Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A look at 2008 from My Bossier

The Ugly

One of the first news items we commented on in 2008 was the murder of 18 month old Isabella Thamm by her father, Lance Thamm. Despite four arrests for domestic violence and drugs in the home, no one saw it coming.

The last story we commented on was the murder of an 8 week old Shreveport girl, Lyrica Kennedy, by her father. Police say Samuel Jordan told them he did it because he was aggravated and had a lot of things on his mind, and just wanted to get high. Records show Jordan was also arrested in 2005 after he gave a five-year-old prescription sleeping pills because the child wouldn't stop crying.

We also reported on the beating of Angie Garbarino by a Shreveport Police officer. Channel 3 reported the story, Good Morning America picked it up, then CNN, and within a day it was a major international story.

At that point Channel 12, Channel 6 and the Times finally ran it. We received thousands of hits over a 2 day period because ours was the only local story on the incident other than the original from KTBS.

The city dropped all charges against Garbarino, fired the officer involved, and made a large money settlement to close the case.

The Caring

We also brought the story of Jackson Kennedy to our readers. Jackson is the son of Bossier City Police officer Jeremy Kennedy. Jackson is still fighting a battle against cancer, supported by loving parents, family and the community.

In April, 16 month old Ethan Powell passed away from leukemia. Ethan’s tragic story had been followed by everyone through local media.

The Boom

We have written 58 posts regarding the Haynesville Shale. The frenzy began last spring when Petrohawk Energy ‘outed’ Chesapeake Energy’s plans to develop the shale formation, said to be one of the largest in the world. Leasing reached it’s zenith in late summer and early fall, with bonus amounts of $20,000 & $30,000 per acre not unheard of.

Although leasing has slowed and drilling has begun, don’t fear. The gas is still under our feet.

The Bust

Air Force Cyber Command was the biggest thing to hit the area in a while, and we were as excited as anyone else. After all, Mayor Walker and Parish Adminstrator Altimus told us that it was a ‘done deal’.

The State, City and Parish have committed $107,000,000 to a new Cyber Research Park and Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, despite the fact that the Air Force Cyber Command is down the tubes. Rep. Jane Smith said “it is often difficult to put in layman's words what the center will do and to explain how its customer base extends far beyond the Air Force.”

Give it a shot Jane – try to explain it to us. Better yet, since ‘secrecy’ is being invoked to cloak the activities of the center (other than expenditures), tell us this:

  1. How many contracts with various technology companies are in hand?
  2. How much are they worth?
  3. How many companies are committed to working out of the CIC, and what how much revenue will this bring in?

The Dumb

Joardae Dejon Lewis and Louis Robinson weren’t thinking too well when they decided in March to remove all their clothing except for a jacket and run through downtown Shreveport. Their outing was ruined by a Shreveport Police officer who happened on to them.

And Dumber

Matthew Tyler Dupuis, 22, was arrested after he sold a quarter bag, er, one-quarter of an ounce of marijuana to a Bossier Parish Deputy. Not the first time that ever happened, there are lots of undercover policemen working in the Shreveport/Bossier area. No, young Matt sold to a uniformed deputy who was responding to a loud music complaint.

A Political Year

No, I’m not forgetting the Presidential Election, the Fourth District Congressional Race or the race for 26th JDC District Judge and other local races, nor have I forgotten our new governor. I’m just sick of politics at this point, aren’t you?

Happy New Year from My Bossier!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Father charged in murder of 8 week old child

The charges against Samuel Jordan have been upgraded to first degree murder after his 8 week old child died today of severe head injuries. The name of the child has not been released.

We have been updating you on the case of Lance Thamm, who is charged with murder in Bossier Parish for the death of his 18 month old daughter Isabella last January.

Update: Hospital officials have identified Lyrica T. Kennedy as the 9-week-old who died Monday at WK Pierremont Health Center of head injuries her father is accused of inflicting.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Alexandria 'Blog War' brings response from Mayor Roy

A ‘blog war’ of sorts has developed in Alexandria between two blogs that I read regularly, CenLamar and Central La. Politics. Both are linked on our sidebar.

