Archive for August, 2014

Ouachita Parish Police Jury Tuesday


The Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ) will meet Tuesday, September 2, 5:30 PM, Ouachita Parish Court House, second floor. Normally, the jury meets on the first and third Monday each month, but the Labor Day holiday made the change necessary.

See here the agenda.

Immediately following the jury meeting, the Finance Committee will meet in the conference room located next door.

Here is the agenda.


St Tammany DA Update – 8/29/14


Audit of St. Tammany DA’s office underway, Legislative Auditor says

By Heather Nolan, | The Times-Picayune

Legislative auditor Daryl Purpera said his office has begun an investigative audit of St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed’s office — something Parish President Pat Brister and Reed requested earlier this month. Purpera did not provide a timetable for when the audit might be complete.

On Aug. 4, Brister and Reed both sent Purpera letters asking for an audit of the office. The requests came as federal investigators examine Reed’s campaign spending and his relationship with St. Tammany Parish Hospital.

Brister said Reed’s office requested additional funds from parish government in recent years and said, “the public has a right to know that their tax dollars are being used in ethical, productive and efficient ways.”

Reed said he was requesting the audit following “allegations of improper expenditures” by the news media.

Arcadia, LA Update – 8/28/14


OIG: Arcadia clerk diverted check from vendor

By Vickie Wellborn

ARCADIA – Former Arcadia clerk Theresa Burris altered a check made payable to a town vendor and diverted it into a banking account shared with her husband, a criminal investigator with the Louisiana Inspector General’s office said in an arrest warrant.

Burris, 54, was arrested Tuesday on one count each of malfeasance in office and theft. She was booked into the Bienville Parish Jail and released on a $20,000 bond. She resigned following her arrest.

The inspector general’s office was working with District Attorney Jonathan Stewart in the prosecution of another matter when the alleged misappropriation was discovered.

Mayo Didn’t Keep Word, Council Says


Controversial Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo isn’t a man of his word, several Monroe City Council members alleged at last nights meeting.

The issue came up during discussion of a budget amendment, when District One’s Ray Armstrong asked the mayor to provide an accounting of progress on several projects Mayo had promised the council he would fund, in exchange for the council’s support of his budget.

Said Armstrong, “I would like to see a formal accounting of these things. We kept our part of the bargain, and I do want to make sure we’re all at the same table, in going forward to do the things that the council thought would be in the best interests of the public.”

In ordinance adopted on April 8 – and signed by Mayo – several items were listed, including additional police patrols, drainage improvements, sidewalk repairs, street lighting, and cemetery repairs.

See here the document.

District Four’s Kenny Wilson echoed Armstong, saying that drainage issues in his district needed attention.

Said Wilson, “One of the things is South Eighth Street – covering the ditches – there’s standing water.”

Mayo replied that “Any request that you come with, there has to be a funding mechanism. There’s not money falling from the sky.”

When Armstrong confronted Mayo with the document he had signed, he exploded into a tirade, even as Armstrong gaveled for order.

Ranted Mayo, “What I’m saying to you to, Mr. Chairman, I’ll say to the rest of you, we’re not going to allow a process to take place that has never taken place before. And you can take that to the bank!”

After Mayo’s fit, the council voted 3-1 against approving the budget amendment, with Armstrong, Blakes, and Wilson voting no, and Ezernack voting yes.

Worth Remebering

If Mayo continues with the attitude that he will spend taxpayer money when and how only he wants, he should consider that two North Louisiana mayors that used to think that way are now in jail.

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.

St George, LA Update – 8/25/14


City of St. George backers: Enough signatures for election

By Rebekah Allen

St. George supporters celebrated a major victory Sunday evening when they announced that enough signatures have been collected to put the proposal to create their own city in the southern part of the parish to a vote of the people.

“Everyone who said we’d never get the required number of signatures to put this on a ballot was wrong,” Lionel Rainey, a St. George spokesman, said Sunday shortly after the announcement was made. “We just climbed a hill that virtually everyone said was unclimbable.”

However, Rainey also was cautious.

“The fight is nowhere near over,” he said.

Petitions as of Sunday had 17,750 signatures, he said. The group was informed last week by the East Baton Rouge Parish Registrar of Voters that it needed exactly 17,746 signatures from residents within the proposed area.

Only voters who live within the proposed boundaries of St. George will be allowed to weigh in on the decision to incorporate.

St. George would include more than 100,000 residents living in about 80 square miles of the southern part of the parish, south of the city of Baton Rouge.

The push to create a new city began more than a year ago and was born from the desire to create a separate school system.

Monroe Police, Fire Budgets Whacked


Budget Summary crop

A proposed budget amendment to be considered at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Monroe City Council will, if approved, cut the Monroe Police Department and Monroe Fire Department budgets by over $1/2 million each.

The cuts are between four and five percent of the police department’s $13.3 million budget, and the fire department’s $13.4 million budget. The appear to be in the two department’s capital fund, which would be used to purchase equipment.

We will cover the 6:00 PM Tuesday, August 26 meeting at Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway, to see what is said about the budget amendments.

See here the agenda and related information.

All Jonesboro Political Offices Contested


All the elected positions in the Town of Jonesboro that up for a Tuesday, November 4 vote are contested, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s candidate website.

Four candidates have filed for mayor: James Bradford, Mike Holder, Alvin Jones, and Renee Stringer. Holder ran for mayor eight years ago, while Stringer is the incumbent District B Alderwoman. Jones had been the District C Alderman from 1994 to 2002.

There are two candidates for Chief of Police: James Harris and Maxie Monroe. Harris currently works for the department, and Monroe is the Ward Five Jackson Parish Police Juror. Monroe had previously worked in the department.

Incumbent chief Wesley Horton, first elected in 1994, did not run for re-election.

The Alderman-at-Large seat has four candidates: Nia Evans, Janet Martin, Theresa Moore, and Johnny Runyon. Incumbent LaStevic Cottonham did not run for re-election.

District A has three candidates: Heather Graham, Randy Layfield, and Craig Williams. Layfied had served in that slot for three terms from 1998 to 2010. Incumbent Sam Lamkin did not file.

District B (incumbent Renee Stringer) saw three filers: Douglas Cary, Robbie Siadek, and Stacy Strickland.

District C’s race has two contestants: Charla Mason-Melton, the incumbent, and Pete Stringer. In 2010, Mason-Melton defeated Stringer who had held the seat since 2002.

In District D, incumbent Devin Flowers is challenged by John Bradley and John Williams.

Most Lincoln Parish School Board Members Unopposed


All but three members of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) were unopposed for reelection by the close of qualifying yesterday.

Mike Barmore (District 4), Danny Hancock (District 5), Joe Mitcham, Jr. (District 6), Trott Hunt (District 7), Lisa Best (District 8), Lynda Henderson (District 9), Otha Anders (District 10), George Mack, Jr. (District 11), and Debbie Abrahm (District 12) were all elected without opposition.

In District 1, incumbent Mattie Harrison is challenged by Veda Emerson and Susan Wiley.

In District 2, David Ferguson is running against Eddie Jones.

In District 3, Curtis Dowling has an opponent in Mary Harris.

The election is set for Tuesday, November 4.