Local and Area News

Deputies in Shelby County Looking for Runaway Teen


The Shelby County Sheriff's Office is looking for a 15-year-old girl who reportedly ran away from Timpson. Deputies say Kelly Reneau is 5' 6" with brown shoulder length hair and dark brown eyes.  She was reportedly last seen leaving her home Monday, just before midnight.  Anyone with information about where she is can call the Shelby County Sheriff's Office at 936-598-5601.

August 17, 2017 Thursday

LDWF Agent Back on Patrol Seven Months After Being Shot


A Louisiana wildlife agent is back on patrol seven months after being shot four times, including once in his head and once in his back. Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler, 25, was back in uniform Aug. 4 and, after undergoing a week of in-service training, resumed his patrol duties Monday. “Tyler Wheeler is an extraordinary young man with a faith and will to live that I have been blessed to witness," Wildlife & Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet said in a statement. "His courage and determination to return to work after surviving a life-threatening attack typifies what it means to be a law enforcement officer." Wheeler was shot while questioning a motorist about 2 a.m. Jan. 7 on Louisiana Highway 165 between Sterlington and Bastrop in Morehouse Parish. The trial of the woman accused of shooting Wheeler is set to start Oct. 23 in Bossier District Court in Benton. Amethyst Baird, 31, of Monroe, faces a charge of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer. She is due back in court Aug. 22 for a status hearing.  Also arrested was 35-year-old Jeremy Parrish Gullette, of Monroe, on one count of accessory after the fact to attempted first-degree murder.

August 17, 2017 Thursday

What the Solar Eclipse Means for Louisiana


On August 21, millions of Americans will be looking to the sky to see the solar eclipse.  The last time a total solar eclipse occurred in the continental U.S. was in 1979, and next Monday, it'll finally happen again.  Dr. Dana Browne, professor and associate chair of the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy said this eclipse is a really big deal because of how rare it is.  "Here is something that shows the sort of gee-whiz wow factor of science," said Browne. However, Louisiana is one of many states that will only experience a partial eclipse. "So in like North Louisiana it'll be like a little over 80 percent of the sun covered," said Browne. "Down in the southwest corner, it'll be more like 70 percent." Millions of Americans are expected to hit the roadways this week in order to get the best view. Dr. Browne said it's a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  "The path where the moon does exactly the right thing and goes right in front of the sun, that's the path of totality," said Browne. " That path runs from the middle of Oregon across to Southern Illinois down to the middle of South Carolina."   Browne said what people in those states will see that people in Louisiana won't is a view of the moon blocking out the sun completely. For those who plan to view the eclipse, Dr. Browne warns of underestimating the suns brightness.  "If I told you to go outside and look at the sun today, you'd say 'I can't, it's too bright,' " Browne said. "So the same is true the entire time the eclipse is going on." Dr. Browne will also be traveling with a group of students from Louisiana State University, and other institutions across the state to Carbondale, Illinois - one of the areas that will experience a full solar eclipse. Visit http://laspace.lsu.edu/teacheclipse/ for more safety tips on viewing the eclipse. 

August 16, 2017 Wednesday

CPSO: Body of Man Found in Starks Identified

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office has released the identity of the body found in the woods in Starks. Sheriff's office spokeswoman Kim Myers said Dustin R. Hammons, 22, of Houston, TX, was found dead in the woods by a parish worker Wednesday afternoon. The investigation revealed Hammons received trauma to his body so his death is being ruled a homicide. The cause and manner of death are pending the coroner’s investigation. Myers asks anyone with information about this homicide or anyone who believes they may have seen suspicious activity in the area of Highway 12 and Creek Road, between Tuesday, Aug. 1 and Wednesday, Aug. 2, to call the Sheriff's office at 337-491-3605 or Crime Stoppers at 337-439-2222.  The investigation is ongoing. Detective Casey Lafargue is the lead investigator in this case.

August 16, 2017 Wednesday

Sabine Parish Police Jury

The Sabine Parish Police Jury will hold its regular scheduled meeting Wednesay, August 16th, 2017 at 9 a.m. in tthe Police Jury Meeting Room of the Sabine Parish Courthouse at 44 Capitol Street in Many, Louisiana.

August 15, 2017 Tuesday

DOTD to Install Cable Barrier Along I-49 in Caddo, DeSoto Parishes


The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development will soon be installing cable barriers along the median of Interstate 49 in both Caddo and DeSoto parishes. The project will install about 41 miles of cable barriers beginning at the LA 3132 interchange with I-49 in Caddo Parish and continuing through DeSoto Parish to the Natchitoches Parish line. Work to install the cable barriers will begin August and should wrap up in Summer 2018, depending on weather conditions. The $5.1 million dollar contract was awarded to Alexandria-based Progressive Construction Company. As of July 2017, DOTD installed over 230 miles of cable barriers across interstates in Louisiana since the first barriers were installed in 2008.  It’s an investment of more than $30 million.  Another 78 miles of cable barriers are currently under construction along with other interstates across the state. In all, over 600 miles of the barriers will be installed across the state when all of these projects are complete, totaling more than $100 million.  This is being accomplished with a combination of state and federal funding, the majority of money coming from the federal level. Additionally, a $1.3 million project to install cable barriers along 16 miles of the I-220 median in Caddo and Bossier parishes was recently awarded.  Preliminary work on that installation is underway, and the entire project should be complete in Spring 2018, weather permitting. Cable barriers are designed to prevent head-on collisions by deflecting vehicles that veer into the median from crossing over into oncoming traffic. They act as a net to catch vehicles and redirect them into the median by not pushing vehicles back into traffic. DOTD performs studies on all interstates throughout Louisiana to determine where cable median barriers would be most beneficial in preventing cross-over collisions.  Criteria used includes - but is not limited to - the number of vehicles crossing the median per mile, as well as traffic volume and average speed of vehicles traveling on the roadway. Additional information regarding cable barriers can be found here.

August 15, 2017 Tuesday

Mother of Deceased Toddler, Willow Molina, Has been Arrested

The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Department says the mother of little Willow Molina, the Vernon Parish toddler who disappeared in May of last year and was later found deceased, has been arrested. Sheriff Sam Craft's office has announced that 35-year-old Vanessa Renteria-Molina has been charged with child desertion and possession of methamphetamine, and she has already entered guilty pleas to each charge. She has received probation for the drug charge, and a deferred sentence for the child desertion charge. 2-year-old Willow was reported missing by her mother on May 5th 2016. Her body was found the next day in a wooded area in Beauregard Parish. Investigators said an autopsy revealed that the child actually died on May 4th, the day before she was reported missing. Meanwhile, Rodney Bailey, Jr., 35, the man who the mother said that she left the child with, has been indicted in connection with the death of the child. Bailey is charged with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile and obstruction of justice.

August 14, 2017 Monday

Natchitoches Man Wanted in Connection to Mississippi Murder


An arrest warrant has been issued for a Natchitoches man after the body of a camper was found last month in Mississippi. WREG reports 31-year-old Joshua Lee Fletcher is wanted in connection with the murder of 20-year-old Samuel Smith of Arkansas.  Smith's body was reportedly found in Chewalla Lake lake on July 29. WREG reports he was found with signs of trauma on his head. According to autopsy results, authorities believe Fletcher drowned Smith three or four days before his body was found. Anyone who has seen Fletcher is asked to call the Marshall County Sheriff's Department in Holly Springs, MS at 662-252-1311.

August 14, 2017 Monday

Unrestrained Converse Young Man Killed in Crash

Early Sunday Morning, a single vehicle crash killed a young man from Converse, LA. He was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected during the crash.Troopers responded to the crash around 3:00 a.m., which occurred on LA Hwy 191 near the DeSoto Parish line. The crash involved a 1999 Ford pickup, driven by Robert J. Wates Jr. (W/M 20 yrs). The Ford was southbound on LA Hwy 191 when Wates Jr. lost control and crossed the centerline, in a curve. After losing control, he overcorrected his vehicle and it subsequently began overturning. Wates Jr. was pronounced dead. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation. Louisiana State Police would like to take this opportunity to remind/inform motorists that properly wearing your seat belt will dramatically reduce your chance of being injured or killed in a crash. We ask you to take one second to 'buckle up!' Louisiana law requires that every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled up. Not wearing a seat belt remains the leading cause of death in motor vehicle crashes. Troop E Troopers have investigated 27 fatal crashes in 2017, resulting in 33 fatalities.

August 14, 2017 Monday

Bond Set for Sabine Parish Woman in Death of Toddler 

A judge on Thursday set $50,000 bond for the Sabine Parish woman charged with murder in the death of her toddler son, who wandered away from home and fell into a neighbor’s pool and drowned. Christina Rivers, 23, of Zwolle was indicted for second degree murder on Monday in the June death of her 2 year old son, Mason. The grand jury that returned the indictment concluded Rivers showed gross negligence in the parental supervision her son received. Rivers had been held without bond. District Judge Stephen Beasley granted a defense motion to set bond. She faces mandatory life in prison if convicted of second degree murder. Rivers attorneys said the murder charge is overblown.

August 11, 2017 Friday

Leesville Man Pleads Guilty

A Leesville man pleads guilty to his part in counterfeiting $100 bills in order to purchase prepaid cards, acting Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced Thursday. Deldrick Shykil Fowler, 24, of Leesville, previously of DeQuincy, pleaded quilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Kay to one count of counterfeiting obligations to the United States. The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

August 11, 2017 Friday

Search in Saline Bayou Called Off For Missing Natchitoches Parish Woman


Winn Parish authorities say they've called off the search in Saline Bayou for 23-year-old Cynthia Orsborn. Orsborn has been missing since June 13.  Winn, Natchitoches and Red River sheriff's deputies, divers and cadaver dogs had been combing Saline Bayou off Louisiana Highway 156 in Goldonna for a week. According to Winn Parish Sheriff Cranford Jordan, the search there was called last Thursday after no sign of Orsborn was found. Sheriff Jordan said they have no new leads at this time. At last check, Orsborn's boyfriend Jack Daniel Nobles is the only person of interest in the case. The Provencal resident remains in Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on six counts of violating a protective order and one count of failing to appear in court, booking records show. Orsborn filed the order against Nobles in November 2016.

August 10, 2017, Thursday

Missing Florien Woman

A Florien woman, who has been missing since July 9, has possibly been spotted in the DeRidder area. Officials are looking for any leads or information to assist in the search for Tiffnea Anette White Nugent, 33. She is described as a tall, white, female with brownish-red hair.According to her family, Nugent had friends in DeRidder, and visited often. They were not surprised when they heard she might have been in the DeRidder area. Nugent was supposed to go to church with her mother, Tanya Smith, the morning of July 9, but never showed up. A missing person’s report was officially filed on July 20, with the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Department. Nugent’s grandmother, Jenette Pelt said, “It is unlike her to be gone so long without calling me or her mother.” Family friend Karen Sanderford said, “Her youngest son recently turned 10. She had been planning a big party for him, and wouldn’t miss it for the world. She loves her children and wouldn’t just disappear like this.” If anyone has seen Nugent, or has any information about her whereabouts, call the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Department at 318-256-9241.

 
 

 

August 10, 2017, Thursday

Child Safety Seat Check Event in Alexandria

 Rapides Regional Trauma Center and Louisiana State Police Troop E are conducting their monthly child passenger safety seat check-up event on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The event will take place at Rapides Regional Trauma Center Medical Terrace, 211 Fourth Street, Alexandria, LA. No appointment is necessary and it is always free. The event will take place regardless of weather conditions. It is a proven fact that car seats and booster seats save lives. These devices offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash. However, approximately 3 out of 4 child seats are not used correctly. This misuse rate can be attributed to the great variety of child seats available, the great range of children’s weights and heights, and the vast array of vehicles in today’s market. These misuses span all races, educational levels, and socioeconomic status. During the past 30 years, approximately 9,000 lives have been saved by the use of child restraints according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It is important that caregivers ensure children are properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt anytime they are traveling in a vehicle. Every Louisiana State Police troop is recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a child safety seat “Inspection Station.” Troop E Troopers/technicians are available seven days a week to inspect car seats. Appointments can be made by calling (318) 769-9872 or (318) 769-9577. Please take advantage of these free services to ensure the safety of your child.

August 9, 2017, Wednesday

1 in Caddo Parish Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

The number of West Nile virus cases in Northwest Louisiana has increased with one being reported in Caddo Parish. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, one person has tested positive for the Neuroinvasive West Nile virus. Previously, 3 cases of West Nile Virus were reported in Bossier Parish.

The other cases are as follows:

  • Allen - 7
  • East Baton Rouge - 4
  • Lincoln - 1
  • Livingston - 2
  • Morehouse - 1
  • Ouachita - 1
  • Rapides - 3
  • St. Tammany - 1
  • Washington - 1

August 9, 2017, Wednesday

Many Tigers to Hold "Red Out" for Joseph Ryan

The 5th Annual Many Red Out game in support of Chronic Heart Disease, is slated for Sept. 8 when the Tigers play Marksville in Many. Joseph Ryan, the son of Tigers assistant coach Jeremie Ryan, suffers from CHD, a syndrome that occurs in 1 of every 5,000 births.  The 4-year-old had his third open heart surgery earlier this summer at Ochsner’s and has been in an out of the hospital since “dealing with a few different things,” according to his father.  “The surgery went fine and should be the last one for him, but he has taken a while to fully recover,” Jeremie Ryan said. “He will have a heart cath in a couple of weeks to see what his doctors may need to do as interventions to help him more.”
The school began holding a Red Out game every season in 2013 to bring a focus on how CHD affects young families and their children.   “We are just trying to bring awareness to the disease and trying to raise some funds for research,” Ryan said. 

August 8, 2017, Tuesday

Body Found Believed to be Missing Red River Parish Man

Authorities believe the body found on Grappes Bluff Road, under a bridge in the Fairview Alpha community in northern Natchitoches Parish, is a missing Red River Parish man. The body found on Sunday, August 7, has been presumptively identified as 31-year-old Anthony J. Rainey of Coushatta, La. Rainey was reported missing to Red River Parish Sheriff's Deputies and was last seen on July 31, 2017. The case is currently being investigated as a homicide.  KSLA News 12 will have more information as it becomes available. The case is being investigated by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office, Red River Parish Sheriff's Office, Natchitoches Parish Coroner's Office and Red River Parish Coroner's Office. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Red River Parish Sheriff's Office at 932-6701 or the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office at 352-6432.

August 8, 2017, Tuesday

Sabine Mother Charged in Young Son's Drowning Death

The mother of a 2-year-old child who drowned in a neighbor’s swimming pool in June has turned herself in after she was indicted for murder by a Sabine Parish grand jury that concluded she showed gross negligence in the parental supervision her son received. The Sabine grand jury on Monday charged Christina Rivers of Zwolle with second-degree murder in the death of 2-year-old Mason Rivers. District Judge Stephen Beasley issued a warrant for Rivers’ arrest. If convicted as charged, she faces a mandatory life prison sentence. State law allows a person to be charged with murder in cases where there are other offenses -- including cruelty to juveniles -- even when there is no specific intent to harm someone. A provision of cruelty to juveniles is criminal neglect, which is the accusation lodged in this case, Sabine District Attorney Don Burkett said. Christina Rivers told authorities on the day of Mason’s death that she had left him unattended for only a short period of time in the living room of their home on Mayfield Loop in Zwolle while she took a shower. She said she came out of the shower to find him missing, then got a neighbor to help her search the neighborhood. However, authorities said information gleaned during the investigation indicated a motorist saw Mason around 10:20 a.m. unattended in the yard of a home that sits behind Christina Rivers’ home and fronts Highway 191. The call about Mason’s disappearance came after 2 p.m., Deputy Coroner Ron Rivers said. Mason was found floating in the Jacuzzi area that is part of a neighbor's in-ground swimming pool. Ron Rivers said it appeared Mason, clad only in a diaper, climbed onto the ledge of the Jacuzzi and fell in. An autopsy indicated the child had been dead approximately one hour prior to being found, Ron Rivers said. A toxicology report done after Mason’s death revealed the child also had methamphetamine in his system. Investigators are still trying to determine if the child was exposed to second-hand smoke or ingested the drug directly. Christina Rivers also tested positive for methamphetamine, according to separate toxicology testing performed after her son's death.  After an initial interview, Christina Rivers had declined to speak to detectives investigating her child's death, Ron Rivers said. The day of her son’s death, Christina Rivers told authorities he knew how to unlock the door to their home and go outside unsupervised. Mason was familiar with the home where the pool is located. He often visited there and was used to going to the door and knocking to be let in. However, the family was out of town the day Mason drowned, Ron Rivers said. Christina Rivers, who is a second cousin to the deputy coroner, is awaiting arraignment on the murder charge.

