Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day 2014

Luke 2:1-20King James Version

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.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Ollie Tyler New Shreveport Mayor

Ollie Tyler has been elected to replace Cedric Glover as Mayor of Shreveport. 
Shreveport Marshal Charlie Caldwell was also re-elected. Both won by landslide margins.
Not unexpectedly, Bill Cassidy was elected to replace Mary Landrieu in the Senate, ending 18 years of service.
Cassidy and the new Republican Senate and the Republican House have promised to repeal Obamacare and replace it, and to secure the southern border without any amnesty program. I think I'll save my kudos for the actual accomplishments. To date, they are just campaign promises, and we all know what that is worth.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Schuyler Marvin re-elected

Schuyler Marvin was re-elected to another 6 year term today by a heavy Webster Parish vote. 
Total Vote:
Marvin - 23,791
Graves - 21,215

Webster Parish:
Marvin - 8,835
Graves - 4,315

Bossier Parish:
Marvin - 14,956
Graves - 16,900

Remember what I relayed last week about the tail wagging the dog? Yeah, that just happened.
Lo Walker came out with an endorsement for Marvin. It appears that he has longer coattails in Webster Parish than in Bossier.
Jim Whitman was easily elected Bossier City Marshal, carrying 70% of the vote.
Foster Campbell had an easy ride back to his seat on the Public Service Commission.
In the School Board races, Eric Newman had a landslide win over incumbent Eddy Ray Presley. 
Frank Kelly won over Tammy Armer Smith, 2,123 votes to 2,087. 
Onward and Upward folks!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Frank Kelly - School Board District 3

Frank Kelly, Current District 3 Bossier School Board Member
And Candidate for Re-election
When District 3 voters first elected me last year I ran on the principles of transparency, accountability, and fiscal conservatism.
My opponent likes to talk about her 8 year record on the Board.  I examined her record.  I have campaigned only on the issues, my qualifications and my opponent's record.  Some of her supporters think I have been 'mudslinging' when I point out my opponent's actions and record. Every School Board member's actions and voting record should be transparent and we should all be able to discuss them and we should hold them accountable.
This is how I differ from my opponent:
1.  She ran as a Democrat twice in District 4 which is 40% Democratic, 35% Republican.  She became a Republican to run in District 3 which is 53% Republican.  I have been a Republican since I was 18.
2.  She voted twice for the Superintendent's $50,000 pay raise and the $1,000 per month car allowance: on 8/13/13 in the Finance Committee and at the School Board meeting on 8/15/13.  Two problems with the raise: 1). It came at a time when no employee had a raise in 6 years.  We should take care of employees before management.  2). In my opinion, the $50,000 raise and $1,000 per month car allowance are excessive.  
3.  She always votes with the Superintendent and Administration (3 exceptions in 8 years 5/1/08, 4/15/10, and 5/3/12).  Our Government and our school system need Checks and Balances.  Only the School Board provides oversight of the Administration.  I have opposed the Administration 3 times in my first 8 months.
4.  She voted for a resolution to expand Pre-K in public schools.  This means sending 4 year olds to school.  I voted against this.  There is credible research that shows gains achieved in Pre-K are lost by the 4th grade.  Adding Pre-K in Bossier would add about 2,000 4 year olds.  That would require about 100 more teachers ($7m) and about 100 new classrooms ($45m).  Furthermore, Louisiana's Dept of Education has already developed educational standards for kids ages 0-4.  Once a new 'grade' is established for 4 year olds, what do you think is next?  3 year olds and so on.
5.  She voted for the SRO Agreement on June 5, 2014. I voted against it.  I did not vote against school security, SROs, the SRO program, or the Sheriff.  In my opinion, the Board and the Administration should have prepared a better agreement to send to the Sheriff.  The agreement is poorly written and doesn't specify what the Board will get for the $2.5 million we are paying.  My vote was to protect the Board and the taxpayers.  See the agreement and my letter on my web site:  
6. She was President of the Board in 2012 when the Board purchased 33 acres on Benton Road.  The adjoining land is owned by BBS Properties LLC-a commercial real estate development company.  My opponent's husband is an owner of BBS and my opponent is an officer of the company, BBS.  What do you think happens to the value of land when the School Board buys 33 acres next to the land?  Do you think BBS benefitted from her actions on the Board? 

I have confined my campaign to the issues, my qualifications, and my opponent's record.  Furthermore, I have researched the issues and most of the documentation (deeds, Financial Disclosure statements, etc.) is available for your review on the home page of my web site   

If you are a candidate for office and would like to address the voters with your platform for office, please send a few paragraphs to and we will publish it.  Attach a picture if you like and we’ll include it.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Predictions Anyone?

