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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2010 CADDO ■ BOSSIER ■ WEBSTER ■ DESOTO

By John Andrew Prime jprime@gannett.com

Just two years ago, Minden physician John Fleming was one of nine people seeking the U.S. 4th District seat opened by the retirement of 10-term incumbent Jim McCrery. This election cycle Republican Fleming is the incumbent hoping to hold onto his seat in the most critical election for a congressman, the one after the freshman year. That’s Fleming normally a tough race for a new representative, often harder than the first race. Perhaps not this time, as he faces challengers David Melville, a Democrat, and Artis Cash, an Independent, in Tuesday’s election, observers say. “It’s not a walkover, but he has everything going for him that he’s ever going to have,” says political prognosticator Elliott Stonecipher. That 2008 cycle, he said, “all things leaned heavily toward the Democrats. I don’t remember an election cycle since 1994 when everything was hitting on these Republican cylinders like this.” Fleming, a 60-year-old Mississippi native and Navy veteran who moved to Minden with his wife, Cindy, in 1982, agreed only to a degree. “Put in better perspective, ’06 and ’08 were Democrat waves,” Fleming says. “Not a giant wave like this one is. But people had grown tired of continuous war and the mistakes (George W.) Bush made in terms of WMD issues and all that.” This election cycle, he said, the tide has changed. “Obama is nothing about reaching across the aisle. ... He’s all about the extreme left-wing agenda. That’s created a backlash, or if you will, we’re going back the other direction. So in two years we’re going to be back in the middle again.” SEE FLEMING, Page 4

Candidates offer ideas for District B

Douglas Collier/The Times

By Bobbie J. Clark

bobbieclark@gannett.com

Jeff Everson and Sheva Sims are both Democrats, but that’s where the similarities end. Not only are they different in age, gender and race, but they also have different ideas for how to stimulate economic development in District B, as well as other issues. Everson The two are going head to head in the Nov. 2 runoff for the District B seat on the Shreveport City Council. The seat is Sims currently held by Monty Walford, who is term-limited. District B is one of the city’s most diverse districts. Situated in the middle of the city, it includes the Highland neighborhood, Stoner Hill, Caddo Heights and downtown, just to name a few. Economic development has been a challenge throughout the district, but that’s not to say there hasn’t been progress. Walford pointed out several small businesses that have opened shop in District B over the last few years, but added there is more work to be done. “Our hope is that each suc-

Douglas Collier/The Times

Customers leave Lilah’s Deli & Bakery on Olive Street. The Highland neighborhood is one of the most diverse in the community, yet many businesses have shied away from the area because of crime and infrastructure.

“District B is really making a comeback. It’s a good place to do business.” Monty Walford

District 2 councilman

cess is the catalyst for even bigger success,” he said. “One of the challenges is that economic development follows the hot

places. Right now that is Youree Drive.” He said the hiring of an economic development professional and a state designation declaring the Highland and Fairfield area a cultural district would lure more development to the district. The district also needs a rep-

resentative who is willing to make the most time for the job, Walford added. “District B is really making a comeback,” he said. “It’s a good place to do business.” Sims touts her background as an attorney and the relationships she has cultivated over the years in the district as distinct advantages that will allow her to help bring development to District B. SEE DISTRICT, Page 4

Campuses prepare to enact GRAD Act By Mike Hasten

mhasten@gannett.com

Academics Workforce Arts .

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SH-1000173692

6220 E Texas Street . Bossier City, LA

Member of the Louisiana Community & Technical College System

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© 2010 THE TIMES

BATON ROUGE — The Board of Regents today is expected to sign off on Louisiana’s college and university campuses’ plans to improve graduation and retention rates in exchange for higher tuition and increased autonomy in their operations. The idea comes from the Granting Resources and Autonomy for Diplomas Act approved by the Legislature this year, a move to reward campuses with higher tuition revenues if they work to keep stu-

dents enrolled long enough to complete degree or certificate programs. “Students should hopefully see increased focus on their success” by placing more attention to retaining students, said Regents’ Chief of Staff Kim Hunter Reed. But the GRAD Act also calls for a number of other improvements, like improving relations among university campuses and high schools and community colleges to assure a good base and keeping records of what happens to students when

ONLINE VIDEO: Watch a rookie cook learn to chop an onion. shreveporttimes.com

they leave the schools. All universities and community and technical colleges filed applications to participate in the GRAD Act this year, so students were assessed 5 percent extra in tuition, on top of legislatively approved increases of 3 percent to 5 percent, depending on how close a campus’ tuition is to peer institutions in the South, Because the plans were not yet approved, the GRAD Act tuition money was put into escrow accounts. Today’s board actionclearsthewayforschools

to receive the additional 5 percent tuition increase. If campuses meet their selfimposed and management board- and Regents-approved goals, they can impose another 5 percent next year and 10 percent increases in succeeding years. After six years, GRAD Act plans and success rates have to be reviewed and affirmed by an outside panel for continued tuition increases. A campus that doesn’t meet its goals can’t lower them without legislative approval.

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Document: 3ST0100A1027.pdf;Page: 1;Format:(10.084 x 17.488 ");Plate: Composite;Date: Oct 26, 2010 22:57:36;Low Res CMYK

Fleming in critical re-election attempt

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