Reagan Sutton’s public service recognized

LPPJ Administrator Courtney Hall, President Richard Durrett, Karen Sutton Sanders, Jennifer Sutton Farrar, Joey Sutton

Long-time Lincoln Parish Police Jury Secretary-Treasurer and Administrator Reagan Sutton was recognized at last night’s meeting of the jury as a public servant who was honest, forthright, dedicated, and committed to good government in Lincoln Parish.

On hand to receive a resolution of condolence and recognition were Sutton’s two daughters and son, and several other family members.

Said Interim Administrator Courtney Hall, “As I was writing this resolution it was really profound to me that I was sitting at his desk in his office.”

Among the Lincoln Parish institutions and services Sutton had a hand in developing were the Lincoln Parish Library, the Lincoln Parish Solid Waste System, the Lincoln Parish Detention Center, and the Lincoln Parish Park.

See here the complete resolution. Sutton passed away in February at the age of 87.

Earlier, the Finance Committee approved language that will amend the law that governs the Lincoln Parish Hospital Proceeds Fund.

Said Treasurer Michael Sutton, “This bill will allow to invest the funds in more prudent investments, which would allow a more stable revenue stream. That statute has a longer list of instruments that we can invest in compared to the way we are currently doing it.”

The principal – about $10 million – won’t be spent, but the interest from investments would be used for health related projects.

Also, requests for proposals will be solicited for management of the fund and its investments.

See here the draft of changes to the law. The full jury approved the committee’s action.


Police Jury meets tomorrow


The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will meet Tuesday, March 14, Lincoln Parish Court House, 101 West Texas Avenue, third floor conference room.

Here are the committee meeting times and agendas.

5:00 PM – Finance Committee – Agenda

5:20 PM – Parks, Recreation and Tourism Committee – Agenda

5:40 PM – Personnel and Benefits Committee – Agenda

6:00 PM – Solid Waste & Recycling Committee – Agenda

6:30 PM – Public Works Committee – Agenda

7:00 PM – Police Jury – Agenda

Special Called Meeting for City Council


A special meeting of Ruston’s Board of Aldermen has been called for Tuesday, March 14, 6:00 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here is the agenda.

To be considered is an ordinance to amend the 2021-2022 budget for the city. A public hearing prior to the vote will be held.

See here the proposed budget amendment summaries.

The 2022 budget year ended on 9/30/2022, five and one-half months ago.

School consolidation still a sore subject


Toward the end of last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board, remarks by David Ferguson (District 2) revealed that feelings among the board are still tender regarding the proposed tax vote and school consolidation plan approved at last month’s board meeting.

Said Ferguson, “Have we ever combined evidence or criteria to support the decision to combine these schools? We can’t go into something blind. I would like to see where it would really work.”

He continued, “In combing these schools, have we developed a plan or purpose for student assignments at these new schools? Like where are they going to come from, what school are we going to take them from?”

District Superintendent Rick Durrett said that the school district boundaries would remain as they are now.

Ferguson also asked for a copy of a federal court consent decree that granted “unitary status” to the district several years ago. He said no one on the board had seen that decree.

In fact, just last year, US District Court Judge Robert James signed an order that ended federal supervision of the system.

See here the document.

Earlier in the meeting, Allen Green & Williamson’s Amy Tynes reported on the district’s financial audit for 7/1/2021 – 6/30/2022.

She said the opinion was unmodified, which means financial statements are presented, in all material respects, in accordance with applicable financial reporting standards.

See here the complete audit.

The board adopted a resolution designating April 24-28 as Support Personnel Week.

See here the resolution.

The personnel report was also presented.

Liquor vote, zoning discussed last night


The upcoming March 25 referendum on liquor sales in the City of Ruston was discussed at last night’s meeting of the city’s Board of Aldermen. The issue was related to a zoning code amendment that concerns the regulation of establishments that serve or sell liquor. What parts of the ordinance go into effect will depend on the election’s outcome.

City Attorney Bill Carter noted that an entertainment overlay district would be created for those establishments.

