No known criminal record. No known history of violence. One friend called him an introverted animal lover. Another said he was a “very sweet guy” with a racially diverse group of friends. But 21-year-old Holden Matthews is now the lone suspect in the torching of three African American churches in and around Opelousas. The arrest of the son of a local sheriff’s deputy shocked two friends who spoke to The Associated Press. Meanwhile, pastors of the churches expressed relief that the mystery had apparently been solved.
The Catholic diocese for southwest Louisiana has released information about 12 clerics who officials say were credibly accused of sexual abuse. Three were accused of abuse in Texas and one in Puerto Rico. Lake Charles Bishop Glen John Provost says in a video message that as far as he knows, the diocese has acted on every report. He notes in a letter that some names may also be on the Lafayette diocese’s list, because the Lake Charles diocese was created from it in 1980.
Lafayette Bishop Douglas Deshotel has said he’ll release that list Friday.
A COURT HEARING ON A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE LAFAYETTE CONSOLIDATED COUNCIL WAS POSTPONED YESTERDAY. JUDGE JOHN TRAHAN SET ASIDE YESTERDAY’S HEARING AND INSTEAD SCHEDULED A TRIAL ON THE MERITS OF THE CASE FOR MAY EIGHTH. THE ISSUE GOES BACK TO A HOME RULE CHARTER AMENDMENT CREATING SEPARATE CITY AND PARISH COUNCILS THAT WAS APPROVED BY VOTERS LAST DECEMBER. PRECINCT BOUNDARIES FOR THE NEW DISTRICT WERE DRAWN INCORRECTLY AND BUSINESSMAN KEITH KISHBAUGH FILED A LAWSUIT TO FORCE A NEW ELECTION TO CORRECT THE ERRORS.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has faced one of his Republican gubernatorial challengers for the first time, squaring off with Congressman Ralph Abraham in a policy-focused forum that touched on health care, infrastructure and taxes. Edwards, who is running for reelection, painted the state Thursday in a better light than when he took office, contrasting its current budget surplus with the $2 billion deficit he inherited when taking office. Edwards says an Abraham governorship would return the state to the days of former Gov. Bobby Jindal, which he termed a “disaster.” Abraham repeatedly brought up Louisiana’s low rankings in things like education and health care, criticizing Edwards as driving business and residents away from the state.
AN ACADIA PARISH SCHOOL BUS WAS INVOLVED IN A CRASH ON RIDGE ROAD AT THE LAGNEAUX ROAD INTERSECTION IN LAFAYETTE PARISH YESTERDAY MORNING. THOMAS GOSSEN WITH STATE POLICE TROOP I SAYS THE DRIVER OF AN S-U-V PULLED OUT IN FRONT OF THE BUS, CAUSING BOTH VEHICLES TO GO NOSE FIRST INTO AN ADJOINING DITCH. THERE WERE NO STUDENTS ON THE BUS, BUT THE DRIVER AND AN AID AS WELL AS THE DRIVER OF THE S-U-V WERE TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL FOR TREATMENT OF MINOR INJURIES. THE DRIVER OF THE S-U-V WAS DETERMINED TO BE AT FAULT AND WAS CITED.
THIS SUNDAY THE WESTBOUND PORTION OF THE I-210 BRIDE IN LAKE CHARLES WILL BE CLOSED. THE CLOSURE WILL TAKE PLACE BEGINNING AT 7:30 IN THE MORNING AND LAST UNTIL FIVE IN THE AFTERNOON. THE COVE LANE WESTBOUND ON RAMP WILL ALSO BE CLOSED. THE CLOSURE IS TO ALLOW A BRIDGE INSPECTION TO BE PERFORMED.
AN INVESTIGATON INTO T-M LANDRY COLLEGE PREP IS NOW COMPLETE AND A NEWS CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD TODAY TO ANNOUNCE THE RESULTS. JEFF HORCHAK HAS MORE.
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A BILL IN THE LOUISIANA LEGISLATURE WOULD PAVE THE WAY FOR ELECTRIC SCOOTERS. THE BILL WOULD ALLOW LOW SPEED ELECTRIC SCOOTERS ON SIDEWALKS, BICYCLE PATHS AND HIGHWAYS THOUGH LOCAL GOVERNMENTS CAN LIMIT OR PROHIBIT THEM. THE PROPOSED LAW WOULD LIMIT THEIR SPEED TO TWENTY MILES AN HOUR AND THEY COULD ONLY TRAVEL ON STREETS WITH A POSTED SPEED LIMIT OF 25 MILES AN HOUR. THOSE 17 AND UNDER WOULD BE REQUIRED TO WEAR A HELMET. IF PASSED, THE LAW WOULD TAKE EFFECT ON AUGUST FIRST.