Columns

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Jim Bradshaw

It was hard to go east to west

Steamboats were first introduced onto Bayou Teche in 1818, largely because the commerce from big sugar plantations made the bayou and its neighboring waterways busy places in the years before the Civil War. But it wasn’t easy getting to south Louisiana from New Orleans or any other place on the Mississippi River.

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Jim Bradshaw

In death, Charlene has touched many lives

August 11 is the 60th anniversary of the death in 1959 of Charlene Richard, a little girl whom many people call “the Little Cajun Saint.” Her story is known across the globe. Miraculous cures have been attributed to her and people come daily to the community of Richard, midway between Eunice and Church Point, to pray at her grave in St. Edward’s cemetery.

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Jim Bradshaw

The road that opened the last frontier

In early 1949 people were talking again about finally building a road to Pecan Island, the isolated chenier south of Abbeville, but nobody was taking bets that it would actually happen.
People had talked about a road through the marsh since the 1930s, when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was looking for “make-work” projects for men who lost their jobs during the Depression. That road didn’t get built, nor had several other attempts fared any better, and a 2½ hour boat ride was still the only way to get to the place.

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Jim Bradshaw

The last gap in the Old Spanish Trail

It was big and long-anticipated news when the papers proclaimed in the middle of March 1931 that a newly paved section of the Old Spanish Trail had been opened near Jennings, and that paving work was all but complete from the Atchafalaya to the Sabine.
The road, so named because it connected the old Spanish towns of St. Augustine, Florida, and San Diego, California, ran through Morgan City, Franklin, Jeanerette, New Iberia, Lafayette, Scott, Rayne, Crowley, Jennings, Welsh, Lake Charles, Sulphur, and Vinton, before crossing into Texas at Orange.

Public Notices Threatened

Print newspapers are still the primary way that tens of millions of Americans receive information about their communities and the world. They are also the way that many people find out about job opportunities. While we assume that everyone has an internet connection, the fact is that many areas of the country have limited or no internet service. According to the Federal Communications Commission, nearly 40 percent of Americans living in rural areas lack access to fixed broadband internet.

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