Archive for the ‘City of Ruston’ Category

Mays Murder Trial still on for February


Accused murderer and convicted kidnapper/rapist Cameron Mays was in Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District court yesterday morning in Ruston, for a status conference hearing.

He is scheduled to stand trial Monday, February 26, 2018, 9:00 AM, for the home invasion and murder of Sue Hashway in June of 2012.

No motions or filings were made at yesterday’s hearing. Attorney for the defendant was Kia Baldwin Richardson, and the prosecutor was Assistant Attorney General Madeleine Slaughter-Young.

Presiding was Division B Judge Tommy Rogers.


Cooktown Road District Tax Approved


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen unanimously approved at last night’s meeting an ordinance levying a 1/2 cent sales tax within the recently created Cooktown Road Economic Development District, located at the northwest corner of I-20 and Cooktown Road. The tax will be over and above any other state or local sales taxes and is to fund infrastructure improvements related to the district.

See here the ordinance as adopted.

Hutton, a Chatanooga, TN based developer, will build a multi-tenant retail facility on the 15 1/2 acre site. The company has several properties in Louisiana, including the Walmart Neighborhood Market on West California.

The council also approved a preliminary plat of Cypress Run Subdivision, a 28 acre development that will have 74 lots for single-family houses. The subdivision is on South Barnett Springs Street, just south of West Barnett Springs Avenue.

There was some concern about soil erosion washing into a neighbor’s pond, but the developer promised to take whatever measures necessary to prevent any problems.

Approval was given for preliminary engineering to extend Goyne Street from West Alabama north to the South Service Road. It will connect just west of the Temple Baptist Church parking lot, and should help alleviate some of the traffic at the Service Road/Cooktown intersection.

Ruston City Council Monday


Ruston’s City Council will meet tomorrow (Monday, November 6) at 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here’s the agenda.

Warrant Issued for Bonton


An arrest warrant was yesterday issued for Brandon Bonton, an alleged accomplice of Cameron Mays in the June, 2012 murder of Dr. Sue Hashway, after he failed to appear in Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court in Ruston.

Bonton was supposed to appear alongside two other co-defendants who were in court, Robert Demps and Markeva Daye.

Daye and Demps trial was reset for 9:00 AM, Monday, April 23, 2018, with a pretrial hearing the prior Friday (4/20 – 9:00 AM), and a status hearing at 9:00 AM, February 20, 2018.

Appearing for the state was Assistant Attorney General Madeleine Slaughter-Young. Kia Richardson appeared for the defendants.

Presiding was Judge Tommy Rogers.

Mays to Stand Trial for Hashway Murder in February


The long-delayed trial of Cameron Mays for the murder of Cypress Springs resident Dr. Sue Hashway has been set for 9:00 AM, February 26, 2018, Lincoln Parish News Online has learned.

Mays was convicted in April, 2016 for a rape and kidnapping that took place several days before Hashway was found dead in her Paynter Drive home in June of 2012.

Prosecuting the case will be Assistant Attorney General Madeleine Slaughter-Young, a Monroe attorney who recently worked for the Fourth Judicial (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) District Attorney’s office. She has civil law experience, and was also a prosecutor for the Orleans Parish DA. In 2015, she was a candidate for Ouachita Parish Clerk of Court.

She is a veteran of the U. S. Army.

LPNO readers will remember that formerly, Assistant AG Mike Ruddick handled the prosecution of Mays for the prior trial. He recently retired.

In this morning’s proceedings at Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court in Ruston, the three alleged accomplices of Mays were not in court, but were reset to appear Monday at 9:00 AM. Their trials will be rescheduled to coincide with the February 26 Mays trial, courtroom sources said.

Mays has two hearings prior to trial, a 9:00 AM 11/21/17 status conference, and a 9:00 AM 2/23/18 pretrial conference.

Cameron Mays’ Alleged Accomplices to be in Court Friday


Several alleged accomplices of convicted rapist Cameron Mays are scheduled for pre-trial hearings tomorrow (Friday, 10/27) morning in Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court at 9:00 AM in Ruston.

