Saturday, February 26, 2011

An open letter to My Bossier Commenters

Dear My Bossier Commenters:
I have made the statement in blog posts previously, and will make it again – the commenters give My Bossier whatever amount of success it enjoys. The purpose of my blog posts, generally, is to start conversations. As far as I’m concerned, that is the principal purpose of a blog.
I do try to keep the comments as open as possible, and I allow anonymous comments because I realize that everyone who is commenting doesn’t necessarily want their true identity known. In some controversial political discussions, they cannot.
Only in very rare cases do I delete a comment, and I usually give an explanation when I do.
Besides, without my commenters I would never have realized that my blog sucks, nor that very few people actually read my little blog. Nor would I have known that it is people like me who ruin our system, I wouldn’t have realized that I’m as bad as The Times, and without commenters no one else would have pointed out how comical the stories are and that it is only made more comical by a Benton hillbilly blogging about it.
Oh, and that I'm an idiot.
So commenters, keep it up and thanks. Here’s a song for you.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Duke Lowrie campaign up and running

Although he just made his formal announcement last night, Michael “Duke” Lowrie has been preparing his campaign for the District 8 House seat for some time. That seat is being left vacant by Jane Smith, who was term limited.
Lowrie was born, raised, and educated in Bossier Parish. He and his wife Kara are the owners of Acadiana Mortgage.
Duke is retired from the Bossier City Fire Department where he spent 20 years as a firefighter and paramedic. He has been active in various business and service organizations.
For more information, check out his website.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Discovery of 16,000 emails presents Lynn Austin with dilemma

The dilemma exists not because Lynn Austin sent the emails using a city email address.  It exists because Austin told Channel 6 that he 'made a mistake' by sending 30-40 emails from the wrong outlook account.  Channel 12 followed up and reported on the 16,000 emails that had been sent out in January.  Here's the dilemma - does Austin admit that he was not being forthcoming in the Channel 6 interview, or does he continue to say that he made a mistake. 
That is hard to buy into because the emails he sent out had the city email address listed at the bottom of the page.  That isn't a mistake or accidental.  This brings on the third prong of the dilemma - does he just attempt to stonewall it and say nothing about it at all?  None of these alternatives are attractive to him, but this won't go away until he manages in some manner to put it to rest.
Here is the letter; notice the email address listed at the bottom.
The other letter
Several people have asked me to publish another email that was sent out, this one went to about 30 members of the Republican Women of Bossier.  I was provided the text of the letter to publish.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

About that 30 or 40 emails

Lynn Austin told Channel 6 yesterday that he had made a mistake and accidentally sent out 30 or 40 emails on his city email account.  Mark Natale verified that 250 had been sent out on February 17th.
Channel 12 investigated and says that it appears Austin sent out 16,000 emails last month on the city email account soliciting votes in the city marshal's election.
30, 40, 16,000? 
Here's the link to the KSLA story.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tea Party Interviews have been posted

Interviews with the candidates for Bossier City Marshal have been posted on the website of the Northwest Louisiana Tea Party Alliance.
You can watch them here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

City resources used in campaign for City Marshal

City email and possibly city computers were used on behalf of a candidate in the City Marshal’s race.
The email address,, was used to send solicitations to city employees as well as for other campaign related emails.  It was used as recently as this week.  I have been told that the email address has been taken down as of this weekend.
Email from addresses can only be accessed through city computers, or through authorized home computers that have been set up to access the city’s mainframe.  Unlike some public email providers, it cannot be accessed through a personal computer (unless set up by the city) or by a cell phone.
This raises some very awkward questions.
Lynn Austin resigned from his job as CAO effective November 30th.  Why did he still have a city email address and access to the account as recently as February 17th?  Who authorized this?
In any event, at the very least, it is highly unethical. 
You just don’t use city resources to campaign for office.

Bad Moon Rising

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Head of Family & Child Services expects disciplinary action in handling of Celeste Lowe investigation

Trey Williams, the head of the Department of Family and Child Services, told Channel 12 "At this time it's still an open investigation but we expect there will be disciplinary action” in the department’s Bossier office in the handling of the case of Anna Celeste Lowe.