Tuesday is election day, and while there are very few people who are undecided at this point, the candidates are pulling out all of the stops in order to get their message out until the very last moment.
I'm neither an expert nor a prophet (unless my predictions turn out to be true and then I'll claim both titles). This is how I see several of the elections, just based on what I've observed and on discussions I have had with a number of people. Please post your opinions and predictions in the comments section.
School Board
Three seats are in play. 
District 3: Incumbent Tammy Armer Smith was redistricted out of her District 4 seat and is running against incumbent Frank Kelly for the District 3 seat. It's an unusual situation, but I believe that Tammy has the edge.
Winner: Tammy Armer Smith
District 4: The seat being vacated by Tammy is being contested by three people, Richard Phipps II, Elizabeth Foster and Bill Lott. It appears that all are good candidates, but I don't have enough input or intuition to make a call in this one.
District 9: Incumbent Eddy Ray Presley is being challenged by Eric Newman. This one had possibilities, Presley offended a lot of people last year with his remarks about 'the morons in South Bossier'. With lawsuits and a lot of talk about bullying in South Bossier schools, this could have given Newman a platform to work with. From what I can tell, he hasn't taken advantage of it and appears to be a 'me too' candidate.
Winner: Eddy Presley
Bossier City Marshal
Will the Fox get into the Henhouse? Carl Wayne Richard is making another run for the office, this time against Marshal's Captain Jim Whitman. In the beginning, I would have given Richard the edge simply because of name recognition. Whitman, who was not that well known, has introduced himself and presented himself well to the public. Considering that he has some powerful backing, and that Richard has some baggage, I think Whitman has caught up.
Winner: Jim Whitman
District Attorney
This is a fascinating campaign. When Whit Graves first announced, he knew it was an uphill battle. At that time I would have predicted that incumbent Schuyler Marvin would carry 60% of the vote, but there are a couple of things that factor into the race. First, this is a two-parish Judicial District, consisting of Bossier and Webster Parishes. Webster Parish, where Schuyler is from, comprises about 20% of the District. Bossier, where Graves lives, is 80%. As one person who is very familiar with the system and with both of the candidates observed, at some point the tail will stop wagging the dog. It is an interesting dynamic and one that might come into play. Second, Graves has run an aggressive campaign, and from the people I've talked to, has drawn points with his attacks on the DA's Investigator, who was convicted of a misdemeanor in the past. (I apologize for originally calling this a felony, it wasn't). 
This same investigator was a close friend of confessed killer and convicted robber Larry Thompson. This has caused concern to a number of people that I have heard from and sent that race into topsy-turvy mode.
Winner: Too close to call
Shreveport Mayor's Race
A small part of Shreveport is in Bossier Parish, certainly not enough to make a difference in this election. I am only posting this because at this point I'm glad that I don't live in Shreveport and glad that I don't have to deal with it.
This race has taken a very ugly turn, with accusations of mental disabilities and a 50 year old domestic abuse/murder case coming into play. 
I look forward to election night and seeing what the results are. As I said in the beginning of this post, I would love to see how you all see things. Please comment.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Unfortunate Incident with SPD Upsets Household

I'm linking to the full account of this so you can get it from the original source. Suffice it to say that the people involved are upstanding, law abiding citizens (a teacher and a retired BCPD Lieutenant) who were doing nothing but sitting in their living room watching the World Series.
Here's the story:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bossier election 2014 - Where's the Money?

Candidates have filed the reports that are required 30 days before election by the Louisiana Ethics Board disclosing contributions and disbursements.
I checked out the ones affecting Bossier's two big races, for DA and for City Marshal.
As expected, incumbent Schuyler Marvin has a huge financial advantage over Whit Graves. Schuyler went into the election with a hefty war chest of $282,396.87. He has received contributions of $166,665.27 and has spent $189,397.60, leaving $250,837.70 on hand.
During the reporting period Whit has $28,454.63 in contributions, has loaned himself $15,000, and has disbursements of $16,152.77, leaving $24,747.23 on hand.
In the race for City Marshal, Jim Whitman has collected $107,105.97 in contributions plus a $6,950 loan to himself. His disbursements are $77,654.95 leaving $25,710.05 on hand.
Since the incumbent, Lynn Austin, is not running, Whitman is the de-facto incumbent. He works for the Marshal and has his endorsement. During the special election to replace Johnny Wyatt, at this point in the race Austin had $90,800 in contributions compared to Whitman's $107,105.97. Equally interesting is the fact that Carl Wayne Richard, in that election at the 30 day out point, had only $7,700. This time around at the same point he has contributions of $36,431.79 along with a $23,000 loan. He has disbursements of $41,686.40, leaving him with a total of $18,173.51.
In the 2011 election, Lynn Austin won outright with 54% of the vote. Carl Richard had 30% and Sam Wyatt 16%. Lynn Austin is a former police chief and city CAO. Jim Whitman is an employee of the Marshal's office and doesn't have the high profile that Austin enjoyed. This race is also much more financially balanced between the two candidates.
I won't make a prediction, but I do believe that it is a squeaker.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Randall Lord, Candidate for Congress