August 8, 2017, Tuesday

Woman Killed After Tire Crashes Through Windshield on I-20

The Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office is investigating after a woman died when a tire and wheel reportedly crashed through her SUV's windshield on I-20.  Deputies say it happened just after midnight near the Louisiana state line.  According to crash investigators, 38-year-old Afshin Riaz of Oklahoma was traveling with her husband and four children to Florida.  Deputies believe the tire came off of a truck and cattle trailer. The tire, with the wheel and other parts attached, reportedly bounced across the median and landed in the windshield of the SUV.  Riaz was pronounced dead at the scene.  Her husband and four children were treated at the scene. Investigators are still looking for a truck and cattle trailer missing a wheel. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office at 318-675-2170. 

August 7, 2017, Monday

Body Found Underneath Bridge in Natchitoches Parish

The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office and multiple other agencies responded to the scene on Grappes Road near Fairview Alpha around 1:15 p.m. on Sunday. According to NPSO, it appears the body was under the bridge for several days. The body has been sent for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. No identification has been made yet. At the time of this posting, investigators are still working the scene. They ask the public to stay away while they collect evidence. Other agencies that are assisting NPSO are Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, Natchitoches District Attorney’s Office and Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office. If you have any information regarding this investigation please contact the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division at 357-7830 or the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office at 932-4221.

August 7, 2017, Monday

Deputy Injured, Suspect Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting

A deputy has been injured and a suspect is dead following an officer-involved shooting in Red River Parish. The shooting happened shortly before 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at a home on Banks St. south of Coushatta after the Red River Sheriff’s Department responded to a welfare concern.  When deputies arrived, they made contact with a man who armed himself with gun.  Shots were then fired  between the man and the deputies. One of the deputies and the suspect were shot during the exchange of gunfire.  The deputy was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  The suspect was transported to University Health where he later died from his injuries. The shooting is being investigated by Louisiana State Police.

August 3, 2017, Thursday

SFD: Body found believed to be missing 7-year-boy


After three days of searching, authorities say they believe they've found the body of missing 7-year-old Daysean Combest. A crew is assembling on Mansfield Road in Shreveport to continue search efforts on Wednesday morning. Northbound Mansfield Road between Valley View Drive and W. 70th Street. A large police presence is near the stretch of Bush Bayou. The Caddo Parish Coroner is on scene. They will have to confirm the identity of the boy. Shreveport Fire Department will hold a news release at 11 a.m. with further details.On Wednesday, Shreveport Fire Department called the search for Daysean Combest off overnight near Wyngate Blvd at W 84th Street. First responders began rescue efforts around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday in the 3900 block of Orla Avenue, hoping to find the boy. It's unclear how he got into the ditch. His mother called 911 after finding his sandals by the drainage ditch and believes he passed through the ditch during heavy rains. On Wednesday morning, crews began their search at Brush Bayou, where the water drains. Caddo Fire 6 searched from Flournoy Lucas Road south and cleared up to Louisiana Highway 3132. Wildlife & Fisheries and Caddo deputies searched from Southern Loop north to Flournoy Lucas. Fire Chief Scott Wolverton discouraged private citizens from helping at the moment because the people out now are trained to do this. But he does ask the community to pray. Daysean Combest stands 4 feet tall, weighs about 70 pounds and has a blonde patch in his hair. He last was seen wearing a gray shirt and red shorts. Authorities urge anyone who sees him or anything out of the ordinary to immediately call 911 and let them know the location.

August 3, 2017, Thursday

Welsh Police Chief Receives Large Raise


Welsh Police Chief Marcus Crochet has received a $15 thousand dollar raise, bringing his salary from $40 thousand dollars a year to $55 thousand a year. The raise was approved during a meeting of the Welsh Town Council by a vote of 3-2. After the vote, Chief Crochet said he was grateful for the pay increase and said: " I understand there are some citizens that we are not going to please every time, but those people are welcome to voice their opinions and we'll try to help them."The raise takes effect immediately.

August 2, 2017, Wednesday

Cindy's Missing: The Search Continues

A new lead prompted a renewed search today, for the body of a Natchitoches woman, missing for more than a month. Divers in the water and search dogs along the shoreline combed Saline Bayou, along the Winn Parish-Natchitoches Parish line. They're looking for Cindy Orsborn, the 23 year-old mother of two children, officially reported missing June 21. The last reported sighting of Cindy comes from the man identified as her boyfriend, 41 year-old Jack Daniel Nobles. Nobles is currently in the Nachitoches Parish jail, on charges of violating a restraining order to stay away from Orsborn. Nobles wrote in a Facebook private message to one of Orsborn's family members that Cindy walked away from him on the evening of June 17, got into a dark sedan and rode away. Authorities tell KTBS Nobles is being prosecuted in Webster Parish on unrelated charges of abduction, rape, and false imprisonment of another woman.

August 2, 2017, Wednesday

Robeline-Marthaville Customers Opt to Join Sabine Water System


Residents of the Natchitoches Parish towns of Robeline and Marthaville have spoken after having been plagued by water issues for years. They now are choosing to merge their system with Sabine Parish's. For weeks last winter, Robeline-Marthaville water customers were left with empty taps and forced to fill jugs at emergency reservoirs while at the mercy of their antiquated system. Seven months later, they sat at the Robeline-Marthaville Water System board meeting Monday hearing the votes for their future. "127 was for the merger and then five others were cast for the other options," water system President Don Perez read aloud during the meeting. That is an overwhelming vote to merge their water system with Sabine Parish Waterworks District 1. The merger stands to work in the two towns' favor. Water board officials report a net loss of more than $16,000 so far this year. Under the merger, water board leaders report, Robeline and Marthaville residents will experience no difference in their water rates.  Both water district boards have approved the measure. But the new Leesville attorney for Robeline's water board says the police juries of Natchitoches and Sabine parishes must sign off on the merger. "The Natchitoches Parish Council will meet at the end of August. And they have to formally approve the merger since it is a public body coming in from another parish," attorney Tony Tillman said. "I don't know if that's a real big issue but, technically, they have to do it." The overwhelming vote may sway Natchitoches Parish leaders. "I never intended to want to get too involved and dictate what you do but support whatever decision you make," Natchitoches Parish President Rick Nowlin told the water board during its meeting. "I'm very glad the vote was 127-5 and not 61-61." If approval is given, the project could be signed and sealed within a month. "I would think within a couple days after the Natchitoches Parish Council meets, it'll be done," Tillman said. Sabine Parish Waterworks District 1 President Walter Mains said during the meeting that it would only take a 25-day bidding period for the merger construction project. And it could begin as early as Oct. 1. Once the merger is complete, both water treatment plants in Robeline and Marthaville will be shut down and Sabine will repair their customers' water meters.

August 1, 2017, Tuesday

NPSO Deputies Looking For Man That Fled Marthaville Traffic Stop

8:49 PM UPDATE

SUSPECT NOW IN CUSTODY

Natchitoches Parish Sheriffs Deputies are reporting that Billy Aaron Rains, 26, of Natchitoches is now in custody following a traffic stop on Keyser Avenue in Natchitoches.  

At 7:31pm, the NPSO 911 Center received an anonymous tip from concerned citizens of a possible sighting of Rains at a Natchitoches fast food outlet. Rains was featured on NPSO Facebook Page earlier this afternoon. Rains has been booked into the Natchitoches Detenter Center charged with Driving Under Suspension, Resisting by Flight, Reckless Operation of a Vehicle and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Felony.Deputies say at the time of Rains arrest he stated he was about to turn himself in to law enforcement. We thank the concerned citizens who provided a reliable tip that led to a safe apprehension in this arrest. #SeeSomethingSuspiciousSaySomething We also thank the media for their assistance.
 
August 1, 2017, Tuesday

Back-to-School Bash to Held 1,000+ Red River Parish Families

Students in more than 1,000 Red River Parish families can get some help Monday preparing for the new school year.  A back-to-school bash will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. that day in the Red River High School gymnasium. Youths can get a backpack and school supplies. They also can get a free haircut and school uniforms. Information from area agencies will be available to their parents. United Way of Northwest Louisiana reports that 48 percent of Red River Parish residents are struggling financially. The back-to-school bash is being sponsored by United Way and Red River School District. Aug. 9 is students first day of classes for the 2017-18 school year.

July 31, 2017, Monday

Shreveport Investigators Seek Help Finding Missing Man


Shreveport authorities are on the lookout for a man who left the residence where he was staying and never came back. Investigators say Michael Darnell Sr., 54, last was seen about 5 a.m. Saturday at a home in the 3000 block of Sunnybrook Street in Shreveport.  Authorities think Darnell, who has medical issues that affect his memory, walked away from the home. He stands about 5'7" tall and weighs 160 pounds.  Darnell last was seen wearing a black shirt, denim shorts and white shoes.   Authorities urge anyone with any information to call Shreveport police at (318) 673-7221 or contact Shreveport-Caddo Crime Stoppers by calling (318) 673-7373 or visiting the organization's website, lockemup.org.

July 31, 2017, Monday

Wanted: Inmate Who Walked Away From Work Crew

 On Wednesday at approximately 11:50 a.m., an inmate assigned to a work crew in the Sieper area, walked off the work detail and is now being treated as an escapee. According to initial reports, Jared Lee Nelson was assigned to a work crew doing work at the Sieper Community Church on LA Highway 465 in Sieper, LA. When Nelson went on a bathroom break and did not return after a few minutes, deputies went to check on him, but he was gone. Nelson is described as a white male, 36 years of age, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 145 pounds, has brown hair and hazel eyes. He has a tattoo of “JN” on his upper right arm and he was last seen wearing orange top and orange bottoms. Nelson has several convictions dating back to 1999 including theft, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, carrying a concealed weapon, simple battery, simple burglary and narcotics charges.  Nelson is not considered dangerous at this time. If anyone has seen Nelson or has any information as to his whereabouts, you are asked to call the RPSO Main Office at 318-473-6700 or Crime Stoppers at 318-443-7867.

July 27, 2017, Thursday

Tip Leads To Search in Missing Persons Case

Investigators are searching this area behind this abandoned house off Highway 507 about ten miles south of Coushatta.  The Bossier Sheriff's office joined the Red River Sheriff's office after they received a tip related to their missing persons cases out of Bossier.  Crews have been searching and digging through this wooded area since last night  looking for any type of evidence or human remains.  Bossier has three missing persons cases that are decades old and never been solved . Including Clinton Davis who's been missing since 2006. Gregory Vice who's been missing since 2000 and ArillaVaul who's been missing since 1979. "Anything we get . Any small tip someone may have may be possibly connected even if you think it's not going to be. Amount to anything. Please let us know. It may just be the missing puzzle piece. We need to solve that case. So we can bring closure to a loved one's family" said Lt. Bill Davis with the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office.  Davis could not go into details about the tip they received and which missing person it may be related to.  He says they receive tips like this a lot and always investigate in hopes it may turn out to be something. 

July 27, 2017, Thursday

Oakdale Police Department Dealing With Constant Phone Troubles

For the Oakdale Police Department one of their constant battles isn't necessarily with criminals, but instead with their phones. Their phone lines were down for most of the weekend, and just got back up yesterday, but this isn't the first time they've dealt with this.  The phones are ringing at the Oakdale Police Department now, but this past weekend that wasn’t the case.  “Friday evening our phones went down,” said police chief, Joseph Lockett. Since Friday Lockett has been working with their phone company to get their phone lines up and running,  but this isn’t the first time this has happened.   “It’s been an ongoing thing since I’ve taken office in January where we lose phones once or twice a month,” he said.  Lockett took to Facebook to voice his frustration saying he’s brought up the issue to Mayor Gene Paul and nothing has been done. Mayor Paul saw the post and wasn’t too happy. “It really upset me, because last time I talked to him about a phone was late February to March,” said Paul.  Mayor Paul said he didn’t know it was an issue until the Facebook post, because Lockett wasn’t documenting and discussing the problems with him. But Lockett disagrees. “We’ve brought it up to him several times, and his response was he’s the mayor he signs contracts and I don’t have the authority to,” said Lockett. When phone lines are down calls are redirected to the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office who then get in contact with Oakdale’s Police Department, and while Lockett finds this aggravating, Mayor Paul says he doesn't see a problem with it.  Mayor Paul also says there is a back up phone line the police department could be using but isn’t. “If your not using them and you were told about them then is that my fault,” said Paul.  But Lockett says there is no back up line. Despite the situation Mayor Paul assures the public is safe. “They are not in danger by their phone service being down,” he said.  While Chief Lockett just wants something done. “Get it fix," he said. "We can’t keep letting the public down by not having phones at the police department.”  Mayor Paul says he doesn't have plans of changing their current phone company, but he has reordered a new phone line for the police department to use if their lines go down again. 

July 26, 2017, Wednesday

Indiana's Nighthawks Are Training At Fort Polk

The 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team from the Indiana National Guard is currently at the Joint Readiness Training Center for rotation. The JRTC runs soldiers through a number of training scenarios, all realistic, relevant and extremely rigorous. The training is designed with a balance of both non-lethal and lethal training. Residents should remain aware of increased traffic between Peason Ridge and Fort Polk, utilizing extreme caution whenever encountering military convoys and equipment. There is going to be a higher number of soldiers and equipment in Fort Polk's training areas. Among the roads to be frequently traveled are La. highways 469, 28, 8 and 117, along with Tank Trail Road as convoys will be going to and from Peason Ridge. The group from Indiana, also known as the Nighthawks, arrived at Fort Polk on July 12 and should return to their home state by August. 7. Any residents who suffer property damage from military training exercises should call Fort Polk Range Control, who will investigate the claim, at either 337-531-5445 or 337-531-5239. Compensation will be paid if the military, through actions from travelling or training, provided it is the military's fault. Residents may also address noise complaints by calling the Public Affairs line at 337-531-1418. All callers should leave their names and a phone number so JRTC and Fort Polk Public Affairs can address the situation and any concerns.

July 26, 2017, Wednesday

Operating on Low Power

Due to storm damage after the recent string of storms in the area, KWLA 103.1 is operating on low power. Mister Tedd Dumas and our engineers are working hard to correct this issue. As always, Thank you for Listening to 103.1 KWLA on BDC Radio!

July 25, 2017, Tuesday

Livingston Parish Man Arrested for Going 51 Miles Over The Speed Limit


A Livingston Parish man was arrested Sunday afternoon for reportedly going 51 mph over the speed limit while traveling from Shreveport to Denham Springs. The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office says on July 23 around 12:45 p.m., deputies working traffic in the area of the Ajax exit on I-49 in Natchitoches Parish observed a 2015 Subaru WRX traveling 126 mph in a 75 mph zone. Deputies were able to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle and identified the driver as Andrew Beauregard Wilson, 32, of Denham Springs.  Wilson was arrested and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center. He is charged with speeding and reckless operation of a vehicle. His bond was set at $2,500. When asked what his reason for speeding was, Wilson reportedly said he had no reason and was just trying to get home. 

July 25, 2017, Tuesday

Motorcyclist Dead in Shreveport Crash


A Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office veteran says his son was the man killed in a deadly crash involving a motorcycle Monday night and Shreveport police have identified the driver of the car involved.  Gary Pace says his son, 21-year-old Austin Taylor Pace was the motorcyclist who died later at University Health. More than a dozen police units responded to the crash in the 2400 block of East 70th Street near Dixie Meadow Road shortly after 11:00 p.m. According to officers on the scene, Pace's 2004 Yamaha motorcycle was traveling east when it hit the side of a Nissan Altima driven by 25-year-old Dominique Flournoy, pulling out of Fud's Lounge. Flournoy was not seriously injured in the crash, according to Shreveport police spokesman Cpl. Marcus Hines. He did take a routine toxicology test, as mandated by state law. Police say that they do not immediately suspect impairment as a cause of the incident at this time of the investigation. Flournoy has been cited.

