Around Acadiana

Dec 31, 2013 7:57 PM by Alex Labat

2013 in Acadiana

2013 started out with a Federal Disaster Declaration in Acadiana. As much as 16 inches of rain fell in a matter of days, causing more than $6 million dollars in damage. In February, tragedy brings division to Acadiana. When three teenagers were shot while driving in Lafayette. 15-year-old Austin Rivault was killed, 18-year-old Seth Fontenot was arrested. He claims the teens were stealing from his truck, and he was standing his ground. Others say it's a clear case of murder. The case goes to trial in 2014.
That same month, the Carnival Triumph had a not so triumphant return to shore. An engine fire stranded thousands at sea, including some from Acadiana. In March, frustrations boiled over for teachers. A KATC investigation revealed 697 teachers left the classroom, citing issues like state changes and a lack of discipline in the classroom. In April, a man on the run. Wade Lohse ran off before his trial for vehicular homicide. Dubbed "The Most Wanted Man in Acadiana", after three weeks on the run, Lohse was found in Philadelphia. He's now serving a 20-year jail sentence. Next, a family still looking for a loved one. Daniel Wright went missing in June while sailing on the Nina from New Zealand to Australia. Her parents, who are now in Australia, where they continue to search for Danielle and the others on board the Nina.
The second half of the year saw a train derailment in Lawtell. The train was carrying flammable and corrosive material, and homes were evacuated due to a State of Emergency. Several class action lawsuits have been filed by those affected in the incident. That same month, a different kind of tragedy in Acadia Parish. 20-year-old Skylar Credeur was found dead in her bathtub, and her stepfather, Kerry Bertrand, was found hiding in the attic. Bertrand, who was not supposed to be in the home due to protective orders, is in jail and charged with manslaughter.
In November, a kidnapping with an ending no one expected. 29-year-old Bethany Arceneaux was kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend, 29-year-old Scott Thomas. After days of searching, Arceneaux's family discovered them in an abandoned home, rescuing her and killing her captor. And in December, a win and a loss. 69-year-old Blue Dog artist George Rodrigue lost a long battle with cancer a little over two weeks ago. His work gained national attention, and helped promote Louisiana with his unique visual style. The Blue Dog lives on, and made an appearance as a decal on the Cajuns helmets at the New Orleans Bowl. The Cajuns took on Tulane, and a missed field goal by the "Green Wave" helped the Cajuns score their third New Orleans Bowl Victory.


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