Archive for the ‘LSU’ Category

Key Edwards Medical Advisor a Shreveport Dentist & Oral Surgeon


The individual that Louisiana Governor Bel Edwards is relying upon for much of his medical advice is a Shreveport oral surgeon and dentist.

Dr. G. E. Ghali is Chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport.

According to a KTBS-TV3 (Shreveport) news report last week, Edwards is in constant communication with Ghali. And almost daily, during the governor’s briefing, there is a reference made of the Shreveport hospital.

According to Ghali’s bio, his practice includes primary cleft repair, cosmetic surgery, and head and neck cancer. Other professional interest are pediatric craniofacial deformities (cleft lip and palate, and dentofacial deformities). Surgical and teaching interests include dentoalveolar surgery, dental implants, cosmetic surgery, head and neck oncology, and trauma.

His degrees include Baylor College of Dentistry, Parkland Memorial Medical Center (Surgery), LSU Medical School, and Emanuel Hospital (Surgery).

However, it appears none of Ghali’s areas of practice or specialties include epidemiology, the study of distributions, causes, prevention, and the control diseases in populations.

Other members of LSU’s leadership team also appear to lack that background.

In a Zack Parker article in The Ouachita Citizen yesterday, Ghali is quoted as saying Louisiana should remain under lockdown through the end of May.

“I think it’s a mistake to open too early,” he said.

Wrote Parker:

If the state of Louisiana does not keep social distancing restrictions in place through May, the state’s residents could suffer from a second wave of COVID-19 infections and deaths, a top state health official who reportedly communicates regularly with Gov. John Bel Edwards says.


When do the Politicians Take a Pay Cut?


Over the last six weeks, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and hundreds of thousands of those have been our fellow Louisiana citizens.

As we had predicted, local governments have begun to trim their payrolls, because their tax revenues have been vaporized by shutdowns. School districts, police juries, and cities have furloughed employees.

Have any local politicians volunteered to cut his/her pay? Very few, if any.

In any of the last month’s public meetings we’ve been to, or watched online, never has that subject come up.

City councils? Police jurors? School board members? Judges? District attorneys? Senators? Representatives? Sheriffs?

So when will our “public servants” show they are really willing to share the pain that the people who pay their salaries are now enduring?

Local Government Layoffs Soon?


Unlike the Federal Government, The State of Louisiana and local governments cannot print money. They must rely on current revenues to meet expenses.

Lincoln Parish local budgets, with which we are intimately familiar, rely on sales taxes for a large percentage of revenue. The City of Ruston, in particular, funds all of the new 1.5% tax on restaurants and hotels.

With Gov. John Bel Edwards order shuttering restaurants all across the Bayou State, he has vaporized a huge revenue stream for local and state governments. Tourism will go away in the blink of an eye.

The largest expense component for government is payroll, in some cases making up 85% of expenses.

Many teachers probably thought closing the schools would amount to a month-long paid vacation. They perhaps should spend their time updating their resumes.

Used to be, having a government job was seen as having a lifetime guarantee of employment. You had to really mess up to get fired. Great retirement and medical benefits, too.

That hayride is about to end.

Audit: LSU Prof paid for no Work


LSU faculty member was paid over $400K over 3 years without working, according to state audit
By Will Sentell – The (Baton Rouge) Advocate

A member of the faculty for the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine knowingly accepted over $400,000 in salary and benefits without doing the work over 38 months, Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera said Monday.

Management of the school also failed to take sufficient action to address the lack of work, Purpera said.

School leaders did not dispute the gist of the report.

“We agree with the finding that the faculty member knowingly failed to perform his duties for LSU for a significant period of time,” Joel D. Baines, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, said in a written response.

“When asked to provide documentation to demonstrate fulfilling his duties to LSU since he submitted the last grant proposal in February, 2015 the faculty member was unable to provide any documentation,” according to Purpera’s report.

He was directed to appear at the school for the fall, 2018 semester and perform his duties but had not done so as of Sept. 29 of last year.

The faculty member was still employed by LSU as of Jan. 24 of this year.

Louisiana Legislative Auditor – LSU Audit

Trump Expected in Baton Rouge: WBRZ-TV2 Baton Rouge


Donald Trump expected in Baton Rouge Friday

By: Trey Schmaltz

BATON ROUGE – President-elect Donald Trump is expected in Baton Rouge Friday afternoon, multiple sources told WBRZ Tuesday.