It started when Greg Aymond at Central La. Politics published the following blog post THE "NIGGA" STREET THUGS OF ALEXANDRIA in which he said:

· Do not be mislead for one minute. we the citizens of Alexandria are not being preyed upon by a new criminal conspiracy. It is a group of "Nigga Thugs" who have nothing more in mind than an opportunity for corruption based on race.

Lamar White at CenLamar responded with this: Greg Aymond Needs to Apologize

· Unfortunately, grenades can still inflict a lot of collateral damage and confusion, and in Mr. Aymond’s case, they can obviously exacerbate racial tensions. But they’re only destructive, not constructive. Your words, on this issue, have been destructive. Be a man. Apologize.

Mr. Aymond responded in the comment section of CenLamar with this statement:

· You are correct in that I feel I have nothing to appologize for. It will be a cold day in Hell before I appologize for calling a politician, Black or White, a crook for being crooked. I pitty you White applogist that tolerate crooks of an race.

He then posted on his Central La. Politics:

· Lamar White, Jr., a member of the Mayor's administration, came out in support of homosexual rights, as did his hero Barack Obama, in his post entitled Unelectability. Then, this weeks, Lamar White came out an accused me of being a racist in his post entitled Greg Aymond Needs to Apologize.

Mayor Roy, and many within his administration, need to know that the City of
Alexandria is no place for national politics. What Mayor Roy did by relying upon the words of President-elect Barack Obama is to, in effect, disregard the political beliefs of the vast number of people of Alexandria who did not support Mr. Obama. Mayor Roy has set his administration upon a road of complete and absolute liberalism, favoring the opinions of the left, instead of realizing that this is a community people who get along despite many differing national political beliefs.

Mayor Roy is the type of White guilt ridden politician who favors Black politicians no matter how bad they are for government.

Now the mayor of Alexandria, Jaques Roy, has responded on this video:

You be the judge.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Man Beats 8 week old child

A Shreveport man was arrested Tuesday for beating his 8-week-old child.
Samuel Jordan, 21, faces a charge of second degree battery, according to police.
The infant was taken to WK-Pierremont about 4:10 p.m. on Tuesday for having difficulty breathing. Doctors determined the child was suffering from severe head injuries and notified police.

Jordan was questioned and later booked into jail, according to police. The child remains in critical condition.

Charges against Jordan could be upgraded if the infant’s condition worsens.
Check for updates in The Times

Good Tidings of Great Joy

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, 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 the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; 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.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Racism at the Library?

Bossier Parish Police Juror Jerome Darby is calling for changes to the Bossier Parish Library System after past and present employees have brought forward allegations of racism and race-based hiring.
"I'm a nervous wreck every day," said Jeanene Wiggins, a black library assistant. "I feel like nobody is helping here. I feel like I'm crying out every day for help and nothing's happening."
Wiggins and other library employees allege a laundry list of racist practices in the hiring and treatment of black employees by the library administration, which employees say came to a head last fall when Peggy Gillham, an assistant cataloguer who is white, mentioned a need to use a whip for motivation in front of two black employees.
"It was an innocent remark," Gillham said. "It wasn't directed to any one person. It was a long-standing — I hesitate to use the word 'joke,' but I can't think of another synonym — from like 20 years ago when we started this. It was nothing malicious."
Read the complete story in The Times

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Domestic Violence During the Holiday Season

Reprinted by permission from BellaOnline

By Jeanette Stingley

BellaOnline’s Domestic Violence Editor

During November and December, stress runs high in most families. Finances are stretched to buy gifts or to travel to see family members. Seeing those family members we don’t quite get along with or not being able to see relatives and friends can add even more stress to a relationship. Excessive alcohol consumption is usually an added factor at this time of year. Sometimes our expectations of what should happen compared to what actually happens can give us the holiday blues. Many of us try to out do ourselves during the holidays and arguments happen. But what about abuse during the season? How can it be prevented?

Thanksgiving and Christmas are prime times for abusers who use control over their victims. The abuser knows the victim wants to be with family and friends but many abusers use this to get a tighter grip on their victims causing even more stress. One lady I spoke to about this said, “The look of satisfaction on his face as I cried on Christmas Day because he took the car keys from me so I couldn’t go to my parents house made me sick to my stomach.”

