Chicken Scratch

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Any views and comments published in this weekly paid column are those of the writer of the column and not the expressed views or opinions of Tommy O’Con, the Publisher/Editor of Around The Town

January 6, 2020

Hello from us chickens in the coup!

We birds had our morning chicken scratch eatin’ meetin’ and one of the hens gave a report on something we cluck about regularly. The ASPCA, American Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals. It is a very relevant subject as we chickens are included in that group. We have being seeing as we do every year these commercials on chick tv with these poor dogs sitting in the freezing cold with Christmas carols in the background begging for you to give $19 per month to save them. So Matilda the hen did a little digging into the organization and were shocked at what we found. The ASPCA actually spends about 13% of all money raised on the animals according to an accredited watchdog site Paddok. Other sites all report less than 20% spent on us animals.

Paddok reports 128 employees make more than $100,000 per year. 9 executives make over $300,000 per year and the top 23 executives make over 6 million per year. Finally, the president of the organization makes over $600,000 per year. Think about that when you see those freezing dogs that have been placed in a commerical on tv shivering and starving.

I guess the point we are making is simply this. Give to your local groups like PAWS, Sabine Animal Shelter and the Natchitoches animals in need. Give to the shelters at home where you know most if not all of the money will go to help the animals.

Mr.Chicken informed us birds this morning that the City of Natchitoches mayor and council elections are coming up this spring. We birds see Eddie Harrington signs going up and we are hoping Eddie goes back in unopposed. Eddie has already proven he is fair minded and strives to do the right thing. We birds can’t wait to see who qualifies for the council positions and especially if Mayor Posey will draw opposition. Since Natchitoches is a town with over 60% black registered voters, it remains to be seen if there will be opposition in that post. It is uncommon to have a white mayor in a majority black town, so we birds are wondering if the black community will field a candidate they can agree on. In the past, there has seemingly been a lot of jealousy and various splits with black candidates. We think the mayor has done a pretty good job and seems to be available and to listen. The mayor has taken some heat lately with the tax increases and those who are opposed to the new Parc Natchitoches out by I-49 and we wonder if that will bring opposition.

Mr. Red Rooster over in Sabine Parish has his ear to the ground, literally, and will be giving us a report on some issues there including the effect of the parish property tax and how it is affecting property and land sales out at Toledo Bend. We also hope to be able to report some plans and ideas from newly elected State Representative Rodney Schamerhorn who we believe won a big upset. We also hope to check in with newly elected State Senator Louie Bernard and hopefully the new Sheriff Aaron Mitchell.

We birds hope you all have a great week. See ya next time!

Mr. Chicken

Chicken Scratch

November 18, 2019

Good morning from the chicken coup!  Mr. Chicken and the hens were up early today still cackling about the election results.  Mr. Rooster has been upset about the governors election and blames the win by John Bel Edwards on the massive vote hauling effort in New Orleans.   He says there was a lot of money handed out for vote hauling and canvassing which can affect the results of any election in Louisiana.  This was once the way it was done down there and maybe they are finally getting re-organized down there since the hurricane caused many to leave years ago.
Our local results in Natchitoches and Sabine Parishes were somewhat surprising.  The hens were talking about the parish presidents race all weekend.  They were cackling this morning that they were not surprised by the large victory by our friend John Richmond.  Early on, when the Waskom mailers arrived in mailboxes, you could tell on our Chicken Scratch facebook page that many birds did not like or appreciate the negative nature of the content.  As the campaign unfolded, we birds were clucking that Waskom must be behind because of the continuation of the negative material, notably the video secretly taken by Linda Vance, the wife of Bill Vance of the Journal.  The lawsuit by Alan McMurtry did not help the Waskom campaign because other birds we know saw it as a non issue.  All of this because of a purchase of $1200 worth of gravel that went on parish roads and in which no one gained financially.  We birds also noticed the narration of the video and it was evident of the bias in the publishing of this and the fact that it was connected to the Waskom campaign.  We birds congratulate John Richmond for staying the high road and being positive the entire campaign.  It certainly paid off.  Bring us some scratch John!
The two council races had some surprises.  First, Justin Lester ran Marty Cheatwood one heck of a race and it ended up with a nine vote margin.  Congratulation to both and we birds think we will hear Justin’s name in the future.
The race between Russel Rachal and John Salter was somewhat of a shocker.  John spent seemingly no money on the campaign and it was apparent the voters in the district were ready for a change.  Rachal’s vote recieved in the first primary showed an upset in the making since he was not close to a majority as an incumbent.
We birds are now wondering what type chemistry the new council will have and if they will finally be able to work together. It is going to be interesting on how the council now votes and if there will be another attempt to go back to the police jury form of government.  The voters of the parish will be watching as they have been reluctant to pass any new revenues for roads.  Mr. Rooster thinks that if they can get together and work together, the people in the parish will be wiling to provide more revenue for roads.  We have our chicken feet crossed that this will happen.
Over in Sabine Parish, we were surprises at the margin of the victors.  Mr. Rooster had flown over and met with Mr. Red Rooster last week and came back to the coup telling the hens that Mr. Tidwell and Mr. Mitchell would be winners.  What he did not say was how big the margins would be.  It was evident by the vote that Sabine Parish was ready for change.  Mr. Ellzey, the other candidate for Assessor is well respected in the parish, but had been assessor and many believed he had served and they wanted to give a new guy a chance.  Sheriff Richardson was also respected, maybe not a politician and very low key.  A fine Christian man, but again, the voters seemed ready for change.
We birds are happy the elections are over.  We hope to bring you some news on other topics and we hope you will continue to read Chicken Scratch.  We think you will find some interesting reading in the coming weeks about issues that affect everyone.
Have a great week from all us birds!
Mr. Chicken


November 11, 2019

Good Morning from the coup and Happy Veterans Day from all us birds to those who have served our country.

We chickens have heard from many of our friends that they are tired of the ads and mudslinging in the governor’s race.  We have been watching from the coup on our big screen and we agree that it has gotten out of hand.  We birds are Republicans as you may know, and we are ready for a change.   Chicken Scratch prices have doubled under John Bel Edwards and we can’t lay more eggs to pay for it.  It’s funny that  Edwards is appearing everywhere, including Natchitoches, a couple of times lately, but you never see him at any other time which is just like most politicians.  Sadly, it is true that we chickens can’t afford to drive our chick-mobile anymore because of the highest auto insurance rates in the country.  Our Democrat bird friends are all for Edwards because he represents more free scratch and has even added some whole kernel corn and free egg pick-up services.  He will do and say anything for a vote.  We are hoping that our friend, who has done a lot for us birds, President Donald Trump, will help Eddie Rispone win the governor’s seat.  One thing is for certain around Natchitoches and that is the black church buses have been rolling, delivering voters to the polls in the election and that is a huge push from the Edwards campaign.  Some say the money is flowing to black leaders. We say that’s typical Louisiana politics; the way it has been for years.  We birds have not been offered any “canvassing” money, which is simply vote- buying money, but we hear our Democrat chicken friends have been getting a lot of extra hen chops and scratch to cackle for Edwards.  We predict a big win for Rispone. Time will tell!


