Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish Sheriff’ Category

Jail Addition Delays Discussed at Meeting

05/16/2019

This morning’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Detention Center saw discussion about delays in getting approval for a US Department of Agriculture loan to construct a 100 bed addition to the local jail.

Detention Center Warden Jim Tuten noted that this year’s original budget called for occupancy of the new wing around mid-year, but that was not now possible. About $700/day is spent housing overflow prisoners in other area jails, Tuten said.

Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone asked Lincoln Parish Police Jurors (LPPJ) Joe Henderson (District 9) and Randy Roberson (District 4) “What was the holdup.” Henderson chairs the commission, while Roberson, as LPPJ President, is also a commission member.

It appears that part of the delay was because the application was sent to the USDA office in Monroe, which was subsequently closed during the government shutdown earlier this year, and the paperwork was misplaced.

Henderson and Roberson noted that the sheriff was in charge of seeing that the process is properly followed, and that they were unaware of any issues.

Henderson said that while the delay was unfortunate, the jails budget has a comfortable surplus that can handle any short-term issues.

Also, Tuten reported that the jail didn’t escape last month’s tornado unscathed, as about 50 feet of the permiter fence was damaged.

Advertisements

Mays Found Guilty of Murder

05/05/2019

Cameron Mays, 33, was last night found guilty of the murder of retired Grambling professor Susan Hashway, who was found dead in her Paynter Drive home in Ruston in June, 2012.

A Lincoln Parish jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on five separate charges: aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, unauthorized use of an access card, and second-degree murder.

Comprehensive coverage of last week’s trial can be found in the Ruston Daily Leader’s articles by reporters Nancy Bergeron and Caleb Daniels.

Mays trial to begin Monday
Murder trial for man accused of killing GSU teacher begins
No opening statement made by defense
Testimony underway in Mays murder trial
Medical examiner: Murder victim suffocated
Prosecutors: Rape, murder cases similar

Our earlier reporting on the case can be found here.

McBride Announces for Lincoln Parish Tax Assessor

05/04/2019

Billy Mac McBride, Jr. announced today that he is a candidate for Assessor of Lincoln Parish.

McBride is the Chief Deputy Assessor for Lincoln Parish. As a Certified Deputy Assessor, McBride is involved in the valuation process of land, buildings, drilling rigs, oil and gas wells, cell towers, pipelines, and all general businesses as well as overseeing the daily operation of the Assessor’s office.

“Lincoln Parish has blessed me with so many opportunities,” McBride said.

“I’m running because I want to continue serving the people of Lincoln Parish. My wife and I are proud to call Lincoln Parish home.”

McBride said his campaign platform will be to work with all residents and businesses to ensure that assessments are fair and equitable. McBride added that both his experience in the private sector and in the government will give him a foundation to address the issues facing Lincoln Parish.

“Lincoln Parish is one of the brightest lights when it comes to economic development and entrepreneurship,” McBride said.

“ I want to work with our elected officials and community leaders to ensure that Lincoln Parish’s economic progress continues to grow stronger in the next few years.”

McBride was the Ruston OTASCO store Assistant Manager before he began working for the Weyerhaeuser Plywood Division in 1986. After 23 years with Weyerhaeuser, he accepted a position at the Lincoln Parish Assessor’s Office where he has served for the past 10 years.

McBride is a member of the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO). He is a Certified Louisiana Deputy Assessor (CLDA) with over 240 hours of IAAO classroom education.

McBride is a graduate of Lincoln Leadership XXXII. He is a member of Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Rotary Club, Ruston Community Men’s Shed, NRA, and National Wild Turkey Federation.

Billy Mac and Janet Hall McBride have been married for 35 years. They have two children, Ashley McBride and Adam McBride, who is married to Tiffany Brown McBride. Billy Mac and Janet have two grandchildren, Tripp, age six, and Harper, age two.

For the past 10 years Janet has operated her own business, Janet McBride Court Reporting, in Ruston.
Billy Mac and Janet are members of First Baptist Church in Ruston.

Billy Mac enjoys spending time with his family and working with wood to create walking canes, furniture and other items.

Very Small Change in Sumlin Case

03/27/2019

Yesterday afternoon’s hearing on former Louisiana State Representative William Sumlin’s 3 1/2 year-old case of indecent behavior with juvenile(s) saw a slight change from the other many times the issue was delayed.

