Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

2010: Politics

16 comments:
Bossier and Caddo Parishes had a pretty interesting time politically in 2010.
The year started out with State Representative Barbara Norton’s shameful behavior at the African American History Parade.
The Bossier Parish Police Jury outdid everyone by partying hearty at the D. C. Mardi Gras.
The Bossier Parish Police Jury paid for 9 people to attend the events. They were:
Bill Altimus, Rick Avery, Wanda Bennett, jury president Glenn Benton, Barry Butler, Paul Plummer, Joe E. Ford, Jr., parish engineer, Patrick R. Jackson, parish attorney & Craig Spohn, Cyber Innovation Center executive director all attended.
The cost to taxpayers: $22,809.56 and counting. According to the article “That total doesn't include the tab for a private dinner party for 75 guests (shared by Bossier & Caddo), mostly from Louisiana, at an Italian chain restaurant. Also missing are meals, cab fare and other expenses incurred by the nine officials the Bossier Parish Police Jury sent to the annual gala in the nation's capital.”
The Cyber Innovation Center footed the bill for $2,000 worth of booze.
Robert Adley tried to notch up Nanny government a little in a failed attempt to ban the sale of energy drinks to kids under 16.
David Melville, Pastor of Fellowship Methodist Church on Barksdale Boulevard, threw his hat in the ring to take on John Fleming in the 4th District congressional race. He did about as well as we thought he would.
Larry Deen showed his disdain for his constituents when he held a short hearing for his increase in property taxes. Rather than providing a decent space and amount of time for the hearing, the sheriff crammed the people who attended into an office and then put an arbitrary time limit on the meeting.
He told the people at the meeting that ‘state law’ required that he could only give 15 minutes to public comments. Not true, he just pulled that one out of his hat.
This wasn’t one of the sheriff’s better moments.
We had a good school board race, with one incumbent being unseated. Several of the candidates actually answered my email about a tax ‘roll-forward’. It was voted down.
Shreveport held city elections and the most interesting by far was the mayor’s race.
Bryan Wooley pushed the envelope a little too hard and probably hurt himself so far as any future elections are concerned. Big Ced pulled it off with landslide numbers.
Then, of course, there was Chubbygate.
The arrest of Bossier City Council Member James "Chubby" Knight on charges of bank fraud has, needless to say, created a lot of conversation and speculation.
"I've never done anything illegal," Bossier City Councilman Chubby Knight told KSLA.
Not so, says the Bossier City Police Department and the 26th JDC District Attorney.
The Police Department began their investigation when the bank that cashed the bogus check for Knight filed a complaint.
Knight’s attorney said that they know who is behind this ‘political vendetta’ to get Knight, but he’s not telling. According to the Times, the attorney said "This is all driven by the Bossier power bosses . . . . that machine wants you to know if you cross it, ... it will erase you, even your memory."
To round out the year, Shreveport’s Assistant CAO was summarily fired this week for having sex on Cedric’s sofa with an 18 year old Georgia girl who was in town for the Independence Bowl.
No word as to whether the Mayor has a new sofa, but I’d bet on it.
Sam Wyatt
2011 will begin with a race for Bossier City Marshal in April.  That one is shaping up between Lo Walker's right hand man, Lynn Austin, and former BCPD detective Sam Wyatt.
Later in the year we will see elections for all statewide offices, state representative, state senate and for a number of local positions.
Stay tuned!

Memorial to the Brave

1 comment:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Seaton Sacked

5 comments:
I didn't rush into this one because I thought it was better to wait until more information was available.
Now it appears that Shreveport Assistant CAO Rick Seaton did indeed engage in sexual acts with an 18 year old high school student from Georgia who was in town for the Independence Bowl.
In the mayor's office, on the mayor's sofa.  She later called police and told them that she had been raped. Mayor Glover fired Seaton.
The girl apparently was at the game where her boyfriend was arrested for creating a disturbance.  Seaton heard her trying to get money to bail out her boyfriend, and since she didn't want to ride the shuttle bus downtown, he gave her a ride.
Shreveport police will complete their investigation and determine whether charges should be brought against Seaton.
What was he thinking?
The story is also hitting the media in other states, as well as throughout Louisiana.  AP and CNN have picked it up.

