Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: The year in review

Just thought I’d throw in some highlights from 2009.
The culmination of a bitterly fought judge’s race arrived in January when Mike Craig took the oath as 26th JDC judge. He seems to have had a good first year.
On the negative side, the first of the school board thieves entered a guilty plea in federal court.
The school board was in disarray, Ken Kruithof resigned and in May D. C. Machen, Jr. was appointed superintendent.
June brought a plethora of news and events.
Shreveport rapper Hurricane Chris stirred up a storm when he performed before the Louisiana Legislature.
Pop Culture Icon Michael Jackson passed away, leaving mourning fans around the world.
Kaboom! Billy Mays died at age 50. Seems he had used cocaine a few days earlier and that contributed to his death. Who woulda thought?
LSU won the college world series, Geaux Tigers!
The trashy story of the year also comes out of June. This was a tight one, between Cucumber guy (remember him?), the woman who knocked her mother out in Benton and then pooped on her (Woman knocks Mom out in Benton then poops on her back).
The winner, however, has to be this ballbuster: Woman Attacks Scrotum - Judge Orders Protection
October brought surprises too, the arrest of a 26th JDC ADA and the brouhaha that ensues when a public official is treated as if they were an ordinary citizen.
The story of the year, however, developed when Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker announced the layoff of 117 city employees, most in the Police and Fire Departments. That announcement started a firestorm that finally culminated in the City Council proposing and adopting a budget of their own which had far fewer cuts.
This brings us to My Bossier’s most influential person of the year, Heather Carter.
Since this is still in everyone’s memory, I won’t burden you with a lot of details. Suffice it to say that Heather stood up and led the fight to oppose the cuts, recruited 3,700 people to a Facebook Group in support of that effort, and swayed the City Council and greatly affected the final outcome of the budget process.
Congratulations Heather!

On a sad note, our friend Judge Burchett left us this year.
Listen to Guy Lombardo and raise a glass to Judge Burchett.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jingle Bells

The Night Before Christmas 1920

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
midday 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!"

Friday, December 18, 2009

Chief Tommy's Last Call

This was filmed Wednesday by Mario Villafuerte for Channel 33 news.
Battalion Chief Tommy Adams of the Shreveport Fire Department was injured in February by a fall from a ladder, and passed away earlier this week.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bossier Deputy rescues man from icy water

Bossier Parish Deputy Sheriff Harlan Dredge responded to a call on Sligo Road of a man calling for help at about 3AM.
When he arrived at the scene, he heard the cries and realized they were coming from the bayou that runs beside the road.
Thomas Hart lost control of his car in the rain and ran into the bayou and was trapped in 18 ft of water. Dredge jumped into the bayou and pulled the man to safety.
A spokesman for Willis Knighton Pierremont said that Hart's core body temperature was down to 75 degrees when he arrived there.
Good job, Deputy Dredge!

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Bake Sale for Madison Johnson

There will be a bake sale this weekend to benefit Madison Johnson.
Madison is a 2nd grader at Bellaire Elementary, is currently receiving treatment at St. Judes in Memphis.
Assorted homemade cookies packaged in Christmas Tins & Other Items Avanilable
Donations will be also accepted at both locations. An account has been set up at Barksdale Federal Credit Union for the Johnson Family.
For more information about the sale or making a direct donation, please call Sun Sport Tanning at 742-4502.

Friday & Saturday
Sun Sport Tanning 7-7 Friday and 10-5 Saturday
River Cities Car Wash - 8am-5pm both days

Monday, December 14, 2009

Officer fired in Sentell arrest appeals to Civil Service Board

Former Bossier Police officer Phillip Vernon has appealed his firing.
Vernon was fired for willfully misrepresenting a matter in a report. The matter that he was alleged to have misrepresented were remarks he, and fired reserve officer Jared Fisher, reported were made by Sherb Sentell, the Webster Parish ADA allegedly threatening to have them fired.
Vernon had said that the remarks were made during transport. The in car video-audio system did not reflect that.
Vernon’s attorney, Joel Pearce, said “I think the public record is very clear that the (Bossier City police) officers have been given a warning that you don’t do this to one of us — a VIP,” Pearce said. “It's a chilling effect.”
The Civil Service Board will probably hear the appeal in February.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sure those Public Safety cuts were wise?

