Local and Area News

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

NPSO: Damage From Sunday's Storms Causeed by 80-95 MPH Straight-Line Winds


Damage from storms that rolled through the City of Natchitoches and surrounding areas Sunday was caused by straight-line winds in excess of 80 - 95 mph, according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office.  Citing Mary Jones, Assistant Director of the Natchitoches Parish Office of Homeland Security, the National Weather Service conducted a survey Monday of the damage caused to "numerous structures, vehicles, trees, utility lines, etc. Nearly 15,000 customers remained without power as of midday Tuesday, half of them within the Natchitoches city limits, according to NPSO. An official survey report has not yet been released by the NWS.  According to the National Weather Service:

Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph.

Resident Carl Sias, who lives in the 1400 block of Lake Street, told KSLA he and 11 other people were enjoying perfect weather for a barbecue Sunday evening when he received an alert from our KSLA StormTracker 12 App at around 6 p.m. "And I got one of the cheapest phones in Natchitoches but guess what? I got it," he said. "When it beeped and went off, next thing you know, hell started breaking loose in Natchitoches!" The straight-line winds knocked a large tree that Sias said is older than his mother down into his backyard but everyone was already safely inside his home. 'We had some meat still set on the pit! Everybody ran in the inside. I see a green piece of limb coming down. I just thought one was breaking off the tree and then he started hollering: 'Aw, Mama! Aw, Mama! This whole tree done fell,'" he recalled. The tree smashed the car belonging to Sias' sister, uprooting concrete and taking the fence with it. Miraculously, the house wasn't hit. "If it would have fell in this house or this house here, it would have been a large funeral," Sias said. According to this Natchitoches man, his real treasures, his friends and family, are still here. "Whatever lickin' we take, we can get up and and smile about it and we ready for the next one!" Sias said. The sheriff's office is asking those who received structural damage to residences, mobile homes, apartment units, businesses, or public buildings to contact the Natchitoches Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at 238-7720, 238-7555, or by email at oep@NPSheriff.net with their name, address, phone number, insurance information, and any photographs of damages.

May 31st, 2017, Wednesday

Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Deputy Charged with Rape, Fired

 The Ouachita Parish Sheriffs Office says one of their own has been charged with rape. They said Bradley Smith, a deputy with the sheriff's office was arrested and charged with felony third degree rape. The sheriff's office says Smith was fired as soon as he was arrested. In a news release, the sheriff's office says, "No one is above the law and this action has been taken to maintain the confidence of the public we serve. The Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office maintains a strong commitment to morality and professionalism in law enforcement. This arrest demonstrates that commitment." Glenn Springfield, spokesman for the OPSO, says no more information on the nature of the crime is available as the investigation is ongoing.

May 31st, 2017, Wednesday

Mother and Son in Louisiana Booked on Drug, Weapons Charges

A mother and son arrested on several drug and weapons charges have been released from custody in Louisiana. The Times-Picayune reports the St. Bernard Sheriff's Office said Monday that 43-year-old Danielle Brown and 22-year-old Tyrin Wiltz were booked after officers found nearly 6 pounds of marijuana street-valued at $50,000, more than $26,000 cash, a sawed-off shotgun and other narcotics during a traffic stop and search of Brown's house. Sheriff's Office spokesman Kim Gritter says the two were arrested May 25 and released the following day after each posted a $75,000 bond. Gritter says an unnamed juvenile, and more than 200 tablets of ecstasy and Xanax combined were with Wiltz when he was pulled over. The Sheriff's Office did not disclose allegations against the juvenile.

May 31st, 2017, Wednesday

Prairieville Man Arrested, Authorities Say He Ran Over His Wife

 A Louisiana man accused of running over his wife has been arrested. The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/2rinO7D ) 60-year-old Timothy Cockerham was arrested Sunday morning after authorities say he ran over his wife with his vehicle and left her hurt in the driveway of their Prairieville home. Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Bobby Webre says officers found a woman unresponsive and used surveillance video to determine that it was Cockerham who injured her. She was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Cockerham was booked into Ascension Parish Jail on counts of aggravated second-degree battery, domestic violence and hit-and-run. It's unclear if he has an attorney.

May 30th, 2017, Tuesday

Coast Guard Searching for Missing Person Louisiana Coast

U.S. Coast Guard officials say a tug boat has sunk off the coast of Louisiana and a crew member is missing. The Coast Guard Sector New Orleans says in a statement that it received a report around 5 a.m. Monday that the tug vessel Crosby Commander was taking on water. Three of the four people aboard were able to get into a life raft before the boat sank about 30 nautical miles south of Marsh Island. The statement says the three people in the raft were in good condition when they were rescued. Crews are still searching in the water and from overhead for the missing crewmember, whose identity was not released.

May 30th, 2017, Tuesday

About 45,600 AEP-SWEPCO Customers Still Without Power

AEP-SWEPCO says it had restored electrical service to 57,000 customers as of 8 p.m. Monday. That leaves about 45,600 of the utility's customers without power after storms packing winds of up to 60 mph downed trees and power lines Sunday throughout the ArkLaTex. Company officials say it could be Thursday or Friday before service is restored in some areas. AEP-SWEPCO says 104,000 of its customers were without power at one point. Those included about 62,000 in Texas and 42,000 in Louisiana.  Those numbers now are down to 29,685 in Texas and 15,993 in Louisiana. Crews from Alexandria have traveled to Shreveport to help restore service. All told, the utility says, more than 421 personnel are working on the outages in East Texas and Northwest Louisiana. Following are the number of customers without service as of 8 p.m. Monday and the utility's latest estimates for the restoration of power.

TEXAS
Carthage: 3,476; 10 p.m. Wednesday
Gladewater: 811; 5 p.m. Wednesday
Kilgore: 435; 10 p.m. Wednesday
Longview: 23,985; 5 p.m. Friday
Marshall: 885; 10 p.m. Wednesday

LOUISIANA
Haughton: 84; 10 p.m. Tuesday
Hornbeck: 1,232; noon Thursday
Logansport: 999; noon Wednesday
Mansfield: 5,885; 5 p.m. Thursday
Natchitoches: 7,280; 5 p.m. Thursday
Shreveport: 544: noon Wednesday

AEP-SWEPCO's outage map shows more than 1,500 customers remain without electricity in and around Natchitoches. That's where a barbecue was underway Sunday when a KSLA StormTracker 12 tornado warning sounded on everyone's phones, said Carl Sias, of the 1400 block of Lake Street in Natchitoches. They were able to get in the house, he said, but the storm came up too quickly to get back outside in time to move the car before the tree fell on it.  The winds seemed like they were 90 to 100 mph, Sias said. The National Weather Service office in Shreveport announced Monday that its damage survey team would be investigating storm-related damage from Mansfield east to Goldonna in Northwest and North-central Louisiana and from Longview southeast toward DeBerry in East Texas..

May 30th, 2017, Tuesday

Staying Safe on the Road This Memorial Day Weekend

Millions and millions of people across the country will hit the road, skies and every other means of transportation this weekend for Memorial Day. AAA expects this year to produce the highest travel volume since 2005, with more than 38 million travelers, marking the third consecutive year of growth with 2.7 percent more travelers. For more Memorial Day travel facts and the Top 5 Memorial Day destinations, click HERE. Before you head out the door this weekend, here are some tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ?to stay safe:

  • Get your car serviced before a big trip
  • Buckle up
  • Stay alert and stop along the way to stretch, eat, make phone calls, use the restroom. 
  • Never leave a child unattended in the car. 

Click HERE for more safety tips.

May 26, 2017, Friday

Jeff Davis Sheriff's Detectives Arrested Man on Charge of Indecent Behavior with Juvenile


Jeff Davis Sheriff's detectives arrested a man on charges of indecent behavior with a juvenile Thursday, according to the Sheriff's Office. On May 20, deputies were contacted by a sister of the 11-year-old victim. Deputies discovered that inappropriate behavior occurred on several dates at an Iowa residence between Alejandro Maldonado Salazar, 41, and the victim, said Chief Deputy Chris Ivey. Deputies also determined that Salazar entered into the United States illegally. U.S. Border Patrol agents were contacted, and Salazar was detained and booked into the parish jail on a detainer for immigration, said Ivey. Salazar was charged with indecent behavior with a juvenile. He is being held without bond. 