Georgia Daily News

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

WXIA Atlanta

WBIR – Knoxville

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010: Crime and Convictions

4 comments:
Several out of state men were arrested and charged with aggravated burglary, false imprisonment and simple battery of the infirmed for their part in a home invasion in Benton.  The men broke in on a 68 year-old woman and robbed her.
Ricardo Aleman Palos, Juan Jose Martinez-Flores, Mark William McKinney
Gerardo Cortina & Miguel "Bear" Escutia are still incarcerated at Bossier Max awaiting trial.

Murder most foul

The most heinous crime of 2010 was the murder of 12-year-old Justin Bloxom, whose body was found in the woods near Stonewall in March
A known sex offender, Brian Douglas Horn, is in custody awaiting trial.
Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle believes that the scenario that Horn played out was to tell Justin that if he wanted to meet in person, 'she' would send a cab to pick him up. Horn, a driver for Action Taxi, then drove to the residence were Justin was spending the night and picked him up.
Further evidence shows that the 12 year old was smothered to death, dying of asphyxiation, and then was left face down in about a foot of water. It appears that Justin was struggling for his life, but was overcome by the 34 year old Horn.

In March, Ronald Lee Broset robbed Citizens National Bank on Benton Road.
He returned two weeks later and robbed the same bank, but this time he was caught, with the money.

Charles Pilkinton entered a guilty plea to Negligent Homicide in May in the murder of 66 year old Raymond Tobin. Tobin was found slumped over the steering wheel of his car on Inda Drive shot twice in the back of the head. According to reports, when police arrived at the scene Pilkinton admitted to killing Tobin.
After explaining all of the rights and determining that the plea was voluntary, Judge Bolin accepted the plea and sentenced Pilkinton to 5 years at hard labor.
The prosecution was represented by Clifford Strider, Assistant Attorney General.

The body of 39 year old Nancy Miller was found in Red Chute Bayou. Miller had been missing since March 3rd.
A witness reported seeing Miller walk into Reflections on Hwy 80. She appeared to be confused and turned around and walked out across Hwy 80 toward the Westbound Lane. Canine trackers confirmed the story of the witness. At the time, investigators believed that she may have gotten into a car with someone.
The body was spotted by fishermen on Red Chute Bayou near Louisiana Downs

The Caddo Parish Sheriff's office arrested Bobbie Luttrell for paying to have her husband, Ernest Luttrell, killed. She was taken in and arrested right after his funeral and charged with 1st degree murder. Luttrell allegedly used a part time housekeeper and her acquaintance to carry out the crime.

In August, A 33 year old Shreveport man was arrested for gunning down 3 brothers, aged 20, 18 & 13 because he thought they stole an X-Box from his girlfriend. All three were dead at the scene.
Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator said "You can have all the tent revivals you want and ask people to not be violent and go to classes, but you can't get through to some of these idiots. No amount of patrol cars could have stopped this. The only thing that could have stopped this is if he wasn't born.
I've been doing this 37 years and looking at bodies, and it gets old."
Marcus Donte' Reed is being charged with 3 counts of 1st degree murder.
The victims were identified as Jean Adams, Jarquis Adams & Jeremiah Adams.


Judge Jeff Cox accepted an amended plea in the Matthew Fite case. Fite pled guilty to Distribution of Methamphetines and was sentenced to 30 years, with no probation or parole for the first 2 years, subject to time served (which is just over 2 years).
To rehash the case a little, Fite bought drugs from Paul Martin and then gave Dorothy Gail Wilson some of the meth and a needle so she could shoot up. Wilson overdosed and died. An autopsy revealed that she had no other drugs in her system.
Martin pled guilty in March of last year and was sentenced to 25 years, all but 12 suspended, to run concurrent with sentencing from Caddo Parish.

Steven Rivers was charged in Caddo Parish for the murder of his ex-wife and her sister.

Two people have been arrested in another home invasion/robbery in Benton.
Randall Wayne Womack, Jr & Joshua Lopez & David Allen Weeks, Jr were charged with armed robbery.
The three entered (okay, I know 'allegedly'), anyway, the three entered a residence on Old Plain Dealing Road armed with a sword and a billy club and stole a whopping $132.
Womack and Weeks both have criminal history in Bossier Parish.