Communication has to be on the top of everyone’s list. Talking your feelings out in a calm manner is the most important thing to remember. If you feel a situation is going to get out of hand, try to excuse yourself from the other person to have a cool down session then agree to come back together when things are calm. Planning ahead can also help tremendously. Set a budget and stick to it. If you have kids, money is always tight.

If you do find yourself in an abusive situation, it is critical that you stand up and get help. Go to a relative or friends house. Using the seasonal stress as an excuse to have to withstand a beating or verbal assault is not right. Abuse is abuse no matter what time of year it happens. So many women will defend their abusers because “the holidays just get to him” as one of my friend’s told me.

There are many resources out there to help especially during the holidays. Churches, shelters, and even you local police department are there to help.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

GM Shreveport Plant to be closed until February 15

General Motors announced that the Shreveport plant will be closed until February 15.

General Motors and Chrysler LLC have warned they are running out of cash and face bankruptcy without some form of assistance. Ford Motor Co., which is in somewhat better shape financially, has been seeking access to a line of credit.

The administration said no decisions had been made on the size or duration of the new bailout plan, or what type of concessions might be demanded from the struggling automakers, their workers, stockholders or others.

In a reversal, the most likely rescue option under consideration involved billions of dollars originally ticketed for the bailout of the financial industry.

President Bush had earlier declared that money off-limits to the beleaguered automakers.

Stange Bedfellows

Urgent requests for White House intervention to save the automakers came from President-elect Obama, Republican and Democratic members of Congress and outside groups.

TARP is the $700 billion Troubled Assets Recovery Program, the financial industry bailout plan enacted in October. All but $15 billion of the first $350 billion has been dedicated to troubled banks or insurance companies, and the Treasury Department is barred from dipping into the second $350 billion without a formal notification of Congress.

No decision has been reached about such a notification, administration officials said. If one is made, Congress could then vote to prevent the action, but it would be unlikely to prevail in a showdown with the president.

Obama, who will inherit the problem next month, even if bailout billions are handed over in the meantime, said, "My hope is that the administration and the Congress will still find a way to give the industry the temporary assistance it needs while demanding the long-term restructuring that is absolutely required."

In a letter to Bush, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the president to demand "the same tough accountability" and taxpayer protections from the automakers as was contained in legislation that cleared the House at midweek.

The Times

Without stating any pros or cons about whether the industry should receive $14 billion of taxpayer money, my big question would be why attach all the conditions to $14 billion for the automakers when NO strings were attached to the $800 billion approved for Wall Street?
If congress is concerned about the pay of auto workers, why not be concerned about the pay of financial industry workers?
I suppose we should not be surprised to see Republicans in congress acting conservative, but it seems a little hypocritcal after they have spent the last 8 years shoeveling taxpayer money out faster than it could be printed.
The Republicans newly found 'conservatism' is a little nauseating when you know that it is nothing more than political posturing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Local governments trying to breathe life into cyber efforts

So now we're spending $15,000 per month in an attempt to salvage a 'done deal'? Looks like a desperate CYA to me. The proof will be in the pudding. If they make this thing the big money making tax producer it was made out to be when the City, Parish and State put up $107,000,000 for it I'll be the first to apologize for my myopic vision.

Bossier Parish and Bossier City have hired a heavyweight Washington lobbying firm whose co-founder is chief of President-elect Obama's transition team.
The Bossier governments did so to further their cyber-related efforts, both military and civilian.
"Where we are today is, from a perspective of what's going on in the country, we felt it was necessary to get very qualified support at the federal level because of the change in administration," said Patrick Jackson, Bossier Parish attorney. "When that change in administration occurs, it flows through the entire U.S. government.
"And cyber is such an important part of our economic future, we wanted to make sure we got the best information and that we provided the best information at all levels of government."
In October, the parish and city hired The Podesta Group, a D.C.-based lobbying firm founded in 1988 by John and Tony Podesta. John Podesta, who was White House chief of staff under President Clinton, is the man Obama has chosen to head his transition team.
Complete story in The Times

