Jerry Red was elected St. Landry Parish Council chairman at Wednesday's meeting in Opelousas. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

Parish Council OKs budget

The St. Landry Parish Council approved its 2019 budget that Parish President Bill Fontenot said is balanced.
“I use this term a lot. We are still operating on a poor boy budget, but we do the best we can to be efficient...” Fontenot said at the meeting Wednesday where the budget was approved.
Parish government operated in 2018 with a reduction of 17 people, mostly in public works, he said.
Accounting office changes are allowing closer monitoring of finances, he said.

December jobless rate dips from 5% to 4.9%

Data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows that seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 21,900 jobs from December 2017 to 1,992,200. This marks the 15th straight over-the-year increase for seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment. From November 2018, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 700 jobs.

ALICE study: 57% of households in St. Landry Parish cannot afford basic needs

Fifty-seven percent of the 30,302 households in St. Landry Parish cannot afford basic needs, according to a study released by United Way.
ALICE study reported on the ability of households to meet needs such as housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and technology in 2016.
ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The research “places a spotlight on a large population of hardworking residents who work at low-paying jobs, have little or no savings, and are one emergency from falling into poverty.”

Albert Hayes Jr., a Eunice St. Landry Parish School Board member, appeals to the St. Landry Parish Council on Wednesday to reconsider a $500 a month fee to lease property that is used for a Head Start center in Opelousas. Also standing, waiting to talk, are School Board members, left of Haynes, Raymond Cassimere, Denise Rose and Joyce Haynes. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

Head Start lease headed for another round of negotiations

The months long back and forth over a lease for parish-owned property in Opelousas is going to take at least another month.
The St. Landry Parish Council was ready to approve a lease for $500 a month for the property where a Head Start center is located on in Opelousas.
The parish owns the property and the building is owned by Head Start, which operates on a federally-funded budget separate from the School Board.

Gubernatorial candidates building up war chests

With this fall’s gubernatorial race quickly approaching, the major candidates are hitting the fundraising circuit and building up their war chests in anticipation of a costly campaign.
Looking at the 2015 race for governor as an indicator, both Gov. John Bel Edwards and former U.S. Sen. David Vitter spent roughly $11 million each through the primary and runoff.
The costs of running a statewide campaign in 2019 are only expected to increase, meaning that candidates will likely need north of $10 million to wage a competitive fight.


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