Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish Police Jury’ Category

LPPJ Nixes Lincoln Hall Alcohol Ordinance

05/10/2017

Lincoln Parish Police Jury meeting – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Faced with a meeting room filled to capacity with local citizens last night, the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) refused unanimously to amend the parish property ban on alcohol and allow Lincoln Hall to host events where it may be served.

The vote was 10-0. Two jurors – Annette Straughter and Joe Henderson were absent. All the jurors present – Theresa Wyatt, Hazel Hunter, Bobby Bennett, Randy Roberson, David Hammons, Walter Pullen, Jody Backus, Skip Russell, Nancy Wilson, and Sharyon Mayfield – voted against the proposed amendment.

Lincoln Hall was constructed in 2002. It is a 4800 sq ft banquet facility located adjacent to the North Louisiana Exhibition Center off Hwy 33, about five miles northeast of Ruston. The present lease agreement is in force until 2032.

Present tenant Carl Burton had last March asked permission to sell the remainder of his lease to Jimmy Shuff, and change the terms to allow events with alcohol.

See here the ordinance amendment that was voted upon.

Among the citizens commenting at the public hearing were: Henry Watts, Larry Bullock, Nell Manesco, Tommy Fredericks, Keith Huffman, Maggie Brown, Jill Parkman, Don Roberts, Joe Brown, George Parkman, Paula Rose, Ron Adams, Sandy Brown, Sonny Barnett, and Francis Grafton.

All the remarks reflected a desire to keep the Exhibition Center and adjacent area “family friendly,” and noted the potential problems that alcohol could cause.

Some typical comments:

Sonny Barnett: “I think having alcohol in that close a proximity (to the Expo Center), sharing the same parking lots, is not a healthy thing.”

Joe Brown: “When it starts taking away from the Expo and the parish, that concerns me.”

Don Roberts: “This place has a reputation for wholesomeness – good clean fun.”

Jill Parkman: “I have three small children. We’ve lived in different locations, and we made the decision to come back to Ruston. We knew that we wanted to find a place that we could call home and look to the future. We were looking for a healthy environment.”

In other news, the jury’s Personnel/Benefits Committee voted to begin advertising for the position of Parish Treasurer. Laura Hartt, appointed to the position in October, 2015, has accepted a position with the City of Ruston, and will assume her duties later this year.

Lincoln Parish Police Jury Tomorrow

05/08/2017

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) will meet Tuesday, May 9, Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor. Committee meetings begin at 5:30 PM.

Personnel/Benefits Committee – 5:30 PM

Public Property & Buildings Committee – 6:30 PM

Police Jury – 7:00 PM

Exhibition Center Commissioners Vote to Oppose Lincoln Hall Liquor Ordinance

05/01/2017

The governing Board of Commissioners of the North Louisiana Exhibition Center last week voted unanimously to oppose an ordinance that would allow Lincoln Hall to serve alcohol at events, Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) has learned.

Lincoln Hall is a privately operated, parish owned facility adjacent to the Exhibition Center off Farmerville Highway north of Ruston.

In March, the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) Public Works Committee voted to draft an ordinance for the change, and a public hearing on the proposed ordinance will be held at next Tuesday’s (5/9/17) jury meeting.

Any interested citizen can make comments at the hearing.

See here the proposed ordinance.

LPPJ President Randy Roberson (District Four) said the commission was concerned about the ordinance, as many of the arena’s events are family oriented. Roberson is a member of the Exhibition Center Commission.

The arena and the hall share a common parking area.

LPPJ Administrator Issue Goes Away

04/12/2017

A move by District Ten Juror Nancy Wilson to dismiss Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) Administrator Courtney Hall at last night’s meeting went nowhere when her motion got no second.

With no second, there was no opportunity for discussion or debate.

In Monday’s Ruston Daily Leader, Wilson promised she would explain her motives during the meeting.

A Comment

Having covered the Lincoln Parish Police Jury for almost eight years, we have gotten to know Courtney Hall quite well, from a public business standpoint.

During that time, he has never been anything but a professional in his dealings. He’s been responsive to questions and public records requests, and we think he’s a credit to Lincoln Parish and the jury.