I'm Randall Lord and I am the Libertarian candidate for US Congress. I am a life long resident and native of Shreveport, serving our area as a Chiropractor for nearly 25 years. After the 9/11 attacks, like most people, I wanted to give the government a little latitude to
to find and go after our attackers. Never in my wildest dreams did I think our government would institute mass warrantless spying on average US citizens, but they have. Our biggest threat to our liberties are not the terrorists but an out of control government. 
Our protracted war on terrorists, drugs and poverty is about to bankrupt us and destroy any liberties we had left. I want our government to once again live within its means and within the enumerated powers listed by our Constitution. My campaign isn't about left verses right, it's about Tyranny verses Liberty. I'm asking for your vote this fall. "For Liberty, For Louisiana."
If you are a candidate for office and would like to address the voters with your platform for office, please send a few paragraphs to and we will publish it.  Attach a picture if you like and we’ll include it.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Whit Graves, Candidate for District Attorney

            Over forty years ago I became a Louisiana State Police Trooper when I was nineteen years old.  My college degrees are in Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.  I was accepted into the prestigious Paul M. Hebert Law Center at LSU where I earned my Juris Doctorate.  After graduating and passing the Bar Admission Exam on my first taking, I immediately came home and became a prosecutor under then District Attorney Henry Brown rising to the position of Chief Prosecutor.
            I left the District Attorney’s Office after Schuyler Marvin was cited by the Legislative Auditor for unconstitutionally using government funds from a bank account established when he was in the Webster Parish office.  That money was largely obtained from drug runners who then received lenient sentences.  He resigned but I correctly predicted he would oust the then District Attorney Jim Bullers who was incapacitated from a motorcycle accident and I would not be associated with Marvin as the District Attorney.
            Since then the operations and practices of the District Attorney has been shrouded and lacks necessary transparency.  I intend to reinstate the placing of police reports into the files of the Clerk of Court, minus of course the names and other identifying information about sex crime victims, children and others who would be at risk if their identities were revealed.  Confidence in the operations of the office by the citizens it serves dictates that its endeavors are open and obvious for all to inspect, agree with, and /or critique.
            As District Attorney, my first act will be to fire Frank “Buddy” Mondello, a convicted criminal who has served as an “investigator” for Schuyler Marvin.  He is the good friend of the confessed murderer for hire Larry Thompson who admitted to helping Marvin get elected solely to assist Mondello to get the position of great authority and power he has.  His continuance with police power is indefensible.
            I want to move to a position where more of the current Assistant District Attorneys are full time employees.  Not every position dictates a need for a full time status, but the ability to consolidate responsibilities and duties will provide the opportunity to have career prosecutors who will only become more effective with a broad base experience.  Our main objective will be to serve you with a special attention towards the victims of crimes because a successful prosecution mandates that the needs and desires of victims be carefully considered. The allowance of greatly reduced sentences through plea bargains in order to obtain a cheap conviction for statistical purposes will cease to be the objective.  Such practice only insures the speedy return of violent or career criminals through shorter sentences than the crimes actually committed demand.
            As the Chief Prosecutor, I did the job more efficiently and with greater results. I will return that effectiveness through providing the instruction, direction, and examples to the many staff members who have great potential only needing to be properly channeled towards serving you and your families.  I look forward to joining with the police and judges in insuring our district will be a place where our children and grandchildren will want to stay, feeling safe and secure.

This photo was published at the top of the post when I put it up Sunday. Since it is no longer timely, I'm moving to the bottom.
Whit Graves sent me his submission for the blog, along with a note saying that he would be busy emceeing the Shrine Circus this weekend. While he was busy keeping that commitment, two of his tires were slashed.

