News

Wed
30
Jan

Timber producers told of changes in industry

How to remain productive during changing times in the timber industry was a key topic covered at the 2019 Ag Expo Forestry Forum held Jan. 18 at the West Monroe Convention Center. Information shared during the Expo was important to timber producers in LaSalle Parish, one of the top timber producing parishes in the state.

LaSalle is fortunate in the opening of the pellet plant, and the state-of-the-art lumber mill now under construction, both located near Urania. Both plants will provide needed job opportunities, plus provide a local market for harvested timber.

Buck Vandersteen, executive director of the Louisiana Forestry Association, told the group how the recent announcement by Georgia-Pacific that it is closing a plant in the Baton Rouge area will affect the entire industry.

 

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Wed
23
Jan

A crew with Progressive Construction Company

A crew with Progressive Construction Company, LLC, of Alexandria, began work on the Third Street Plaza project in Jena last week. Almost a two block section of Third Street will be completely reworked in the coming weeks, and when finished will have a 5-ft. trail and 11-ft. traffic lane on both sides of the street, along with parking spaces for about 78 vehicles in the center of the Plaza.

 

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Wed
23
Jan

Belah-Fellowship Water System gets $4.1 million loan

Senator Neil Riser and LaSalle Parish Police Jury President Bard Lambeth have been notified that the USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program has approved a $4.1 million loan to refurbish a water treatment storage and distribution lines for the Belah-Fellowship Water System. The system serves approximately 1,500 people.

Nationwide, USDA awarded $1.2 billion in loans and grants for 234 projects to rebuild or improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure. More than 936,000 rural residents in 46 states will benefit from these investments.

Although the Belah-Fellowship Water System has needed major renovation work for several years, an EF2 tornado that struck the area in April 2017 caused the system to sustain further damage.

 

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Wed
23
Jan

LaSalle leaders reflect on year 2018

The year 2018 saw La-Salle Parish experience remarkable growth in job creation and that, coupled with an improved oil industry, proved to be one of the best years in recent memory.

With many in the parish directly or indirectly linked to the price of oil, its relatively improved price saw most back to work and getting back to a lifestyle that was enjoyed prior to the near shutdown a few years ago.

The industrial site in Urania, now home to Drax Biomass’ LaSalle BioEnergy Plant and the soon to be opened LaSalle Lumber Company, has encouraged many from throughout the parish as the new jobs in the timber industry means a sustained source of employment for many in La-Salle Parish. These plants also mean many logging companies will now save thousands of dollars each year by not having to transport logs many more miles to a mill in another parish.

 

Wed
23
Jan

Jury re-elect same officers

Members of the LaSalle Parish Police Jury at their January meeting held Monday night of last week chose to keep the same officers for the upcoming year. Election of officers was the first item on the agenda.

Bard Lambeth was re-elected as president and Mike Crooks was re-elected as vice-president for the upcoming year. Both men were elected without opposition.

As required by law, jurors set their regular monthly meeting date for the second Monday of each month, at 6 p.m., at the Police Jury meeting room of the LaSalle Parish Courthouse.

At the request of the Board of Control of the LaSalle Parish Library, jurors voted to approve a resolution authorizing the incurring of debt and issuance of $1-million of limited tax certificates of indebtedness, with repayment of the debt to be made from revenue generated by the present tax millage collected by the Library.

Wed
16
Jan

Retail sales set all-time record

Retail sales in LaSalle Parish for the year just ended set all time records, according to figures just released for 2018 by the Concordia Sales Tax Collection Agency, which collects sales taxes for several bodies in the parish.

Overall, retail sales in 2018 parish wide stood at $269.7-million, compared to $229.7-million during the previous year of 2017. Parish wide, retail sales were up a whopping 17-percent, up 25-percent in the town of Olla, and up 4.5-percent in the town of Jena.

 

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Wed
16
Jan

Board members take oaths; elect new officers for 2019

The 2019-22 LaSalle Parish School Board members received their oaths of office during their first regular meeting of the year held Monday night of last week and elected a new president and vice-president to serve during the current year.

The new board, which consists of one new member, Fred Book of Ward 3, received their oaths from LaSalle Parish Clerk of Court Steve Andrews during the meeting. Book replaced his wife, Maple, in an unopposed election last fall.

Returning board members include: Dawn Stott, Ward 1; Jonny Fryar, Ward 2; Virgie Wilson, Ward 4; D’Juana McCartney, Ward 5; Buddy Bethard, Ward 6; Justin Reeves, Ward 7; Dolan Pendarvis, Ward 8; Aimee Paul, Ward 9; and Melvin Worthington, Ward 10.

 

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Wed
16
Jan

LaSalle Students and Teachers of the Year

Teachers

LaSalle Parish “Teachers of the Year” for session 2018-19 have been announced. Honorees include (from left): Jessica Ranton, LaSalle Junior High School, middle/junior high school level; Aubrey McAnn, Jena Elementary School, ele mentary level and Jamie Munson, La Salle High School, high school lev el. (See story on teachers of the year inside this edition.)

 

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Wed
09
Jan

Billy Wood Ford wins #1 ranking

Billy Wood Ford pulled out all the stops during 2018 trying to finish as the #1 dealership in the Ford Memphis Zone X Region. They did it. Announcement was made last week that Billy Wood Ford had finished as the #1 dealership in the region.

Memphis Zone X Region has 44 formidable Ford dealers and Billy Wood Ford claimed the #1 ranking for the first time in the 70-year history of this Jena dealership.

The entire Memphis Zone consists of 205 Ford dealerships in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and parts of Missouri and Kentucky, and Billy Wood Ford ranked #7 YTD in volume.

Ford’s Select Dealer Division has a total of 1,692 small to medium size Ford dealers across the United States and Billy Wood Ford ranked #168 in new Ford sales volume.

How does this even happen in a small town such as Jena, with a population of around 3,500 people? Avid community involvement, outstanding customer service, and “Really Good Billy Wood Ford” deals!

Wed
09
Jan

Board approves contract for new JHS field house

The LaSalle Parish School Board approved a contract for construction of the new Jena High School Field House during a special meeting held Thursday night of last week.

Gentry Construction of Monroe was the low bidder on the base bid in the amount of $1,698,000 for the 10,000-sq. ft. field house. Bids were opened and tabulated on December 13, and taken under advisement so architects could confirm the bid met all specifications.

The board chose not to accept three alternate bid proposals, and will handle items covered in the alternates in a separate fashion.

Bill Land, Architect with LAND 3 Architect, Inc. of Monroe, went over the bid proposal with board members during the special meeting and recommended the low bid be accepted.

 

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