Archive for the ‘Jonesboro’ Category

Jackson Parish Juniors, Seniors to be Bussed Next School Year

07/02/2015

Some Juniors and Seniors attending Jackson Parish Schools will be bussed to Jonesboro-Hodge High School (J-HHS) for several hours of classes beginning next academic year, Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) has learned.

J-HHS will become a “college prep school” under the plan, Superintendent Wayne Alford told LPNO this afternoon. College-bound Juniors and Seniors at the parish’s other two high schools, Quitman and Weston, will be bussed to J-HHS where the courses will be taught.

Advanced math, chemistry, and algebra are among the courses to be taught at J-HHS.

There will be a public meeting next Tuesday, July 7, 6:00 PM at J-HHS to reveal more details of the plan, Alford said.

Earlier today, at a teacher’s meeting, other parts of plan were revealed, sources told LPNO.

All parish students will be re-enrolled to insure that they attend the schools in their attendance zones, the sources said.

Also, LPNO has obtained a copy of the minutes of a status conference meeting held in the office of Western District of Louisiana Judge Robert James last Tuesday.

From the document:

A status conference was conducted by the undersigned in Chambers on June 30, 2015, at 1:20 p.m. Participating were Torey Cummings, counsel for United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”); Robert Hammonds, counsel for Jackson Parish School Board (“School Board”); Wayne Alford, Superintendent of Jackson Parish schools; and Kayla Dye May, Law Clerk.

Counsel and the Superintendent discussed changes to the programming offered at the high schools in the District as a means of achieving desegregation and offered the Court a number of suggestions. The District intends to move forward with programming during this school year.

Additionally, counsel intend to present the Court with joint proposed orders regarding the registration of students and the procedural for selection of administrators. They will also confer on possible actions with regard to the elementary and middle schools.

The conference concluded at 2:30 p.m.

RGJ

See here the document.

Added 7/3/15 – 9:15 AM

We just received this clarification from Superintendent Wayne Alford:

Only juniors will be required to attend JHHS for the first three academic periods of the day. Seniors needing the Core four or Tops classes being taught at JHHS may attend if they choose.

Nash Given Diversion Program in Jackson Parish Hospital Case

06/19/2015

Wayne Nash, the former pharmacist at the Jackson Parish Hospital, has completed a “pre-trial diversion program” of community service, instead of prosecution, Assistant Attorney General Frank Brindisi told Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) this morning.

Last March, Nash was arrested for distribution of a legend drug.

Pretrial diversion is an alternative to prosecution for qualifying non-violent offenders. Offenders that enter the program are supervised while they complete the conditions of their agreement. When the terms and conditions are completed, the case is dismissed.

Brindisi had no information on the other defendants in the case, as their cases were being handled by another division within the AG’s office. Brindisi handled Nash’s case after the the Second Judicial (Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson Parishes) District Attorney’s Office recused itself.

Nash’s attorney was former 2nd JDDA Walter May.

Jackson Parish Tax Assessor Won’t Seek Re-election.

06/17/2015

Eddie Gatlin, Jackson Parish’s long time tax assessor won’t seek re-election this fall, Lincoln Parish News Online has learned.

Gatlin, 66, will have served 36 years as assessor, having first been elected in 1979.

Wrote Gatlin in a prepared statement:

I have enjoyed serving as you Assessor for the past 34 ½ years, as well as serving in the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office for 12 years under the late Sheriff Lyman “Red” Watkins, prior to becoming the Assessor for Jackson Parish. The work and improvements to the Jackson Parish Assessor’s Office that has been accomplished during my time in office represents the most gratifying and fulfilling public and professional experience I have had in my career. I have truly appreciated this opportunity to serve our parish and have been humbled by the support of the citizens of Jackson Parish during my tenure. I have decided to step down in order to be able to spend more time with my family and let someone else enjoy these rewards of public service.

See here the complete statement.

It is notable that the audits for the office show no findings.

See here the files.

JPPJ Employee Raise Passes on 3-2 Vote

06/09/2015

From the minutes of last night’s meeting:

Motion Mr. Treadway to table action on the proposed $1.00 per hour wage increase for employees in the road and solid waste department and refer back to committee. Motion died for lack of a second.

Motion Ms. Monroe seconded Mr. Bryant to institute a $1.00 per hour wage increase for employees in the road and solid waste department. A roll call vote was taken:

Todd Culpepper – Nay
Eddie Langston – Yea
Amy Magee – Abstain
Billy Bryant – Yea
Maxie Monroe – Yea
Charles Garrett – Absent
Lynn Treadway – Nay

The vote was 3 Yeas, 2 Nays and 1 Abstaining. Motion carried.

Employee Pay Raise Back on JPPJ Agenda Tonight

06/08/2015

A $1/hour pay raise for hourly employees of the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) who work in the solid waste and road departments is on the agenda for tonight’s meeting.

See here the agenda.

The meeting begins at 5:30 PM, Dr. Charles H. Garrett Community Center, 182 Industrial Drive.

JPPJ Employee $2/hr Raise Fails on 3-3 Tie Vote

05/18/2015

A $2/hr across the board raise for hourly employees of the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) failed on a 3 to 3 tie vote at tonight’s meeting of the body.

