Archive for the ‘City of Ruston’ Category

Street Dedication Revoked


A street right-of-way that had since 1905 been dedicated to the construction of East Street near the Eagle Drive I-20 overpass was revoked unanimously by the Ruston City Council at Monday night’s meeting. Ruston businessman James Davison owns property adjacent to the right-of-way that he plans to develop, according to the application.

See here the document.

Additonally, the plans call for the now dead-end Center street extension to turn north, and then tie in to the I-20 South Service Road just west of Eagle Drive.

However, another property owner in the area, Rodney Driggers, objected, saying the plan to abandon the right-of-way would cut off access to his property.

Said Driggers, “I had built 350 feet of East Street, and it was torn up when they redirected East Street into Willow Glen.” He added, “Eighty percent of that right-on-way, I am on – adjacent to in some way or another. I have six pieces of property that I was trying to develop up at the north end, and its very crucial that I have a right-of-way that goes down through there, if I were to develop the land, which I had planned on doing.”

Driggers was represented by by Shreveport attorney Bernard Johnson, who also spoke.

Representing Davison was attorney Kyle Green, who spoke for the revocation.

Said Green, “There’s no longer a public purpose for this road. Returning this land to private property ownership would put the property back into commerce so it can be developed. And finally, revoking the dedication does not deny access to any landowner.”

The council followed the recommendation of Ruston’s Zoning Commission in revoking the dedication.

In other business, the council introduced a ordinance that would, if adopted, change fines for violation of time limited parking on several city streets.

See here the proposed ordinance.

Ruston City Council Monday


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, September 8, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, first floor courtroom.

Here is the agenda.

In Planning & Zoning, there are several proposed changes to the city’s zoning code.

See here the document.

Also, agents acting on behalf of AT&T are requesting approval for two new cellular tower sites in the city, one near Farmerville Hwy at Indiana Avenue, and another near Cornell Avenue.

In Finance, there are several amendments to the 2013-2014 budget that will end on 9/30/14.

See here the documents.

Another Delay in Hashaway Murder Case


A status conference in the case of Cameron Mays, who is accused of killing retired Grambling State University (GSU) professor Dr. Sue Hashway in a home invasion in June of 2012, was upset and re-fixed until Tuesday, October 14, 1:30 P. M.

John Belton, the Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) Assistant District Attorney who is handling the prosecution, was in discussions with the crime lab over some issues not yet clear, it was said in court this afternoon.

Presiding at today’s proceedings in 3rd Judicial District Court was Ad Hoc Judge Jim Wiley from Winnfield.

Lewis Gets Free Ride Back to Ruston City Council


District Three Alderman Jedd Lewis was the only City of Ruston incumbent who was unopposed for the Tuesday, November 4 election. The other four seats are contested, as is the race for mayor. Lewis was first elected in 2002.

In District One, incumbent Glenda Howard is challenged by Fred Blake and Carolyn Elmore-Cage. Howard served in that seat once before (from 1990 to 1994), and won the seat again in 2010.

District Two also has three candidates: incumbent Rosalind Jones, Sharon Hatter, and Angela Mayfield. Jones was recently appointed to fill the unexpired term of the late Elmore Mayfield.

District Four incumbent Jim Pearce is challenged by Judi Null. Pearce was first elected in 1998.

In District Five, Marie Riggs, incumbent since 2002, has two opponents: Bruce Siegmund, and Maurie White.

For Mayor, Bill Elmore and Ronny Walker have filed. Incumbent Dan Hollingsworth is retiring after serving four four-year terms.

Ruston City Marshal Mike Hilton Retiring?

Ruston City Marshal Mike Hilton

Ruston City Marshall Mike Hilton

Long-time Ruston City Marshal Mike Hilton is apparently not running for re-election for the position that he has held since 1981, sources are telling Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO).

Adding credibility to those sources is the fact that two Deputy Marshals from the office have filed for the position – Sandy Freeman and Jim Liner.

The City Marshal provides enforcement for the Ruston City Court, which adjudicates traffic tickets issued by the Ruston Police Department and Louisiana Tech Police. City Court also presides over criminal misdemeanors which occur within the city limits of Ruston.