May 26, 2017, Friday

Missing Texarkana, TX Man Found in South Louisiana


A man missing from Texarkana, Texas, has been found in South Louisiana, authorities say. A statement police released Wednesday afternoon says 74-year-old Harry Parker is returning home with family members,  Authorities released no details about when, where and how he was found. Nor was any explanation given for his disappearance. Police asked for the public's help finding the senior citizen after he last was seen leaving his residence Sunday morning. At the time, authorities said it was possible that Parker was en route to casinos in Bossier City and that it is unlike him to be away from home overnight. Police also said he had no known medical or cognitive issues that would explain his absence.

May 25, 2017, Thursday

Kirbyville High School Principal Resigns, Then Shoots, Kills Self in Parking Lot

Following his resignation Tuesday afternoon, the principal of Kirbyville High School walked out to his truck, where he apparently shot and killed himself, according to police. Kirbyville Police Chief Paul Brister said the suicide occurred after Dennis Reeves, the high school principal, met with the Kirbyville Consolidated ISD superintendent and assistant superintendent at the high school campus at about 4 p.m. Tuesday. In the meeting, Reeves resigned from his position as the high school principal. He then walked outside to his pickup in the school’s parking lot. Brister said Kirbyville ISD officials called the police department about an hour later because Reeves was still sitting in his truck, and people were starting to get worried about him. When Kirbyville PD officers got to the scene, they found Reeves, an Evadale resident, sitting in his truck, and it looked like he had shot himself in the head, Brister said. A small .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol was found in Reeves’ hand, which was in his lap, Brister said. He also said police didn’t find a note or anything that indicated that Reeves was going to take his own life. Brister said Reeves’ pickup was still running. It was in reverse gear, and Reeves’ foot was on the brake. Although Mike Smith, Jasper County’s Precinct 3 justice of the peace, ordered an autopsy be performed on Reeves, Brister said there is no indication of any foul play. Brister said that Reeves was married and had two sons. He added that one of Reeves’ sons just graduated from high school. “Due to today's tragic events, summer classes will be canceled for the rest of the week and staff and students do not need to report to school until Tuesday, after the Memorial Day holiday,” a post on the Kirbyville High School Facebook page stated. “Crisis Response Counselors will be at Kirbyville Elementary tomorrow from 10-2 offering assistance for those that are grieving this unthinkable loss. Crisis Counselors will remain available to offer their support to students and staff members as long as they are needed.”

May 25, 2017, Thursday

AEP-Swepco Warns Customers About Utility Billing Scam

AEP-SWEPCO is warning its customers about a scam in which a caller demands immediate payment of a delinquent bill. AEP-SWEPCO says it has received reports of callers claiming to be from the utility or PSO, an American Electric Power sister company in Oklahoma, and using AEP-SWEPCO's toll-free customer service number (888) 216-3523.  Emily Reich tells KSLA News 12 that she got this scam call while working at a local dentist's office Friday. The caller claimed to be from SWEPCO and told her to notify the business owner that utilities would be disconnected in 45 minutes for a lack of payment.  SWEPCO says scammers are using an app to mask their phone number to make it look like the real customer service number is calling.  When you pick up, they tell you exactly what Emily was told. Then, give you a different number to call back to make a payment. Sometimes they even ask you to buy a debit or cash card to pay the bill.  "It was kind of surprising. At first you are thinking, well that can't be, I know the bills have been paid. But, let me follow up on it," said Reich.  "I took all the information. The more he talked, his accent was so heavy that it just sounded suspicious," she continued.   Emily contacted a co-worker who knows someone at SWEPCO.  SWEPCO called the scam number back with her on a 3-way call. The scammers hung up when the SWEPCO representative stepped in.  Emily hasn't heard from them since, but she says she understands how someone could fall for it.  "It sounded very legitimate and that's the scary thing. When we called back, it sounded like it would if you called SWEPCO," she said.  SWEPCO says the scammers are mostly contacting businesses. If you get the call, you should ignore it. The utility "... does not call customers threatening disconnection and demanding immediate payment," spokesman Scott McCloud said. “If customers have doubts about who they are speaking to, they should hang up and call SWEPCO directly.”  AEP-SWEPCO said it:

  • is not changing its customer service number.
  • does not call customers to demand immediate payment.
  • will not ask customers to buy a debit or cash card to pay a bill, and,
  • notifies customers with delinquent accounts by way of their bills.

Customers with further questions and concerns can call AEP-SWEPCO's Customer Solutions Center toll-free at (888) 216-3523 at any time day or night. "Scammers are getting smarter all the time," said McCloud. "They are learning how to try to influence our customers to make rash decisions with a moment's notice."  Click here for more information about the utility's billing practices. www.SWEPCO.com/account/bills.

May 24, 2017, Wednesday

Fort Polk Employee Pleads Guilty to Demanding Thousands of Dollars in Bribes from Contractor

Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced today that a civilian employee of Fort Polk pleaded guilty to demanding and receiving thousands of dollars from a contracting company performing work on Fort Polk Army installation. Lucy Ransom, 52, of New Llano, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Kay to one count of bribery. The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell. According to the guilty plea, Ransom was a technical representative at the Fort Polk’s department of public works. From November 2013 to September 2016, Ransom extorted a furniture installation company based in New Paris, Ohio, to pay her thousands of dollars in bribes to conduct business on the Fort Polk military installation. The first instance occurred when the company contacted Ransom about bringing dumpsters to the base to dispose of project-related waste. She told the company manger that he would have to pay her $600 and use government dumpsters. After the first payment, Ransom demanded more money from the manager in exchange for her cooperation. Ransom would make threats if he did not pay. For instance, she threatened to: make the company’s crew stay late by failing to secure worksites upon completion of jobs; restrict access to government buildings in which the contracting company needed to work; call the company’s general contractors to tell them that the company was performing poorly; write reports documenting poor work performance; and take steps to have the company barred from Fort Polk. On several occasions, Ransom carried out her threats until such time as the company manager paid her bribe money. Ransom faces up to 15 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The court set the sentencing date for September 12, 2017. The U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph is prosecuting the case.

May 23, 2017, Tuesday

Police chief kills man during altercation in Sabine Parish

A Sabine Parish man was fatally shot when he got into the Converse police chief's vehicle early Sunday morning. Ricco Devante Holden, 24, of Zwolle, was pronounced dead at 1:50am at the scene of the shooting in Converse, Sabine Deputy Coroner Ron Rivers said. Preliminary investigation indicates a Converse police officer was invetigating a disturbance in the Sabine Parish village when he got into an altercation with Holden, Louisiana Sate Police Master Trooper Daniel "Scott" Moreau said. During the fight, Holden gained entry to the officer's police vehicle and subsequently was shot. Police Chief Keith Manshack fired his gun three times, Rivers said. Authorities expect to learn more Monday how many times Holden was shot. An autopsy is set for Monday morning at Unniversity Health in Shreveport, Rivers said. The death is being investigated by Louisiana State Police.

May 22, 2017, Monday

Boil Advisory is lifted

Please be advised that the boil advisory for Corleyville Rd, Tallow Lane, Park Rd and Hwy 118 (in this area) has been lifted.

May 22, 2017, Monday

Naked Moss Bluff Man Arrested in Woods, Charged with Obscenity, Stalking

A Moss Bluff man has been arrested on charges of stalking and obscenity after authorities say they found him naked and masturbating in the woods. On May 17 at approximately 2 p.m. the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call in reference to a naked man in the wooded area of Jug Says Road in Moss Bluff, said Calcasieu Sheriff's Office spokesperson Kim Myers.  When deputies arrived on the scene they located Keith C. Vige, 57, of Moss Bluff, in the woods, naked and masturbating. Vige had visited the property of a nearby residence looking for the homeowner, with the intention of having sex with her prior to entering the woods, said Myers. Vige is not an acquaintance of the homeowner.  Vige confirmed to detectives that he had been visiting pornographic websites earlier in the day, said Myers. Vige was arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with obscenity and stalking. Judge Clayton Davis set bond at $15,000. CPSO Cpl. Christopher Dougay was the arresting deputy. Detectives Michelle Robinson and Detective Keeba Barber are the lead investigators. 

