Monday, August 24, 2015

Ryan Gatti ends month of events in Minden Thursday

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Ryan Gatti, candidate for State Senate District 36, will end a month of district wide meet and greets and town hall meetings with an event in Minden on August 27 at Orleans on Main.  The public is invited to the event that starts at 6:00.  Gatti has spent the past few weeks traveling and getting to know people from the smallest towns in the district, areas often forgotten by elected officials in Baton Rouge.   

“The needs and concerns of these small towns is so personal and often times, very unique, however, very few people take the time to really get to know these issues and spend time in the towns with the people who live there.  I’ve gotten to know place likes Castor, Sibley, Plain Dealing and Doyline.  I’ve come to know what they really care about and will be able to truly represent them as the State Senator for District 36.  I look forward to having the same conversation with the people in Minden Thursday night and I will keep visiting this entire district, long after election day, because energetic and present leadership is what we deserve,” said Gatti.

About Ryan
Ryan Gatti is running to replace Senator Robert Adley for the seat that represents constituents in Bossier, Webster, Claiborne and Bienville Parishes. 
For the last 15 years, Ryan Gatti has served Northwest Louisiana as a Bossier based attorney and small business owner. He has helped countless families going through their toughest times, including families dealing with situations resulting in traumatic brain injuries. He served as President of the Bossier Bar Association and in 2013, he was selected to receive a Crystal Gavel Award for his commendable efforts in aiding the administration of justice by gathering and reviewing a significant number of cases on behalf of the 26th Judicial District Court. Ryan also sat as District 1W Judge in Shreveport from 2007-2009, presiding over Workers’ Compensation trials.
A lifelong conservative, Ryan is the Vice President of the Republican Party of Bossier Parish.  An active member of First Baptist Church of Bossier, he is both a deacon and teacher for kids and youth, and has participated in mission trips to impoverished parts of the world such as Haiti, El Salvador and Mexico. Ryan has also served as a trustee on the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention since 2012. He also volunteered as a coach of Dixie League Softball and Upwards Soccer.

Ryan is a graduate of Airline High School, LSU and LSU Law School. He has been married to Susan Gatti, Ph.D. for over 18 years.  Together they have created their greatest accomplishments – their four daughters Katherine (15), Elizabeth (12), Rebecca (8) and Charlotte (5). 
If you are a candidate for office and would like to address the voters with your platform for office, please send a few paragraphs to and we will publish it.  Attach a picture if you like and we’ll include it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Todd Hollenshead announces for State Senate

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Todd Hollenshead, a small businessman, farmer, and Louisiana native, has announced his candidacy for the Louisiana Senate District 36 seat representing all of Webster Parish and parts of Bienville, Bossier and Claiborne parishes. The seat is currently occupied by Robert Adley of Benton, who is term-limited.  The primary election is October 24.
Hollenshead is concerned about the state’s $700 million annual budget deficit, the rising cost of college tuition, industry leaving the state, and the struggles facing Louisiana-based small businesses. He is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and supports gun rights.
“I believe our state needs new direction. We need leaders who will work hard for Louisiana and not be tied to the lobbyists and out-of-state special interests. I will listen to the concerns of our small-business owners, working families and the middle class and get to work for them.”
“There is nothing like having a grandchild to make a person want to improve their community,” Hollenshead said.  “That is one of the main things driving me to seek this Senate seat. So that not only my children, but all of our children, have the same shot at the American Dream that I did.”
Hollenshead also said he would fight for what is best for local schools and retirees, “It’s time to get our state government back to the basics. To start, we need local control of our schools. Across the board, lobbyists and out-of-state special interests have too much influence in Baton Rouge. I will listen to voters and defend our common values.”
Hollenshead is a senior project manager for Waste Managements Minden office.  In his position he manages heavy construction projects for clients across the country.
Hollenshead also raises Charolais cattle on his family’s Bossier Parish farm.  In 2010 he was named USDA Outstanding Farmer of the Year for Bossier Parish.
Raised in Bossier Parish, he has been married to the former Michelle Perry for 25 years, and they have four children and one grandchild.  He and Michelle have been members of the same Benton church for over a quarter of a century.
Hollenshead earned a degree in geology from Louisiana Tech University after working his way through school in the oilfield of Caddo and Webster parish.  He is a private pilot and also has been a Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Reserve officer for seven years.  He and his wife are active in their church youth group, school tutoring programs, Boy Scouts, Court-Appointed Special Advocates, the ACTS retreat, and a local non-profit organization, Pick-it-Forward for Orphans.  

For more information please contact James Sonneman at 318-510-1391 or visit the campaign’s website at
If you are a candidate for office and would like to address the voters with your platform for office, please send a few paragraphs to and we will publish it.  Attach a picture if you like and we’ll include it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Tribute to Fallen Officers

Last year on this date I published In Memory of Trey Hutchison. Today we honor him again. This young man gave his all serving the people of Bossier City when he was ambushed eleven years ago while walking up to a house on Jana Place after a 911 hangup call. The person who shot him had stated that he intended to kill a police officer before he died. He killed himself before police got entry to the house.
Officer Trey Hutchison

This year this sad memorial comes on the heels of a heart wrenching week. Last Wednesday, Shreveport Police Officer Thomas LaValley was killed in much the same way. He was answering a call when he was shot and killed. The person who shot him was wanted on a warrant for attempted murder, but Officer LaValley had no way of knowing that he was at the residence. While Officer Hutchison’s killer had specifically stated that he wanted to kill a police officer, the individual who killed Officer LaValley didn’t care who he killed.
Officer LaValley with Chief Shaw in 2011

I watched the memorial service for Officer LaValley that was held at Summer Grove Baptist Church (thanks to KTBS for streaming it). It was a wonderful service; Mayor Tyler delivered the perfect remarks, as did Chief Shaw. It was good to hear Chief Shaw tell Officer LaValley’s family that if they ever needed anything, they didn’t have to come to Shreveport, but only to call. Shreveport will go to them. I won’t post more on the week or the events, we all watched on TV and online as the procession made its way down the state, and we all saw the outpouring of respect from police agencies and citizens all the way to Gonzales and then to St. Amant for his funeral & burial.
It is fitting and proper to honor these two young men, not just today but every day. I know that it is cold comfort to their families, but it is important that they know that we grieve for them and will never forget their loss.

