Independent staff writer Heather Miller took home the Louisiana Press Association’s first, second and third place honors in investigative reporting at the trade association’s 132nd Annual Convention in Marksville over the weekend. Miller’s “CONVICTed,” a story that examined the federal justice system’s use of questionable and unreliable witnesses against Lafayette businessman Mike Wyatt — in this case accepting the testimony of a local drug kingpin — took top honors. “Busted: Busted In Acadiana,” which led to the arrest of Busted founder Christopher Hebert on one count each of stalking and cyberstalking, won second place, and Miller’s “Need for Speed,” about the speed trap in Washington, La., and how the city illegally kept $200,000 in speeding fines that should have been turned over to the state, was honored with third place.
|Ind staff writer Heather Miller|
Miller also won first for her feature story “Come Back, Kid,” which chronicled Lafayette resident Brian Murphy’s recovery from a traumatic brain injury; Ind Managing Editor Walter Pierce won first for his news story “Out of Line,” about Broussard’s $800,000 bill for bypassing an LUS water meter over a five-year period; and Editorial Director Leslie Turk’s ongoing coverage of the Lafayette Housing Authority and low-income housing developments earned first place in continuing coverage of a single news event.
The paper won Best Front Page for its “Persons of the Year” cover about the school system’s Gang of Five; photographer Robin May won two firsts: Best Feature Photo and Best Photo Package for “The Business of Pleasure” and “Fresh Start,” respectively. The paper’s restaurant guide won Best Special Section.
Pierce won second place for Best Regular Column and for Best Feature Story. Turk and Miller placed second and third, respectively, for Best News Story.
In advertising honors, the paper’s A-Z summer guide won first, as did its annual Takin’ Care of Business ad feature. Ads for Coccolare Spa and Johnston Street Java won first place, as did the Acadiana Guitar Campaign; Ind graphic designer Nicole Manafi was the creative talent behind all three. The Ind’s Acadiana Center for the Arts ad by online development specialist Michael Lunsford won first in the online advertising category, animated. Lunsford also placed second in that category for an ad for Blue Moon Saloon. His and artist Francis Pavy’s design for the Acadiana365 calendar placed second in Best Web Project.
Graphic designer Hannah Herpin’s ad for Paul’s Jewelry won second for color ad, and graphic designer Jason Roy’s ad for Clerk of Court Louis Perret won second in the non-retail category.
The Independent competes in the Free Circulation and Special Interest Publication division. In all, the paper took home 30 edit and advertising honors, winning General Excellence for the “Busted” and “Hell to Pay” covers.
The Advocate, The Daily Advertiser, The Courier (Houma), Jennings Daily News, The Livingston Parish News (Denham Springs), the Tri-Parish Times (Houma), The West Side Journal, and the Zachary Plainsman News earned Newspaper of the Year honors in their respective divisions. Newspaper of the Year is not awarded in The Ind’s division.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers opens on Johnston.
Acadiana's Top 50 Private Companies
It would be an understatement to say Schumacher Group had a challenging year in 2013.
Hampton Toyota has been serving Acadiana as the premier Toyota dealership for more than 10 years. And now, the glossy Johnston Street dealership is looking forward to a makeover.
Even when Floyd Degueyter is on “vacation” he’s hard at work.
As the second largest metal heat treating company in the country, Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1979.
When the Prohibition era came to an end in 1933, Joseph R. Streva saw an opportunity to make a little extra money to supplement his day job.
When a hurricane hits, Brent Mouton doesn’t run. The convenience store chain owner is proof that the challenges of mother nature can almost break a business, but Mouton learned to grow out of temporary closure from near devastation in 2002 and of lost potential revenue.
By launching a Super PAC to end all Super PACs, our Top 50 keynote speaker hopes to change the game in Washington.
Oil Center-based private facility extends its offerings with special events venue in failed women’s store.
One year later, is his expansion plan paying off?
Newspaper industry insiders question John Georges’ expansion plan.
How the U.S. has gotten itself into another fine mess
The Heymann Center was transformed into a culinary adventure in mid-June for the EatLafayette kick-off event, A Taste of Lafayette, and for the third consecutive year, a sellout crowd filled the Cajundome Convention Center June 19 to hear LEDA chief Gregg Gothreaux’s State of the Economy report.
A look at recent hirings, promotions and other announcements from Acadiana's business community.
Anne Pyle puts a bow on a stellar, expectations-defying career with her latest venture.
The company currently has 10 branches throughout Louisiana, including an Ambassador Caffery location which opened last year.
Lawmakers have added $15 million to the attorney general's budget to pay for Louisiana's ongoing legal case against BP for damages caused by the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
The state's jobless rate rose to 5 percent in June from 4.9 percent in May. Louisiana's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in June 2013.
Long-established private club opening special events venue in failed women’s store at Kaliste Saloom Road and Camellia Boulevard.
High-dollar legal teams are preparing to spar in federal court over the regional levee authority’s historic lawsuit against oil and gas companies, but a panel of volunteers could preempt those efforts when they meet in August.
May sales, the highest on record for the month at $534 million, increased 6.1 percent over May 2013.
Trendy Shi Shi is heading to the Ranch, longtime retail institution Partners’ Ltd. is relocating to Parc Lafayette, and ariel artist haven Vertical Barre is moving downtown.
There’s another debit/credit card scam making the rounds — the second this year — this time via a robo call purportedly from MidSouth Bank.
The 2014 Louisiana Annual Sales Tax Holiday exempts the first $2,500 of the purchase price of each eligible item for non-business use when the customer buys and accepts delivery of eligible property or places property on layaway.