Local and Area News

103.1 KWLA

103.1 KWLA is experiencing some reception problems due to damage to the tower from Monday's storm. We at BDC Radio ask that our listeners be patient with us. We are working diligently to correct the problem.Thanks for listening to BDC Radio and KWLA.

July 29 2016, Friday

Leesville Water Department is Moving

The Leesville Water Department is scheduled to move locations Monday, August 1st to 451 Nolan Trace (West Texas Highway), the location oif the old state school building. The drop box will be available for payment drop offs on Monday, August 1st, which will be adjacent to the driveway. Also, the water department has new telephone numbers which are (337) 404-4098 and (337) 404-4099.

July 29 2016, Friday

CLTCC Offering Federal Student Loans

Central Louisiana Technical Community College today announced it will offer federal student loans for the first time in the college's history to eligible students planning to enroll in the 2016 fall semester, which starts August 22, 2016. Student loans are available under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of education. CLTCC received approval to make loans a part of its financial aid package this month. Although the tuition and fees at community colleges are among the lowest of all sectors of higher education, college and living expenses continue to rise, causing many students to view college as unaffordable.

July 29 2016, Friday

Unrestrained Natchitoches Woman Killed in Crash

On Thursday, a single vehicle crash killed a woman from Natchitoches. She was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected during the crash. Troopers responded to the crash around 3:00 p.m., which occured on Interstate 49 south of the avoyelles Parish Line. The crash involved a 2003 Ford van, driven by Samuel Darden of New Llano. The Ford was Southbound on Interstate 49 when one of the tires experienced a failure. Darden then lost control of the vehicle and exited the right side of the roadway. After exiting the roadway, the vehicle began overturning. Darden received moderate injuries as a result of the crash. His passenger, identified as Ayesha Davis, was pronounced dead. Routine Toxicology reports are pending. The crash remains under investigation. If you experience a tire failure (blowout) while driving, don't apply the brakes initially. After you have regained control of your vehicle, then apply the brakes softly. Concentrate on steering, allow the car to slow down gradually, and the sterr the vehicle off the road. The type of vehicle you are driving will play a major role in your ability to maintain control. If you are mentally prepared for an emergency, chances are you will respond appropriately.

July 29 2016, Friday

103.1 KWLA

103.1 KWLA is experiencing some reception problems due to damage to the tower from Monday's storm. We at BDC Radio ask that our listeners be patient with us. We are working diligently to correct the problem.Thanks for listening to BDC Radio and KWLA.

July 29 2016, Friday

Benefit Volleyball Tournament

A Benefit Volleyball tournament will be Held August 4-5, 2016 in the Provencal Gym and Community center benefiting Brandon Malone,36. T-shirts will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. A Raffle drawing fo a Light Blue Tundra Yeti will be held August 6th at 7:00 p.m. in Provencal Gym. Chicken Spaghetti plates will be sold Friday, August 5th, starting at 6:30 in the gym. Adults:$8.00, children:$6.00. On Saturday, August 6th,  a catfish plate lunch sale will be held starting at 11:00 a.m. at Provencal Community Center. Adults: $9.00, children $7.00. A Silent Auction will be held in the community center Friday, August 5th, and Saturday, August 6th. For more information, or to make an individual donation, contact Diane O'Bannon, (318) 652-1439, Brittany Jordan (318) 332-8523, Sandy Davis (318) 652-0540, Tammy Graves (318) 664-9984, Ember O'Bannon (318) 652-4252, or Charlene Womack (318) 652-2155.

July 28, 2016, Thursday

Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Charge

A Many woman pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to possessing a short-barreled shotgun. Christi Rene McPherson, 36, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell in Alexandria to one count of unlawful possession of a short-barreled shotgun, United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley said in a news release. McPherson's conviction stems from contact made in October 2015 with the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office concerning firearms she took from her ex-boyfriend's home. A deputy checked the serial numbers and discovered one had been stolen from the home of a local resident. The deputy then attempted to set up a meeting with McPherson to recover the firearm, but she failed to show up. McPherson was later found at a convenience store in possession of a black bag containing a 12-gauge shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches, five grenade simulators, a Kevlar vest and other firearms.   She also had 3 grams of methamphetamine and 12 pills of Lorazepam with her. Federal law requires that shotguns with barrels shorter than 18 inches long be registered. McPherson faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $10,000 fine and forfeiture of the seized items. She will be sentenced Oct. 31. The ATF and the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph is the prosecutor.

July 28, 2016, Thursday

Suspects Identified in Oil Well Thefts

On July 5, an oil company in the Plainview area reported several thefts from their oil well sites. Deputies and Detectives from the Glenmora Substation responded to the site to make contact with oil company employees. Due to the recent thefts, the oil well company had installed surveillance cameras on the sites to assist in the apprehension of the suspects. Through their investigation, Detectives were able to obtain photos of the suspects, and a Deputy assigned to the Community Police Section in the Plainview area was able to identify the suspects from the photos. The suspects were identified as Shelton Richard and Joseph Stafford. Shelton Richard was arrested on July 13, in reference to the incident and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center. Detectives attempted to contact Stafford, who immediately began evading capture. Several attempts were made to locate Stafford. His family was even advised that he was wanted and that he needed to turn himself in. They were also cautioned not to aid him in evading law enforcement in any way.

