Laura leaves lasting legacy!

One dead, thousands without power

Jackson Parish has endured many natural disasters over the years such as fires, floods and tornadoes but never before have residents had to deal with what took place this past Thursday. That is when Hurricane Laura tore through the area leaving a mind blowing wake of destruction that left the entire parish without power, many without water, forced the closures of almost every major artery. Worst of all was a death caused when a tree fell on a mobile home.

“We are still assessing the damage but I can say that from what I know right now this is going to go down as one of the worst natural disasters we have ever had to endure,” said long time Jackson Parish Police Jury Road Superintended Jody Stuckey just a few hours after the storm passed.

Jackson Parish Sheriff Andy Brown was in agreement.

“In the 30 years that I have served Jackson Parish there have been many times I have seen certain areas of the parish receive terrible damage as the result of storms, tornadoes or floods,” said Brown. “I have never seen the entire parish be affected this bad. There was not one single road that I traveled on that there wasn’t a tree across it.”

Storm claims life of John Holland

The worst effect of all was when John Holland, who resided Ayers Loop which is located east of Jonesboro off of Hwy 4 East was killed when a tree fell through his mobile home. He was 51 years old. It is one of four fatalities across the state attributed to trees falling on homes with the others being in Acadia and Vernon Parishes. Two additional deaths were also reported in south Louisiana. One was from carbon monoxide poisoning when a person used a generator inside of his home and another who drowned when his boat was capsized.

Strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in state!

According to Governor Jon Bel Edwards during his Thursday afternoon press conference Laura is the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in Louisiana in modern history. The Category 4 storm with roaring winds of 150 miles an hour came ashore near Cameron, LA riding a 9-12 foot storm surge which caused devastating flooding took place along the coastline. Hurricane force winds stayed in place until the storm was nearly into Arkansas.

Devastating local effect!

Continuous heavy downpours and wind gusts that gradually became stronger until the eye passed west

of Jonesboro around 1:00 pm wreaked total havoc. By early afternoon all power in the parish had been knocked out and virtually every road was impassable due to trees falling. Water pumping issues then surfaced leaving residents having to endure the night without electricity and water. Later attempts by residents to purchase gasoline, food or supplies were futile as almost all businesses were forced to close.

Quick response!

The carnage was incredible. As soon as it became safe to react though the process of restoring power and services as well as clearing roads began. This is mainly due to the astute planning by state and local officials along with the Emergency Preparedness Response Team of Jackson Parish led by director Mark Treadway as electrical and tree cutting crews from surrounding states and neighboring parishes had already been stationed in the area in preparation of the damage caused.

Local residents played a big part in the restoration as well. Dedicated employees from the each town or village in the parish, area Fire Departments, crews from the Jackson Parish Police Jury and a score of private citizens pitched in to help their neighbors As of press date there was still no exact date or time as to when to expect energy services to be restored. Residents are advised to go to the Energy.com website for updates.

National Guard comes to aid of those in need!

On Friday the National Guard was stationed at the Delta Community College complex located on Industrial Drive in Jonesboro just off of Hwy 167 South as they handed out MRE’s and water to those in need.

Friday traffic accident indirectly caused by storm

Emergency response teams were called to the scene of an accident involving an 18 wheeler and a vehicle Friday morning. The location was at the intersection of Cooper Avenue and Jimmie Davis Boulevard. No further information was available at time of press but it is known that an Air Ambulance was called in to transport one of the victims. The red-light at that intersection was not working due to damages caused by the Hurricane.

Sheriff Brown urges residents to be safe

“You can replace material things but a lost life is never recoverable. I am deeply saddened for the family of John Holland and our prayers go out to the family,” said Brown. “I am also thankful to God for sparing us from what could have been possibly many more lives lost or people injured. Many trees came down that if they had fallen in the other direction would have destroyed homes and possibly injured or killed many others.”

