Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Reprint of 12/14/18 LPSB News Article

09/07/2019

Since the issue of School Resource Officers (SRO) funding has resurfaced in connection with a proposed school board 1/2 cent sales tax, we thought we would re-run a news article from last December that sheds some light on the issue.

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

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?

Ruston City Council Meeting Monday

08/18/2019

The Ruston City Council will meet Monday, August 19, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, first floor.

The only agenda item is an ordinance setting the date, time, and place for the 2019 regular monthly meetings of the city’s Board of Aldermen.

Louisiana Revised Statute 42:19 requires all public bodies enact a resolution, ordinance, or law yearly.

§19. Notice of meetings

A.(1)(a) All public bodies, except the legislature and its committees and subcommittees, shall give written public notice of their regular meetings, if established by law, resolution, or ordinance, at the beginning of each calendar year. Such notice shall include the dates, times, and places of such meetings.

Here’s Who’s Running for What in Lincoln Parish

08/08/2019

Ruston City Council Monday

03/03/2019

Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, March 4, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton, first floor courtroom.

Here’s the agenda.

“You’re Welcome, Sheriff Stone” – Lincoln Parish Taxpayers

01/28/2019

Source: Louisiana Legislative Audit – 06/30/2017, pg 49

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.

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.