News

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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Wed
09
Jan

Catahoula Lake is private land

On December 28 the Louisiana’s Third Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s decision to privatize Catahoula Lake, meaning the lake is no longer a public hunting area.

The appellate court ruled in favor of 9th Judicial District Court (Rapides Parish) Ad Hoc Judge James H. Boddie Jr.’s decision on May 16, 2016 that landowners surrounding the lake actually own the majority of what is known as Catahoula Lake since the lake is “manmade.”

The trial in 2016 of the Crooks vs State lawsuit was very extensive and lasted for a long time before the decision was rendered. LaSalle Parish residents Steve and Era Crooks filed the class action lawsuit against the State of Louisiana on May 6, 2006 but it took over ten years to make it to trial.

 

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Wed
09
Jan

Foundation awards school grants

The Cliff Williams Memorial Foundation has provided educators in LaSalle Parish with more than $1,214,405.56 in grants since it was formed in 1990. For the current school year, a total of $39,952.75 in grants was approved by the Foundation for various teachers in the LaSalle Parish School System.

The Foundation was formed when Justiss Oil Company honored the memory of Cliff Williams with an endowment gift to be used for the educational needs of children in LaSalle Parish.

Cliff, the son of Pat and Charles Williams of Jena, was married to Jennifer Justiss Williams Loe, and is the father of Amy Williams Kunkel and Adam Williams.

Cliff was a petroleum engineer and Justiss Oil Company’s Vice-President of Drilling and Production Operations for seven years prior to his untimely death about 30 years ago.

 

Wed
02
Jan

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

By Huey P. O’Neal

January 9th has been designated Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (LEAD) by national organizations who support law enforcement nationwide. There is a need to show law enforcement officers that our citizens recognize the difficult task that they do to protect our communities and nation.

In 2014, law enforcement in America was changed forever after an officer was involved in a shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. The violence and negativity aimed at law enforcement following that incident sparked National Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) to implement the first L.E.A.D.

January 9 was chosen as a day to encourage citizens to do something special for their community’s peacekeepers and take the time to show their appreciation.

 

 

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