The parish president’s race is in full swing and as most of our readers know, we are supporting John Richmond.  Mr. Chicken has been upset at some of the ads from the Waskom campaign.  Some of these ads are simply mudslinging and the local Journal continues to sponsor some of this misleading material.  Seems to us that a local news source should not be conspiring to help another candidate with secret recordings of meetings that are meaningless.  Many believe that Bill Vance is behind some of these ads and it is no secret he has been seen with Waskom throughout the campaign.  And of course, the hens know well that some of this might be tied to Linda Vance, his wife who is also getting money paid by Waskom.   Linda is the one who secretly recorded a meeting regarding $1200 of rock which was purchased to go on parish roads and no one gained a cent by the purchase.  This is the same Linda who was demoted and sent next door and who has threatened a law suit against the parish to waste more of our tax dollars.  We birds surely hope the voters have seen through all of these dirty deeds.

The sheriff’s race over in Sabine Parish is very active with many ads for both candidates.  Sheriff Richardson is a great person and has represented Sabine well.  On the other side, Mr. Aaron Mitchell is running a very good campaign and has a lot of support.  We birds think this is a fairly close race and look forward to the results.

We chickens worry about the state of affairs in this country and right here in our state and town.  Crime is on the rise with shootings and killings happening right here in Natchitoches.  We birds have noticed racial tension has gone up as the debate in Congress over impeachment continues.  The Republicans and Democrats continue to get nothing done and we all pay for it.  The socialist-talking Democrat presidential candidates who want to promise everything free are enticing voters.  Talk of free healthcare, forgiving student loans and other freebies have grabbed the attention of those who would like handouts and would lead this country to third world status and break it financially.  That’s the way we birds see it anyway.

We hope everyone has a great week and please vote! It’s your civic duty and you can’t complain about anything if you don’t vote!

Mr. Chicken

Chicken Scratch


Monday, November 4, 2016


Boy, Mr. Rooster woke up this morning spitting chicken scratch everywhere after reading a Natchitoches Parish Journal article.  Here are some interesting facts about the articles written by the Journal recently.

First and foremost, Mr. Bill Vance either owns or runs or controls the Natchitoches Parish Journal.
His wife is the person who recorded the meeting over purchasing the gravel with no ones knowledge.
Mr. Vance is Mr. Waskoms campaign person being paid by Waskom to help run his campaign.
The Natchitoches Journal is acting as if it is just reporting the story which is not true.
If you listened to the tape of the meeting, you can see that it has been professionally narrated.
Linda Vance has threatened a lawsuit against parish government.
Alan McMurtry did sue the Parish while running for council person and lost in big fashion.  Then he wrote a letter that was published along with the tape of the meeting in question.
Mr. Chicken and the rest of us hens believe this is nothing more than an attempt during early voting to sway voters to vote for Waskom.  We believe this is orchestrated by Mr. Vance as the hired consultant of Waskom who is printing this as news in his Natchitoches Parish Journal as Mud Slinging against Mr. John Richmond.  We birds believe this is a sorry way to campaign.  All of this over $1200 worth of gravel bought to fix parish roads and in which no one personally benefited.  We birds think that the voters of Natchitoches Parish should see this for what it really is.  When you put the facts together, it is easy to see that this is a smear tactic against John Richmond and we hope it backfires on Mr. Waskom and Mr. Vance.
We birds know John Richmond, a nice and decent man with the best qualifications to run the Parish.  He does not sling mud, takes the high road.  Please vote for him!
NOTE: According to the report 102 filed by Lee Waskom to Louisiana Board of Ethics Financial Disclosure, Waskom has paid thousands of dollars  to Bill Vance’s a Natchitoches radio station owned by Bill Vance and over $3000 to NPJ Media Group LLC which is listed as Lynda Vance, the wife of Bill Vance.



Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Good morning from chicken coup on this foggy Wednesday morning.  We birds watched the Astro’s game last night and were disappointed in the series going to a seventh game.  Astro’s pitcher Verlander was not as sharp as Washington’s pitcher, maybe tonight’s final game will be better. 

We chickens have been really busy clucking about a few issues Around Town.  We saw on Facebook where a lady supporting our friend John Richmond has been inundated with private messages from supporters of Waskom threatening her and questioning her support from him.  We birds were tickled to see that she made it abundantly clear she would fight back, and protect herself from this type of harassment.  We let her know that we chickens were ready to do some pecking and clawing for her if needed and Mr. Rooster says his spurs and sharp and ready!
Politics has been reasonable quiet this past week with the exception of the governors race which is getting ugly.  We chickens are voting for Rispone, and we think a low turnout will ensure a victory for the republican candidate.  There will be many lies told on both sides in the next two weeks, it should be entertaining.   
The hens were clucking about roads in the parish this week.  Seemingly the roads have improved somewhat in recent months, but we know more funding is necessary if we are to ever get noticeable improvements.  Since the taxpayers have not been willing to support any type tax, which we believe is caused by a joke of a parish government, we think some funds could come from other sources.  First and foremost, the Cane River Waterway Commission property tax is much more than needed and we birds think some of that money could be used for roads.  This would take an act of the legislature that previously had been worked out, but fell by the wayside because of some pandering and lobbying by the Cane River Commission.  And of course, they paid for the downtown pavilion and all the improvements down there to stop the process of the taking of some of their funds.  We chickens have been told they gained over 2 million in assets just last year.  We birds say either voluntarily support some of their funding for roads or reduce our property taxes to a level that is truly needed.  The commission has a $250,000 house down on Cane River, some call it a man cave.  Why does a commission with one main employee need a home on Cane River.  The Sheriff took away their commission, so they cannot even write a ticket on the river.  Better than all that, how about letting the Sheriff’s office take over the Commission responsibilities, pay him $250,000 a year to take care of the permits and re direct about 2 million a year towards our parish roads.  Then, we might not need new taxes.  And there are other parish entities that seemingly have more money than needed including the library and the hospital ambulance tax that raised more than needed.  We chickens lead a simply existence and we think its time some of the government entities tighten their belts and turn loose of excess money to fund our roads!
Regarding the lawsuit the Cane River Waterway filed against the company that installed the ill conceived pumps to pump water from Red River to Cane River, there has been no activity on the suit since November of 2018.  Did we just waste those millions of dollars.  We chickens were opposed to the idea in the first place, and we felt it was just another justification for the over $8 million dollars the Cane River Waterway Commission had sitting in the bank which looked bad.  Do the pumps even work at this point.  Will the suit move forward?  Did we just throw away millions of dollars?  This 6 million dollars would have gone a long way on our roads, so why has not anyone questioned this?  We all wonder.
There has been no word lately on the apartment development on second street and we birds reiterate that we don’t think it is a good idea to tear it down when it can be completed.  And saying we don’t want those type people around is just plain terrible.  We birds think the city will not be allowed to tear the apartments down and part of the reason will be their attitude towards the poor.  The other looming lawsuit was filed by Alan McMurtry against the parish government.  We think this lawsuit should go away as their is little merit to it and we birds think it is politically motivated to hurt John Richmond.  As we have stated, we think John does a great job with the Parish Highway Department and is the most qualified to lead as Parish President.  All one has to do is read his educational background, work experience and qualifications. 
We birds hope everyone has a great week Around the Town and if any of you have a little extra chicken scratch, please throw it our way!
Mr Chicken
October 21, 2019