July 25, 2017, Tuesday

Louisiana Attorney General Warns of Tobacco Settlement Scam

Louisiana's attorney general is warning residents not to believe online ads that say people can receive money from a settlement reached between states and tobacco companies.

Attorney General Jeff Landry says his office has received questions about online promotions suggesting individuals can access thousands per month by signing up to receive cash payments. The ads prompt people to buy a subscription — providing personal information and a credit card number — to learn about how they can access the money.But people can't get individual payments from the tobacco settlement. The money flows directly to states for programs. Louisiana uses the payments for health and education programs. Landry's office says anyone who received the tobacco settlement ads and wants to file a complaint can do so at 800-351-4889 or online .

July 24, 2017, Monday

VPPJ Approves Resolution for Future Bond Issuance

The Vernon Parish Police Jury took some preliminary steps on Monday, approving a resolution to issue bonds in the future. According to onding attorney, Alan Offner, giving approval to this resolution issuing bonds not to exceed $6.2 million, could save the police jury some time down the line as it doesn't cost anything. Offner said this action allows the police jury to be in a good position to go ahead and issue the bonds when the savings are justifiable. These bonds have a call date of 2020 and savings at this time aren't looking good, Offner said. He did mention his firm has been contacted by several companies about refunding these bonds. The passage of this resolution will give the police jury an opportunity to receive approval from the state bond commission as early as next month. Usually, approval for such things can take up to about two months. A meeting of the state bond commission is slated for Aug. 20, where the panel's resolution will be up for discussion.

July 24, 2017, Monday

Vernon Parish Man Indicted In Death Of Toddler

The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Department announced Thursday evening that the Grand Jury there has indicted a man in the May 2016 death of a toddler. Rodney D. Bailey, Jr., 34, has been charged with obstruction of justice and second degree cruelty to a juvenile in the death of 2-year-old Willow Rain Molina-Renteria. This all began on May 5th, 2016 at the child's home in Hornbeck, which is located in Vernon Parish. Sheriff Sam Craft said at the time that the child's mother left Bailey to watch the girl, but when the mother returned home, both were gone, and Bailey was later found in DeRidder.

July 21, 2017, Friday

VPPJ Authorizes Purchase Of Recording Equipment
An antiquated system will receive a much-needed upgrade from the Vernon Parish Police Jury. The panel authorized the purchase of all new recording equipment at its most recent meeting upon recommendation from the Finance Committee. According to committee chairman, Curtis Clay, the sound quality of both the video and audio system leaves a lot to be desired. The cost to replace the system with new equipment will run in the neighborhood of $10,400. Permit and Claims chairman Charnel Bailey informed the panel of a June 20 theft at the Vernon Parish Animal Shelter. A report from the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office said no evidence has been discovered leading to an arrest for the crime, but it was noted the perpetrator or perpetrators caused about $900 damage to the facility in missing or destroyed items. In other news from the shelter, they requested the police jury purchase a new incinerator for the facility as the current one always seems to be in need of repair.

 July 20th, 2017, Thursday

Heat Advisory in Effect for Most of the ArkLaTex

A Heat Advisory continues for much of the ArkLaTex until midnight Thursday night. Dangerous heat conditions are expected as very hot temperatures combine with high humidity. The high humidity makes it harder for our bodies to cool off because it doesn't allow sweat to evaporate from our skin. As a result it feels hotter than the actual temperature on the thermometer. Afternoon temperatures Thursday will be back in the mid 90s across the area. When the humidity is factored in it will 'feel like' it's around 105 degrees or hotter during the afternoon hours. Here are some tips to help beat the heat:

  • Take plenty of breaks if working outside
  • Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Check on your family, friends and neighbors who may not have or use air conditioning.
  • Make sure outside pets have shade and a supply of water

You can continually monitor the weather conditions including the current temperature and what it feels like with the humidity on the KSLA Weather app. Download it for free here.

July 20th, 2017, Thursday

Many Poice Department Currently Investigating

The Many Police Department is currently investigating a theft that took placeTuesday at a local business.

On Tuesday, July 18th, between the hours of 10:00 am & 03:00 pm, a “Easy Weld” Welder Starter Kit was stolen from Family Farm and Garden. The kit contained a welder, helmet, electrodes, grinding wheel, wire brush and gloves. It has a value of $249.00. Presently the footage of the security cameras is being obtained and will be examined. If you have any information on this crime, please contact the MPD at 256-5617.

 

 

July 20th, 2017, Thursday

APD Asking Public Assistance in Locating Missing Person

 APD is requesting assistance from the public in locating a missing person. Ta'Shayla Broussard is 18 years old and was last seen on Friday, June 30, in the 200 block of 4th Street in Alexandria. She is approximately 5'4", and 135 lbs, and left the area on foot. Clothing description is unknown. She is from the Lafayette area, and does not have the resources to return home. If you have seen Ta'Shayla Broussard, or have any information that could help locate her, please contact the Alexandria Police Department Detective Division at (318) 441-6416, or after hours call APD Dispatch at (318) 449-5099.

July 19th, 2017, Wednesday

East Texas Man Found After MIssing for 2 Months

An East Texas man has been found after police say he was missing for two months. Harrison County, Texas, authorities say 54-year-old Daniel Leroy Knox was reported missing May 17. Deputies say he was found in Overton, TX and is well and living in Gregg County.

July 19th, 2017, Wednesday

Heat Advisory in Effect Through Thursday

The Shreveport National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for east Texas, northwest Louisiana and south Arkansas for today through Thursday at 7 PM.  Heat Index values of 105 to 108 are possible! This is what it will feel like in the shade.  Add 10 and that's how hot it will appear in direct sun light.  Sweating will likely not cool you off.  Thus, you could easily get dehydrated and overheat in these conditions.  Heat exhaustion and even heat stroke are possible!  Take air conditioning breaks if working or playing outside.  Drink plenty of water or sport drink.  Stay away from caffeine or alcohol as they could dehydrate you.  Wear light colored and loose fitting clothes. Stay tuned to KTBS 3, KPXJ CW 21, Digital 3.2, the KTBS 3 Weather Fone at 318-320-5827 and the KTBS 3 Weather App. for updates.

July 19th, 2017, Wednesday

Man Accused of Abusing Horses Arrested

A Leesville man has been arrested after horses in his care were found neglected and abused, authorities said. Issac Grant, 68, of Leesville, is charged with two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. Photos that have been circulating on social media show chains around the horses' necks cutting into their skin. The horses also appear malnourished in the photos. Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft confirmed that the photos are legitimate. He said the horses have been removed from the location and are being cared for. Bond has not been set for Grant, who remains in the Vernon Parish Jail.

July 18th, 2017, Tuesday

Authorities Expand Search for Missing Marthaville Woman

Authorities are expanding their search for a missing Natchitoches Parish woman. A small house in the small Winn Parish town of Calvin is so far the only link to the missing 23-year-old Cynthia Orsborn. The Marthaville woman was first reported missing by her brother, Christopher Orsborn, more than a month ago on June 13th. "In Natchitoches Parish, we determined that she had just left. Right now, we have her classified as a missing person," said Natchitoches Parish Detective Jonathan Byles. Natchitoches Parish deputies turned the case over to the Winn Parish Sheriff's Office after she was last seen in that area by her boyfriend, J.D. Nobles. Deputies said Nobles told them she got into a car in Calvin and was driven off. Authorities said Orsborn had more ties to Calvin. "She was last seen there at the house with Nobles," said Winn Parish Sheriff Cranford Jordan. Orsborn and Nobles rented a home together in the 400 block of Front Avenue in Calvin. When KSLA visited the home, no one came to the door. The door also had a padlock on it. Sheriff Jordan said his deputies have scoured the area around that home. "A search team searched the area up around the house with cadaver dogs and we didn't find anything," he told KSLA. Just 10 days after the last time Orsborn's family saw her, Natchitoches deputies arrested Nobles on June 23, charging him with allegedly violating the protective order Orsborn filed against him. "There was a domestic disturbance back in November of 2016," said Det. Byles.  "At which time, under Louisiana law which is called Gwen's Law, you're entitled to a protective order." Nobles remains the only person of interest in Orsborn's case with each passing day causing more concern for authorities. "With someone going missing for a lengthy period of time and not having what we call any leads into the investigation, our greatest fear would be homicide," Det. Byles said. KSLA reached out to members of Orsborn's family who declined an interview but said they are trying to cope with her disappearance along with the disappearance of here father, Michael Orsborn, whom deputies report has been missing for 12 years. Natchitoches deputies told KSLA Nobles will serve 14-30 days in jail for violating Orsborn's protective order. If anyone has any information on Orsborn's whereabouts, they're urged to call the Winn Parish Sheriff's Office at 318-628-4611.

July 18th, 2017, Tuesday

NSU Freshman Connection

Northwestern State University will hold its freshman orientation program, Freshman Connection, July 18.  Freshman Connection is designed to assist incoming freshman with the transition to university life. While on campus, participants will meet with an academic advisor, register for classes, learn about campus resources and meet future classmates. The first two sessions are residential programs, requiring a stay in Northwestern State’s residential community.  Incoming freshmen will be introduced to the academic programs and services provided by the university, such as academic advising and support services. Upon completing the registration process at Freshman Connection, those who attend will be prepared for their first semester in college. The cost for Freshman Connection is $80, which includes accommodations and meals.  In conjunction with Freshman Connection, Northwestern State will also hold Parent Connection and Kid Konnection.  Parent Connection is aimed at helping parents become familiar with college life, so that they can successfully manage this time of change, growth, fun and exploration. The program consists of special presentations designed to help family members assist with their student’s transition to Northwestern State by becoming familiar with the University.  There is a $25 registration fee for the first parent and $10 for each additional parent. This fee covers the cost of lunch in Iberville Dining Hall and program materials.  Kid Konnection will help younger siblings become familiar with college life. Activities include a tour of the campus and visiting a residence hall, fun arts and crafts, pictures with Northwestern State’s mascot Vic the Demon and other events designed for children. Participants will also receive lunch, an afternoon snack, t-shirt and more.  Kid Konnection is exclusively for siblings of new NSU students age 5–12. There is a $30 fee for each participant.  For more information go to studentlife.nsula.edu/nsu-first-year-experience-freshman-connection-2.

July 17th, 2017, Monday

Fisherman Finds Man's Body at Anderson Bayou in Shreveport

Authorities are investigating the discovery of a man's body at Anderson Bayou in Shreveport. A fisherman found the body July 16 off a service road that parallels the 900 block of Shreveport-Barksdale Highway, authorities said. Shreveport police detectives think the body is that of a homeless man.  Police said there is no indication of foul play. The discovery also is being investigated by the Caddo coroner's office.

July 17th, 2017, Monday

Shelby County D.A. Seeking Logansport Man

The Shelby County District Attorney's office is asking for the public's help to find a Logansport man wanted for sexual assault. Officials say 50-year-old Donald Ray Runnels has four outstanding warrants: failure to appear for the original charge of evading arrest, offense date June 9, 2014; sexual assault, second degree felony, offense date of June 2, 2016; failure to appear for the original charge of failure to register as a sex offender, offense date of June 6, 2016; and failure to appear for the original charge of failure to register as a sex offender, offense date of July 8, 2016. Judge Leanne Kay Rafferty, 123rd Judicial District Court, issued a capias warrant for Runnels arrest. On July 5th, Judge Rafferty issued an order to appear for July 10, 2017 to which only the attorney for Runnels appeared. Runnels has a trail date for July 17, 2017 in the 123rd Judicial District Court with Judge Rafferty presiding. Center Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information. Anyone who has information should call Center Crime Stoppers at 936-598-SAFE (7233) or submit a tip online at www.centercrimestoppers.com. Remember you don't have to give your name. All calls and cash rewards are completely anonymous. Rewards will only be paid on tips submitted through the Center Crime Stoppers system. If a caller does not wish to remain anonymous or receive a reward, they may call the Shelby County Sheriff's Office at 936-598-5600.

July 14th, 2017, Friday

South Louisiana Man Facing Charges in Natchitoches Parish

A south Louisiana man already in jail in connection with multiple burglaries in Central Louisiana has is now facing charges in two other parishes as well, according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones. Things took a downward turn for Charles Wiltz of New Iberia earlier today when NPSO deputies paid a visit to him in the Rapides Parish Jail on multiple burglary charges and officially charged him with three counts of burglary in Natchitoches Parish. In February, Jones was attending a law enforcement network meeting in Rapides Parish when he learned Grant and Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Offices were investigating burglary cases similar to active open investigations in Natchitoches Parish. Shortly after that meeting, Grant and Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Offices contacted the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division sharing information about Wiltz, who already was behind bars in Rapides Parish in connection with multiple store and church burglaries in their parishes. At the time, NPSO Detectives actively were investigating three burglaries in south Natchitoches Parish, one from November 2015, and two others in June 2016.   Both Grant and Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Offices believed their suspect matched the description of surveillance video images released by the NPSO in connection with Natchitoches Parish burglaries according to Chief of Investigations Greg Dunn. As the investigation progressed, detectives from all agencies shared information concerning the suspect and his methods. NPSO Detectives obtained search warrants for electronic equipment, began reviewing evidence and conducted interviews in Grant and Rapides Parishes. In late June, NPSO detectives obtained a warrant for the arrest of Wiltz. During the investigation, NPSO detectives learned of an accomplice in the burglaries. That accomplice has not been identified at this time, but is currently incarcerated in the Grant Parish Jail. The NPSO plans to arrest that suspect as well. Wiltz who has a long list of prior arrests remains in the Rapides Parish jail without bond with a hold from Natchitoches and Grant Parish.

July 14th, 2017, Friday

Scott Sworn in as DeRidder Councilwoman

 Longtime DeRidder councilwoman Estella Scott is back on the job. Scott was sworn in prior to Monday's meeting of the DeRidder city council, replacing the now-retired Hayward Steele, who had served in his post for over three decades. Scott, who still serves on Louisiana's version of the Sabine River Authority, had spent 25 previous years as a member of the council, while also serving a decade more in other capacities in DeRidder. After Scott was sworn in, the council immediately went to work, vowing to establish a firearm-free zone map for DeRidder, while also setting the requirements for existing and proposed billboard usage for advertisement. According to the regulations, the council will not allow billboards to be erected within the city limits from the intersection of North Pine Street with West North Street and West Drive in the northern part of town to the intersection of South Pine Street and West Ninth Street in the south. The no-billboard zone also goes easterly to the intersection of Mahlon Street and East First Street, with the boundary on the west being the intersection of West First Street and Frusha. Additionally, no digital billboards will be allowed within 600 feet of any traffic signal. All of the new regulations concerning billboards is readily available at DeRidder's City Hall. The council also opted to put together a firearm-free zone map, something it has never done before. According to state law, firearms are not permitted on any school campus or within 1,000 feet of the premises. Most schools in the state, including those in Beauregard Parish and within DeRidder, have signs in place indicating no firearms are permitted in the area. However, signage still needs to be erected at both the First Baptist Church Christian Academy and at the old First Street School, where college classes are available.

July 13th, 2017, Thursday

DeRidder Police: Missing 17-year old and 15-year-old Found Safe

A 17-year-old and a 15-year-old who were reported missing Tuesday have been found safe, the DeRidder Police Department has announced.  DeRidder police issued a welfare concern after 17-year-old Amber Criss and 15-year-old Miaya Criss left home between 10 and 11 a.m. Tuesday in the family vehicle. They did not have permission to take the vehicle. DeRidder police posted around 11:20 a.m. Wednesday on its Facebook page that the girls were found safe.  The missing girls were located in Shreveport, said Deputy Chief Christopher Rudy with the DeRidder Police Department.  The Shreveport Police Department received a complaint from a person at a motel about the girls. Upon investigating, police learned the two were reported missing.  There are no other details at this time, and the case is still under investigation by DeRidder and Shreveport investigators, said Rudy. 

