NewsSt. Landry Parish


VP Kamala Harris cancels trip to St. Landry; Sunset community wants broadband to be addressed

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Posted at 9:27 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 06:55:18-05

In the wake of ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Vice President Kamala Harris will not be coming to St. Landry Parish.

Harris was scheduled to meet with community leaders in Sunset tomorrow about accessible high-speed internet.

Although VP Harris will not be making an appearance here in Sunset on Friday, residents say broadband still remains an issue that needs to be addressed.

“We’re are at a loss here in St. Landry Parish because we’re just not as connected as we could be.”

When students had to go virtual at the beginning of the year, École St. Landry School principal, Lindsay Smythe says with unreliable internet in the parish, they had to revert back to older forms of instruction.

“Because we did have parents on record saying we do not have reliable internet or we don’t have the internet at all at our home, we knew that we had to provide packages as well. We did old school analog come and pick up your packet, color the page because we knew there were families who would have learning loss if everything was online,” said Smythe.

It’s a feeling one student at the school knows all too well.

“One time, a lot of people were on the internet so one person wasn’t able to get on the internet,” said École St. Landry School student, Braylen Smith.

According to Connect Louisiana, 3.42% of residents in St. Landry do not have internet access, with about 16.6% who don’t know how to use it.

For one business owner, she’s hoping to pay less for broadband.

“If the government or the powers that be can bring us an affordable internet, a fast speed affordable internet, I would definitely want it in my shop,” said Bayou Some Stuff owner, Marvel Guidry.

While others just want to scroll on social media without interruptions.

“It’s very aggravating because when I’m scrolling on TikTok it’ll just freeze on me,” said Cankton Elementary school student, Makyia Walker.

“I hope that this comes to fore-wishing so we'll just have to wait and see,” Smythe added.

Harris's visit to Sunset will be rescheduled. The Office of the Vice President said that additional details will be released at a later date.

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