Archive for October, 2014

Ruston Mayoral Campaign Finances – Update


Here are the latest campaign finance reports for the City of Ruston’s mayoral race.

Ronny Walker

Loans to Campaign: $2,000

Significant Contributions:

$1,000 – Phil Pasley, Shreveport; Ronnie Ward, Ruston.

See here the complete 10/17/14 report.

Bill Elmore

Loans to Campaign: $20,000

Significant Contributions:

$1,000 – Consolidated Crescent, Ruston; Danny Prince, Dallas, TX; J. P. Keeter, Longview, TX; Aruna Gullapalli, Monroe; John McKinney, Ruston; McKinney Saw & Cycle, Ruston; Milton Slaughter, Ruston; Petstar Animal Care, Ruston; Radian Hennigan, Ruston.

$2,000 – Margie Hennigan, Ruston.

Significant Disbursements: Redprint Strategy, Arlington, VA – $7,000; The Political Firm, Baton Rouge (Scott Hobbs) – $5,300.

See here the complete 10/27/14 report.

See here our 10/16/14 report on the earlier mayoral finance reports.


Grambling May Shutter Lab Schools


Grambling leader outlines plan to address deficit

BY Elizabeth Crisp

Facing a more than $3 million deficit, Grambling University plans to increase faculty teaching loads while requiring furloughs, provide incentives for 15 faculty members to retire, and possibly even shutter the Grambling Laboratory Schools.

Interim President Cynthia Warrick announced the drastic measures to help cash-strapped Grambling regain sound financial footing during a meeting with faculty and staff on campus Thursday.

Warrick attributed much of the immediate problem to the university’s drastic decrease in enrollment this fall.

The university’s fall enrollment is 4,504 — down 11 percent from last year. Based on the tuition rate, Warrick estimated the university is out $3.7 million.

Warrick said she’s hopeful the state will step in and provide $762,000 for Grambling’s lab schools to stay open past May 2015.

“It will be up to the Legislature and the governor and the Louisiana Board of Education,” Warrick said. “I don’t think anyone’s going to do anything about it unless we tell them we’re going to close those laboratory schools.”

See here a video of Warrick’s comments.

2nd JD (Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson) DA Campaign Finances


Danny Newell

Funds on Hand as of 10/27 – $11,660
Loans to Campaign: $23,000

Significant Contributions:

$1,000 – B&N Contractors, Haynesville; D&S Oil and Gas Operators, Homer; G&C Construction, Ruston; Mike Merritt, Minden; John McKee, Homer; Robinson & Williams, Bossier City; Chad Still, Minden; Brookie White, Haynesville; Audie Edwards, Summerfield; Wesley Emerson, Homer; David Tigner, Homer; Carter Lewis, Haynesville; Sidney Rhodes, Shreveport; Peterson Contractors, Homer; David Peterson, Minden; Jason Edwards, Minden; J. C. Carroll, Jonesboro

$1,500 – Stallion Production Svcs, Houston; Eric Johnson, Minden

$2,000 – Red Rock Rentals, Ruston; Bryce Transport, Minden

$2,500 – Cloy Gantt, Athens; Murphy Brothers Partnership, Arcadia; Cole Smith, Shreveport; James Colvin, Homer; Bryant Lewis, Haynesville; Heloise Lewis, Haynesville; City Tele-Coin, Bossier City

Significant Disbursements: Capital Business Services, Baton Rouge (Scott Wilfong), Consulting – $32,800; several thousand to local newspapers, Jackson Independent, Bienville Democrat, Claiborne Guardian, Haynesville News.

See here the complete reports:


Chris Bowman

Funds on Hand as of 10/27 – $3,700
Loans to Campaign – $46,700

Significant Contributions:

$2,500 – B&T Land Co., Farmerville; Durrett Construction, Aspermont, TX; Koga Investments, Monroe; Sterling Associates, Ruston
$2,000 – Credit Acceptance Cars, Monroe
$1,500 – J. K. Martin Pulpwood, Winnfield; JKM Logging, Winnfield
$1,000 – G. S. Butler, Homer; B&N Contractors, Haynesville, Double K Logging, Winnfield; Radian Hennigan, Ruston

Signficant Disbursements: The Glascock Group, Pineville (Darrell Glascock), Consulting – $21,000; Mailouts – $7,450; Billboards, $6,500; Signs, $9,000.

