Happy New Year!
JT sure took notice of the numbers of people in town thanks to the LHSAA Football Championships. Any place that served food and Front Street appeared to be packed over the duration of the games. (As were the hotels and motels.)
It was nice to see our town packed with visitors. The generation gap showed through though. JT noticed it was the parents taking in all the scenery and history of our town, while the youngsters were pretty much glued to their cell phones and other devices. It was nice to see…and hear… a lot of former Demons returning to campus. Some came as teachers and coaches, some as parents and others as school fans.
A special thanks also goes to the LHSAA for partnering with Northwestern State for a happy ending to a not so happy 2020. One thing that was brought home to JT was the need for our community to go after more of these events because of the economic impact.
The football championships gave us a glimpse of the impact Posey Park can have. COVID put a crimp on the first year of the park, but JT looks for the park to be a major venue in 2021.
JT got a really good tip on how to tell if you’ve aged. He was told of a conversation the other day between two men who were long time friends. One of the men told JT that the lunch time discussions had turned from pretty women and drinking…to social security. JT would love to give credit for that bit of wisdom…but he knows better.
One of the cute stories JT heard around Christmas was the arrest of “The Grinch” in Winn Parish. Apparently, the sheriff over there, Cranford Jordan, a former Natchitoches Parish Deputy, and his deputies caught the Christmas tree, ornaments, decorations and package stealing Grinch a few days before Christmas.
He was jailed and children were invited to see him behind bars so they could be assured Christmas was safe.
Once again Louisiana is atop a list…that’s not good. This time it deals with criminal incarcerations. JT ran across a story that said the state leads the nation in persons in jail based on 100, 000 population. What that means is that for every 100,000 residents, Louisiana had 31,584 in prisons across the state. North Carolina was second with just over 33,000.
While that means a huge percentage of our state residents are in jail, the number that took JT aback was the number of people listed as on probation or parole. Using that same benchmark, Louisiana had 38,822 on probation and 32,196 on parole.
Do we really have that many “bad” people in Louisiana?
It really puts us in a quandary if we do. While we’ve got some really good people in the Probation and Parole Department of state government…we certainly don’t have enough to handle these large numbers. With these large numbers…perhaps the legislature needs to take another look at why we are in this predicament.