HOME SALES IN LAFAYETTE PARISH ARE DOWN FOR THE FIRST SEVEN MONTHS OF THE YEAR BUT THEY ARE UP IN THE NEIGHBORING PARISHES. THROUGH THE END OF JULY, THERE WERE 3,220 HOME SALES IN ACADIANA, UP FROM 3,147 LAST YEAR. BUT IN LAFAYETTE PARISH, HOME SALES ARE DOWN AT 1,963, COMPARED TO 2,054 LAST YEAR. ONE FACTOR, ACCORDING TO ANALYST BILL BACQUE, IS THE AVERAGE HOME PRICE OUTSIDE LAFAYETTE PARISH, WHICH IS FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS LESS THAN IN LAFAYETTE PARISH.
A former Lake Charles police officer has pleaded guilty in a 2017 federal brutality case. A U.S. Justice Department news release says 45-year-old Robert Hammac pleaded guilty Thursday to “deprivation of rights under color of law.” Prosecutors say police had stopped a car following a long chase in May of 2017. The driver put his hands in the air and did not resist as officers began to pull him out of the car, but Hammac entered the car from the passenger side, pulled the suspect into the car and beat him.
THE VERMILLION PARISH SCHOOL BOARD DID NOT REMOVE THE BOARD PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT. BOARD MEMBER CHRIS GAUTREAUX FILED THE MOTION FOR THEIR REMOVAL AFTER THE BOARD LAST MONTH VOTED TO PUT THE SUPERINTENDENT ON PAID LEAVE. AMONG THE REASONS GAUTREAUX GAVE IN ASKING FOR THE REMOVAL WAS THAT ACTION PUT THE BOARD AT RISK OF FUTURE LAWSUITS AND IT WOULD LEAD TO UNNECESSARY LITIGATION EXPENSES. THE BOARD VOTED AGAINST A MOTION TO SUSPEND THEIR POLICY IN ORDER TO REMOVE THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT.
Gov. John Bel Edwards says he’s asked President Donald Trump to declare a major disaster for Louisiana after Hurricane Barry, which made landfall last month. In a letter Thursday, Edwards says the new declaration would provide assistance for activities involved in “protection of life and property, removal of debris and the repair, restoration, and replacement of damaged facilities.” Edwards says the process for requesting such a declaration requires a more detailed assessment of impacts and costs incurred in all of the parishes included than the emergency declaration issued by Trump during the event. The request would affect 19 parishes including Allen, Iberia, St. Mary, and Vermilion parishes.
OUR LADY OF LOURDES HOSPITAL IS REPORTING AN URGENT NEED FOR TYPE O BLOOD DONORS. CAROLINE MARCELLO HAS MORE.
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AN A-T-M MACHINE WAS TAKEN FROM THE LOVE’S TRUCK STOP IN VINTON WHILE PATRONS AND EMPLOYEES WERE IN THE STORE. VINTON POLICE CAPTAIN SCOTT SPELL SAYS TWO SUSPECTS PUT A CHAIN AROUND THE A-T-M AND USED A STOLEN VEHICLE TO RIP IT FROM THE GROUND OF THE STORE. HE SAYS NO ONE WAS HURT. SPELL SAYS THEY’VE UNCOVERED A LOT OF EVIDENCE FROM THE SCENE AND IS CONFIDENT THERE WILL BE ARRESTS IN THIS CASE.
AN APPLICANT FOR IBERIA PARISH DEPUTY HAS SUED SHERIFF LOUIS ACKAL FOR RESCINDING A JOB OFFER AFTER IT WAS DISCOVERED HE WAS H-I-V POSITIVE. JUDGE MICHAEL JUNEAU DENIED A MOTION BY THE ATTORNEYS FOR WILLIAM LIAM PIERCE TO ISSUE A LIABILITY IN THE CASE AND INSTEAD SCHEDULED THE CASE FOR TRIAL IN JANUARY. PIERCE CLAIMS ACKAL VIOLATED THE AMERICANS WITH DISABLITIES ACT BY DISCRIMINATING AGAINST HIM. ACKAL’S ATTORNEYS SAY THE JOB OFFER WAS RESCINDED BECAUSE OF AN INCIDENT THAT LED TO PIERCE LOSING HIS JOB WITH THE ABBEVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT.
THE RAYNE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS PARTICIPATING IN A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOCUSED ON DRUNK AND IMPAIRED DRIVING. THE DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER CAMPAIGN BEGINS TODAY AND CONTINUES THROUGH LABOR DAY. POLICE CHIEF CARROLL STELLY SAYS THE CAMPAIGN WILL ALLOW THEM TO PUT AN EXTRA OFFICER ON PATROL WHOSE SOLE FOCUS IS SEARCHING FOR IMPAIRED DRIVERS. HE SAYS THEY WILL BE HEAVILY ENFORCING THE DRINKING AND DRIVING LAWS.