Saturday, October 31, 2009

Louisiana Downs Closing

Harrah's Louisiana Downs is closing due to floodwaters from Red Chute Bayou. The levee is overflowing and in danger of flooding.
They announced that they will close at 1AM Sunday.
The Casino at Louisiana Downs is open 24 hours per day year round.

Mayor to residents: “Find yourself a nice hotel”

Mayor Lo Walker’s advice to the 25,000 or more residents faced by flooding in Bossier City and in South Bossier was “Find yourself a nice hotel”.
That might get a little crowded.
Shreveport/Bossier has a total of 9,500 hotel rooms. According to the Tourist and Convention Bureau, at the latest count they were maintaining a 73% occupancy rate, the highest in the state. That would leave about 2,400 rooms available for the 25,000 folks.
Shelters have been opened at Platt Elementary School on Hwy 80 in Haughton and at the old Parkway High School on Panther Drive.
The city has decided not to open the convention center as a shelter.
Meanwhile, the mayor’s subdivision is being evacuated. Wonder which shelter he chose?

Levee Breach threatening Louisiana Downs
A minor levee breach on Red Chute Bayou has already been reported near Louisiana Downs. If the levee breaches, the complex could see waters up to 5 or 6 feet.
Residents are evacuating from Stockwell, Brookhaven, Victorian Point, Carriage Oaks, Carriage Oaks Crossing, Stonebridge and Richmond Cove subdivisions.
In South Bossier, the sheriff’s office and Wildlife & Fisheries have boats available to help evacuate anyone trapped by high water.
The sheriff’s office can be reached at 965-2203.

Videos: Aftermath of Thursday's storm damage in Bossier Parish

These excellent videos are courtesy of Mario Villafuerte, an independent photojournalist. Check out his YouTube channel for more. Some were shown on KMSS 33.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Aren't you glad they were there?

Just for a little while?
Just when we needed them?

Bossier Sheriff offering assistance

A dam has collapsed in Dogwood, and Red Chute Bayou is nearly up to bridge level.
Sheriff Larry Deen has crews out sandbagging and also checking neighborhoods in order to offer assistance.
The sheriff said in a press release “if you need anything, please feel free to call on us at anytime. Our main number is 318-965-2203. We would be more than happy to assist you.”
Videos courtesy of KTBS.

Tornadoes rip across Northwest Louisiana

Storm related closures, schedule changes

Wicked Wind, Torrential Rain and Flooding

Man killed when car crashes into fallen tree

Thousands remain without power this morning

Tornadoes rip across Northwest Louisiana

Toppled church steeple lands on car, traps man for nearly an hour

Benton Road Tornado (courtesy KTBS)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bossier and Caddo Parishes suffer damage from tornadoes, heavy storms

Homes and businesses without power
18,000 in Bossier and 4,000 in Shreveport are without power.
A pine tree fell in Mimosa Gardens neighborhood in Haughton and cut a brick house in half. A 94 year old woman was rescued from debris and is in good condition.
Greenacres Place Townhouses had a fire, and trees were down in Greenbriar and in Greenacres Place. Some houses suffered heavy damage.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
Residential areas along Airline Drive were hit hard, particularly Bayou Bend, Cross Creek, Oak Creek and Cypress Point apartments.
Homes around Princeton were also damaged.
The steeple was blown off the First Methodist Church in downtown Shreveport and fell on a car. The driver is in stable condition.
In Bossier, Shed Rd, Beckett St, Airline Dr at Douglas, all streets entering Greenacres subdivison off Benton Rd are closed.
Bossier City police and fire departments are on the job dealing with the situation.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Benton Officers have Meth Encounter

Sometimes it is suprising what can happen practically outside your house and you are unaware.
Benton police arrested David Kingston and his wife Tammy Kingston Monday after a bad encounter with the Kingston’s rolling meth lab.
They were pulled over for driving without lights in the rain. Officers were suspicious and asked to search the vehicle. They were overcome by the chemicals and had to be hospitalized.
Both are charged with Possession of Schedule II CDS
Creation of a Clandestine Lab
Manuf/Dist/Produce Schedule II CDS
Possession of Schedule II CDS
Possession of over 12 grams of Ephedrine
Tammy Kingston’s bond is set at $295,000, David’s at $295,100. The extra $100 is for driving without lights. They are both enjoying the hospitality at Bossier Max.
Good job Benton PD.

