Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Former Parish Fire Chief Loses Appeal on Comp Pay, Benefits

08/15/2018

Louisiana’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against former Lincoln Parish Fire District No. 1 Fire Chief Dennis Ford, and upheld a Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court decision that Ford is not entitled to comp time pay and paid medical benefits.

Wrote Judge Francis Jones Pittman, on behalf of a three-judge panel:

The trial court correctly determined that Mr. Ford is exempt as an executive, administrative or professional employee under the terms of the Fair Labor Standards Act and, therefore, is not entitled to compensatory time.

And,

Mr. Ford did not have a vested right in health insurance as a retiree because this benefit was eliminated for retirees of LPFPD prior to his retirement. He testified that he approached the Board with the recommendation to obtain a new insurance policy. In 2007, he signed the application with BCBS, which states that the “retiree class is a closed class. No other retirees will be allowed to enroll.” He was aware that the retiree class was a closed class almost seven years before his retirement. Therefore, he did not prove that he had a vested right in health insurance as a retiree, and the trial court did not err in denying his claim.

See here the complete judgement.

Ford had originally sued in September, 2014 and had demanded nearly half a million dollars in comp time.

Ford’s attorney was Daniel Street. Representing the district was Shreveport Attorney Michael Lowe.

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George Tommy Campbell 1941-2017

11/16/2017

George Tommy Campbell, 76, Lincoln Parish, passed away on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Funeral services will be held on Friday, November 17, 2017, at 11:00 AM in the chapel of Kilpatrick Funeral Home in Ruston. Rev. Carroll Holmes will officiate. Interment will follow at Fellowship Cemetery in Dubach, LA under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home in Ruston. Visitation will be on Friday, November 17, from 10:00 AM until the service.

George, a veteran of the U.S. Army, was a lifelong resident of Lincoln Parish. He attended Sharon Baptist Church. He was preceded in death by his mother, Honor Bennett Campbell; father, G. W. Campbell; and brother, James C. Campbell.

Survivors are his brother, Kenneth W. Campbell and wife, Constance, of Leesburg FL; nephews, Howard Campbell of Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Michael Campbell of Aspen, CO; niece, Belinda Hetzman of MT. Pleasant, MI; and by a host of friends.

Pallbearers will be Justin Landrum, Buddy Burnham, Chris Burnham, Dale Williams, Larry Barnett, Sonny Barnett, Tommy Doss, and Lynn Traylor. Honorary pallbearers will be John Freeman, Danny Murphy, and William Barnett.

Memorials may be made to Sharon Baptist Church.

Online condolences may be made to the family at www.kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com

Lincoln School Board Tuesday

07/10/2017

The Lincoln Parish School Board will meet Tuesday, July 11, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

There are quite a few personnel changes, as is common between school terms.

See here the list.

Ruston Board of Aldermen to Meet Monday

07/09/2017

Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, July 10, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here is the agenda.

The annual property tax ordinance will be introduced, with a final vote to be set at a later meeting.

The proposed millage rates are the same as was levied last year, a 5.25 mil rate for ordinary expenses, and a 2.92 mil rate for maintenance and operation of recreation buildings and equipment.

Lincoln Parish Active Rig Count Trending Up

05/28/2017

There are eight active drilling locations in Lincoln Parish as of last Friday, according to Baker Hughs’ weekly Rig Count webpage. All are horizontal gas wells.

About year ago, as few as three rigs were active in the parish.

According to Baker Hughs’ map, four rigs are active in the McCullin Road area south of hwy 151 and 146; one is on Mitcham Peach Orchard Road; one south of Vienna just east of US 167; and two between hwy 33 and Frazier Road.

The increased activity comes as natural gas prices hover at slightly above the $3 per thousand cubic foot price. A year ago, the prices were under $2.

Perhaps more important is the significant increase in efficiencies of oil/gas drilling and production, according to industry experts. That means that companies can be profitable at lower prices.