God Bless them.
God Bless all who serve and protect.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Monica Hudson Fundraiser next Thursday

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Gatti Campaign Plans Fundraiser

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Gatti vs Burns

The race for State Senate in District 36 is heating up, as Attorney Ryan Gatti is taking on State Representative Henry Burns for the seat that Robert Adley is vacating because of term limits.
This one will be very interesting to watch. Both Burns and Gatti are campaigning as conservative Republicans.
Burns has a solid following from his days in the House, but Gatti seems to be generating a lot of support.
At this point, I'm not sure that Burns' tenure in the State House will be a blessing or a curse for him; the legislature is not in great favor right now. My hunch (and it's only that), is that Burns may do well in the more rural areas of the district, while Gatti will do better in the city.
We'll see.

If you are a candidate for office and would like to address the voters with your platform for office, please send a few paragraphs to and we will publish it.  Attach a picture if you like and we’ll include it.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

On Memorial Day, we honor those who have fallen in service to our country.  I have compiled a list of service men and women from Bossier Parish who have died in action, beginning with World War I. This list is as complete as I could make it; if you know of anyone who is not on the list, please let me know and I will add them. List of everyone from Louisiana who was killed in all wars.

Thomas E Doty
Robert N Gaynor
James H Roach
Clark Strayhan
Allie Bryant
Stephen Fullwood
Allen Gleason
Arthur Jackson
Gus Williams
Murphy Williams

Willie B American
James O Avery
William Bedingfield
Guy A Buie
Gay Clark
Charles R Clemens
Thomas B Cole
Lamar Coleman
Harold J Courtney
Garland E Hickman
Campbell B Hodges
Woodrow W Holland
Louis A Johnson
Robert A Johnson
Grant King
Eugene E Lossett
Jake Maniscalco Jr
Horace J Miller
James V Palmer
Allen S Powell
Hines N Ritch
George F Rowe
Wilburn Sheppard
Roy T Strange
Stephen T Strayhan
John L Swilley
Harold M Valentine
Charles W Watson Jr
Kenneth Winham

David Grisham
James Kelleher
C Steelman

Arthur Norman Welch
Dennis Bedelle Black
Alton Delaney Kellogg
Wallace Lee Ogea
Isaac David Faughn
Charles Reuben Miller Jr
Arnold John Rahm
Dolroy Francies
James Walter Myles
Herbert Walter
Milford Donovin Carter

Craig T Nelson
Bernard C Sembly
Julia V Atkins
Joshua C Burrows

Michael Garcia
Larry D Bunn

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

For one family, A Senior Nightmare

As a follow-up to my post Senior Project or Senior Nightmare I was contacted by Ronda Spataro. This is her account of what her family encountered at Benton High School.

My son did his senior project on helping homeless people and those living homeless with pets. He volunteered at a daytime homeless shelter and spent time getting to know these people and their stories. He did not take pictures out of respect for the sensitive nature of their situation.
If your senior goes to school in Bossier Parish, Senior Project is a requirement to graduate.
Your child spends nearly 5 months doing this project, and your entire household revolves around Senior Project. I don't understand why literature and English are not the main concern. It is so stressful that my son, along with most of the students I've mentored over the years, are consumed and worried for months and they are unable to enjoy their senior year.
My son did his practice presentation and his teacher did not believe him. He was so proud of the time he gave to the community and yet his teacher did not allow him to present his project to the judges panel. The panel is made of judges from people in our community. My son is not a perfect student but he did the project (and his mentor verified his work). Because of him not being allowed to present his project, he now must take summer school and not walk with his class.
This requirement is just too much work for our kids. At first I liked the idea, but went through this 3 years ago with my other son. Nothing but stress. All the kids I've mentored, nothing but stress. It's too subjective because the rules change from school to school, teacher to teacher. At one school, your child may speak for 7 minutes, at another, 8-10 minutes. I know some students fake the whole project and still pass. My son did his project and should have been allowed to present. If there were issues that needed to change at his practice presentation, why wasn't he advised on needed changes to be ready for the presentation? Isn't that why they practice nearly a week before the real presentation? Some advice or guidance would have been nice, but he was called a liar.
I just think it's too much for our seniors and now my son will not be graduating with his friends. He will be in summer school, not for ENGLISH IV, but for Senior Project.
Parents are scared to speak up because they are scared their child will suffer the consequence. If you have a teacher that doesn't like your child, nothing will ever be good enough anyway.
Senior Project is definitely a nightmare and it needs to change!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Monica Hudson Fundraiser

I attended Monica Hudson's fundraiser at Silver Star tonight, she had a pretty good turnout. It was from 5 to 8, when I got there at 6:30 there were a number of people coming and going. She was answering questions, discussing her plans for the office and sharing anecdotes about working for Wilna Mabry.

Midway through coming and going

Monica with Paul Carmouche and volunteers ready to serve food

Chow time

The inevitable mingling

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