Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

History of Shrimping in Morgan City

February 5, 2020 Local Interest 0 Comments

Morgan City is a Louisiana town rooted in tradition. Our biggest event of the year kicks off Labor Day weekend, when this year will mark the Shrimp and Petroleum Festival’s 85th Anniversary. It is the oldest harvest festival in Louisiana and a point of pride that has weathered storm after storm.

The Early Years (1920s-1960s)

Morgan City was put on the map with the lumber business in the 1800s. The cypress swamps provided tremendous opportunity and financial gain– until the supply became depleted. Fortuitously, just as the lumber trade was declining and the population waning from the Great Depression, the first heaping boatload of jumbo shrimp sailed down the Atchafalaya River and arrived in the Morgan City port from the Gulf of Mexico’s deep waters.

“Why then this old boy from Florida sent one of his 24 shrimp boats down here to fish out of Morgan City– and, shrimping, he made a one-day trip and was about to sink his boat with the shrimp,” recalled TR Naquin, an early shrimper-turned-oil entrepreneur.

The tremendous haul of shrimp breathed new life into the area. Local members of the Gulf Coast Seafood Producers and Trappers Association joined crab fishermen, dock workers, oystermen, frog and alligator hunters who celebrated with a street parade– the beginnings of the modern-day shrimp festival. Overnight, 10 or 15 boats came up from Florida, kicking off the local shrimping industry.

Suddenly, there were jobs and people moving from other parts of Louisiana, as well as states like Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma. Freezing houses sprung up to meet the demand of the expanding sector, new shipyards sprouted, schools were built, and infrastructure improvements were made.

Prior to the shrimping years, people had been working for 10 or 15 cents an hour. Now their wages were effectively doubled. First Street bars became popular hangouts to drink these wages, gamble, and fight. Rum boats and Chicago gangsters passed through the area during the “Roaring Twenties.”

Shrimping was a dangerous job in those early years when boats were small, engines were weak, and weather forecasts were a guess at best. Drowning, fires, explosions, and disabling injuries from shrimping equipment were commonplace. In 1937, festival chairman Paul Acklen LeBlanc pronounced the first “Blessing of the Fleet” to call upon God’s help in bringing the small wooden boats safely back to port.

Soon, technological innovations caught up, making it possible for shrimpers to take longer, safer trips; catch more, and preserve their catches for transport to major cities throughout the U.S. And so, Morgan City became known as “the shrimping capital of the world,” responsible for 25 percent of the nation’s annual shrimp harvest.

The Middle Years (1950s-2000s)

Oil became the next boon to Morgan City during the 1950s and linked up with the local shrimp festival in 1967. Times were tough for shrimpers. Regulations tightened, fuel costs increased, and workers were in short supply. Environmental changes like erosion and the shrinking Louisiana wetlands led to diminishing shrimp populations. Hurricane Katrina, Rita, Ike, and Isaac rocked an already-struggling ecosystem. The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill only deepened the crisis.

Local fishermen will tell you the worst of it came from overseas competition. During the 1990s, Gulf shrimpers could fetch up to $4.50 a pound. Now, 90 percent of the shrimp consumed in America derives from farms in Southeast Asia and Latin America, where sellers offer high volumes for 75 cents to $1.50 a pound.

Modern Day (2000s-2020s)

Despite the hardships, Louisiana remains America’s top shrimp producer, with more than 100 million pounds exported annually. We continue to preserve the culture and traditions that made Morgan City great, while waiting for “the next boom.”

Since the Shrimp and Oil Festival’s inception, it has earned nationwide accolades as “Festival of the Year” in 2006, 2007, 2014, and 2015. Time Magazine described the crustacean celebration as “the best, most unusual, the most down-home, the most moving, and the most fun that the country has to offer.”

More than 145,000 people flood the area to partake in a celebration of the unique way that two different industries have come together to support a community. There is something for everyone with live music, arts and crafts vendors, a children’s village, car shows, baseball and softball tournaments, cooking contests, historic tours, and fireworks.

Additionally, the Wedell-Williams Aviation and Cypress Sawmill Museum in Patterson has opened a display titled, “From Berwick Bay to Étouffée: Shrimping in Louisiana” through September 2020. The museum itself is an old replica of a lighthouse built on the property of historic shrimper “Butch” Felterman Jr. His personal tribute to the industry features shrimp boat models, photographs, maritime equipment, and other artifacts spanning 1937 to 1988.

