Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Night before Christmas

By Clement Clarke Moore 1779–1863
'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 mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn 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 shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he 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, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop 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 pedler 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 13, 2013

Benton Christmas on the Square

Come on up for Benton Christmas on the Square tomorrow from 10 until 5. Free parking and shuttle service from the Courthouse, first bus runs at 9:30 and last bus from festival site back to Courthouse at 6.
The Parade rolls at 3PM.
Looks like the weather will be okay and a little chilly, so bundle up!

Benton Christmas on the Square

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Conviction in Bullying Case

Jason Thomas yesterday entered a plea of guilty to Cyber Bullying in Bossier District Court. Thomas was charged in the case of Danielle Cox.
For those not familiar with the case, Danielle was diabetic and had severe mood swings. She had threatened suicide, and a friend posted her cell phone number on Facebook asking friends to text Danielle and encourage her. Thomas saw the post and sent over 100 text messages urging Danielle to kill herself. He used a program that allowed each message to show that it came from a different person.
Thomas offered a (short) apology to Danielle's family in open court as a condition of the plea. A family member said that they were satisfied with the plea and that the DA's office had stayed in touch with them throughout the process. The family is not happy that Judge Nerren agreed to consider an Article 894 at a later date. Article 894 allows the conviction to go off the record.
Thomas was originally charged with Cyber Bullying, which was later amended to a charge of Criminal Assistance to Suicide.
This is the entry from the Bossier Parish Clerk of Court's office on the court appearance yesterday:
Jason Patrick Thomas present in open Court with Elton Richey withdrew former plea of not guilty and entered a plea of guilty to the amended charge of MISDEMEANOR CYBER BULLYING (14:40.7). Defendant is sentenced by the Court to pay a fine of $500 and cost pro-rated over the first 6 months of probation or serve 60 days in the parish jail. Additional 6 months parish jail sentence is imposed and suspended. Defendant is placed on 1 year supervised probation with all the standard conditions of probation under Article 895 to apply and the following special conditions: pay a $75 monthly supervision fee; enroll in and remain in counseling on a monthly basis as recommended by Dr. Vigen; agree to release counseling sessions to the Court for review; 24 hours a month of community service and continue until further ordered by the Court; continue to be enrolled in school full time or be employed full time. Case is set for review on June 10, 2014 with proof of community service and written reports from counselor to be provided to the Court at that time. Defense counsel requested the Court consider this sentence pursuant to Article 894. State opposed. Court advised the sentence being pursuant to Article 894 shall be considered at a later date. Victims are present and notified of the review date set in open Court. Matt Altimus is present on behalf of the State. (Nerren)