July 13th, 2017, Thursday

Shooting in Natchitoches Lands 1 in Hospital


A shooting early Tuesday morning landed a Natchitoches man in a Shreveport hospital and another one in jail. Booking records show 18-year-old Steven Craig Vercher Jr., of 1300 block of Berry Avenue, is being held in Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on one count each of attempted second-degree murder and resisting an officer. Vercher is accused of shooting 22-year-old Jamie M. Zeno, of the 1500 block of Pauline Street, in his upper chest. Someone called authorities at 8:39 a.m. to report a man had been shot at a residence two doors down from Vercher's home in the 1300 block of Berry Avenue, Natchitoches Assistant Police Chief Harmon Winters said. Zeno has since been transferred to University Health in Shreveport. Detectives' investigation led them to an apartment in the 700 block of Brahma Drive in Natchitoches, Winters said That is about a half mile from where Zeno was shot. A negotiator was able to talk Vercher into surrendering to authorities. Natchitoches police received overwhelming support from the community in investigating the shooting and locating the suspect, Winters said. Authorities urge anyone with any information about the shooting to call Natchitoches police Detective Bobby Beard at (318) 238-3914 or Detective Julius Armstrong at (318) 357-3810. 

July 12th, 2017, Wednesday

Reward offered for Information about Burlary of Zwolle Eatery 

Sabine Parish authorities are asking for your help solving a burglary at a fast-food restaurant. It happened early the morning of July 4 at Dairy Queen in the 2100 block of Obrie Street in Zwolle. Now Sabine Parish Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to the arrest of the person responsible. Authorities say he appeared to be familiar with the restaurant's layout, covered his face while on camera and was able to get access to the eatery's safe. He was wearing a light-colored hoodie and khaki pants. Authorities urge anyone with any information about the break-in to call:

  • Sabine Parish Crime Stoppers at (318) 256-4511, the
  • Zwolle Police Department at (318) 645-6141, or the
  • Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office at (318) 256-9241.

July 12th, 2017, Wednesday

City of Leesville Boil Advisory

The City of Leesville has executed a boil advisory on July 10th, 2017 until further notice for South 3rd Street and Arkansas Street Residences. For more information, please call the water department at (337) 404-4098 or City Hall (337) 239-2444. And as always, the City of Leesville appreciates everyones' patience and appologizes for any inconvenience.

July 11th, 2017, Tuesday

NWLA Sailor Killed on USS Oklahoma to be Laid to Rest


A Sabine Parish sailor will be formally laid to rest with full military honors 75 years after his death. Services for Navy Seaman 1st Class Paul Smith Raimond, of Converse, are set for 11:30 a.m. Pacific (4:30 p.m. Central) Tuesday in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.  Raimond is one of 429 crew members killed Dec. 7, 1941, when Japanese aircraft attacked the USS Oklahoma, one of eight battleships moored at Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. Historical accounts say multiple torpedo hits caused the ship to quickly capsize. No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities. Navy personnel worked through June 1944 to recover the remains of the USS Oklahoma's crew. In September 1947, the remains of U.S. personnel killed in the Pacific Theater were disinterred from Halawa and Nu’uanu cemeteries so they could be identified.  At that time, staffers were only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma. The American Graves Registration Service buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots in the Honolulu cemetery that, because of its shape, commonly is known as the Punchbowl. And in October 1949, a military board classified Raimond and the others who could not be identified at that time as non-recoverable. It was not until about 66 years later that Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency personnel began exhuming and trying to identify the remains of unidentified USS Oklahoma personnel killed at Pearl Harbor. Raimond was accounted for on Feb. 23, 2017. Advancements in DNA testing uncovered a match between Raimond's remains and a sister and a nephew. That information plus circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, including dental comparisons, led to Raimond's remains being identified. USS Oklahoma crew members accounted for Feb. 24, 2017, along with Raimond include:

  • Navy Steward’s Mate 1st Class Cyril I. Dusset,
  • Navy Fireman 1st Class Lawrence H. Fecho, and,
  • Navy Fireman 1st Class Walter B. Rogers.

More than 400,000 Americans died during World War II. Of those, 76,051 still are unaccounted for. About 26,000 of those service members have been classified as possibly recoverable.

July 11th, 2017, Tuesday

Many Police Department Investigates

The Many Police Department Investigated a two-vehicle accident earlier today that resulted in heavy damage to both autos. No serious injuries were reported. The accident took place on Highway 6 at the entrance to the utility substation. Apparently the suburban slowed for traffic congestion and the following pickup failed to stop in time to avoid collision. The driver of the pickup was cited for following too closely.

July 11th, 2017, Tuesday

Single Vehicle Collides with Sabine Medical Center

The MPD investigated a one-vehicle accident on Thursday afternoon that involved damage to a local business. Apparently, the driver of a 2010 Ford pickup hit the accelerator instead of the brake while parking at the Sabine Medical Center building located on South Capitol Street, causing heavy damage to both the vehicle and the building. No injuries were reported.

July 10th, 2017, Monday

Hot Air Balloon Lands in Shreveport Driveway


As Shreveport-Bossier prepares for the Red River Balloon Rally, one woman got a front row seat to the action from her kitchen window.  Deborah Youngblood of Shreveport shared pictures with KSLA News 12 of a hot air balloon after it landed in her driveway.  The surprise came one day before the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Nationals flies over Shreveport-Bossier.  According to the executive director of the Shreveport-Bossier sporting commission, who brings the even to the area, a hot air balloon landing in a neighborhood is nothing uncommon.  Executive Director Kelly Wells says balloon pilots will be taking off from different areas and attempting to reach targets as part of a contest.  Wells says the pilots take off from a public area with permission from the city and the parish. After reaching the targets, the p[ilots have to figure out a place to land. He says that balloons are aircraft, therefore they have permission to land. In this case, the place was Youngblood's driveway. He adds if neighbors want to open their yards up to hot air balloon pilots, they can lay out a white sheet in their yard. Wells explains that if a balloon lands in a neighborhood, the balloons are not crashing. Wells also assured neighbors that the chase crew tries not to land in backyards or drive on the grass. Crews and neighbors are asked to be hospitable during the event of a landing. 

July 10th, 2017, Monday

Website Changes, Personnel Needs Highlighted in School Board Meeting

Beginning Monday, the newly designed Web site of the Vernon Parish School Board will be unveiled, according to Renita Page. Page discussed at length the new look of the Web site with the members of the board at its most recent meeting on Thursday morning. "The first part of the process is to update the district's main Web site first," she said. "Then we will work on each school's page. After that, work will begin on teacher's Web sites." According to Page, Bill Lohman has spent a great deal of time in the development of the new Web site, which will be more user-friendly and modern, as opposed to the current site. One of the new features available on the site will be the ability to report a child being bullied at any Vernon Parish school. Parents or guardians can report any instances of bullying on the Web site at any school within the district. Additionally, the Parent Command Center will be a part of the new look, as will school enrollment and athletic forms. Funding for this redesigned Web site came via a grant, so no money came out of the school board's budget. District 1 board member Jackie Self delivered a report from the Salary/Personnel Committee in the absence of chairman Vernon Travis of District 6. According to Self, there are a number of administrative openings within the school district, one of which is non-promotional. Kathy Bass has taken over as the principal of Evans High School as Ulita Watson has taken the year off. As a result, the school needs an assistant principal for one year. Things are a little different at Parkway Elementary School and Simpson High School, where both are looking for assistant principals. Additionally, the central office position of Director of Child Welfare and Athletics is available. All four slots will be advertised over the next week or so as the board seeks applicants.

July 7th, 2017, Friday

Johnson Expresses Need to Take Care of Our Veterans

United States Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana's 4th Congressional District is adamant in his support of American war veterans. During his Town Hall Meeting at the War Memorial Civic Center in DeRidder on Thursday, Johnson expressed his disdain for the way veterans have been treated in the United States, noting he is doing everything possible to fix what is a broken Veteran Affairs Administration. "It is both shameful and inexcusable how veterans have been and are treated in this country," Johnson exclaimed. "We need to protect and take care of our veterans. We need to support our veterans and treat them with the respect they are due." Several veterans were in attendance at Thursday's Town Hall. Many of them told their horror stories to Johnson, not of their respective war experiences, but their constant battles with the VA. Johnson conveyed to the veterans that he and many other Congressmen are working on a solution to fix the issues within the VA because it is most definitely "a broken system." Johnson also spoke positively about the accomplishments of the first 175 days of the Donald Trump presidency, noting the country is heading in the right direction, thanks to saving billions of dollars by cutting wasteful spending, while also reforming regulatory laws, which helps businesses get started quickly. "The stock market set an all-time high last week and consumer confidence is at a 12-year high," Johnson said. "We have added almost $80 billion dollars to the defense budget and we have created hundreds of thousands of new jobs. It is our job to help ensure that the American dream is for everyone." According to Johnson, there are four primary agenda items he and the rest of Congress need to complete, including strengthening the military, regulatory refors, health care reform and tax reform. The first two have been dealt with convincingly thus far, with the battle over health care far from over. He noted premiums have increased in Louisiana by over 120 percent and the number continues rising everyday as costs continue to skyrocket, as well as deductibles. "We have a crisis now," Johnson said. "A total of 83 companies have pulled out of Obamacare." Johnson said the American Health Care Act recently passed through the House of Representatives will go a long way in reducing the costs of health care nationwide, along with providing for competition between companies. 

Just about as fast as Many running back AJ Carter can sprint from one endzone to another, the Tigers senior flipped his college commitment back to UCLA. Only nine days ago, Carter decommitted from the PAC-12 school when he got an offer from in-state powerhouse LSU But on Wednesday, he made a post to Twitter saying he made that decision based on where his family and friends wanted him to go and then added he decommitted from LSU. Carter then almost immediately said he's recommitting to UCLA, saying once a Bruin, always a Bruin. At the end of the day, these verbal commitments, even that last one, are non-binding.

July 6th, 2017, Thursday

Authorities Identify Louisiana State Trooper Hurt in Wreck

Authorities have confirmed the identity of the Louisiana state trooper who was hurt in a rollover wreckTuesday night in Shreveport. He is Trooper Garrett Monroe, who is assigned to Troop G. The wreck happened at 7:52 p.m. on St. Vincent Avenue between Greenbrook Boulevard and Lynbrook Boulevard, Caddo 911 dispatch records show. At the time, Monroe was pursuing a vehicle he had tried to stop on Louisiana Highway 3132. The trooper lost control of his vehicle on St. Vincent Avenue at the railroad tracks.

July 6th, 2017, Thursday

Sabine Parish Police Jury

The Sabine Parish Police Jury will hold a special called meeting Thursday, July 6th, 2017 at 9 a.m. in the Police Jury Meeting Room of the Sabine Parish Courthouse.

July 5th, 2017, Wednesday

Man Saves His 11-Month-Old as SUV is Stolen From Laundromat


A man managed to stop two people from stealing his Ford SUV with his 11-month-old child in it. It happened Tuesday at a laundromat in southwest Shreveport. Now Shreveport police have a juvenile in custody. He was booked into the Caddo Juvenile Detention Center on one count each of carjacking and attempted aggravated kidnapping. And investigators are seeking another juvenile. The call came in as a carjacking at 3:20 p.m. in the 8100 block of Jewella Avenue between Amelia Avenue and Silver Pine Boulevard, Caddo 911 dispatch records show. Davis Jones told authorities he was inside The Soap Opera washateria when he saw two males looking into his SUV. They jumped into his vehicle and began trying to drive away. Jones’ 11-month-old child was inside the vehicle. Jones immediately jumped onto the driver’s side door and yelled at the driver to stop because his child was in the car, police Cpl. Angie Willhite said. When the driver refused, she said, Jones grabbed and turned the steering wheel, causing the SUV to crash. Jones' child was removed from the SUV and taken to safety while the two juveniles ran off. Officers caught one person on Shreveport Regional Airport property and another in the 6500 block of Kennedy Drive. "Through witness interviews and information gathered at the scene, investigators learned that one of the juveniles patrol officers had detained was the alleged driver in the carjacking," Willhite said. "Investigators released the other juvenile after clearing him of any involvement." The wreck damaged the windshield and passenger front of the SUV. Authorities urge anyone with any information to contact Shreveport-Caddo Crime Stoppers by calling (318) 673-7373 or visiting the organization's website, lockemup.org.

July 5th, 2017, Wednesday

Louisiana State Police Trooper Hurt in Rollover Wreck During Pursuit

A Louisiana state trooper was hurt in a rollover wreck Tuesday night in Shreveport. It happened at 7:52 p.m. on St. Vincent Avenue between Greenbrook Boulevard and Lynbrook Boulevard, Caddo 911 dispatch records show. A Shreveport Fire Department medic unit took the injured trooper to a local hospital, Fire Department spokesman Skip Pinkston said. Authorities said he is expected to be okay. The wreck happened as the trooper was pursuing a vehicle he had tried to stop on Louisiana Highway 3132 for a traffic violation, Trooper First Class Matt Harris said. The trooper lost control of his vehicle on St. Vincent Avenue at the railroad tracks. The vehicle he was chasing has not been seen since, Harris said. The identity of the trooper has not yet been released. This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

July 5th, 2017, Wednesday

Missing DeSoto Parish Man Found Dead in SWAR

Southwest Arkansas authorities have found the body of DeSoto Parish man who was reported missing Friday. The DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office says 79-year-old Richard F. Hargis was discovered dead Sunday morning in Miller County, Ark. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Hargis’ family during this time," says a statement from the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office.  Authorities and family members said Hargis last was seen alive about 6 p.m. Friday leaving AutoZone in the 2500 block of North State Line in Texarkana, Texas, after making a delivery.  A missing person alert was issued Saturday afternoon. DeSoto sheriff's deputies said Hargis was expected to be traveling from Texarkana to Shreveport in a new, unmarked white Dodge Tow Master van. 

July 3rd, 2017, Monday

Natchitoches Man Hurt in Boating Accident on Red River

A Natchitoches man was injured in a boating accident. Reports indicate it happened Saturday evening on Red River in Natchitoches Parish. A boat propeller struck the 25-year-old in the hip area, the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office reports. LifeAir Rescue landed on Louisiana Highway 1 in Powhatan about 6:15 p.m. Saturday to fly the injured man to University Health in Shreveport. Authorities said his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. The accident is being investigated by Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Department enforcement agents.  Louisiana State Police and EMS personnel from Natchitoches Regional Medical Center also responded to the accident.

July 3rd, 2017, Monday

Natchitoches Sheriff Looking for Missing 23-Year-old Woman

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Deputies are asking for the public's help in locating a west Natchitoches Parish woman reported missing to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones. Deputies are currently looking for 23-year-old Cynthia D. Orsborn, W/F, Height 5 ft, 5 inches, 121 pounds, with blonde shoulder length hair and hazel eyes of Marthaville, La. No clothing description is available. Deputies said on Wednesday June 21, family members contacted the NPSO reporting Orsborn missing. Family members reported they have not seen or heard from Orsborn since they dropped her off at a friend's home in the Natchitoches area on June 13. Detectives are currently involved and actively investigating Orsborn's disappearance. If you see Miss Orsborn, please contact the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office at 318-352-6432. Detective Jonathan Byles is assigned case investigative agent. NPSO Detectives have learned that Orsborn also lived in the Calvin area of Winn Parish.