If you are a candidate for office and would like to address the voters with your platform for office, please send a few paragraphs to and we will publish it.  Attach a picture if you like and we’ll include it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ex-Sheriff Indicted

Former Bossier Sheriff Larry Deen, along with Clinton Blakey & Clifton Blakey, have been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury.
The charges against each are Federal Program Theft and conspiracy to commit Federal Program Theft. The Blakeys are also charged with a tax violation in failing to file an IRS Tax Form 8300 on the transaction.
The Times has the best account of the scheme, you can read it here.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Please Help

In a tragic accident Saturday at Brownlee Road and Benton Road the life of a six year old was taken.
Serderrio Thomas, Jr. was a Kindergarten student at Benton Elementary. A website has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses. 
If possible, please do something to help and keep everyone involved in your prayers.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tammy Armer Smith, School Board District 3

 For the last eight years, it has been my sincere honor to serve as your Bossier Parish School Board representative for District 4.  To give you a snapshot of what has been accomplished while serving as a Bossier Parish School Board member, we were cited among the top 10 districts in the state; number one for highly effective teachers; and while President of the Board in 2012, voters approved a $210 million bond issue (the largest in parish history) to build new schools and address growth. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Barksdale Air Force Base to provide school of choice and a Military Student Transition Consultant.  A renewal of property taxes in 2013 also enabled the board to grant across-the-board pay raises for teachers and support personnel, as well as allowed for placement of School Resource Officers (SRO’s) in all schools.  
 I have been and will remain committed to the students, their families and the employees of Bossier Schools, as well as responsible to the citizens of our great parish. As a product of Bossier Schools and now mother of four children, I have a vested interest in ensuring our district continues to provide students the best education and most opportunities. This also means backing our teachers and giving them the support and professional development needed to excel in the classroom and engage young learners.
 As a Bossier businesswoman,  I understand the strain on small business and the impact of changes to property and sales taxes.   I also understand the need for workforce readiness and the benefits these employees will offer local businesses. I am excited about offering business employment solutions with the opening of the Bossier Parish School for Technology and Innovative Learning in fall 2015. It promises many opportunities to benefit both our students and local business industry. 
 My record is one of proven leadership, dedication and fiscal responsibility.  I look forward to continuing my service to the citizens of District 3. Due to the 2010 Census, reapportionment moved my physical address into District 3 from District 4.  Although my district has changed, my passion to have an impact on our educational system has not.  It is my desire to continue making positive changes for the future, which is why I am asking for your support as I seek re-election November 4, 2014.

I am accessible to you at 318-965-9839, Email:  Facebook:  Tammy Armer Smith

Visit my website to learn more:

If you are a candidate for office and would like to address the voters with your platform for office, please send a few paragraphs to and we will publish it.  Attach a picture if you like and we’ll include it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

They're Here! Candidates qualify for local offices

Candidates for the November 4th election qualified this week. Of course we have a Senate race between Mary Landrieu and Bill Cassidy. Along with several other filers, Rob Maness is getting some attention, but it doesn't look like enough to make a big difference. I wouldn't take bets on this one either way.
4th District Representative John Fleming has two opponents, Libertarian Randall Lord of Shreveport and Democrat Justin Ansley of Bossier City. I couldn't find much information on Ansley, but did find a Google+ page. From the content of this page, I'd be pretty certain that this is our guy. Randall Lord's website is here.
Fleming shouldn't break a sweat on this one.
Foster Campbell is running for re-election with one challenger. He should not have a problem getting re-elected, he is very popular in the rural parishes.
The two races that most people are focused on are for Bossier City Marshal, where Carl Wayne Richard (website) is challenging establishment candidate Jim Whitman (website). Richard ran a strong race against Lynn Austin in the special election to fill the spot that was vacated with the unfortunate death of Johnny Wyatt.
Probably the hottest race is for District Attorney, where Whit Graves (website) (Facebook) is challenging incumbent Schuyler Marvin (Facebook). This one is guaranteed to get nasty before it’s over.
Judges Craig, Cox, Nerren and Self are unopposed.  Two judges are retiring; Charles Jacobs will replace Judge John Robinson and Jeff Thompson will replace Judge Ford Stinson.
Tommy Wilson, the incumbent Bossier City Judge, is unopposed.
In Plain Dealing, incumbent Mayor Wiley Joe Robinson is being challenged by Donna Canales, while incumbent Marshal Ronnie Murray has two opponents, Tim Cannon and Chuck Spraggins.
I don’t even pretend to understand the Justice of the Peace districts. They number 1, 3, 4, 5 & 6. A couple of the districts have two judges.
In District 1, longtime incumbent Tom Carleton is stepping down. Bill Shelton has filed for the position. Linda Carter, Cliff Cannon and Homer Sullivan have all filed for District 3. Julia Budwah and Lorraine Ragsdale, the incumbents in Districts 4 & 5 respectively, are unopposed. In District 6 Ron Eastridge, Charles Gray, David Cook and James M Keith have all qualified.
In the races for Constable, Scooter Rushing and Brandon Oswalt have filed in District 1. District 3 has five candidates qualified. They are Jerry Jenkins, Stephen Smith, John Craft, Rick Blalock & Eddie Chandler. Ron Matlock is the sole candidate in District 4 as is Charles Sholz in District 5. Jeffrey Weems, Wayne Berry & Kenneth Stephens have all qualified in District 6.
Last, but certainly not least, are the races for School Board.  There will be some changes in the makeup of the board.
District 1: Incumbent Jack Raley is stepping down and being replaced by Billie Brotherton, the only candidate to qualify. Mrs. Brotherton retired from the school system as a vice-principal and should bring some good experience and perspective to the job.
District 2: Brad Bockhaus is the incumbent and is unopposed.
District 3: Frank Kelly (website), who was elected last year, is being challenged by incumbent Tammy Armer Smith from District 4. I’m assuming this is due to a change in the district’s boundaries. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong.
District 4: Richard Phipps II, Elizabeth Foster and William Lott have all qualified for this seat to replace Tammy Smith.
District 5: Mike Monsour, the incumbent, is unchallenged.
District 6: Incumbent Glen Bullard not challenged.
District 7: Incumbent J. W. Slack not challenged.
District 8: Incumbent Kenneth Wiggins has no challengers.
District 9: Incumbent Eddy Ray Presley is being challenged by Eric Newman. Presley was caught up in controversy last year when he referred to the ‘morons in South Bossier’ in reference to a petition to fire Parkway Principal Nichole Bourgeois. We’ll get into more detail about this one in a later post.
District 10: Samm Darby is unopposed for re-election.
District 11: Shane Cheatham is the sole candidate and will be the new Board member.
District 12: Likewise for Dennis Bamburg who is the only candidate in the district.
We’ll try to keep up with Districts 3, 4 & 9 and update you on those.
If you are a candidate for office and would like to address the voters with your platform for office, please send a few paragraphs to and we will publish it.  Attach a picture if you like and we’ll include it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In Memory of Vol Dooley

