Local and Area News

Calhoun Man Killed

Earlier yesterday morning, a single vehicle crash killed a man from Calhoun,LA. Troopers responded to the crash around 9:45am, which occurred on LA Hwy 34 at LA Hwy 126. The crash involved a 2008 Toyota Tundra, driven by Billy W. Berry. The Toyota was eastbound on LA Hwy 34 when Berry lost control and exited the right side of the roadway. After exiting the roadway, the vehicle collided with a ditch embankment before colliding with a tree. Berry was wearing his seat belt, but was pronounced dead. Routine toxicology tests are pendind, the crash remains under investigation.

New Information from Fatal Crash

New information has been released by State Police regarding a fatal vehicle accident that took place on Hwy 171 near Longville on Sunday. Investigators originally reported that a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by 28-year-old Kristi B. Poteet of DeRidder was traveling south in the northbound lanes of US 171, when her vehicle collided head-on with a 1993 Chevrolet Caprice driven by 41-year-old Ricky M. Gill of Singer. Now, reports indicate that Gill had been driving south in the northbound lanes, while Poteet was traveling north in the northbound lanes. Impairment on the part of Gill is suspected to be a factor in the crash, and toxicology results are pending.

Questioning Education Contracts

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration raised questions Tuesday whether Superintendent of Education John White is dividing his department's contracts into smaller pieces to sidestep oversight and public bid requirements. The questions sparked immediate criticism from the president of the state's top school board, who accused the administration of harassing the education department because of an ongoing disagreement over the Common Core education standards. State law provides certain dollar benchmarks for when contracts must be publicly bid, depending on contract type. Also, since July, the Jindal administration has required the Department of Education to get approval for any contract above $2,000.

Unsafe Driving

A crash early Friday Killed four people in Avoyelles Parish prompted the superintendent of the Louisiana State Police to issue a call for motorists to make safety a priority. But the bad news kept coming through the weekend, by Monday morning 11 people in Central Louisiana had died in wrecks. From the Avoyelles Parish fiery crash to a wrong-way crash Sunday afternoon in Beauregard Parish that killed three. Edmonson's letter asked for a commitment from Louisiana drivers to wear seat belts, to never drive impaired and to avoid distracted driving. Those three points were or might have been factors in some of the fatal crashed from this past weekend, however. Lack of seat belts was a factor in four crashes. Suspected impairment was a factor in two incidents. Speeding also was cited in two of the wrecks. Louisiana ranked sixth in the nation for worst drivers, according to a recent survey by website www.carinsurancecomparison.com.

Victim Identified

State Police have identified the third victim in the Beauregard Parish crash on Hwy 171 near Longville on Sunday. According to investigators, a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by 28-year-old Kristi B. Poteet was traveling south in the northbound lanes of US 171, when her vehicle collided head-on with a 1993 Chevrolet Caprice driven by 41-year-old Ricky M. Gill of Singer. Gill and Poteet were pronounced dead at the scene, along with 30-year-old Brian Edward Taylor of DeRidder. Taylor was a passenger in Poteet's vehicle. He was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. The crash remains under investigation, and routine toxicology samples will be submitted for analysis.

Rebel State Historic Site

Rebel State Historic Site invites all acoustic musicians to come out and jam on Saturday, December 20th from 1-5pm. Whether you are an experienced musician or just learning, this event offers something for everyone. A  variety of different musical techniques and styles will be discussed and demonstrated. For more information call 888-677-3600 toll free or 472-6255.

Many Wins First State Title

Kentrell Maxie scored the go-ahead touchdown with 4:37 to go in the game, lifting the No. 1 Tigers to their first-ever State Championship in football as they downed the No. 2 Yellow Jackets in the Mercedes Benz Superdome Friday night, 22-15. The Tigers capped a perfect 15-0 season by handing the Yellow Jackets (14-1) their first loss in 24 games, which also avenging a 34-20 loss to Kinder last year in the Superdome in the Class 2A title game.

Bus Crash

LSP Troopers and NPSO Deputies respong to Injury Crash on La. Hwy 6 West near Hagewood; Bus enroute to LHSAA State Football Championship. Louisiana State Police, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Deputies and Natchitoches EMS Paramedics responded to a two-vehicle injury crash on La. Hwy 6 on Friday morning at approximately 10:02am. The driver of the 2010 Ford F-150 was transported from the scene by EMS to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. The driver and fifty-six passengers on the 2007 MCI Charter Bus traveling from Many,LA to the game were uninjuried. The bus included the Many High band. The crash is being investigated by Louisiana State Police Troop-E alexandria.

$635M Unclaimed Money

Need some help paying for Christmas gifts? You might want to search the state's unclaimed property database, which contains $635 million in unclaimed money owed to people around Louisiana. Old savings and checking accounts, payroll checks, stocks and dividends, insurance proceeds, oil and gas royalty payments and other items are sent to the state when a business cannot locate someone. State Treasurer John Kennedy has been trying to give the money back, printing advertisements in newspapers and traveling to malls to tell people about the database. He's even slapped the website address on the side of a truck in the Natchitoches Christmas parade. Kennedy said Friday more than 500,000 people are owed money. He's urging people to check out the state's unclaimed property website over the holiday season.