There has been a lot of speculation about the shooting of Vivian attorney John Morneau. Miller County Coroner Eddie Hawkins Jr first ruled that Morneau was shot in the back by a Miller County Deputy Sheriff.
He then changed his story to say that Morneau was shot in the chest.
Hawkins would not go into specifics about why that was done, except to say there was a mistake. The Miller County DA is supposedly investigating.

On November 16th Lance Thamm entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his 17 month-old daughter Isabella.
Thamm slammed Isabella’s head into a doorjam when she wouldn’t stop crying.
Thamm has a history of drug use and domestic violence. He and his wife lost a son in Texas because of abuse. That child, a boy, is being raised by an aunt.


Then, of course, there was Chubbygate

The arrest of Bossier City Council Member James "Chubby" Knight on charges of bank fraud has, needless to say, created a lot of conversation and speculation.
"I've never done anything illegal," Bossier City Councilman Chubby Knight told KSLA.
Not so, says the Bossier City Police Department and the 26th JDC District Attorney.
The Police Department began their investigation when the bank that cashed the bogus check for Knight filed a complaint.
Knight’s attorney said that they know who is behind this ‘political vendetta’ to get Knight, but he’s not telling. According to the Times, the attorney said "This is all driven by the Bossier power bosses . . . . that machine wants you to know if you cross it, ... it will erase you, even your memory."

Monday, December 27, 2010

2010: Changes

1 comment:
Hell Froze Over
On February 7th, Louisiana’s Team won the Super Bowl when Tracy Porter intercepted a Petyon Manning pass with 3 minutes remaining in the game and went all the way, making the final score 31-17.

A new Police Chief for Bossier City
Shane McWilliams started acting as police chief in April and was sworn in officially in July.
"We have an outstanding department and employees. We're going to strive to continue going in the right direction and work with other agencies as well as the people we have here. We're going to do better to make sure the residents feel safe and maintain the confidence of the residents of Bossier City.”



The Cross on the Hill
The 199 foot cross at Central Assembly of God Church in Haughton was dedicated this year. A permit to build the cross was originally denied by the MPC because zoning regulations say that a structure in that area can’t be taller than 45 feet.
The Church then appealed to the Police Jury for an exception, which was granted.

Bossier City Voters sent a message
Bossier City voters gave the public safety tax renewal proposition a landslide vote of ‘yes’.
In 2000, when the city was not having financial problems, the tax was approved by 73% of the voters. This year, when the city was having budgetary problems, 80% of the people who voted said yes.
The people are saying ‘we support our Firemen and Police officers and you’d better not mess with them’.

Shreveport Police Chief
Shreveport gained a new police chief, Willie Shaw, when Henry Whitehorn was appointed U.S. Marshal for the Western District.

New weather interruption policy from Channel 12
James Smith, Station Manager at KSLA, has announced via an email that the station will be changing its policy about interrupting progamming. This occurred after the brouhaha that arose during the LSU-Auburn game when most of the last half was interrupted for tornado warning coverage in Central Arkansas. No tornadoes touched down.
Smith announced that the station will do what all of the others do, run a small screen with warnings.

Jerry Springer tryouts at Haymeadow Trailer Park

No comments:
Let me make one thing clear.  The New Orleans Times-Picayune was somewhat misleading with its headline Woman, holding baby son, booked with hitting grandmother in Benton.  She was booked in Benton, but that trailer park is NOT in Benton, it carries a Bossier City address.
Here's the sheriff's account.
A Bossier City woman was arrested on Christmas Eve for simple battery of the infirmed, cruelty to a juvenile, and simple battery, said Bossier Sheriff Larry Deen.
Sabra Nicole Tunstall, 32, of the 5200 block of John Wilson Drive, began a physical altercation with her 77-year-old grandmother and uncle while holding her child. The grandmother and uncle were trying to get the child away from Tunstall who had been drinking all day and was trying to leave the residence. Tunstall, while holding the child, began to hit both relatives. She caused a severe skin tear on the grandmother’s right arm. When deputies arrived on scene, Tunstall was holding the child in her left arm and hitting her grandmother with her other arm.
Tunstall was arrested and transported to the Bossier Maximum Security Facility. Her bond was set at $7,000.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 in review: What we lost

1 comment:
Joe Cobb
A Bossier City legend passed away.
Joe Cobb, the owner of Cobb's Bar-B-Que in Bossier City since 1952, passed away in January. Who in Bossier City (or Shreveport for that matter) hasn’t eaten one of those wonderful sandwiches topped off with coleslaw?
If you thought of barbecue in the last half century, you automatically thought of Cobb's.