Yes, I know what the supporters said, BCPD is overstaffed. Take six minutes and listen carefully. This is made by someone in Riverwood in North Bossier.
Really think the cuts are responsible?
WARNING: Bad Language!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Battleground Chuck E Cheese: Pizza and Pandemonium

Two women are cooling their heels in jail tonight thanks to a fight they started at Chuck E Cheese in Bossier City.
Apparently fighting over continuing man/woman/domestic/baby daddy issues, several other patrons got involved, but fled the premises before police got there.
One of the women had threatened to 'get her gun' out of her car, the other lost her weave during the melee`.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

James Dupré CD to come out in January

We blogged about James Dupré in July. James is a young singer from Bayou Chicot in Evangeline Parish who has become well known through local appearances and from a prolific YouTube Channel.
Now James has an album coming out. He gives you some details in this video as well as a sample of his music. Keep an eye on him!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thunderbirds will appear at Barksdale in April

The Thunderbirds released their 2010 schedule today, and it includes a visit to Barksdale on April 24th and 25th. The Thunderbirds hold demonstrations from March to November and train during the winter months.
The Thunderbirds' 2010 schedule is as follows:

20 and 21: Davis Monthan AFB, Ariz.
27 and 28: Maxwell AFB, Ala.
10 and 11: Eglin AFB, Fla.
17 and 18: Lakeland, Fla.
24 and 25: Barksdale AFB, La.
1: Dyess AFB, Texas
2: Altus AFB, Okla.
8 and 9: Shaw AFB, S.C.
15 and 16: Columbus AFB, Miss.
22: Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
26: U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
29 and 30: Janesville, Wis.
5 and 6: Ocean City, Md.
12 and 13: Quebec City, Canada
19 and 20: Tinker AFB, Okla.
26 and 27: North Kingstown, R.I.
10 and 11: Gary, Ind.
17 and 18: Duluth, Minn.
21: Cheyenne, Wyo.
24 and 25: Fairchild AFB, Wash.
Jul 31 and Aug 1: Rockford, Ill.
7 and 8: Moffett Field, Calif.
14 and 15: Abbotsford, Canada
21 and 22: Westfield, Mass.
25: Atlantic City, N.J.
28 and 29: Brooklyn (Coney Island), N.Y.
4 and 5: Martinsburg, W.V.
11 and 12: Coraopolis (Pittsburgh), Pa.
18 and 19: Whiteman AFB, Mo.
25 and 26: McConnell AFB, Kan.
2 and 3: Salinas, Calif.
9 and 10: Little Rock AFB, Ark.
16 and 17: El Paso, Texas
23 and 24: Houston
30 and 31: Cocoa Beach, Fla.
6 and 7: Lackland AFB, Texas
13 and 14: Nellis AFB, Nev.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Louisiana Pearl Harbor survivor honored

Pearl Harbor survivor James Cook of Slidell was honored during a ceremony Monday at Pearl Harbor Park in Chalmette, Cook, 84, was on the USS Rigel (AD-13) during the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The Rigel, originally built in 1918, was at the American base in Hawaii for an overhaul when the Japanese attacked. The ship was only slightly damaged; its crew, unable to fire, immediately turned to rescue and salvage operations. The Chalmette observance of the 68th anniversary of the bombing was sponsored by the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.
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Police cars repossessed, officers fired in Napoleonville

Bossier, it could be worse . .
(From The Advocate)
An Oklahoma-based dealer of police vehicles has sued the village of Napoleonville over two police cars that the dealer had to repossess on Oct. 9 after the town used the cars and did not pay for them as promised.
The lawsuit highlights problems village officials have had in tapping a $151,628 federal stimulus grant awarded earlier this year through the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice.
The two-year reimbursement grant, which comes through the U.S. Department of Justice Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, was meant to pay for two cars and two police officers, village and commission officials said.
Reimbursement grants pay communities back after the communities spend their funds. However, when the grant funding ends, at least in this case, the village would likely have to seek other funding.
Since the cars were repossessed, the town of St. Gabriel has donated two police cars, Napoleonville Police Chief Lionel Bell has said.
The village had continued funding concerns because grant money had not come in by Nov. 15. That led Bell to lay off the two officers hired under the grant who were supposed to patrol in the donated cars.
“If we had started getting our reimbursement, it would have been good,” Bell said.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Heather Carter: a lesson in participatory government

There are times when one person standing up can focus hundreds, even thousands of others to do the same.
Heather Burney Carter is the wife of a Bossier City police officer who was due to be laid off under the budget proposed by the mayor. Instead of sitting back, Heather took the initiative and proved that local government does respond to the people. The proposed budget called for the layoff of 26 police officers and 38 firemen. In the end, only 1 police officer and 8 firemen will be laid off. Regretfully, those people in the academies and a number of other city workers will be let go.
Heather started a Facebook group “Save our Bossier City Police and Firefighters” which ended up with almost 3,800 members. She attended every city council meeting, expressed her views to the concil and corresponded with council members.
Heather agreed to share her experience with the readers of My Bossier.