Selling State Vehicles

Gov. Bobby Jindal's adminstration intends to sell 709 state vehicles at auction early next year as a cost-cutting move. Ruth Johnson, deputy commissioner of adminstration, said Thursday the vehicles aren't being used enough to justify the continued maintenance costs. In a statement, the governor's Division of Administration estimated the sales could bring in $700,000 to $1.4 million for a state struggling with repeated budget shortfalls. The Jindal adminstration says of the 11,000 vehicles across the state agencies, more than 1,400 were driven less than 15,000 miles over the last year. The adminstration says it's cheaper to pay employees for travel than to pay maintenance for those vehicles, so half of them will be sold. Administration officials notified the agencies this week, giving them two weeks to turn over the vehicles.

Iowa Man's Death

Early Wednesday evening a single vehicle crash killed a man from Iowa. He was not wearing his seat belt and the driver is suspected of being impaired. Police responded to the crash which occurred on LA Hwy 6 West of US Hwy 171. The crash involved a 2004 Dodge Neon, driven by Heather Ruth Knippers of Jefferson,IA. The Dodge was westbound when Knippers lost control and exited the right side of the roadway. After exiting the roadway, the vehicle collided with a ditch. Knippers was not wearing her seat belt and received minor injuries. She was transported to Sabine Medical Center. Her passengers, identified as Roger Lavere Davis of Jefferson,IA and Christopher Adair Knippers of Jefferson,IA, were not wearing their seat belts. Christoper Knippers received moderate injuries and was transported to LSU Medical Center for treatment. Davis was transported to Sabine Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Heather Knippers is suspected of driving impaired. She was booked into the Sabine Parish Jail and charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular negligent injuring, careless operation, and driving under suspension. The crash remains under investigation.

New Life for Hanging Jail

The Gothic Hanging Jail in downtown DeRidder was built in 1914 and shuttered in 1984 due to safety concerns. Over the years, many have expressed a desire to do something with the facility. The wheels may be in motion for that to finally happen. On Tuesday, members of the Beauregard Parish Police Jury building and grounds committee toured the facility. "We have individuals that are all over this parish that just love this old building and feel bonded to it, so everybody's looking forward to opening it for tourists," Police Juror Llewellyn Smith said. Smith said the committee would meet with the fire marshal soon to look at how to make the building safer and more accessible.

Confiscated Ammunition

The Jasper County Sheriff's Office has confiscated over one thousand rounds of stolen ammunition. A search warrant was issued over the weekend at the home of Gary Rene Smith Jr., also known as "G", in the Rock Hill community south of Jasper. Deputies say the stolen property was located buried in the ground on the property. Along with the ammunition, deputies seized firearm magazines and other assorted firearm paraphernalia. Included in the ammunition is .50 caliber rounds, .223 rounds, .9mm rounds, shotgun shells, .357 rounds, .380 rounds, and .22 caliber rounds. Deputies say the stolen property appears to be stolen out of the Kirbyville area.

History Channel Visit Postponed

Last month, the Leader reported the news of a visit from History Channel personnel who planned to film a recreation of Leesville's own Soapbox Derby, Friday, however, that news changed. According to Main Street Manager Sam Kincade, a History Channell representative said the visit, which was scheduled to take place next Sunday, December 14th, was cancelled. However, this is only a postponement until an as-yet-unspecified future date. When more information becomes available we will let everyone know.

District Three Water

A meeting at Beauregard Parish Waterworks District 3 centered on an audit of the district. That audit is the result of a settlement between environmental group Restore and District 3.  The audit released in November, and discussed Monday, cited problems with keeping records and meeting DHH state standards. Most of the issues in the audit focused on various problems in keeping records. The district is working to comply with all of the regulatory recommendations from the audit.

Christmas Concert

The Many Band would like to invite everyone to our annual Christmas concert. The concert will be Monday, December 15th at 7:00pm in the Many High School Gym. Performances will include the 5th Grade Music Class, the 6th Grade,7th Grade, and 8th-12th Grade Bands, admission is free.

Taking on The Dome

Tickets can be purchased for this Fridays Class 2A State Championship game at MHS office through Wednesday from 8am until 3pm each day general admission tickets, $13 each. The Bank of Montgomery has a bus for the Many High School Cheerleaders and sponsors. Aslo another bus from Bank of Montgomery will be taking faculity members. For more information contact Daniel Bennett at the Bank of Montgomery, Many Branch.

Youths Cited

The Many Police Department has cited three Many youths thus far in their investigation of reported car windows being shot out by air-guns. The youths will be charged with various charges including Criminal Damage to Property. Authorities are in the process of interviewing the suspects and other arrest are pending. A final value of damage which will run into the hundereds has not been determinded at this time.

Welsh Duo Arrested

A Welsh man and woman have been arrested on numerous drug-related charges, authorities said. The Welsh Police Department said Anthony Dugas, 32, and Ashley Hopkins, 26, were arrested Wednesday morning after a search warrant was executed at a home in the 500 block of Welsh Street. Dugas and Hopkins were arrested on the following charges: crack cocaine possession, cocaine possession, marijuana possession, possession of schedule II narcotics, possession of Schedule IV narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond was pending for Dugas and Hopkins.

Seeking Assistance

The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office is seeking assistance from the public in identifying the persons shown in a surveillance video from a local bank. The white female and white male suspects are driving a white 4 door sedan, possibly a Buick. The suspects presented a forged check at the bank on November 24,2014 and received a cash therin. Anyone with information regarding the identity of these persons can contact the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office at 337-238-1311 or 337-238-7248. Crime Stoppers can be reached at 337-239-2233. You do not have to give your name a code number will be assigned to you. Sheriff Craft would like to take this opportunity to remind citizens to be vigilant regarding their credit cards and bank accounts. The holiday season is fast approaching and monetary crimes usually become more prevalent during the Christmas buying season.








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