Archive for February, 2014

Lincoln Parish School Board Wednesday


The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will meet Wednesday, February 19, 12:30 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

Among the items for discussion is a declaration of surplus computers, and sale of general obligation bonds to fund construction projects. Here are the memos.

Surplus Property – Laptops
Sale of Bonds

Campaign Finance Reports – Fannin, Stone, Stewart, Jones


It’s time to take a look at some campaign finance reports for several local candidates. Often, these reports can give an indication of how serious someone is about running for election, or reelection. They also tell you who is supporting them for office.

First we take a look at Louisiana House District 13’s Jim Fannin. He is term-limited for his house seat, but is widely expected to run for the Senate District 35 seat now held by Bob Kostelka, who is also term limited.

Fannin’s war chest is $337,560.69, as of 12/31/13. That’s quite a bit of BOO if you want to scare someone away from running against you.

There had been speculation that House District 14’s Jay Morris might also run for the senate seat, but after his disastrous sixth-place finish in last fall’s special election for Fifth District U. S. Congress, he’ll be lucky to get reelected in his state house seat.

Campaign Finance Report 2013 – James Fannin

Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone’s campaign finances are another matter. At the end of last year, he had but $10,299.09 on hand, and reported no contributions during 2013. If he chooses to run for reelection next year, and a serious opponent shows up, then there’s not much time left for fundraising.

Stone hasn’t had a serious opponent since he was first elected in 2003. That year, he spent about $80,000 on his campaign.

Campaign Finance Report 2013 – Mike Stone

In serious trouble, from a campaign finance standpoint, is Second Judicial (Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson Parishes) District Attorney Jonathan Stewart.

Last year, we had reported that Stewart’s campaign had outstanding loans of about $120,000, money that he personally lent to his campaign. This year’s report shows those loans have not been repaid, nor were any contributions received.

Stewart already has two opponents, if he chooses to run for reelection this November.

Homer attorney, and former Assistant District Attorney Danny Newell is campaigning, as is Jonesboro attorney Clay Carroll. Newell has raised $6,600 and spent about $1,800. Carroll has not filed any reports so far.

Chris Bowman, who ran a well-financed campaign in 2008, reportedly is undecided whether he will run again this fall.

Stewart spent just over $200 thousand on his 2008 race.

Campaign Finance Report 2013 – Jonathan Stewart
Campaign Finance Report 2013 – Danny Newell

Incumbent Fourth Judicial (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) District Attorney Jerry Jones, who says he’s running for reelection, has some money on hand, about $25 thousand. But that kind of money won’t last long in an area where TV and newspaper advertising can eat up hundreds of thousands very quickly.

Campaign Finance Report 2013 – Jerry Jones

Jonesboro Audit Released


The 2012-2013 Annual Financial Report for the Town of Jonesboro was released this morning by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA), and the town has finally received an opinion, albeit qualified, on their financial records.

Among the key points:

1. The audit report issued was a qualified opinion.

2. There were nine (9) control deficiencies disclosed during the audit of the financial statements and reported in the Independent Auditors’ Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting and on Compliance and Other Matters Based on an Audit of Financial Statements Pefformed in Accordance with Government Auditing Standards. One (1) of these deficiencies is reported as a material weakness.

3. There were three (3) instances of noncompliance considered material to the financial statements of the Town of Jonesboro, Louisiana reported in the Independent Auditors’ Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting and on Compliance and Other Matters Based on on Audit of Financial Statements Performed in Accordance with Government Auditing Standards.

See here the document.

One other notable action taken was a restatement of fund balances as of 6/30/13. This was done “to properly reflect inter-fund activities that should have been removed in prior periods.”

The General Fund was reduced by about $430 thousand, and the Proprietary Fund (water and utilities) was increased by about $540 thousand.

The audit was done by J. Walker & Company of Lake Charles.

West Monroe Audit Shows Data Missing


A just-released audit for the City of West Monroe gave a “qualified”, or incomplete opinion, because financial data from some units of city government were not included.

The report, compiled on behalf of the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA) by Cameron Hines & Company, was released early this morning.

The financial statements referred to above do not include financial data for the City’s legally separate component units. Because of this departure from accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, the assets, liabilities, net position, revenues and expenses of the aggregate discretely presented component units is not reasonably determinable.

Financial data from the City Court of West Monroe was not available for review, but should have been included, because the court is “fiscally dependent” on the city.

See here the document.