“I urge our residents to realize that we have experienced a major natural disaster. Please be safe in what you do,” continued Brown. “If you don’t have to travel, please stay off the roads. Power lines are down

all over the parish and many are still not cleared completely. Stay home and stay safe.”

 


School Starts Friday!

It is that time again. The time of year where school children don’t get to stay up late during the week and are up even before the sun comes up. That right – It’s time for school! The first day of classes begin this Friday, August 28th at all Jackson Parish Schools.

For those who intend to participate in virtual online education the final day to register is Thursday, August 27th. To register, contact the school that the student would normally go to.

 For a complete yearly schedule see below:

Jackson Parish Schools Schedule 2020-2021

Professional Development                           August 25,26,27, 2020

First Day for Students                        August 28, 2020

Parent Teacher Conference                         October 23, 2020

Seniors Last Day                                      May 13, 2021

Students Last Day                                  May 28, 2021

Teacher Work Day                                           May 28, 2021

Holidays:

Labor Day                                                            September 7, 2020

Parent Teacher Conference                         October 23, 2020 (No Students)

Presidential Election                                       November 3, 2020

Veteran’s Day Observed                                November 11, 2020

Thanksgiving                      Dismiss: Friday, November 20, 2020         Return: Monday, November 30, 2020

Christmas                            Dismiss: Thursday, December 17, 2020    Return: Monday, January 4, 2021

Dr. Martin Luther King                                   January 18, 2021

Winter Break/President’s Day Dismiss: Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021    Return: Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Spring Break                       Dismiss: Friday, March 12, 2021                 Return: Monday, March 22, 2021

Easter Break                       Dismiss: Thursday, April 1, 2021                 Return: Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Information Only:

End of Grading Periods: October 28, 2020 – January 20, 2021 – April 1, 2021- May 28, 2021


Jackson Parish Police Jury Levies 2020 Millage Rates and Makes Budget Cuts

Do you know what the “millage rate” means in regard to the property taxes you pay? According to Investopedia.com the “millage rate” is the tax rate used to calculate local property taxes. The millage rate represents the amount per every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value.

Per the adoption of the 25.50 millage rate for 2020 by the Jackson Parish Police Jury at their regularly scheduled July meeting this means that property owners will pay $25.50 for e very $1000.00 of a property’s assessed value.  It would have been higher were it not for a motion to lower the library millage rate by 1.5 mills.

Breakdown of millage rates as assigned by JPPJ for 2020 tax roll:

  1. General Alimony 39
  2. Roads and Bridges 23
  3. Roads, Asphalt, Paving 55
  4. Recreation District 63
  5. Health Unit 80
  6. Library & Bookmobile 90

—————–

Total: 25.50 mils

Budget greatly reduced by Police Jury

The above heading is no misprint. At the regularly scheduled July meeting of the Jackson Parish Police Jury it was agreed by Lewis Chatham, Amy Magee, John McCarty, Regina Row, Tarneshala (Niki) Cowans and Lynn Treadway to reduce the 2020 budget considerably – as in $365,316.27 worth.  Todd Culpepper was absent.

All in all, there were nine adjustments to the budget with five increases and four decreases to certain areas agreed upon. The good news was that despite the higher number of items there was to be increased the amount of money of the decreased items was much more.

The largest addition was to the LCDBG fund that increased $84,748.78 with the next being to the General Fund which was increased by $53,376.49. Both of these were a far cry from the top two amounts that were taken. The biggest decrease came from the Capital Outlay Fund which showed a $438,000.00 reduction followed by the Statutory Reserve Fund which was set at $173,231.85 lower.