Unique Festival Name, Unique People

Parker Conrad came to Morgan City from a wealthy family in Jefferson Island, striking out on his own during the Great Depression to build shrimp boats. He explained: “These people who go after fishing and shrimping are the kind of people who work for themselves. They’re ambitious. They work hard. Time doesn’t mean anything to them. If they have to work around the clock, they do. So, the background of most of the people here has been very good, because they’ve made a living trapping, fishing, or whatever, worked for themselves.”

It’s this hardworking spirit, which provided the economic lifeblood to the area, through rain and shine, for more than half-a-century, that we recognize with this historic look back into the history of Morgan City shrimping.

Injured in a maritime accident?

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Media Sources of Lafayette, LA

February 3, 2020 News 0 Comments
Media Sources of Lafayette
  • The Acadiana Advocate

The Acadiana Advocate is a daily newspaper serving the Lafayette and Acadiana region. The publication covers general news, crime, politics, government, education, sports, business, entertainment, food, culture, and features. The Advocate has additional editions in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and New Orleans. 

  • The Daily Advertiser

The Daily Advertiser is a daily newspaper that covers international, national, state, and local news in the parishes of Lafayette, Acadia, Iberia, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Vermillion. It is a division of the Gannett Company, Inc., who also publishes USA Today and other local newspapers. 

  • The Independent

The Independent is a news website whose mission is to provide a forum for educated, involved readers who care deeply about Acadiana to help shape the community’s vision for it. The newspaper covers the news, art, culture, style, and sports of Acadiana. It launched in 2003. 

  • The Vermillion 

The Vermillion is the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s student-run newspaper that has been in operation since 1904. It publishes university news, student opinion pieces, Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun sports news, and more. New issues are distributed across campus and to local businesses every Wednesday, and the website is updated daily.  

  • The Current

The Current is a nonprofit, independent, digital-first publication that reports on politics, policy, development, business, art, music, food, technology, and more in the Lafayette area. The publication is non-partisan and seeks to get to the truth about Lafayette’s civic and cultural affairs. 

  • Downtown News & Media 

Downtown News & Media produces digital blogs and newsletters to inform readers of local news and coming events in Downtown Lafayette. It reports on arts and culture, business news, developer news, downtown news, and events.  

  • KLFY

KLFY-TV is a CBS-affiliated television and digital news source broadcast throughout the South Central Louisiana area. It aired its first show in 1955 and is the oldest television station serving the Lafayette area. Nexstar Media Group owns the station. Local shows include “Passe Partout” and “Meet Your Neighbor.” 

  • KATC

KATC is a television and digital news source serving viewers in the parishes of Lafayette, Acadiana, Evangeline, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Vermillion. The station is affiliated with ABC and is owned by Scripps Media. KATC produces shows like Good Morning Acadiana and Friday Night Football. 


KADN (News15) is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Lafayette, Louisiana. It is owned by Allen Media Broadcasting. Programs include News15 Today, News15 at 5, and News15 at 10. 


KPEL is a news/talk radio station serving the Lafayette community. The station’s show line-up includes “Acadiana’s Morning News” with Rob Kirkpatrick, “Offsides” with Brandon Comeaux, “The Moon Griffon Show,” and “The Ross Report” with Carol Ross. KPEL is owned by Townsquare Media. 

Your Lafayette Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident and are looking for a local Lafayette, Louisiana attorney, call Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers at 888-GET-BART. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers will provide you with the help that you need. 

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The Seven Sister Cities of Lafayette

January 30, 2020 News 0 Comments

Lafayette, Louisiana has seven sister cities. The sister program, introduced by President Eisenhower in 1956, allows cities, counties, and states to link up with the citizens of other countries to promote cultural and commercial ties. Below is a list of Lafayette’s seven sister cities. 

The Seven Sister Cities of Lafayette
  • Le Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France

Le Cannet is a commune located north of Cannes in the French Riviera. The cities celebrated their relationship with the exhibit Pierre Bonnard: Landscapes from Lannet at The Paul and Lulu Hillard University Art Museum.  Le Cannet, twinned with Lafayette on May 26, 1967, was Lafayette’s first sister city. 

  • Longueuil, Quebec, Canada

Longueuil is located in Quebec on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River directly across from Montreal. It is the fifth most populous city in Quebec. Longueuil was twinned with Lafayette on December 3, 1968. 

  • Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

The cities celebrated there twinning with the unveiling of a mural on a Moncton building created by Lafayette artist Robert Dafford and commissioned by the city of Moncton and the Lafayette Consolidated Government.  Moncton was twinned with Lafayette on October 19, 1971. 

