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                                 Local and Area News

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

Slow Speed Chase on I-49 Ends with Injury

A slow speed chase on Interstate 49 Thursday morning sent a Metairie man to the hospital after he crashed into the rear of an 18-wheeler. The accident happened around 10 a.m. near the Carmel exit after DeSoto Parish sheriff’s deputies responded to calls about a reckless driver on the interstate. Callers said the vehicle, a 1983 Chevrolet S-10 pickup, was traveling slow and weaving across both lanes of traffic. One deputy attempted to stop the northbound pickup, which was going about 45 mph, but the driver did not heed the deputy's warning lights, DeSoto sheriff’s Capt. Jayson Richardson said. Two other deputies joined in the slow pursuit that went on for about 6 miles. It ended when the driver, 35-year-old Kenneth Dufour Jr., drove into the rear of a 2003 Kenworth tractor-trailer that had slowed because of the emergency vehicles. Dufour, who was not restrained, suffered severe injuries and was transported by Life Air to University Health in Shreveport. Michael Tolliver, 39, of Benton, Ar., the big rig driver, was wearing a seat belt and was not injured. He was unaware his trailer had been hit, Richardson said. Dufour was not immediately identified because he did not have a driver’s license in his possession and his injuries prevented him from providing information to emergency responders, Richardson said. State troopers investigated the crash.  

April 28th, 2017, Friday

Man Taken Into Custody After Standoff in Many

Many Police have now identified the man in custody after a standoff ended peacefully with authorities. MPD officers confirmed 55-year-old Willie Carhee is now behind bars at the Sabine Parish Detention Center. Officers report Carhee barricaded himself inside the Top Notch Barber Shop in the 600 block of Nabours Street near the Texaco Station on San Antonio Avenue just before noon on Thursday. The Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana State Police and Desoto Parish Sheriff SWAT Team were called in to respond.  Officers closed down much of Highway 6 and evacuated and closed nearby businesses. MPD Chief Roger Freeman told KSLA they responded to a call on Nabours Street from Carhee's girlfriend who reported to them that he had beaten her and was chasing her around with a gun that morning. Freeman said they knocked on the door of the barber shop where they found Carhee armed and the standoff began. After more than an hour of communication, Freeman said Carhee surrendered peacefully and no resident or officer was injured. "Sheriff's department showed up and SWAT Team come in and SWAT Team made entry, the suspect come out and we took him in custody," Freeman told KSLA. Freeman reported police recovered Carhee's handgun as well as a one-gallon bag of marijuana.  Carhee's charges are still pending at this time but Freeman told KSLA he believes Carhee was previously a convicted felon so he may be facing Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon as well as Domestic Violence charges.

April 28th, 2017, Friday

Bill Banning Corporal Punishment Advances to House Floor

The majority of Louisiana's public school districts allow corporal punishment, but a bill headed to the house floor could ban it. House Bill 497 made it out of the House Education Committee with a tight 6-5 vote Wednesday.  Currently, 38 of the state's 69 public school districts allow corporal punishment according to the Louisiana School Boards Association.  While spanking and paddling aren't banned by policy in Calcasieu Parish, a directive has been handed down prohibiting it. Beauregard Parish schools allow it; in fact Superintendent Tim Cooley has said some students actually prefer corporal punishment over a detention or suspension. Currently, the state gives school systems the discretion to use corporal punishment, but HB 497, authored by Rep. Barbara Norton (D-Shreveport) would take that power away and "prohibit corporal punishment in public schools." Norton has said paddling in schools is abuse that creates violent children. Others point out that parents can already opt their children out of corporal punishment if they disagree with it. In December 2016, KPLC explored corporal punishment in an in-depth special report.  

April 27th, 2017, Thursday

Senate Backs Bill Giving Some Juvenile Lifers Shot at Parole

 Louisiana's state senators have agreed to give people convicted of murder as teenagers a chance at parole after serving 25 years of their life sentence. The 22-13 vote Wednesday came in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down automatic no-parole life sentences for crimes committed by someone under the age of 18. Many lawmakers say they're only considering changes because they feel they have no choice. The prisoners would be eligible for a parole hearing - but not guaranteed parole. Before advancing the proposal to the House, senators rewrote it to drop the time served from 30 years to 25 years and strip out some other requirements. The measure is expected to face opposition from district attorneys and others in the House.

April 27th, 2017, Thursday

Boil Advisory

Please be advised that the boil advisory has been lifted for Brumley Road, Tedder Lane, Hwy 171N, Hwy 175, Hwy 1216 and all surrounding roads (all accounts beginning with 4).

April 26th, 2017, Wednesday

Sabine Parish Man Sentenced on Meth, Firearms Charges

A Zwolle man was sentenced to 19 years in prison for possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possessing multiple firearms. Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced Tuesday that Heath Meshell, 34, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to 168 months in prison on one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and 60 months in prison on one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Meshell was also sentenced to five years of supervised release. According to the December 19, 2016 guilty plea, law enforcement agents searched Meshell’s home on April 12, 2016. The agents found more than 1,700 grams of methamphetamine, a small number of prescription pills, digital scales and $1,585. They also found a 9 mm rifle, 9 mm pistol, a 410 shotgun and assorted rounds of ammunition.

April 26th, 2017, Wednesday

Coushatta Youth Hurt 5 Years Ago On Ride at State Fair Dies 

A Red River Parish youth has died more than five years after being seriously hurt at the State Fair of Louisiana in Shreveport. Sheldon "SJ" Lewis died April 22 at his home in Coushatta, his mother said. His funeral will be at noon Saturday at Will of God Ministries' west campus, 415 Carroll St. in Coushatta.  That is the former Coushatta Elementary School building. The service will be preceded by visitation from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday at Will of God Ministries, 1916 Caliope St. in Coushatta.  Flowers can be sent to Heavenly Gates Funeral Home.  In fall 2011, Lewis was seriously hurt when he became trapped and had to be rescued from an amusement ride in the Kiddie Korral section at the State Fair. KSLA News 12 followed the 4-year-old's recovery in a special report that can be reviewed by clicking here.