May 19th, 2017, Friday

Natchitoches Man Gets Napped in Second Burglary

A Natchitoches suspect scored so much in his first alleged burglary that he tried it again five days later. But this time, the homeowner was ready. The Natchitoches Police Department charged Artrell D. Griffin, 20, with two counts of simple burglary on Wednesday after he was found hiding inside a closet of a home in the 1400 block of Roy Drive, according to a release. Police say Griffin, a Natchitoches resident, had burglarized the home on May 12. The homeowner discovered it when she returned home and found a kitchen window broken. About $5,000 worth of items were taken, reads the release. Then, on Wednesday, the homeowner reported to police that she could see someone in her home via her home security camera. Detectives from the department's Criminal Investigation Division and patrol officers responded, finding Griffin in the closet, it reads. "Following the execution of a search warrant at the suspect’s residence, much of the stolen property was recovered," reads the release. Griffin remains in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center with no bond set.

May 19th, 2017, Friday

Oklahoma Man Goes Missing On His Way to Officiate Game in Texas


McCurtain County, Okla., sheriff's deputies are asking for your help finding a man went missing May 6. Fred Romine apparently was headed to officiate a college baseball game in Paris, Texas, authorities said.  College officials said he never made it to the game and hasn't been seen since.  Romine was driving a brown 2005 Honda Odyssey. Authorities ask anyone with any information to call the McCurtain County Sheriff's Office at (580) 286-5419.

May 19th, 2017, Friday

Hemphill Man Accused of Child Sexual Abuse

According to the Sabine County Arrest report, a 67-Year Old Hemphill man was arrested on May 10th by Hemphill Police Chief Roger McBride. The report states Ascension Lopez Castor was charges with sex abuse of a child (Continuous), a first degree felony. Bond was set for Cast at $25,000.

May 18th, 2017, Thursday

Wildlife Agency IDs Fisherman Whose Body Was Found in Lake


Louisiana wildlife agents found the body of a missing fisherman Wednesday morning. The discovery of the 77-year-old James M. Avant, of Shreveport, was made about 10 a.m., spokesman Adam Enick said. The state launched multiple boats around 7:30 a.m. along with boats from the Cross Lake Patrol headquarters to continue searching for the man who went missing Tuesday night. Family members of the 77-year old man, whose name has not yet been released, said they found his truck and trailer about 9 p.m. Tuesday at a boat launch on Cross Lake. Soon after, members of police's Cross Lake Patrol reported finding the man's boat where it had washed ashore. There was no sign of the fisherman.Authorities still are investigating why he fell out of the boat and the cause of his death, Enick said.

May 18th, 2017, Thursday

Job Fairs Today for Aquarium

Jobs, jobs and more jobs. Those are the focus of hiring events starting Thursday for Shreveport Aquarium and its S A L T restaurant. Those who plan to participate must register beforehand by clicking here. While you are at it, applications also are being accepted on the opposite side of Red River. The 12th annual Northwest Louisiana Veterans Job & Resource Fair will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday in the Bossier Civic Center, 620 Benton Road in Bossier City. The first two hours will be open only to active-duty and veteran military, Guard and Reserve personnel and all other military ID card holders. Members of the public will be able to join in starting at noon. The effort is sponsored by the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the cities of Bossier City and Shreveport, the Coordinating and Development Corp. and the Bossier Chamber of Commerce. Speaking of job fairs, you might also want to mark your calendar for another one coming up early next month in Bossier City. CenturyLink Center is seeking people to work two large shows in July plus other events throughout the year. Positions are open in several departments. Applications will be accepted during a job fair June 7 at the venue in Bossier City. Hours will be 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Qualified candidates will be interviewed on the spot. Participants are being asked to bring their resumes and to enter the arena through the lower box office entrance.

May 18th, 2017, Thursday

Funeral services Have Been Made for 13-Year-Old Killed in Shelbyvill ISD Bus Wreck

 Funeral arrangements have been made for the young man killed in a wreck Monday afternoon. Victor Lee, 13, died at a local hospital from injuries he suffered when the bus he was in overturned after being hit from behind by a Dodge truck, driven by 20-year-old Courtland Vaughn. Visitation for Lee will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday at Watson And Sons Funeral Home in Center, Texas. Lee's funeral will be on Friday at 2 p.m. at Watson And Sons Chapel. A third party fund has been set up for the family of Lee.   Donations can be made at Shelby Bank in Center for Lee's funeral expenses.  Click here for more. Shelbyville ISD Superintendent Ray Wesy issued this statement today:

May 16, 2017

Dear Shelbyville ISD’s Learning Community:

It is with great sorrow that I report to you that yesterday afternoon there was a bus accident that resulted in the death of one of our precious children.  All of the students involved in the accident were evaluated at the scene by first responders.  Some students were released directly to their parents.   Others were transported by ambulance to area medical facilities for more in-depth diagnosis and treatment.  Thankfully, all of the students who were taken to local medical facilities were treated yesterday evening and released to return home. Words cannot express the pain and grief all of Shelbyville ISD’s learning community share in this tragedy.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends of all involved.  Since the accident is still under investigation, I will not share specific details at this time.  Nonetheless, I do want to request that we all strive to respect the feelings and privacy of our students and their families as they cope with yesterday’s tragedy. Additional counselors are available at the school to provide support to any students or staff members who need assistance.  Since children react to emotional events differently, it is important that teachers and parents work together to continue to assess the needs of our students and respond to those needs. Please let your child's teacher or principal know if you have a particular concern, or if you think your child needs some extra attention and support.  Shelbyville ISD would like to express its gratitude to all of the first responders, medical personnel, parents, students, friends, and community members who provided their extraordinary assistance to our students and bus driver yesterday.  Also, thanks to the surrounding school districts who called and offered Shelbyville ISD their support.  The response to the accident and its aftermath was swift and diligent.  We are truly blessed to be surrounded by countless individuals who offer unconditional love and support to Shelbyville’s learning community.  As this school year draws to an end, Shelbyville ISD will continue to work with all of you to provide a positive and safe learning environment for all of our students.  Thank you.

Respectfully yours,

Ray West

Superintendent

May 17th, 2017, Wednesday

Sabine Parish Police Jury Meeting

The Sabine Parish Police Jury will hold its regulary scheduled meeting Wesnesday, May 17th, 2017 at 9 a.m. in the Police Jury Meeting Room of the Sabine Parish Courthouse.

May 17th, 2017, Wednesday

Boil Advisory

The Sabine Parish Waterworks District #1 is experiencing problems with the water supply system due to repair water line. Because of this problem, the water produced by our water supply system is of questionable microbiological quality. Therefore, as a precaution, the Sabine Parish Waterworks DIstrict #1 is issuing a boil advisory effective immediately for customers in the following area: Corleyville Road, Tallow Lane, Park Road, Hwy 118 (in this area only). It is recommended that all consumers in the affected area disinfect their water before consuming it, making ice, brushing teeth, or using it for food preparation by the following means: Boil water for one full minute in a clean container. The one minute starts after the water has been brought to a rolling boil. The flat taste can be eliminated by shaking the water in a clean bottle or pouring from one clean container to another.

May 17th, 2017, Wednesday

Boater Missing on Cross Lake; Search back Underway


Boats are back in the water searching for a missing fisherman Wednesday morning. Multiple boats with the Wildlife State Law Enforcement Agency were launched at around 7:30 am along with boats from the Cross Lake Patrol Headquarters. The family of a 77-year old man said around 9 p.m. they found the boater's truck and trailer at a boat launch on Cross Lake. Soon after, members of police's Cross Lake Patrol reported finding the man's boat, but there was no sign of the fisherman, according to Shreveport. The name of the boater has not been released at this time.