Breakdown of 2020 budget adjustments:

Dollar increases in budget items:

  1. General Fund 53,376.49
  2. Asphalt Fund 40,951.62
  3. Coroner’s Fund 53,376.49
  4. Federal Grants Fund 40,000.00
  5. LCDBG Fund 84,748.78                            total increases: $272,453.35

Dollar decreases in budget items:

  1. Statutory Reserve Fund 173,231.85
  2. Capital Outlay Fund 438,000.00
  3. Landfill Closure Fund   18,537.77
  4. Court Witness Fees Fund     8,000.00                           total decreased: $637,769.62

Total difference:  $365,316.27 decrease in 2020 budget


Womack/Koonce Win Caney Creek Bass Club Amateur 3-Bass Blast in Tough Conditions

The August 20th, Thursday night, Amateur 3 Bass Blast Tournament sponsored by the Caney Creek Bass Club is in the books. When it was all said and done a collective HALLELUJAH was heard from the ones who fished. To say conditions were tough is an understatement yet for a special few it was well worth it.

Twenty five teams set out from Hook’s Marina but only seven teams weighed fish. Only three caught the small limit of three bass. Bradley Koonce and his partner Caleb Womack will be one of the few that will remember the night fondly after their first place finish that netted a nice payday. Womack will especially remember the evening after reeled in a 6.56 pounder which was the big bass of the tourney.

Final Results:
1st Place: Caleb Waters & Bradley Koonce (7.41 lbs.) Also Big Bass: (6.56 lbs.)
2nd Place. Kyle Reeves & Dusty Nomey (6.06 lbs.)
3rd Place. Lance Ledford & Addison Ledford (4.43 lbs.)
4th Place. Trey McGuire & Brayden McGuire (4.03 lbs.)

1st place Caleb Waters and Bradley Koonce

2nd Place Kyle Reeves – Dusty Nomey

3rd Place Addison & PROUD Dad Lance Ledford (Addison whipped Dad to put them in the money)

4th Place Brayden & Dad Trey McGuire


NEW BOOK HIGHLIGHTS WRITINGS OF MYSTERY WRITER

By: Glynn Harris

            My friend Jim McCafferty is a sleuth hound. When he gets a hint of something he’s looking for, he stays with it until he finds it, even if it takes a quarter of a century.

            Such was the case when in doing research for material regarding bear hunting in  the early days in the Mississippi delta, he found something written in the 1840s that described in detail the bear of the delta, it’s habits and the guns and dogs used in its pursuit.

            McCafferty was excited to find this treasured piece of writing but there was just one problem. The author’s name was not shown, only the initials H.J.P.

            Tucking this bit of valuable information in the back of his mind, twenty-five years later he wrote a book about 19th century bear hunters of the lower Mississippi valley. As a result, Mc Cafferty’s book, “The Bear Hunter: The Life and Times of Robert Eager Bobo in the Canebreaks of the Old South” came off the presses.

            “In preparation for that project,” McCafferty said, “I reviewed my files and began to read and transcribe old articles I had collected over a quarter century before. Among those vintage magazine pieces was H.J.P.’s “Bears and Bear Hunting”.

            While transcribing the article written by the mysterious “H.J.P”, McCafferty came up with an ideal. Taking clues from the story, he searched the internet and within 20 minutes after a 25 year lag, he found the identity of the author, Dr. Henry John Peck of Sicily Island, LA along with a wealth of information on Dr. Peck, born in 1803 and died in 1881.

            Peck practiced medicine in the Sicily Island area, was owner of Battleground Plantation on Sicily Island, grew cotton and entered politics serving both as a Louisiana state representative and senator.

            McCafferty has put together a gem of a little 115 page book beginning with his introduction and notes as to how he finally came across Dr. Peck’s identity and events leading up to his publishing of H.J.Peck’s book, “Hunting Bear and Panther in the Old South”.

            A blurb introducing the book talks about the big game that populated the delta in the 1800s. “The bear and panther that populated the woods and canebrakes of the lower Mississippi Valley in the 1800s left a permanent mark on the collective memory of that region. Little survives, though, to provide real insight into how the early settlers hunted the big game of that time and place.”

            Peck’s book adds richly to that scant body of southern lore. Besides his writings on the animals named in the title, the book includes the doctor’s articles on hog – yeah, they had feral hogs even back then – and deer hunting. One thing of interest was his description of “fire hunting” for deer, an early description of something that would get one in trouble today, that being night hunting deer with spotlights.