Good Morning from the Coop on this rainy Monday morning. Things have been fairly quiet from the elections and run-off candidates so far. We birds are waiting to see if the races stay clean.  All of the run-off candidates seem to be low key right now. Mr. Rooster says there are a good many Justin Lester signs popping up on the west side of Red River.   District 4 is a huge district that runs from Black Lake, Goldonna, Ashland, and all the way over to highway 1 and even Oak Grove.

The parish president race between Richmond and Waskom is quiet.  Maybe the calm before the storm as they say?

Over in Sabine Parish, the Assessor and Sheriff’s race should start heating up.  Mr. Red Rooster says that Sheriff Ronny Richardson is really working hard to retain his seat against challenger Aaron Mitchell who managed to get the most votes in the primary election. The Assessor’s race might be close, but we birds are thinking that Caroll Ellzey is facing an uphill battle against challenger Chris Tidwell. Ellzey once served as Assessor and denies being responsible for the outrageous assessments and huge increases in property taxes that residents are complaining about.

All of us chickens from both Natchitoches and Sabine are hoping Governor Edwards gets beat in the run-off.  Mr. Chicken says that it will be almost impossible for him, and history proves that an incumbent governor who is forced in a run-off does not win.  Mr. Rooster was clucking to all the hens that the turnout will be much different. Everyone knows a Democrat  governor relies on black votes to win and history proves that blacks tend to vote less in the second round statewide. Louisiana is a red state with every other statewide elected official being a Republican, so we birds think the same will happen with the Governor’s race.

A concern we birds have these days is crime in Natchitoches.  It seems that we are having shootings regularly and the latest happening on Amulet Street, a main black street in the west part of town.  Most of the shooting and murders have occurred in the west part of town with the exception of one in the east part of town in a nice neighborhood. We birds don’t know what can be done about this; maybe there is nothing that can be done.  The hens are much more careful these days scratching down many streets in town. The scary thing is that many very young people are carrying weapons and of course much of the problem is drugs.

Mr. Rooster has been trying to keep up with the apartment saga over on Second Street and it seems the city has been sued by the owners or bank that holds the note.  We are all interested in the outcome of this, as the mayor does not want the development to continue because of the “types” of people that might live there.  We birds are opposed to the demolition of these apartments because we know how it is to live without much of a roof over our heads.

One last thing to all the candidates, especially those who won or did not make the runoff:  Please go out and remove your campaign signs from the public areas so we don’t have to look at them in the years to come!

Until next Monday, have a great day!




Monday, October 14, 2019

Good Morning from the chicken coup! We chickens are loving these fall temps. What an election day we had on Saturday! Mr. Rooster is still crowing about Stuart Wright winning the election outright between 3 good candidates. None of us birds thought he could win without a runoff. He proved all of us birds wrong.

The hens were scratching around for worms this morning and are disappointed that Patsy Hoover and Chris Paige made it back to the parish government. But, there was a bright spot with Rodney Bedgood being defeated. Mr. Chicken now says he would like to see Justin Lester serve in that seat, but Cheatwood seems to be the favorite at this point. We chickens would like to hear Cheatwood say he favors our current council form of government, but sadly he skirted the issue when asked and that gives us concern. Russell Rachal, the incumbent, was forced in a runoff by an old juror, John Salter. Mr. Rooster thinks that Salter would be a vote to change our government back to the old police jury, to which all of us chickens are opposed. As far as the parish president race, all of us birds, as we have said before, are supporting John Richmond. There is no doubt in our minds that he has the education, experience, and professionalism to lead our parish and it will be a tough job. John has the demeanor to get the job done and we hope the voters will decide to put him in that position.

On another note, Mr. Chicken and Mr. Rooster were ecstatic when we saw that Governor Edwards only got 46% of the vote. Based on history and the fact that Louisiana is a red state, we are crossing our claws that Eddie Rispone will be the next governor. We birds had not seen John Bel Edwards around here for the first 3 years, but he sure showed up at election time. Edwards is very close to the trial lawyers which makes our feathers fall out when we think about it. He touts the fact that he has been good to teachers and got them raises, but the teachers we know say he has done nothing for them and he is distorting the truth. Mr. Rooster is crowing loudly that Edwards got what votes he will get in the first round and Louisiana will have a Republican governor.

One thing that changes the dynamics of all runoff races is turnout. That is the factor that will determine what happens because many things change when there is a low turnout compared to the one we had with this election. Mr. Chicken is thinking we will have about half the turnout next time.

Over in Sabine Parish, it was very evident that Shelly Salter was the overwhelming choice for Clerk of Court and we congratulate her. We also commend Pollie Brandon for running a positive race against her. The assessors race should be interesting with Chris Tidwell and former assessor Carroll Ellzey. Both seem to be excellent candidates and the winner will depend on which candidate can garner the votes from the other four candidates who did not make the runoff. Mr. Red Rooster and his flock were very pleased to see Rodney Schamerhorn win the Representative race. Mr. Red Rooster was concerned about a lawsuit filed against Greg Lord, and the fact that it was not heard before the election. Finally, the Sheriff’s race should end up close. Mr. Red Rooster had been telling us birds that Aaron Mitchell was going to run Ronny Richardson a close race and it happened. Both candidates are back on the campaign trail today hoping for a November 16th victory. Frankie Howard ran a strong race and took some votes from Ronny Richardson that Richardson hopes to recover for the run-off.

We hope everyone has a great week from the coop!