May 17th, 2017, Wednesday

Prescribed Burning Workshop at Hodges Gardens State Park

A prescribed burning workshop is set May 16-18 at Hodges Gardens State Park. The SW LA Forestry Association, the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana State Parks and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) will collaborate on this workshop to enable forest landowners to burn their lands safely and legally. Times will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday. Topics will include: Fuels, burning techniques, proper tools, optimal weather conditions, smoke management, liability management, planning, fire behavior and more. The cost is $130. Class size is limited to the first 25 applicants. Please make checks payable to: SW LA Forestry Association, and send to LSU AgCenter, P.O. Box 609, DeRidder, La., 70634. Also, Hodges Gardens State Park cabins 1-6 are the ones closest to the training venue and are available to attendees who want to avoiding commuting long distances. The number for reservations is 877-226-7652. A little information on the cabins:

* All linens and towels are provided in the cabins, along with a fully stocked kitchen.

* Cabin 1 is very small - probably only one person comfortably or a couple that could share the bedroom.

* Cabin 2 is a 2 bedroom - one queen, two twins and a fold-out sofa sleeper.

* Cabins 3-4 and 5-6 are the duplexes, one bedroom.

* The one bedrooms are $85 per night, and the two bedroom is $120.

* Also, cabins 7-11 are available, but just a little farther away. 7-10 are identical: one bedrooms, and 11 is a two bedroom.

* Dorm accommodations are available in the training venue and has no charge, but you will have to bring your own linens. For more information, contact Keith Hawkins, County Agent, 337-463-7006. Also, you may obtain regular forestry and wildlife updates by sending your request by e-mail to khawkins@agcenter.lsu.edu.

May 16th, 2017, Tuesday

Louisiana House Backs Ban on Removal of Confederate Monuments

 Ignoring the pleas of their black colleagues to reject a "divisive" and "offensive" bill supported by white supremacists, lawmakers in the Louisiana House backed a proposal aimed at keeping cities from removing Confederate monuments. After more than two hours of impassioned speeches — almost all of them coming from those opposing the legislation — the House voted 65-31 Monday for Republican Rep. Thomas Carmody's bill. After the vote, every black representative — each of whom had voted against the measure — left the House floor. The vote crossed party lines, with several white Democrats voting for the bill and several white Republicans voting against it. The bill, headed next to the Senate, would ban the removal of any plaque, statue or other monument on public property commemorating a historic military figure or event — unless local voters approve the removal in an election. Members of the black caucus spoke passionately against the bill, with Democratic Rep. Ted James of Baton Rouge calling the measure "the worst thing" he has seen in the Legislature since he was elected in 2011. Nationally, the debate over Confederate symbols has flared since nine black parishioners were shot to death by an avowed racist at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. New Orleans recently removed two Confederate-era monuments from prominent locations and intends to take down two more. The bill is not retroactive. Carmody's own city of Shreveport has been debating what to do with a Confederate monument in front of the parish's courthouse. Rep. Pat Smith argued that the state should not be honoring the history of white supremacists and ignoring the history of those they enslaved. Smith said she received numerous hate-filled emails from white supremacists over the bill recently. "(Racism) has raised its ugly head because of this issue," the Democrat from Baton Rouge said. "Vote 'no' because it's the right thing to do to at least make us feel like we, too, have a history." Carmody repeatedly argued that the bill's intent is not to make it harder for the monuments to be removed but instead that voters be allowed to decide the fates of these statues, not city councils or school boards. "This is something that gets you by your throat," Carmody said. "Because it's so emotional, people have come forward and said, 'We would at least like the opportunity to vote on these statues. They basically belong to the public and we are the public.'" Democratic Rep. Sam Jones of Franklin probed Carmody multiple times, asking him whether he thought the Civil War was fought over the issue of slavery — "No," Carmody said — and whether he believes the South acted legally when it seceded from the Union — "Yes, sir, I do," Carmody said. Jones concluded that lawmakers need to be more focused on helping the living, rather than debating how to honor the dead. "We can't seem to get the economic engine of our state going (but) we're here today to re-fight the Civil War," Jones said. "The cause was wrong. The issue is settled. And even though my dear friend (Carmody) believes secession is legal, it is not. It is over. We are one nation. ... Can't we just put this away?"

May 16th, 2017, Tuesday

11 Year-Old Boy Dies Following Shelbyville ISD Bus Wreck


An 11-year-old boy is dead following a Shelbyville ISD school bus crash according to the Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson David Hendry. A press release states the bus was struck from behind causing it turnover and resulting in the boy’s death. The crash happened at approximately 4:00 PM this afternoon. The wreck appears to also have involved some type of work pickup truck, which was stuck in some nearby trees. “A Shelbyville Independent School District bus was turning right from FM 139 onto CR 2552 to travel south when it was struck from behind by a 1997 Dodge pickup,” a press release stated.  The investigation remains ongoing. It was reported that multiple other students were injured in the bus wreck. Authorities in Shelby County called a medical helicopter to the scene which involved the Shelbyville ISD #3 bus. A eye witness, Joe Bush, who lives in the area was mowing his yard when he claims he saw a bus stopped at an intersection with his flashers on.  I was on my tractor and I saw the bus with it's flashers on," Bush said. "That truck was coming down that way and it just went through my mind that he wasn't going to stop by the time it went through my mind that's when it hit them. I went up the road to the store to call for help." A helicopter was staged at the Ephesus Baptist Church near the school bus crash, according to Rhonda Oaks, a spokeswoman for TxDOT. That helicopter had left the scene by 6:15 p.m. Oaks said that FM 139 was temporarily closed from FM 2427 to State Highway 87. About 7:30 p.m., Oaks said the road was cleared and lanes had again been reopened. School officials would not comment on the wreck. Center's "The Light and Champion" newspaper did a Facebook Live video from the scene of the wreck. Click here to watch the video.

May 16th, 2017, Tuesday

Prescribed Burn

Officials with the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, Sabine National Forest, have advised a prescribed burn, located at  North Moore RX, South of Hemphill off Hwy 87 in the Yellowpine area 1972 acres, (Compartment 95/96). Winds are predicted from the Southeast wind 5-6 miles per hour and long range drift may affect some of the areas.

May 15th, 2017, Monday

Morning Show Host Ellis (Bubba) McDonald, Services Set For Monday

Funeral services for Ellis Elton McDonald, 65, of Florien, LA, will be held on Monday, May 15, 2017 at 1:00 PM at First Baptist Church of Hornbeck with Rev. John Lewing and Rev. Jack Bell officiating. Burial will follow in the Prewitt Chapel Cemetery. Visitation will begin on Monday, May 15, 2017, at 10:00 AM until service time at First Baptist Church of Hornbeck. Ellis Elton McDonald was born on Saturday, March 15, 1952 in Pleasant Hill, LA. He passed away on Friday, May 12, 2017 at his residence in Florien, LA. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ellis Alfred McDonald and Helen Shirley (Lilley) McDonald. He is survived by his wife. Julia McDonald of Florien, LA; daughter, Valerie Phillips and husband Jerry of DeQuincy, LA; sons: Kevin Rains and wife Cassie of Florien, LA, Brian Rains and wife Sherry of Fisher, LA, and Rodney Rains and wife Bryana of Hornbeck, LA; brothers: Coy McDonald and wife Effie of Merryville, LA and Stanley McDonald and wife Natalie of Gonzales, LA; nine grandchildren; along with a host of nieces, nephews and friends.  In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Warren Meadows Funeral Home to defer funeral costs.

May 15th, 2017, Monday

Boil Advisory

Please be advised that the boil advisory for 4256 to 4459 Prospect Road has been lifted.

May 15th, 2017, Monday

Construction Worker Seriously Injured After Fall

One man is recovering after falling through a roof on Saturday afternoon. Police received the call just before 1:30 p.m. to the Louisiana Association for the Blind Headquarters on Claiborne Avenue. According to Shreveport police spokeswoman Cpl. Angie Willhite, the man landed face first on the ground. Officers found his face bloodied. He was rushed to University Health with life-threatening injuries. The extent of his injuries are unknown, however Cpl. Willhite did confirm that he was still alive. An investigation is being held to determine what exactly happened.