            Peck details how “bear knives” were made and describes accounts of dangerous and sometimes fatal encounters with panthers and bears. Armed only with knives and muzzleloader weapons, it’s easy to imagine what risky business it was to head into a thick canebrake thusly armed.

            McCafferty has this fascinating little book back from the publisher and on sale. Search Amazon.com to purchase the book, priced at $12.95 plus handling. To order an inscribed copy, send a check for $12.95 plus $2.95 handling to Jim McCafferty at Canebrake Publishing Co., P.O. Box 822, McComb, MS 39649.     

 

BUSSEY BRAKE – Fishing overall has slowed. A few bass are being caught around the grass and pads and scattered catches of bream have been reported. No report on crappie or catfish.

BLACK BAYOU –  Bream are fair; others are slow. Contact 323-8707 for latest information.

OUACHITA RIVER – Bass have been fair fishing the mouth of the cuts on soft plastics. Crappie have been fair fishing submerged tops in the river. Some catfish are being caught on trotlines or tight lines using shiners or goldfish. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.

LAKE D’ARBONNE – Crappie fishing has been slow to fair on the flats. Some are being caught below the spillway around the submerged tops on shiners or jigs. Bass have been best fishing the edges of the channel along the drops on soft plastics and crank baits. Bream have slowed and are basically fair on crickets and worms. Catfishing has been good fishing off the banks with cold worms and night crawlers. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.

LAKE CLAIBORNE – Some crappie are still being caught fishing the submerged tops with shiners or jigs. Bream are fair but running small to medium size. Some bass are being caught but they’re running rather small with best fishing late afternoons on plastic worms. A few catfish are being caught tight-lining cold worms. Stripers are schooling early mornings and hitting spoons, bucktails and spinner baits. For latest information, call Tim Loftin at Kel’s Cove at 927-2264.

CANEY LAKE – Fishing in general is slow. A few bass are being caught in breaking schools on shad imitations while some are hitting plastic worms or crank baits along the deeper channel drops. Crappie are slow this week. Bream fishing has been best fishing worms or crickets around the piers. Catfish are slow. For latest information contact Bateaux on Caney Lake at 259-6649, Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.

LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfishing is fair  while crappie, bream and bass are slow. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318-878-0101.

LAKE ST. JOHN – Bass are catfish are fair while bream and crappie are slow. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.

LAKE YUCATAN – Water is on a slow fall and some fair reports this week on crappie and bass. Bream are slow but catfishing is good at both ends of the chutes. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.

LAKE BRUIN – Crappie have been fair around the deep tops. Other species are slow. For information, contact Carlos Gray at 318/766-0075.


Avery Earns Top Marks for Legal Ability, Ethical Standards

Darrell R. Avery, candidate for Second Judicial District Judge (Division A), has earned a top marks in legal ability and ethical standards as voted on by his peers. This is the 22nd consecutive year that Avery has been recognized for his abilities and ethics by Martindale Hubbell, the standard in attorney peer-to-peer ratings.

“Legal ability and ethics are qualities that every judge must have. Those in the legal community know that I will bring those to the bench as judge,” Avery said. “The people of Claiborne, Jackson and Bienville parishes deserve a judge with experience, knowledge of the law, and the backbone to do what’s right. That’s the judge I’ll be.”

Avery has practiced law for more than 38 consecutive years as a prosecutor, defense attorney and civil litigator. He has practiced extensively in Claiborne, Jackson and Bienville parishes, giving him a well-rounded understanding of the district that he hopes to serve as judge.


BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT Part I of III

In an article written several weeks ago, I alluded to an incident that happened to me as a teenager growing up in the town of Jonesboro during the sixties.  The local Sheriff Van Beasley vowed that he would exact bodily harm upon me if I did not cease from “messing with those white girls,” a claim which  was a  total fabrication by local law enforcement at that time, a claim which I knew nothing about.  I shared with readers that in 1999 the same sheriff who vowed to harm me, in an act of contrition, honored me with a deputy sheriff commission and presented me with a deputy sheriff’s badge which I kept for many years.  Finally, I wanted to believe that Sherriff Beasley came to the realization that Black Lives Matter.