Mr. Chicken



October 7, 2019

Hello from the Coup on this beautiful Monday morning.  This is the final week before elections and the chickens are all excited about the outcome next Saturday.
Things have been fairly quiet around Natchitoches and Sabine Parishes.  Thankfully, there has been no mudslinging, at least in the media.  Mr. Rooster has heard some scratchins between the parish council races.  Mr. Chicken has noticed Precious Barber holding up signs around town on hot street corners and just had to mention her dedication and willingness to brave the elements.  The hens were over on Amulet street and got a good laugh.  It seems Robert Jackson put a huge 4 X 8 sign up for Carl Sias for parish president.  Is Robert really serious or is his sign a statement of some racial tensions he and others feel about parish government.  Actually, he can’t be serious as Carl is not qualified to operate a hot dog stand downtown in our opinion.
We chickens hesitate to make suggestions or recommendations on the various races, our brains are fairly small, but we want to say a little about how we birds feel.  First, we are lucky to have some very good Sheriff candidates.  But we chickens think that the sheriff’s position is really an administrative one that requires a knowledge of business skills, law enforcement, prosecution, and the right temperament to work with the hundreds of employees that work for the department.  We think Stuart Wright is the best man for the job, but we want to be careful to say that the other two candidates are capable and would also make a good sheriff.
When it comes to the Parish President, the only two viable candidates are Waskom and Richmond.  We chickens feel like John Richmond’s qualifications and past experience make him the best man for the job.  John is always smiling, has a good way with others and works well with everyone.  If you look at his background in a large management position with a huge construction company, his education, and his business experience, he seems to be someone who might can pull the parish back together and get some things accomplished.  Waskom seems to know too much and has touted ads with some outside civil engineer pretending to know everything about fixing our roads.  We don’t buy that and we do not think he would work well with others in this difficult job.
Over in Sabine Parish, we checked in with Mr. Red Rooster and his hens.  We wont get into a big discussion except to say that no one seems to have a good feel for the outcomes, especially of the Clerk and Assessors race.  The sheriff’s race seems to also be fairly close, but we believe it is very hard to beat an incumbent sheriff and Ronny Richardson is well liked and respected.
Here are some campaign reports on contributions just in at the State Ethics board for the 10 day before the election report for the latest period:
Stuart Wright        $2500  with Glen Sers giving $1000
Steve Pezant      $1500 with Jimmy Williams of Campti giving $1000
Steve Rachal        $1000 with David Bouchie giving that $1000.
Lee Waskom        $2475
John Richmond        $685
Jerry Longois        0
Over in Sabine:
Shelly Salter        $500
Polly Brandon      $8468  (Her personal funds)
We chickens will give a report and our observations of all the elections in our Monday, Oct. 14 Chicken Scratch. Until then, please everyone vote because every vote counts.
Have a great week,
Mr. Chicken


September 30, 2019

Good morning from the coup, we birds sure are hoping for some cooler weather soon. The hens had a little meeting this morning while scratching for worms and grubs and discussed the governors race. The general consensus of the flock is that that we never hear from the governor and now he is everywhere. No surprise to us birds, and as we said before, he is appealing big to the black vote. We noticed black supporters waving Edwards signs on the bridge recently and signs all over black areas of town. But when we flew across the bridge into East Natchitoches, the Edwards signs were few. We birds wonder why the black voters are fooled by democrats who appear at election time with promises, but never live up to those promises and then they are gone till next election.

Mr. Rooster watched at a distance the city council meeting regarding the new tax and then we all read the letters to the editor in the Chicken Times. It seems that the mayor got caught not telling all the details and many feel like he has been deceptive. It was also pointed out that the city does not seem to be concerned about jobs and growth in those letters and we birds agree. For too long, the city seems to be only concerned with tourism. City leaders seem satisfied with Alliance and Pilgrims Pride, (thankfully, we are in the egg laying business), and its simply not enough. If nothing is done it might affect the next city elections, especially this new tax. We will say that councilman Eddie Harrington had a lot of guts to buck the vote and seems to be an independent refreshing voice on the council.

On another note, we chickens are happy the elections will be over in a couple of weeks. Things have seemed to quieten down a bit, no mudslinging this past week. We birds feel like we have 3 excellent candidates in the sheriff’s race and that our parish will be in good hands regardless. Mr. Chicken made a good point when he explained that the sheriff’s office is a 17 million dollar entity and the job is more administrative. We birds think Stuart Wright has all the qualifications needed as he has dealt with all of those areas over his long career. Although he has never been a road deputy, it is noted that Sheriff Jones has not made an arrest in 20 years. But we birds do like all the candidates and those that don’t have experience in all areas would surely fill those positions with people who are capable and qualified.

Over in Sabine Parish, Mr. Red Rooster reports that things are quiet there also. He says that there are a many who are very upset at the current and past assessor and the fact that their property has not been re-assessed in many years. He is being told that the increases are so bad that many houses and camps have gone on the market for sale, especially out on the lake. The assessors race is also interesting with a past assessor running who might be caught up in the controversy. Mr. Red Rooster thinks the clerk’s race is close and gives the edge to Polly Brandon. Mr. Red Rooster reports the Senate race is quiet. Regarding the State Representatives race,   we noted last time that Dr. Greg Lord has a pending lawsuit against him, but will not be heard before the election. Rodney Schamerhorn has not seemingly come out to discuss the suit or investigate the particulars.

That’s it from the coup this morning, hope everyone has a great week and it finally cools off soon!


September 23, 2019

Hello from the chicken coup! Lots to talk about today! Mr. Chicken and Mr. Rooster were discussing the Governor’s race this weekend and noticed a share on Facebook by District Attorney Don Burkett regarding the race. Don seems to be a good conservative and noted an article in the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate regarding the campaign ads run by current Governor John Bel Edwards. There seems to be a lot of deception in those ads, especially regarding huge surpluses. The hens think John Bel is a tax and spend governor and is backed by the trial lawyers and a few sheriffs. We chickens took a stroll around town late one night, and while keeping an eye out for coyotes and stray dogs, we noticed many John Bel Edwards signs in trial lawyers’ yards. Believe us when we tell you that when the trial lawyers are supporting a candidate, they have a promise to do their bidding. That is why we have such high car insurance rates. We chickens have noticed that the lawyers have once again begun advertising for the car wreck business. They had slacked up a bit after some public outcry, but are now back at it again.

The Senate district he Parish President Rick Nowlin’s letter to the parish council regarding a large raise for a department head. The proposal in the letter was to raise the salary by a large amount, over $10,000 per year and get the council’s verbal approval. He says in his letter that it should be brought before the council, but he would implement the raise if no one objects. This is not good government and us chickens are opposed to that type of shady action. While we are talking about parish government, we chickens want to know a couple of things. We understand that John Salter, when leaving office last time, had some very questionable roads fixed at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars for friends and political cronies. We know that the information is accurate, but have not taken the time to do a public records request to find out which roads were done and exactly how much they cost the taxpayers. We are also told that the lawsuit filed recently by Alan McMurtry was a valid suit. We understand that the materials purchased were done so because Patsy Ward Hoover, a current councilperson, put a lot of pressure to get some extra roads worked on to benefit her re-election bid. That is what we birds were told from sources within the highway department for the parish. We chickens must reiterate that we hope council candidates Patsy Ward Hoover, Chris Paige and Rodney Bedgood are replaced with some individuals who will try to move this parish forward and put some confidence back in the embarrassing mess we have today. We think their agenda is to convert the parish back to the old police jury system so they can avoid term limits and be kings of their districts. Please, for the sake of the parish, vote them out of office!