April 26th, 2017, Wednesday

Texas House Passes Bill Making Lottery Winners Anonymous

Lottery winners could soon stay incognito in the Lone Star State. Texas' House of Representatives approved by voice vote Monday legislation that would shield the identity of state lottery winners receiving prizes of at least $1 million. Individuals could choose to remain anonymous and to prohibit the release of all personal information to the public under the bill, which now needs only a largely symbolic vote Tuesday to go to the state Senate. It's designed to protect lottery winners from unwanted attention, predatory acts, and media scrutiny, while still sharing key information with authorities for tax purposes. Opponents warn the measure would reduce the Texas Lottery Commission's transparency, leading to more skepticism about the process and possibly even hurting ticket sales. At least six other states already have similar legislation.

April 25th, 2017, Tuesday

Leesville Police Department Participating in "Buckle Up in Your Truck" Campaign

From April 21 to April 27, 2017, Leesville Police Department in partnership with other local law enforcement personnel will participate in the national Buckle Up In Your Truck campaign in an effort to save lives through increased seat belt use. As law enforcement, we have a special role in helping protect the safety of our citizens. Time after time, we see the deadly results that come from drivers and passengers refusing to wear a seat belt. Wearing a seat belt is one of the most important steps in increasing survivability in a crash. Our job is to stop those who are not buckled up, and to keep them from repeating this potentially deadly mistake. Pick-up trucks comprise 25 percent of the vehicle fleet in Louisiana. State observation surveys and fatality data show that pickup truck drivers and passengers fall well behind occupants of other kinds of passenger vehicles when it comes to wearing seat belts. Pick-up trucks are two times more likely to rollover than cars in fatal crashes. The LHSC is funding a high-visibility enforcement and awareness campaign to encourage seat belt usage and reduce unrestrained fatalities among our pick-up truck drivers and passengers. Taking the time to buckle up before every trip is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash. Buckle Up In Your Truck or you will get a ticket!

April 25th, 2017, Tuesday

Prescribed Burn In Sabine County

Officials with the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, Sabine National Forest, have advised a prescribed burn involving approximately 3,636 acres located, on the North end of Sabine National Forest (Boles Field North RX Burn), Compartments 15 and 16, (Block C,D,).  Winds are predicted from the North 7-9 mph and long range drift may affect some of the areas.

April 24th, 2017, Monday

Many Running Back A.J. Carter Commits to UCLA While On Visit

One of Louisiana's top running backs decided it was time to announce his college decision. Many's A.J. Carter committed to UCLA while on a visit Saturday, he said via Twitter. The three-star back has more than 15 offers, including Arkansas, Mississippi State, Texas Tech and Arizona State. LSU kept an eye on the 6-foot, 220-pounder, but never made an offer.

April 24th, 2017, Monday

Fatal Crash Involving Lake Charles and Longville Residents

 Last Friday night, a crash involving two vehicles killed a man from Lake Charles, LA. He was not wearing a seat belt, is suspected of being impaired, and was operating his vehicle the wrong way on the road. Troopers responded to the crash around 10:10 p.m., which occurred on US Hwy 171 at Topsy Cutoff Road. The crash involved a 1992 Toyota Tercel, driven by Carl Lee Bryant (B/M 61 yrs) and a 2007 Honda CRV, driven by Jennifer M. Fontenot (W/F 27 yrs) of Longville, LA. The Toyota was southbound in the northbound inside lane (left lane) of US Hwy 171 when it collided head on with the northbound Honda. The Honda was also being driven in the inside lane, but in the correct direction, when the crash occurred. Bryant was pronounced dead at the scene. Fontenot was wearing her seat belt and received moderate injuries. She was transported to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for treatment. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation. Motorists must be reminded that alcohol and other drugs have many effects on the body. Alcohol and other drugs can impair visual ability, alter sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and decrease reaction times. Just one drink may cause these effects. Louisiana State Police would like to take this opportunity to remind/inform motorists that properly wearing your seat belt will dramatically reduce your chance of being injured or killed in a crash. We ask you to take one second to “buckle up!” Louisiana law requires that every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled up. Not wearing a seat belt remains the leading cause of death in motor vehicle crashes. Troop D has investigated 8 fatal crashes resulting in 11 deaths in 2017.

April 24th, 2017, Monday

Human Trafficking Up 25% in Louisiana


A 2017 report says human trafficking is up 25 percent, with 447 victims reported for the 2016 calendar year, compared to 357 during the previous year. According to the report, almost half (201) of the victims (or 45 percent) were children, and 20 of these (4 percent) were age 12 and under. "This report is undeniable evidence human trafficking exists, and it's a significant threat to our children and young people. In fact, with these reports, we believe we're just scratching the surface," said DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters. Only 17 of 59 Louisiana Human Trafficking providers supplied data for the report, a result Department of Child and Family Service's staff hope to increase in the future. "By increasing coordination between law enforcement, service providers, and others, we can work together in every part of the state to fight human trafficking, identify victims and get them the resources they need," Walters said. Other findings from the report:

•           Caddo and Orleans Parishes were the two most frequently identified parishes for trafficking and parish of origin.

•           Data for East Baton Rouge Parish was impacted in the 2017 submission, because the major provider, HP-Serve, lost the majority of its records in             August flooding.

•           90% of victims were female; 8% were male and 2% were transgender

•           The age range of sexual trafficking victims was 2-55.

DCFS says they are developing more effective screening tools, as well as training for staff and strategic partners to better identify victims and understand how to work with them. The department has reportedly partnered with Louisiana State Police, the courts and service providers to develop a more comprehensive infrastructure and response to human trafficking, including trauma-focused service providers and specialized placement that is more responsive to victims' needs. The department plans on joining state, legislative and law enforcement officials for a ribbon cutting of the Metanoia residential facility for adolescent trafficking victims. "This year's human trafficking report reveals the extent to which some people will go to victimize children and young adults. Metanoia will be a refuge. I'm honored to have played a part in bringing it to light," said Sen. Ronnie Johns of Lake Charles, who sponsored several pieces of anti-trafficking legislation, including a measure establishing Metanoia.