That story adds meaning and perspective to the Black Lives Matter movement.  It coincides with the Black Lives Movement in America today, a movement which has spread like wildfire all over the world.  Through my encounter with Sheriff Van Beasley, I developed fear of police officers because of the way I was treated.  I felt that the lives of Black boys from the backwoods of Jackson Parish really did not matter, and certainly, brutality against innocent Black boys and girls was the norm at that time.

I was  born and reared in rural Jackson parish, where I observed first hand, signs labeled “Colored Only” displayed at water fountains in the local court house, when Black leaders laughed when they were not humored and scratched where they did not itch.  It was an era where Black leaders had to shuffle their feet when they were not nervous and bow their heads when they were not engaged in prayer.  During that era, Blacks entered the local theatre through a darkly lighted narrow door and stairway and were forced to sit in the rear of the old Palace  theater in frayed and broken seating, a theater that is now owned by Greater North Louisiana Community Development Corporation, a non-profit community service organization.

Moreover, I grew up in an America where Blacks were denied the opportunity to eat at local food establishments, denied the opportunity to dawn new clothing at local retail stores, Black folk had to contend with Jim Crow laws (passing a literacy test to exercise one’s constitutional right to vote), had to step aside on sidewalks so that whites could pass, where older Black men were called “boy” or “Nigger,” received hand me down outdated text books and football gear from white schools, attended segregated schools which were poorly equipped and furnished, a time when black maids could prepare meals for white families but could not sit and eat at the table with the family.  It was a time when parents were constantly telling and reminding their children not to get in trouble with white people, because they would harm and even kill you.  The stress of existing and navigating from day to day under such conditions and restraints produced unforgettable moments in one’s life, as the quality of life was greatly diminished.  Though we have a glimpse of slave life, it is difficult to truly imagine what life conditions must have been for our slave ancestors. These conditions existed back then and have continued simply because Black Lives do not matter and have resulted in a great racial divide in America which has now reached a boiling point and can no longer be ignored.

Dr. Herbert Simmons, Jr. is an associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Grambling State University, former President, Grambling State University Faculty Senate and former Chair, Department of Consumer Education and Resource Management, Howard University, Washington, D.C.


Adult Nutrition Classes Offered by Jackson Parish Library and LSU Ag Center

One of the hardest things for an adult who is constantly on the go is to eat healthy. You have worked all day and often times it is simply easier to just go by the “burger joint” or some other restaurant to pick up something for supper. The bottom line though is this type of lifestyle isn’t healthy for you, especially as you grow older. The goo d news is that help is on the way.

Thanks to a collaborative effort by the Jackson Parish Library and the LSU Ag Center you can now take the “Let’s Eat for the Health of it” free adult nutrition class beginning the first Tuesday in September. Classes will run from 12:00-12:30 PM and take place each Tuesday through October. All you need is a computer, tablet or a smart phone.

The class is being taught by a trained nutrition educator with the LSU Ag Center and you will learn among other things:

  1. Healthy eating and food planning
  2. Managing your food dollar
  3. Being physically active your way
  4. Keeping your food safe

You may register or gain more information by calling Shelia Gibson at the Jackson Parish Library (318) 259-5697 or Cathy Judd at the LSU Ag Center (318) 251-5134. You can also go online and log into https://bit.ly/lsuadult.


Golf Tourney Set for August 29th at Jackson Parish Golf Course

Four Corners Global Outreach is hosting a 2-man scramble at the Jackson Parish Golf Course this coming Saturday, August 29th. The event is being held as a fundraiser for the local, non-profit, outreach organization with all proceeds going to support local and foreign mission projects.

