Monday that Abels resigned last week. Abels was booked on offenses, including malfeasance in office last month. State police conducted a weeklong surveillance operation and Abels was seen golfing and shopping, among other things.