Archive for the ‘City of Monroe’ Category

Byrd Lee Minter Jr.


Funeral services for Byrd Lee Minter, Jr., 83 of Monroe, LA will be held at 4:00 P.M. on Sunday, February 14, 2016 at First Assembly of God in West Monroe, Louisiana under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home, West Monroe with Pastor Shane Warren officiating. Visitation will be held from 3:00 P.M. until service time on Sunday. A Friends & Family Fellowship will immediately follow the service in the fellowship hall.

Interment will be at Prairie View Cemetery in Aransas Pass, Texas under the direction of Charlie Marshall Funeral Home on Saturday, February 20, 2016. Visitation at the Charlie Marshall Funeral Home will be from 11:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. with a memorial service at 2:00 P.M.

Byrd was born May 8, 1932 and passed from this life on February 4, 2016.

As a boy, Byrd began working as a deck hand for his father’s deep-sea fishing charters and rowing duck hunters to the family-owned duck blinds for 50 cents. After graduating from Southwestern Assemblies of God High School and College in Waxahachie, TX, Byrd served his country with the U.S. Coast Guard based out of Anchorage, Alaska during the Korean War. Upon leaving the service, Byrd attended and graduated from Texas A&I in Kingsville, TX with a Petroleum Engineering degree which led him to a working career with Southern Union Gas in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Dallas, Texas then to North Carolina Gas Company of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and then to Ford, Bacon & Davis in Monroe, Louisiana.

Leaving the corporate world in 1979, he ventured into entrepreneurial endeavors which returned him to what he loved; the water. Byrd and Jonell bought a boat marina, Buckeye Landing, on Toledo Bend, near Many, LA. Then, in his retirement years, Byrd worked as a consulting engineer to numerous surrounding municipalities and owned a small service business, LitterVac of Monroe. He enjoyed connecting with people through church, family, friends and his involvements with local political and public groups. Those who knew Byrd, also known as “Mr. B”, knew he was always looking for an ear to bend, whether to brag of his 32-point, 267 ¾ point typical mule deer that landed him in “the book” – Boone and Crockett, or to tell of his days as a deck-hand on his father’s boat serving Vice President LBJ, movie stars, and foreign diplomats. He was introduced and proclaimed by The News Star as a watchdog of local politics often writing letters to the editor and speaking before the City Council and Police Jury where he always stood on his principles.

Byrd was preceded in death by his mother, Lena Lucile Richerson; his father, Byrd Lee Minter, Sr.; and his brother, Garland E. Minter.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Jonell Dierlam Minter; four sons, Randy Minter and wife, Paula, Mike Minter and wife, Virginia, Darryl Minter and wife, Donna, Joel Minter and wife, Alicia; grandchildren, (Randy’s) Trever Minter and wife, Jen, Tracey Hinton and husband, Jack, (Mike’s) Chris Taylor and wife, Angie, Cindy Williams and husband, Donnie, Scott Taylor, Marc Minter and wife, Cassidy, Thomas Minter and wife, Annelise, Eric Minter, Maria McMillan and husband, Chance, Trisha Stroud and husband, Danny, Joseph Minter, Becky Minter, Debi Minter, (Darryl’s) Chase Minter and wife, Rebecca, Daralyn Pepmiller and husband, James, (Joel’s) Ben Minter and wife, Jessica, Rachel Minter, and Sarah Minter; and 15 great grandchildren with two more on the way.

In Lieu of Flowers, donations can be made to the building construction fund of First Assembly of God, 715 Cypress Street, West Monroe, 71291.

The family would like to give their heartfelt appreciation to The Oaks nursing home staff and aids, especially to those who went above and beyond their duties, with special thanks to Leroy.

Online Registry/Condolences:

March 4 Court Hearing in Ouachita Judge Coverup Case


Court date set in Palowsky v. Campbell

By Zach Parker

An ad hoc judge presiding over a Monroe businessman’s lawsuit against Fourth Judicial District Court officials has ordered counsel to present arguments at a hearing in early March.

However, retired Judge Jerry Barbera indicated he likely would not allow other forms of evidence such as witness testimony during a hearing that’s scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 4.

Edwards Fundraiser @ Squire Creek Next Month

click to enlarge

Witnesses Questioned in Ouachita Court Coverup


Witnesses are being interviewed in the ongoing controversy at Fourth Judicial (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) District Court, according to an article by Johnny Gunter in The Ouachita Citizen.

Witnesses probed in court investigation stemming from Palowsky lawsuit

The interviews are being conducted by the Louisiana Inspector General, The Louisiana State Police, and the 4th JD District Attorney. Some of the witnesses were subpoenaed, according to Gunter.

I-20 Board Approves Back-Dated Contract W/Attorney


Yesterday afternoon, the I-20 Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors took action in open session to execute a contract with an Alexandria law firm to represent them in ongoing litigation. Steve Oxenhandler, of Gold WeemsBruser Sues & Rundell, will be paid for hours billed since November 17, 2015. Also, any actions taken or filings made on behalf of the board since that time will be ratified.

See here the document.

Notable in the contract was this clause:

Clients expressly recognize that any estimate of total fees and expenses to be incurred in connection with the representation, which may be given in the initial interview or otherwise, is nothing more than a good faith guess and that the actual fees and expenses ultimately incurred may bear no relation to the estimate.