I think everyone in Bossier Parish knew Vol Dooley. The Dooleys lived just down the street from us at the time that I graduated from Benton High School in 1965, just a stone's throw from where our current sheriff grew up. Good family, good people. 
I could write a lot here, but will just let the sheriff's press release give the information.
Former Bossier Parish Sheriff Vol S. Dooley, Jr., 87, who served as Sheriff from 1976 to 1988, passed away Monday evening in Bossier City following a lengthy illness.
Dooley began his law enforcement career with the Louisiana State Police in 1950 when he was 23 years old. He served four years as a trooper with Troop G and joined the Bossier Sheriff’s Office in 1954. Dooley served as chief deputy to Sheriff Willie Waggonner and was appointed to fill the remainder of Waggonner’s term when he died in 1976. Dooley then went on to win a special election for Sheriff later that year, and he served as the chief law enforcement officer for Bossier Parish for 12 years until 1988 after losing his re-election bid to Larry Deen.
Upon retirement from the Bossier Sheriff’s Office in 1988, Dooley continued service as the security director for Caddo/Bossier Port Commission until retirement.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth; daughter, Patsy Netherland; sons, Steve Dooley, Mike Dooley, Autry Brown, Dennis Brown and Ricky Brown. He was predeceased by his son, Bubba Dooley.
“Sheriff Dooley committed his life to law enforcement after starting his career as a trooper, then as a deputy and Sheriff and as security for the Port,” said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington. “I considered Vol a close friend, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”
Visitation will be Aug. 14 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Cypress Baptist Church in Benton, and the funeral service will be held Aug. 15 at 11 a.m. at Cypress Baptist Church, followed by burial at Hillcrest Cemetery in Haughton. Bro. Billy Pierce, former pastor of Cypress Baptist Church, and Chad Mills, pastor of Airline Baptist Church, will officiate.

Monday, August 11, 2014

In Memory of Trey Hutchison

On August 11, 2004, Bossier City Police Officer Trey Hutchison responded to a hang-up call on Jana Place and was ambushed when he walked to the door. He was shot twice in the back with a shotgun used by the suspect. The fatal rounds struck him in areas his vest did not protect.

A Police Officer's Prayer
Oh Lord, while I'm on my beat
May I know that you're with me,
And protect me as I go to guard
Other's lives and property.
Help me ignore those who scorn
And show me no respect,
But be mindful of all citizens
I've sworn to protect.
Be with my fellow officers
And guard their safety too.
May I always put duty first
In the work that I must do.
May I not disgrace the uniform
But bring pride to the badge I wear.
That I'd be a good policeman, Lord
Would be my only prayer.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Schuyler Marvin announces for Third Term

Schuyler Marvin made the formal announcement that he is seeking a third six-year term as Bossier-Webster DA. I don't think it was in doubt in any event.
The story of the announcement was on Channel 6, you can follow the link for details. Local attorney and former ADA Whit Graves announced last week.
Marvin Announcement

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Graves vs Marvin: I'm looking forward to the debates!