Joshua Tomlinson
In May Army Spc. Joshua Tomlinson, 24, of Dubberly, was among five U.S. soldiers killed in May in Kabul. The Army said a bomber detonated a vehicle near a U.S. convoy.  Funeral services were held in Minden.

Wayne Culver
Also in May, Major Wayne Culver of El Dorado, Arkansas, was killed in Numaniyah, Iraq. He grew up in Blanchard and was the brother of Bossier City Police Sgt. Shane Culver.
Major Culver was executive officer for the 2nd Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment, based in Shreveport.

Dakota Huse

On the day that the Marine Corps celebrated its 235th birthday the Pentagon announced the death of the 19 year old Marine from Greenwood while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Johnny Wyatt
In October the popular Bossier City Marshal was killed in a one car crash.  Wyatt took a very pro-active stand in the marshal's office, and was a leader in tracking online pedophiles in our area in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies.

A lot of people, of course, had individual losses and those were also losses to the entire community. 
We will be looking at other events that affected us in 2010 in coming days.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

3 comments:
St. Luke's Account
And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed, everyone into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them; and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward Men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.
And they came with haste and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

The Night Before Christmas

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Recorded by Thomas Edison in 1920
'Twas the Night Before Christmas
(or A Visit from St. Nicholas)

by Clement Clarke Moore
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.
When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of
to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
"Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Monday, December 20, 2010

Northwest Louisiana Tea Party Alliance Announces Formation

7 comments:
The Mission Statement of the Alliance includes supporting the core principles of constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, moral leadership, and individual liberty and responsibility.  The Mission Statement additionally states that the focus of the Alliance is to ensure strict accountability of elected officials, to educate, and to encourage citizen involvement in the policy making process at all levels of government.
 The Alliance is available to assist in building and training other citizen groups throughout Northwest Louisiana in policy advocacy on local, state and federal issues.  Additionally, the Alliance will assist with training on candidate screening and campaign logistics in local and state races. 
For more information, please contact Matt Sciba, or Evodna Springer at
http://nwlateapartyalliance.com/

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Week

7 comments:
Christmas week is on us.  Got the tree up and nearly all of the shopping done.  Now to share some Christmas with everyone.  There will be more later in the week, some of it actually good music.

Friday, December 17, 2010

City Marshal Race: experience vs. experience

25 comments:
Now that Sam Wyatt has indicated that he will run for Bossier City Marshal, a race is beginning to shape up.  Lynn Austin, who served at one time as police chief, has announced his candidacy.  Austin served as interim chief for a couple of months after Mike Halphen retired and before Shane McWilliams was named chief.  He also has served as Lo Walker's right hand man as the city's CAO.
Wyatt has more recent police experience, particularly in the area of sex crimes, which has been a project of the Marshal's office.
A couple of other people have expressed interest in the race, including Carl Richard, a Shreveport Deputy Marshal.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Police presence at Louisiana Boardwalk

14 comments:
In an earlier post about the proposed Bossier City budget, commenters got into a discussion about funding the police presence at the Boardwalk.
Councilman Don Williams talked to the Finance Director and to the Police Chief in an attempt to put this in perspective.
He found that there are seven officers assigned to the Boardwalk.  Friday and Saturday nights see six officers per night while there are three to five working on weeknights.  At times reserve officers are also used, as well as private security officers paid for by the Boardwalk and/or the businesses.  The private officers, however, have no real authority and have to call on the police for assistance in some cases.
From January through the end of November of this year the city has collected $2,752,522 from the Boardwalk.  That is just the city's 2.5%.
Although the Boardwalk wasn't fully leased out during the first couple of years of its existence, to date, through the end of November, the city has collected $16,839,822 in sales taxes.
I don't know what it costs to provide seven police officers for a year, but I think that considering insurance and retirement contributions, the figure would be less than $500,000 per year.  That's just my guess, you can make your own guess.
I do believe the key question to ask is whether the Boardwalk would be as attractive as it is to families without the police presence.
Do you think that this is a legitimate expenditure for the city to make?  Do you think the city should pull these officers and leave the Boardwalk to its own devices?