“The ordinance actually creates the entertainment overlay district – it provides for the boundaries. I20 on the north, Vienna and Bonner on the east, California on the south, and Tech Drive on the west.”

See here a map of the district.

The ordinance also regulates how closely bars could be located to one another should proposition 3 pass.

Here are the propositions that will be on the 3/25 ballot:

  • Proposition 1 (Currently Allowed): Grocery/Convenience Stores will be allowed to sell low-alcohol beverages.
  • Proposition 2 (Currently Allowed): People will be allowed to drink low-alcohol beverages at a bar.
  • Proposition 3: People will be allowed to drink high-alcoholic beverages at a bar.
  • Proposition 4: Retail stores over 15,000 square feet will be allowed to sell packaged high-alcohol content beverages only for off-site consumption.
  • Proposition 5 (Currently Allowed): Restaurant establishments will be allowed to sell both high and low-alcohol beverages.

Earlier in the meeting, the council approved a resolution that expands the economic development area to include the Tarbutton Road area where the proposed Buc-ee’s may be located.

Also approved was a resolution to sell a building and property located adjacent to the Ruston Sports Complex to Lifepont Church for $915 thousand.

School Board meets Tuesday


The Lincoln Parish School Board will meet Tuesday, March 7, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

Ruston City Council meets Monday


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, March 6, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here is the agenda.

Plaintiff motions approved in Jones v LPDCC


Three plaintiff motions were approved Friday by Magistrate Judge Kayla McClusky in the wrongful death suit Jones vs Lincoln Parish Detention Center Commission, et al.

The action approves a 90 day extension to obtain the identities of unnamed defendants, amend the complaint to add those parties, and properly serve them.

Also approved was a motion to substitute Key’zarious Jones as the plaintiff to replace her deceased mother Franequa. She is the sister of the deceased Demerious Jones, and Franequa was the mother.

Finally, Sean Guy was formally enrolled as a plaintiff attorney.

See here the documents.

Trial date set for Detention Center death lawsuit


A 9:00 AM, February 6, 2024 trial date has been set for the civil case of Jones v Lincoln Parish Detention Center Commission, et al, in US Court for the Western District of Louisiana, in Monroe.

The order, signed yesterday by Magistrate Judge Kayla McClusky, also sets various other dates and times for motions, conferences and submissions.

See here the signed order.

In other developments in the case, a Ridgeland, MS attorney has petitioned the court to sign on as plaintiff co-counsel. Sean Guy is with McCraney Montagnet Quin & Noble PLLC.

See here the motion.

Grant Castillo of The Townsley Law Firm, LLP, Lake Charles initially filed the suit.

The complaint alleges that Demerious Jones was denied medical care while in the custody of the detention center and died as a result.

Governor’s race comes to LPPJ


We can’t recall ever seeing a candidate for Louisiana Governor at a Lincoln Parish Police Jury meeting, but we saw it last night.

Richard Nelson is a 36 year old who grew up in Mandeville, LA. He serves as a state representative for District 89, which includes a good portion of the Lake Pontchartrain Northshore.

Nelson says “I want parents in Houston and New York to be telling their friends that their kid just got a job in Louisiana, not the other way around.”

He noted that the last time Louisiana gained a congressional seat from population growth was 1910, when the state went from 7 to 8 seats.

The state now only has 6.

While Louisiana has increased in population, other states have grown faster, causing the loss of representation.

One of the planks in his platform is to repeal the state income tax, so as to be more competitive with neighboring states.

Police Jury business was as routine as we have seen in some time.

The Public Works Committee approved, and the full jury ratified, purchase of 6 rail tank car culverts. Only $36 thousand was budgeted for this purpose, but the lowest responsive bid was $136 thousand. The finance committee will have to execute a budget amendment to cover the extra cost.

Also approved was purchase of 80 acres for $220 thousand near Hwy 545 for use as an iron ore pit. Iron ore is commonly used as a road base material in the region.

Three board vacancies were announced, one for the Lincoln Parish Library Board of Control, and two for the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.