Archive for September, 2021

Most Lincoln Parish DC Inmates not Vaxxed

09/30/2021

About 60% of the inmates now housed at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center are not vaccinated, Warden Jim Tuten told the quarterly meeting of the Detention Center Commission this morning.

Said Tuten, “Right now, about 40% of our inmates are vaccinated, and 60% refused to be vaccinated. Any time anybody comes in that’s been arrested, we ask them, we have a form they fill out and we ask them if they’ve had the inoculation, and if they answer no, we ask them do you want a shot, and the vast majority are refusing.”

However, Tuten said that only four inmates had tested positive for Covid-19 this year, and they all exhibited no symptoms. The jail continues to have an extensive disinfection and screening procedure in place, he said.

“We’re still taking every inmate’s temperature three times a day,” said Tuten. He added, “All of our employees – when we come in the morning, the first thing that happens, we take our temperature. We’re doing all that we can to try to protect our staff and our inmates.”

Tuten noted that as of midnight last night, the jail held 306 inmates, with 203 of them in pre-trial detainment.

The commission also set dates in November and December to adopt an amended budget for the current year, and a proposed budget for 2022.

Asked about the in-custody death of an inmate last week, Sheriff Stephen Williams said that the body had been sent to Little Rock, AR for autopsy by Dr. Frank Peretti of the Arkansas State Crime Lab.

Lincoln Parish Coroner Dr. Michael Belue will have to sign off on the findings, Williams said.

Detention Center Commission Thursday

09/28/2021

The Lincoln Parish Detention Center Commission will meet Thursday, September 30, 10:00 AM, Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor.

Here is the agenda.

Jury Finance Committee Reviews Budget Requests

09/15/2021

Last night the Lincoln Parish Police Jury Finance Committee voted to review and consider 2022 budget requests from the several area agencies that depend partly on jury general fund monies for their operation.

See here the request letters.

Most agencies did not address the committee, but the three Third Judicial District (Lincoln, Union Parishes) were there and did speak to the committee. Among their requests were COLA raises for court reporters, renovations for the courtroom balcony, and a share of American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 monies.

Division B Judge Tommy Rogers said that in light of recent court decisions, court funding from fines and court costs will probably decline in the future.

Said Rogers, “Recent federal and state appellate decisions have indicated that its going to be increasingly hard to help fund the court system in Louisiana with fines and court costs. And that is a huge chunk of our budget, the money that we get from the criminal court fund.”

One decision that appears to be pertinent is a 2019 case in the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Cain, et al Vs Orleans Parish District Court.

The plaintiffs in that case alleged that the Judges’ practices in collecting criminal fines and fees violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment partly because the defendants ability to pay was not taken into consideration.

The Fifth also cited pertinent cases that examined the ways in which judges have an institutional interest in their judicial expense fund. It observed that the fines and fees revenue goes into that fund, over which the judges exercise total control.

In other words, the courts have a direct pecuniary interest in how much is collected in fines and court costs.

The full jury convened as Property Assessment Board of Review and unanimously voted to uphold Tax Assessor Billy McBride concerning a challenge from Regency Interstate Gas, LLC.

They also certified the assessment list to the Louisiana State Tax Commission.

During the reports, Parish Administrator Doug Postel briefly mentioned the upcoming November 13 library tax election and the narrow window available to certify the results before tax bills are sent to parish property owners.

Said Postel, “The library millage election that was originally to be held in October – statewide elections were moved by the Governor because of Hurricane Ida. That election will be now held on November 13. We have been working closely with Mr. McBride and the Sheriff on the timing of that election, making sure that we can get the votes canvassed and get the tax bills out. We will have a joint press release announcement about how that will unfold in the coming days.”

Police Jury Meets Today

09/14/2021

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will meet today (Tuesday, September 14), Lincoln Parish Library Events Center, 910 North Trenton Street.

Here are the meeting times and agendas.

  • Public Works Committee – 5:15 PM – Agenda
  • Finance Committee – 6:00 PM – Agenda
  • Police Jury – 7:00 PM – Agenda

Ruston Board of Aldermen Monday

09/10/2021

Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, September 13, 2021, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton Street.

Here is the agenda.

School Board Meets Tomorrow

09/06/2021

The Lincoln Parish School Board will meet tomorrow (Tuesday, September 7), 6:00 PM, at the Lincoln Parish S. T. E. M. Center, 525 Tarbutton Road. Prior the the full board meeting, the Finance Committee will meet at 5:00 PM, at the same location.

Here are the agendas.