Sources spoke on condition of anonymity as the event is still being planned. Two sources with knowledge of a planned visit said staff were trying to find a venue. Before the election, Trump’s schedule was regularly updated with seemingly spur-of-the-moment rallies that were heavily attended. Events are known to attract thousands of people. At a campaign event in Baton Rouge in early 2016, more than 10,000 filled the River Center. A visit Friday may require space for more than the number of people who attended the first Baton Rouge campaign stop.

Trump would likely be in Baton Rouge stumping for State Treasurer John Kennedy who is in a runoff election against Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell for David Vitter’s seat in the U.S. Senate. Vitter decided not to run for re-election after losing the race for governor to John Bel Edwards.

Should Trump visit Baton Rouge Friday, it’d be his third visit in 2016. In August, Donald Trump spent a few hours touring flood-damaged areas. He held the campaign event at the River Center in February.

Government Shutters for Rain


State offices in EBR, elsewhere to close at noon amid weather concerns

by Capitol News Bureau

State offices in East Baton Rouge Parish and at least 14 others will close at noon on Tuesday because of the chance of inclement weather, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne announced Tuesday morning.

The list of closings includes West Baton Rouge, Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and West Feliciana parishes.

The Secretary of State’s Office also announced Tuesday that early voting in the presidential primary in Louisiana is closed at noon in the following parishes: East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Lafourche, Livingston, ST. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and West Baton Rouge. Early voing will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Forecasts call for heavy rains and strong winds, especially Tuesday afternoon.

Lots of public and private schools in south Louisiana are closed Tuesday because of weather concerns.

LSU, S. LA Schools Cancelled for Rain Threat


South Louisiana schools, LSU announce Tuesday closures


On Monday, West Baton Rouge Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish, East Baton Rouge Head Start, Zachary, Central, East/West Feliciana, St. Helena, Pointe Coupee, Iberville, Livingston, Ascension, Tangipahoa, St. James and Baker public schools and Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic, Parkview Baptist, Dunham School, Louisiana Key Academy, Democracy Prep Baton Rouge and LSU Lab private schools announced classes are canceled Tuesday.

LSU and Baton Rouge Community College also announced canceled classes starting Tuesday at noon.

In the greater New Orleans area St. Tammany and Washington parishes announced schools are closed Tuesday. Northlake Christian, Archbishop Hannan and Pope John Paul High School on the northshore will also close Tuesday.

The forecast calls for an enhanced risk for severe weather across most of Louisiana with some areas in Washington, Tangipahoa and St. Helena parishes facing a greater risk.

On Monday afternoon, West Baton Rouge Parish Schools Superintendent Wesley Watts announced that classes would be cancelled because the worst of the storms would be happening just when students would be released from school.

“I don’t want kids on the road,” Watts said.

A Message from E. J. Forgotston



That’s the question I’ve heard over and over again after my loving husband C.B. Forgotston died on the morning of Jan. 3. He shot and killed himself.

In some cases, family members try to hide a suicide. I thought it was important for people to know how he died.

I think it’s also important for people to know that C.B. suffered all his adult life with clinical depression. It got so bad at the end that he felt like he had no way out.

He did not share his depression with others. In fact, he didn’t even use that word, not even with me for a long time. He simply told me that he needed “quiet time.” I guess I thought he just needed his space. I didn’t realize he was depressed.

He told me that others in his family had suffered mental problems, including his mother. She became ill when C.B. was seven. She was diagnosed as being bipolar, which I think was a word that physicians used when they really didn’t have a clear understanding of the situation. She was in and out of institutions until her death at the age of 96 in 2014.

C.B. managed his depression with daily medicines. He was a senior staffer for years at the Legislature, and afterwards he was a top business lobbyist. Over the past 20 years, the general public got to know him from his frequent appearances on talk radio and in TV interviews.

In recent years, he expressed his views on state government and politics in pointed emails, through his blog and through Twitter. I’m proud that he always expressed his views about what was right, even if others didn’t always want to hear it.

Over time, he opened up with me about his depression, especially after Hurricane Katrina destroyed our home in New Orleans and led us to move to Hammond.

When a particular drug was no longer effective, doctors put him on a different medication. This continued until six months ago when the latest medication stopped working well. After that, his doctor tried four or five different drug combinations. None of them seemed to work.

His experience with his mother scared him. He had dealt with having to care for her since childhood, especially after his father died in l987, and the entire burden fell on him. He feared becoming a burden on me.

Right after Christmas, we discussed his depression once again, and this time I told him that he should share his battle with close friends and a major business client. I was sure that it would be a great relief to him and that it could make it easier for him to cope.

C.B. agreed but wasn’t sure how to do so. I suggested that he send them an email.

Even writing it was too much for him. So I wrote it for him. This is what I wrote:

“For the last several months C. B. has been dealing with some health issues.