Crooked St Charles DA Update

09/19/2016

Records: Feds weighed racketeering charge against Harry Morel

By Jim Mustian

The U.S. Department of Justice approved but later declined to pursue federal racketeering charges against Harry Morel, the former St. Charles Parish district attorney who admitted this year to soliciting sexual favors from women facing criminal charges, according to FBI records released Monday.

Federal prosecutors had been planning to charge Morel with “at least 30 racketeering acts,” including solicitation of sexual bribes, according to a PowerPoint presentation prepared by Michael Zummer, the FBI’s lead agent on the case.

The presentation, released Monday in response to a public records request, offered several new details about the long-running investigation, including graphic allegations that Morel forced at least two women to perform oral sex on him and groped several others.

But Zummer’s summary of the case, forwarded to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office for consideration of potential state charges, does not explain why the Justice Department ultimately decided to charge Morel with only a single count of obstructing justice.

Morel pleaded guilty to that charge in March and is expected to begin serving a three-year prison term later this month. A racketeering conviction would have subjected him to a prison term of up to 20 years, but prosecutors apparently decided they could not prove that charge beyond a reasonable doubt, even though they threatened to charge Morel with racketeering at one point.

07/22/2016

greg reynolds crop

Junket Time!!

04/18/2016

When you drop your income tax return into the mailbox today, pause for a moment and think how many of our “public servants” put your hard-earned tax dollars to use.
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The 12/7/15 Ruston City Council Meeting

12/08/2015

Last night’s meeting of the Ruston Board of Aldermen saw a slew of resolutions adopted, including one pertaining to the Monster Moto project.

That resolution is in the form of a contract with the State of Louisiana for a community development block grant that will fund development of streets and utilities relative to the project.  If approved, the grant will reimburse the city $870 thousand.

See here the documents.

Also approved was a resolution to purchase another 13 acres in the industrial park, near the intersection of McDonal Avenue and Beacon Light Road. That parcel is priced at $70 thousand, according to Kristi Lumpkin, the city’s economic development officer.

Finally, the council reviewed and approved a list of substandard structures that must be rehabilitated or demolished.

See here the memo.

LPPJ Flip-Flops on Tax Breaks for Local Hotels

11/11/2015

Several votes switched at last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury’s (LPPJ) Economic Development Committee, regarding tax breaks for two hotels that are under construction in Lincoln Parish. The action will allow the projects to forgo payment of 3/4 of a percent in sales taxes on construction materials.

At the 9/8/15 meeting of the jury, two projects were denied the break, one of which was subsequently approved last night.

Changing votes to approve the breaks were Skip Russell (District 8), Hazel Hunter (District Two), and Joe Henderson (District 9). Previously, they had voted to deny the incentives. Voting to deny the application were Bobby Bennett (District 3) and Randy Roberson (District 4).

The full jury subsequently approved the committee’s action, with Bennett and Roberson again voting no.

During the discussion, it was said that some of the jurors who voted two months ago to deny the application were confused and intended to vote otherwise, because their vote was on an amendment instead of the underlying motion.

Last night’s action follows a protracted campaign in news stories and editorials by the local daily newspaper, the Ruston Daily Leader, to bring the issue back up for a vote.

The jury’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Committee approved negotiations between the jury and area oil and gas operators to sell water from the Lincoln Parish Park’s lake for hydrofracking of wells.

Skepticism of the project from committee members turned positive when it was learned that the sale could bring in $200 thousand or more, which could be used to make park improvements.

The Public Property and Buildings Committee approved relocation of the Sales and Use Tax Office from the old Federal Building to the ground floor of the courthouse, and relocation of the LSU Extension Office to the Police Jury Complex on Alabama Avenue.

Finally, the Personnel/Benefits Committee approved three board members for the Ruston-Lincoln Convention and Visitor’s Bureau – Jeff Parker, Tiffany Baldwin, and Richard Lewis. Two Lincoln Parish Fire Protection District No. 1 board members were also reappointed – Mike Fulton and Ray Robinson.