Speaking of Senate politics in our area, we chickens got a copy of a lawsuit from Mr. Red Rooster in Many regarding Dr. Greg Lord, a doctor in Vernon parish who is running against a businessman, Rodney Schamerhorn, a resident of Florien. This Senate district comes into Natchitoches parish. It seems that Dr. Lord is accused of falsely luring 2 doctors into investing in a hospital in Leesville, La. The suit states that after a short period of time, the hospital filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and was sold, leaving the newly invested doctors holding the bag for much of the losses. We have sources that claim that Dr. Lord says he did not solicit the doctors to invest, but the lawsuit says differently and is very specific on how and where this happened. And strangely, this lawsuit has not been able to make it to court before the election. We chickens hope that some of the constituents will take a closer look at this suit and ask some questions before the election.

Speaking of Many and Sabine Parish, we chickens had a conference call with Mr. Red Rooster over in Sabine Parish. It seems from information he provided that the Clerk of Court’s race seems to be trending towards Polly Brandon. Some of his sources reveal that Polly has been in the legal profession at Brandon’s Law Office for many years and might keep the office professional. There has been a long line of those who occupy that office who have worked there under past clerks, but this race seems to be different as some personal issues exist.
Finally, not much going on regarding the Sheriff’s race in Natchitoches. We chickens were scratching around listening to a group of people who came to throw us some chicken feed and there was discussion that Stuart Wright might win the race outright. It seems they thought he had an excellent black vote coming and that would make a big difference. We birds also heard he will be getting the endorsement of the Natchitoches Voters and Civic League shortly which is a long-time black political organization started by Mr. Ben Johnson. We birds still look for a runoff between Wright and Pezant. As far as the parish president’s election, there is a lot of clucking going on about John Richmond. We birds have looked at the advertisement from Lee Waskom and we question his so-called papers and discussion of some outside engineer on roads. First, the roads will not get fixed by some outside engineer whom Waskom promotes as an expert and can help fix our roads. We have had more than one engineer that was knowledgeable about road building. We chickens know for a fact that no candidate has the answer for fixing roads. The answer, in our opinion, is a parish council who gets along and works together for our good. Then, and only then, the voters in Natchitoches Parish might vote for additional funding to make an attempt at getting our roads in better condition.

Everyone have a great week from the coup and your chicken friends!


September 16, 2019

Good Morning from the Chicken Coup!  Mr. Chicken got on the Chickenet this morning and did some pecking on the State of Louisiana Secretary of State’s website. He did a little research on the recently released “30 Day Before the Election Reports” and here is a little of what he found:

Major contributions to candidates for Sheriff and Parish President running in Natchitoches Parish:

Steve Pezant:  Raised about $40,000

Cane River Land (Jimmy Granger Jr.)       $1500

Edgar and Flora Cason                                   $5000

Gayle Cloud                                                     $1000

Thomas Hilton                                                 $2000

Don Kelley                                                       $2500

Keenan Kelley                                                  $1000

Luther Lott                                                        $1000

Wayne McCullen                                               $1000

Sklar Cattle                                                       $2500

Rodney Sklar                                                    $2500

Stuart Wright:  Raised about $60,000

Bankston Enterprises                                        $1000

Doug Nichols                                                     $2000

Dean Abraham                                                   $1000

Martha Clark                                                       $1000

Gary Deblieux                                                     $1000

Micheal Murphy                                                  $2500

Nolan Powell                                                       $1000

Robert Salim                                                       $2500

J D Thorton and Jennifer                                    $5000

Taylor Townsend                                                 $2500

Reginald Turner                                                  $1000

Rickie Williams                                                    $1000

Kimberly Wright                                                   $1500

Steve Rachal:  Raised $23,000 of which $17,000 in form of a loan.

Alton Powell                                                         $1000

Mike Solice                                                           $2000

Parish Presidents Race:

William Waskom: Raised $2000

No major contributors

John Richmond:  Raised $13,000 (Notably, John had over 80 contributors as compared to about 17 for his opponent.)

Robert Morgan                                                     $1000

Pat Johnson                                                         $1000

Kirk and Marie Soileau                                         $1100

Mr. Chicken did not find reports for any other major candidates.   We chickens think that knowledge of the election process is vital.  To look at all the individual donations, loans and expenditures, simply go to:

Campaign Finance tab

View Reports

Search for a specific Filer

Type in name or last name of candidate if there is a report, one will populate.  

We chickens think that the elections will be very interesting and still predict a runoff in the Sheriff’s race.  We, however, think that John Richmond will win the Parish President position.  John stops by the coop every once in a while and we think he has the smarts and the right demeanor to handle parish government.  With the current bunch pretty much a joke, hopefully things will go better and confidence will build.

We chickens are gonna scratch around and give a report on the various parish government races. We are thinking that Alan McMurtry will be and should be elected.  All of us birds are still hoping that most will be voted out as we have expressed before, especially Bedgood, Paige and Ward.

 Hope everyone has a great week. We chickens don’t have much to do but listen Around the Town, so we plan on keeping you all posted.

ATT Disclaimer:
Any content published in Around The Town (digital or print) by anyone other than the publisher/editor doesn’t necessarily represent the views of the publisher/editor of Around The Town.


Chicken Scratch

September 9, 2019

Good morning from the chicken coup this hot Monday morning!

Mr. Chicken called a meeting with the hens and Mr. Rooster early this morning to discuss some local affairs and politics.  The first subject to come up was the lawsuit reported in the Chicken Times this week regarding the apartment complex on second street.  We chickens want to make it clear that we are opposed to the demolition of this complex to satisfy the old fogies, hysterical commission and the Mayor.  It is clear to us that none of these individuals want low income, veterans, or old people to be located there.  There are many worse off buildings around town to demolish than this project and shame on those who simply don’t want people with less means to live there. Mr. Rooster also was very irritated that our local judge is making the bank owner of the complex pay a $100,000 bond just to challenge all of this.  We challenge everyone to simply ride around that area behind second street and see for yourselves the surrounding area.  Shame on the council and the mayor for this attitude towards the poor.

Jobs.  Why is it that the Mayor and city council no longer seem to be concerned about jobs.  We chickens want to work and all we can find around here is egg laying jobs.  The industrial park has never made it off the ground.  Zoning issues prevent many businesses from even trying to open.  Mr. Rooster thinks that the only thing the old guard wants around Natchitoches is bed and breakfast and tourist attractions.  This does not provide the jobs needed to sustain our town. Around here, we depend on the chicken plant, God help us chickens, and the Alliance plant to sustain us.  Our other major industry. NSU is critical.  We have a president who is doing everything he can to promote the town and the college.  One problem is that we have nothing for our students to do.  There needs to be some planning and some things done for the students.  With no emphasis on jobs and no search for new industry, and a loss of any of the above industry, Natchitoches will die on the vine.