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Mud-slinging, negative ads are alive and effective

Negative advertising apparently is still alive and effective.
In the areas where Paul Carmouche was least known, the southern parishes of Beauregard, Grant, Allen, Vernon and up into Sabine, Fleming carried large majorities. These are areas with heavy Democratic registration. I believe that the negative ads that the Republicans ran portraying Carmouche as a lackey of Obama and Pelosi were effective in those areas and gave the election to Fleming.
The rest was pretty predictable; Caddo went for Carmouche, and Bossier went heavily for Fleming. Bossier's vote was not surprising. You could dress a monkey in a suit and put an (R) behind his name and Bossier would vote for him. In Bossier it has nothing to do with conservative/liberal - it has everything to do with (D) and (R).
The Times, in mentioning that Bossier voted for Fleming, noted that Bossier adjoins Fleming's home parish of Webster.
What the Times did not note was the fact that Fleming did not carry his home parish of Webster. Carmouche did. You would have thought that the homeboy would have carried his own parish. I wonder what this is saying to us?
In any event, there are over 1,000 provisional ballots in Caddo Parish and I don't know how many in the rest of the district. Carmouche will not concede until these are dealt with.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Congressman Fleming

John Fleming by 356 votes of 90,000 + votes cast.

Benton Christmas Festival & Parade

To see the pictures in a larger format, go to the My Bossier Forum.

A well decorated Benton PD car kicks off the parade.

The Benton High School Tiger Band

Benton High AF ROTC

Bossier Clerk of Court Cindy Johnston waves to the crowd.

Alvin Cox, wife Donna and a trainload of grandchildren.

Stephanie Johnston enjoys the ride

We all know this guy!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Kudos to the Bossier Parish Police Jury

The Bossier Parish Police Jury voted down a proposed raise by a vote of 9-2 yesterday.
The role of police juror is supposed to be part time. Police jurors make about $14,400 per year from the parish. The last time police jurors received a raise was in 1999; and some police jurors thought it time they get one, especially since they have no expense accounts and cost-of-living adjustments.
The amount proposed was about $4,800 more per year, or about a 30 percent raise.

Complete story in The Times

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bowen will participate in live chat tonight

Gerard Bowen, Jr, candidate for congress, will participate in a live chat tonight at 8 PM on Go Haynesville Shale.
If you have any questions for this candidate, sign on and participate. I'll be there and hope you will too.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thoughts on Saturday's election

I have thought a lot about the upcoming congressional election. The two leading contenders are Paul Carmouche (D) and Dr. John Fleming (R).
We have had to suffer through terrible commercials sponsored by both the Democratic and the Republican congressional committees. I believe in free speech, and I suppose that this is a necessary evil, however, the people who come up with these things should simply be lined up and shot.
John Fleming isn’t a cruel millionaire who is plotting to make the people of the 4th District pay more taxes so that he can pay less.
Paul Carmouche is not ‘soft on crime’, nor is he a wild-eyed liberal anxiously awaiting his chance to go to Washington so that he can serve Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
No, these are both decent, honorable men who are caught up in a party-plagued general election.
The problem with Carmouche (D) and Fleming (R) is that the D’s and the R’s are responsible for placing our country in the untenable position in which it finds itself. Don’t kid yourself. The Republicans hold as much responsibility as the Democrats for careless, wreckless spending. The Democrats are just as responsible for an interventionist foreign policy that has almost bankrupted our nation.
In the name of ‘national security’ both parties have gone off the deep end engaging in foreign wars as a response to the attacks of 9-11, yet Osama Bin Laden, the planner and perpetrator of those attacks, is still a free man.
If you like the way things have gone in Washington for the last 20 years, then God love you.
I don’t.
Until we are ready to spurn the self-serving, greedy, power-loving cabals that run both political parties then we will suffer the same, and deserve it.
Think about real change. You don’t have to vote D or R in this election. There are two independents running for our congressional seat, and either one would be preferable to more of the same.
My preference is Gerard Bowen. Check out his website and consider voting for someone different.
The 4th District has an opportunity to send a resounding message that says ‘enough is enough.’.