N/S/E/W — MAY

Clay’s at the border and Fiber’s to the rescue

Locked and loaded at your local cop store
Congressman Clay Higgins recently spent four days touring the U.S./Mexico border to learn more about national security, which included taking a close look at rocks. Higgins, a former St. Landry Parish deputy, met with border patrol agents to talk about security tactics and equipment. Naturally, his trip was recorded on video. “Look at how these men have to equip their vehicle,” Higgins said. He pointed to a modified border patrol vehicle equipped with a cage over the front windshield to protect it from thrown rocks. (In another frame, Higgins went on to show the size of rocks agents apparently face being hurled at them.) “You don’t buy this at a cop store,” Higgins said of the improvised armor. “Agents had to figure this out and design it and weld it themselves.”

Refusing to recycle your refuse
No, your old Mardi Gras beads, cat litter, dirty diapers, crawfish shells and empty bottles of Yuengling don’t go in the bin with the light-blue lid. Lafayette Consolidated Government issued a stern warning to residents who have been discarding non-recyclable rubbish in their recycling bins. Habitual offenders will eventually be black-listed from city-parish government’s recycling program. Wait, glass? Lafayette doesn’t recycle glass? Keep that in mind the next time you grab a six-pack up the road. Meanwhile, city recycling contractor Republic has reportedly taken aim at low-hanging branches it says are scuffing up its trucks.

High cost to remove a lost cause
Consider it one of the least-popular gigs in the South. Only one bidder has submitted a proposal to remove three Confederate monuments in New Orleans. That could be because the previous contractor received threats. Heritage, not hate and all that. Bidder Cuzan Services Limited has attached a $600,000 price tag to the job the company is willing to do. The bid is three times the cost the city had budgeted. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration said funding for the removal will be done through the city, but it’s actually to be paid for by a private, anonymous donor. “Given threats and violent acts toward previous contractors, we understand the increased costs can be due to increased risks,” Landrieu’s office said. “We remain committed to taking down the Confederate monuments and securing the funds necessary to do so.”

The kids aren’t all right
Port Barre High School is apparently dealing with a lot of problems. In April, Port Barre Police Chief Deon Boudreaux told KLFY that four arrests have recently been made, all related to on-campus fights. “It’s one thing after the other,” the police chief told the station. “We constantly stay at this school, almost on a daily basis we’re there.” He called the problem “unreal,” adding that the department has received complaints of bomb threats, drugs and inappropriate faculty behavior. “I think we had a knife and a gun pickup at school at one time; teachers and children engaging in relationships,” Boudreaux said.

Fiber in defense of privacy
U.S. senators, including Louisiana Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, voted in favor of reversing legal blocks to selling your browsing history without consent. In response to the congressional vote, LUS Fiber issued this statement: “In light of the recent congressional vote to eliminate broadband privacy protections, we would like to take this opportunity to reassure our customers that LUS Fiber does not sell their browsing history.” Recent searches at The Current’s offices include Neti Pot-related deaths and squirrel attacks. Good luck monetizing that, corporate America.

A summer in hot water
Freakishly warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico have set up a torrential spring. Come on in, the water’s fine. Actually, it’s not fine. Average surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico did not reach below 73 degrees during the “winter,” which is a first, according to science and tech outlet Ars Technica. Along the Gulf Coast, temperatures averaged 10 degrees above normal. The oddly warm season could portend severe weather this spring. “While the relationship is far from absolute,” reports Ars Technica, “scientists have found that when the Gulf of Mexico tends to be warmer than normal, there is more energy for severe storms and tornadoes to form than when the Gulf is cooler.”

Pecking at tradition
Peta2.com, the youth program of PETA, recently beefed with a South Louisiana Mardi Gras tradition, taking specific aim at a chicken run hosted by St. Cecilia Catholic School in Broussard. On its website, the organization described video footage of the school’s event, which included “hurling chickens into the air and then chasing, grabbing, and tackling them, all while surrounded by screaming crowds.” The post urged activists to contact the school’s administrators and demand that they shut down the annual event.

Culture? In this economy?
Addressing the state of the parish in late March, Lafayette Mayor Joel Robideaux announced the launch of his administration’s initiative to capitalize on the city’s culture and artists. Branding it CREATE — as in culture, recreation, entertainment, arts, tourism and economy — the mayor asserts that Lafayette has what it takes to be the next Nashville. “They just made it up,” Robideaux said of the Country Music Capital of the World during a speech dubbed The Robideaux Report. “We don’t even have to make it up.” Just how this initiative will play out isn’t exactly clear. The mayor noted that other bustling cities like Austin and Chattanooga compete with Lafayette for talent and tech companies, which will play a significant role in diversifying the city’s economy. “We have to do whatever we can to parlay what we have to make us that place where these companies are going to want to move,” the mayor said.

Illustrations by Burton Durand

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