April 21st, 2017, Friday

Convictions in the 30th Judicial Court

District Attorney Asa A. Skinner reported convictions in two recent Jury Trials presided over by Honorable Judge Scott Westerchil, Division C of the 30th Judicial District Court. Daniel Jeremy Eckert of Anacoco, LA was indicted by the Grand Jury of Vernon Parish for the offense of "Second Degree Murder", charging that on or about February 11, 2016 he did commit this offense, resulting in the death of his wife Clarissa Nell Eckert. The indictment came after a five day trial and approximately 25 minutes of deliberation from the Jury. Michael Lee Walls of Midway, GA was indicted by the Grand Jury of Vernon Parish for the offense of "Molestation of a Juvenile" and "Indecent Behavior of a Juvenile". The indictment came after a four day trial and the Jury returned a verdict of guilty to both offenses.

April 21st, 2017, Friday

Natchitoches Police Searching for Wanted Man

 Natchitoches police is asking for the public's help in locating a man who's evaded authorities for nearly a week. Randy Jerome Bradley Jr., 23, is wanted on charges for illegal carrying of a weapon by a convicted felon, resisting an office and aggravated assault with a firearm, according to a news release. On April 13, a Natchitoches police officer found Bradley on South Drive. During the encounter, Bradley pulled a handgun out of his pocket. The officer was able to knock the gun out of Bradley's hand as he fled the scene by foot. Anyone with information on Bradley's whereabouts are urged to call Det. Beard at (318) 238-3914 or the Natchitoches Parish Police Department at (318) 352-8101. 

April 20th, 2017, Thursday

Anacoco Man Found Guilty in Connection With the Death of His Wife

An Anacoco man has been found guilty by Vernon Parish Jury in connection with the death of his wife. Daniel Jeremy Eckert, 44, was indicted on charges of second-degree murder of his wife, Clarissa Nell Eckert. The verdict came after a five-day trial and approximately 25 minutes of deliberation. Eckert was arrested on February 11, 2016. On May 9, Eckert will appear before the Honorable Judge, Scott Westerchill, where he will be sentenced to a mandatory life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole of suspension of sentence.

April 20th, 2017, Thursday

Law Enforcement Using Plate Scanning Cameras to Find Uninsured Drivers

So, you just got in a car accident. You find out the other driver doesn't have insurance. What do you do? There are ways to protect yourself, but law enforcement is trying to cut down on these awkward and costly encounters altogether. Failure to abide by minimum car insurance laws in Louisiana could lead to fines up to $700, limited recovery of damages, or impoundment of your car. Tommy Curtis of Curtis Insurance said you should protect yourself against an uninsured driver with uninsured motorist coverage. “Without uninsured motorist it’s nearly impossible to collect. The best thing is to have an insurance company that handles that for you. You transfer that obligation to them they handle your bills up to the limit of your policy and then you’re home free,” said Curtis. Louisiana is ranked 16th in the nation for uninsured drivers based on a study done by the Insurance Research Council. Nearly 14 percent of the population in the state is uninsured - a number that Curtis said has gone down over the years. “The number of uninsured motorists has come down because of the teeth in the law,” said Curtis. Those teeth are beginning to look a lot more technological and Sgt. James Anderson, Louisiana State Police Troop D spokesman, said state police are using some of it. “There are several agencies that use them; there are units that are used in this area but they’re used throughout the state and there are local agencies that use them as well,” said Anderson. He’s talking about license plate reading cameras. The Iberville Sheriff's Office just equipped two deputies’ units with these new cameras which scan plates. If the plate connects to an uninsured driver... they will get a ticket in the mail. “So. this is an even better reason for people to get their insurance you can be checked without you even knowing about it,” said Curtis. In Southwest Louisiana, the Sulphur Police Department has confirmed having this technology, but deputies use it for criminal searches, rather than uninsured drivers. Anderson said the state police use more traditional methods. “Whenever we pull someone over, if that vehicle is registered in Louisiana, we're going to check the insurance and make sure it's valid,” said Anderson. “Also we conduct insurance checkpoints every once and a while, where we're stopping vehicles and making sure their insurance is in effect and they have the coverage required under state law.”

April 19th, 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 the Sabine Parish Waterworks District #1 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: Hwy 171N, Hwy 175, Hwy 1216 and all surrounding roads (all accounts beginning with 4). Also including Brumley Road and Tedder Lane.

April 19th, 2017, Wednesday

DeSoto Well Tank Explosion Kills Contract Worker, Hurts 2 Others


A contract worker died and two others were hurt in a well site explosion in DeSoto Parish. It happened at 11:46 a.m. Tuesday on Walker Road about a mile west-southwest of U.S. Highway 171 south of Mansfield. The tank exploded as a crew was cleaning up recent storm damage at the site operated by Aethon Energy, the DeSoto Sheriff's Office reported. "A tragic accident occurred while a contractor's workers dismantled a tank," says a statement a company official released late Tuesday night.   "Our thoughts and prayers are with the individuals and their families during this difficult time," says the statement from Gordon Huddleston, an Aethon Energy co-president and partner. One person was pronounced dead at the scene. Another was flown to a hospital by Life Air for treatment of moderate injuries. The third, who had minor injuries, was taken by ambulance to a Mansfield medical facility. Their names have not yet been released. "We do not believe any hazardous material was released during the incident," sheriff's office spokesman Blake Woodward said in a statement. "And no residential or commercial structures were in danger during or following the explosion due to the remote location." DeSoto EMS and about a dozen DeSoto Fire District 8 personnel responded to the call. The cause of the explosion is being investigated in cooperation with government regulators, Aethon Energy's Huddleston said.

April 19th, 2017, Wednesday

If You Haven't Paid Your Taxes, Its Time

 If you still need to file your taxes, don’t worry. Technology has got your back. But you better hurry. If you just can't get it done, you can e-file IRS Form 4868 and get a six-month extension. But send them what you think you owe them to avoid interest and late fees when you do pay up. If you are getting a refund, you don't need an extension, but what are you waiting for?  Turbo Tax, H&R Block and other big-box preparers have do-it-yourself apps to help you file. If you want a one-on-one accountant that you don’t have to meet face-to-face, try Schwingo. You will get a price quote about how much it will cost to file your taxes, and then it will match you with an accountant. You can pay, review, and sign tax documents while e-filing with the app. Taxfyle is another app that can match you with a licensed tax professional. You can upload documents, chat, and follow your filing all through the app. Best part – the entire process to file a return takes an average of 45 minutes.