Brandon Bonton, Robert Demps, and Markeva Daye were charged in connection with Mays’ alleged June, 2012 crime spree that resulted in the murder of retired Grambling State University Professor Dr. Sue Hashway, and the aggravated rape and kidnapping of a Louisiana Tech University co-ed.

Mays was convicted of the rape and kidnapping by a Lincoln Parish jury in April, 2016.

Among Bonton’s charges are theft, accessory to burglary, accessory to murder 2nd and drug possession.

Day and Demps are both charged with accessory to murder 2nd, accessory to burglary, drug possession, and possession of stolen things.

See here the court docket.

Still unclear is the status of erstwhile key witness Kevin Owen, who was also an alleged accomplice of Mays.

Assistant Attorney General Mike Ruddick, who prosecuted Mays on the rape and kidnapping charges, originally intended to call Owen as a witness for the prosecution’s case. However, in February, 2016, Owens “disappeared from the face of the earth” just prior to trial.

During the trial, Mays claimed that Owens was with him during the burglary and that Owen committed the rape.

He never been charged, nor has an arrest warrant been issued for him. We’ve not been able to get a clear answer from the Third Judicial District Attorney’s office, the Attorney General’s Office, or the Ruston Police Department on why this is so.

LPPJ, City to Collaborate on Animal Control Facility


The Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) is set to lend a hand (and money) to the planned animal control facility at the old Ruston Airport off South Farmerville Street.

According to a resolution adopted at last night’s Ruston City Council meeting, the jury will provide site clearing, fill material, and driveway construction for the planned facility.

The city had budgeted $1.5 million for the project.

Building Official Bill Sanderson said the project should be awarded in January of next year.

A vote on the proposed 1/2 cent sales tax ordinance was delayed until the November meeting, but a resolution allowing negotiating a cooperative endeavor agreement between the city and Hutton was approved.

See here the resolution.

According to City Attorney Bill Carter, the agreement will authorize “reimbursement for public infrastructure and site development.”

Finally, an ordinance was introduced for a budget amendment for the just-ended fiscal year 10/1/16-9/30/17.

See here the budget items amended.

Ruston City Council Monday


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, October 2, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here is the agenda.

A public hearing is scheduled prior to a vote to approve an ordinance for a 1/2 cent sales tax for the Cooktown Road Economic Development District.

Also, a resolution will be considered to approve a cooperative endeavor agreement between the city and Hutton MT 17, LLC relative to the collection and use of the sales tax.

No “Moving Ruston Forward” Status Reports Since April


There have been no updates of the “Moving Ruston Forward” project status reports since April 13 of this year.

The reports were “a web-based portal which Ruston citizens can access for information relating to MRF projects,” according to a resolution adopted at the June 16, 2016 meeting of the Ruston City Council.

The 4/13/17 report showed the total budget to be $92.7 million, and the sports complex to cost $30 million.

Those numbers are different from what the voters were told prior to an April, 2016 tax election that raised sales taxes within the city limits of Ruston by 3/4 cents. The sales tax is supposed to pay off bond debt the city will incur to fund the projects.

Originally, the total price was $80 million, and the sports complex was budgeted at $15 million.

See here the original budget.

At the 9/11/17 meeting of Ruston’s Board of Aldermen, a $35.2 million contract to construct the sports complex was approved. That price does not include the cost of several parcels of land that has been purchased off South Farmerville Street on which the complex will be built.

A 12/9/16 status report had the overall project cost at $87.7 million, with the sports complex budgeted at $18 million.

See here the report.

Ruston Sports Complex Sees Massive Cost Increase Over Estimate


The just-contracted Ruston Sports Complex that is to be built over the next two years off South Farmerville Street will cost more than double the original estimate that was sold to the voters.

Earlier this month, a $35.2 million contract was approved by the city’s Board of Aldermen to construct the facility.

When the “Moving Ruston Forward” plan was approved by the council in February, 2016, the estimated cost of the facility was said to be $15 million. The plan, along with a 3/4 cent sales tax increase to pay for it, was approved by Ruston voters in an April, 2016 election.

See here the “Moving Ruston Forward” presentation, page 25.

The construction contract does not include the cost of acquiring property for the facility. It is unclear where the money will come from for the additional cost, or what other infrastructure improvements might be left undone.