Registration is at 8:00 AM and lunch will be provided to all participants. The cost is $200.00 per team. For more information you can contact David Broadway at (318) 475-0009. The Jackson Parish Golf Course is located at 524 Club House Drive in Hodge, LA.


September 2, 1945 – BEGINNING OF A NEW WORLD

With the stroke of a pen, President Harry S. Truman brought WWII to a screeching halt. He authorized the release of two Atomic Bombs over the nation of Japan that showed the world the United States would not relent in their endeavor to keep our soldiers from invading the Japanese Islands.

It was a well-known fact such battles would take the lives of thousands more Americans. You see, our parents could have been among those who died on a battlefield in Japan and we would never have been born. President Truman made the one and only choice he could have made.

That August day was one of the most important days in the history of America and the world. Japan’s Emperor Hirohito was heard on the radio for the first time ever when he announced the surrender. August 15, 1945 was officially named as Victory over Japan day and World War Two war was finally over.

On September 2, 1945, on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, General Douglas MacArthur and Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signed the official Instrument of Surrender that was prepared by the War Department and approved by President Truman. It set out in eight short paragraphs the complete capitulation of Japan. 

Below are three from Jackson Parish who were aboard their ships in Tokyo Bay and witnessed this historic event.

Petty Officer 3/C NEWTON RAY COOK, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Cool, Alexandria La, husband of Maxine Pixly, Jonesboro, La. Attended Gibsland High. He Entered the Navy in 1944 and trained in San Diego, Cal and Seattle, Wash. Served in New Guinea, New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, Leyte, Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Saipan, Tokyo Bay and Japan. He was awarded APO Ribbon, 2 Battle Stars, GCM and Victory Medal. Discharged in 1946.

S 2/C TOMMIE M. STEWART, son of Mrs. Belle Stewart, Dodson La., He attended Weston High and entered the U. S. Navy in 1943, trained in San Diego. He served in S. Pacific on USS Idaho. He was in Tokyo Bay when Peace Treaty was signed. He was awarded APO Ribbon with 7 Battle Stars and Phil. Lib. Ribbon. Discharged in 1945.

S 1/C JOSEPH E. JONES, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Newt Jones, Jonesboro, La, graduate of Jonesboro Hodge High. He entered the Navy in 1944 and trained in San Diego. He served on USS Shangrila in Hawaii, Panama, Okinawa and Tokyo Bay when the Peace Treaty was signed. He was awarded the APO Ribbon.

Petty Officer 3/C Newton Ray Cook

S 1/C Joseph E. Jones

S 2/C Tommie M. Stewart


Arrest Reports August 17-24

  1. Alex Sharp (Winnfield, LA) – Simple possession of Marijuana, Off road vehicle on roadway
  2. Christina Stanga (Quitman, LA) – Domestic Abuse Battery
  3. Delmon Horton Jr. (Quitman, LA) – Domestic Abuse Battery
  4. Lyndell Hall (Alexandria, LA) – Warrant for Felony Theft x2
  5. Donald L. Morris (Hodge, LA) – Warrant for Criminal Conspiracy Arson w /intent to defraud x2
  6. Kennard West (Jonesboro, LA) – Warrant for Criminal Conspiracy Arson w/ intent to defraud x2
  7. Dylan Wayne Delasalle (Trout, LA) – Contributing to the delinquency of a Juvenile, Unlawful possession of alcohol of one under 21 years old, Possession of drug paraphernalia
  8. Angela R. Harris (Winnfield, LA) – Speeding, No Insurance, Switched Plates
  9. Christopher Gay (Quitman, LA) – Warrant for failure to appear on Possession of Schedule 2 (x2), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  10. Lynette L West (Ruston, LA) – Bench Warrant for exploitation of the infirmed
  11. Jonah M. Norred (Jonesboro, LA) –Warrant for Violation of Probation and Parole, Resisting an officer x2
  12. Justin C Barr (Hodge) – Winn Parish Warrant for Careless Operation amended to No Driver’s License on person
  13. James L Pittman Jr. (Jonesboro, LA) – Ruston Police Dept. Warrant for attempted 2nd degree murder
  14. Brian P Blanco (Chatham, LA) – DWI, Careless Operation, Simple Battery
  15. Leslie A Pautard (Quitman, LA)- Possession of Schedule II, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Illegal use of a controlled dangerous substance in presence of a juvenile
  16. Linda Lamkin (Winnfield, LA) – speeding, driving under suspended license
  17. Amana Beder (Sterlington, LA) – Theft, Criminal Tresspass, Possession of Marijuana (Union Parish)
  18. Shawn M. Howard (Sterlington, LA) – Possession of Marijunana (Union Parish)
  19. Coryono V. Chambers (Baton Rouge, LA) – Possession of Schedule I with intent to distribute, Possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding, improper lane usage, Possession of a firearm in presence of CDS
  20. Jason T Ponder (Jonesboro, LA) – Theft under $100.00, Criminal Trespass
  21. Latricia A Atkins (Jonesboro, LA) – Execution of Sentence
  22. David L Harrell (Jonesboro, LA) – Disturbing the Peace, Public Intoxication
  23. Kristina Woodall (Winnfield, LA) – Disturbing the Peace, Public Intoxication