Not a lot of details, but you can read the story and see the KSLA video here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Defining the duties of the Bossier City Marshal

I have been receiving some questions regarding the duties of the City Marshal.
The statute says that within the city he has the same powers and authority of a sheriff. Until 1949, the Bossier City Marshal policed the city. In most municipalities, the marshal simply serves the court and acts to coordinate the activities of the court and the police department, for example by transporting prisoners to court.
If I remember correctly, when Jimmy Dove first ran for marshal in Shreveport, he had a challenger who wanted to do bascially what Johnny Wyatt had done in Bossier by having uniformed deputies and cars that are fully marked and equipped with all of the police paraphernalia.
Johnny Wyatt expanded the scope of the office to include actual policing duties, such as heading up the internet predator task force and establishing a computer forensics lab.
Some believe that these duties best belong with the police department.
This is how the law defines it.  I think it may be a good thing for the candidates to fully address it, not just in the sense of 'continuing' what Johnny Wyatt did, but in explaining to the people how this is not simply duplicating what the police department already does.
RS 13:1881
§1881. General powers and duties of marshal; deputy marshals
  • A. The marshal is the executive officer of the court; he shall execute the orders and mandates of the court and in the execution thereof, and in making arrests and preserving the peace, he has the same powers and authority of a sheriff.
  • B. The marshal may appoint one or more deputy marshals having the same powers and authority as the marshal, but the marshal shall be responsible for their actions. The compensation of the deputy marshals shall be fixed and paid by the governing authorities of the city or parish, or both, where the court is located. The city marshal may use funds available for expenses of his office, including proceeds from costs assessed in criminal matters pursuant to R.S. 13:1899, to pay an amount in excess of the fixed salary or to pay the amount fixed or any portion thereof to deputy marshals or to employ additional deputies. However, nothing herein shall authorize the city marshal to fix or supplement his own salary. In no event shall the salary of any deputy exceed that of his city marshal. Acts 1960, No. 32, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1961; Acts 1983, No. 248, §1; Acts 1986, No. 168, §1; Acts 1993, No. 629, §1.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

One of Bossier's finest sons is now one of DeSoto's finest

I've known Kyle Martin since he was, as they say, a snot-nosed kid.  Kyle is a son of Bossier Parish; he grew up near Plain Dealing.
He is a deputy sheriff in DeSoto Parish now and is involved in supporting Special Olympics.  He took a polar plunge - dressed up, as you can see, in special garb.  This was part of a bet and it netted Special Olympics $1,600.  A lot of people wanted to see Kyle in that Tutu.  KSLA has a video of the event, you can watch it here.
I told Kyle in an email that he is a credit to all of us, I'm sure you will share that sentiment.
Kyle takes the plunge
Kyle with Dad Joey and Mom Kathy

This is what he really looks like

Just had to get one more of these in here!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sammy Wyatt has experience investigating sex crimes

Since Lynn Austin sent out a flyer from Jeff Wyatt pointing out the fact that Johnny Wyatt was so involved in catching child predators (which he was), it is only fitting to point out that as a detective with BCPD Sammy Wyatt did exactly that.  In fact, Lynn Austin hasn't been involved in police work since the early 80's, other than a short stint as interim chief.
Sam Wyatt is probably more qualified just on a technological basis to carry on the work.  To be fair to Carl Richard, I don't know anything of his abilities in this area.

Have a question for the candidates for Bossier City Marshal?

The Northwest Louisiana Tea Party Alliance will be interviewing all three candidates for Bossier City Marshal.
If you have suggestions for questions, please submit them on the NWLTPA website.