May 15th, 2017, Monday

Former Prison Educator Sentenced to Year For Smuggling Cell Phones, Tobacco

An Oakdale woman was sentenced last week to 12 months and one day in prison for receiving bribes for smuggling cell phones and tobacco into the Federal Correctional Institution at Oakdale, said Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook on Thursday, May 11. Billie A. Holmes, 55, of Oakdale, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter on one count of bribery of a public official. In addition to the 12 months and one day, Holmes was also sentenced to two years of supervised release, said the U.S. Attorney's Office. According to her January 17 guilty plea, Holmes worked as an education contractor for FCI Oakdale; from September 2014 to May 2015, an inmate paid Holmes thousands of dollars to smuggle cell phones and tobacco into the prison. In January 2015, another inmate informed law enforcement that he had been approached by a fellow inmate who offered to sell him a cell phone for $1,600. Upon further investigation, it was learned that Holmes worked with that inmate to smuggle contraband into the prison, said the U.S. Attorney's Office. During the investigation, Holmes was recorded making plans to smuggle in a cell phone. Financial records also showed $4,200 in wire transfers to Holmes between November 2014 and December 2014. The U.S. Department of Justice-Office of Inspector General investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert F. Moore prosecuted the case.

May 12th, 2017, Friday

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser Visits Leesville for breakfast

 The Vernon Parish Tourism Commission welcomed Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and Staff to Vernon Parish this morning for breakfast with local businesses and local government officials. This morning was filled with information concerning tourism in the state of Louisiana and promoting tourism in our local area.  Businesswoman Cindy Wann-Jeane of The Gift Gallery at Phoenix spoke to the group on how the Leesville Main Street District promotes tourism in Vernon Parish. She encouraged the group “to Find your story and tell it.” As a business owner in the Historic Downtown area she sees “individuals from across the state on a daily basis that heard about this little gift boutique in downtown Leesville and they just had to see what it was about. When the individuals are in her store she uses the opportunity to talk about the historical value of the Phoenix building and how it once was a hotel among the other great features of the building."She explained that the individuals from other parts of the state typically ask two questions “what else is there to do in the area and where is a good place to eat... which opens the door for promoting other aspects of Vernon Parish.” She said that individuals young and old are now looking for a unique experience vs. run of the mill type experiences and historic main street districts offer that experience. The Passion that Mrs. Jeane exudes for the restoration processes of historical main streets is truly one that is contagious. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, was welcomed with a standing ovation and he was happy to report that this is Louisiana Tourism's fifth year to record record-breaking numbers and that the tourism industry is the 4th largest industry in the state of Louisiana. When speaking about whats new for tourism in Louisiana he encouraged Louisianians to have staycations versus Vacations. Spend one weekend of the year in a new city or town in Louisiana vs. going out of state. Every parish has something special to experience. He also told the group about the Louisiana Ambassador program which is a newsletter that the LA Tourism Commission sends out once a month, that is also a Social Media campaign. When ever you are fishing one of the local lakes and take a picture of a big bass to share on social media use the hashtag #OnlyLouisiana, use the hashtag when you take a stroll thru the gardens at Hodges Gardens State Park, Use the hashtag when ever you are out and about in the state experiencing the many great aspects of Lousiana. This hashtag will be used across the nation to promote Louisiana as this is the 100th anniversary of the National Parks System and Louisiana is also celebrating our State Parks. Nungesser also wanted the group to be aware that he is fighting to keep Hodges Gardens State Park open. He discusses it every single day and that he has sent the Hodges Foundation Letters through their attorney asking to extend the time frame in which they want to close the state park as well as the opportunity to address the Foundations Board, both of which have received no answer from the Hodges Foundation. He encourages the local community to continue the efforts to Save Hodges by showing the Hodges Foundation what the gardens mean to our area. One way the community can do this is by becoming a Louisiana Tourism Ambassador and Hashtagging pictures of the gardens with the Hashtag Only Louisiana. He also told the group that he will not give up the fight for Hodges Gardens State Park until he no longer has a legal leg to stand on.  

May 12th, 2017, Friday

I-49 to Close Friday, Monday Nights as Mining Equipment Moves


Interstate 49 in DeSoto Parish will close Friday and Monday nights while crews move mining equipment across the highway. Heavy trucks and other equipment will creep across the interstate tomorrow night. A 4,000-ton, 20-story drag line will crawl across it Monday night. The interstate will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday and again from 10 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday between mile markers 161 and 163.  I-49 northbound traffic will be detoured to LA 174 east, Exit 155. I-49 southbound traffic will be detoured to US 371 east, Exit 162. Detour signs will be in place. AEP uses the equipment at its Dolet Hills Mine.

May 12th, 2017, Friday

Lower Threshold For Recall Elections Wins LA. House Support

 Lawmakers in the Louisiana House want to make it easier for voters to recall elected officials. The House voted 70-27 Wednesday for a proposal from Rep. Paul Hollis, a Covington Republican, to change rules for recall elections. The measure heads to the Senate for consideration. Under current law, a recall petition must be signed by one-third of registered voters within 180 days to hold an election on whether to recall an elected official. In districts with fewer than 1,000 registered voters, the petition requires signatures from 40 percent of them. Hollis' bill would lower the signature threshold in larger districts, to 25 percent in districts with 25,000 to fewer than 100,000 registered voters and to 20 percent in districts with 100,000 or more registered voters.

May 11th, 2017, Thursday

Gov. Announces Cleco Donating Millions to Economic Development

As part of Cleco's sale to Macquarie Infrastructure in 2016, Cleco and the public service commission agreed to a deal to put money back into the community - That's where this $7 million donation stems from. Gov. Edwards at the announcement said it was much needed especially with the lack of job growth in Cenla since the recession. "When you get to Alexandria and points north, the overall job growth has been zero," said Gov. Edwards. Gov. Edwards said the money will stay in the 23 parish area Cleco serves to attract, grow and retain business. "We know that it's going to help make a difference when we are going to administer this money very frugally we are going to make sure that we are careful in what we do," said Gov. Edwards. The money will be funneled to local economic development groups like the CentralLouisiana Economic Development Alliance (CLEDA) to allocate the money.  "It allows you to have some flexibility to get a deal done,” said Jim Clinton, President of CLEDA. “In the atmosphere we're in now is just a really positive thing." How will the money specifically be used? Well they said it's too early for specifics, but Clinton said in part it will be a deal closing fund. "In a negotiation with a major industry to create a new location in Central Louisiana and maybe you're x-million dollars apart you have a fund you can go to," said Clinton. But for now it's all optimism, something local leaders said is a much needed boost for Cenla's stagnant economy. "Them committing to where the needs exist is most important," said Mayor Clarence Fields, Pineville.

May 11th, 2017, Thursday

Bill to Penalize "Sanctuary Cities" Fails in Louisiana

Taking aim at New Orleans, the Republican-controlled Louisiana House fell six votes short Tuesday of advancing a bill to penalize so-called sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with immigration authorities. The measure by Republican Rep. Valarie Hodges would have fined sanctuary cities and stripped them of state funding. It needed 70 votes but only got 64. Thirty-two lawmakers were opposed. A two-thirds vote was required because the legislation included civil fines. Specifically, the measure called for the state to fine municipalities between $1,000 and $5,000 for each day of noncompliance. Attorney General Jeff Landry has been a vocal supporter of the bill, saying sanctuary cities invite terrorists, provide "fertile ground" for the illegal drug trade and experience a rise in violent crime. "It is time for us to put America and Americans first," Hodges, a businesswoman from Denham Springs, repeatedly said after listing the names of immigrants living in the country illegally who have been accused of various slayings and rapes in Louisiana in recent years. New Orleans bars its police officers from asking suspects about their immigration status. If that policy were outlawed, Rep. Helena Moreno said officers would use racial profiling to ask Hispanics about their citizenship. "I just worry that American citizens who may not be from this country ... are going to be profiled and asked their immigration status just because they look or speak a certain way," the New Orleans Democrat said.Democratic Rep. Walt Leger brought up concerns about whether the bill would violate federal law and whether the state would be on the hook for court fees for any resulting legal battles it lost. "There's been testimony about all the horrible things that people have done ... by people who happen to be in this country illegally with no mention of the fact that many natural disasters have occurred in this vicinity (in) the last year and there a number of people who have stepped up and helped rebuild those communities," Leger said, referring to two recent devastating floods in the state. "No one ever asked them what their immigration status was when they showed up with a hammer and nails and helped people put their lives back together." Hodges could bring her bill back for a second vote.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, has not taken a position on the bill, but expressed concerns last year about a similar piece of legislation. That bill was advanced 67-27 by the House last year before dying in a Senate committee. Texas' governor signed a bill Sunday that allows police to ask about a person's immigration status and threatens sheriffs with jail if they don't cooperate with federal authorities. A handful of other states including Mississippi, Indiana, Georgia and North Carolina have laws targeting sanctuary policies, Hodges said.