Jackson Parish Police Jury Levies 2020 Millage Rates and Makes Budget Cuts

Do you know what the “millage rate” means in regard to the property taxes you pay? According to Investopedia.com the “millage rate” is the tax rate used to calculate local property taxes. The millage rate represents the amount per every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value.

Per the adoption of the 25.50 millage rate for 2020 by the Jackson Parish Police Jury at their regularly scheduled July meeting this means that property owners will pay $25.50 for e very $1000.00 of a property’s assessed value.  It would have been higher were it not for a motion to lower the library millage rate by 1.5 mills.

Breakdown of millage rates as assigned by JPPJ for 2020 tax roll:

  1. General Alimony 39
  2. Roads and Bridges 23
  3. Roads, Asphalt, Paving 55
  4. Recreation District 63
  5. Health Unit 80
  6. Library & Bookmobile 90

—————–

Total: 25.50 mils

Budget greatly reduced by Police Jury

The above heading is no misprint. At the regularly scheduled July meeting of the Jackson Parish Police Jury it was agreed by Lewis Chatham, Amy Magee, John McCarty, Regina Row, Tarneshala (Niki) Cowans and Lynn Treadway to reduce the 2020 budget considerably – as in $365,316.27 worth.  Todd Culpepper was absent.

All in all, there were nine adjustments to the budget with five increases and four decreases to certain areas agreed upon. The good news was that despite the higher number of items there was to be increased the amount of money of the decreased items was much more.

The largest addition was to the LCDBG fund that increased $84,748.78 with the next being to the General Fund which was increased by $53,376.49. Both of these were a far cry from the top two amounts that were taken. The biggest decrease came from the Capital Outlay Fund which showed a $438,000.00 reduction followed by the Statutory Reserve Fund which was set at $173,231.85 lower.

Breakdown of 2020 budget adjustments:

Dollar increases in budget items:

  1. General Fund 53,376.49
  2. Asphalt Fund 40,951.62
  3. Coroner’s Fund 53,376.49
  4. Federal Grants Fund 40,000.00
  5. LCDBG Fund 84,748.78                            total increases: $272,453.35

Dollar decreases in budget items:

  1. Statutory Reserve Fund 173,231.85
  2. Capital Outlay Fund 438,000.00
  3. Landfill Closure Fund   18,537.77
  4. Court Witness Fees Fund     8,000.00                           total decreased: $637,769.62

Total difference:  $365,316.27 decrease in 2020 budget

 


JPD Assistant Chief Saves Life of Jackson Square Shooting Victim

The date was Thursday, August 13th, 2020. It was a day like many others this time of year, just another one of those ho-hum, hot summer evenings. Then the call came through. Immediately Jonesboro Police Department Assistant Chief Cierra Murphy responded to the Jackson Square Apartments where gun shots had been reported.