October 16th, 2009 was the kind of day in which something small happens but it changes your life forever.
When I was told that the mayor would be making a statement about possible lay offs for city employees I was concerned. When I realized my husband was one of the people that may be laid off I was devastated. My immediate reaction was to cry and then to pray.
The more I thought about the situation the madder I got. I knew someone had to do something but I quickly realized that most of the people who were involved could not do anything at all because Civil Service rules will not allow them to speak out.
I started sending emails and making phone calls trying to find out what could be done to help and what city officials needed to be contacted. I also started a Facebook group so the families involved would have an easy way to share information, ideas, and concerns.
I went to every city council meeting and tried to find as much information as possible on line so I could make sure everyone knew what was going on and how it affected their families.
My goal in the beginning was for the 2010 budget to have no layoffs. I quickly learned that was not feasible so I changed my goal to saving as many jobs as possible. I had several people tell me that one person could not make a difference and that I should just give up and start looking for my husband a job with a new department.
Several people said I was only adding to the problem. I was also accused of trying to save jobs in the police and fire departments at the cost of other city employees. I can honestly say that was never my intention, but I doubt anyone can say they would not fight for their job given the opportunity. I made it clear to anyone who would listen to me that I would not be quiet and I would not stop fighting until the final vote was cast.
Anyone who knows me personally will tell you that I do not like to speak in public. Making the decision to address the city council was hard, but I knew someone had to do it and none of the other family members were coming forward. In the end two other wives did come forward and speak out for their families. There are not words to express how much it meant to me to have someone who was going through the exact same situation I was in standing with me to take a stand. I told them both that when everything was over, no matter what the outcome, we would know that we did our best to help save our husband’s jobs.
I would not call the final decision a victory for my cause. The city council was unable to present a budget that everyone could agree on but they were able to get a majority vote. The city council was also unable to save all of the city employees from being laid off, but they were able to save some.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those being laid off. I personally feel that the council men did the best they could given the current situation.
All of the hard work and stress paid off in the end. When the final votes were cast and I saw the look in my husband’s eyes I knew I made the right decision.
By chance the votes were cast on our eighth wedding anniversary and I can not think of a better gift to either of us.
People will soon forget about everything that has happened over the last two months. They will stop attending the city council meetings, the news will not mention what the families of those being laid off are going through, and people will start to complain about the police again. To the families involved though we will never forget what it felt like to go through this process. How proud we were to watch our loved ones go to work and put their lives on the line everyday knowing they may be laid off in a few weeks.
I never wanted anyone involved in city government to know my name, much less to be on the news and in the papers, but my parents taught me to always stand up for what is right even if it is not was is popular and to always put family first. At the end of the day that is really all I have done.
I am so thankful now to have my life back. I no longer have to ask my boss for time off to attend council meetings. There will no longer be daily emails and phone calls trying to get people care about our situation and get involved. I can go back to just being Hannah’s mom and Officer Carter’s wife. That may not sound like much to some but to me it’s the best news I have gotten in weeks.
I would like to thank everyone who helped with our cause. Several people worked behind the scenes and did not get the credit they deserve.
It’s over, it’s really over.
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Tiger Woods

In a statement on his website, the world's top golfer said he had let his family down and that he regretted those "transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behaviour my family deserves."

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Morris Dees in Claiborne Parish for news conference on Bernard Monroe shooting

KSLA is reporting that that Claiborne Parish District Attorney Jonathan Stewart has removed himself from the case of Bernard Monroe, who was shot to death in February by a Homer police officer.
Stewart is turning the case over to the State Attorney General.
Monroe, 73, was shot outside his home by a police officer who had been chasing his son. Police said Monroe was armed, but witnesses dispute that fact.
Morris Dees from the Southern Poverty Law Center was at the news conference. He said he would represent the Monroe family in any possible civil cases related to the shooting. He said he would have up to a year after the grand jury's decision to file his case.
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