  • Poitiers, Vienne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Poitiers is located in west-central France on the Clain River. Lafayette and Poitiers have a closely linked culture and history. Most of the Acadians left the Poitou-Charentes region in the 17th century. In 1998, Poitiers and Lafayette created an annual international golf competition, The Acadiana Cup, to link the sister cities and promote exchanges in culture and trade. Poitiers was twinned with Lafayette on April 22, 1975. 

  • Namur, Wallonia, Belgium

Namur is located in Belgium, where the Sambre and Meuse rivers meet. In October of 2015, a delegation from Namur visited Lafayette and presented on their approach to public parks and offered their expertise in the planning of Moncus Park.  More recently, a delegation from Namur visited Lafayette to celebrate their sister city status in April 2018. Namur was twinned with Lafayette on June 19, 1979. 

  • Agnibilékrou, Ivory Coast

Agnibilékrou is a town located in the eastern Ivory Coast. The Ivory Coast was a French colony until it achieved independence in 1960. Agnibilékrou was twinned with Lafayette on October 5, 1999. 

  • Centla, Mexico

Centla is a municipality located in Tabasco in south-eastern Mexico. Centla and Lafayette have been working together as sister cities, especially in the areas fields of education and oil. For example, in 2015, officials from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette joined leaders from the Instituto Technologico Superior de Centla to sign an agreement to collaborate in the areas of higher education with a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Centla, twinned with Lafayette on November 4, 2013, is Lafayette’s most recent sister city.  

If you live in Lafayette and are looking for a personal injury attorney, call Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers. The attorneys at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers are experts in personal injury law, including car, motorcycle, and 18-wheeler accidents. Call or visit our website to schedule your free, private consultation with The People’s Trial Lawyer™.   

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Morgan City Hurricanes

January 28, 2020 Local Interest 0 Comments

“Morgan City Hurricanes” sounds like a sports team moniker, but this post pertains to the storms that have devastated St. Mary Parish over the years. No one likes to make the news as the target for hurricanes, but for resilient Louisianans, it’s a fact of life. Our area is affected by tropical storm winds and rainfall every 2.5 years, directly hit for a few hours every 8 years, and struck by a major hurricane every 24.5 years. Some of us are still recovering from the most recent landfall in 2019. Continue reading to learn about the three most significant hurricanes to pass through Morgan City, Louisiana.

Hurricane Juan (October 28, 1985)

Hurricane Juan formed in the central Gulf of Mexico and looped offshore twice. By the time Juan made landfall in Morgan City, peak winds had reached 85 mph. The storm was noted for its erratic movements and tremendous amount of rainfall– over 12 inches at a time– which caused flooding in 42 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes. Texas, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi were also affected.

People who remember this event recall the mass exodus of more than 2,000 state residents from their homes, including the evacuation of shelters. All told, Juan was responsible for 12 deaths and $1.5 billion in damage.

Hurricane Andrew (August 26, 1992)

Category 5 Hurricane Andrew holds the distinction as the second-most destructive hurricane in U.S. history. After crossing Florida and circling the Gulf of Mexico, it reached Louisiana as a category 3 storm, 20 miles southwest of Morgan City. Maximum winds up to 115 mph caused significant damage to houses in Morgan City, Berwick, and Patterson– $150 million worth in St. Mary Parish alone.

We were fortunate to avoid the full force of the storm, which reached sustained winds of 175 mph and damage totaling $27.3 billion spanning Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, and the Bahamas. More than 2,000 Louisiana residents evacuated their homes to the safety of two municipal shelters. Residents remember the heroism of rescuers who risked it all to save the young, the elderly, and the trapped. Sixty-five people died in the storm overall, but none in our neighborhoods, thanks to the organized evacuation efforts.

Hurricane Barry (July 13, 2019)

Category 1 Hurricane Barry moved through Morgan City like a freight train, raising the Atchafalaya River to levels few had seen before. Electricity was knocked out for a third of all residents, roofs blew off, large debris blew off the highway, and trees toppled. Even though Barry reached sustained winds of 75 mph, it didn’t stop one couple from marrying during the tropical storm; the optimists viewed the hurricane wind and rain as “a sign of good luck” and a “family tradition” of sorts, as the bride’s grandparents, too, tied the knot during a hurricane nearly 70 years prior.