“When I got there the first thing I noticed was a solid trail of blood leading to an upstairs apartment,” recalled Murphy. “I entered the apartment and saw a man lying on the floor in a large pool of blood.”

Seeing that the blood was pouring out of a wound in the injured man’s upper left leg, Murphy quickly realized that emergency procedures was needed or the victim would soon bleed to death.

“The way the blood was pumping out it was obvious that the shot had hit the major artery in his leg and I had to get the blood flow stopped or I knew he would soon bleed out,” said Murphy. “I saw a shirt nearby, grabbed it up and made a make-shift tourniquet which I applied above the wound.”

Within minutes additional Jonesboro Police Officers, Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Emergency Responders with the Ambulance Service arrived, secured the area and stabilized the victim who at last report was expected to eventually make a full recovery.

“There is no question that Assistant Chief Murphy saved this young man’s life,” said Jonesboro Police Chief James “Spike” Harris. “It is a true blessing to have someone with her knowledge and capability on our force.”

According to the police report the shooting victim Michael C. Stepps of Jonesboro had been arguing outside the apartment complex with Jimmie D. Amos, who is from Jonesboro but lists an East Raceland, LA address as his current place of residence.

The argument escalated to the point of Amos pulling a gun and shooting Stepps. Once upon the scene Jonesboro Police Chief Harris and Jackson Parish Sheriff Deputies began to canvas the area where they found Amos hiding in an apartment, arrested him without incident and transported him to the Jackson Parish Correctional Center for booking.

Amos, who was already on parole from a prior incident in Webster Parish and now has a hold on him by the Minden Office of Probation and Parole was charged with Aggravated 2nd Degree Battery and Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Further investigation into the matter is continuing.

Jimmie D. Amos – Aggravated 2nd degree battery

JPD Assistant Police Chief Cierra Murphy


Jonesboro Board of Aldermen, Town Clerk and Tax Collector get raises

The next payday is going to be a little more pleasant for several Jonesboro officials thanks to the action taken by the Jonesboro Board of Aldermen at their regularly scheduled meeting held at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center in Jonesboro on August 11th.

The board that consists of Devin Flowers, Pete Stringer, Robbie Siadek, James Ginn and Nia Evans-Johnson will now receive $700.00 per month per Ordinance #2020-005 that passed by a vote of 4-1 with Flowers casting the only negative vote.

“I just think this is a bad time to be raising our salary,” voiced Flowers. “There are still a lot of things that need to be straightened out and I think it would be better to wait until we get everything resolved that we need to get done before we do this.”

Also receiving an up in pay is Town Clerk Amanda Womack and Tax Collector Janice Jones.  Per Ordinance 2020-004 which was approved unanimously, Womack will now make $20.00 per hour while Jones will receive $18.00.

Additional Ordinances that were approved without opposition was #2020-006 and #2020-007 that were in reference to updated Sewer and Water budgets. Ordinance #2020-008 that dealt with declaring the 19th of June each year as Juneteenth Day was also approved. This will go into effect beginning January 1, 2021.

Four resolutions were also brought up for discussion with two being approved and two being tabled. The board approved Fire Chief Brandon Brown to move forward with a lease-purchase agreement with Government Capital Corporation (GCC) for two American Lafrance Fire Trucks as well adopt the DEQ Sewer Compliance Upgrade recommendations. The authorization for Mayor Leslie Thompson to purchase new meters and for the town to be able to incur additional debt was tabled until the September meeting.

The meeting wrapped up with Ordinance #2020-009 regarding the water rates in the town of Jonesboro being introduced with a Public Hearing date set for the next regularly scheduled meeting set for September 8, 2020 at 5:30 pm. The meeting ended following Mayor Thompson and the Council giving their closing comments. 

See attachments below to review language in the Ordinances that were passed.