Times editorial about Celeste Lowe ignores a key fact

The Times has an editorial this morning recapping Alison Bath’s series on the events in the Celeste Lowe murder case.
I blogged on those articles, which I thought were very well done, here.
The editorial this morning noted that:
  • Another call to Ouachita Parish authorities could have determined that the reason Lowe had custody — suspected abuse allegations against his former wife and Celeste's mother — had been determined to be unfounded.
The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s investigators did determine that at that time, the charges were unfounded for lack of evidence.
What The Times is ignoring in the editorial this morning can be summed up in a sentence from Ms. Bath’s article:
  • Finally, Social Services completed their investigation in December and validated the reported abuse.
The editorial this morning is ignoring that key fact.
The courts have to act with the information that they are given by both sides in a dispute, and by facts they ascertain from official sources.
The court had a copy of the Ouachita Sheriff’s investigation. They also knew that Social Services had determined – rightly or wrongly – that the charges of abuse at the hands of the mother were validated.
The editorial goes on to say:
  • Bossier Parish judges must consider whether they too readily extended protective orders related to the custody fight. Protective orders were extended four times, including once after the investigation related to the alarm raised at Celeste's school.
First, the protective orders were not related to the custody fight, which was already settled in Ouachita Parish court, but were related to allegations of abuse. Social Services determined that the allegations were true.
I see no fault in the decisions made by the hearing officer and the judges of the 26th JDC. They had to act on the facts they had at the time, and those facts told them that it had been determined that the child suffered abuse while in the custody of the mother.
The end result was a terrible tragedy, but let the blame lie where it lies – with the father and step-mother who perpetrated the act.
The court system did the best it could do with the information it had.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Candidates qualify for City Marshal's office

Carl Richard and Sammy Wyatt both qualifed with the Bossier Parish Clerk of Court this morning for the City Marshal position that is on the April 2 ballot.
Richard and Wyatt both indicated that they intend to run an above board campaign, with their emphasis on selling themselves and their qualifications to the voters.
Both said they will not engage in any negative campaigning toward the other candidates, and so far in this election that has proved to be true.
As a side note, Clerk of Court Cindy Johnston is up for re-election this fall.  So far, I have not heard any talk about a challenger.  Not so, however, for Tax Assessor Bobby Edmiston; I have heard that someone else is preparing to run, but I don't have a name yet.  We'll work on that.
Sammy Wyatt with Clerk of Court Cindy Johnston

Carl Richard with Clerk of Court Cindy Johnston

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Check out the Knockers

The Twin City Knockers, that is - what were you thinking?
Shreveport-Bossier's roller derby girls will be in the Crewe of Centaur parade later this month.  They don't have anything on the calendar until March, when they meet the Viscious Vixens.  They are working on completing some dates, however.  You can keep up with them on their website or on Facebook.

Relationships and the Bossier Marshal's race

Lynn Austin sent out a flyer to make sure that everyone understands that Sammy Wyatt isn't related to Johnny Wyatt.
Okay, we understood that when Sammy noted that in his announcement, and when he made sure that the Bossier Press Tribune noted that in their article. 
He also noted in My Bossier that "Although Johnny Wyatt and I are not related I have always thought of him as family. He was a friend, a confidant, and a mentor."
Austin is apparently afraid that the voters of Bossier City can't take a hint.  If he is concerned about relationships, he would be advised to distance himself from his recent relationship as Mayor Lo Walker's right hand man.  I realize that the powers that be in Bossier City government don't get it, but a large number of people in Bossier City became very disenchanted with city government during the budget crisis in December of 2009, and most of that was aimed at Lo Walker.
Here's the flyer.
If Sam Wyatt had tried to capitalize on his last name, perhaps this would be justified.  He hasn't and he won't.
He is related to this guy, however.  Gene Wyatt was a country singer and was Sammy's uncle.  If you like good old country music, give it a listen. Maybe the boys are afraid that Sam's about to steal the flowers from their garden.


That 3" to 7" of snow with a high of 32 turned out to be, to put it nicely, a little off.
More like rain and a low so far of 34 degrees.
I'll bet all of the public officials who signed orders closing schools and public offices are having a Steve Urkel "Did I do that?" moment about now.
Onward and upward, looks like 65+ degrees for this weekend into next week.  I'm ready for it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Duke Lowrie reschedules formal announcement

Duke Lowrie has rescheduled the formal announcment of his candidacy for State Legislature until February 24th at 6 PM at the Bossier Civic Center.
The announcement had been scheduled for Thursday at 6.
The change was made due to the expected winter storm.

Here it comes again!