A local coffee shop served $1,000 worth of donuts and made 23 pots of coffee during the storm. These stories are a true testament to the grit and determination of Morgan City residents. Though there was only one fatality, the storm caused $600 million in damage from the Florida panhandle to the upper Texas coast.

Facing the Aftermath of a Hurricane? Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Can Help!

If you find yourself facing hurricane-caliber damage to your property or storm-related personal injuries, you can always count on Bart Bernard to assist you in pursuing your claim to compensation.

We have the resources and experience to maximize your settlement. Call Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers to arrange a free consultation and legal representation with no out-of-pocket expenses.

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Cost of Living in Lafayette, LA

January 27, 2020 News 0 Comments

Lafayette is an affordable place to call home. The total cost of living in Lafayette is about four percent lower than the national average. Based on the national average of 100%, Lafayette is 95%. Compared only to other metropolitan areas, Lafayette is considerably more affordable. For example, San Francisco’s cost of living is 167.5% , and Seattle’s cost of living is 126.9%. Lafayette does have a higher cost of living as compared to nearby cities, like St. Martinville, Duson, and Arnaudville. 

Cost of Living in Lafayette, LA

Cost of living is calculated based on a variety of indicators each having a different weight, including housing (30%), goods and services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), transportation (9%), and utilities (10%). In addition to the above factors, the combined sales tax rate for Lafayette is 8.45%, and the income tax rate for Lafayette is 6%. 


Housing is one of the greatest factors in the cost of living calculation. Lafayette’s cost of living index for housing is 93. This is higher than the state housing index of 81. According to Zillow, the median home value in the Lafayette metropolitan area is $134,200, and the median rent price is $1,100.  

Goods and Services

Lafayette’s cost of living index for everyday goods and services is 93. It is 4 points lower than the state index for goods and services. It takes into account things such as the average price for a haircut, toothpaste, and going to see a movie. 


Lafayette’s cost of living index for groceries is 98. It is equal to the grocery index for the entire state of Louisiana. With the low cost of groceries and many options for dining out, it is easy for Lafayette residents to find delicious food at an affordable price. The region is known for its filling and inexpensive plate-lunch specials where you can get a meat, gravy covered starch, pair of vegetable sides, and a piece of bread.  

Health Care

Lafayette’s cost of living index for health care is 87. It is 10 points lower than the state health care index of 97. With 17 hospitals and over 800 physicians in the region, Lafayette residents have easy access to affordable, quality health care. 


Lafayette’s cost of living index for transportation is 96. Lafayette has a wide range of transportation options. For drivers, Interstate 10 and Interstate 49 meet north of the downtown area, and Route 90 and 167 intersect in the center of downtown. The Lafayette Regional Airport offers direct flights to nearby hubs, and Amtrak has a train station. Biking is another affordable option. 


Lafayette’s cost of living for utilities, including electric and gas, is 109. This is higher than the state utility index of 94. 

 Your Lafayette Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident and are looking for a local Lafayette, Louisiana attorney, call Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers at 888-GET-BART. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers will provide you with the help that you need. 

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Famous People from Morgan City

January 23, 2020 Local Interest 0 Comments

Morgan City has a rich and colorful history. In 1876, the town’s name was changed from Brashear City in honor of Charles Morgan, steamship and rail magnate, who dredged the Atchafalaya Channel to accommodate large sea-faring vessels. Ever the entrepreneur, Morgan played a pivotal role in the development of commerce and transportation throughout the south from 1850 until his death in 1878.

Also known as the gateway to the Gulf of Mexico, Morgan City was the birthplace and home of many notable people, including politicians, professional athletes, famous musicians, and businessmen.

Edwin Hawley Dwyer

Edwin “Eddy” Dyer was born in 1899 in Morgan City. He was a natural athlete and in school excelled in track and field, baseball, and football. The left-handed Dwyer went on to play Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals, where he pitched in 129 games over six seasons. Dwyer later managed the Cardinals with great success, before leaving the sport to tend to real estate ventures in Texas.

Raymond Emile Poole, a.k.a. Mo B. Dick

The singer, music producer, and rapper Raymond E. Poole is better known as Mo B. Dick. Born in 1965, he was one of the founders of the Medicine Men, which produced the majority of No Limit Records‘ releases in the late 1990s. Today, he is busy producing music for TV shows, movie soundtracks, and video games. As a teen, he taught himself to play guitar and is a member of the funk band, Merging Traffic Fellowship.

Anthony Joseph Guarisco, Jr.