Vladmir Putin covers Blueberry Hill

1 comment:
Saw this in The Gambit, at a fundraiser in St. Petersburg.  Who would have thought an old KGB guy would do this?  Bizarre but entertaining.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December 12, 1891

4 comments:
Deplorable Tragedy
On last Saturday evening Joe Patterson, colored, living on Mr. John A. Sewall’s place, in this ward, shot & killed a colored man. His wife commenced to scream, when he shot her to death. He then went to Mr. James B. Lay’s store, about a half mile distant, and entering it, without warning, shot and wounded Mr. Lay. Mr. David Wallace, who was at the store, was about to get into his jumper, when Patterson shot & fatally wounded him. Mr. Wallace died Saturday night at 12 O’Clock.
Steps were immediately taken to capture the murderer, and after trailing him over a long circuit, he was finally run to earth Sunday night in his own home, where he barricaded himself and defied arrest. Then the pursuers opened fire on the house with Winchesters. Two shots were heard within. On forcing an entrance, Joe’s body was found near his wife’s, with a bullet hole through his head. His body was dragged out; after removing the dead woman, his body was carried back into the building, which was set on fire and the fiend’s corpse cremated.
Mr. Wallace was nominated at the parish primary election last Thursday for State Legislature. He was a farmer and a prominent and popular citizen – a man of sound practical sense, a sterling Democrat; a man of noble qualities of heart, and a citizen who was deeply and earnestly interested in the welfare of the parish. His sad and truly unfortunate death is universally deplored.
Bossier Banner Progress, December 17, 1891

David Wallace was my great-grandfather. My grandfather, Robert E. Wallace, was nine years old when his father was killed. He told me this story but never mentioned that his father was headed to the legislature. David Wallace had won the Democratic primary election, defeating W. B. Boggs, who was the first mayor of Plain Dealing. After Grandpa Wallace’s death, Mr. Boggs got the nomination and served in the State House and in the State Senate.
Another interesting note is that my grandfather told me that the ‘shootout’ in which Joe Patterson was killed was at the site where the Palmetto Country Club is now located. Something to think about when you tee off next time.
The picture below is of the Wallace house, where David Wallace was taken after he was shot, and where he died that midnight, December 12, 1891. My grandfather grew up in this house with all of his siblings. The house burned down in 1920, so the picture below was taken sometime before that. Grandma Wallace had moved out years before, and although the house was lived in, it was in disrepair when this photo was taken.
The house was on Linton Road.
The bottom photo is of his widow, Louisa Wallace.  She lived to the age of 93 and died in Benton in 1936.
Louisa Yarborough Wallace

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Benton/Bossier Christmas Parade 2010

5 comments:
Biggest crowd I've seen for the festival so far, traffic and crowd seems well-managed by Benton PD.
Here are a few images I captured for you.
State Senator Robert Adley

Billy the Exterminator - I won't mention his close proximity to the politicians!

Nice Crowd

Bossier Sheriff Young Marines

No, he's not in trouble, just along for the ride.

I thought I had a good picture of Clerk of Court Cindy Johnston, but I cut off her head. 
How about Deputy Clerk Sissy Crouch, her head is intact.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Councilman Don Williams responds

16 comments:
In a recent blog post I noted that the Bossier City Council had voted to restore funding for some non-profits while leaving the cuts for others intact. That brought on the following exchange in the comment section between Matt Sciba and Councilman Don Williams.
Matt Sciba said...
I don't see why Bossier funds the Robinson/RRFS. The Robinson is in Shreveport, and Shreveport receives the tax revenues. I can't even recall a single Film Society event in Bossier City.
Our City needs $100Million for a new sewerage system, and we laid off 40 police and fire a while back, but at least we have the film center! (Yeah, I know, it's all from the other budget.)
D. Williams said...
Matt,
I didnt vote for funding the Robinson Film Center but you need to get a grip on yourself and figure out what your saying before you say it
Matt Sciba said...
Don,
I didn't say you voted for funding the Robinson.
What exactly am I missing?
This is how it appears to many in Bossier City:
1. BCC spends $50 Million on CyberCommand.
2. the next year there's a $6 Million deficit and BCC has to lay off 40 fire and police.
3. 2010 Budget lists a $6 million surplus.
4. Proposed 2011 budget, BCC is looking to cut spending. They cut spending on a business which isn't even located in the city, then reverse their decision, as "the economy worsens".
So please, explain to me where I have strayed. I welcome any and all clarification.
Dwilliams said...
Matt, I will call you and tell you where you have strayed. Thanks
Matt Sciba said...
DWilliams,
You could post where I have erred on this comment section so others of the same reasoning as me can also reach the same level of understanding.
DWilliams said...
Matt, I just e-mailed you a very long e-mail answering all of your questions and it is just to long to put on here. Maybe after you read it you can post what you wish.
Thanks,
Don