And it’s not a very easy job. Think about it – he’s got twelve bosses…

Lincoln Parish Police Jury Tuesday

04/10/2017

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) will meet Tuesday, April 11, Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor. Committee meetings begin at 5:30 PM

Finance Committee – 5:30 PM

Agenda

Public Works Committee – 6:00 PM

Agenda

Police Jury – 7:00 PM

Agenda

Notable is the introduction of a change to the parish’s alcohol ordinance. Presently, consumption of alcohol on parish property or roads is prohibited. The change will allow consumption at Lincoln Hall.

A public hearing on the ordinance will be held at the May 9 jury meeting.

See here the document.

All You Need to Know About the Detention Center

04/09/2017

Five years ago, the entire budget for the Lincoln Parish Detention Center was $2.1 million, when LaSalle Southwest operated the facility. For 2017, the payroll alone is more than that figure. The jail is now operated by Sheriff Mike Stone.

Your tax dollars at work.

Some Ruston Misdemeanors Will no Longer Require Bail

03/31/2017

Some violators of City of Ruston misdemeanor ordinances will no longer be required to post a bond, and will instead be released on recognizance (ROR), which only requires a signature by the accused offender as a promise to appear at a court date. Among the offenses that may still require a cash bond are: assault, battery, DWI, resisting arrest, and flight from an officer.

The new policy was spelled out in an order by Ruston City Court Judge Danny Tatum.

Previously, there was a preset bond schedule for offenses.

See here the order.

Third Judicial District Court judges are said to be contemplating a similar order for that jurisdiction.

The action came as a result of a federal lawsuit in Bossier Parish that challenged the practice of preset bonds for minor crimes. The plaintiffs alleged that indigents charged with crimes often served jail time awaiting trial because they couldn’t afford bail, nor could they afford the $40 fee for an indigent attorney.

The new policy could result in a reduction of inmate population at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center, and negate the need to expand the jail’s capacity.

Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone is currently lobbying the Lincoln Parish Police Jury to “co-sign” for a $2.5 million construction project to add nearly 100 new cells at the jail.

Stone’s plan is also threatened by reductions in state funding for housing state prisoners, a major source of revenue for the local jail.

According to a 3/10/17 New Orleans Times Picayune news story, the daily rate which the state reimburses may be cut from $24.39 to $10.25.

Detention Center Commission Meets Today

03/16/2017

The Lincoln Parish Detention Center Commission will meet today, (Thurs, March 16), 10:00 AM, Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor.

Here is the agenda.

LPPJ Votes to Allow Lincoln Hall to go Wet

03/15/2017

On a three to one vote, the Public Works Committee of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) directed staff to proceed with drafting and introducing an ordinance that would permit patrons bring in and consume beverage alcohol at Lincoln Hall events. The operator of the facility wouldn’t be involved in the sale or serving alcohol.

Lincoln Hall is a parish-owned banquet facility adjacent to the North Louisiana Exhibition Center off Farmerville Road, and is operated by Carl Burton.

The committee also approved Burton’s request to sub-lease operation of the facility to Jimmy Shuff, who has operated a catering and “deejay” business.

Voting for the motion were Theresa Wyatt (District One), David Hammonds (District Five), and Skip Russell (District Eight). Voting no was Bobby Bennett (District Three).

When the full jury voted to accept the committee report, District Twelve’s Annette Straughter voted no. At last month’s meeting, she had objected strongly to allowing alcohol at the hall.

The vote came despite warnings by jury attorney and Assistant District Attorney Jeff Robinson who said that as owner of the building, the jury would likely be named in any lawsuit filed should an accident result from over-served patrons.

Said Robinson, “A plaintiff or a plaintiff’s lawyer, when they sue, the first thing they’re going to look at is where’s the deep pockets.” He added, “I do this for a living. I know how attorneys approach these things.”

The jury staff and attorney will draft an ordinance to be introduced and presented at a public hearing prior to a vote to adopt or reject.

Three years ago, Burton offered to sell his lease to the jury for $250 thousand, but no action was ever taken on his proposal.

In other business, the jury’s Long Range Planning Committee discussed several items that are to be more fully examined for possible future action, including additional beds at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center; improvements at the exhibition center; an animal control facility; repairs and remodeling the Lincoln Parish Court House; and a succession plan for jury staff.

Lincoln Parish Police Jury Tuesday

03/13/2017

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) will meet Tuesday, March 14, Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor. Committee meetings begin at 5:00 PM.

Public Works Committee – 5:00 PM
Agenda

Long Range Planning Committee – 5:30 PM
Agenda

Solid Waste & Recycling Committee – 6:30 PM
Agenda

Police Jury – 7:00 PM
Agenda