June 30, 2017

Zeek Woodley Signs Pro Contract

Zeek Woodley stayed as close to home as possible to play college basketball, a 38-mile drive from Pelican in DeSoto Parish down to Natchitoches and Northwestern State. Now, he’s going global. Thursday, Woodley signed a contract to play professionally 5,600 miles away, across the Atlantic Ocean for Sigal Prishtina in Kosovo. In addition to domestic league play in Kosovo, the club will be playing in the Champions League, which has teams in 15 different European countries including France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Woodley’s last three appearances in Prather Coliseum have been noteworthy. He broke the Demons’ 40-year-old career scoring record with a dunk early in his final game on March 4, finishing with 2,033 points, a 19.4 average in 105 games. He claimed his college diploma on stage in the arena May 12, complete with pyrotechnics, pomp and circumstance. Thursday, in a brief ceremony in the foyer of the coliseum joined by friends, coaches and his NSU point guard, Jalan West, Woodley put his signature on a contract sending him into one of the world’s best pro hoops circuits. "Only about five percent of players overseas make it to the Champions League," said Woodley’s agent, New Orleans attorney Jason Elam. "There were only two rookies there last year. It’s an opportunity most guys play an entire career but never attain. It’s a big step from Pelican to Natchitoches to Kosovo, and he’s making it. "It’s the pathway to developing a career, not just playing domestically in a national league, but at the international level. You can go from making good money to making NBA money in Europe," said Elam. "It’s a testament to what he did here at Northwestern and what the coaches here did to further his development and provide such a great opportunity." Woodley got his passport on the afternoon he graduated from NSU, anticipating playing overseas. The reality struck home this week. "It’s very shocking. My family is still going crazy about it, but this is going to be all right," said the soft-spoken star. "I’m still playing basketball." That was in doubt, at least in his mind, after he fractured a bone in his right (shooting) wrist Dec. 19 in a game against Rice, requiring surgery and resulting in eight weeks on the sideline as he watched 15 games. "When I got hurt, I thought I might not be able to play as good as I had been. There were doubts, but I overcame them, thank God," said Woodley, who averaged 23.3 points in NSU’s final four games of the season, leading the Demons to a 3-1 record, including triumphs over league champion New Orleans and runner-up Stephen F. Austin, snapping the Lumberjacks’ five-year homecourt Southland Conference winning streak. His new team regularly packs a 4,000-seat arena. He’ll travel to venues that will draw crowds of 20-25,000 and more during an eight-month schedule with three games weekly around Europe. "It’s basketball, it’s what I love doing, so I’m confident and excited," said Woodley. "I’ve played in front of big crowds in big arenas and that’s nothing new. I might be a little nervous, but not too much. I’ve never been over there and it will be interesting." His college coach, Mike McConathy, is confident Woodley will be well received by his new team, where he will play the shooting guard position and be expected to pour in 20-25 points a game. "He is truly the most unselfish scorer I’ve ever been around. Scorers tend to take high volume of shots, but he never did that," said McConathy, who also scored 2,033 points in his college career from 1973-77 at Louisiana Tech, then briefly played in Europe. "He will fit better, faster, with players at the professional level because they’ll find he will get them the ball. "Anything is an adjustment, but he’s made those with every step. More will be expected night in and night out, and it’s a greater task," said McConathy. "But when we played the Power 5 schools, a level of competition that’s pretty high, I continually saw him rise to that level and excel throughout his career." Away from the court, the transition will be more extreme, but Elam said there’s a strong support system in place. There are typically 2-4 Americans on each team. "All the Champions League teams devote a lot of resources to supporting their players off the court. All the coaches speak English, to some degree, and they provide translators at all times. They have staff who do anything that he’ll need," he said. "When these guys walk around town, everyone knows who they are. They get treated like royalty." Contemplating beginning his first great adventure in a few weeks, after training in New Orleans, Woodley smiled at the thought of adjusting to life far from home in a completely different culture. "I’m not the kind of person who worries about a lot of things," he said, "so I’ll just let it come to me and go with the flow. I’ve got to work hard, try to make it to the NBA, and if that doesn’t work out, just keep playing over there in Europe. From everything I’ve heard, it’s a great Zeek Woodley stayed as close to home as possible to play college basketball, a 38-mile drive from Pelican in DeSoto Parish down to Natchitoches and Northwestern State. Now, he’s going global. Thursday, Woodley signed a contract to play professionally 5,600 miles away, across the Atlantic Ocean for Sigal Prishtina in Kosovo. In addition to domestic league play in Kosovo, the club will be playing in the Champions League, which has teams in 15 different European countries including France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Woodley’s last three appearances in Prather Coliseum have been noteworthy. He broke the Demons’ 40-year-old career scoring record with a dunk early in his final game on March 4, finishing with 2,033 points, a 19.4 average in 105 games. He claimed his college diploma on stage in the arena May 12, complete with pyrotechnics, pomp and circumstance. Thursday, in a brief ceremony in the foyer of the coliseum joined by friends, coaches and his NSU point guard, Jalan West, Woodley put his signature on a contract sending him into one of the world’s best pro hoops circuits. "Only about five percent of players overseas make it to the Champions League," said Woodley’s agent, New Orleans attorney Jason Elam. "There were only two rookies there last year. It’s an opportunity most guys play an entire career but never attain. It’s a big step from Pelican to Natchitoches to Kosovo, and he’s making it. "It’s the pathway to developing a career, not just playing domestically in a national league, but at the international level. You can go from making good money to making NBA money in Europe," said Elam. "It’s a testament to what he did here at Northwestern and what the coaches here did to further his development and provide such a great opportunity." Woodley got his passport on the afternoon he graduated from NSU, anticipating playing overseas. The reality struck home this week. "It’s very shocking. My family is still going crazy about it, but this is going to be all right," said the soft-spoken star. "I’m still playing basketball." That was in doubt, at least in his mind, after he fractured a bone in his right (shooting) wrist Dec. 19 in a game against Rice, requiring surgery and resulting in eight weeks on the sideline as he watched 15 games. "When I got hurt, I thought I might not be able to play as good as I had been. There were doubts, but I overcame them, thank God," said Woodley, who averaged 23.3 points in NSU’s final four games of the season, leading the Demons to a 3-1 record, including triumphs over league champion New Orleans and runner-up Stephen F. Austin, snapping the Lumberjacks’ five-year homecourt Southland Conference winning streak. His new team regularly packs a 4,000-seat arena. He’ll travel to venues that will draw crowds of 20-25,000 and more during an eight-month schedule with three games weekly around Europe. "It’s basketball, it’s what I love doing, so I’m confident and excited," said Woodley. "I’ve played in front of big crowds in big arenas and that’s nothing new. I might be a little nervous, but not too much. I’ve never been over there and it will be interesting." His college coach, Mike McConathy, is confident Woodley will be well received by his new team, where he will play the shooting guard position and be expected to pour in 20-25 points a game. "He is truly the most unselfish scorer I’ve ever been around. Scorers tend to take high volume of shots, but he never did that," said McConathy, who also scored 2,033 points in his college career from 1973-77 at Louisiana Tech, then briefly played in Europe. "He will fit better, faster, with players at the professional level because they’ll find he will get them the ball. "Anything is an adjustment, but he’s made those with every step. More will be expected night in and night out, and it’s a greater task," said McConathy. "But when we played the Power 5 schools, a level of competition that’s pretty high, I continually saw him rise to that level and excel throughout his career." Away from the court, the transition will be more extreme, but Elam said there’s a strong support system in place. There are typically 2-4 Americans on each team. "All the Champions League teams devote a lot of resources to supporting their players off the court. All the coaches speak English, to some degree, and they provide translators at all times. They have staff who do anything that he’ll need," he said. "When these guys walk around town, everyone knows who they are. They get treated like royalty." Contemplating beginning his first great adventure in a few weeks, after training in New Orleans, Woodley smiled at the thought of adjusting to life far from home in a completely different culture. "I’m not the kind of person who worries about a lot of things," he said, "so I’ll just let it come to me and go with the flow. I’ve got to work hard, try to make it to the NBA, and if that doesn’t work out, just keep playing over there in Europe. From everything I’ve heard, it’s a great lifestyle and it’s great basketball."

June 30, 2017

Johnny’s Pizza House Founder Dies at 77

The founder of the popular Louisiana-based Johnny's Pizza franchise has died. According to KNOE 8 News in Monroe, the company's corporate office confirmed the passing of 77-year-old Johnny Huntsman Wednesday morning. The company said Huntsman had been living with Alzheimer's for at least two years. "It all started with a man, a slice and a dream." The first Johnny's Pizza House opened in 1967 in Monroe on Desiard Street across from the University of Monroe, billing it as "the only link in the world’s smallest pizza chain," according to the company website. Headquartered in West Monroe, Johnny's Pizza now has 33 corporate restaurants across North Louisiana and 11 more are scheduled to open. Johnny's is also celebrating its 50th year anniversary.

June 29, 2017

Kirbyville HS Principal’s Death Officially Ruled a Suicide

The death of Kirbyville High School principal Dennis Reeves has officially been ruled a suicide based on the final autopsy, gun powder and ballistics tests and a police investigation, Jasper County Justice of the Peace Mike Smith tells KFDM/KBTV. Reeves was found shot to death in his pickup truck in the campus parking lot May 23. His death came after the 45-year-old Reeves had a heated meeting with superintendent Tommy Wallis and assistant superintendent Georgia Sayers. Wallis had given Reeves an ultimatum on his employment - either resign or face getting fired. Wallis had confronted Reeves with allegations of an affair with Reeves' former secretary Marcia Morgan. Reeves denied the claim. Many in Kirbyville, including Reeves' family, believe a certain group of people wanted Reeves out of the school district, for their own personal interests. The tragedy has eroded the trust citizens have in the superintendent, the school board and even city government. Mayor Frank George, who's the father of school board president Chad George, has been very vocal in his support of Wallis, even though the superintendent has a questionable work history. There are citizens who believe a "political machine" provoked Reeves to take his own life. Judge Smith certified the suicide ruling. Kirbyville Police Chief Paul Brister says he'll issue a news release Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, Wallis is expected to be in court Wednesday afternoon asking a Travis County judge to rule against his former employer, Bryan ISD, for leaking information about what led to his departure from the district. In a contempt of court motion filed last week, Wallis asks that several prominent Bryan ISD leaders be jailed on contempt of court charges or pay up to $37,000. Wallis also asked that the district cover his attorney cost. The hearing is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Kirbyville police chief Paul Brister released the following statement: The Kirbyville Police Dept. mailed a gunshot residue kit (GSR) containing two samples to the RJ Lee Group scientific resolution lab for analysis in reference to the death investigation of Mr. Dennis Reeves. The samples were taken from the right and left hands of Mr. Reeves. The results of the analysis were returned to the KPD stating that Mr. Reeves right hand contained particles characteristic of GSR. Mr. Reeves left hand contained no particles characteristic of GSR. Justice of the Peace Precinct #3 Judge Mike Smith received an autopsy report from the Forensic Medical Management Services of Texas stating that the cause of Mr. Dennis Reeves death was a perforating gunshot wound of the head and the manner of death is ruled a suicide. The Kirbyville Police Dept. is still awaiting the results of ballistic tests and DNA tests from the bullet that exited Mr. Reeves head and the gun recovered from Mr. Reeves right hand. The time frame for the receipt of this information is sometime within the next three to six months according to the DPS Crime Lab in Houston, Texas.

June 29, 2017

Louisiana Has Some Of The Worst Roads In The Nation

Louisiana is among the top 10 states with the most structurally deficient rural bridges. A new report released Tuesday shows that 15 percent of the state's countryside bridges require rehabilitation, repair or replacement. A Washington-based transportation research group evaluated all 50 states for the percentage of rural roads in poor condition, the percentage of deficient rural bridges, rural traffic fatality rates and the number of rural traffic fatalities. The group sought to address the need to improve deficient roads and bridges, and reduce high crash rates. Louisiana has the ninth highest rate in the nation for rural bridges deemed structurally deficient, and 18 percent of its rural roads are rated in poor condition -- the 17th highest rate in the nation. Another 20 percent of the state's roads are rated in mediocre condition. Louisiana also has the 12th highest rate in the nation for traffic fatalities on non-interstate, rural roads.

June 28, 2017

Many Police Officer Receives Commendation

 

Many Police Officer Kane Lightfoot was presented the Chief’s Accommodation Award from Chief Freeman for his service to the department which includes his recent graduation from the 13 week police academy. The academy was located in Alexandria, Louisiana and provided over 520 hours of class and training. Congratulations to patrolman Lightfoot on his accomplishment. We wish him the best in his future law enforcement career.

June 28, 2017

Driver Injured in Two-Vehicle Crash in Newton County

A driver has been hospitalized following a two-vehicle crash in Newton County on Monday evening. It happened shortly after 6:00 on Farm to Market Road 2460 near County Road 4053, between the Bon Wier and Bleakwood Communities. Sergeant Stephanie Davis says a 2001 Chevrolet Blazer, driven by 24-year-old Corey Hughey, of Bon Weir, was eastbound when he pulled off the highway and attempted to make a U-turn. However, Davis says he pulled out into the path of a vehicle behind him, a 2005 Dodge pickup truck driven by Sterling Vercher, 34, of Humble. Davis said Vercher’s Dodge hit the driver side door of Hughey’s Chevrolet, resulting in very serious injuries for Hughey. He was initially transported by ambulance to Jasper Memorial Hospital, and later transferred to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont where he, at last word, remained undergoing treatment.

June 28, 2017

Second Attempt at Moving Dragline Means I-49 Closure this Week

If you travel Interstate 49 be aware of some possible interruptions to your commute this week. Lane closures are scheduled today and a full interstate closure Tuesday night into Wednesday morning to accommodate movement of more lignite mining equipment across the interstate. AEP-Swepco is moving a second massive dragline to the east side of I-49 in south DeSoto Parish for lignite mining operations. The first one was moved in May. Contractors had hoped to move the second machine last week. The move was even bumped up a day in an attempt to get ahead of Tropical Storm Cindy as it moved northward from the Gulf of Mexico. However, the ground was still too wet get the mega machine across so plans for the move Wednesday night were cancelled. Today, contractors are adding more wooden mats – used as a base upon which to move the 8 million pound, 20-story high machine -- along the interstate. That requires closure of the southbound outside lane from mile marker 161 to 163 (south of the La. Highway 177 or Evelyn exit). Placing and removing the mats could take up to four days.  Then from 10 p.m. Tuesday through 6 a.m. Wednesday the southbound and northbound lanes of I-49 will be closed. During the closure, northbound traffic will be detoured to La. Highway 174 east at exit 155. Southbound motorists will be directed to U.S. 371 east at exit 162.

June 27th, 2017, Tuesday

Many Running Back AJ Carter Flips From UCLA to LSU

In just five days, LSU has accomplished its mission to bolster a position that was about to run thin.  The Tigers added their third running back to the 2018 recruiting class, getting Many High's AJ Carter to flip his commitment from UCLA to LSU on Monday. Shortly after Carter tweeted out the news of his decommitment from the Bruins, Carter made his pledge to the Tigers. In the message to his followers, Carter described his commitment to LSU as "a dream I could not pass up." The 6-foot, 220-pound tailback received his offer from the Tigers during LSU's elite prospect camp last weekend. Carter initially committed to UCLA on April 22. He holds 18 offers, including from Arizona State, Arkansas, Mississippi State and Texas Tech.  Carter is as a three-star prospect, according to 247Sports, and is the top-ranked running back in Louisiana (No. 31 running back nationally). He is the third 2018 running back to commit to the Tigers in less than a week, joining Florida tailback Chris Curry and Alabama athlete Tae Provens.  As a junior, Carter rushed for 2,289 yards and totaled 41 touchdowns for a team that reached the Class 2A state semifinals. The Tigers are set to lose two running backs at the conclusion of the 2017 season: draft-eligible junior Derrius Guice and senior Darrel Williams. LSU coach Ed Orgeron has previously said he wanted to sign at least two tailbacks in this cycle.  Carter becomes the 22nd addition to the Tigers' 2018 class. He is LSU's eighth overall commitment in nine days — six for the 2018 class and two for the 2019 class. One of the two 2019 prospects is another running back: Southern Lab's Tyrion Davis. The Tigers' 2018 class is ranked No. 3 nationally and No. 1 in the Southeastern Conference, according to 247Sports.

