17 Stories That Made Shreveport and Bossier Mad In 2017
What 2017 giveth, 2017 taketh away.
This year felt better than 2016 for a lot of people, but others felt like this year brought worst luck, and offered a bleak outlook for their future. Don't think so, let's lay out some stories that influenced the attitude of the local community.
We're going to skip over national and statewide stories that fired people up, and focus on the stories that Shreveport and Bossier are RESPONSIBLE for. Or at least the stories centered around the area.
These are the stories that got people talking, debating, arguing, or even just feigning outrage on the internet...these are the stories that made Shreveport/Bossier mad in 2017:
Did you forget we faced a hostel invasion this year? These tiny creatures tried to destroy cars, events, and anything they could find to make whoopee on.
Bossier City put a new tax in for events at the CenturyLink Center, which made sense in some ways. But as people started to see what this would actually amount to, they felt a different feeling. The new move might end up costing the venue shows, as some promoters discovered the $3 ticket tax is on ALL tickets, including comp tickets. So when a promoter wants to donate 100 tickets to a local Boys and Girls Club, it will cost the promoter $300 out of their pocket.
The few promoters we've talked to about this have said it amounts to a deal-breaker in the future.
Here comes our first story that made people on both sides mad. Some people are furious that the city made the initial error, others are upset that someone decided to bill the City $2 and take it to court. Then there's a whole other group who believe that the devil himself presided over the case (seriously), and they think we're all fools now. There's not much to be happy about with this one at all, except maybe that it appears to be over (mostly).
So, the idea is there, but the way it came out made a lot of people pump the brakes. State Representative Alan Seabaugh was arguing against the gas tax, when he suggested that the DOTD should instead fire "about 3,000" people. At that point, even those who supported his opposition to the gas tax thought that ruining the lives of 3,000 Louisiana families probably wasn't the right call.
There's not a lot to be happy about with this one, it was pretty much anger across the board. Lashell Crawford was arrested and charged with accessory after the fact to second degree murder in connection with a January 29th shooting that left one man dead and another wounded. According to affidavits, Crawford texted the suspect Jacorey Wesley over 50 times with information about the investigation that helped him avoid arrest.
Oh, and she started the process of getting her job back in August.
Again, a story that had more than one side angry. In our first phase, people are upset that teenagers have been given room to roam at the Louisiana Boardwalk, then people got upset when they started causing issues and breaking the law, then people were upset when the curfew started getting enforced, and kids were arrested.
This fight started in 2016, and ended in 2017. There was going to be a big Wal-Mart put up in North Bossier, but the community said they didn't want the jobs.
So you had people fighting to bring the commerce to their area, and other people in town making yards signs (and a lot of noise) to keep it out. Eventually, Wal-Mart said "no", and took their jobs and commerce elsewhere.
Well this one blew up. Might be the biggest one on the list outside of Shreveport/Bossier. Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator held a press conference in response to the Criminal Justice Reform bills past in Louisiana, and as a part of that, he talked about some of those who will be released. When he did, his comments came off as "racist" to some. Once the story was picked up nationally, the anger really started rolling.
Oh boy did this one light a fire. The most amazing thing about this story is that it might of had the most anger from people who had no idea what it was. HB 667 was actually a concept that's in place across the state of Louisiana, but when it came to Shreveport, it became a big problem.
This was amazing. Local "modeling agent" Michael Turney took to social media to attack some local models, and a local publication for a picture they published. After the initial backlash, he began the process of personally responding to every social media post about him. He seemed totally oblivious to his contradictions and appeared to be tone-deaf in multiple posts.
He welcomed an interview with KEEL, where he seemed to try and play victim. After the interview, he became upset with with KEEL for doing the interview.
Maybe the most amazing part is that, to this day, he still checks in on his posts, or posts about himself, and starts commenting all over again.
Here's another story that had multiple layers of rage. When the flags first showed up people were upset. Then when the school advised students to not bring them, people were upset. Then as it continued to grow in different directions, someone got upset in every direction.
This one spawned anger is so many differed directions, including some who were angry that it didn't go far enough. Others upset that it was happening at all, then pockets of people who felt like it was treating the symptom and not the cause. There was enough anger to go around on this one.
This might have been the most unpopular idea of 2017. Granted there are people who recognize that something needs to be done about the roads in Louisiana, the prospect of a sudden shock to the gas tax wasn't what the public wanted.
In less than a week after opening, tragedy hit the Shreveport Dog Park. Some said "this is so Shreveport" or something of that nature, but most people were frustrated at the idea that within a week, the Dog Park already had a black eye. There were no positives here.
It started with a National Anthem protest, and then expanded into ignoring the First Amendment at football games, the made it's way into the classroom. Bossier Schools faced a lot of trouble in late 2017, and it appears this will continue into 2018.
Anger all around.
Like a lot of the stories that make our list, there were people angry about every aspect of this. People angry at the idea of borrowing money, people angry that parts of the community complained about sports, some angry about who would control the venue, people angry at other people for not being angry enough.
Ultimately the idea was voted down, which did make some happy, but that part also enraged people.
I don't know what we really need to post about this one. There's no one who is 100% happy about anything going on with the Confederate Monument at the Caddo Parish Courthouse. Seriously, no one.
This one will continue into 2018, and maybe beyond.