Making the motion for the $2/hr amount was Ward Five’s Maxie Monroe, with Ward Four’s Billy Bryant seconding the motion. In addition to those two, Ward Two’s Eddie Langston voted for the motion.

Voting no were Todd Culpepper (Ward One), Chuck Garrett (Ward Six), and Lynn Treadway (Ward Seven).

Amy McGee (Ward Three) abstained.

Moments earlier, Garrett moved for a $1/hr raise, but no second was forthcoming.

Treadway said that the timing was not right for the raise, and that it should be discussed when budgets are worked up each year.

Monroe replied that she had tried to bring up the issue last year at budget time, but got little support.

Garrett noted that he had received numerous phone calls on the issue. “I never got so many phone calls,” he said.

McGee said that the raises should be based on merit, instead of across the board. As she was new on the jury, she didn’t know the employees well enough to cast an informed vote, she said.

Jackson Parish Police Jury to Vote on Employee $2/hr Raise Monday

05/15/2015

A committee meeting of the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) called for Monday, May 18, has now evolved into a meeting of the full jury.

On the agenda:

Consider the recommendation of the May 4th Finance Committee for implementing a $2.00 per hour pay increase effective with the pay period beginning May 16, 2015 for all hourly employees, and to provide that those employees currently working under probationary status will be eligible for the $2.00 per hour increase upon successful completion of their probationary period.

The meeting begins at 5:30 PM, Dr. Charles H. Garrett Community Center, 182 Industrial Drive.

See here the complete agenda.

Also, the Road Committee will meet at 5:00 PM.

See here the agenda.

JPPJ Employee Pay & History Detailed

05/14/2015

While the hourly employees of the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) may seem to earn relatively modest base pay compared with some in private industry, their fringe benefits help compensate significantly, documents obtained via a public records request show.

Also, employees have received cost of living raises every year save one, since 2004. The jury is considering whether to award an immediate $2.00/hr pay raise across the board to all hourly employees.

In the road crew, existing hourly pay scales range from a high of $20.86/hr to a low of $12.29/hr. In the solid waste department, the range is $18.86/hr to $11.15/hr.

All full-time employees receive employer paid retirement contributions that range from about $4,000 to $6,000 dollars annually. Very few employees in private industry receive employer funded retirement plans, but instead participate in 401K and other employee-funded plans, or pay into Social Security.

Also, JPPJ employees receive full employer paid medical plans that cost $6,733/year. Most private industry medical plans are now only half-funded by employers, with the balance paid by the employee.

The fringe benefits amount to about $5.00/hr.

The documents show that since 2004, employees have received a minimum of 2% cost of living raises each year, with one year (2007) receiving raises of 2% and 5%. In the year 2010, no raises were granted.

For the year 2015, a 2 1/2% raise was awarded.

See here the documents.

Jackson Parish Police Jury Committee to Meet on Employee Pay Raise Next Week

05/12/2015

Last night’s meeting of the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) discussed the matter of a $2/hr pay raise for Solid Waste, Road, and Maintenance employees, but delayed action until the Finance Committee could meet again on the issue.

The matter first surfaced at a 5/4/15 meeting of the Finance Committee:

Motion Mr. Garrett seconded Ms. Monroe to place on the May 11 regular session by a roll call vote, the recommendation of implementing a $2.00 per hour pay increase effective with the pay period beginning May 16, 2015 for all hourly employees, and to provide that those employees currently working under probationary status will be eligible for the $2.00 per hour increase upon successful completion of their probationary period. Motion carried.

See here the complete minutes.

The action comes days after Jackson Parish voters approved by a wide margin re-imposition of two ten-year sales taxes totaling 1% for roads and solid waste.

Jonesboro resident Donna Vines said she might have not voted for the taxes had she known of the pending raises.

Said Vines, “I did not vote for a tax for a pay raise. I voted for upkeep of roads, for waste management, whatever we need.”

She said that the employees received a 2 1/2% cost of living raise in January.

The jurors discussed adding the issue to the agenda, but decided to have another finance committee meeting next week (Monday, May 18, 5:00 PM) to further discuss the issue.

Jurors heard from a couple of residents in the Woodway Circle neighborhood on Caney Lake.

Robert Greer said a former private residence had been sold and had become a commercial-type facility. Greer said when the subdivision was originally developed, the lots were restricted to single-family residences.

The facility in question was being advertised for rent on several websites, Greer said. The jury was asked if there was anything they could to do about the situation.

Also speaking up was resident William Haikes.

Jury President Eddie Langston said he would research the matter and get back with the residents.

Bobby Jordan, Interim Administrator of the Jackson Parish Hospital reported that the building had some cosmetic issues, and the grounds needed “lots of work.”

Those issues aside, Jordan said that the radiology department, laboratory, and other diagnostic equipment was first-rate.

Jordan, who has been on the job for only a few days, said with proper organization and leadership, the facility would become something to be proud of.

Vote on $2/Hr Raise for JPPJ Employees Delayed

05/11/2015

A vote on a $2/hr raise for most of the hourly employees of the Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) was delayed at tonight’s meeting.

We will have additional reporting tomorrow with further details.


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