JDP jail on track to be completed by early 2018

JENNINGS — Construction on a $9.4 million Jeff Davis Parish regional jail is on track to be completed by early 2018, project engineer Chuck Stutes told the Police Jury on Wednesday.

Substantial completion on the facility is expected by Jan. 26, Stutes said.

“We are anticipating that the completion of construction will be in January of next year, but that doesn’t mean the sheriff will occupy the jail then, but construction should be winding down,” Stutes said.

The project was about 48 percent complete at the end of May based on approved payments to date, with about six months of construction to go, he said.

Contractor M.D. Descant began work on the project last June. Most of the sewer line, water line and drainage work has been completed, and crews have started paving the entrance road and parking lot, he said.

Architect Mark LaLande said prefabricated modular steel detention cells are being installed and masonry work is continuing.

{{tncms-inline alignment=”center” content=”<p>“<em>The work is progressing and it is a tug of war, as it always is with construction, with the weather and all the other variables</em>." </p> <p style="text-align: right;">- Mark LaLande</p>” id=”061a8410-a56a-4e8d-b7e8-7e3defefb335″ style-type=”quote” title=”Pull Quote” type=”relcontent” width=”full”}}

Police jurors were scheduled to tour the site Wednesday, but the visit was postponed due to the wet, muddy conditions.

Sheriff Ivy Woods said he is eager for the project to be completed and cautioned that the jail is still a couple of months from opening. “It is good news, but six months is a long time,” Woods said.

Woods said officials will have to check out all of the systems to make sure everything is secure and functional before moving inmates to the new jail. “You just don’t throw inmates in there,” Woods said.

Once completed, the jail will measure 31,000 square feet and house 200 inmates.

Parish officials worked together to secure $10 million from the state’s capital outlay program to buy land and build the jail with no matching funds required.

Voters approved a half-cent sales tax in 2014 to fund maintenance and operation of the jail. The tax will generate $2.1 million a year. A 2012 feasibility study by McNeese State University found that a new jail was needed to replace the 1963 jail, which is overcrowded and requires costly repairs.

The work is progressing and it is a tug of war, as it always is with construction, with the weather and all the other variables.” 

– Mark LaLande

      22a3482c-6e5f-11e7-93bc-6b5f7a2d49d92017-07-21T21:54:00Z#hbo,#confederate,#racismsceneCreators of new HBO series address fears it glorifies racismNEW YORK — No scripts have been written, not even an outline.

      But HBO’s announcement on Wednesday that the creator-showrunners of “Game of Thrones” will follow up that massive hit with an HBO series in which slavery remains legal in the modern-day South drew fire on social media from those who fear that telling that story will glorify racism.

      The series, “Confederate,” will take place in an alternate timeline where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union and formed a nation in which legalized slavery has evolved into a modern institution. The story follows “a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone,” HBO said — “freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.”

      It is not expected to start production for at least a year.

      “Confederate” will be created and written by “Game of Thrones” masterminds David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who will also serve as showrunners on the series. Both are white.

      HBO’s announcement also said they would join forces with Malcolm Spellman (“Empire,” the forthcoming “Foxy Brown”) and Nichelle Tramble Spellman (“Justified,” ”The Good Wife”), husband-and-wife TV veterans who both are black and who will be fellow executive producers and writers on the new series.

      “This is not going to be, you know, the big ‘Gone With the Wind’ mansion,” Nichelle Tramble Spellman told Vulture in an interview with the entire creative team that was posted Thursday night to address the backlash. “This is present day, or close to present day, and how the world would have evolved if the South had been successful seceding from the Union.”

      She said what excited her about the project is “the idea that in order to build this, we would have to rebuild world history: ‘OK, if this had happened here, how did the rest of the world change?'”

      Other series have imagined uncomfortable alternate versions of history, notably Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle,” which depicts life in the United States had the Nazis won World War II.

      But slavery in the United States is a far more sensitive and lingering issue.

      Malcolm Spellman’s take on it: “You’re dealing with weapons-grade material here.”

      But he said he and his wife “are not props being used to protect someone else. We are people who feel a need to address issues the same way they do..”

      Weiss called slavery “our original sin as a nation. And history doesn’t disappear. … It’s an ugly and a painful history, but we all think this is a reason to talk about it, not a reason to run from it. And this feels like a potentially valuable way to talk about it.”

      Benioff added, “I’d say anyone who thinks that Malcolm and Nichelle are props have never met Malcolm and Nichelle.”””

      In this Sept. 20, 2015 file photo, creator-showrunners David Benioff, left, and D.B. Weiss accept the award for outstanding writing for a drama series for “Game Of Thrones” at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. HBO’s announcement, Wednesday, July 19, 2017, that Benioff and Weiss will follow “Game of Thrones” with an HBO series in which slavery remains legal in the modern-day South drew fire on social media from those who fear that a pair of white producers are unfit to tell that story and that telling it will glorify racism. The series, “Confederate,” will take place in an alternate timeline where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union and formed a nation in which legalized slavery has evolved into a modern institution. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

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