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The top stories of 2017 in Acadiana - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

The top stories of 2017 in Acadiana

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(Stories 10-6)

(Stories 5-1)

As 2017 comes to a close, we're looking back at the biggest local headlines of the year. KATC analyzed the stories our viewers shared and talked about the most. Here are those stories in our year in review. 

Number 10:

In July, a little pig had many squealing in New Iberia. The little guy was spotted running around the Old Jeanerette Road in July of 2017. After several days and several failed attempts to catch him, Travis the pig was finally captured. These days, he's hamming it up with his new adopted parents. 

Number 9: 
Jacquelyn "Daisy Lynn" Landry, a Lafayette teen who's been missing since May filled news feeds and the minds of many in Acadiana. Friends, family and volunteers have been searching for her since her disappearance, but she has never been found. The case of the missing teen turned into a homicide investigation in Lafayette parish in August. A grand jury indicted Malik Davis for the second-degree murder of Landry. Authorities have not released any information on how Davis and Landry were connected.

Number 8:

Gun violence in New Iberia hits our list at number 8. Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal calling it a gang war. Ackal says that in the past year, the violence has claimed the lives of 9 people and wounded about 25 more.  Officials hope that the return of the New Iberia Police Department will bring this violence to an end.  

Number 7:
The search for Lafayette Sheriff Mark Garber's 7-year-old daughter and her babysitter. The two went missing when they were out canoeing and got lost. After a 16 hour search, crews found the two safe and in good health 

Number 6:
Two elected officials in Acadiana are facing criminal charges.
In Lafayette, City Marshal Brian Pope spent the year in court as he awaits trial on a 7-count felony indictment and is still on probation for withholding public records. New questions also came up this year about whether he's legally paying himself hundreds of thousands of dollars in city court fees. 
In Opelousas Mayor Reggie Tatum was indicted on 15 counts of malfeasance, forgery and theft.  This stems from an overtime scandal in the wake of the historic flood. Tatum paid himself nearly $13,000 in overtime and is accused of falsifying time sheets for council members.

We continue our list with number 5: UL Athletics
UL softball coach Mike Lotief was fired in November amid abuse allegations documents show. The complaints made by former players who accuse him of verbal and physical abuse. Lotief denied those allegations and believes he was fired because of his fight for gender equity. 
On the football field, Coach Mark Hudspeth was fired this year after three straight losing seasons. Hudsepth was fired as the Cajuns head coach after 7 years with the program. Billy Napier will now be the Cajuns 24th head coach.

At number 4: the shooting death of Dejuan Guillory.
That shooting happened in July, while an Evangeline Deputy was responding to a call for a stolen ATV. After the call was cleared., he came across Guillory and his girlfriend. Police say there was a struggle, which lead to the shooting that killed Guillory.

The officer will not be facing charges, however, Guillory's family believes the officer used excessive force because Guillory was on the ground when he was shot. 

Number 3:

A police-involved shooting in Crowley left three people, and a police dog dead. Investigators say Don Johnson shot and killed two women in March of 2017.
Police say he also shot a Crowley Police Officer and killed the officers dog, Roscoe. Johnson died in the shootout.

Number 2: Acadiana's response to natural disasters

During Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria many of you helped out with donations and offered a home to those in need. One such story included a 5-year-old evacuee who wanted a cupcake for his birthday. He received that and more thanks to our viewers who heard his story.
Members of the Cajun Navy also rushed in to help many affected by the hurricanes, gathering their boats to help save and rescue showing what Acadiana is all about. 

Finally, the biggest story of 2017 in Acadiana:

The death of Corporal Micheal Middlebrook in Lafayette has shrouded most of the remaining months of 2017. The Lafayette officer was killed in the line of duty while responding to a report of battery and shots fired. 
Middlebrook was described as a man who went beyond the badge, helping people in need. Many in Acadiana honored his life during his funeral and procession which took place in October.

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