He has been under a doctor’s care, and they are working with us to readjust medications to find the correct combination.

Today, after his appointment, the doctor has recommended that C.B. take a month off to rest and recover.

Please understand that he would like to convey this to each of you personally, however, during this time, rest with as little stress as possible is necessary for his recovery.

Thank you for your understanding. E. J.”

He agreed he would send it on Jan. 4. But the day before, he left me a note while I was sleeping and slipped out of the house.

C.B. and I had a wonderful life. We shared small-town values – he was from Newellton, I’m from Kentwood – and we both had success in the big city, me as an interior designer in New Orleans, him with his influence on state government.

He had great friends – I couldn’t believe that hundreds of people would turn out for his funeral – and loved living in Hammond.

He was not an unhappy person, as some people have suggested to me in recent days. No, he suffered from a mental illness that he could no longer control at the end.

My hope is that in going public with C.B.’s depression – and his inability to be more forthcoming about it with people close to him – I can encourage others in a similar situation to find the help they need, before it’s too late.

C. B.’s loving wife,

Ella Joy “E.J.” Adams Forgotston

C. B. Forgotston, Jr. Memorialized Yesterday in Hammond

C. B. Forgotston, Jr. Memorial Service - Hamond, LA, Friday, January 8, 2016

C. B. Forgotston, Jr. Memorial Service – Hamond, LA, Friday, January 8, 2016

More than 300 friends, family, and acquaintances gathered yesterday at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Hammond to remember C. B. Forgotston, Jr., the most genuine political iconoclast in modern Louisiana history.

Hundreds more came for the visitation prior to the services.

He dared to believe that the citizens of Louisiana deserved honest government, and worked tirelessly to that end.

Forgotston died last Sunday at age 70.

Former Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) president Dan Jeneau eulogized Forgotston thus: “He was the bravest man I ever knew. And he paid the price.”

Nephew John Adams spoke of how Forgotston became a surrogate father to him while growing up.

Forgotston’s widow, Ella Joy (E. J.) Adams Forgotston delivered a heart-wrenching account of his kindness, thoughtfulness, and sense of humor. It was a side perhaps not known to many who knew Forgotston only in his public persona of unflinching confrontation to government corruption.

Officiating at the service was Deacon Jerry Martinez, who remarked wryly about a Catholic Priest conducting a funeral service for a Jewish man who was married to an Episcopalian. Forgotston often attended retreats at Manresa, that were led by Martinez.

Scattered throughout the crowd were present and former politicians, many who at one time or another were the target of Forgotston’s barbs. Likely many were there because they were afraid not to be.

Some Commentary

C. B. Forgotston, Jr. was a friend and a mentor.

I got to know him over twenty years ago when he said that it wasn’t a good thing for a state with history of political corruption to form an alliance with Organized Gambling, and embrace a behavior that is incompatible with hard work, discipline and thrift.

His prediction proved prophetic. Despite the billions in tax income from slot machines and dice tables, Louisiana seems poorer than it ever was before.

Over the years, we shared many ideas, theories, conversations, and vociferous arguments about the art of self-government.

I learned much more from him than I think he learned from me.

I had no intention of reporting on yesterday’s events in Hammond when another long-time friend and I made plans to attend the service. We simply wanted to pay our respects to our friend and his family.

However, about halfway through the service, I realized that the ceremony was news, because C. B. Forgotston also belonged to the long-suffering Louisiana citizen and taxpayer, as much as he belonged to his family and friends.

He was vox populi, the voice of the people, when members of what Forgotston derisively called the “paid media” failed to do their jobs as watchdogs of government.

So I say goodbye, Don Quixote. Thanks for all you taught me.

Your Betters Think You Don’t Pay Enough Taxes


A much-ballyhooed gathering of public policy “experts” were in town yesterday to tell us why you taxpayers need to do with less so that government doesn’t have to.

Here is the KTVE-TV10 report:

Officials gather to discuss numerous possibilities on how to overcome Louisiana’s $1.6 billion shortfall.

State Representative, Rob Shadoin, says it’s going to take everyone coming together whether they’re from the left or the right.

“What I am hoping is that we can come together as Louisianian’s first, and leave all the party labels outside that big tall building known as the Capital in Baton Rouge,” says Shadoin.

The Committee of 100, a group of business and university leaders from around the state, lays out a fiscal strategy.

“We have to restructure the tax code. We have to find a way to broaden the tax base. We have to find a way to flatten the tax base,” says CEO, Michael Olivier.

Here is the complete report from the Committee of 100:

Louisiana Fiscal Reform