LSU's Class of 2018 (22)

DT Ja'Quon Griffin, Rome, Ga. (Rome)

RB Chris Curry, Lehigh Acres, Fla. (Lehigh)

ATH Dantrieze Scott, Ferriday (Ferriday)

ATH Tae Provens, Gurley, Ala. (Madison County)

DE Dare Rosenthal, Ferriday (Ferriday)

OLB Adam Anderson, Rome, Ga. (Rome)

DE Jarell Cherry, Dallas (Carter)

TE Zach Sheffer, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (Nease)

ILB Micah Baskerville, Shreveport (Evangel)

ILB Damone Clark, Baton Rouge (Southern Lab)

DT Davin Cotton, Shreveport (Evangel)

RB AJ Carter, Many (Many)

G Chasen Hines, Marshall, Texas (Marshall)

WR Jaray Jenkins, Jena (Jena)

DT Nelson Jenkins, Plaquemine (Plaquemine)

CB Kelvin Joseph, Baton Rouge (Scotlandville)

S Nadab Joseph, Miami (Edison)

WR Kenan Jones, Berwick (Berwick)

DE Travez Moore, Wesson (Copiah-Lincoln CC)

OL Cole Smith, Pontotoc, Miss. (Pontotoc)

S ArDarius Washington, Shreveport (Evangel)

OT Cameron Wire, East Ascension (Gonzales)

June 27th, 2017, Tuesday

Wanted Red River Parish Man Captured Near Mexican Border

A Red River Parish man wanted for weeks in connection with an incident in which his girlfriend was beaten so bad she required hospitalization has been apprehended near the Mexico border. The Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office via its Facebook page reported that Jeremy D. Key was arrested early Friday afternoon in Loredo, Texas, near the border. He was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force without incident. A warrant charging Key, of the Martin community, with attempted second-degree murder was issued June 1. He’s been the subject of a multi-jurisdictional search since then. Authorities got on Key’s trail after receiving a call on June 1 that a woman found covered in blood in the Fairview Alpha community in Natchitoches Parish identified him as the one responsible for her injuries. She was taken to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center for treatment. The victim reported that she was asleep when Key doused her with a bucket of mop water and began beating her with a handful of wrenches. She stated that he was also threatening to kill her. As the altercation moved throughout the house, he reportedly struck her with a jack stand and repeated the threats to kill her. She was eventually able to break free and escape to a neighbor’s house. Deputies began a search for Key in areas where he was last seen but were unsuccessful in locating him. At his residence, signs of a disturbance were immediately apparent, authorities said. A day after the arrest warrant was issued for Key deputies were told Key was traveling in a vehicle that was seen near the Red River Parish and Natchitoches Parish line. A deputy initiated a stop, causing a passenger to bolt into the woods. The driver and a second passenger were detained and questioned, enabling authorities to confirm that Key was the man who ran. A subsequent search of the area by NPSO and RRPSO deputies was unsuccessful. 

June 26th, 2017, Monday

Natchitoches Police Warn Public of Phone Scam


The Natchitoches Police Department is warning residents about a possible scam in the area.  According to a post on the department's Facebook page, a Natchitoches resident received a recorded message from the phone number (318) 357-3897.  Police say the recorded message claimed to be part of the Natchitoches Police Department. The message reportedly told the recipient of the call that there was a warrant out for his or her arrest.  Natchitoches police say they do not use recorded messages to let people know about warrants. Police say if anyone receives this type of phone call, hang up and dial (318) 352-8101 to report it. 

June 26th, 2017, Monday

Deputies Seek Missing Marthaville Woman

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Deputies are searching for a missing woman from Marthaville.  Deputies say 26-year-old Cynthia D. Orsborn has been missing since June 13. According to deputies, family members dropped her off at a friend's house that day and have not heard form her since.  Orsborn has blonde hair and hazel eyes. Deputies say there is no clothing description available.  Anyone who has seen Orsborn is asked to call the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office at 318-352-6432. 

June 23rd, 2017, Friday

All Lanes Open on I-49 After Wreck


All lanes are open after a wreck that caused a traffic jam on Interstate 49 in Shreveport on Thursday. It happened just before 8:30 p.m. near the northbound Pierremont Road exit, according to a tweet from DOTD.

Congestion reached one mile in length, according to a tweet from DOTD.

June 23rd, 2017, Friday

Sabine Parish Police Jury

The Plainview Road is closed from the Fire Station to the church.

June 22nd, 2017, Thursday

Sabine Parish School Board

Sabine Parish School Board is holding a specially called meeting Monday, June 26th, 2017 at 6 p.m. at 695 Peterson Street in Many.

June 22nd, 2017, Thursday

Tropical Storm Cindy Makes Landfall Over Louisiana


Tropical Storm Cindy has made landfall about 30 mi WSW of Lake Charles, LA between Port Arthur, TX and Cameron, LA. CLICK HERE to watch KSLA News 12 This Morning or watch on the mobile app. Get continuous updates and check out the tropical storm tracker on the StormTracker 12 Weather app. Tropical storm force winds of 39 mph or higher are expected closer to the coast, but Cindy is expected to gradually weaken as it tracks toward the ArkLaTex. Sustained winds of 15-25 mph are likely across the southern ArkLaTex with gusts as high as 30-40 mph on Thursday. There is a Lake Wind Advisory in effect for areas south of I-20 through 7pm Thursday.

June 22nd, 2017, Thursday

DOTD Monitoring Effects of Tropical Storm Cindy in NWLA

Louisiana's Department of Transportation and Development is preparing for whatever may come our way with Tropical Storm Cindy. DOTD's Public Information Officer Erin Buchanan said crews are currently in the monitoring phase. She added that DOTD is in contact with homeland security, emergency preparedness and local law enforcement in the event any roads need to be closed. "Our parish maintenance units are always prepared so they're going to be doing things to making sure all of the chainsaws are in working order in the event that they'll have to move trees or debris from the roadway," Buchanan said.  DOTD is also staying informed on the storm from the National Weather Service, so they can be prepared for whatever comes our way.  You can keep track of any closures by visiting the 511 DOTD page.

June 22nd, 2017, Thursday

One Car Roll-Over Accident on Bayou Road

 A Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Trooper investigated a one vehicle roll-over crash Tuesday morning on Bayou Road, about 10 miles east of Hemphill. The preliminary crash investigation indicated a 2011 Toyota Car was traveling South on Bayou Road. The Vehicle reportedly drove off the roadway to the right, over-corrected, crossing back over the roadway and overturned.

June 21st, 2017, Wednesday

Missing East Texas Teen Found Safe


A missing Marshall teen was found safe after running away from home on Monday night. Marshall Police has confirmed that 15-year-old Triston Helton was found as of 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Family members told police Triston last seen around 5 p.m. when he left his home in the 3500 block of Memorial Drive and went into the woods. Family members also said Helton took a tent, sleeping bag, blue mesh backpack, white trash bag and two bottles of water with him. Officials and family were concerned for his safety due to high temperatures and humidity.

June 21st, 2017, Wednesday

Florien Man Killed in Sabine Parish Crash

A Florien, LA man died in a single-vehicle crash Monday afternoon. Troopers responded to the crash around 4:10 p.m., which occurred on LA Hwy 6 near Fort Jessup.  The crash involved a 2008 Peterbilt (18 wheeler, loaded with logs), driven by 60-year-old Samuel J. Richardson.  The Peterbilt was westbound on LA Hwy 6 when Richardson lost control and exited the left side of the roadway.  After exiting the roadway, the vehicle overturned in the eastbound ditch. Richardson was wearing a seat belt, but was pronounced dead. Routine toxicology tests are pending.  The crash remains under investigation. While not all crashes are survivable, seat belts can greatly decrease the occupant’s chance of death and will greatly reduce the extent of injury. Troop E Troopers have investigated 22 fatal crashes in 2017, resulting in 27 fatalities.  

June 20th, 2017, Tuesday

Two People Injured in Wreck on I-49 in Natchitoches Parish

Natchitoches Parish authorities are investigating a two-vehicle wreck. It happened at 1:46 p.m. Monday on southbound Interstate 49 near milepost 131.  That's just south of the city of Natchitoches. Two people were hurt in the wreck. LifeAir was brought in to fly at least one of them to an Alexandria hospital. The wreck involved a 2007 Ford pickup being driven by 21-year-old Travis J. Stewart, of Provencal, and a 1992 Dodge pickup being driven by 65-year-old Evert K. Ryland, of Deville, according the Louisiana State Police. Ryland was taken to Rapides Trauma Center for treatment of moderate injuries. Stewart was taken to the same hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Authorities have cited Stewart for one count each of careless operation of a motor vehicle and driving under suspension. "If you are traveling through the area, pay attention to the roadway, drive carefully and expect delays while law enforcement, fire and EMS work the scene," says a post on the Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

June 20th, 2017, Tuesday

Bossier Man Accused of Leading NPSO Deputies on 27-Mile Chase

A Ford Mustang sped past Sheriff's Deputies at 107 miles per hour then fled from them for 27 miles, authorities say. It happened early Sunday afternoon in Natchitoches Parish. Now a Bossier City man who apparently was traveling home from Alexandria is in jail on almost a dozen charges. Sheriff's Detective Amber Shirley was working a special detail at 12:09 p.m. Sunday afternoon when she clocked the northbound car speeding in a75-mph zoned on Interstate 49 near the Waterwell exit south of Natchitoches. The car then led deputies east on Louisiana 478, then north on Louisiana Highway 1 into Natchitoches then around the Natchitoches Bypass traveling in excess of 100 mph, the Sheriff's Office reports. The pursuit then continued onto Texas and Washington Streets the East on Louisiana Highway 6 toward Clarence. Natchitcoehs authorities broke off the chase after contacting the Winn Parish Sheriff's Office for assistance on U.S. Highway 84 near the Natchitocehes-Winn Parish line after learning that no Winn deputies were in the immediate area. Howevere Natchitocehs deputies still were in the Clarence area when the again spotted the Mustang, this time traveling North of U.S. Highway 71 in excess of 100 mph. The car again failed to stop and went on the shoulder of the road to get around a patrol unit. The puruit continued into Campti, where the car exited US 71. They, then, were able to blick the vehicle in on Cox Street. Now 20-year-old Dakota Dean Walburn, of the 200 Block of Crossroads Boulevard, is being held in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on five counts of speeding, two counts of risting by flight, and one count each of passing on the shoulder, careless operation of a vehicle, running a stop sign, and failure to yield. Authorities say they clocked Walburn's vehicle traveling 107 mph in a 75-mph zone on I-49 and more than 100 mph in 55-mph zones on LA 478, the Louisiana Highway 3110 Bypass, LA 6 and US 71. Walburn's passenger was released without being charged. Deputies say Walnurn could not give them a reson for leading them on the pursuit.

June 19th, 2017, Monday

Two Inmates Escape from Federal Prison in Grant Parish

Two minimum security inmates have escaped from a Federal Prison, officials say. According to the Grant Parish Sheriff's Office, the two inmates escaped from the prison located in Pollock sometime Thursday evenign. Officials say the two inmates did not make roll call at midnight. Yremmell Armstead, 39, was a resident of New Orleans. Michael Casson, 41, was a resident of Natchitoches. Official say it is possible the two men could try to return to those areas. No information was provided as to how the men escaped. If you have any information regarding their whereabouts, call the Grant Parish Sheriff's Office at (318) 627-3261.

June 19th, 2017, Monday

Toddler Drowns in Sabine Parish

At around 2 p.m. Friday, Sheriff's Deputies were called to Mayfield Loop in Zwolle for a child drowning. According to  Ron Rivers, Sabine Deputy coroner, the child's mom identified as Christina Rivers, left 2 year old Mason Rivers playign with toys in the living room while she went to take a bath. When she returned from her bath, she could not find Mason anywhere in the home. She knew that the child had learned to get out of the home, so she went outside to look for him. She could not find him, so she called a neighbor to help. They found the child at a swimming pool next door. The child was found in a jacuzzi attached to the swimming pool. Rivers says it looks like the child has slipped and fell in the jacuzzi. An autopsy has been ordered and the drowning remains under investigation.

June 19th, 2017, Monday

11-Year-Old Found Unharmed

An 11-year-old runaway has been found unharmed. Daniel Ray Hansen Jr., of Bossier City, was last seen Tuesday when he left his home-- but police have located him. Police found him shortly after the Bossier City Police Department issued a missing person alert.

June 17th, 2017, Friday

Mosquito Politician Increasing in SWLA

After heavy rainfall the last few weeks, mosquitoes are becoming more common in the area. People are looking for how they can combat the problem. "We're about to approach summertime, so now is the perfect opportunity to talk about mosquito-related illnesses," said Dr. Danielle Dixon of the Southwest Louisiana Center of Health Services. "From a pediatric perspective, I always look at it from a common sense approach as to what you can do at your home," Dixon said. "Just make sure around your home, you get rid of standing water - pet dishes with water sitting out or baby wading pool - so you can make sure that it's emptied." Dr. Dixon says children can wear DEET-containing products. "If a child is at least 2 months of age, you can use any type of mosquito repellent," said Dixon. The State Health Department reported 64 cases of West Nile Virus last year. That's a statistic of which Steve McNeal, owner of Mosquito Authority of Southwest Louisiana, is aware. "Mosquitoes have always been a nuisance for all of us, but a lot of people are just now becoming aware of the dangers of mosquitoes with the viruses that they carry," McNeal said. For Debra Sevinsky, she's been bitten five or six times. "And this is with the mosquito spray on. We're still getting bit," Sevinsky said. She says the mosquitoes here are different than the ones in Texas. "In El Paso, it's kind of different, and the mosquito is different. There is a little bit more of the brown mosquito rather than the striped mosquito that's here," Sevinsky said. McNeal agrees. "In the last four to six weeks, we've had a tremendous increase in rainfall rates, so that could potentially trigger new outbreaks of mosquitoes," said McNeal.

June 17th, 2017, Friday

Louisiana DWF Agents Site Man for Harassing Fisherman

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited an Opelousas man for an alleged dispute over a public fishing hole on Toledo Bend Reservoir in Sabine Parish on June 12. Agents cited Dean Bullara, 56, from Opelousas, for harassment of persons lawfully fishing. Agents were called to the scene following 911 calls to the Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office (SPSO) from both Bullara and Donald Johnson, 48, of Deridder. Both men were in a dispute over a public fishing area on the reservoir near Kite's Landing about 10 miles southwest of Negreet. When LDWF agents and SPSO deputies arrived on scene they learned that Johnson and his wife were fishing the area when Bullara pulled up in his boat demanding Johnson leave the area. After a lengthy and heated dispute over the public fishing area, Johnson pulled a firearm on Bullara. The Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office arrested Johnson for aggravated assault with a firearm and booked him into the Sabine Parish Correctional Center. Johnson reported that he had pulled his handgun in self-defense on Bullara because he felt threatened by his actions. LDWF urges citizens that are being harassed while lawfully fishing in an area, to please call local authorities. Harassment of persons lawfully fishing brings a up to a $750 fine and 90 days in jail. The harassment of persons lawfully fishing regulation provides that it is unlawful to disturb any hunter, trapper, or fisherman who is engaged in the lawful taking of a wild animal or who is engaged in the process of taking, with intent to dissuade or otherwise prevent the taking, or to prevent such person's enjoyment of the outdoors. Aggravated assault carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Andrew Mitchell and Agent James Smith. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

June 16th, 2017, Thursday

House Spends All in Budget Compromise

 Louisiana's House passed a compromise budget Wednesday that spends all available revenue but asks state agencies to hold back $60 million. The end result will likely fully fund TOPS, higher education, prisons and foster care. If the Senate accepts the House version as expected, Gov. John Bel Edwards will sign the bill into law. "I think it's a good, fair compromise that's coming to us and I believe the Senate will be receptive to it," said Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego. Those sentiments were echoed by the governor. “This budget represents an overall compromise,” Edwards said. “While it still imposes cuts across state government, it does so in a responsible way that adequately funds our needs without negatively impacting the most vulnerable among us. The compromise comes seven days into a 12-day special session that was triggered when lawmakers failed to pass next year's budget by the regular session deadline. House Bill 1 was presented by Rep. Franklin Foil, R-Baton Rogue, after Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, flew to Washington to be at the side of close friend Congressman Steve Scalise, R-New Orleans, who was wounded in a shooting.