President Donald Trump is trying to withhold federal funding for sanctuary cities, but a federal judge in California last month issued a preliminary injunction preventing him from doing so.

May 10th, 2017, Wednesday

Body Found in Black Bayou


Caddo Parish deputies recovered a body from Black Bayou Lake just south of Rodessa late Tuesday morning, near the site where a teenager went missing on Saturday night. According to the sheriff's office the body has not been identified as the missing teenager. But they did say the search for the teen had been suspended for the day. Deputies on scene say a cadaver dog from the Red River Parish Sheriff's Office was used in the search. Once the dog picked up the scent, it reportedly only took 10 minutes to find the body.  "We went out, she alerted on a position, the spot that he was in. And divers went out to that spot and dove and recovered the body," explained dog owner and handler Randy Thomas. Crews with the CPSO Marine Unit, CPSO Dive Team and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries all took part in the three day search effort. Divers had been focusing their efforts on a small area about 100 feet wide. But, the search has been difficult due to underwater debris such as trees, stumps, logs and fishing lines, not to mention inky black water. "Oh very. I mean it's black water, you can't see one foot in front of your face," explained Sgt. Chad Davis with the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office. The 14-year-old boy, identified by the family as Deontay Johnson, reportedly went under water when the boat he and his three other friends were in capsized at about 7 p.m. on Saturday night. The other boys aged 15, 16 and 17 attempted to help the 14-year-old, but were unable to do so, according to a news release. They were able to swim to safety, and one was able to flag down a driver and call 911. Randy Thomas said his number one goal is always getting the job done as quickly as possible.  "Oh, that's my entire point of the whole matter is to give closure to the family. The quicker they can get it, the better it is for them," said Thomas. Thomas added that he's now worked with the cadaver dog for the last seven of its nine years and this becomes the 14th body it has recovered.

May 10th, 2017, Wednesday

Clerk of Court Warns of Jury Duty Scam

Calcasieu Parish Clerk of Court Lynn Jones is warning residents of a current scam in which callers tell residents that must pay a fine for missing jury duty. The callers pose as sheriff's deputies and say that the fine must be paid or a deputy will arrive quickly to arrest them. “We would like to alert the public that these calls are from scam artists," Jones said. "Our office will not call you to collect a fine for failure to appear for Jury Duty. This is a gross misrepresentation of the procedure, and if you have been scammed in this manner, please call the Sherri ff’s office and let them know. Our policy dictates that if a citizen fails to appear for Jury Duty, they will be contacted promptly by mail. While there may be consequences for failure to appear, there is never a demand for money made by phone contact.”

May 9th, 2017, Tuesday

May 15th is Louisiana's Personal Income Tax Deadline

The Louisiana Department of Revenue reminds taxpayers that next Monday is the deadline for filing individual income tax returns for 2016. A news release notes May 15 is also the deadline for requesting an extension. Those allow more time to file tax returns, but payments after May 15 remain subject to penalties and interest. A special extension is available for people whose home, critical tax records or main place of business is in a zip code hit by February's tornadoes. In Livingston Parish, they're 70447, 70454, 70462, 70706 and 70785; and in Orleans Parish, 70126, 70127, 70128 and 70129. Such people can both file and pay by June 30. If they have an agreement to pay any other overdue taxes, those taxes must be paid by the agreement's original date.

May 9th, 2017, Tuesday

1 Person Flown to Hospital After 3-Vehicle Wreck in Natchitoches


Life Air Rescue flew one person to University Health in Shreveport following a wreck in Natchitoches Parish. It happened about 4 p.m. May 8 at Louisiana Highway 6 at Louisiana Highway 117 at Hagewood, the Sheriff's Office reports. That's about 9 miles west of Natchitoches and 8 miles north of Provencal The wreck involved three vehicles. The identities of those involved and the extent of injuries were not immediately available. Louisiana State Police and personnel from Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS and Natchitoches Parish Fire Districts 4 and 6 also responded.

May 9th, 2017, Tuesday

Constitutional Convention Talk Growing More Urgent

So many of the rules controlling Louisiana’s taxes and government spending are locked up in the state constitution that some lawmakers think it’s time for a rewrite. The idea of a constitutional convention has floated around the Louisiana Capitol for years as individual lawmakers have grown exasperated with limitations that they, their predecessors and voters enacted on state government. But the concept has never gained traction. That frustration has reached a louder pitch these days. While it’s still a long-shot approach, more interest is building for a wholesale redraft of at least the part of the Louisiana Constitution that deals with government finances. “We all know the process is broken,” said Rep. Neil Abramson, a New Orleans Democrat who is sponsoring legislation that could lead to a constitutional convention. “This provides an opportunity to try to go in and create a fix.” It’s been more than 40 years since Louisiana’s last constitutional convention, and the once slim volume of guiding policies for state government has grown thicker nearly every year. More than 180 changes have been made since the constitution was adopted in 1974, and critics say the document is cluttered with provisions that would be more properly placed — and easily changed — in state law. “There’s a lot of garbage in there,” said Robert Travis Scott, president of the nonpartisan Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, which has tracked constitutional changes for decades and criticized the heavy amending done. Items are locked into the constitution to make them more difficult to undo. Removing something from the constitution takes the same vote as adding them: two-thirds from the House and Senate and support from voters in an election. Budget protections, tax limitations and state financing plans have been put into the constitution to mollify concerns of Louisianians distrustful of politicians. Special interest groups seek constitutional protection for programs to make them less vulnerable to legislative meddling. And, as more gets written into the constitution, more amendments are required if situations change or problems develop with the provisions added. “We are so constrained by all the different provisions that we now have adopted in our constitution that it makes our ability to craft a budget not impossible, but certainly much more difficult than it needs to be,” said Rep. Greg Miller, a Norco Republican. Dozens of constitutional amendments are proposed this legislative session as lawmakers and Gov. John Bel Edwards consider ways to revamp Louisiana tax laws to stabilize the budget and end cycles of financial gaps. Abramson’s proposal — which won approval from the House and Governmental Affairs Committee and awaits debate in the House budget committee — would set in motion a process that could lead to a constitutional convention in 2019. The convention’s scope would be limited largely to budget and tax issues, including retirement benefits for state workers and management of public colleges. In prior years, even talk of a convention provoked fear of what a rewrite could mean and who would be in charge of the rewriting. Those fears remain. “It’s like they say, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ At least we know what we have right now,” said Monroe Rep. Jay Morris, a Republican. But freshmen lawmakers — after three special sessions in two years to grapple with budget woes — seem particularly interested in redrafting the constitution. “I think we’re walking ourselves down the plank to that point because we will have basically tried everything else and proven that we’re not able to solve the problem,” said Republican Sen. Sharon Hewitt, of Slidell. Seasoned lawmakers who once resisted the concept seem more open to it. Hurdles remain high for passing Abramson’s constitutional convention bill. It would require a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate before reaching the governor’s desk. Edwards hasn’t embraced the idea, though the Democratic governor has suggested a constitutional rewrite could be the only option if he and the majority-Republican Legislature can’t agree on a tax overhaul to stabilize the budget. So far, they’ve reached no deals. Even if they eventually turn to a constitutional convention, that wouldn’t happen quickly enough to address Louisiana’s looming budget cliff, when an estimated $1.3 billion in temporary tax hikes expire, leaving a massive gap in state finances.

May 8th, 2017, Monday

Search Resumes for Teen Missing in Black Bayou

Caddo sheriff's deputies and dive crews will resume their search of an area lake Monday morning in hopes of finding a teen who fell into the lake over the weekend. Search crews have been searching Black Bayou Lake since Saturday night for a 14-year-old. Sergeant Chad Davis says the teen fell into the lake while fishing around 7 p.m. Saturday night. Officials say four teenagers were fishing when one stood up, capsizing the boat. The three others were able to swim to safety and call for help. Sgt. Chad Davis said it's his understanding that at least one of the three others tried to save the missing teenager, but was unable to do so. Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are helping with the search effort, as well.