The hens were cackling recently about all of the egg thefts we have had lately.  Everywhere we look, there are city police and sheriff’s cars riding around.  But when we report the thefts of our eggs, we get a report done and then all is forgotten.  We ask the detectives and they simply say they are busy.  Maybe one of these sheriff candidates can talk about having few patrol cars and more detectives to actually solve these crimes.  Part of the problem we see is a revolving door out at the detention center.  Is this because the Sheriff keeps mostly state and federal prisoners for more money and the local thieves are let out quickly so as to save money and have them steal from us once again?  We chickens ask the district attorney, the sheriff and our local district judges to give this some thought.  We think this is an issue near and dear to those in the parish who are tired of hoping they wake up every morning with nothing missing.

We wont leave you without a little political talk.  It seems that one of the most  intelligent parish government candidates is Alan McMurtry, the guy who sued parish government for not properly declaring emergencies to purchase materials.  We chickens think he is the kind of guy we need in parish government, not these “old” past jurors who just want to cackle about everything and get nothing done.  We birds are still urging that the old guard, especially those that served as police jurors be voted out so that our parish government can move forward.  They cause nothing but division.  Bedgood can’t make a decision or vote, he abstains half the time.  Patsy Ward simply runs her mouth and is the most racially divisive person on the council and Chris Page has only one agenda, to change the government back to the old police jury so he can once again be a king and try to run everything himself.

Finally, we read this morning in the Natchitoches Chicken Journal an article from Randy Stelly.  We in the coup tend to agree with Mr. Stelly on his well written article and especially his comments regarding Rodney Bedgood, Chris Paige and Patsy Ward.

We chickens hope you all have a great week and that cooler weather will come soon.

Mr. Chicken

Chicken Scratch

September 2, 2019

Hello from the chicken coup. All us chickens are hoping for cool weather soon!

The hens were out for a stroll the other day and noticed that Swepco had sprayed chemicals down all of their right of ways. It  killed everything they sprayed including some trees.  Mr. Chicken is concerned about the amount of chemicals and what is being used.  Is the chemical safe?  Is any of it Roundup?  We chickens have decided we are not gonna scratch around in those areas, especially not knowing if the chemicals used are proven safe for the environment.  We don’t want our eggs coming out rectangular or square by eating around those areas.  We are betting many of you noticed and are wondering the same thing.

Mr. Chicken read in the Chicken Times that the city of Natchitoches is considering spending 10 million dollars on a bicycle path around town.  The Times said that some of the funding might come from State and Federal funds.  We think that is a huge waste of resources, and we chickens can’t use it for fear of being run over.  Besides, none of us can ride a bicycle.  Typical government waste in our opinion. It’s  always let the government pay for it.  As we chickens know, that means let our taxes pay for it.  We birds now pay about 2 of every 6 eggs we lay and we have had enough.  The only thing we are in favor of is some type of sales tax for roads.  We are opposed to property taxes because not everyone pays property taxes.

We were all scratching around in the yard the other day looking for a little food and a discussion came up about the Hopeville project on Second Street.  The hens think the city is making a huge mistake demolishing those apartments.  First of all, that area has never been very nice. We remember scratching around there for years. It was run down and had no effect on the prized historic district.  The area all around the complex is run down and there is no historic value there either. But the mayor,  in his wisdom, made a comment recently that he would fight it and did not want “those type people” living there.  There was also mention that the local housing authority could take care of people with low incomes.  As far as we birds know, there are very few openings for poor people in our town in housing authority sites.  Natchitoches struggles to be a tourist  town, but seems to forget we have a lot of poor that need housing and subsidized housing.  If you say subsidized around here, the “up to do” folks get crazy and oppose it.  Natchitoches is 60 plus percent black and that type of mentality is not going to hold up forever.

And speaking of the city being over 60% Black, does anyone not wonder how we have a white mayor?  Mr. Chicken thinks the only reason we have a white mayor in a black town is the fact that the black citizens can never have a consensus of a good black candidate and there is usually a lot of jealousy between black factions.  We chickens don’t care who is mayor, but we suggest that the city be careful in the things that are said and any opposition to subsidized housing carefully considered.  Something like this could create better unity and result in a different government.  Mr. Chicken thinks that most of the city population does not care about historic issues, but more about jobs and things like a decent bridge across the river.

Finally, a little politics before we go back to scratchin, laying and clucking.  Mr. Rooster was talking yesterday about the candidates for parish council.  Seems like all of them have a platform of better roads.  That will not cut it and we think parish residents are tired of hearing about roads.  What we are all looking for is some real vision as to how they can be fixed and a candidate who will admit that we must have more revenue. We need a candidate who can specifically tell us where we can cut back on expenses along with some type of tax to fix roads.  Lip service won’t cut it. We need candidates smart enough to study the budget and come up with real and new ideas.

The hens were over in Bailey Heights last week scratchin for grubs and saw Steve Rachal knocking on doors.  He is workin pretty hard and we think the Sheriff’s race will be interesting.  All of these political events, and we can’t ever remember having this many, has created more interest.  We chickens are betting on a decent turnout.

Over in Sabine Parish, Mr. Red Rooster is saying that Polly Brandon is making headway, and that should be an interesting race.  Anytime you have an incumbent supporting someone working in their office can make a difference.
We haven’t heard much on the Assessor’s race.  Mr. Red Rooster says he will have an update by next Monday.

Happy Labor Day to all!  Have a great week!

Mr. Chicken


Chicken Scratch

August 26, 2019

Been a lot of talk and scratchin around the coup this past week. Mr Chicken has been listening to the hens talking about taxes and parish roads. Seems like they all agree that there must be some type of tax passed to improve the roads. The chicken trucks are killing a lot of our friends on the roads headed to Pilgrim’s. Well, they are going to die there anyway, but at least they could have a decent last ride.

Some of the talk in other coups is that there is money already available in Parish Government and we disagree. Yes, there is always waste in government, but it would take most of our parish budget to fix roads, and there is not that much waste. Mr. Rooster says it is not worth arguing about until we get a new set of council members. The current ones need to go as most of them want to go back to the police jury form of government. As a matter of fact, we chickens are embarrassed with Paige, Ward, and Bedgood. We all have our chicken feet crossed that every one of them will be beat so we can make some progress in our parish. We watched live on the coup journal the past few meetings and the hens clucked and carried on half the night after watching those bozos.

Mr Chicken called a meeting to discuss some of those running for office in Natchitoches and Sabine Parishes. Mr. Rooster said he had talked to Mr. Red Rooster in Sabine and heard a lot of chicken scratch about the Sheriff’s race. The subject of Frankie Howard came up with a lot of clucking and crowing. The birds over there were remembering the story about ole Frankie double dipping on his expense account when in the legislature. Seems he was charging his campaign and his legislative account for gas, and double billing for some of it. It was also an outrageous amount of gas and money. We birds are thinking some of it might have been for personal use. Frankie is way up there in age and the birds over there think it is time for him to retire. The current sheriff seems to be doing a good job, is a Christian man and seems to be running a good show. And to be fair, there are a couple of other candidates that seem to be qualified.

