The Jefferson Convention and Visitors Bureau is staging its fourth Family Gras and announced the musical lineup for the three-day event Feb. 25-27. Musical acts range from local favorites to national acts covering genres ranging from country to rock to dance music and pop. The festival started in 2007 as a way to draw families to Jefferson Parish for a safe, all-ages celebration of the Carnival season.
There are some new features this year. A Jester’s Kid’s Tent will offer activities for youngsters, and in another tent former WDSU-TV anchor Kriss Fairbairn will interview performers. One of the biggest changes at the free festival is an option for attendees to buy a $99 Royal Pass (purchase through Ticketmaster) that gives them access to backstage hospitality areas as well as special viewing areas at the front of the stage.
The 20-act schedule:
A followup to her bestselling 2009 memoir, Going Rogue, Palin’s new volume sounds like less of a biography and more of a gallimaufry of conservative ideas and themes; HarperCollins, the publisher, says in promotional materials that the book “will include selections from classic and contemporary readings that have moved her — from the nation’s founding documents to great speeches, sermons, letters, literature and poetry, biography and even some of her favorite songs and movies.”
For those unable to make the Jeff Parish booksigning, Palin will be appearing at the Baton Rouge Books-A-Million on Towne Center Boulevard Nov. 30. According to the store's manager, anyone who wants to attend needs to come by the store Nov. 28 to receive a wristband.
Steven’s love for the blues and blues musicians gave him the ‘Mojo’ and his time spent in Asia and his study of Buddhism gave him the ‘Priest’ — that’s how Steven is known to many as the Mojo Priest. — From the A&E promotional site
He eats Jefferson Parish sushi. He wears sunglasses at night. He wears a black robe the size of the Saints championship banner.
He is Lawman. He is Everyman. He is Fighting Man. (At least according to the trailer for the show.) He's the terror of Veterans Memorial Boulevard and the sensei of Martin Behrman Highway.
He is: Steven Seagal Lawman. And the second-season premiere of his show is tonight. Catch a 2-minute preview here.
Steven Seagal Lawman
Wednesdays, 9 pm
One of Grand Isle's biggest events of the year, the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo, was nixed this year due to the ongoing oil disaster on the coast. (The annual rodeo -- the oldest fishing competition in the U.S., had been held every year since 1928.) But using the lemons-->lemonade theory, organizers came up with a different idea: Island Aid, a benefit concert for the Gulf community that will take place on Grand Isle all day Sat., July 24.
Leann Rimes, Three Dog Night and the Little River Band are the headliners, and the lineup includes several New Orleans favorites, including Amanda Shaw and the Cute Guys, the Wiseguys and the Topcats. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased onsite on the day of the event only, and procees will go to the Grand Isle Alive promotion fund, which is raising money to rebuild the fishing and tourism industries on the island.
A kickoff event was held last month at Harrah's New Orleans, where a lot of Jeff Parish folks showed up for support, including the 2010 rodeo president, Nickie Monica, along with Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle, Tom Capella, Chris Roberts, Sheriff Newell Normand, Cynthia Lee-Sheng and others. Fox 8 weatherdude Chris Franklin emceed (but can he guarantee good weather for the day? Chris?).
The following is a staff report by Clancy DuBos, David Winkler-Schmit and Kevin Allman.
When embattled Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard abruptly announced his intention to resign this morning, the announcement caught people off guard at the highest level of Jeff Parish politics. Councilman Chris Roberts said hed received a call from Broussard shortly before the news leaked, while councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng said she'd been told the news by her staff, who had heard it from the media.
Just yesterday, Broussard had announced that the parishs public works director, Jose Gonzalez, would be filling out the remaining term of parish CAO Tim Whitmer, who had resigned Jan. 4. The announcement also meant Gonzalez would now be serving as temporary parish president until the council could meet this week to appoint an interim president.
Whitmer also owned an insurance company, Lagniappe Industries, that had a contract with St. John the Baptist Parish to provide dental insurance to parish employees. Broussard has admitted that he was paid $5,000 by Lagniappe for legal services, and that he had referred potential customers to Whitmers company.
Former St. John the Baptist President Bill Hubbard, now a convicted felon on another charge, had persuaded his parish council to sign with Lagniappe just as Jefferson Parish was adding $4.8 million to contracts it had penned with Hubbards company, Hubbard Enterprises. As CAO, Whitmer supervised all of the parish departments, including streets, drainage and environmental affairs offices with which Hubbard Enterprises was contracted.
While Broussards resignation turns politics in Jefferson Parish upside down, sources close to the situation tell Gambit the entire scandal behind Broussards surprise resignation stems from the initial Hubbard case in St. John the Baptist Parish.
Whitmers company, which he co-owns with his wife Dawn, also partnered in a deal with another insurance company, B&A Insurance of Metairie, on the sale of voluntary employee insurance at the publicly owned West Jefferson Medical Center. In early November, the Metropolitan Crime Commission (MCC) reported to The Times-Picayune that B&As agent, Wally Pontiff, was listed on the contract, but he was giving part of the commission to Lagniappe, who lists Tim Coulon, former Jefferson Parish president and Whitmers former boss, as one of its agents. The West Jefferson contract contained a clause barring the splitting of commissions.
In the three months following the West Jefferson revelation, it was revealed that Whitmer had insurance contracts with three local government agencies and six Jefferson Parish contractors, as well as doing bookkeeping for Lagniappe through his parish email account and soliciting parish employees to purchase insurance from his company.
On Wednesday, two days after Whitmer stepped down, the MCCs Rafael Goyeneche sent a letter to the states Ethics Administration, informing them that a confidential source had told him that Broussard was renting a lodge he owned in Nova Scotia to parish contractors. This morning, as various members of Broussards staff were set to testify before a federal grand jury regarding the Whitmer criminal investigation, Broussard announced his own resignation.
Broussards political career began in 1974, when he was elected to the Jefferson Parish School Board. He was elected mayor of Kenner in 1982 and went on to serve several terms on the parish council beginning in 1995.
Sources have also told Gambit that the next move in this topsy-turvy story may come directly from the U.S. Attorneys office.
Two more excellent reasons to get an Advocate New Orleans subscription.
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