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Community Agenda 2019

Cashing in on blockchain What does that mean for Lafayette?

The mayor’s cryptocurrency cash grab took the lead in local day-after headlines, but it may be worth paying more attention to his interest in blockchain

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Mixed Use A snapshot of the five bids to redevelop the Old Federal Courthouse

The Old Federal Courthouse in Downtown has languished unoccupied for about 10 years now. Last year, a team of consultants advised the city to do something with the property, warning that it had become a “monument of indecision” — words now stenciled in polite graffiti on the courthouse door. Now, five groups have thrown their hats into the ring to redevelop it, responding to the city’s call for credentials. The projects and players range in ambition and notoriety. One idea would add 135 new residences to the district. Below are the responses and some overviews. 

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Lafayette’s $10 billion economic problem

Lafayette needs to replace $10 billion in local GDP in the next five years or risk losing an entire generation of thinkers and doers.

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Marshal Pope’s defense strategy in jeopardy A U.S. district court ruling could ultimately hamper a key legal maneuver in the Lafayette city marshal's pending criminal trial.

A U.S. district court ruling could ultimately hamper a key legal strategy in Marshal Brian Pope’s pending criminal trial.

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When the storm comes

Another flood is coming. The timing is uncertain, but the trends that produced the 2016 flood continue unabated.

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Lafayette General Health warns that it will stop running UHC unless the Legislature fully restores funding to the hospital

The gist

LGH President David Callecod issued a stern warning to Gov. John Bel Edwards(https://lapolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/UHC-040318-.pdf) that if the Legislature can’t find money to fund Lafayette’s University Hospital & Clinics, which LGH runs on the state’s behalf, then LGH would be forced to stop operating the training hospital and its urgent care clinic. Callecod put a June 30, 2018, deadline, the end of an “anticipated” special session, before LGH would vacate UHC and fire its 800 employees. LGH would also demand a refund of the “unused portion” of its near $16 million in prepaid rent for this year.

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Some background

LGH took over operations of UHC in 2013. Previously, LSU’s medical school had run the hospital as a teaching facility. Under LGH’s management, the hospital still serves as a training ground for the state’s medical residents and as an essential source of care for Lafayette’s disadvantaged. The urgent care clinic at UHC, which LGH opened after assuming control, takes Medicaid payments. It’s one of the only clinics in town that does that. Callecod’s letter notes that the facility served 54,000 patients last year, many of them poor and uninsured.

The takeaway

Callecod signaled this move last month(http://www.katc.com/story/37718147/lafayette-general-health-warns-uhc-will-close-if-lawmakers-cant-find-solution-to-budget-crisis). Gov. Edwards’ proposed budget, announced at the beginning of this year, cut $650 million in state health funding, precipitating this confrontation. While it may not be surprising, it nevertheless shows just how bad things have gotten around the state’s budget deadlock. Jeremy Alford of LaPolitics reports that Callecod’s threat is not empty rhetoric. Should LGH follow through, the economic and social impact would be tremendous.

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Lafayette has a river. Why no river walk?

Lafayette doesn’t have a riverwalk like San Antonio or Chattanooga, or lots of other cities for that matter. Why, exactly, is that the case?

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Shelter from the storm Councilwoman Liz Hebert launches a program to cover Lafayette's bus stops.

Councilwoman Liz Webb Hebert is launching a public-private partnership, called “Adopt A Stop” to speed the process of covering the city’s bus stops.

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Unpacked

What the self-storage boom says about us and the things we won’t let go.

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Lexington To Lafayette

Lafayette can be the next great American city. But only if we recognize that we can’t build consensus in a vacuum.

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Hard Facts, True Stories, Real Talk

The sky settled down into an early May gradient of twilight colors over the statue of Confederate General Alfred Mouton, his arms crossed over his white stone chest. Across the street, crammed standing-room-only inside of The Hive’s black box theatre space, more than 50 people hushed as Dr. Rick Swanson took the stage. Swanson unfurled tables and charts, photos and […]

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City Smarter, Not Harder

Andrew Rodgers, a Chattanooga-based technologist, smiles as he speaks to an eager Acadiana audience, his hands moving like a Cajun grandmother. A keynote speaker at Lafayette’s inaugural Smart Community Summit, his energetic presentation to a room full of Lafayette notables is fueled by one driving force — belief in the powers of cooperation and technology. “Researchers and academia work in […]

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