The vote to hire Oxenhandler came after a 45-minute executive session to discuss the terms, and after items four through seven on the agenda were passed over.

The board first voted to hire Oxenhandler in an executive session on 11/17/15, according to the minutes of that meeting. However, as that action may have been illegal, the board took the action yesterday in open session.

According to a 12/23/15 Ouachita Citizen article by Zach Parker, Oxenhandler had even billed the board some $6 thousand prior to the 11/17 secret vote.

Chisley continued to deny that the board tagged Oxenhandler to represent them in the 11/17 closed session, according to a Bob Lenox story in today’s News Star.

Lenox quoted Chisley, “On that particular night, we did not know whether we were going to engage Mr. Oxenhandler. We talked about the situation, we discussed it, but we didn’t have a contract, so therefore we could not enter into a contractual agreement.”

City Attorney Nanci Summersgill has in the middle of the negotiations to hire Oxenhandler, even though she apparently does not represent the board, but actually is paid by the City of Monroe. It is unknown if Summersgill’s actions represent a conflict of interest, which is prohibited by Louisiana’s Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys.

Here is the original lawsuit against the board.

Do-Over for I-20 Board Attorney Hire


The Interstate 20 Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors will convene a “do-over” meeting tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday, 12/30, 4:00 PM) to “officially” hire an attorney to represent them in ongoing litigation.

Here is the agenda.

Two weeks ago, the board took action to hire the attorney in an apparent illegal executive session.

Hearing Wednesday on Sixth Street Saloon Controversy


A Wednesday, 12/30/15, 9:30 AM hearing has been set to hear a motion asking for contempt sanctions against two Monroe City Council (Betty Blakes and Ray Armstrong) members for voting against renewal of the Sixth Street Saloon’s liquor license. The motion also asks that the court direct that the bar’s alcohol permit be renewed.

See here the documents.

The hearing will be in Courtroom 8, Fourth Judicial District, Ouachita Parish Courthouse.

Wheels Come Off @ I-20 Board


Last week’s meeting of the Interstate 20 Economic Development District Board of Directors was filled with recriminations, finger-pointing, and crawfishing, according to The Ouachita Citizen’s Zach Parker, who was there to report on what happened.

See it here (subscription required):

I-20 board breaks law, takes secret vote to hire lawyer; invoices, hire date discrepancy revealed

We had earlier reported that at the 11/17/15 meeting, board Chairman Otis Chisley denied having selected an attorney to defend against a lawsuit, but in fact had done just that in a secret session moments before.

According to Parker’s account, the attorney – Steven Oxenhandler of Alexandria – was engaged prior to that meeting, and without the knowledge and approval of the board. He sent an invoice to the board that included 26 hours worked prior to 11/17.

Monroe’s City Attorney Nanci Summersgill, who sometimes acts as an “unofficial adviser” to the I-20 Board, first contacted Oxenhandler, Parker wrote.

Also, there was a kerfuffle over the minutes of the 11/17 meeting, after it was realized information on an illegal vote was included.

Parker also recounted LPNO’s efforts beginning two years ago to get the board meetings opened up to public scrutiny.

Sixth Street Bar Issues Alleged: Underage Drinking, Contaminated Liquor


On a 2-2 tie vote, the Monroe City Council denied a liquor license renewal for the 6 Street Bar & Lounge at last night’s meeting.

This is the second time in two years the council has denied a license for the controversial establishment. At the 12/23/13 meeting, a license renewal was denied, but the bar later reopened after the owners sued and the city settled.

Voting to grant the license were Gretchen Ezernack (District 2) and Kenny Wilson (District 4). Voting to deny were Ray Armstrong (District 1) and Betty Blakes (District 3).

Mark Neal, an attorney for the bar owners, said that they would sue again if the license was denied.

Speaking to the council, Neal cited the terms of the earlier settlement and said the owners had held up their end of the bargain.

Said Neal, “I encourage the council to do what it agreed to do in June of 2014, which was to grant this license by way of a consent judgement.”

Neal also noted that the bar had been in operation since 1945, and that the current residents knew the establishment was there when they located in the neighborhood.

Resident David Pivont said despite Neal’s assertions, the bar had continued to have problems.

Pivont said the bar had twice this year been cited by the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) for selling alcohol to minors, and selling liquor that was contaminated with debris and/or fruit flies.

Said Pivont, “They had two violations of selling to minors.” He added, “They had bugs in their liquor.”

Another resident, Marilyn Denoux, said she had issues with patrons of the bar engaged in “intimate” conduct in their cars parked on the street or in nearby parking lots.

Said Denoux, “The last time this happened, I went out – it was about 2 in the morning – and called to them across the street to please either stop, go to a motel, to put their pants back on. In the meantime I was given an obscene gesture and told to go away. So I picked up the (water) hose from my yard and sprayed it across the street on them.” She added, “This is not right.”

In other business, the council unanimously denied a conditional use permit to sell beer for off premise consumption for Just Stop, 3100 Renwick Street.

Several area residents showed up to object, citing proximity to area schools.

Monroe City Council Tonight


The Monroe City Council will meet tonight (Tuesday, 12/22), 6:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda.


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