The Ruston City Court has jurisdiction parishwide on civil cases with a monetary limit of $25,000. Typical suits which may be filed in that court include debt collection on open accounts, promissory notes and rent, evictions, contractual disputes and actions in tort for money damages.

Qualifying Begins for Area Political Offices


Qualifying begins today for several area political offices. Among the offices to be decided on November 4:

City of Ruston Mayor
City of Ruston Board of Aldermen
Town of Jonesboro Mayor
Town of Jonesboro Board of Aldermen
Town of Jonesboro Chief of Police
Lincoln Parish School Board
Jackson Parish School Board
Ouachita Parish School Board
Monroe City School Board
District Attorneys – Statewide
District Judges – Statewide

Here is a link to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website that updates as new candidates qualify.

City of Ruston Trims Workforce


Ruston has trimmed its workforce by about fifty positions over the past two years, Mayor Dan Hollingsworth told the Board of Aldermen yesterday in a special meeting. However, there were no “layoffs” of employees during that time.

Said Hollingsworth, “We have a lot fewer employees today than we had two years ago. The fact that this year’s budget we’ll have almost fifty less, and that’s a significant figure. Nobody got discharged because of that – it’s simply retirement and attrition.”

Hollingsworth said the rapidly increasing cost of the city’s portion of employee retirement (from about $475 thousand in 1999, to about $2.5 million this year), coupled with no growth in sales taxes, made the cutbacks necessary.

The remarks were made at the meeting that was called to discuss the proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1.

See here the proposed budget for 2014-2015.

Compare to the budget for 2013-2014.

In other business, the council approved a resolution to rent a building on West California Avenue, that had been the location of a bank and credit union. The location is needed, Assistant City Administrator Ed Pittman said, to house the city’s Customer Service Department (now located on the City Hall’s first floor) while that area is renovated. The department serves Ruston’s water and sewer utility customers.

Pittman said they will explore the possibility of purchasing the building and foregoing some of the City Hall renovations, if that is economically feasible.

Special Meeting of the Ruston City Council Monday


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, August 18, 5:30, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton, second floor Mayor’s Conference Room. The Personnel/Finance Committee will also meet.

On the agenda is discussion and adoption of the 2014-2015 budget for the city for the upcoming fiscal year that begins 10/1/2014.

Board of Aldermen Agenda
Personnel/Finance Committee Agenda

Services for John Hays Tuesday Evening


A visitation service for John Martin Hays, 72, of Ruston will be held Tuesday, August 12, 4 PM to 6 PM, Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal) Fellowship Hall, 504 Tech Drive, Ruston.

Mr. Hays died Sunday after a lengthy illness.

He is survived by his wife Susan Turpin Hays, daughter Leslie Weston, and son-in-law Bryan Weston.

Mr. Hays was the publisher of Ruston’s Morning Paper, a weekly tabloid that focused on local news and politics.

John Martin Hays: 1942-2014


Lousiana Voice is reporting tonight that John Hays, 72, of Ruston, died this morning. His death was the result of complications from a long battle with cancer, Publisher Tom Aswell wrote.

For thirty-seven years, Hays published the Morning Paper, a weekly Ruston based independent tabloid style newspaper that was often the source of news stories no one else had the courage to print, let alone investigate.

In July 2013, Hays ceased publication, due he said to his health issues.

Some Commentary

“What the hell is this?! I ain’t printin’ that crap!! It ain’t news when the state republican chairman endorses a republican candidate for governor!!”

So spoke John Hays to me back in the fall of 1979, when as a volunteer with Dave Treen for Governor, I had been tasked with delivering to the Morning Paper office a press release from then GOP State Chair George Despot.

And that’s how a thirty-five year love/hate relationship began between the self-described “Yellow Dog Democrat” Hays and the conservative Republican Walter Abbott. Without question, Hays was one of the most important men I ever knew.

Much of what I have learned about local politics and how it works was taught to me by Hays over those thirty plus years.

I can state with gold-plated certainty that the relatively honest way that most Lincoln Parish governmental bodies conduct themselves is a direct result of those local politicians knowing that Hays was looking over their shoulder.

RIP John, I will miss you.

And thanks for all you taught me.


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