April 18th, 2017, Tuesday

Sabine Parish Police Jury Meeting

The Sabine Parish Police Jury will hold its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 at 9 a.m. in the Police Jury Meeting Room of the Sabine Parish Courthouse.

April 18th, 2017, Tuesday

Burglar Captured

CAPTURED!!! William Michael Lloyd (D.O.B. 05/05/67) of 185 Shady Lane Hemphill, Tx. was arrested on 04/17/17 for the recent burglary of a residence near Many, La. Lloyd was arrested in Sabine County Tx. by the Sabine County Sheriff's Department on a warrant for burglary from Sabine Parish. The Sabine Parish Sheriff's Department would like to thank all who shared the post of the suspect and facilitated in getting him quickly identified.

April 18th, 2017, Tuesday

Man Arrested in New Llano Chemical Incident

Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office has announced the April 14, 2017 arrest of Ryan Keith Taylor, 23, of Fort Polk following an incident involving a chemical in New Llano. The arrest is the result of an incident which initially began on April 12, 2017 in an area deemed as an L.U.A. (Limited Use Access Area) of the Fort Polk Army Installation. The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the FBI and advised that an incident had taken place at the area involving some type of chemical. Emergency Personnel responding to the area did begin to suffer from some type of chemical exposure and were treated at Bayne Jones Army Hospital on Fort Polk. Ryan Keith Taylor was identified as the person responsible for the incident and he was detained by Army Officials. It was later learned that Taylor resided in New Llano and a search warrant was prepared for his residence. As a precautionary measure residents of the Mona Lisa Apartment Complex and the immediate area surrounding the apartments were evacuated. A Hazardous Material Team from the Louisiaana State Police Conducted a serch of Taylor's apartment and did find suspicious devices and ordinances within the residence. One improvised explosive device was deactivated by the Haz Mat Team and the other items were collected into evidence. Ryan Keith Taylor was escorted to Vernon PArish Sheriff's Office by Agents with The United States Army Criminal Investigation Command. Taylor was arrested and charged with two counts of Bomb making and two counts of Fake Explosive Devices. Bond was set at $1.5 million dollars by Judge C. Anthony Eaves. Taylor remains in Vernon Parish jail. The investigation into this matter is ongoing. 

April 17th, 2017, Monday

Coroner IDs Body of Cross Lake Drowning Victim


The Caddo Parish Coroner's office has confirmed the identity of the man whose body was recovered from Cross Lake on Wednesday. The victim has been identified as Joseph W. Akins, 36, of DeBerry, Texas. The Shreveport Police Department was able to confirm the victim's identity by using his fingerprints. Atkins was one of three adults and four children on the lake Saturday afternoon when one of the children began to struggle in the water. According to Shreveport fire officials, Akins disappeared after he jumped into the lake to help the child to safety. According to a woman who identified herself as Atkins' sister, "he was a caring, selfless person who loved hard and always wore a smile." Atkins' body was recovered from Cross Lake just before 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

April 17th, 2017, Monday

Churchgoer's Wallet Stolen; Almost $567 Charged to Cards

A Natchitoches man is accused of stealing a woman's wallet while she was attending a Provencal church then charging almost $567 to her credit cards. Dennis L. Quinn Jr., 34, of the 1600 block of West Court Drive, is being held in Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on one count of vehicle burglary and five counts each of illegal transmission of monetary funds and unauthorized use of an access card. His bonds total $35,000. The burglary in the 100 block of Maple Street was reported about 11 a.m. March 5. A woman told Natchitoches sheriff's deputies that she and a friend were attending church services when someone took her wallet and iPhone 6 from her friend’s 2014 Toyota RAV in the church parking lot. Surveillance video from undisclosed locations helped authorities identify a potential suspect vehicle and person of interest. Over the course of the next two weeks, detectives learned that someone in the Natchitoches area made six unauthorized purchases on the woman's credit cards, the sheriff's office reported. On April 7, an off-duty patrol deputy recognized a vehicle matching the description authorities had, got its license plate number and contacted detectives. Detectives arrested Quinn and searched his home that afternoon. While being interviewed, detectives said, he allegedly confessed to the vehicle burglary. The investigation is ongoing; and other arrests are possible, detectives said. Quinn previously had been arrested nine times in Vernon and Beauregard parishes, the Natchitoches sheriff's office reported. "This just goes to show you that no matter where you park your vehicle, as in this case at religious services, always remember to secure your vehicle and place important items such as purses, wallets, cell phones, etc., in a locked glove box or the trunk,” Natchitoches Sheriff Victor Jones said in a statement about Quinn's arrest. 

April 17th, 2017, Monday

Boil Advisory

Please be advised that the boil advisory for Hwy 474 starting at/including Prospect Road to Devil's Branch Road has been lifted.

April 13th, 2017, Thursday

Man's Body Recovered From Cross Lake

The Caddo coroner's office says a man's body was recovered from Cross Lake before 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. It is not yet known whether the body is that of a man who went missing Saturday after saving two children, coroner's office spokesman John Prime said. "Fingerprints were taken, and the Caddo Parish coroner's office is awaiting results for identification." An autopsy is pending. Shreveport police Cpl. Marcus Hines said he received an update about midday Wednesday indicating that the missing man's body had been recovered from the lake. And a woman identifying herself as one of the man's relatives said via Facebook that his body has been recovered. The coroner's office spokesman said recovery efforts were being led by Shreveport Fire Department. Fire Department dispatchers and Chief Skip Pinkston said they have not been notified of Fire Department personnel being involved in the recovery of a body Wednesday from Cross Lake.

