13 Stories that Confused Shreveport Bossier in 2017
We have combed through our list of the biggest stories of 2017 and selected these as the biggest stories that left us confused at the end of the year.
Back in May, Paul Elio came to town to meet privately with Caddo Commissioners to give them an update on his plan to build a 3-wheeled car at the old GM plant. Some Commissioners declined to meet with him behind closed doors (he required each sign a confidentiality agreement). But Elio did hold a news conference at the plant and he lost it. We watched his outburst and wondered again if we will ever see this car built.
In June, state lawmakers were trying to wrap up work during the legislative session. House members were working feverishly to get the budget bill passed when some Senators gathered at the back of the chamber. Haughton Rep Dodie Horton (who sits at the back of the room) couldn't hear the proceedings because of the Senators chatter. She turned and asked them to be quiet. That's when Senator Karen Carter Peterson told Horton to "shut the F up". Peterson did apologize to Horton.
In October, the medical community got a shake up with some doctors called for the resignation of Willis Knighton CEO James Elrod. The Medical Executive Committee made several accusations against Elrod. The Board of Trustees met and decided to keep Elrod. But later the CEO issued a letter saying he would be stepping aside, but no date was given. We still don't know what is going on at the top of the areas largest medical provider.
Funding for the Jimmie Davis bridge and many other highway projects seems to be in jeopardy as lawmakers tried to come up with a plan to provide more money for DOTD. The gas tax debate didn't get very far with most lawmakers saying they could not support it.
At the beginning of the year, tempers flared when the Caddo School Board voted to merge Fair Park High School with Booker T. Washington High Schools. Fair Park would become a middle school and the high school students would move to BTW. Fair Park students and alumni were upset by how quickly this change was made.
An audit turned up financial concerns at Sci Port and the CEO faced concerns from the public that the local children's hands-on museum would be closing. Sci Port President Ann Fumarolo discussed the audit. She would later be out as head of Sci Port.
Just a month after opening to the public, financial issues came to the forefront about Shreveport's new aquarium. Several subcontractors filed liens saying they have not been paid for work done at the local aquarium.
We will probably still be confused about this story in 2018. But near the end of the year, a local judge dismissed the lawsuit against the city over the water billing error. But Scott Pernici has vowed to appeal to the 2nd Circuit, so stay tuned.
In October, Shreveport Police Chief Alan Crump was involved in a police chase. He ended up firing his gun at suspects. Video released of the incident shows the chief running, tripping and dropping something. The Chief says he dropped his cell phone. Others claim he dropped his gun.
In September Paul Elio turned to a lobbying firm to try to get help from the federal government. He is looking for a cash infusion from the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, which set average mileage requirements for U.S. automobiles. So far, Elio has not been successful on this front, but we don't know what will happen in 2018.
We are still confused about what happened with GLO Airlines. The New Orleans start up company had us all excited about direct flights to the Crescent City. But financial woes plagued the airline. The company filed for reorganization, but tried to keep flights going. But that quickly ended.
On a hot August day, a local woman pulled up to the local dog park and dropped some children off. The youngsters were photographed swimming in the pond at the dog park. The woman came back about an hour later to pick the kids up.
In August, a video was released of a woman using the bathroom on the courthouse lawn. This prompted the Sheriff to call for building a fence around the complex to protect the safety for the employees who work in the building. Sheriff Prator says it's also a sanitary issue. He told us having homeless people camping out on the grounds is just not something we should condone.
We are still confused about all of these stories and are pretty sure there will be more to each one of them in 2018.