Although DA Schuyler Marvin had a free ride 6 years ago, this time he has an opponent. Whit Graves announced today that he will take on the incumbent in the November election, assuming Schuyler does decide to run again. I haven't heard yea or nay.
Coincidentally, the news cycle today also had the story that the DA has decided to press for the death penalty in the case of Brandon Butler, who is accused of killing the two young ladies in Bossier City on Mother's Day. Sure, he's had a couple of months to make the decision, and like I said, I'm sure it's pure coincidence that he decided to do so on the day that Graves announced.
Meanwhile the judges' races are unchanged, with Jeff Thompson announcing for a seat and Charles Jacobs for a seat. Sections B & D will be open, and I can't remember which is running for which.
I am hearing, however, that Jacobs may have a very solid opponent. With the DA too busy on his own race, that might cause difficulty for Jacobs, who is counting on the DA's clout to get him in office.
The Bossier City Marshal's race is heating up. I'm hoping that the Bossier Republican Women will have a forum/debate/question and answer period with the candidates like they did in the Marshal's election when Lynn Austin was elected.
It would be nice if they included the other candidates also, Marvin, Graves and the candidates for judge.
Pop your popcorn and get ready, it's gonna be an interesting three months ahead.
Me, I'm gonna hide and watch.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fall Elections

Some interesting elections are coming up this fall. Two 26th JDC (Bossier-Webster) judges, John Robinson and Ford Stinson, are retiring and those seats will have to be filled.
Of course, they are all up for re-election. Names are being tossed around, State Representative Jeff Thompson is said to be considering a run for one of the seats. I believe he would make a good judge.
Assistant DA Charles Jacobs is also running. I got a good chuckle at a couple of pictures of him presenting forfeiture checks to the Sheriff and to BCPD. When Schuyler anoints someone to run for judge, he always sends them out to pass out these checks and get a little free publicity. Mike Nerren was doing the same thing when he was running against Whit Graves.
And no, it doesn't upset me, it's not an egregious abuse. In fact, it is so blatant that it borders on being comical. It's as if Schuyler is having one of those 'see what I did there' moments.
Speaking of the District Attorney, I'm also hearing that he will have an opponent this fall. Qualifying is in August, we'll see if that bears out.

Monday, May 26, 2014

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Bonnie & Clyde: The Devil's Children Repost

This a a repost from 2009 on the anniversary of the deaths of these two notorious outlaws.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Double Murder Arrest

Brandan Butler of Bossier City was arrested early today by the Bogalusa Police Department on a warrant from BCPD and is charged with the double murder of Darlene Beadle & Karyl Ann Cox.
Butler was known to the women. After the murders he is alleged to have taken Karyl Cox's car, which was later recovered.
Good job by BCPD in solving this one.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

BCPD Working Double Murder

Bossier City Police detectives are busy working on the double murder this weekend in Southern Terrace subdivision.  Jacqueline Beadle, and her housemate Kayrl Ann Cox were found by relatives. 
Despite pressure to develop suspects, the detectives are working the case systematically. 
Personally, I believe that pressure, and by that I mean political pressure, rushed the investigation in the Bill Norris triple murder case three years ago and led to a bad conclusion. Gerald Needham was arrested and charged with three counts of first degree murder, but had to be released when the murder weapon was used in another incident in Haughton.
BCPD appears to be determined not to let that happen again. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

National Police Week 2014

This week is National Police Week, a time to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Carl Richard named Deputy Constable/Marshal of the Year

A local Bossier City resident and native was honored last week at the annual conference of the National Constables and Marshals Association held in Baton Rouge, LA.
Carl Richard, a local Deputy City Marshal was honored with the award of Deputy Constable/Marshal of the Year.  Carl was chosen by his peers from all over the nation and the State of Louisiana.  The Louisiana City Marshals and the National Constables and Marshals Association has over 600 active members.  Those members selected Carl Richard for his outstanding service to his community and the Association for exemplifying the highest standards of professionalism in Law Enforcement.
Carl Richard has 22 years experience as a Deputy Marshal in the Bossier City and Shreveport Marshal's Offices.