Mr. Red Rooster says there is no new news on the Assessor’s race. He says he saw on the coup Facebook that the current clerk and her designated clerk to be went on a little training trip and of course, advertised it all over the coup Facebook. Sadly, the birds were not impressed and not fooled on those type trips and it reeks of pure politics. Looks like the birds over there are thinking on endorsing Polly Brandon and might have her sign on their coup at a later date. Most of them think Polly will be more professional and make some changes to upgrade the office.

Mr. Chicken says the sheriff’s race in Natchitoches has slowed down, and most of the hens are still calling it a runoff between Wright and Pezant, but don’t count out Rachal as he is working hard. Mr. Rooster heard that one of the candidates quit inviting some regulars to campaign meetings and hurt some feelings. That kind of thing can turn votes quickly, most likely some bad advice.

There was a big uproar last week at the coup when a candidate for Parish President, Carl Sias, made a Facebook video that was totally racial in nature and had bad things to say about white people. His video made a lot of waves and the comments regarding it were terrible as they should have been. It was the worst thing we chickens have ever heard in any campaign. Sias won’t get many votes as he is an embarrassment to the entire parish and his ignorance and racist remarks don’t have a place in our community. All us birds think that we will soon know who is behind in the races as the mudslinging will probably start soon. The ones doing the slinging in our opinion will be the ones behind.

Well, that’s it for this Chicken Scratch. We promise to cover more varied subjects in the future. We are gonna be clucking about the city issues as well as some other problem areas we think are important, so stay tuned for next Mondays edition.

Mr. Chicken

Chicken Scratch

August 19, 2019

Hello from the coup, Monday sure does come around quickly.  After a round in the yard and out by the road, the hens came back really cackling about all the trash out by the road.  It seems that people just don’t care or have any respect these days and you can see that by the beer cans, bottles and Walmart bags all over the place. Mr. Chicken thinks the police should start crackin’ down on litter bugs and the fines should be increased.   It is ashamed that people just don’t care about our area, for those that throw out trash, you should be ashamed.

     Mr. Rooster says local politics has been kinda slow this week.  We read in the Daily Scratch that the lawsuit against the Natchitoches Parish Government went nowhere.  Seems to be a waste of time to us chickens kind like the democrats who won’t give up on impeaching the President, just a waste of tax money.  All us birds still excited to see most of the Parish council with opposition.   We don’t need a change in our government, we need a change at the council level.  In between layin’ eggs, we all agreed Ward, Paige, and Bedgood need to go home.  We are thankful they all have plenty of opposition.  Mr. Rooster thinks the Sheriff’s race is heating up and we might see some mudslinging on the way, especially in the Parish Presidents Race.  The hens think that some of the black qualifiers for Parish President might end up doing some of the mudslinging.  Mr. Chicken and Mr. Rooster think they were put in the race to take votes away from John Richmond.  Of course, we love John, he is a highly qualified candidate and pays us chickens a visit on a regular basis.  The old hen says she really likes Joe Morgan, but wonders how he will overcome a majority black district.  He is well known and liked, so who knows.  Maybe the voters are tired of Chris Paige and his negative ways.  All he seems to think about is changing the government back to the police jury which we think would be a huge mistake.
     We birds have noticed a lot of support for Steve Rachal.  At first we did not think Rachal would be a factor, but he seems to be working very hard.  Stuart Wright and Steve Pezant still hold the lead in our opinion but anything could happen. We all are thinking runoff for sure.
Now, some chicken scratch about the drug and theft problems around Natchitoches and Sabine Parishes.  It seems that the druggies that steal for their meth don’t get much time from the judges in Natchitoches and Sabine Parishes.  The sheriff detectives are overloaded and citizens are upset that their cases are not solved.  The hens keep cackling that the problem will never be solved as long as the druggies get short stays in the detention centers and know they will get out with barely a slap.  Many of the defenders have been in court so many times, the judges know them well, but for some reason, sentences seem to remain unreasonable.  This problem must be solved, or it may be solved at election time.  The District Attorneys blame the problem on the judges, but we birds think it might be a problem with both.  
Mr. Red Rooster from Sabine Parish tells us the assessor controversy is not going away soon, and nobody seems to be able to shed light on the truth.  It seems that assessments are very high and no doubt this will certainly affect the assessor race in Sabine parish. voters are gonna look hard and past incumbents and current deputy assessors will have to explain to have a chance to be elected.  Certain candidates might get a big push from this and by the way there is a candidate that qualified at the last moment.  Mr. Red Rooster will have to give us some feedback.
Another race in Sabine Parish has not really started, but Mr. Red Rooster says one of the candidates might have some glass house issues to deal with.  Mr. Red Rooster has not provided us birds with details, but we are sure that they will come out.  We know politics and secrets never seem to stay hidden long.
That’s it from the coup for this Monday, hope everyone has a great week.

Chicken Scratch

August 12, 2019

Most of us chickens in this yard are republicans and are having a hard time understanding those democrat birds in other coups, mostly up north and in California.  The democrat yard birds have lost their minds!  They blame big bird Trump for everything and have not given him a break since he was elected.  Their ideas scare the bird doo doo out of us conservative chickens.  Will they go after us next?  These democrats seem to think that the taxes we birds pay should go to pay for everything, free school, free health care, free chicken food, free, free, free!   Next thing you know, they will come in our coups, confiscate our guns and leave us to the mercy of the coyotes and foxes.  Believe us when we tell you it ain’t fun being chased and eaten by one of those animals with no protection.  We birds don’t even have confidence in the chicken FBI for protection anymore, we are worried they are gonna spy on us and we will have no rights before it is over. Some think they gonna make us use the potty in commodes or chicken approved outhouses.

Mr. Rooster was saying the other day that politics, like crime, is getting bad around here too.  Murders and crime are on the rise, we are considering a security system for our coup in the near future.  Mr. Chicken has been worried, it seems that a lot of young people in their lower teens are walking around with guns stuck in their pants.  Mr. Rooster said he doesn’t fool with those kids, mostly in bad neighborhoods and usually takes a path around those places.  He is telling us now days, you never know where you might get hurt or killed, nowhere seems safe to him.

Mr. Chicken has been keeping up with local politics and saw the names of all the candidates that qualified for local offices last week.  We were all out in the yard scratchin and carrying on discussing the new names and came up with some observations.  No new qualifiers in the sheriff’s race, but Mr. Chicken was on his way to the bird doctor in Many the other day and did notice a lot of Steve Rachal signs on the way.  It looks to Mr. Chicken that Steve is out there working hard and is gonna make a difference in the race.  Mr. Rooster had us vote as a flock and it is the consensus of us birds that Stuart Wright will be first, Steve Pezant second, and Steve Rachal will be third.  You just never know how the voters will vote in October, but for now that’s our guess.  We all do believe that there will be a runoff with no one getting 50% the first time.