May 8th, 2017, Monday

Car Accident In Many

Earlier today, a two vehicle collision occured on Hwy 171 near Patrick Miller Tractor Company. The crash involved a Lincoln sedan and an 18 Wheeler. Please be advised that traffic may be delayed in this area as workers work to clean up the area. At this time, there are no serious injuries reported. Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office and Many Police Department are on the scene. More information to come as this story develops.

May 5th, 2017, Friday

One Year Since Death of Willow Renteria-Molina, No Arrests Made

Tragedy struck a year ago in the woods of Beauregard Parish where Willow Renteria-Molina's body was discovered. While investigators continue to wait on lab results, no arrests have been made in the little girl's death. Willow, 2, was discovered after deputies and volunteers scoured Beauregard and Vernon Parishes. The search began after she was reported missing by her mother when she got home from work the night of May 5, 2016. "When she returned home last night," Sheriff Sam Craft of Vernon Parish said last year, "the child and the person she was left in the care of, were both missing." That caretaker was identified as Rodney Bailey, Jr. He was also called a person of interest from the start of the investigation. "He has been arrested, on a drug charge, in Beauregard from last night," said Craft. Bailey was found in Beauregard Parish and jailed on drug charges. He remained behind bars as the search for Willow continued. When found, her body was sent to the Calcasieu Coroner's Office for autopsy. The report confirmed her death as a homicide and revealed her date of death as May 4, 2016 - the day before she was reported missing. The new timeline raised even more questions that a year later, remain unanswered. Sheriff Craft says his office is still waiting on lab results. He promises someone will be charged in her death and one day little Willow will have justice.  Since his arrest last year, Rodney Bailey, Jr., pleaded guilty to possession of CDS Schedule II and received a 5 year sentence. While Craft still names him as the department's primary suspect, Bailey has not faced any charges to date connected to Willow's death.

May 5th, 2017, Friday

Dr. Chris Maggio Appointed NSU President

Dr. Chris Maggio was appointed as acting president of Northwestern State University Thursday by the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System. Maggio was recommended for the position by Dr. Jim Henderson, who will leave his position as president of Northwestern on Dec. 31 to become president of the University of Louisiana System, which governs NSU and eight other universities. The appointment of Maggio, a lifelong resident of Natchitoches and long-time faculty and staff member at Northwestern, will be for the period of Jan. 1, 2017, through June 30, 2017, as the board conducts a national search for Henderson’s permanent replacement. "Dr. Maggio has been a valuable member of the Leadership Team, contributing significantly to our progress over the past two years,” said Henderson. “He is well-suited to ensure our university continues to progress. His relationships with our alumni and other external stakeholders will help maintain the unprecedented level of energy and support from the friends of Northwestern." Maggio was named vice president for the student experience at Northwestern State in September after serving as interim vice president for just over a year. He will maintain his role as vice president for the student experience while serving as acting president. “I am deeply honored and humbled by Dr. Henderson’s recommendation for me to serve as acting president of Northwestern State University and by the overwhelming support that many have expressed for that decision,” said Maggio. “It would be my hope as acting president to maintain and strengthen the spirit of teamwork and unity among students, faculty, staff and alumni that has been so prevalent at Northwestern under Dr. Henderson’s leadership.  We would also continue to embrace and attempt to expand the many valuable partnerships and relationships that the university has established in recent years with business and industry, government agencies, educational institutions and other entities that share our goal for the advancement and excellence of Northwestern and higher education in Louisiana and across the nation.” As vice president, Maggio has led the Dean of Students and the Offices of Admissions, Recruiting, Financial Aid, Student Activities and Organizations, First Year Experience and Leadership Development, Judicial Services, Counseling and Career Services, Student Life, the Student Activities Board, Student Government Association and Greek Life. Northwestern State has recorded enrollment increases for the past two years. Enrollment for the Fall 2016 semester was 9,819 students, a seven percent increase over the previous fall, the highest growth rate of any University of Louisiana System institution. Maggio served as assistant vice president of external affairs for university advancement from 2013 until 2015. He has been a staff member at Northwestern State since 1988. He was named Dean of Students and assistant provost for student success in 2007. Maggio was selected as director of alumni affairs in 1999, director of alumni and development in 2003 and executive director of the NSU Foundation in 2005.  Under Maggio’s leadership, the NSU Foundation completed its first capital campaign in Northwestern’s history, exceeding a campaign goal of $18.84 million and raising $31 million to support the university. He has also been a faculty member in the Department of Health and Human Performance for more than 20 years as an instructor, assistant professor and associate professor. During his career at NSU, Maggio also served as director of admissions and recruiting and director of enrollment services. He joined the staff at Northwestern State as women’s track and field coach. Maggio is a 1985 summa cum laude graduate of Northwestern State. As a senior, he was elected Mr. NSU by his fellow students. Maggio earned his master’s of education at NSU.  He received a doctorate in developmental education from Grambling State University.

May 5th, 2017, Friday

CPSO Arrested DeRidder Man on 46 Counts of Child Pornography

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office has arrested a man suspected of possessing a cell phone containing inappropriate images of children, according to the Sheriff's Office. On April 9 the Sheriff's Office received a complaint about Ivy R. Monceaux, 46, of DeRidder, possessing a cell phone that contained inappropriate images of children. Monceaux accidentally left his cell phone at a residence in Calcasieu Parish, and in attempt to find the rightful owner, the complainant discovered the inappropriate pictures on the phone, said the Sheriff's Office. Detectives conducted a forensic exam on the cell phone, which revealed numerous pornographic images and videos involving girls ranging in ages from approximately 16 and younger, one of whom lives in Calcasieu Parish.  On May 2 Judge Sharon Wilson signed a warrant in the amount of $100,000 for Monceaux’ s arrest for 46 counts of pornography involving juveniles. He was located later the same day, arrested by the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office, and booked into the Beauregard Parish Jail, said the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.  Monceaux is currently waiting to be transferred to the Calcasieu Correctional Center. The investigation is continuing, and further charges and arrests are possible. DHS Homeland Security Investigations and the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office are assisting with the investigation, said the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.

May 4th, 2017,Thursday

Leesville Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft of Bank Funds, Falsifying Transaction Records

Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced today that a Leesville woman pleaded guilty to falsifying records and otherwise concealing that more than $1 million had been stolen from a local bank. Amanda Pollock, 46, of Leesville, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey to one count of concealing a document in a federal investigation. According to the guilty plea, Pollock stole 10 weeks of vault logs on May 10, 2014 while working as a teller at the Fort Polk branch of a local bank. She also entered false transactions into the bank’s records to cover up $1,179,091 that was missing. She took these actions to conceal the missing money and to otherwise obstruct any subsequent federal investigation into the missing funds. Pollock faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution and a $2,358,182 fine. The court set a sentencing date of August 2, 2017. The FBI and FDIC-Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph is prosecuting the case.

May 4th, 2017,Thursday

Justice Department Has Informed Gov. John Bel Edwards of its Decision in Alton Sterling Case


A spokesperson for Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards says the United States Department of Justice has notified the governor's office it has reached a decision in the Alton Sterling case and will make an announcement on Wednesday. The decision will be released at 11 a.m. at the federal courthouse in Baton Rouge, according to a report from our partners at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. The scene outside the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge where Alton Sterling was killed during a struggle with Baton Rouge police is quiet Wednesday morning. Crowds gathered Tuesday night to show their support for Sterling. Family members and community leaders turned out to hold a vigil for Sterling ahead of the anticipated announcement of a decision that the two Baton Rouge police officers involved will not face federal charges. The Sterling family says they feel slighted by the leak of information and say they weren't informed of the decision ahead of a Washington Post report yesterday. Now anti-violence advocates feel, without charges, there is no justice. “When you see an individual not reaching for a weapon. I know what the cry has been that Alton Sterling was a convicted felon, but Salamonie didn't know that on initial contact,” said anti-violence advocate Arthur “Silky Slim” Reed. “So I think that his civil rights were violated in the way that he was handled because you won't see them handle what a white man that way get out the car and tackle him regardless to what he has.” The justice department has been investigating whether the officers -- Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake -- violated Sterling's civil rights when he was shot and killed. The shooting prompted days of protests last July that culminated in the fatal shootings of three Baton Rouge police officers. Again, that decision is expected at some point on Wednesday. Sterling supporters say they're planning peaceful protests, including a possible march to the state Capitol in Baton Rouge.

