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Archive - Oct 2005 - Archive

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October 17th

Need for man-made lake in Lincoln Parish discussed

State Sen. Bob Kostelka and state representatives Rick Gallot and Hollis Downs along with dozens of mayors, business leaders and interested residents, gathered for a preliminary discussion of the feasibility of building a reservoir in Lincoln Parish.
“We’re surrounded by good lakes – Lake D’Arbonne, Lake Claiborne and Caney Lake – but the good Lord didn’t see fit to give us a lake, a river or a big bayou or anything,” Downs said. “We still don’t have any water here.”

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Do we need another study?

I’m not opposed to economic development or the idea of a lake built on those premises. But such a project should not undermine other needed projects, such as Tarbutton Road or developing Lake D’Arbonne for potable water.
My reasons for opposing a feasibility study for a reservoir in Lincoln Parish are simple.
First, such a feasibility study has already been done. In the early 1980s the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Louisiana Tech University and USGS teamed up for such a study and put together the first model.

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It’s all up to the Jury

About 70 people, mostly family members and friends of the defendants, were jammed into U.S. District Court to hear closing arguments in the two-week trial of four people originally charged in the case involving several north Louisiana car dealerships.
Prosecutors insist that 11 dealerships were involved in a scheme to defraud area banks and that at least one defendant lied to a federal agent about alleged hidden ownership in two of the dealerships.

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Update on school board finances

“Sales tax collections for the month of March were up 6.33 percent and for the year we’re up 2.69 percent which means an overall increase of $195,000 for the year,” Murphy said. “So, we’re having a pretty good year — it’s stable.”
Murphy said that possible cuts in state funding are on the horizon and the Board's financial condition may go from good to not so good.
"As far as our local funds go, we're doing all right, but we are concerned about a possible cut in MFP (Minimum Foundation Program) funding in 2005/2006," Murphy said.

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Parish trash system to be completely scrapped

Lincoln Parish is one of only five parishes (Lincoln, Union, Catahoula, Grant and Natchitoches) in Louisiana that still uses the dumpster system with 126 of the open garbage bins in operation, said Solid Waste and Recycling Committee Chairman Bobby Dowling.
The 126 dumpsters have become a sore spot for parish officials and recently led to the hiring of a special deputy to issue tickets for illegal dumping, setting up litter court and the adoption of the slogan, “Litter Lincoln and it will hurt,” Dowling said.

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Jury hands down guilty verdicts on three defendants in fraud trial

Gary Hooper, the principal investor in nine of the dealerships, was found not guilty of conspiracy and guilty of making false statements to a federal agent.
Sikes, comptroller of Tallulah Ford, was found guilty of conspiracy, not guilty of four counts of mail fraud and guilty of one count of bank fraud.
Stuckey, an assistant comptroller, was found guilty of conspiracy, four counts of mail fraud, bank fraud and making false statements to a federal agent.

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Superintendent applies for job in Arkansas

Scriber confirmed that he applied for the position of Superintendent of Mountain Home Schools from his home where he is recovering from a kidney stone removal.
"I was contacted by a search firm about 2-1/2 weeks ago," Scriber said. "I don't know how they got my name, but they sent me an application and I filled it out. They are looking for a superintendent."
Scriber said he already has a good job and isn't particularly looking for a change, but said he is keeping his options open.

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Legislators Restore Museum Funding

The museum has received good news thanks to the commitment of some North Louisiana legislators in helping preserve and restore the state military history.
The museum had anticipated the possibility of losing its $75,000 operating budget until three legislators helped to restore the funding. State Sen. Bob Kostelka, and state Reps. Hollis Downs and Rick Gallot were also instrumental in getting $3.7 million in House Bill 2 set aside in Priority 3 funding to begin the process of Ruston's dream of building a new home for the museum.

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Fraud trial expected to go to the Jury Monday

U.S. District Judge Robert G. “Robbie” James said at the conclusion of testimony Thursday afternoon, he expects the defense to complete its examination of witnesses Friday morning with the case going to the jury Monday morning.
Lavelle Solomon, attorney for Suzanne Stuckey, and Greg Wampler, attorney for Lynn Sikes, agreed that it wasn’t inconceivable the jury could return a verdict Monday afternoon.

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Friday night fire victim remains in critical condition

The man, who has been identified as William Moody, was alone in the residence at 1500 Madera St., when firefighters forcibly entered the residence and saved him from a flame-engulfed bedroom.
"Mr. Moody remains in critical condition in the burn center's intensive care unit," LSU Medical Center Coordinator of Public Relations Derek Daniel said this morning.
Ruston Fire Department Public Education Officer Jerry Lewis credits fire captains Greg Pittman and Keith Odom and a neighbor for saving Moody's life.

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