▸ The gist: Former Stabil Drill executive Chris Russo suffered a major setback a few days ago when a Texas appellate panel shot down his attempt to invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid turning over a cache of emails to Superior Energy Services. Superior sued Russo and another top executive in 2016 for tens of millions of dollars, alleging the duo masterminded an elaborate scheme to defraud the company.
Perspective: Katie Hebert UHC's CEO explains the hospital's vital role to the health of Lafayette’s economy and its people.
UHC’s CEO says losing the hospital would deal a devastating blow not only to Lafayette’s economy but also the region’s poorest population.
Arguing about library taxes proves we should be talking about consolidated government and how it simply isn’t working out.
Downtown is running out of sewer capacity That’s another roadblock for redeveloping the Old Federal Courthouse
Not long after the city received and released ideas for the Old Federal Courthouse from five interested developers, it surfaces that Downtown may not have the sewer capacity to serve their ambitions.
Closing UHC will open up a world of hurt on Lafayette’s economy It should be a non-starter. Not a bargaining chip.
If Lafayette loses UHC, our community will be sicker, poorer, weaker, and less able to dig our way out of the $10 billion economic hole we find ourselves in now.
In defense of well-funded libraries An All-American call to arms
Critics have taken aim at the library’s reserves. But, as local governments look to stabilize budgets in times of economic flux, fund balances are key to long-term planning.
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
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.
Lafayette needs to replace $10 billion in local GDP in the next five years or risk losing an entire generation of thinkers and doers.
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.
Another flood is coming. The timing is uncertain, but the trends that produced the 2016 flood continue unabated.
Lafayette General Health warns that it will stop running UHC unless the Legislature fully restores funding to the hospital
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.
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.
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.