May 3rd, 2017, Wednesday

Highway 1 Reopened After Well Explosion in Red River Parish

Part of Highway 1 was temporarily closed after a well explosion in north Red River Parish Tuesday night. The explosion happened around 9pm at a well site in the Yearwood Road area. State police on the scene say they believe that no one was at the site.  One nearby home was temporarily evacuated. Highway 1 was closed between the Caddo-Red River parish line and state Highway 509. Drivers were re-routed onto I-49.

May 3rd, 2017, Wednesday

Multiple National News Sources Report No Charges in Sterling Federal Case


The Washington Post, along with the Associated Press, The New York Times, and CBS, are reporting the Department of Justice (DOJ) has decided not to bring charges against the Baton Rouge police officers involved in the death of Alton Sterling. WAFB has not been able to independently confirm the report. The newspaper reports the DOJ plans to reveal in the next 24 hours that it has closed the probe, according to four people familiar with the matter. CNN says they have heard the DOJ has not released a decision to anyone. Their statement reads:

The Department of Justice has not communicated to anyone a decision regarding the officers involved in the Alton Sterling case, DOJ PIO Sarah Izgur Flores told CNN. When there is a decision, the family will be notified first and then a then the DOJ will give a subsequent press conference.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Sterling family had yet to be informed by the Justice Department of the decision, and it is unclear how and when the department will announce its findings, the newspaper reported. “We have not heard nor received an update and are unaware of any charges that may or may not be filed,“ the newspaper quoted Ryan Julison, a spokesman for the Sterling family’s attorneys. “We have not received word, nor has the family been given any notice of upcoming updates regarding this case." The Baton Rouge police department has also released a statement saying, "We still don't have confirmation from the justice department on when they will release their findings."  The federal announcement will be a fairly simple one. They will be answering only one question: whether the officers involved will or will not face any federal criminal charges.  Sterling, 37, was shot and killed by a Baton Rouge police officer last July after two officers were called to a convenience store to investigate a report of a man threatening another man with a gun. One of several videos of the shooting appears to show one officer remove a gun from Sterling’s pocket immediately after the shooting. VIDEO: Recap of Alton Sterling shooting investigation If the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) finds there is not sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers violated Sterling’s civil rights, they will announce what is called a “declination of charges”, meaning they are declining to pursue charges. On the other hand, if they have found such evidence, they will announce that the officers have been indicted on federal criminal civil rights charges. An indictment announcement would require that the evidence has already been put before a federal grand jury. Regardless of the decision made on a federal level, the Sterling case will next go to the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office. That agency will be asked to determine whether the officers involved should face any state criminal charges. One example of a possible state criminal charge is manslaughter. State prosecutors say their investigation has not yet started because they will not receive evidence in the case from the feds until the federal probe is over. The Governor's Office sent out a statement at 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, saying they have not been notified of a timeline or decision regarding the Alton Sterling investigation. Mayor-president Sharon Weston Broome's office also released a statement Tuesday evening. The statement reads:

I am appalled that this news, whether true or false, has been disseminated without a formal decision being relayed to the Sterling family first. Also, no one in my office or the governor’s office has been notified by the U.S. Attorney’s office of a decision or timeline. I am still in consistent contact with the governor’s office. As I’ve said before, when I know something, the people of Baton Rouge will know — and we will get through it together.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a tweet: "In reference to recent media reports, there has been no official statement from the USDOJ. Our office will not comment until that time."

House Lawmakers Reverse Plans to Raise Legislative Spending

 Lawmakers are scaling back plans to boost their  budget by nearly $11 million next year. Though Louisiana continues to face budget shortfalls, state legislative leaders initially weren't proposing to cut their own agencies. The budget bill they introduced would have increased legislative agency spending in the financial year that begins July 1 to the level in place before they took any reductions. But the House Appropriations Committee reworked that proposal Monday. The committee cut out the increase before advancing the budget bill to the full House for consideration. If passed by the House, it's unclear if that spending plan can win Senate support. Senate President John Alario had said it would be difficult for legislative agencies to continue operating with the current level of financing.

May 2nd, 2017, Tuesday

Officials Investigating Fatal House Fire in DeRidder

Officials are investigating the circumstances surrounding a fatal house fire on N. Texas Street in DeRidder Sunday night, according to the State Fire Marshal's Office. Berdie Morgan, 70, was found dead in the home, Chief Deputy Brant Thompson said. Her husband, Dennis Morgan, 69, was treated for fire inhalation. Firefighters were called to 1128 N. Texas Street shortly after 10 p.m., Thompson said. Dennis Morgan met firefighters outside the home and said Berdie was still inside the burning home. "After beginning suppression efforts, firefighters entered the structure and discovered the lifeless body of 70-year-old Berdie Morgan in the living area of the home, which prompted the call to investigators," Thompson said. Berdie Thompson's body was released to the Beauregard Parish Coroner’s Office for autopsy. "While no official cause of the fire has been determined, investigators established that the fire originated in the living room in an area in close proximity to where the victim’s body was located," Thompson said. The investigation is continuing.

May 2nd, 2017, Tuesday

Boil Advisory

The Sabine Parish Wterworks District #1 is experiencing problems with the water supply system due to repairing the water line. Because of this proble, the water produced by our water supply system is of questionable microbiological quality. Therefore, as a precaution, the Sabine Parish Warerworks District #1 is sissuing a boil advisory effective immediately for customers in the following area: 4257 to 4459 Pospect Road in Florien.

May 1st, 2017, Monday

Sabine Parish Election Results Are In

 
Sabine Police Juror Dist. 3   6 of 6 Precincts Reporting
Charlie Brown 344 61% W
Randy Skidmore 222 39%  
 
Sabine Parish Tax Prop.   39 of 39 Precincts Reporting
Yes 1,063 57% W
No 802 43%  
 
Sabine Road Dist. No. 18, Ward 1 Prop.   10 of 10 Precincts Reporting
Yes 108 55% W
No 89 45%  
 
Sabine Road Dist. No. 16, Ward 2 Prop.   6 of 6 Precincts Reporting
Yes 65 55% W
No 54 45%  
 
Sabine Road Dist. No. 9, Ward 3 Prop.   7 of 7 Precincts Reporting
Yes 162 63% W
No 94 37%  

 


Sabine Road Dist. No. 17, Ward 4 Prop.   19 of 19 Precincts Reporting
Yes 429 54% W
No 364 46%  

 


Sabine Road Dist. No. 20, Ward 9 Prop.   6 of 6 Precincts Reporting
Yes 41 67% W
No 20 33%  
 

 

Sabine Road Dist. No. 11, Ward 10 Prop.   4 of 4 Precincts Reporting
Yes 31 86% W
No 5 14%  

 


Sabine Wards 1, 2 Fire Dist.1 Prop.   13 of 13 Precincts Reporting
Yes 197 64% W
No 113 36%  

 


Sabine Wards 3, 4 Fire Dist.1 Prop.   23 of 23 Precincts Reporting
Yes 650 63% W
No 375 37%  


May 1st, 2017, Monday

Ayala Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter, Obstruction of Justice, and Aggravated Escape in Stephens Murder Case

A Leesville man pleaded guilty Thursday morning to one count of manslaughter, one count of obstruction of justice in a murder investigation and one count of aggravated escape in 30th Judicial District court in the James “ Jamey” Stephens murder case. Jose Israel Ayala III, 26 was originally booked on second degree murder charges in the 2014 case. With the amended charges Ayala could face up to 90 years in prison. A sentencing date has yet to be released. Stephens remains were found in early July of 2014 in an area on La 1211 in Vernon parish by Vernon Parish Sheriffs Office with the assistance of the Klaas Kids Foundation Search Team. The 31 year old Rosepine man had been reported missing in March of 2014.

May 1st, 2017, Monday

 

 

   
 

 

 

 

 

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