Just Talkin’ for May 27, 2021

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JT hopes you and yours have a happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend. Most of us will use the day off Monday to be with neighbors, friends and family cooking outside and relaxing. But let’s not forget the real reason for the day off. It’s a federal holiday for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Services. If you have an American Flag, JT suggests you fly it this weekend. And by all means, give recognition to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

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Watching the city work being done near the Hall of Fame and Condos to reroute the traffic got JT to wondering. All this is basically to keep the condos from being hit by vehicles. But JT was thinking back to when the Ford Motor Company was in the same location. He doesn’t recall the building being hit at all. Do you? The only thing JT can figure is that when the Motor Company was there we didn’t have cell phones.

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Like the rest of our state, we are experiencing an increase in gun violence. There are as many places to put the blame as there are excuses why it happens. The way JT sees it is the bottom line is it’s the person pulling the trigger… that’s the problem. Sometimes the wheels of justice are not as speedy as we may like. It’s not the fault of any particular division of our justice system. The system is not broken, but it needs a tune-up. For example, we only have two judges and two courtrooms. You can’t make a big dent in the backlog of cases if there are only a few days you can set aside for trials. JT has argued for some time now that our parish needs another district judge slot. Here’s an idea for the immediate future…let’s establish an “Express Lane” for all persons charged with committing a crime with a weapon. Set a limit for resolution at 30 days. We could get the Louisiana Supreme Court to get one of the retired judges in the state to come here and handle nothing but these cases. They could even use the Events Center while they are here. JT realizes it’s more complicated than that, but we have to start discussions statewide to address it now.

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This is one of JT’s favorite times of the year….graduation… and the end of school. It’s exciting to see our friends and neighbors graduating high school or college. Entering new phases of their lives and “growing up” will offer many challenges, opportunities and joys. We wish them well on their journey.

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Based on the large crowd at the Jazz Fest, and with the long list of events coming up in the future….it looks like Natchitoches is on it’s way back to becoming the “go to” destination. With a year of COVID rules finally relaxed, events can now return to what they were. And that’s great news for our area.

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JT saw the state is passing the mandatory kindergarten bill overwhelmingly. The legislature is finally catching up to what teachers have always known…early education is essential.