Also, there were three findings in the report: subsidiary ledgers were not reconciled to the general ledger, federal and state grant ledgers were not properly maintained, and issues with non-functioning water meters.

One of the findings is a repeat from last year.

The problematic report is in contrast to a story in The (Monroe) News Star last week reporting on Mayor Dave Norris’ “State of the City” address, where Norris touted the city’s “sound finances.”

Norris knew of the audit’s finding, as the original report was dated November 5, 2013

Ouachita Parish Police Jury Tuesday


The Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ) will meet Tuesday, February 18, 5:30 PM, Ouachita Parish Court House, second floor.

Here is the agenda.

Lincoln Parish Fire District Tuesday


The Lincoln Parish Fire Protection District No. 1 will meet Tuesday, February 18, 6:00 PM, Vienna Fire Station, 4786 Hwy 167.

Here is the agenda.

Port Allen, LA Update – 2/15/14


‘Deedy’ Slaughter to run again for Port Allen mayor

By Terry L. Jones

PORT ALLEN — Embattled former mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter is seeking re-election to the office she was ousted from in a recall election. She’s one of five candidates who qualified for the April 5 special election for Port Allen mayor.

Slaughter became the first West Baton Rouge Parish official to be ousted from office when 57 percent of the city’s voters on Nov. 16 supported a recall effort launched against her five months into her first term as mayor.

Qualifying for the special election to fill the remainder of the term ended at 5 p.m. Friday. The other candidates are retired law enforcement officer Richard Lee, retired teacher Kirby Anderson, Leon Goudeau Jr. and Port Allen businessman Larry Bell. All but Goudeau are Democrats. He qualified as a No Party candidate.

Slaughter said Friday she was urged by supporters to return to City Hall and finish the work they elected her to do back in November 2012.

Jefferson Corner Open for Business Today

Jefferson Corner, Friday, February 14, 2014

Jefferson Corner, Friday, February 14, 2014

Jefferson Corner, home of North Central Louisiana’s premier morning “coffee group,” is once again open for business. The convenience store/restaurant had been closed since the first of the year for remodeling.

Manager Robert Morse was on hand this morning, with hot coffee to greet returning customers.

Morse said it would be several weeks before hot meals would be served, pending arrival of kitchen equipment. Meanwhile, the store has snack foods, coffee, and fountain soft drinks available.

Many of the group’s regulars were present this morning. Seen were retired Lincoln Parish Tax Assessor Jewett Farley, Tommy Boddie, Richard “Lizard” Howard, and David Carnal, among others.

Keith Huffman said of the group, “This is one of the groups that if they can’t impress you with their intelligence, they’ll baffle you with BS.”

Police Juror Bobby Bennett, another regular, denied the oft-leveled accusation that the group is composed of liars.

Exclaimed Bennett, “We don’t lie!” He added “Now we might add to and take away a little bit, but that ain’t really lying.”

See also the Prunepicker Blog for pictures from this morning.

Jefferson Corner opens on Valentine Day. Today.

St. George, LA Update – 2/13/14


Baton Rouge ‘local services agreement’ changes fail to pass Metro Council

Diana Samuels, The Times-Picayune

Changes to Baton Rouge’s “local services agreement,” which lays out how money is split between the parish and the city, failed to pass the Metro Council for the second time Wednesday.

The changes have become controversial due to the agreement’s connection to the proposed incorporation of St. George. Because it has failed twice now, the same proposal can’t come back for another year, unless it gets a two-thirds vote — which appears unlikely given that the proposal hasn’t been able to get a simple majority.

Council members needed to get seven votes to pass the changes, and voted 5-5 on the issue.

The local services agreement has been in place since 1991 and shifts tens of millions of tax revenue dollars each year from the parish’s side of the budget to be spent on the city’s side. St. George proponents have used the agreement as a rallying cry, saying their tax dollars are being moved and spent elsewhere.

Lincoln Schools Closed Thursday


Supt. Danny Bell has decided to not hold classes tomorrow due the hazardous conditions that remain and the issue of re-freezing. We are just not going to take any chances. Thank you Danny and thanks to all the city and parish administrators, first responders and public works personnel who have done a great job in dealing with this winter storm. Hopefully we can look forward to a nice weekend. Thanks again, Kip

Kip Franklin, Director
Lincoln Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness
100 West Texas Ave., P.O. Box 979
Ruston, La. 71273
Office phone – 318-513-6200
Cell phone – 318-607-8311
Fax number – 318-513-6209