July 28, 2016, Thursday

Help Send Off Our Girls For the World Series!

Your Louisiana Angels and Ponytails from Sabine Parish will depart on Friday, July 29th, at 2 p.m. to play softball in Alexandria. Please help us send them off by lining the streets of San Antonio Avenue and cheering them on as they head out! Step outside, wave, yell, and wish them good luck! Thank you for your support!

July 27, 2016, Wednesday

Man Accused Of Inappropriately touching a 15-year-old girl. 

A 64-year-old Starkes man is accdused of inappropriately touching a 15-year-old girl, Calcasieu Parish authorities said. Ted R. C;ark was arrested and charged with aggravated crimes against nature. Judge Michael Canaday set bond at $200,000. The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office first received a complaint against Clark on June 1st, said Kim Myers, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. The girl said the incident happened in March. The girl told authorities that Clark told her he needed her help to find a dog kennel behind her home, Myers said. He then asked if they could go inside, where he inappropriately touched her. Clark was arrested on July 25th.

July 27, 2016, Wednesday

New Interim City Administrator in Leesville

The Leesville City Council agreed Monday to place former city administrator DeLain Prewitt in the interim city administrator role once more while officials continue their search for a permanent hire. Current interim city administrator Willie Banks Jr., will leave July 31st. Prewitt's appointment is effective August 1st. Banks has been serving in the post since May, when Richard Karamatic resigned to manage the Rapides Parish Coliseum.

July 27, 2016, Wednesday

Sabine Parish School Board

Sabine Parish School Board will be holding a meeting August 1st, 2016, at 5:45 p.m. in the Sabine Parish School Board board room at 695 Peterson Street, Many, LA.

July 27, 2016, Wednesday

Natchitoches Police: Teen Fatally Shot was Carrying 'AK-47 Style' Firearm

Natchitoches police say the teen fatally shot over the weekend was carrying an "AK-47 style firearm" at the time, and no charges will be filed against the shooter. According to police, 21-year-old Melvin Pye, Jr. stayed on the scene outside the Super Stop the 1200 block of Texas St. after the shooting Sunday afternoon and called police. Pye told police the teen approached him with the firearm, which was recovered at the scene and is described by police as a "7.62x39 mm caliber AK-47 style firearm." NPD released a photo of the recovered firearm Monday afternoon along with a brief statement saying that no charges would be filed. At the same time, the statement asserted that "no further press releases or information disseminated until the District Attorney’s Office has the opportunity to review the case." Police declined to confirm whether the owner of the recovered firearm is known, or whether it is believed to have been stolen. No details have been released regarding Pye's account of the shooting itself, including whether self defense was claimed or whether any shots were fired by the teen. Police have also not revealed what weapon was used to shoot the teen, or whether it was legally owned. The teen, whose name has not been released, was shot several times. He was taken to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center where he later died. The District Attorney's Office is reviewing the case. 

July 27, 2016, Wednesday

Many Junior High Registration

Many Junior High would like to announce that they will be registering students all of this week and next week. They would like to encourage parants to register students before the first day of school.

July 26, 2016, Tuesday

School Bus Route Open For Hire

A Zwolle and a Converse Bus Route is open for hire. Routes will be driven with a board-owned bus. Current drivers must apply by July 28th, 2016. All others must apply by August 8th, 2016. Contact Diette Ezernack at (318) 256-9228 for more information.  

July 26, 2016, Tuesday

NSU Football Victory Tour

Northwestern State University football coach, Jay Thomas, many of his staff and other Demon coaches and athletic staff will preview upcoming seasons and greet supporters during the upcoming 2016 NSU Vitory Tour, which features eight stops reaching across the state to Demon fans. A Leesville stop is planned for 6 p.m. July 27th, 2016 at Mexico Lino, 2503 McRae Road. All Victory Tour stops are reception-style events that will last approximately two hours, including a brief program  midway featuring Thomas and other NSU coaches in attendance. Door prizes will be awarded at each stop, with schedule cards and other promotional materials available.

July 26, 2016, Tuesday

Rosepine Resident Accused of Killing Hogs

A 17-year-old Rosepine resident is accused of killing 16 domesticated hogs on someone's property, according to a Vernon Parish SHeriff's Department release. Chance Green was arrested and booked into the Vernon Parish Jail, charged with two counts of criminal trespassing, two counts of criminal damage to property and 16 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. The Sheriff's Office was contacted on July 17th, by a resident who said someone had shot and killed some domesticated hogs on his property in the Rospeine area. A second call was received on July 19th, saying more hogs had been shot and killed. No information regarding any alleged motive for the teen allegedly killing the hogs was provided.