April 13th, 2017, Thursday

Possible Components for Bomb Found in Kisatchie Forest, Man Detained


A man has been detained after authorities found what are believed to be components to make a bomb in Kisatchie National Forest, Vernon Sheriff Sam Craft said. His apartment complex, Mona Lisa Apartments, in New Llano has been evacuated while authorities check to see if there are hazardous materials in his home.  Residents told KPLC they had been evacuated and waiting since 4 p.m. Rosie Hackett lives in a neighborhood near the apartment complex and also had to evacuate. "We were just kind of shocked, we hadn't been given the full details of what was going on but we finally had learned that the gentleman had been detained and they were going to search the apartment but they were waiting for a HazMat team to come in from New Orleans to search the apartment," said Hackett.  Fort Polk firemen responding to a fire in Kisatchie Wednesday found the materials, which are believed to have started the fire, Craft said. "There were components that could have been comprised to have made (a bomb), although it was not actually in bomb form," he said. Craft said he could not release the man's name. He said authorities don't know what the man's plans for the materials were. Residents were able to return to the apartment complex a little before 9:30 p.m.  Craft says they did not find any chemical components or anything that would be used to make a bomb, but they did find items of interest that will go to the Fort Polk Criminal Investigation Command.  The FBI is investigating. Craft said he expects it to be a federal investigation since the materials were found on federal property.

April 13th, 2017, Thursday

Vernon Parish Police Jury: Economic Development Distribt for VP

The Vernon Parish Police Jury met in special session Monday, April 10th and discussed a proposed new Economic Development District for Vernon Parish. A bill is being sponsored by State Representative James Armes and State Senator John Smith that would establish this district to better promote Vernon Parish and allow for the application of grants to the parish. The Vernon Parish Police Jury will pass a resolution next Monday, April 17 in support of this new opportunity. The jury also proclaimed April 17th-22nd as National Community Development Week in Vernon Parish. In other business the VPPJ reviewed a request from the Tourism Commission to pay for the stage at MayFest and looked at a request from the School Board for several loads of dirt for the ball-fields at Pickering and Hicks High Schools.

Detectives Seek Suspect in a Pair of Motor Vehicle Thefts

A Shreveport man is suspected of stealing two vehicles in the area. Now Shreveport and Bossier Parish detectives are seeking him on charges of motor vehicle theft. Authorities say 45-year-old Michael D. Williams, of the 600 block of Wyandotte Street, also is wanted on a marijuana possession charge and traffic violations.  He stands 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds.  Authorities ask anyone with any information to contact Shreveport-Caddo Crime Stoppers by calling (318) 673-7373 or visiting the organization's website, lockemup.org.

April 12th, 2017, Wednesday

Crimestoppers Reward

Crimestoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect involved in a burglary at a residence in the Many area shortly after noon on April 11th, 2017. The sipect is driving a white car, possibly a hatchback, unknown make and model. Any information can be called into Crimestoppers at (318) 256-4511 or the Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office at (318) 256-9241. Pictures of the supect can be found on the Many Police Department Facebook page.

April 12th, 2017, Wednesday

34-Year old DeQuincy Man Accused of Sexual Assault

A 34-year-old DeQuincy man is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl several times beginning when she was 5 or 6 years old. Charles Lee Fontenot was arrested Friday on a charge of aggravated crime against nature. Judge Clayton Davis set bond at $750,000. The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office received a complaint on April 4, said Kim Myers, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. The girl told detectives that Fontenot had inappropriate sexual contact with her on several occasions beginning when she was 5 or 6 years old. Det. Jacob Dore’ is the lead investigator.

April 11th, 2017, Tuesday

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 the Sabine Parish Waterworks District #1 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: HWy 474 starting at/including Prospect Road to Devil's Branch Road.

April 11th, 2017, Tuesday

Child Safety Seat Check Event

Rapides Regional Trauma Center and Louisiana State Police Troop E are conducting their monthly child passenger safety seat check-up event on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The event will take place at Rapides Regional Trauma Center Medical Terrace, 211 Fourth Street, Alexandria, LA. No appointment is necessary and it is always free. The event will take place regardless of weather conditions. It is a proven fact that car seats and booster seats save lives. These devices offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash. However, approximately 3 out of 4 child seats are not used correctly. This misuse rate can be attributed to the great variety of child seats available, the great range of children’s weights and heights, and the vast array of vehicles in today’s market. These misuses span all races, educational levels, and socioeconomic status. During the past 30 years, approximately 8,959 lives have been saved by the use of child restraints according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It is important that caregivers ensure children are properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt anytime they are traveling in a vehicle. Every Louisiana State Police troop is recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a child safety seat “Inspection Station.” Troop E Troopers/technicians are available seven days a week to inspect car seats. Appointments can be made by calling (318) 769-9872 or (318) 769-9577. Please take advantage of these free services to ensure the safety of your child.

April 11th, 2017, Tuesday

Unrestrained Montgomery Man Killed in Early Morning Crash, High Speed Considered a Factor

Early Sunday morning, a single vehicle crash killed a man from Montgomery, LA that was not wearing a seat belt. Troopers responded to the crash around 6:00 a.m., which occurred on US Hwy 71, near the Winn/Grant Parish line. The crash involved a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta, driven by Dewayne J. Lambert (W/M 26 yrs). The Volkswagen was northbound on US Hwy 71, at a high rate of speed, when Lambert lost control and exited the left side of the roadway. After exiting the roadway, the vehicle collided with an embankment and then a tree. Lambert was pronounced dead at the scene. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation. 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. Louisiana State Police would like to take this opportunity to remind/inform motorists that properly wearing your seat belt will dramatically reduce your chance of being injured or killed in a crash. We ask you to take one second to “buckle up!” Louisiana law requires that every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled up. Not wearing a seat belt remains the leading cause of death in motor vehicle crashes. Troop E Troopers have investigated 17 fatal crashes in 2017, resulting in 22 fatalities.

April 10th, 2017, Monday

Search for Man Missing on Cross Lake to Resume

Crews expect to be back on Cross Lake about first light Monday to resume searching for a man who went missing Saturday after reportedly helping a child who was struggling in the water. The search resumed Sunday morning after personnel from Shreveport, Bossier and the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Department combed the lake for several hours before dark Saturday. Two 2 Shreveport Fire Department marine rescue units were back out on the lake at 7:30 a.m. Sunday looking for the man, whose name has not been released. The man was one of three adults and four children who were on the lake Saturday afternoon when one of the children began to struggling in the water, the Fire Department reports. The man disappeared after jumping into the lake and helping the child to safety, authorities said.