Sumlin’s attorney, Monroe’s LaValle Salomon said he was withdrawing a motion to strike that he had filed early in the case. He added that there were several other motions pending that needed resolution, and that once again he was requesting a delay.

Chief Felony Prosecutor Lewis Jones had no objection to the delay, and Division B Judge Tommy Rogers granted the request.

We will be at the next hearing to report what happens in the people’s Third Judicial District Court at 1:30 PM, June 25, 2019.

Speculation Rampant on Lincoln Sheriff Plans

01/24/2019

The local political gossip has gone into high gear this week, after word got out that Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone had called an “all hands on deck” meeting of all deputies, including the Sheriff’s Citizen Observer Patrol (SCOP) for this afternoon.

Informed speculation is that Stone may announce his retirement and leave office at the end of the current term, which ends June 30, 2020. Stone took office on June 30, 2004.

Elections are set for this fall, with the primary on Saturday, October 12, 2019. If a runoff is needed, the election will be Saturday, November 16.

If Stone retires, expect his Chief Criminal Deputy Stephen Williams to throw his hat into the ring, with Stone’s blessing.

Regardless of what Stone does, there WILL be a race for sheriff this fall.

Running hard for the past year is former deputy George Webb.

LPNO readers will recall that Webb’s sister, Becky, ran a very strong race for Lincoln Parish Tax Assessor in 2011, receiving 45% of the vote.

Local political observers have noted that Webb is working the parish non-stop, and never fails to shake every hand anyplace a crowd is gathered.

Also running is former Ruston Police Chief Randal Hermes.

Hermes now serves as Chief of the Louisiana Tech University Police.

Update – 7:40 PM

As expected, Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone announced today that he would not be seeking re-election this fall, LPNO has learned.

Someone’s Not Being Truthful about Lincoln Parish School Resource Officers

12/14/2018

There are questions regarding the Lincoln Parish School Resource Officers (SRO) Program that need to be answered prior to any vote for additional taxes.

Specifically, taxpayers need to know which of the district’s schools now have an SRO assigned to them, and what agency has ownership of the program.

Here’s what’s posted on the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s website:

School Resource Officer

Deputies in the Juvenile Division are certified as an SRO. Deputies are assigned a school that they work at to provide security and safety for the students, faculty and staff. The SRO’s work during the school day as well as school sponsored events. The Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office currently has SRO’s assigned to all parish schools from Elementary to High School.

From Sheriff Mike Stone’s 4/8/15 re-election announcement:

“We’ve always been prudent and good stewards of the public’s money,” Stone said. “From putting School Resource Officers in our schools to adding an elderly protection officer and implementing the ‘How are You’ program to check on our seniors, we’ve been able to offer the services that help make Lincoln Parish a safe environment to live, work and raise families.”

In a 1/27/12 press release asking voters to approve a 1/4 cent sales tax increase, Stone said this:

“When we took office eight years ago, we promised several things,” Stone said. “More patrol and visibility on the street, adding an additional investigator, strengthening our drug interdiction (LPNET) and elderly protection (TRIAD) programs, putting an SRO officer in every school, improving litter abatement and animal control, and adding special patrol deputies (SCAT and CAP).”

“We feel we’ve delivered on our promises and have been good stewards of the public’s money, and we ask for your trust that we will continue to do so.”

It is clear that Stone has claimed ownership of the School Resource Officer program ever since he’s been in office. Nothing has ever been said by the Sheriff’s Office that indicates the school district should pay for the program.

But at last week’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board, District Superintendent Mike Milstead said that only half the district’s schools had SROs assigned to them, and that the additional officers would have to be paid for by a new property tax.

Said Milstead, “One of the main components, and the original main thrust of this was for the safety of our children. Every one of our schools should have a School Resource Officer. Right now, thanks to the generosity of the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department and a grant they have, seven of the schools have full-time School Resource Officers. But that means seven do not. We as a district need to everything we can to make it possible for our kids to have a safe learning environment.”

Clearly, Milstead is claiming that the primary need for new taxes is based on the safety of schoolchildren.

So which is it?

Do all Lincoln Parish Schools have SROs, or not? Or has Stone not fulfilled his promises to protect “all parish schools from Elementary to High School?”

