Detention Center Budgets Proposed


An amended 2019 and proposed 2020 budget for the Lincoln Parish Detention Center were introduced and discussed in this morning’s meeting of the Detention Center Commission at the Lincoln Parish Court House.

The largest change in the 2019 amendment was the removal of revenues (and corresponding expenditures) for the construction of a 100 bed addition to the center.

Originally, the plan was to begin construction this year, but delays have forced the timetable over into 2020.

The addition will allow prisoners who are housed out of parish at extra expense to be housed locally. Considerable savings is expected.

Notable also is the reduction in the jail’s fund balance, a result of the higher construction cost of the new addition.

About $2.8 million of the construction cost is paid for by borrowed money, and the balance of the $3.7 million cost is paid from the jail’s fund balance. Warden Jim Tuten said the new building is expected to be occupied by next November.

Also significant was the estimated sales tax collections for 2019 were about $100 thousand less than projected.

A December 17, 10 AM meeting and public hearing was set for final approval of the budgets.

Local Election Results


State Senator — 35th Senatorial District
116 of 116 precincts reporting – 100%
absentee reporting – 100%
17,894 – James R. “Jim” Fannin (REP) 50%
18,167 – “Jay” Morris (REP) 50%
Total: 36,061 – Unofficial Turnout: 50.0%

Lincoln Parish Police Juror District 1
100% Reporting
Theresa Wyatt (D) – 489 – 58%
Daphne Gallot-Knighten (D) – 360 – 42%

Lincoln Parish Police Juror District 3
100% Reporting
Marvin Franks, Jr. (R) – 796 – 54%
Nicky McCullin (R) – 679 – 46%

Lincoln Parish Police Juror District 4
100% Reporting
T. J. Cranford (R) – 781 – 52%
Randy Roberson (R) – 707 – 48%

Lincoln Parish Police Juror District 5
100% Reporting
Logan Hunt (R) – 1,011 – 58%
Brandon Milner (R) – 733 – 42%

Early Voting Statistics


Early voting statistics for Louisiana’s November 16 gubernatorial runoff show that over 350 thousand voters have cast an early ballot or absentee through yesterday, November 7.

That represents approximately 11.9% of the state’s 2.97 million registered voters.

Approximately 1.36 million total votes were cast in the October 12 primary, about 45.9% of registered voters.

Of those who have voted, 162,249 were registered as Democrat and 138,317 were Republican. Other/No Party votes totaled 52,495.

By race, the vote totals were white 239,139; black 104,228; other 9,694.

See here the complete statistical report from the LA Secretary of State.

Early voting will end tomorrow, Saturday, November 9, 6:00 PM.

Lincoln Parish School Board Tuesday


The Lincoln Parish School Board will meet Tuesday, November 5, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here’s the agenda.

Among the reports to be heard will be personnel and financials.

Ruston City Council Tomorrow


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, November 4, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here is the agenda.

A zoning change for an 81.66 acre tract located at 2000 South Trenton will be considered. Presently, the Ruston Country Club property is zoned residential estates district, and will be rezoned to central parkway sports.

Here are the two pertinent ordinances:

Zoning Ordinance
Ruston 21 Comprehensive Plan

Ruston’s zoning commission had recommended the change last month.

The council will also consider annexation of 26.65 acres into the city. The tract is located on the north side of West Alabama Ave. near the Alabama/Maple intersection.

Here’s the ordinance.

The board will consider approving a resolution authorizing an agreement with American Testing Laboratory for geotechnical, testing, and observation service for phase II of the recreational complex on South Farmerville.

See here the document.

The 2020 meeting dates, times, and place ordinance will be considered.

Here’s the ordinance.

Jail Cost Overruns to be Funded by Budget Surplus


Lincoln Parish Detention Center expansion construction costs that are greater than estimated will be funded by surplus funds in the jail’s operating funds, the commission that operates the jail voted this morning.

The action came after Warden Jim Tuten said that the architect’s estimate was short almost $900 thousand for the 96-bed addition to the jail. The estimate was about $2.7 million, including furniture and fixtures.

“We were about $880 thousand short of what we needed to be able to completely finance the addition. I would like to get a recommendation from the jail commission that we transfer that additional $880 thousand that’s necessary to completely fund the new building,” Tuten said.

He noted that the jail’s operating budget had a $2.5 million surplus as of September 30.

The new addition has been under discussion for the last few years.

An average of about 30 of the jail’s inmates are housed in other area jails, at a cost of about $1 thousand/day, Tuten said.

Once the money is transferred into the jail construction fund, the balance of the cost will be borrowed from the US Department of Agriculture.

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will have to approve the winning bid and authorize construction after funding is secured.

Mann’s Construction of West Monroe had the lowest responsive bid.

In other action, the commission set meetings for November and December to review and adopt next year’s budget.

Sumlin Trial Delayed until Next Year


Former State Representative William Sumlin’s trial was late yesterday afternoon delayed until next February. Sumlin’s attorney, LaValle Salomon, said that he already has a trial scheduled for next week in another jurisdiction.

The trial was originally scheduled for next week in Third Judicial District Court in Ruston.

The new trial date is Monday, February 24, 2020. Pretrial motions will be heard on 2/17, and a pretrial conference set for Friday, 2/21.

Presiding was Division B Judge Tommy Rogers.

Conservatives Add to LA House/Senate Majority


From The Hayride
By Scott McKay

The House might have started with 63 Republican seats after qualifying. After last night’s primary, that number is more like 68. (of 105 seats total)

Republicans now control not just a supermajority in the Senate, but 27 of the 39 seats. That gives them a vote to spare beyond the two-thirds.

There is now a very real possibility that Sharon Hewitt, one of the most conservative members of the body, could be in a position to claim the Senate presidency – and coming from eight years of John Alario’s corrupt RINO misrule, that’s something akin to a cloudless dawn after an extended stormy night.

See here the complete article.

Stephen Williams Elected Sheriff


57 of 57 precincts reporting – 100%
absentee reporting – 100%

3,594 – Randal Hermes 31%
2,153 – George Webb 18%
5,893 – Stephen Williams 51%

Total: 11,640
Unofficial Turnout: 43.9%

McBride Wins Assessor Race


47 of 57 precincts reporting – 82%
absentee reporting – 100%

6,686 – Billy Mac McBride 63%
3,996 – Walter Pullen 37%