Just Talkin’ for March 14, 2019


Congrats to the NSU Demon baseball team for Tuesday night’s exciting win over 14th ranked LSU Tigers, 3-1. What a crowd and what a performance. By the way, in the crowd was newly announced Natchitoches Parish Sheriff candidate Steve Pezant. Pezant said he retired Tuesday from the Louisiana State Police after 26 years of service, the same day he announced. He told JT he’s not running against anyone…just for the office. With Pezant and Stuart Wright (although he hasn’t announced, he is Sheriff Victor Jones’ hand picked successor) that certainly tightens things up.

JT was at the school board committee meeting Thursday and the meeting ran long, mostly with discussion about a four-day week, Tuesday through Friday, for the next school year. The agenda item was put on by board member Billy Benefield with two purposes—-to attract and retain certified teachers. The board is to vote today, Thursday, on whether to begin the study that Billy acknowledges will be complicated but worth the effort. Supt. Skinner will conduct an informal survey among teachers and personnel to get their input. There was also a lengthy discussion about reopening the school in Cloutierville. Board member Emile Metoyer had a meeting recently and some 65 people from the Cloutierville area attended. He believes there would be around 150 students who would attend the school if those Cloutierville and Natchez students who attend Provencal return to the school plus several from the lower southern part of the parish who have moved to schools in Alexandria. The board is expected to vote today on whether to pursue a study.


Speaking about LSU…it looks like LSU Basketball Coach Will Wade is getting caught up in the nationwide recruiting and enrollment scandal that has quite a few people, including celebrities, in the FBI investigation crosshairs. Wade was reportedly caught on a wiretap talking about a recruit. Perhaps Coach Wade could have used the wisdom of Earl Long, one of Louisiana’s colorful past governors. It was Earl who said: Don’t write anything you can phone. Don’t phone anything you can talk. Don’t talk anything you can whisper. Don’t whisper anything you can smile. Don’t smile anything you can nod and don’t nod anything you can wink. That pearl from Uncle Earl has served many Louisiana politicians well over the years.


These phone scams are really getting out of hand. JT almost got tangled in another one the other day. In fact, he owes a big thank you to the clerk at Walgreens for stopping him from getting a $200 gift card. It all started when JT got an email request from a friend who said they were out of town and asked JT to pick up a GameStop Gift Card for their nephew’s birthday. They would pay JT back when they returned to town. JT didn’t know what GameStop was but agreed to help him out. At the Coffee Club meeting JT frequents at Merci Beaucoup, he asked Bill Dickens if he knew what GameStop was. Bill said he did and told JT you can get those cards at Walgreens or Wal-Mart.

JT headed to get the card. It’s then JT got another email asking the purchase be for $200 and he needed to scratch off the back of the card to reveal the pin number. JT would then need to snap a picture of the card with his phone and show the serial number of the card and email it back to his friend. Once the clerk saw the card JT had picked up, she told him she thought it might be a scam. So when JT got back to the office he asked the techie about it. Sure enough it was a scam.

Someone had hacked either JT’s or his friends contact list and sent the card request out. The techie told JT the email probably went to thousands if not millions of people over the Internet. Had just .001 percent of those responded by sending the card information, it could have been a $100,000 payday for the thieves. When JT told the person, whose name appeared on the email about it, he learned they too had received a similar request from someone else. JT’s going to pay closer attention to his emails….and if you want a favor, you might better call him with the request.


Those waiting on the availability of medical marijuana in Louisiana are finding just how slow the wheels of government turn. The legislature approved the growing and selling of medicinal marijuana over two years ago but the only thing really growing in tension between the office of Agriculture Secretary Mike Strain and the folks at LSU, who where one of two sites selected to be a grower. We’re not the first state to approve the growing and selling of medical marijuana…so you would think we would look at those who went before us and learn from their journey and set our path.

Apparently not! One would reason that since this is a medical issue, the Department of Health and Hospitals would be the overseer. Not so, reason and government don’t seem to go together. Somehow it ended up under the Department of Agriculture. After two long years, JT sees the attention has drifted away from the intended purpose of the legislation to “help” our residents. Instead it’s turned to another example of a waste of taxpayers’ time and money.


JT had a friend say that if someone would run for anything, with the promise to get rid of telemarketers, they could win. JT hung up on one only to have him call back and ask why he hung up. JT can’t repeat in this column what he told him!