As a followup, Matt sent the following email to Don Williams.
Don
I responded to your post on MyBossier, but I have a couple other comments.
If I have misunderstood how things work in Bossier, it is not for lack
of trying. Currently, the proposed 2011 budget is not posted online, I
have not received any updates from my city councilman, we have no
assembly meetings, and very little news is reported by the Bossier Press
Tribune. Furthermore, the agenda and minutes for the BCC meetings
contain the least amount of detail possible to still comply with the
open meetings law. I'm not even sure yall keep minutes for the other
Tuesday meetings, the "agenda meetings" wherein you set the agenda for
the following Tuesdays. They are not posted online like the minutes for
the Regular Meetings (Yes, you are supposed to keep minutes for those
meetings too.) All of the meetings are during the workday. I can't
attend, my compatriots can't attend. We're all at work. David Jones
has refused to change the meeting times stating that it would be unfair
to the city workers to be at the office at night. Quite frankly, they
city workers are at the service of the citizens who pay their salaries.
There is almost no communication between Bossier City Council or the
Mayor and the citizens of Bossier. Even the most basic information
(items which Shreveport has posted online in great detail) seems to
warrant a public records request, and even then I have to find time
during the workday to make it to the BCC Clerk's office and make copies.
So if there is a misunderstanding, it is quite possibly the fault of the
Bossier City Council, for there is absolutely no effort to clearly
convey information to the citizens.
Thank you for your time,
Matt Sciba

Williams’ email to Matt is lengthy, so I’m just going to post a few points that the councilman made.

    Don Williams
  • When we get he Proposed Budget we go thru it and make changes as we see fit. It would be hard to keep it updated online. We are probably on our 4th draft now so I hope you see my point. When we adopt the proposed budget, the Adopted Budget will be posted on-line and will appear in the Bossier Press. During this time the Proposed Budget is available for review in the Finance Directors office and the City Council office
  • When I was elected to the council coming from the Police Jury, I asked the council to have later meetings so the public would come. We did that for a period of time that I asked for and NO ONE showed up. You need to understand if we have later meetings then we pay overtime to all required city personnel to attend. And to be fair to David Jones, it's not his decision to change the meeting time.
  • Matt, if you tell me exactly what you want or expect from the council I will keep you posted as best I can.
  • As far as your post on My Bossier, let me answer those questions. David Montgomery made an amendment to the Non-Profit budget deleting the Robinson Film Center and changing some others. I requested ALL non-profits that received money from Bossier City to prepare a 3-5 minute presentation of exactly what they use the money for in Bossier City only. They all showed up and did what I asked. They presented the info along with paper copies of the info which I requested. I will tell you this. I believe we give too much away and stated that we need to ween some of these off our budget.
  • Bossier City didn't spend 50 million dollars on the Cyber Center. We spent 35 million and the Police Jury spent 15 million. That is how the 50 million was made up. Then the state kicked in 50 million. I will say I din't vote for this and you can verify that in my voting record. But as always 4 votes win. Now that it's up and going and the money is spent I still have questions about it and ask them quite often. We have to hope it suceeds now. I should have also said this money came from the 100 million bond issue in 2007 that we pay approximately 6.5 million yearly from our riverboat money that I disagreed with also.  There was a 6.5 million deficit last year and that was from borrowing money from our General Fund balance over the last 3 or 4 years. Last year we got to the point that there was not enought money in the balance to transfer to cover the deficit. I voted against the prior budgets along with Mr. Darby. I told them we would be broke in 3 years. I missed it by 1 year. We were broke in 2 years. The Mayor's Proposed Budget last year cut 40 Police and 40 Firefighters. I didn't go for that and myself and Mr. Montgomery actually made the revised budget and finally got it adopted which the Mayor did not support. We actually only laid off 1 active duty police officer and the 8 or 10 in the academy and I believe 7 from the fire dept. and the guys in the academy. Of those 7 that were cut, 1 was a secretary, 1 a mechanic, 2 from comunications. So it was not as bad as it seemed. We let attrition take care of the rest thruout this year. There was NO 6 million surplus in 2010. That article in the Times was incorrect and when explained to the writer of the article he then understood.
It is good to see an exchange in the comments section of My Bossier between a citizen and an elected official taken to the next level, a serious exchange of ideas and views.
As a side note, Don Williams has always been very open and straightforward when I had questions of him, as has David Jones.
It is good to see people actually engaging our elected officials in a conversation, and it is good to see those officials striving to make their point of view understood.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In the News

