Just Talkin’ Lagniappe for Dec. 30, 2021

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JT was left scratching his head after a court date earlier this month between two elected officials kind of fizzled. Now he knows why. District Two Parish Councilwoman Patsy Ward-Hoover and Natchez Mayor Rosia Humphrey had an altercation and simply battery charges were filed against the mayor.

However, in court, Ward-Hoover wouldn’t testify against the mayor and asked that the charge be dropped. The mayor was found not guilty of battery charges. Now…at the last meeting of the Parish Council for 2021, Ward-Hoover announced she will be a candidate for Natchez Mayor in the March 26 Open Municipal Primary Election. Qualifying is Jan. 26, 27 and 28.

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JT has reached the conclusion that Louisiana’s economy is best described as “yeah but”. What many in the business community are experiencing is pretty much the opposite of what we’re hearing from our politicians. They put a different spin on it that is just not accurate. For eight straight years Louisiana’s population has been in a downward “trend”…and there’s no reason to expect it to change.

JT read where a multi-million dollar investment into a Louisiana plant would generate around 130 permanent jobs. It’s going to take more than a handful of those to overcome the 27,000 people we lost in population this past year. We all know industrial development is a competitive business and each state tries to lure them with a better deal through tax breaks, site development costs and hiring incentives. Look what happened to Shreveport with that car manufacturing plant…. a real loss of revenues to the state and city.

Recently JT read were a noted demographer said economic factors primarily played a role in the Bayou State ranking fifth in out-migration comparing 2020 to 2021 figures. Arkansas grew, Texas grew significantly, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee…all states within our region that are doing much better. So why are our people leaving…by and large in search of bettering their future. States and communities with a prosperous economy attract people. All that brain power we have in Baton Rouge should be addressing ways to stop the out-migration….otherwise that promotional campaign a few years back about Louisiana being a great place to visit pretty much sums it up

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The surge in Covid cases throughout the state is making the holidays a little tough. JT heard you can purchase an over the counter kit for self-testing. Early this week he was told those kits were available in some cities. Natchitoches was apparently not one of them.

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Why won’t the parish council come clean about who ordered work done on a road everyone seems to believe leads only to a deer camp? Who are they covering up for? Parish President John Richmond says he didn’t order the work…but he won’t say who did. He suggested the persons asking the question call the Highway Department because their reports are public record and someone there can research the records to see who requested it be done.

Then he throws out the possibility there still might not be a name on the records of who requested it. It seems strange to JT that Richmond knows the roadwork cost $4,500 but he won’t say who wanted it done.

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