Gaines reading Sept. 25

Writer in Residence Emeritus Ernest J. Gaines will give his second reading at the Gaines Center in the Edith Garland Dupré Library. He will read from two works in progress followed by a discussion and book-signing. “This Louisiana Thing That Drives Me,” a coffee table book inspired by Gaines’s legacy, will be on sale at the reading.

9/11 vandal released from jail
The man responsible for an installation on the 9/11 memorial downtown was released from the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center early Monday morning after locals raised more than $1,450 for his bail.

Salvador Perez, 35, was charged with criminal damage to a historic landmark and criminal trespassing last Wednesday — the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks — after he was arrested for placing cardboard cutouts depicting crashing planes on the two metal beams that represent the fallen towers. He also placed a cardboard cutout of former President George W. Bush holding a wad of cash and a remote control.

Perez was charged under Louisiana Revised Statute 14:56.5, which lists “graffiti” as “any sign, inscription, design, drawing, diagram, etching, sketch, symbol, lettering, name or marking placed upon any historic building or landmark in such a manner and in such a location as to deface the property and be visible to the general public.”

If convicted of the charge, Perez faces punishment of up to two years hard labor and up to a $1,000 fine.

According to a report by, however, the criminal charges stem from damage done to a building roof near Parc Sans Souci. The roof had a cardboard rat attached to it with a missile launcher pointing toward the memorial.

Perez is also responsible for the series of cardboard cutouts of rats seen around Lafayette over the past year.