UPDATE: Caddo and Bossier Schools will be closed Wednesday.

Chance Rain/Sleet Chance for Measurable Precipitation 30%
Lo 30 °F

Snow/Sleet Chance for Measurable Precipitation 100%

Hi 32 °F

Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 30%
Lo 19 °F

Mostly Sunny
Hi 34 °F

Mostly Clear
Lo 19 °F
Tonight: A chance of rain and sleet after midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 30. East wind between 5 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Wednesday: Snow and sleet, becoming all snow after noon. High near 32. East wind around 15 mph becoming north. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow and sleet accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

Wednesday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. Wind chill values as low as 10. North wind between 5 and 15 mph.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 34. North wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Times does 2 part series on Celeste Lowe

Reporter Alison Bath of The Times completed a two part series today on the situation leading up to the death of 5 year old Celeste Lowe.
Part 1
Part 2
I’ve heard a lot of comments from people who were curious as to why Bossier Parish judges would keep reissuing protective orders against the natural mother of the child. The answer is in the Times today.
  • Finally, Social Services completed their investigation in December and validated the reported abuse. The news was a crushing blow to the 32-year-old Mercer, who never saw the report but was told that the agency had found against her because of consistent statements made by Celeste.
Since Social Services validated the abuse and found against the mother, how could the judges in Bossier Parish lift the order, effectively giving custody back to the mother?
Now we know that Celeste was in peril for her life in Bossier Parish; the judges and the hearing officer did not know that before the fact.
What is more troubling is the fact that in December the Bossier Sheriff’s department was called to Elm Grove School because one of Celeste’s teachers noticed a bruise on her neck. The sheriff’s office investigated.
  • Bossier sheriff's spokesman Ed Baswell said a detective talked with Wesley Lowe, a Social Services worker and the teacher. All pointed the finger at Mercer — not Catherine Murray Lowe, Baswell said.  As a result of those conversations, the detective concluded the abuse occurred in West Monroe and was not within the Bossier sheriff's jurisdiction, Baswell said.  But the detective didn't talk with Celeste. The detective also didn't call Mercer or contact the Ouachita sheriff's office.  Although the detective was aware a Sept. 29 temporary protective order kept Mercer from her daughter, that knowledge didn't appear to trigger any questions about how Mercer could have abused Celeste.  "We had no reason to believe that any abuse occurred here and the child would not be in danger with the offending parent until court proceedings and the criminal investigations were concluded in Monroe," Baswell said.
What Baswell didn’t answer was how the mother could have been responsible for the bruise since she hadn’t seen the child in five weeks. If the sheriff’s office wasn’t aware of that fact, they should have been.  It is pretty apparent from the timeline that the abuse occurred in Bossier Parish.
Had this been fully investigated, would it have been the trigger to remove the child to foster care?  We'll never know.
Go to the Times and read the articles. There are no easy answers for any of it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Here's the Snow

Everything is pretty much shut down in the area right now.  It will get worse later as the temperatures get nearer to freezing and then this stuff refreezes with a low of 22 tonight.
Here are the obligatory videos and pictures.
Stay in if you can and stay safe!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Two to Four Inches of snow predicted for Friday



Slight Chance Rain/Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 20%
Slight Chc
Hi 34 °F

Snow/Sleet Chance for Measurable Precipitation 60%

Lo 25 °F

Snow/Sleet Chance for Measurable Precipitation 60%

Hi 35 °F

Slight Chance Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 20%
Slight Chc
Lo 21 °F

Today: A slight chance of rain and snow after noon. Cloudy, with a high near 34. Wind chill values as low as 10. North wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Tonight: Snow likely, possibly mixed with sleet. Cloudy, with a low around 25. North wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Friday: Snow likely, possibly mixed with sleet. Cloudy, with a high near 35. Northwest wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow before midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 21. Wind chill values as low as 13. West wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Duke Lowrie to announce for legislature

As expected, Duke Lowrie will announce that he is running for the District 8 seat in the legislature.  Jane Smith is term limited and has announced that she is running for Buddy Shaw's senate seat.
Lowrie will make his announcement on February 10th at 6PM at the Bossier Civic Center.