April 10th, 2017, Monday

12-Year-Old Shot in the Head


A Natchitoches youth is in critical condition after being shot in the head, authorities report. The shooting in the 500 block of Klaire Circle in Natchitoches was reported shortly after 10 p.m. April 8, police say. A woman called authorities after a neighbor knocked on her door and said his brother had been hurt. The 12-year-old gunshot victim was taken to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center in Natchitoches then flown to University Health in Shreveport, authorities say. Natchitoches police are investigating the shooting as an attempted homicide. Authorities ask anyone with any information about the shooting to call police Detective Cpl. Jeff Townson at (318) 357-3852.  All calls are confidential.

April 10th, 2017, Monday

Oberlin residents playing 'waiting game,' preparing for river to crest

In Oberlin in Allen Parish, the Calcasieu River continues to rise and it's a waiting game for the next 24 hours for authorities and residents. Authorities there are preparing for any possible flood emergencies As of 4 p.m. Thursday, not too many homes were yet impacted by the rising water just yet -  just a few camps along the river - but there are some low lying areas that still may see some flooding over the next 24 hours.  The river is expected to crest at 24 feet  - 11 feet above flood stage - by late Thursday night.   By 4 p.m., the river had risen to around 18-to-19 feet, but when it does start to crest, Neville Vizena and Mussel White roads are expected ted to flood. The Oberlin Police Department is on standby and the sheriff's office has a team ready to rescue residents in need.   The police department urges residents to avoid flood waters on the roads - La.26 will not flood. The river would have to crest at 26 feet for that to happen. Reeds Bridge remains closed because of flooding. Chief Grady Haynes with the Oberlin Police Department said there are other areas that will see some flooding later on. He urges everyone to stay away from flooded roads

April 7th, 2017, Friday

Escaped Inmate Captured: Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office Press Release

Jason “Scotty” Meshell, 36, of Zwolle, who escaped from the Sabine Parish Detention Center on March 28, 2017, was apprehended on April 5, 2017, in Red River Parish. Meshell was being held on a parole violation for possession of Schedule II, as well as failure to register as a sex offender, obstruction of a public passage, careless operation, resisting by flight, flight from an officer, and switched plates. He now faces additional charges for simple escape and theft of a motor vehicle.  Cassie Ezernack, 24, of Zwolle, was arrested with Meshell and is now facing charges of accessory after the fact to simple escape and theft of a motor vehicle. Meshell eluded authorities in Sabine Parish for several days with the help of his girlfriend, Ezernack, and then stole a Sabine Parish Police Jury truck and drove to Shreveport. They stayed on the move until authorities caught up to them at a home in Coushatta. The home was under surveillance by authorities when Meshell attempted to run away on foot and was quickly caught by the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Department K-9 with the aid of their drone. Meshell required medical attention for dog bites before he was booked into jail. Ezernack did not resist. Assisting the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Department in the search and apprehension of Meshell was the Western District of Louisiana U. S. Marshal’s Violent Offender Task Force, the Tri-Parish Narcotics Task Force (consisting of deputies from DeSoto, Red River, and Sabine Parishes), DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Department, Red River Parish Sheriff’s Department, and Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Department. Meshell is being held at the Sabine Parish Detention Center with a $8,250 bond for his original charges and a $10,000 bond for simple escape and theft of a motor vehicle. Ezernack is being held at the Sabine Parish Women’s Facility on a $5,000 bond for accessory after the fact to simple escape and theft of a motor vehicle.

April 7th, 2017, Friday

Sabine Parish School Board Meeting

Sabine Parish School Board will hold a meeting Monday, April 10th, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. This meeting will be held at 695 Peterson Street. For more information, call the Sabine Parish School Board office at (318) 256-9228.

April 7th, 2017, Friday

28-Year-Old Man Missing

We would appreciate your help in getting the following information out to the public in hopes someone might remember seeing Johnathan Lee Hamilton who has been missing from Houston, TX, since May 2, 2015.  Johnathan is 28 years-old (DOB: 5-28-1988), 6'2” tall with brown hair and brown eyes, and has a small scar on his right eye and right hip. He was last seen wearing an 'Ezekiel' T-shirt, blue jeans, and Coleman brand, suede-like tennis shoes. Please see picture below. Johnathan suffered complications from Type 1 diabetes and we do know he was taken to two different hospitals, St. John's Methodist Nassau Bay and Bay Area Regional Hospital, a few days prior to his disappearance. Johnathan was last seen by his family on May 2, 2015. He borrowed his father's vehicle (a 2008 GMC Envoy, Tag #CDM 1740) to run an errand, then returned to the house and left again in the vehicle.  When he did not return home that night, his mother filed a missing person's report with Houston Police. There had been no argument when Johnathan left, and the family said it was uncharacteristic for him not to let them know his whereabouts. They are certain he did not run away from home. On May 4th he was reportedly seen entering and leaving a Best Buy store and it was in this parking lot at 761 Highway 71 in Bastrop, TX, that his vehicle was abandoned and later found by Bastrop Police Department.  When the family drove to where the car had been located, there was no sign of Johnathan.  On May 5th the family received a call from him on someone else's cell phone, but when his father said he was going to pick him up, Johnathan told him not to and hung up. He reportedly also called his girlfriend to tell her he had been robbed. His cell phone was never recovered and there's no record of any activity on credit cards or social security number. Since there have been no new sightings on Johnathan for nearly two years, his case has gone cold – leaving a mother desperate to find out what happened to her son. Anything you can do to help us get word out to the public would be greatly appreciated.


April 6th, 2017, Thursday
Escaped Inmate Captured


After eight days on the run, a Sabine Parish escapee is back in custody. Authorities say 36-year-old Jason Scott "Scotty" Meshell was apprehended in Red River Parish. He is in the Red River Parish Jail in Coushatta pending his transfer back to Sabine Parish Detention Center. Meshell was discovered missing from the Sabine Parish Detention Center at 4:06 a.m. March 28. Later that night, he was seen at the Texaco station next to McDonald's in Many trying to catch a ride to Zwolle. At the time of his escape, Meshell was being held on a parole violation for possession of a Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance as well as failing to register as a sex offender. He also was charged with obstruction of a public passage, careless operation, resisting by flight, flight from an officer and switched plates.