Severe Weather, Flooding for Bossier & Caddo Parishes

Better keep an eye on this one, could cause some serious problems.
Hazardous Weather Outlook
Flash Flood Watch
The forecast from the National Weather Service:
Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1am. Increasing clouds, with a low around 70. Southeast wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1pm. Some storms could be severe, with damaging winds and heavy rain. High near 78. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Thursday Night: Showers and thunderstorms. Some storms could be severe, with damaging winds and heavy rain. Low around 63. South wind 5 to 15 mph becoming west. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Friday: Showers and thunderstorms likely before 1pm, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Cloudy, with a high near 65. North wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Beginning tomorrow morning, Bossier residents can pick up sandbags at the following locations:
1. The Bossier City Public Service Complex at 3223 Old Shed Road.
2. The Benton Public Works Building, 410 Mayfield St. in Benton.
3. The fire station on East McKinley Street in Haughton.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bossier City Councilman David Jones discusses alternatives to police & fire layoffs

Tomorrow we will address today's short council meeting. Tonight we will put up David Jones' comments at that meeting.

Bossier Council: Let them eat cake

‘Wham, bam, thank you m’am’ would pretty much describe the ten minute Bossier City Council meeting this afternoon, probably the shortest in the history of the city.
People attending were furious at the brush-off and at the fact that for a second week they weren’t allowed to express their concerns. I’m sure that the council will say that there are rules of order, etc. etc., a fact which no one disputes. There comes a time, however, when rules need to be thrown out the door and the electors acknowledged.

The council has done itself a great disservice by ignoring the people to this point. The mayor and council seem determined to wait for the November 17th meeting to allow anyone to say anything at all, I suppose in an effort to minimize the fallout.

What they are doing is making sure that it is infinitely worse. What in the world are they thinking?

Perhaps they should read some of the remarks from the 3,000 strong Facebook group Save our Bossier City Police and Firefighters.

  • Let's make cuts starting with those who missmanaged the money in the first place.
  • The mayor and his staff should be ashamed.
  • They need to see that we wont be quiet while they consider making a decision that could so adversely affect our collective safety..
  • All those who have protected and served this what they deserve? I think not....
  • We are in complete support of our Bossier Police and Bossier Firefighters...trim the budget in across-board salaries of everyone!!!
  • trimming the police and fire is the last place they need to start with budget cuts!!!! your city not safe without them!!!
  • well everyone needs to pray for the citizens of bossier..the have an IDIOT for a mayor

Monday, October 26, 2009

Life of a Bossier City Police Officer: Scratched, Hit, Bit, Cursed and Fired

This is a true story.

I always wanted to use this line, ‘the names have been changed to protect the innocent’ so we’ll call our policeman Officer John Doe.

Last week Officer Doe’s boss gave him a pink slip telling him we don’t need him anymore because we can’t afford him.

This week the officer was

  • Scratched
  • Hit
  • Bit
  • Pepper Sprayed
  • Cursed
  • Almost hit by a car

Oh, and he helped put a child pornographer out of business.

Think the politicians need to find a better way? Think you can find a few minutes today to make your presence known to them? Think you can let the policemen and firemen know that they are appreciated and that you will back them up?

City Council Meeting

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

3:00pm - 5:00pm

620 Benton Rd

Budget: Eliminate 118 jobs and give 5% pay increase to Mayor's staff? Really?

The proposed Bossier City budget for 2010 has been released and reflects about a 9% cut in overall spending, and will reduce the fire department by 40 positions, the police department by 40 positions, and will cut 37 other city jobs.
Except for the mayor's staff.
The budget proposes a 5% increase in pay for the mayor's staff, as well as doubling the travel budget for the mayor's office.
The mayor, of course, has no comment and will not speak to the media at all, leaving the dirty work for the city council.
Last week up to 100 people showed up at the council chambers for the meeting. The media was there and will be there tomorrow for the 3PM meeting.
Are you going?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Councilman Don Williams was lone dissenting vote on last two budgets