As far as Parish President, there were some significant surprises.  We agree that Precious Barber, Jackson Jones and Carl Sias will not be a factor.  Jackson has run before for sheriff and got hardly any votes.  Carl has run before with the same results and Precious is a great stand on the street with a sign person, but has no chance.   As a matter of fact, none of these three in our opinion should be in the race as they are not qualified.  The interesting entrance was John Salter, an old police juror who would agree to change the parish government back to the police jury, the same as the incumbents, Paige, Ward and Bedgood.  None of us birds including Mr. Rooster want to see that happen.  These 4 want to go back to the good old boy system where they can all be kings in their individual castles.  We chickens get good cackles and crows when these guys promise better roads.  Promises, promises, not gonna happen unless we can pass taxes to fix them.  Mr. Chicken can’t wait to hear Mr. Waskom tell us how he plans on fixing the roads with no new taxes.  So far, he uses it in his slogan but can’t explain it in person.  Mr. Waskom has also taken the low road with some mailers.  We chickens put them all together and pooped on them for days.  Mr. Richmond seems to be a really nice and highly qualified person and hopefully will not resort to these tactics.  Admittedly, our flock likes to poop on those mailers with all those empty promises. For the record, we birds oppose Salter, Bedgood, Paige and Ward.

The parish council races drew some new faces that could be interesting.  Rodney (Mr. Abstain on issues) Bedgood drew 3 candidates.  Mr. Chicken and the flock think he has some good solid opponents and it is time for him to go.  His district runs mostly on the east side of Red River, so the best chance to beat him will come from that area.  Mr. Rooster took a fly over the district and noticed some Justin Lester and Marty Cheatwood signs, not many Billy Garland signs yet.

Russel Rachal who we think has done a good job keeping us birds informed drew Larry Paige who we don’t know and old juror John Salter (who once threatened to beat up another juror).  Not one of the hens said they would consider voting for John, they heard he carries a big knife and chickens don’t like knives.  All you birds have heard the term “chicken with his head cut off”, nope, we are not going there.

All of us were happy about Tim Page becoming the next assessor, the toughest job in the parish and none better to carry on the legacy of Dollie Charles who has done a great job.

On another note, Mr. Chicken called Mr. Red Rooster over in Sabine Parish and got a lot of news from he and his flock.  Seems the birds have been scratchin around over there listening to the talk.   Mr. Red Rooster says Incumbent Ronny Richardson is ahead in the Sheriff’s race but hears Aaron Mitchell is running second out of a large field. The Assessors race seems to be a real toss up.  Former Assessor Conrad Cathey did not run but has been quoted in the media with some interesting comments about the lack of assessments.  Talk is that property taxes have gone through the roof over there and has created a huge interest in the race.  Former Assessor Carroll Ellzey might be a front runner.  Mr. Red Rooster says there is quite a few Ronnie Bison signs around and Ronnie knows a lot of people in Sabine Parish with a good business reputation.  Should get interesting.  Finally, a huge surprise was Polly Brandon jumping in the Clerk of Courts race.  Word is that Polly would be an excellent choice and will give Shelly Salter a good run.  Normally, an employee from the office would have an advantage, but Mr. Red Rooster says things might be different in this race.   More news from Sabine Parish next time.

Time to do some some scratching, clucking, crowing and egg laying.  See you all next Monday!

Chicken Scratch

August 5, 2019

It’s political season and lots of chicken scratch is being discussed around the area.

The Natchitoches Parish sheriff’s race is getting interesting with the addition of Steve Rachal to the list.  Signs don’t vote, but there are a lot of them beginning to pop up, not only in yards, but on street corners and roadways which are illegal eye sores.  You would think a sheriff’s candidate would obey the law and not allow signs on public areas.  Heard some scratch that some are wondering if one of the candidates was put up by another to split the vote and cause a runoff, and maybe promised a job like chief deputy.  The chickens I know don’t think that is the case, but we might find out differently at some point.  There seems to be a lot of state troopers in sheriff’s positions around, but not sure that will make a difference in this race since one candidate has been in a public position for 20 years and has helped a lot of people.  Stuart Wright seems to have a tremendous amount of support in the black community and in the city.  Steve Pezant seems to have strong support in the country with the exception of the south part of the parish and the jury is out on Steve Rachal who has family ties in the south part of the parish.

The parish council race got a little more interesting with Jerry Longois entering the race.  Jerry got in a little too late in Mr. Chicken’s opinion or so the scratching hens seem to think.  The hens think that John Richmond is the most qualified for the job as his resume is very impressive, but there are a lot of Waskom signs around.  One old hen is concerned that the Waskom campaign has gotten a little dirty with a couple of mailers sent out recently.  It’s way too early for mudslinging.  If Facebook posts mean anything, the public was not too impressed by the Waskom mailers.
Mr. Chicken asked the hens what they think about the new sports complex and there is a mixed basket of eggs.  The main concern seems to be why the city is wanting to give half the money collected to NSU.  Mr. Rooster weighed in and thinks the City should keep 100% of the money to operate the facility.
On another city matter, the mayor was recently heard at a meeting about the Second Street project that is supposed to or was proposed to house homeless vets and other homeless people.  Mr. Chicken hears that the mayor made a statement that “we don’t want those type people here in the historic district”.  Mr. Chicken and the hens scratched their way down to the development and looked around.  It was the general consensus of the flock that this area is already blighted and the apartment development would be a huge improvement.  Mr. Rooster thinks it is not a wise statement for the mayor to make regarding the homeless and that condemning the place is a very unfair way to handle the situation.
In case anyone has not noticed, crime is getting worse in Natchitoches, thefts are out of control and the judges are letting people out with small bonds.   Murders seem to be a commonplace, and the drug situation is getting worse by the minute.   Mr. Chicken keeps his flock on the roost at night. Nowadays, it’s just too dangerous.  Mr. Rooster is worried about getting his neck wrung by some thug wanting to steal his scratch.
Mr. Chicken has been checking and keeping the scratching hens updated on races in Sabine and Winn Parishes.  Seems that 2 former Assessors in Sabine Parish are running again, along with an employee in the office and another businessman in town.  Should be very interesting to see how it shakes out.
The Sheriff’s race has a few candidates in Sabine. Mr. Rooster thinks the incumbent Sheriff Richardson has the best shot. It’s hard to beat an incumbent sheriff.
Over in Winn parish, the most interesting race seems to be the Sheriff’s race.  Mr. Chicken and the hens, and even Mr. Rooster believe the incumbent, Sheriff Cranford Jordan, is a shoe in.  Sheriff Jordan has really cleaned up the financial mess over there, and keeps the public informed, even on weather events.
More to come next week regarding parish races.  Mr. Chicken, Mr. Rooster and the hens promise to bring you some interesting articles and comments to the many readers of Around The Town each Monday.
Chicken Scratch