Anthony “Tony” Guarisco, born in 1938, represented Senate District 21 (including the Louisiana parishes of St. Mary, St. Martin, and Assumption) from 1976–1988. The former Democratic Senator comes from a large Italian-American family in Morgan City. In the late 70s, Guarisco successfully sponsored a bill to allow doctors in Louisiana to prescribe medical marijuana for those in chemotherapy treatment and who suffer from glaucoma.

Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt 

Elmer Pratt was born in Morgan City, where his father worked in the scrap metal business. He served two tours in Vietnam, studied political science at UCLA, and after receiving multiple honors for his military service, became a high-ranking member of the Black Panthers in the late ’60s. Elmer, also known as Geronimo Pratt, served nearly three decades in prison after being wrongfully convicted of murder.

The conviction was later vacated after it was determined that prosecution hid evidence that could have influenced jurors. Pratt used his experience to work as a human rights activist for others who were unjustly convicted.

Your Personal Injury Lawyer™

If you live in Morgan City, Baton Rouge, or Lafayette, and need trusted legal representation, call Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers. We offer aggressive advocacy in all types of cases, including motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries, and product recalls.

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Colleges and Universities in Lafayette, LA

January 23, 2020 News 0 Comments

Lafayette, Louisiana is home to many colleges and universities, each with diverse programs and offerings.

College or Universities in Lafayette, LA

University of Louisiana at Lafayette 

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is by far the largest university in Lafayette and has become a large part of the community. The public research university enrolls over 18,000 students and offers over 80 majors and more than 30 graduate programs. UL Lafayette leads the nation in the areas of:

  • Louisiana arts, culture, and heritage programs and research;
  • Computing, informatics, and smart systems development;
  • Nursing and health care systems and support; and
  • Environment, energy, and economics programs.

UL Lafayette fields 16 NCAA Division I athletic teams, and the Rajun’ Cajuns is the school’s mascot. The university is located at 104 E. University Circle, Lafayette, LA 70503.

South Louisiana Community College

South Louisiana Community College  (SLCC) is one of Louisiana’s largest and most comprehensive community colleges with more than 7,000 students enrolled. The public community college offers technical diplomas, workforce training, high school dual enrollment, and two-year degree programs that can be transferred to four-year universities. Compared to for-profit colleges and four-year universities, SLCC is an affordable option that prepares its graduates for the workforce.

SLCC has campuses in Abbeville, Crowley, Franklin, Morgan City, New Iberia, Opelousas, St. Martinville, Ville Platte, and Lafayette. The Lafayette campus is located at 1101 Bertrand Drive, Lafayette, LA 70506.

Delta College of Arts and Technology

Delta College of Arts and Technology’s most popular program is its practical nursing program, which prepares students to take and pass the Louisiana Practical Nursing Exam. The other programs offered at the college include dental assistant, medical office and health information technician, and medical assistant. Students complete most programs within seven and a half to twelve months. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE) and licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Regents.

Delta College has campuses in Baton Rouge, Covington, Slidell, and Lafayette. The Lafayette campus is located at 200 Republic Avenue, Lafayette, LA 70508.

Unitech Training Academy

Unitech Training Academy is a private college that began with one program, the certified nursing assistant program. Now it also offers classes in the areas of dental assistant, early childhood, EKG/phlebotomy technician, IT support specialist, massage therapy, medical assistant, medical billing and coding, and pharmacy technician. Students complete most programs in two years. Unitech Training Academy is licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Regents and is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.

Unitech Training Academy has campuses in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Houma, New Orleans, and West Monroe. The Lafayette campus is the main campus and is located at 3253 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, Lafayette, LA 70506.

Remington College-Lafayette Campus

Remington College-Lafayette Campus offers professional training programs. Programs offered at the Lafayette campus include computer-aided design and drafting; cosmetology; facility maintenance; HVAC; medical office administration; nail technician; pharmacy technician; database management and administration; medical assisting; and restaurant, hospitality, and retail management. Remington College Lafayette Campus is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Remington College has campuses in nine states. The Lafayette campus is located at 303 Rue Louis XIV, Lafayette, LA 70508. 

Acadiana Area Career College

Acadiana Area Career College prepares its students for careers in the medical field. The college offers dental assistant, medical office assistant, phlebotomy technician, EKG technician, and medical insurance and coding specialist programs. Acadiana Area Career College has a family-friendly atmosphere, small class sizes, and opportunities for hands-on learning training.

Acadiana Area Career College is located at 505 Loire Avenue, Lafayette, LA 70507.

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