16 comments:
Willie Jones sentenced
Judge John Robinson sentenced Willie Jones, Jr. to two consecutive life terms. Jones was convicted on two counts of second-degree murder for killing Mark Lioy and Amy Lynn Foster.

City Council restores cuts
The Bossier City Council voted to restore funding to the Red River Film Society, and thus to the Robinson Film Center. Councilman David Montgomery had proposed a number of cuts to several local non-profits. Councilman David Jones has worked to restore some of the cuts, while leaving others in place.
Keep Bossier Beautiful will lose $46,000 in city funding. Jones says that they have not lived up to their promises.
The budget will be voted on at the December 21st meeting.
David Jones
Sheriff presents awards
Bossier Sheriff Larry Deen presented the agency's commendation award during an awards ceremony Thursday afternoon at the Viking Drive Substation in Bossier City.
The honor went to Captain Charles Thomas, who currently supervises the patrol division. He has been with the agency 19 years and served as a patrol deputy, sergeant, lieutenant and now captain. In presenting the award, Deen said Thomas “serves in a quiet, humble, caring way but rises to the occasion with appropriate swift action when duty demands.”
In addition, awards were given for Outstanding Performer of the Year in each division. In the Criminal Operations Division, the awards went to Deputy Dave Faulk and Deputy Josh Cathcart. In the Corrections Division, the awards went to Major Charles Gray, Sgt. Michael Glover, Deputy Joey Martin, Deputy Robert Maule. In the Support Services Division, the award went to insurance clerk Connie Myers.
Sheriff Deen with Capt. Thomas
Johnny Wyatt
I thought a commenter to KTBS said it best.
"There is so much bad in the best of us and so much good in the worst of us, that it ill behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us."
Rest in peace.
Johnny Wyatt