And, if the cost of the SRO program must now be borne by the school district, when did that shift occur? Stone indicated in 2012 that part of the reason for a new tax was to help pay for the SRO program.

Or is the children safety issue being used to frighten taxpayers into supporting another tax increase, while most of the money goes elsewhere?

Detention Center Commission Adopts Budgets

12/13/2018

2019 and 2018 (amended) budgets for the Lincoln Parish Detention Center were adopted at yesterday’s meeting of the commission that runs the jail.

The 2018 budget was amended to show $4.06 million in revenues and expenditures.

The 2019 budget predicts $6.87 million in revenues and $6.83 million in expenditures. The jump reflects the expected cost of the new 100 bed wing that is in the planning stage.

See here the documents:

2018 amended
2019 proposed

There was a bit of discussion about what effect a new law would have on jail operations, where next year 17-year olds charged with a crime will be treated as juveniles, rather than adults. Juveniles must be incarcerated in facilities separate from adult prisoners.

Also, jail Warden Jim Tuten announced that Chad Alexander had been promoted to Assitant Warden at the jail, effective December 7.

Said Tuten, “He brings a lot of experience with him, and I’m glad to have him over there with me.”

Mays Rejects Plea Offer

11/20/2018

Cameron Mays has rejected an offer by prosecutors to plead guilty to Second Degree Murder.

Mays, along with his attorney Kia Richardson, was in Third Judicial District Court in Ruston this morning.

The offer included a life sentence that would run concurrently with the life sentence that Mays is now serving, after he was convicted in April, 2016 of aggravated rape. Also, the offer included dropping other charges against him.

As a result, Mays is now set to go to trial at 9:00 AM, 2/25/19.

He allegedly killed retired Grambling Professor Susan Hashway in her Paynter Drive home in June of 2012.

Appearing for the prosecution was Assistant Attorney General Michele Thompson.

Presiding was Division B Judge Tommy Rogers.

Detention Center 2019 Budget Proposed

11/11/2018

Friday’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Detention Center Commission saw two budget documents proposed and discussed – the 2018 amended budget, and the 2019 proposed budget. Both will be considered for approval in a upcoming meeting before year-end.

2018 amended budget
2019 proposed budget

For 2018, revenues were slightly better than originally projected, $4.26 million vs $4.22 million.

Expenditures were slightly lower than projected, coming in at $4.1 million vs $4.29 originally projected.

2019 revenues are projected at $6.87 million, with expenditures predicted to be $6.83 million.

The jump in revenues and expenses for 2019 is due to the $2.5 million cost of the jail addition. On the revenue side it was shown under a line item labeled USDA loan. In the expenditures, it was shown as capital outlay.

However, no expenditure line item was shown for any repayment of loan principal and interest back to the Lincoln Parish Police Jury, the entity actually borrowing the $2.5 million.

Sheriff Mike Stone has said on numerous occasions that he will repay the jury in full for the loan. At a recent jury meeting, juror Walter Pullen said he would like to see a signed agreement from the sheriff regarding the loan.

When questioned about the line item, it was said that the repayment would be included in the amended 2019 budget that will be presented later next year.

We will question the jury’s finance committee at the upcoming meeting to determine where that repayment money will show up on its budget documents.

We were disappointed that no jury members were at the meeting, save Joe Henderson, who chairs the commission.

Ammonia Pipeline Update

09/21/2018

Lincoln Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness For Information, Contact Kip Franklin, Director at 318-251-6454 or kfranklin@lincolnparish.org

Lincoln Parish, Ammonia Pipeline Leak

Lincoln Parish – September 21, 2018, 2:00 pm

Reporting on the Ammonia Pipeline Incident in Lincoln Parish. Louisiana

The State Police Emergency Services Division and Department of Environmental Quality personnel have cleared the incident scene at the ammonia pipeline. NuStar Pipeline officials continue making progress on repairs to the pipeline with hopes of completing the work on Saturday.

State police patrol units will keep La. Hwy. 822 closed from Bartlett Road to La. Hwy. 33 through the night and then open the road to through traffic at 8 am on Saturday morning, September 22nd.

Access to this section of La. Hwy. 822 is for LOCAL RESIDENTS ONLY, and no traffic will be allowed through the immediate work site until the road is opened on Saturday morning at 8 am. Lincoln Parish School Bus traffic will resume their routine routes on Monday, September 24th.

###