Bossier City District 3 Councilman Don Williams was the lone dissenting voice in voting against the current (2009) budget when it was voted on last year. Councilman Williams commented in a council meeting about his concerns with city spending, transferring of monies and also his concern with Civic Center revenues.
According to council minutes, the vote reflected:
Ayes: Mr. Larkin, Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Irwin, Mr. Darby, Mr. Jones, Dr. Rogers
Nays: Mr. Williams
Mr. Williams also voted no to the previous (2008) budget that was approved in 2007.
While it is easy to blame all of the councilmen all of the time, it also behooves us to look and the record and see where each one stood.
As long as we are pointing fingers we should remember the old saying about having three pointing back at us. Consider this entry in the council minutes from 2007:
"Public Hearing for the 2008 City of Bossier City Budgets. Joe Buffington, City Finance Director, explained some of the major budget items. Hearing nothing from the public, the Public Hearing was closed."

Bossier City Mayor adopts bunker mentality

Lo Walker tossed a hand grenade to the city council a couple of weeks ago and then ran for cover. He still hasn’t emerged, preferring to let the city council take the heat, and taking it they are.
The bunker mentality that the administration has adopted does not sit well with either the council or the people of Bossier City. People are up in arms, and council members, while attempting to maintain public decorum, are privately furious with the mayor.
This is a city government that has grown accustomed to flying under the radar with very little attention from the governed. That has changed. While the mayor prefers to wait until the middle of November to address concerns in a public forum, the council has announced that the budget will be on the agenda at Tuesday’s 3PM meeting, and that people will be allowed to speak.
I believe it is safe to say that this will be the most largely attended council meeting in Bossier City history, and that attendance will only grow as this matter is further discussed in the coming weeks.
The city finance director said that the administration had finally just put the pieces of the puzzle together. That’s interesting, because others have been aware of a pending crisis for some time.
Marsha McAllister ran for councilman-at-large in this year’s municipal election and received 20% of the vote. We noted at the time that this was a good showing for a first time candidate who was running against two incumbents. Mrs. McAllister addressed the city’s financial situation at that time, but was largely ignored.
Mrs. McAllister believed that with decreased revenues and increased spending, and with the fact that the city had used surplus funds to fund the budget for a couple of years, it was inevitable that problems would follow. It is a shame that other candidates chose not to address this during the election.
Councilmen are working to find a solution to the budget crisis without cutting any positions. While they are not blameless in this, they are stepping up and addressing it now, and they are interacting to varying degrees with the public. Councilman David Jones is personally answering his email and addressing questions from the public. It would be good to see the mayor do the same.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Have a message for the Bossier City Council? Here's an easy way to send it.

Bossier City councilman David Jones said today that he is working on a budget plan that will include no public safety layoffs. He went on to say that he feels that he and other council members are being attacked by some people in emails that they have received.
If you want to get your message to the council, just click on this link, put your message into the body of the email and hit send. We will see that all emails are delivered to the council before Tuesday’s 3PM meeting.
It is important to let the council members know what your concerns are. It also would not hurt to let them know that you support them in their efforts to work out the budget in a way that will not drastically cut police and fire services.

Bossier City Council struggling to find solution for budget crisis

Updated: Councilman David Jones said this afternoon "Our goal is to save jobs and not lay off a single employee," Jones said. "And I think we can do it."

Bossier City Council members are struggling to find alternatives to the massive public safety layoffs proposed by Mayor Lo Walker last week. Council members have been flooded with calls and emails from concerned citizens.
As of this writing, council members still have not received the proposed budget from the mayor.
There will be a council meeting Tuesday at 3PM, and Channel 3 is reporting that the budget will be on the agenda. Public turnout is expected to be very heavy.
The people of Bossier City are represented by a councilmen within their district and by 2 at-large councilmen.
Some of the emails that councilmen have received have been very hostile. Please remember in your correspondence and phone calls to keep it decent and as simply as possible to express your views on the matter.
We will post more as it is available.

KMSS will carry Saints game this weekend

When Channel 33 in Shreveport announced that they would carry the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday at 3PM rather than the Saints, fans reacted. In fact, it caused such an uproar that KMSS decided to put a poll up on their website and let the viewers decide.
The results were not surprising, to me at least. Geaux Saints!

Which team game would you like us to air this Sunday, 3:00pm?
New Orleans Saints vs Miami Dolphins 81% (2793 votes)
Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons 19% (658 votes)
Total votes: 3451