Richard has announced his intention to run for Bossier City Marshal.
If you are running for any local office, send us your information and we will be happy to post it in My Bossier. Send it to

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Destroying the Teaching Profession in Louisiana

by Michael Deshotels
Destroying the teaching profession? That's a pretty sensational pronouncement. My background as a science teacher requires me to provide evidence when I make such a dramatic claim. Lets look at the evidence:
  1. Starting with Act 54 of 2010, our State, in an effort to win Race to the Top grants from the US Department of Education, decided to tie half of our teacher evaluations to student performance using a system called the Value Added Model. In the process of adopting regulations for VAM, our new State Superintendent unilaterally (in contradiction to the law) decided to count the VAM for 100% of a teacher's evaluation in cases where a teacher scored in the bottom 10% of the VAM ranking of teachers.   Why do I consider this as part of the destruction of the teaching profession? As the LDOE was in the process of finalizing the VAM system, it was never revealed to the general public that the initial testing of the VAM demonstrated that the stability or reliability of the VAM system was totally erratic and unreliable. Data showed that up to 74% of the teachers rated as ineffective by VAM could have been incorrectly graded. Around that same time the original author of Act 54, Representative Frank Hoffman who is an experienced educator declined to endorse the VAM plan. He was immediately removed from his position on the House Education Committee by Jindal lieutenants. The new VAM system was implemented anyway in the 2012-13 school year with chaotic results. John White changed the rules several times in the middle of the process and even approved exceptions for one group of teachers based on political pressure from a Jindal lieutenant to go easy on teachers in one of his favored schools. On the other hand, some teachers who had reputations as excellent teachers were crushed by the new inaccurate system.
  2. The next huge blow to the teaching profession came in 2012 with the ramming through of Act 1 by the Jindal administration. This was the new law that was intended by Jindal and White to make every employment decision in our K-12 schools dependent in some way on student performance. It is now well known by educational researchers that the classroom teacher has no more than a 20% influence on the academic performance of students. Socioeconomic factors are much more dominant in determining student outcomes, yet Jindal sought to make 100% of a teacher's future totally dependent on student outcomes. (That is of course except for some teachers who were specifically exempted mainly because they were favored by a Jindal ally) Act 1 was introduced at the very beginning of the 2012 legislative session with instructions to Jindal lieutenants to move the legislation through before teachers and their unions could react effectively. Even so, with minimal notice, thousands of teachers showed up at the capitol to oppose Jindal's draconian legislation. At first they were locked out of the capitol while representatives of business and industry and a fake professional organization were let into the committee room to take all the seats. When teachers were finally let in to testify, one of the Jindalistas demanded to know from each teacher before they testified about what type of leave they were taking to visit the capitol. That set the tenor for the entire debate, and the conclusion was well known even before the debate began. In addition to the atrocities of Act 1, Act 2 adopted in the same session dropped the requirement that teachers in charter schools have education degrees. Also our non-educator Superintendent, John White announced that advanced teacher degrees made no difference in effectiveness and that the state would stop funding the National Board Certified Teachers. Step increases which for years had encouraged long careers in education began to be systematically phased out by Act I at the same time that seniority rights were dissolved and merit pay based on the erratic VAM was added.
  3. It turned out that Act 1 was so hastily drawn up that it violated the State Constitution and it also violated the basic principles of due process. Courts have now struck down almost all parts of the new law. Kudos to the much maligned teacher unions (LAE and LFT) for fighting hard and winning legal battles for the teaching profession.
  4. At the same time that teachers were expected to accept their loss of seniority rights, loss of step increases, loss of pay for advanced degrees, loss of support of NBCT, and accept the atrocities of the erratic VAM system, they were also subjected to a new untested COMPASS evaluation system. This new evaluation amounted to little more than a dog and pony show. Administrators were expected to penalize teachers if they could not demonstrate that their students showed initiative and self direction. What about teachers who happened to be assigned students who had very little motivation and self direction? Competent administrators were just as frustrated as experienced teachers by this artificial “play acting” while the new evaluation contained no real measurement for the kinds of reliability and creativity that are so important in the long run for effective teaching.
  5. Another way to destroy teaching as a profession is to humiliate and embarrass teachers at every opportunity and blame them for the ills of society. That is what has been done with the way the accountability system has been implemented in Louisiana. Originally (15 years ago) school accountability was supposed to be equally  applied to schools, teachers, parents and students. Now our education bosses have dropped all pretense of requiring accountability of parents and students. The relentless attempt to shame and blame teachers and schools for factors over which they have no control is resulting in a corruption of the entire accountability system. Read this Crazy Crawfish blog to see how teachers in EBR are being systematically humiliated in an effort to pass and graduate all students without regard to actual academic achievement. Classroom discipline laws are violated every day in a blind effort to baby all students into staying in school. But its not just happening in EBR. The New Orleans Recovery District has been coercing teachers to give passing grades to students who have done nothing in class but disrupt the education of other students. These are examples of Campbell's law which is a well know principle that explains how pressures applied to educators to meet unrealistic goals are corrupting and compromising the intended accountability. That's why some administrators are systematically violating state discipline law and the toothless joke that is called the “teacher bill of rights” initially sponsored but never enforced by Jindal. Look at what happened to the Baker teacher who tried to enforce school rules. How can anyone continue teaching under these conditions?
  6. The final insult to teachers is that they are now being asked to implement a new set of standards for their students that are in many cases age inappropriate, that do not allow for individual differences in students and that have been rushed without field testing of any kind. Only in the field of education are reformers who are not professional educators willing to implement major changes without field testing. The ultimate insult to the teaching profession is that such standards were developed by non-K-12 teachers who will never have to demonstrate any competence as teachers. The director of the Common Core writing committee (David Coleman) is a person that was denied a job as a K-12 teacher because he had no teaching credentials.
  7. It is a demonstration of the lack of respect for the teaching profession in Louisiana that the last two State Superintendents of education in our state have no credentials as educators. John White could not be hired as an assistant principal in most Louisiana schools yet he has been given supreme authority over all teachers and administrators in this state. Our national Secretary of Education is also a non-educator. Is this how our country professionalizes teaching?

