News

Wed
22
Jul

Retail sales hold steady

Retail sales hold steady

Retail sales for fiscal year 2019- 20 held steady despite the prolonged shutdown because of the Coronavirus which halted a lot of businesses in mid-March. However, essential businesses, which generate the majority of sales taxes, continued to operate.

According to figures just released by the Concordia Sales Tax Collection Agency, which collect sales taxes for several bodies in the parish, tax collections was down parish wide and in the town of Olla, but up in the town of Jena.

On the first of three one-cent sales tax collected by the LaSalle Parish School Board, collection was down by $431,114.27 from the previous year, but was higher than collections in fiscal year 2017-18.

Wed
15
Jul

Committee named to study Belah gas issue

Committee named to study Belah gas issue

A committee to study and make recommendations on finding a solution to the natural gas service problem in the Belah Community was named by Jena Mayor LaDawn Edwards following a lengthy discussion at the July meeting of the Jena Town Council held Tuesday night of last week.

At its June meeting, the Town Council voted to discontinue natural gas service to residents on the Belah system because the system has become dangerous and hazardous and maintenance and upkeep has become prohibited.

Mayor Edwards said town officials had met with state officials and were told that the town would need to replace or abandon the Belah area of the gas system. Replacing the system would cost an estimated $1-million which the Mayor said at the time that it would take the town around 50 years to recoup.

 

 

Wed
15
Jul

LaSalle Republicans give President Trump 99.51% of votes cast

The Presidential Preference Primary election was finally held last Saturday following dates being re-set twice, and Republican voters in LaSalle Parish gave President Donald Trump a whopping 99.51% of the votes cast.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden received 58.82% of the votes cast by his party in LaSalle Parish.

Republican voters, who turned out 35 percent strong in the parish gave Trump a total of 1,213 votes, or 99.51%. Three of the other four candidates received 2 votes each.

Democratic voters, who turned out just 12 percent strong in the parish, gave Joe Biden just 170 votes, or 58.82%. Several candidates who had dropped out of the race also received votes, as follows: Michael Bennet, 22; Mike Bloomberg, 5; Pete Buttigleg, 5; Tulsi Gabbard, 4; Amy Klobuchar, 12; Bernie Sanders, 12; Elizabeth Warren, 4; Andrew Yang, 20. The other 6 democratic candidates received a total of 21 votes.

 

 

Wed
15
Jul

Sheriff challenges governor’s orders

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards ushered the state into mandatory face coverings Monday but not before LaSalle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin publicly challenged the governor by announcing he will not be enforcing the new directives.

Franklin made the announcement via his Facebook account where he posted: “My office will not enforce wearing a mask,” the sheriff wrote. “The numbers aren’t adding up like we are being told to believe.”

The posting immediately received thousands of interactions, the majority affirming his position, and soon other sheriffs in the state followed suit noting they would not be enforcing the mandate either.

 

 

 

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Wed
15
Jul

Schools reopen August 13

Schools reopen August 13

LaSalle Parish School Superintendent Janet Tullos announced on Monday that parish schools will open for their 2020-2021 school year Thursday, August 13, as originally set.

A plan was submitted and approved by the LaSalle Parish School Board Monday night at their regular monthly meeting but due to this newspaper’s press deadline, was unable to be included in this week’s issue. (Check The Jena Times Facebook page or www.lasallepsb.com to view the plan.)

The plan was derived after school officials received input from parents through a survey where they were allowed to choose various instructional options.

 

 

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Wed
08
Jul

Reopening plan to be released next week LaSalle Parish School System

LaSalle Parish public school officials will officially unveil their 2020-2021 school year reopening plan early next week as they continue to comb through parent surveys and make preparations this week.

“The deadline for the parent surveys is Friday, July 10, so we are waiting until then to make sure we have as much parents’ input as possible before we make a final decision about our reopening plan,” LaSalle Parish School Superintendent Janet Tullos said late last week. “We are preparing three different instructional methods right now but the input from our parents will determine which is the most efficient option or options that we need to go with in order for all of our students to receive the quality education they deserve.”

The three different instructional methods being considered are:

 

 

Wed
08
Jul

School Board acts on year-end items

School Board acts on year-end items
School Board acts on year-end items
School Board acts on year-end items

The LaSalle Parish School Board met in special session on Tuesday night of last week to take care of several end-of-the year business items, along with several other matters needing attention before the next regular meeting.

The board’s July meeting was postponed from July 6 until July 13 because of the Independence Day holiday.

Board members heard a report from Business Manager Debbie Finlay, CPA, on the budget revisions for the 2019-20 school year and the new budget for the current fiscal year, before adopting each.

 

 

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Wed
08
Jul

LaSalle jobless rate lowest in state

Unemployment figures for Louisiana for the month of May were released last week and despite the corona virus shut down, LaSalle Parish recorded the lowest jobless rate from among all 64 parishes in the state.

LaSalle’s jobless rate was 6.6-percent with the closest parish to LaSalle being Sabine Parish with a jobless rate of 7.4-percent. A good many of the parishes had unemployment figures into the double digits.

In fact, this is the second month in a row LaSalle had the lowest unemployment rate of any parish in the state. In April, the jobless figure for LaSalle was 7.2-percent while many other parishes had unemployment rates into the double digits.

 

 

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Wed
01
Jul

The million-dollar question: What will school look like in August?

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) released school reopening guidelines late last week but there are still more questions than answers in regards to what will actually take place in LaSalle Parish once August 13 arrives.

“There are many things that we will be required to do for the safety of our students but the truth is many of the guidelines are optional and the LDOE is leaving local districts latitude in how they choose to implement certain recommendations they issued,” LaSalle School Superintendent Janet Tullos said Friday.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March when Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards closed schools LaSalle officials have continuously worked on plans for reopening.

 

 

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Wed
01
Jul

Sheriff, Clerk of Court each begins 4th terms

Sheriff, Clerk of Court each begins 4th terms

LaSalle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin and LaSalle Parish Clerk of Court Steve D. Andrews each begins new 4-year terms today, July 1, 2020. Each was elected for the first time in the fall of 2007, and took office in July 2008.

Andrews is the seventh Clerk of Court to serve LaSalle Parish in its 110 year history. The parish was established in 1910.

Former Clerks and their time of service follows: J. H. Bradford, ten years, 1910-20; J. E. Nugent, four years, 1920-24; Q. R. Hudson, 24 years, 1924-48; J. E. Nugent, 14 years, 1948-62; Joseph D. “Joe” Nugent, 26 years, 1962-88; Steve H. Crooks, 20 years, 1988-2008; and Steve D. Andrews, 2008 until present.

 

 

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