More: Scalise out of surgery, in critical condition after shooting

The bill passed narrowly, 56-44, and without the support of many conservative Republicans, who wanted to reserve much more revenue. "We lost today, but that doesn't mean we won't stop fighting," said Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette. "We did take some good first steps, but the bottom line is we came down from $206 million to hold back to $100 million and then to $60 million. Where is the negotiation in that?" At issue was whether to spend all of the revenue forecast for next year or leave some of the projected money on the table. The majority of Republicans in the House believe it financially prudent to hold back a portion of the available revenue because unreliable estimates have led to 15 mid-year budget cuts. "I'm disappointed a budget passed that virtually guarantees mid-year cuts," said state Rep. Jay Morris, R-Monroe. But Edwards and the Senate wanted to appropriate all of the projected revenue, both to draw down all available federal dollars and avoid front-end cuts that they say might not be needed. When budget negotiations collapsed last week the House and Senate were about $50 million apart in a $29 billion budget. It was an amendment by Rep. Kenny Havard, R-Jackson, that requests, but doesn't require, agencies to hold back the $60 million that shaped the final version of the House bill. "I don't think anybody is happy, which tells me it's a good bill," Havard said. "This enabled both of use to stand our ground and each claim some margin of victory," Reynolds said. "We're really talking about crumbs in a $29 billion budget." The final budget will also likely include $7.2 million so the Acadiana Center for Youth in Bunkie can open as a state-of-the-art youth prison. Construction of the $20 million facility was complete almost two years ago, but the state hasn't had the money to open and operate it. All other agencies and departments aside from higher education, prisons and foster care were cut at least 2 percent. The Senate Finance Committee will hear the bill Thursday with a final full Senate vote expected Friday.

June 15th, 2017, Wednesday

Beauregard Parish Police Jury Resolution Raises Ire of Local Residents

Beauregard Parish Police Jury president Rusty Williamson appeared to have opened up a Pandora's box of negativity with a recent resolution that earned approval on Tuesday at the panel's meeting. The panel, with one voter objecting, passed a resolution requesting the statue of Civil War general P.G.T. Beauregard be brought to Beauregard Parish and the City of DeRidder. Upon leaving the meeting follow adjournment, the crowd in attendance proved to be rather vocal on the issue, berating the panel with chants of "progress, not regress. The statue of Gen. Beauregard was recently taken down in the City of New Orleans, one of four removed by Crescent City mayor Mitch Landrieu. According to police juror Mike Harper, the statue is currently the subject of litigation. Williamson was the original author of the resolution, asking New Orleans for the statue, claiming only to prevent the destruction of the landmark, while possibly giving parish an opportunity to acquire it. The lone member of the jury to vote against the measure was Carlos Archield. Archield believes other pieces of DeRidder history could be acquired without having to raise controversy. Archield is of the opinion that in order to move forward in Beauregard Parish, something like the statue of Gen. Beauregard could prove to be somewhat divisive. Archield, however, did say if the monument was to be preserved for posterity's sake, then it should be placed in a museum.

June 15th, 2017, Wednesday

Driver in Deadly Crash Released From Hospital, Blood Test Results Pending

Lieutenant Garrett Foster of the Jasper Police Department said on Tuesday that the driver involved in a deadly crash on Monday morning that claimed the lives of two men has been released from a Tyler hospital. Meanwhile, Foster said the results of blood tests on the man are pending. It happened shortly before the noon hour on Abel’s Auto Detailing on South Wheeler Street (U.S. Highway 96 South). Foster said 62-year-old Joe Clifton Dickerson, of Newton, was northbound in a 2007 Ford pickup truck when he, for an unknown reason, crossed the southbound lanes and then went across a grassy median before crashing completely through the auto detailing business. Killed in the crash were two workers in the shop who were detailing a vehicle. Oscar Rivera, 26, and Louis Castro, 29, were both pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Brett Holloway. The Texas Department of Public Safety has stepped in to assist Jasper Police with the investigation into the accident.

June 14th, 2017, Wednesday

Authorities Find Body of 12-Year-Old Child in Calcasieu River

Authorities have located the body of 12-year-old Garrick Neil, Jr. who drowned in the Calcasieu River near Oberlin Sunday afternoon. Allen Parish Sheriff Doug Hebert said the body was found around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday. "Everyone treated it with the urgency it required," said Herbert about the search for Neil. According to investigators, Neil was swept away by the current of the river. Divers found his body about 150 yards away from where his family saw him last.  Hebert said its been a team effort with agencies coming in to assist from across the state and providing everything from additional divers, sonar technology and cadaver dogs.  "Everyone we've asked has come," he said. "Some of them we didn't even know and they just came." Since Hebert took office six years ago, there have been two drownings and he said: "two is two too many." "That's one of the things you stress, of course, Allen Parish is a big canoe rental place and it's good for business and we want folks to come, but we also want to realize that it's a river it has a current to it so wear lifejackets be smart with your kids don't assume that it's a 3-foot swimming pool because it's not," he said. He's asking the community to keep the Neil family in their prayers he said.  "Continue to pray for the folks, the family, that lost this child," he said. "It's a sad thing."

June 14th, 2017, Wednesday

Sabine Parish Police Jury

Shoreline drive will be closed for 2 hours while installing culvert, starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

June 14th, 2017, Wednesday

CPSO Seeks Information on Stolen Mini Excavator

The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office is looking for information regarding a mini excavator stolen from Keithville on Wednesday. Police say the yellow 2004 Yammar mini excavator was stolen from Keith Road between midnight and 11 a.m. The excavator was on a black 20-foot bumper pull trailer with a tan job box toolbox and a two-inch water pump. Anyone with information that can assist in this investigation is urged to contact CPSO Detective Russell Hicks at (318) 453-5746 or Crime Stopper

June 13th, 2017, Tuesday

Farmer Says Its A Great Year for the ArkLaTex's Blueberry Crop


Some ArkLaTex farmers say it's been a great year for the blueberry crop. Mac McCoskey, owner of Blueberry Hill in Haughton, LA, says he starting picking his blueberries about two weeks early this year. "We are still picking, but not for very much longer." Right now, McCoskey expects to be done picking by early July. He thinks the warm weather played a big role in this year's blueberry crop. "We really didn't have a winter." Even though McCoskey is harvesting more blueberries than last year, he is unsure how the quality is going to compare. "We had some pretty big berries last year. I don't know if our berries are quite as big." Also in good shape this season is the area's blackberry crop, McCoskey added. He said they are starting to ripen now.

June 13th, 2017, Tuesday

Possible Drowning in Calcasieu River West of Oberlin

Allen Parish Sheriff's deputies are investigating the possible drowning of a child in the Calcasieu River Sunday evening. The 12-year-old child tried to swim across the river west of Oberlin, went into distress, and went under the water at around 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon, said Allen Parish Sheriff Doug Hebert. The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office Dive Team is assisting in searching the river for the child, said Hebert. KPLC will have more information as it becomes available.

June 12th, 2017, Monday

Some Sabine Parish Water Rates Could Increase, Public Notice

Water & Wastewater Utilities, Inc. (“W&W”) applied with the Louisiana Public Service Commission (“LPSC”) for an increase and adjustment in retail rates and reservation of rights to request interim rates. This will affect all customers in the W&W service areas in the following parishes: Ascension, Bossier, Lafayette, Sabine, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Vermilion and enable W&W to maintain high quality water and sewer services and to make improvements to the W&W systems. W&W is requesting an increase for residential water and wastewater rates only. The proposed rates for residential water will increase to $15.50 for the first 3,000 gallons and $5.50 per 1,000 gallons thereafter for the following subdivisions: Brookhollow, Chartress, Habersham, Le Triomphe, and Pinnacle Palace. The proposed rates for residential water will increase to $20.00 for the first 3,000 gallons and $6.00 per 1,000 gallons thereafter for the following subdivisions: Foxcroft and Peg Leg. The proposed residential wastewater flat rate will increase to $42 for all wastewater customers. Additionally, W&W reserves the right and may propose interim rate increases agreed upon with the LPSC for the same customers named above.  In addition, W&W is in the process of acquiring a wastewater system from Tyree Investments that is currently serving the Old River Place Subdivision located in Bossier Parish. If this acquisition is successful and is approved by the LPSC, W&W intends on utilizing the current wastewater rates of the Old River Place Subdivision until such time as the aforementioned request for increase and adjustment in retail rates is approved by the LPSC, providing the new W&W rates are higher than the existing rate already in place (as requested above). If the new wastewater rates are approved, and only if the new wastewater rates are higher than the existing wastewater rates already in place, W&W is requesting that the new rates be applied to the Old River Place Subdivision.  Customers can contact the Louisiana Public Service Commission with questions or comments at (225) 342-4404. 

June 12th, 2017, Monday

Recently Returned DNA Results Could Help Solve Homicide of 2-Year-Old Vernon Parish Girl

Results of some tests in the homicide investigation of Willow Renteria-Molina, 2, have returned from the lab.  The Vernon Parish girl was reported missing in May of 2016. Her body was found in Beauregard Parish just a few days after search crews began scouring the woods. While investigators have named a primary suspect in her death, no charges have been filed in relation to her killing. More than a year since her death, detectives have received some lab results. "Within the last week or so, we did receive some lab results back from the FBI," said Sheriff Sam Craft.  Craft tells KPLC it was a DNA test and his office has confirmed the identity of the person it belongs to. "These results we received back recently are - we believe - very, very helpful to our case," said Craft. "We are still actively investigating."  Craft says this test puts his office one step closer to charging someone for her death. During the search for Renteria-Molina last May, Sheriff Craft named Rodney Bailey Jr. as his primary suspect. Bailey is currently jailed on other charges, and Craft tells us he remains a suspect. Craft says he knows the family and the public are growing impatient, waiting on progress in the case. He said he wants to reassure everyone that investigators are actively working the case.

June 9th, 2017, Friday

Public Service Announcement

Due to the annual "Chlorine Burn Out," you may notice discoloration in your water. If you notice a problem with your water, please call City Hall at (318) 256-3651.

June 9th, 2017, Friday

Northwestern State University

Twenty-five Northwestern State University students have been selected as members of The Purple Jackets Club, one of the University's oldest honorary service organizations. Students are selected based on scholarship, outstanding achievement, exceptional leadership and high ideals. Those selected are Maggie Harris of West Monroe, Mallory McConathy of Stonewall, Maria Rome of Baton Rouge, Rebekah Aultman of Mangham, Shanteria Montgomery of Homer, Shelby Glenn of Houma, Taylor Poleman, Kiera Jones, Latrice Smith, and Jade Gaines of Shreveport, Jamie Brooks of Greenwall Springs, and Kenedy Lampert of DeVille. Also selected were Kylan Poullard of Morse, Lindsay Lee of Natchitoches, Destiny Simon of St. Martinville, Connor Greer of Haughton, Carrigen Cain and Alyssa Lloid of Pineville, Alicia Foy of Grayson, Alexis Britt of Keithville, Abby Hinds of Many, Emma Warren of Sunset, Hailee Rhodes of Spring, Texas, Hunter Martin of Winnfield and Leshia Thomas of Jamestown. The Purple Jacket Club was founded in 1927 by V.L. Roy , the president of Louisiana State Normal School (Now Northwestern) as a service club for women. Members volunteer to work at events including Career and Professional Days, Conferences, and commencement. They also assist guests in the President's Box at home football games. Members must have at least a 3.0 GPA by their junior year. In addition, each member must be in two other campus-affiliated organizations and be an officer in at least one organization.

June 9th, 2017, Friday

Sabine Parish School Board Meeting

Sabine Parish School Board will hold a meeting Monday, June 12th, 2017 at 6 p.m. at the Sabine Parish School Board office at 695 Peterson Street in Many.

June 9th, 2017, Friday

Louisiana's Feral Hog Problem Growing

A new bill in Texas is allowing hunters to take to the skies in hot air balloons to hunt feral hogs. Louisiana may not be too far behind. Experts say that's because feral hogs mature at about 6-months-old and that litters usually yield up to ten piglets. Hogs can reproduce twice a year, causing the population to steadily rise. "The issue with feral hogs is that the population is increasing," said Dr. Glen Gentry, with LSU Ag Center. "I think the estimate has gone up now about 100,000 from 500 to 600." Gentry added that the main way to keep the hog population under control is by hunting and trapping, which isn't the most efficient way. Texas has over 2 million feral hogs. A recent bill passed by Texas lawmakers has allowed hunters to kill hogs and coyotes from hot air balloons.  Louisiana currently allows for year round hog hunting with a valid hunting license through either shooting, snaring, or dog hunting. There is no acceptable repellant or poison allowed to be used on hogs. Feral hogs can grow up to 400 pounds. The animals are aggressive in nature and can cause major damage to crops and livestock. Gentry said a survey reported that hogs cause over $74 million dollars in damages annually in Louisiana. "I don't think it's going to help the (Louisiana's) numbers," Gentry said. "Because we can't shoot our way out of this because of the reproductive rate. However, any pig taken out is a good thing."

June 9th, 2017, Friday

Two Killed in Two Vehicle Crash Near Elton

Two people from Lafayette are dead following a two-vehicle crash this morning near Elton, authorities said. The crash happened around 10 a.m. at the intersection of U.S. 190 and La. 26, two miles east of Elton in Jeff Davis Parish. A 2014 Toyota Sienna van, driven by 53-year-old Ushaben Patel, of Lafayette, was traveling north on La. 26 when Patel failed to stop at a stop sign, said Sgt. James Anderson, Louisiana State Police Troop D spokesman. A 2016 Ford van, driven by 42-year-old James Felix, of Carencro, struck the Toyota on the passenger side. Patel and her front seat passenger, 64-year-old Dhanubed Patel, of Lafayette, both died as a result of the crash, Anderson said. Two other passengers in the Toyota had minor to moderate injuries. Felix suffered minor injuries. Routine toxicology samples were obtained from the drivers and will be submitted for analysis, Anderson said. The crash remains under investigation. Troop D has investigated 12 fatal crashes, resulting in 16 deaths this year.

June 8th, 2017, Thursday

Missing Teen From Natchitoches

Darrell Green, 13, of Natchitoches is missing. He is a 13 year old (birthdate 8/18/03/) black male, with black hair and brown eyes. He stands 5' 0" tall and weighs 90 lbs. Darrell has been missing since May 15th, 2017. He may still be in the local area. Darrell's ears are pierced. He may go by the nickname Tonka. Anyone having information should contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at (800) 843-5678 or the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101.

June 8th, 2017, Thursday

DeRidder Police Arrested Man Following Monday Night Stabbing


A DeRidder man was arrested following a stabbing on West Port Street late Monday evening. Donovan Jarmal Jackson, 25, went to a residence on West Port Street where a fight ensued, said Deputy Chief Christopher Rudy, DeRidder Police Department spokesman. Jackson stabbed the victim in the chest area. The victim was transported to an Alexandria hospital for treatment. DeRidder police responded to the call around 7:30 p.m. Jackson, who was arrested without incident, was booked into the Beauregard Parish jail on one count of aggravated second-degree battery. Bond is set at $50,000.

June 7th, 2017, Wednesday

Concealed Carry Class to be Held Saturday at NSU

 Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will offer a Louisiana Concealed Carry Class Saturday, June 10. The class is for those age 21 or older who want to obtain a Louisiana concealed handgun permit. The course will be from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. in South Hall on the Northwestern State campus and at the Natchitoches Shooting Range. The cost is $80 plus a $20 range fee. The class will cover pistol shooting fundamentals, safe handling, use of force laws and related topics. Space is limited to 20 students. For more information, call (318) 357-6355, (800) 376-2422 or go to nsula.edu/ece/non-credit-programs.

June 7th, 2017, Wednesday

Shreveport Police Seek Whereabouts of Missing Man

Shreveport Police need your help in locating a man missing since late May. On June 5, Carrie Berryman reported her brother, Lee James Helaire missing. Hellaire was last seen at his place of employment on Business Park Drive in Shreveport. James is a black man, standing about 5'5, and weighing about 150 pounds. Helaire drives a 1993 burgundy Chrysler New Yorker and has medical problems that require daily medication. If you see Helaire please contact the Shreveport Police Department immediately at 318-673-7300 or Detective Gaddy at 318-673-6720.