So now when an analysis by Lafayette Association of Educators president Rodolfo Espinoza demonstrates (see also the post on Diane Ravitch's blog) that there has been a huge increase in the number of teacher resignations in Lafayette Parish, the State Superintendent calmly assures us that there is no real problem in the teaching profession. Who needs real teachers anyway? All we need are test teachers. Click here to enjoy my favorite test teaor cher song.

Michael Deshotels is the author of the Louisiana Educator blog. He is a retired Louisiana educator who taught science at the secondary level. Mr. Deshotels also served in various positions with the Louisiana Association of Educators culminating in the position of Executive Director prior to his retirement Article reprinted by permission.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bossier City Marshal's race will be a hot one

It’s going to be quite a year for politics in Bossier Parish. We will have a race for State Senate to replace Robert Adley, who is term-limited. Dr. John Fleming will be seeking to retain his seat in congress, with the big question being whether Cedric Glover will offer some real Democratic opposition this year.
Bossier Judgeships will be up for grabs. Judge John Robinson is retiring and there is some interesting conjecture as to who will replace him. Word is that Jeff Thompson is interested, which would leave open his seat in the State Legislature.

Vicky & Jim Whitman
One of the most visible races, and the one I will concentrate on today, is the contest for Bossier City Marshal. Current Marshal Lynn Austin, who ran to fill the term of the late Johnny Wyatt, is not running for re-election. Two main contenders have stepped forward. They are Jim Whitman, a Captain in the Marshal’s office with eleven years experience, and Carl Wayne Richard. Richard, who has served as a Deputy Marshal in both Bossier City and Shreveport, where he is currently employed.
Richard ran for Marshal after the unfortunate death of Johnny Wyatt, in a three way race with Lynn Austin and Sammy Wyatt. Austin, a former police chief and Bossier City CAO, won the race with 53% of the vote. He had the support of the city establishment politicians and enjoyed heavy contributions from the local power brokers.
Richard, despite being outgunned in that race, carried 30% of the vote. He is the most well known and high profile candidate in the race, with all of the pros and cons that go with that.
Carl Wayne Richard
Whitman should enjoy the support of the establishment that supported Lynn Austin, although probably not at the same level. The powers that be pretty much view Richard as the fox who wants to get into the henhouse, and they will work to prevent that. He’s not ‘one of them’.
Marty Carlson had a good article in the Forum about this race in which she addressed the question of remuneration.
  • First, he (Austin) cut the City Marshal’s salary by nearly half. His predecessor’s salary had averaged about $140,000 per year of which the city paid $32,784 – the balance coming from the Marshal’s office contingency fund (pursuant to law). Austin had observed during the election campaign that he didn’t believe the City Marshal should make more than the Bossier City Chief of Police and therefore would reduce the salary if elected.He was and he did. His annual salary is $72,500."

It is a question that will be asked of each candidate and must be answered – ‘will you pay yourself at the current level of $72,500 or will you revert back to the higher amount?’.
Both of the candidates have websites up, and you can view them for more complete information on both.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Good news for Bossier

Great news for Bossier City with the announcement that CSC will locate at the Cyber Research Park. The company anticipates 800 employees over the next four years, and about that many in support positions. With the news released this week about the Shreveport/Bossier being one of the poorest in the country, I would love to see how Bossier stood on its own.
Here is a link to all the details of the move by CSC.
To cap it off, the City has agreed to provide infrastructure so that a Kroger Marketplace can locate just north of WalMart on Airline. Kroger is the second largest retailer in the country, and is making a move on WalMart's market share with the Marketplace stores.