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Update on Vernon case

34 comments:
This is a synopsis of what has transpired since the firing of Bossier City Police Officer Phillip Vernon last December. I am assuming that the readers of My Bossier are familiar with the arrest of Sherb Sentell, 26th JDC ADA and the subsequent firing of Reserve Officer Jared Fisher and Officer Phillip Vernon. The two officers were fired for filing false reports in backing up the charge of public intimidation.
Officer Vernon’s report stated:
  • 18. “C. Sentell refused to stop talking and he stated that he is friends with Ron Miciotto, a local attorney, and he was going to sue every officer involved.
  • 19. He then advised me that he was going to see to it that officers were sued and that the officers were going to lose their jobs over this incident.
  • 20. I advised C. Sentell that he could be charged for making the threats to the jobs of the Bossier City Police Officers involved in this arrest.
  • 21. C. Sentell continued to curse and he continued to tell this officer to call Schuyler Marvin right now.
An in car video was operable in the patrol car. The remarks about Ron Miciotto were clearly audible, but there was no subsequent threat saying that officers were going to lose their jobs.
Reserve Officer Fisher was more specific, saying that the threat came as they were turning into the police station.
In an interview with Lt. Larry Stockton, after hearing the tape from the car, Vernon stated that it must have happened after they exited the car.
Reserve Officer Fisher did not change his statement, saying that it happened in the car.
Vernon appealed his termination to the Fire & Police Civil Service Board.
At the February hearing, according to Vernon’s lawyer, the officer was ‘shocked and dismayed’ to find that former 26th JDC Judge Cecil Campbell was the board’s attorney. Campbell currently prosecutes felony domestic abuse cases for the DA’s office. “Not surprisingly”, the lawyer continues in his brief, “the majority of rulings favored Sentell and/or the appointing authority. He went so far to say that some of the rulings were “absolutely contrary to law”.
He doesn’t bother to enumerate those adverse rulings, and indeed, the board ruled that the city had acted without just cause and changed the termination to a 90 day suspension.
A few days later the board met and changed the ruling to read that the city had acted with just cause. Board member Lt. Jimmie Stewart said that he misspoke when he made the motion and Board Chairman James Huckabay said that he misheard it.
On February 25th the City of Bossier City filed suit against Vernon and the Civil Service Board to overturn their ruling and enforce the termination.
On February 26th Vernon filed suit to overturn the decision of the Civil Service Board and for reinstatement.
The two suits were combined.
Various briefs and filings were made, among the notable claims by Vernon was that the Civil Service Board provided incomplete and spliced tape recordings and transcripts of the proceedings.
The City maintains that the ruling of the board stands on its own. The city offers state law in support.
  • La. R.S. 33:2478(A)(3):  The board shall not be required to have the testimony taken and transcribed, but either the employee or the appointing authority may, at their own expense, make the necessary arrangements therefor. In such cases the board shall name any competent shorthand reporter as the official reporter. If the testimony is not taken or transcribed, then the board shall make a written finding of fact.
In other words, if Vernon’s lawyer didn’t arrange for a reporter to make a transcript, then none was made and the ruling of the board serves as official record.
There is an attempt by Vernon’s lawyer to make a ‘conspiracy’ case, just as he is doing in the Chubby Knight case.
Chief Halphen, Lt. Stockton, Cpl. Murray Wells and Judge Campbell all were complicit in this conspiracy against his client. By extension, Reserve Officer Fisher would be too, since at the Civil Service hearing he did not change his statement that the alleged threat was made in the car.
[Disclaimer: Nearly everyone who reads the blog knows that Officer Murray Wells is my son. Despite that fact, and despite the fact that Vernon’s lawyer has made statements to the media and in court filings that my son is not being truthful, I am trying to present this in as factual a manner as possible.]
In another brief, the lawyer waxes eloquent, describing the actions of the Bossier City Fire & Police Civil Service Board in what he says are the words of Nazi henchman and Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
As I stated in a previous post, Judge Parker Self will issue a ruling on the merits of the above case within the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, Vernon has filed another suit for reinstatement and compensatory damages. The main difference in the suits is that the new one includes all attorney fees and costs.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Phillip Vernon sues Bossier City for damages

18 comments:
Bossier City Police Officer Phillip Vernon has filed a lawsuit against The City of Bossier City and former Chief Mike Halphen for damages, wrongful termination & retaliatory discharge.
The City terminated Vernon last December saying that he had filed a false incident report.  The Bossier City Fire & Police Civil Service Board resinstated Vernon and changed the termination to a 90 day suspension.
At first the board said the firing was 'without just cause' and then reversed that to say it was 'with just cause'.  The City sued in District Court to overrule the board and to terminate Vernon; a few days later Vernon filed to overturn the 90 day suspension.  The two suits were combined.  Just this week Judge Parker Self took all the pleadings under advisement and will issue an opinion within 30 days.
This weekend I will post a detailed account of the goings on to this point.  It will be quite lengthy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Use the "I forgot" defense

10 comments:
A Bossier City woman was arrested Tuesday afternoon on two counts of bigamy, said Bossier Sheriff Larry Deen.
Bridget K. Mize, 35, of the 200 block of Adair Street, was taken into custody after she admitted to a Bossier Sheriff’s investigator that she is married to three different men at the same time. Mize also admitted she never divorced any of the men.
Mize married for the first time in Dallas County, Texas, on September 24, 1993. She married for the second time in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, on December 28, 2005. Mize married for the third time in Columbia County, Arkansas, on August 13, 2007. She married her third husband when her second husband was incarcerated at the Bossier Maximum Security Facility.
Mize, who told the investigator she knew she was not divorced from her first and second husbands, was transported to the Bossier Maximum Security Facility and booked. Her bond is pending.
Who but Elton could express it better?