June 7th, 2017, Wednesday

Many Police Senior Patrol Officer Awarded the Chief's Accommodation Award

Many Police Sr. Patrol Officer Stanley Cook was recently awarded the Chief’s Accommodation Award for  Service Above & Beyond Duty that was the result of his over-all performance of his duties that includes patrol, training, and supervision. He also maintains the departmental video program that includes both body and dash cameras. Officer Cook is a veteran law enforcement officer that has numerous years working for the State of Louisiana and the local municipality.

June 7th, 2017, Wednesday

Oakdale Elementary Faculty and Staff Move Forward After School Fire

After a devastating fire tore through Oakdale Elementary School last week, faculty and staff are working together in an effort to move forward and rebuild. Teachers and administrators discussed options for the school at a staff meeting Monday morning. Despite the tragic loss of the majority of the elementary school, KPLC is told everyone was in good spirits and has vowed to stay positive as the school rebuilds.  In a small town like Oakdale, everyone has a connection to the elementary school - whether you know a teacher or a bus driver, or you were a student or your grandchild is now. Everyone who has walked those halls has a story to tell. "I love reading books and taking AR (accelerate reader). I remember back when I was in elementary taking AR and just being so excited when I got through with a book," said Tabitha Moffett, now a second grade teacher. "Breaking a teacher's paddle! She paddled me and the paddle broke and she had a big piece of red tape wrapped around her paddle," laughed Jamie Whitley, the physical education teacher at OKES. "My best memories are I guess the people here," said Principal Kay Randolph, "and to think that I've taught the whole town of Oakdale practically." So many hang on to those good times, the teachers, the classmates, the lessons learned, but last week is one memory most would like to forget.  "The closer we got, the more I cried," said Moffett remembering seeing the black smoke, "and the longer it burned, the more it sank in that everything is really gone." The library Moffett spent hours in, the gym where Jamie Whitley taught the last 9 years, the second grade classroom of Samantha Odom-Shockley - all gone. "It's not the material things that made us an 'A' school," said Odom Shockley, "It was the people and the support that we have, and that's not going to change." "This is our home and I've hand picked these people," said Randolph, "They are wonderful, they are fighters, so it's going to be great." Details of the parish's plan for OKES are still being worked out, but we're told administrators are moving quickly to find solutions for their students this fall.

June 6th, 2017, Tuesday

East Texas Couple Accused of Locking Child in Dog Kennel, Closet

An East Texas couple are accused of locking a young child in a large dog kennel and a closet for extensive periods of time. Shelby County, Texas, authorities say 29-year-old Matthew McMahon and 36-year-old Randa Askew Faust McMahon, both of Shelbyville, Texas, have been arrested on a charge of injury to a child. The McMahons are being held in Somervell County, Texas, where sheriff's deputies arrested them June 2. Their arrests come as a result of an investigation into allegations that a 4-year-old had been abused, the Shelby County, Texas, Sheriff's Office reports. The pair are to be extradited back to Shelby County.

June 6th, 2017, Tuesday

Zwolle Man Dies Underneath Truck in Electrical Accident


A Zwolle man is dead after the Sabine Parish deputy coroner says he was electrocuted while changing tires on a log truck Sunday. Deputies were called out just before 5:30 p.m. to the house on Lynns Lane for a report of a person trapped underneath a truck. When they got there, they discovered 57-year-old Keith B. Etheridge dead under the back of the log truck, but it was unclear how long he had been there.  The Sabine Parish Deputy Coroner Ron Rivers learned that Etheridge was attempting to change the tires on the truck, but it had a weak battery so he hooked a battery charger up to it.  The extension cord the battery charger was plugged into had exposed wires, according to Rivers. Rivers believes the exposed wires came in contact with the metal frame of the truck, causing the truck to become electrically active.  The rod of the jack used to lift the truck up hit the axle while Etheridge was underneath the truck and the electrical current traveled through and electrocuted him, Rivers says.  Etheridge reportedly had burns marks on his body from the rod. Investigators say the ground was wet from recent rains and they believe that played a factor in his death. The official cause of death has been ruled as an electrical accident.

June 6th, 2017, Tuesday

Proposed Budget "Stems the Bleeding" for Higher Education

The president of the University of Louisiana System said Sunday the current version of next year's state budget "stems the bleeding" for higher education. The Senate passed its version of the budget Saturday with no cuts to higher education and no cuts to the state's popular college scholarship program TOPS. "It's about as good as we've been treated in a decade," said University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson. "TOPS is fully funded to keep our commitment to students and higher education was held where it was last year. "Now we're still spending thousands of dollars less per students than some of our competitors, but it looks like we've finally stemmed the bleeding, so it's been a great session for higher education in the state of Louisiana." The University of Louisiana System is the state's largest system with nine universities and more than 90,000 students. Henderson was in the Capitol Sunday afternoon to ask lawmakers in the House to keep the funding to TOPS and higher ed intact in the final version. The House's version of the budget fully funded TOPS but didn't make higher education whole. Members of the Senate chose to appropriate all of the estimated revenue in its version of the $29 billion budget, while the House held out $206 million because of consistently missed revenue estimates. The budget bill returns to the House this week where members there can choose to concur with the Senate changes or reject the changes and send the bill to a conference committee for negotiations. "I don't like that (the Senate) spent 100 percent because it sets us up for midyear cuts," said House GOP Caucus Chairman Lance Harris, R-Alexandria. Harris did say the Senate's priorities for TOPS  and higher education were similar to the House's. He said the delegation will meet to decide whether or not to accept or reject the Senate's amendments. Acadiana Rep. Blake Miguez, R-Erath, who is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said he can't vote to accept the Senate version because it includes raises for Civil Service workers. "With the dire situation in my area of Acadiana where there have been 15,000 layoffs in the (energy industry), it's a slap in the face to those people to fund pay raises for state workers," Miguez said. "That's not to say that they don't deserve raises, but we're not in an economic position to grant them." Miguez said he is confident TOPS will remain whole if the budget lands in a conference committee, but is still examining the rest of the amendments in the Senate. "I'm optimistic we can work something out if the Senate remains open-minded," Miguez said. "Hopefully we can come up with a compromise." Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1 

June 5th, 2017, Monday

Unrestrained Montgomery Man Killed in Late Night Crash, High Speed Considered a Factor

Troopers responded to the crash around 10:45 p.m., Saturday, June 3rd, 2017, which occurred on US Hwy 71 north of Montgomery. The crash involved a 2008 Lexus GS, driven by Jacob Robb Kuhlman (W/M 22 yrs). The Lexus was southbound on US Hwy 71, traveling at a high rate of speed, when Kuhlman lost control and exited the right side of the roadway. After exiting the roadway, the vehicle collided with several trees. Kuhlman was transported to Rapides Regional Trauma Center where he was pronounced dead. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation. Louisiana State Police would like to take this opportunity to remind/inform motorists that properly wearing your seat belt will dramatically reduce your chance of being injured or killed in a crash. We ask you to take one second to 'buckle up!' Louisiana law requires that every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled up. Not wearing a seat belt remains the leading cause of death in motor vehicle crashes. Speeding reduces a driver's ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway, extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle, and increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a situation. Speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors are among the leading causes of highway crashes and fatalities. Troop E Troopers have investigated 20 fatal crashes in 2017, resulting in 25 fatalities.

June 5th, 2017, Monday

Suspect in Attempted Murder Remains on the Loose

After about 24 hours, Red River and Natchitoches authorities still are on the lookout for a man wanted in Red River Parish on a charge of attempted murder. The Red River Sheriff's Office notified the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office on Saturday that 41-year-old Jeremy Daniel Key might be driving into Natchitoches Parish. He ran into some woods when Natchitoches sheriff's deputies spotted him and tried to get him to pull over. Sheriff's deputies searched Saturday afternoon in an area off Messick Road and Holman Loop near Fairview Alpha. Key stands 6' tall, weighs 195 pounds and is balding. He last was seen wearing blue denim shorts, a light blue or gray T-shirt, a light-colored cap and white tennis shoes. Authorities said it is unknown whether Key has a weapon. Anyone who sees Key should do not approach him. Instead, authorities say, call 911, the Natchitoches Sheriff's Office at (318) 352-6432 or the Red River Sheriffs Office at (318) 932-4221.

June 5th, 2017, Monday

Rabid Skunks Continue to Populate DeSoto Parish

Skunks smell, but that is the least of the problems in DeSoto Parish. They are dealing with a major rabies outbreak that is leaving residents fearing for their lives and the lives of their pets. It is a problem that has been ongoing for years, with more and more cases of infected skunks, and some now have come into contact with pets. The trap used by DeSoto Animal Services is a thin tube, small to prevent the skunks from lifting their tails to spray - minor compared to getting bit. Harold Renfro, Director of DeSoto Parish Animal Services, says "Rabies is a fatal disease, it is spread through bite to animal or human and it travels the nervous system. It is 99.9% fatal once you develop the symptoms." Rabid skunks continue to take over the area spreading rabies - a very serious problem because it is a deadly disease. 14 rabid skunks have been reported in the parish this year. DeSoto is the only parish in the state with this kind of outbreak according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The main concern is the disease bleeding over into other animals, then eventually into the people that live there. Renfro confirms three different homes in the parish that have come into contact with infected skunks. They have been vaccinated and will be in isolation at home for 45 days to be sure they show no symptoms of rabies. “Our pets will come in contact with the wildlife, they're bit and we don't know they've been in contact. The best way to prevent rabies in humans is to vaccinate our animals." Health experts advise to contact animal control immediately if a rabid skunk is seen, or if someone or a pet has come into contact with the disease.

June 2nd, 2017, Friday

Road Closures Possible for Dewey W. Wills WMA Roads Due to Flooding

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close Sandy Bayou Road and Muddy Bayou Road from Deville Crossing to Nolan Bayou Road at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) once the water level on Larto Lake reaches 42 feet mean sea level (msl), which could happen in the coming days. Increasing water levels in the Mississippi, Black and associated river systems have created backwater flooding on these roads. Once the water recedes to 40 feet msl and conditions allow, the roads will be reopened. Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to:http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 . For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov .

June 2nd, 2017, Friday

State Fire Marshal's Office Releases Origin of Oakdale Elementary Fire

The State Fire Marshal's Office has released the origin of the fire that destroyed most of Oakdale Elementary School on Wednesday. Brant Thompson, with the Marshal's Office, said the fire started in the central part of the school above the ceiling tiles. He also said there are air handler units nearby the fire's place of origin. It was determined that the fire began in the computer lab, and nothing appears to be suspicious at this time. The fire destroyed most of the older part of the building that was constructed in the early 1970s. The newly renovated part is still intact. As of now, the exact cause of the fire is still unknown.

June 2nd, 2017, Friday

Louisiana College Files Civil Suit Againts Former President Joe Aguillard for Defamation

Louisiana College, current college President Dr. Rick Brewer, and Dr. Cheryl Clark have filed a civil suit against the school's former president, Joe Aguillard, for defamation "based upon false statements made by Aguillard which were published to third parties." The suit alleges that those statements made by Aguillard are "injurious to the reputations" of the college and the two other plaintiffs. Aguillard served as president of Louisiana College for almost nine years. During his time leading the school, LC was placed on probation by SACSCOC in June 2014. Being placed on probation is the last step prior to having the college's accreditation revoked. In early 2014, Aguillard agreed to step down as president. He later took a role as a faculty member and given the title "president emeritus." But, he was later removed from any leadership position. Dr. Rick Brewer took over the role of president in March 2015. In a first cause of action in the civil suit, the suit alleges that Aguillard "was engaged in a regular and pervasive campaign to undercut LC," including "ghostwriting faculty member grievances against Brewer's administration." The suit even mentions an "anonymous package" allegedly circulated by Aguillard of "derogatory statements." Aguillard was terminated. The lawsuit alleges that since being fired, Aguillard has continued with "attacks" and filed a SACSCOC complaint alleging wrongdoings by LC Aguillard later requested a dismissal hearing and in February 2016 one took place. The Faculty Affairs Advisory Committee voted unanimously to recommend Aguillard's dismissal. In a second cause of action, Aguillard accused Clark of illegal grade changing "of over a dozen nursing students." The suit alleges that the "reputations of LC and Clark have been injured" due to Aguillard's "false and defamatory" statements. In a third cause of action, the suit alleges that Aguillard told the SACSCOC that, after being placed on administrative leave in January 2016, "the students in his ED 750 class did not receive instruction, and that Clark and Brewer assigned them arbitrary grades without adequate assessment and evaluation." The plaintiffs said those statements are "both grossly misleading and untruthful." A fourth cause of action references statements that Aguillard made that in March 2016 "a student in Tudor Hall Dormitory shot another student with a Glock [gun] illegally housed in the dormitory," and was later allowed to "quietly drop out of the school without any trace of the act, both students were instructed not to tell, so each told lies in order to be protected." LC claims that the incident was an accidental discharge, that the school fully cooperated with Pineville Police, that law enforcement made the decision not to charge the shooter, and that the injured student chose not to press charges. LC claims it took appropriate disciplinary action and that the student voluntarily withdrew from the college. All three plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages. They're being represented by the Gold Firm. Aguillard has not been served with the suit yet, according to the Rapides Parish Clerk of Court's Office. 

June 1st, 2017, Thursday

Cleco Restores Power to 98 Percent of Customers Impacted by Severe Storms

Cleco continues its effort to restore power to customers who experienced outages following severe storms that rolled through the central and north areas of its service territory. “At its peak, we had 15,000 customers who experienced outages,” said James Lass, manager of distribution operations and emergency management. “We currently have about 900 customers without power and expect that roughly 600 of these customers will have their power restored by tonight.” Cleco has over 150 workers dedicated to the restoration effort that includes replacing broken poles and crossarms, and anticipates the remaining 300 customers affected by the storms will have their power restored by tomorrow afternoon. “We want to thank our customers for their patience as we continue to work swiftly and safely to restore power,” said Lass. Cleco reminds customers to be cautious of downed power lines. Stay away, and call 911 or Cleco at 1-800-622-6537 to report a dangerous situation with electricity.

June 1st, 2017, Thursday

Fire Destroys Most of Oakdale Elementary School

A fire broke out Wednesday afternoon at Oakdale Elementary School. Emergency Personnel tells News Channel 5 it is one of the worst fires in recent history. "It's probably the largest fire in Allen Parish since we had the riots at the federal prison back in the 80's," said Chief Deputy Blair Fontenot, Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office. The Allen Parish Sheriff's Office said the fire broke out in what is called the "old part" of Oakdale Elementary School sometime after 3 p.m. Most of the school is a loss. “It's about an 80% loss," said Fontenot. Fortunately the school has been out for summer break, and no summer classes were happening at the school. APSO said the last person to leave the school was a maintenance worker. "Everything seemed to be fine to him,” said Fontenot. “Later on a fire alarm came across and the fire departments responded." Right now there is no word on how the blaze started. Nonetheless, for teachers and the community it was an awful sight, more than 40 years of memories burning away. “It's horrifying watching this go down,” said Lisa Dauzat, Asst. Principal. “We are just watching our memories burn up. It's just really sad for us today." "Most of our parents went through this school,” said Mike Doucet, Allen Parish Superintendent. “A lot of memories are here. There are just some things you just can't replace." Fortunately, the fire missed the recently renovated part of the school. "The fire doors worked properly,” said Doucet. “It did not damage that, we are going to salvage approximately 15 to 18 classrooms." A community effort as teachers and volunteers assisted emergency personnel. Fire departments from across the state lending a hand, we spotted them from Mamou to Acadia parish. "It tells me we still have a lot of good people in the world,” said Doucet. “Especially in our community and I’m so thankful to live in this community and just coming together like this is how you tragedies as such." A community that will get back on its feet. "I know for a fact that this community supports their school,” said Doucet. “We will come back stronger and better than ever and you will see this community go into action. They will get behind us and we will rebuild." The State Fire Marshal's Office told News Channel 5 it is "highly unlikely" they'll have any information as to how the fire started for the rest of Wednesday. They said they have to bring in heavy equipment to dig and investigate.

June 1st, 2017, Thursday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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