April 6th, 2017, Thursday

NSU Nursing Clinicals Available in Natchitoches

The Northwestern State College of Nursing is offering clinical experiences for its bachelor degree program on the Natchitoches campus for the first time this spring. Nursing students starting their college careers in Natchitoches previously transferred to the Alexandria, Leesville or Shreveport campuses to finish their degrees. Dr. Theresa Kyzar, assistant professor and Natchitoches campus nursing coordinator, said the response to Natchitoches-based clinicals has been overwhelmingly positive. Kyzar said, “It allows students who are from this part of Louisiana an opportunity to stay here instead of driving to Shreveport or Alexandria. It also allows out-of-area students who start their academic careers in Natchitoches to finish their degrees here instead of commuting or relocating. A student can take all classes, labs and clinicals right here in Natchitoches.” Nursing students participate in clinical experiences at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center as well as other medical outlets like long-term care and acute care facilities. The Natchitoches campus filled nine of its 10 clinical spots this semester in its initial cohort, and the number of available slots will increase to 20 in the fall and possibly to 30 by the fall of 2018. NSU’s Natchitoches location already offers clinical experiences for associate degree students. Nursing dean Dr. Dana Clawson said Natchitoches clincials strengthens the school’s ties to local medical centers. Clawson said, “The Natchitoches clinicals benefit the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center by providing potential nurses who are exposed to the specifics of that hospital and could possibly be great recruits, especially with the widespread nursing shortage. Allowing our students to remain in Natchitoches to complete their degrees was a key factor in this move. This is a great addition to our nursing program after offering clinical learning at the Alexandria, Leesville and Shreveport campuses for more than 40 years.” Kyzar added she doesn’t believe the Natchitoches clinicals addition will affect student enrollment at the other three campuses. Kyzar said NSU previously lost students who would have obligations at the main campus in Natchitoches, such as student-athletes and ROTC members. Kyzar said, “We’ve had students not choose Northwestern State because they wouldn’t have been able to finish their degrees at the same place. We believe we’re tapping into a new market by offering these clincials in Natchitoches and allowing students to complete their degree in one place.” The NSU College of Nursing enrollment has grown by more than 10 percent each of the past two semesters. NSU nursing students have a 96 percent pass rate on the NCLEX in the bachelor’s program and a 93 percent pass rate in the associate’s program. The nursing school is starting a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program this coming fall.

April 6th, 2017, Thursday

Water Rescues at Bundick Lake


At Bundick Lake on Green Drive Tuesday afternoon, the water was about 4 feet high and the road was covered with water. On Tuesday morning, the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office made six rescues on Harris Drive, just a few streets over from Green. On Monday night, the sheriff's office said they performed other rescues. There are still some residents in their homes because they are prepared for this event - during the 2012 flood, the water was even a few feet higher than it is now. "The house I went to this morning, had about four to five inches of water in it and they had all their stuff picked up off the floor. They had 3 cats and a dog we helped them get out of the house it was devastating for them because they had never been through anything like this," said Detective Brian Leedom with the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office.  Glen Mears, director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness for Beauregard Parish, told KPLC that Bundick Lake has crested, but that doesn't mean it's OK to go out and drive around. The water will begin to recede Wednesday and into Thursday. Mears urges everyone to stay off of flooded parish roads. "You don't need to go fishing or sightseeing; stay out of there so we can help the people out there. Show some courtesy to the people," he said. He urged residents to stay off La. 394 and La. 114 and also, to avoid all back parish roads because they have not yet been evaluated. "Stay out of there," he said. Mears said 12-15 homes have been flooded or damaged, as well as several camps.

April 5th, 2017, Wednesday

Chief's Accommodation Award Given

Jimmy Dees was recently presented a Chief’s Accommodation Award for his long and loyal service to the Many Police Department by Chief Roger Freeman. Jimmy’s service extends back to the 1970’s when he served both the police and fire departments. Congratulations Mr. Dees, a well deserved award.

April 5th, 2017, Wednesday

High Speed Chase

Many Police officers, along with a SPSO officer were involved in a chase shortly after midnight Sunday morning when they attempted to stop a vehicle that was sought by the Zwolle Police Department for questioning in a disturbance that had took place earlier in the night. The chase continued down Middle Creek Road, then onto San Antonio Avenue, before the suspects ditched the car on Alieze Street and fled the scene on foot toward Cobb Drive. From witnesses, it appeared that three individuals had exited the vehicle. Items recovered from the scene included both marijuana and synthetic marijuana, along with a backpack, several cell phones, digital scales and a loaded .22 caliber pistol. The vehicle was towed and stored. The investigation is continuing.

April 5th, 2017, Wednesday

Water Outtage

There is a water outtage in the Cypress Bend and Turtle Beach area due to a water line break. Therefore as a precaution, the Ebarb Water System is issuing a boil advisory effective immediately for these areas. The boil advisory is to remaisn in effect until rescinded by the Ebarb Water system.

April 4th, 2017, Tuesday

Gov. Edwards Declares State of Emergency for Louisiana

 Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency following an outbreak of severe storms that spawned destructive tornados and pockets of flooding. Edwards signed the statewide declaration Monday before embarking on a trip to survey storm damage in Rapides and St. Martin parishes. Edwards met with emergency officials in Alexandria, where the storm system damaged homes and buildings and knocked down power lines. He also plans to conduct a briefing with local officials in St. Martin Parish, where a tornado Sunday flipped a mobile home over in Breaux Bridge and killed a mother and her 3-year-old daughter.