See here the complete reports:


“Ticket” Political Flyer Making the Rounds


Walker Ticket crop

A flyer promoting a “ticket vote” has been distributed locally, primarily on the Louisiana Tech University (LTU), it was reported late last week.

Mayoral candidate Bill Elmore told Lincoln Parish News Online that three of those depicted on the “ticket” called him and said they did not solicit the recognition.

Mayoral Candidate Ronny Walker said that he did not sponsor, distribute, or pay for the “ticket,” but only the food events that had been scheduled months ago.

Monroe City Council Tuesday


The Monroe City Council will meet Tuesday, October 28, 6:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 500 Lea Joyner Expressway.

See here the agenda and meeting info packet.

Lafayette DA Update


Harson, Stutes locked in bitter campaign for Lafayette DA

Richard Burgess|

LAFAYETTE — Keith Stutes recalled a meeting with Mike Harson shortly after the FBI searched the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Lafayette in February 2012.

Stutes, a retired prosecutor who is the first person to challenge Harson for the district attorney’s seat in 20 years, said he was shocked to learn federal authorities were investigating bribery allegations in the office.

What’s more, Stutes said, the bribes were in connection with what he called a “secret program” he had never heard about that allowed DWI defendants to have their charges quickly resolved and expunged.

“I confronted Mike with that and basically pleaded with him to stop that process,” Stutes said, adding that the incident tested the loyalty he had given Harson during his long career working for him.

Harson remembers things differently.

“That’s a lie. He never came and talked to me,” he said. “That was not his style to talk to me at all.”

Spending on the campaign this year totaled nearly $720,000 as of Sept. 25 — $420,306 from Harson and $299,101 from Stutes, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state.

The one issue that looms largest — the issue that Stutes said prompted his retirement after 28 years as a prosecutor and was a major factor in his decision to challenge Harson — is the bribery scandal that has tarred the reputation of the District Attorney’s Office for the past two years.

Five people have pleaded guilty in the federal probe, including three of Harson’s former employees, for their role in arranging favorable plea deals for DWI offenders in return for bribes.

The alleged mastermind behind the operation, Lafayette private investigator Robert Williamson, is still awaiting trial.

Federal prosecutors have alleged that in return for gifts and payments of cash, District Attorney’s Office employees allowed the defendants to participate in a program in which criminal charges were quickly swept through the system if they successfully completed certain probation requirements, such as driver’s safety classes, substance abuse treatment and community service.

Harson has not been identified as the target of a federal investigation, but federal prosecutors wrote in court filings that the scheme was carried out without the DA’s knowledge because of a “lack of oversight and safeguards.”

Stewart Withdraws From 2nd JD DA Race

Posted in lobby of Jackson Parish Court House - 10/23/14

Posted in lobby of Jackson Parish Court House – 10/23/14

Ouachita Library Book Sale Friday, Saturday


Bibliophiles take note!

The last Ouachita Parish Friends of the Library book sale of the year will be Friday, 10/24, and Saturday, 10/25, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, West Ouachita Branch, 188 Hwy 546, West Monroe.

Take Exit 108 (Cheniere) north from I-20. The library is about 1/2 mile on the left.

Take our word for it, this is a good book sale. The books are cheap, and visiting with the folks there is worth the trip, even if you don’t buy a thing. If you have some old books to donate, they’ll take them off your hands.

2014 Lincoln School District Report Cards


Lincoln Parish School Scores 2014

The data is from the Louisiana Department of Education.

See the complete report cards for the individual schools here:

Ruston High School
Choudrant Elementary
Choudrant High
Cypress Springs Elementary
Glen View Elementary
Hillcrest Elementary
I A Lewis Middle School
Ruston Elementary
Ruston Junior High
Alma J. Brown Elementary
Grambling High School
Gambling Middle School
A. E. Phillips

Jindal orders Ebola travel restrictions for Louisiana


The Hill

By Keith Laing – 10/20/14

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) is restricting travel to African nations that are battling Ebola amid extensive debate in Washington about a nationwide flight ban.

Jindal issued an executive order Monday that requires Louisiana state agencies to participate in the ban on travel to West Africa, which has been hotly debated following the first domestic diagnoses of the deadly disease.

“All departments, budget units, agencies, offices, entities, and officers of the executive branch of the State of Louisiana are authorized and directed to develop policies and reporting mechanisms for public employees and students, faculty, and staff of institutions of higher learning to report travel to the countries identified by the Centers for Disease Control as having a threat of contracting the Ebola Virus Disease,” Jindal’s executive order said.