April 4th, 2017, Tuesday

Bayou Anacoco Has Crested; Bundick Still Rising


Bayou Anacoco crested earlier this morning at 24.34 feet which was at major flood stage. The level at Bayou Anacoco will slowly fall to below flood stage over the next few days and should be below 17 ft. by Thursday night. Bundick Lake is in major flood stage this morning and will crest at 101.5 feet later today and slowly fall to below the 97 ft. flood stage by Saturday. As a result, portions of Hwy 394 near Bundick Lake are impassable and will likely remain impassable through Wednesday as the water slowly recedes over the coming days. While water is receding in some areas, it is expected to increase in others. Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft said that 18 homes are flooded in the parish. He said his office rescued nine people, but other agencies also rescued those stranded by the floods.

April 4th, 2017, Tuesday

Prescribed Burn

Officials with the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, Sabine National Forest, have advised a prescribed burn today, located in Compartments 106, 107, and 108, 2637 acres (block A-D). This area is located in the Six Mile Community off Farm Market 2928 and Gateway Meadows Road. Winds are predicted from the South at 7-13 miles per hour. If you have any questions or concerns, please contract the Sabine Ranger District Office at (409) 625-1940.

April 4th, 2017, Tuesday

Storm Damages Farm in Sabine Parish; 2 Deaths, 2 Tornados Elsewhere in Louisiana

A Sabine Parish man says he hit the floor when debris started flying through the windows of his mobile home during a storm. It happened at 3:05 p.m. Sunday at Gerry Theiler's residence near Toledo Bend Reservoir. A possible tornado or straight-line winds tore the roofs off almost every structure at his farm along Louisiana Highway 191 at Prospect Road and tore siding off his mobile home. Neighbors were out Sunday evening helping Theiler repair fencing to keep his livestock contained. The same storm system making its way across Louisiana has resulted in two deaths and two tornadoes. The storms are extremely dangerous and by no means close to being over, Gov. John Bel Edwards warned residents this afternoon. He made his comments during a news conference streaming live on KSLA.com and on the KSLA News 12 mobile apps. The two deaths are the result of straight-line winds toppling a mobile home in Breaux Bridge in St. Martin Parish, the governor said. The two tornadoes, which have yet to be confirmed, hit Rapides Parish. "This is a very significant storm event," Edwards said. "Forecasts of this nature occur very infrequently across the country each year. "And we don't know that there has ever been a time in the state of Louisiana where this particular forecast ever has been issued for so much of the state of Louisiana to be at high risk of severe weather." The squall line is not expected to leave Louisiana until midmorning Monday, the governor said. Straight-line winds reported along with this storm system are the equivalent of those associated with a Category 2 hurricane, Edwards said. The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has activated its Crisis Action Team due to the dangerous weather conditions across Louisiana that will likely continue Sunday evening. By noon Sunday, hail, dangerous winds and street flooding had been reported in some regions. Following is a sampling of reports Sunday to the National Weather Service office in Shreveport:

  • 10:43 a.m.: Three-quarter-inch (dime/penny-size) hail along Interstate 220 at Red River four miles northwest of Bossier City.
  • 11:50 a.m.: 1-inch hail in Shelby County, Texas.
  • 1:18 p.m.: numerous trees down in Nacogdoches County, Texas.
  • 1:45 p.m.: Hangar blown down three miles east-northeast of Carthage, Texas.
  • 1:47 p.m.: 1-inch hail at Gary City, Texas, in Panola County, Texas.
  • 2 p.m.: Winds twisted a horse barn around utility poles, ripped the roof off a 60-by-60-foot shop and snapped trees and power lines five miles north-northwest of Gary City in Panola County, Texas.
  • 2:45 p.m.: Several trees down in Carthage in Panola County, Texas.
  • 3:16 p.m.: Trees snapped, blocking some lanes of Louisiana Highway 8 six miles west-southwest of Midway in LaSalle Parish. Large trees down in front yards.
  • 3:25 p.m.: A tree was blown onto a house in Ruston in Lincoln Parish.
  • 3:30 p.m.: 2.45 inches of rain within three hours in Shreveport in Caddo Parish.
  • 3:30 p.m.: 2.3 inches of rain reported four miles east of Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier Parish.
  • 4 p.m.: Barn blown down; numerous fallen trees, including one that destroyed a car three miles east of Grayson in Caldwell Parish.
  • 4 p.m.: Trees down and other damage due to possible tornado in Rogers Community in LaSalle Parish
  • 4:46 p.m.: Downed trees blocking the entrance to a state park four miles west-northwest of Farmerville in Union Parish
  • 6:41 p.m.: Natchitoches sheriff's deputies got a report of a tree down across Louisiana Highway 485 near the compactor station.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed portions of the state in the high-risk category for tornadoes, which is rare for Louisiana. That area extends from western-central Louisiana to north Louisiana. That means there is a threat of EF-2 or greater tornadoes in those areas. Damaging winds in excess of 75 mph and large hail are possible. The significant tornado potential will spread across the lower Mississippi Valley into the evening hours.  Much of the rest of the state is currently in the moderate and enhanced risk categories. Excessive rainfall is also expected with 3-6 inches or higher falling in many areas by Monday morning. “Conditions change quickly as these types of weather systems move across the region. I can’t stress the importance of monitoring your local media and the four National Weather Service offices that cover our state for potentially lifesaving weather alerts,” said GOHSEP director James Waskom. “Maintaining that awareness, preparing your emergency kits and taking any actions to protect your property, businesses and pets are critical when facing this type of threat.” Waskom warns that if you must travel, be aware of the potential road issues due to the weather conditions. To keep information readily available, Edwards held the news conference from GOHSEP headquarters. Visit www.511.la.org for DOTD updates, and www.getagameplan.org for preparation tips.

April 3rd, 2017, Monday

Authorities Still Searching for Missing Inmate

Authorities in Sabine parish are searching for an escaped inmate. 36-year-old Jason "Scotty" Meshell of Zwolle was discovered missing from Sabine parish detention center just after 4 this morning. He escaped through an unlocked gate following religious services. He's 5'4" tall and weighs approximately 130 lbs, and was last seen wearing a navy jumpsuit. Meshell was being held on a parole violation for possession of schedule ii, as well as failure to register as a sex offender, obstruction of a public passage, careless operation, resisting by flight, flight from an officer, and switched plates. If you have any information on his whereabouts, you're asked to contact the Sabine parish sheriff's department.

April 3rd, 2017, Monday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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