July 26, 2016, Tuesday

New Details released in Merryville Drownings

The Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office has released new information about Sunday's drownings on the Sabine River in Merryville. Harlin Powell, 51, was found dead first while his two sons Dale, 12, and Robbie, 14, were still missing in the river. According to Sheriff Ricky Moses, the body of the first boy was recovered at 6:39 p.m. by a diver. The body of the second boy was found at 9:49 p.m. by using Sonar technology, which detects objects underwater. The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office Marine Division helped the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office with the search. This is the latest in a string of tragedies on the Sabine River in recent years. "It's a very dangerous river especially when they are generating at Toledo Bend Dam," said Moses."The current is a lot swifter than people realize. My best advice is to not swim in the Sabine River." The river, although beautiful, has become increasingly more dangerous recently because of the flooding back in March according to Lt. Jesse Savoie, with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.  In his 26 years of service, Savoie has seen around 15 drownings just in that same area of the river alone.  He advises people to wait until the water is low, and stay away from deeper areas if you choose to swim in the river.  If you are faced with the situation of having to rescue someone, he advises that you stay out of the water unless you are a strong swimmer with advanced training. Try to throw something like a paddle or a cooler to the person in distress.  Also, if you find yourself being carried away, calmly swim with the current towards the shore. 

July 26, 2016, Tuesday

DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office Seeks Public's Assistance

DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office is requesting the public's assistance in locating a stolen dirt bike. Between July 13th, 2016 and July 18th, 2016, a red and white 2014 Honda CRF110F dirt bike was stolen from the area of Keatchie Road in DeSoto Parish. The only identifying information on the dirt bike available is the VIN Number, which is LALJE0214E3100266. Anyone with information related to the stolen dirt bike is asked to call the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office at (318)872-3956 and request to speak with Sergeant Mike Armstrong.

July 26, 2016, Tuesday

Natchitoches Police Investigate Shooting Near Texas Street

The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating a shooting that resulted in the death of a juvenile Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of 1205 Texas Street close to the Super Stop. On July 24th, around 3 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to 1205 Texas Street in reference to a juvenile being struck by several bullets while in the parking lot. Officers and Detectives are currently inteviewing several witnesses to this incident. The juvenile was transported to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center where he later died from his injuries. The Natchitoches Police Department will release more details as they become available.

July 25,2016, Monday

Two People Killed in Log Truck/Pickup Wreck

The driver of the Mack truck has been identified as Christopher Wayne Harville, 35 years old, of Converse, LA by the Department of Public Safety. Harville was pronounced dead at the scene by JP Joe Sorrels, his body taken to Crawford Crim Funeral Home in Henderson. PS says the driver of the Ford has been identified as Ozine Roberts, 81 years old, of Garrison. Roberts was pronounced dead at the scene by JP Joe Sorrels, his body taken to Cotton Funeral Home in Nacogdoches.

July 25,2016, Monday

Motorist Killed in Sabine Parish Crash

Early Sunday morning, Troppers responded to a single vehicle crash that killed a man from Zwolle, Louisiana. He was wearing a helmet , by was ejected from the motorcycle. Troopers responded to the crash around 6:15 a.m., which occured on Kembrell Loop near Hess Road. The crash involved a 2012 Harley Davidson, driven by Ralph C. Higginbotham Jr., white male, 63. The Harley was westbound on Kimbrell Loop when Higgenbotham Jr. lost control and exited the right side of the roadway. After exiting the roadway, the motorcycle collided with a culvert and Higginbotham Jr. was then ejected as the motorcycle continued across a private driveway. Higginbotham Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene. The exact time of the crash is unknown, but the investigation remains ongoing. Routine toxicology tests are pending.

July 25,2016, Monday

Infant left in hot car in Jonesboro while mother eats pizza

Police in Jonesboro say a 4-month-old girl is recovering after being left in a hot car while her mother ate pizza. Police were called shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday and say the child's mother said she left the child in the car because she was sleeping when she arrived at the pizza restaurant. The woman said she and family members went inside to eat and she returned outside to check on the girl after 10-15 minutes, then called 911 when she saw the girl in distress. Police say the temperature was 96 degrees at the time and the heat index was 108. The child was taken to a hospital where police say she appeared to have no heat-related problems. The mother was cited for second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

July 22, 2016, Friday

Authorities release names of three suspects in robbery of DeRidder bank

 Authorities say they have arrested three suspects involved in Monday's robbery of Sabine State Bank in DeRidder. Donavan Wolfe, 25; Anthony Fontenot, 32, and Paula Bradley, 27, all of DeRidder, were arrested and charged with first-degree robbery, said DeRidder Police Deputy Chief Christopher Rudy. An overnight investigation by the DeRidder Police Department and the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office led to the arrests of the three suspects involved in the robbery. Bradley turned herself in, while Wolfe and Fontenot were arrested at a residence in the Bundick Lake area in Beauregard Parish. Some of the money was recovered after searching two residences, along with evidence related to the robbery.  Additional charges related to the robbery are pending as well as charges that are unrelated, Rudy said. All three suspects were booked into the parish jail. Bradley is held on a $150,000 bond, while Wolfe and Fontenot are held each on a $500,000 bond.

July 22, 2016, Friday

Man accused of failing to appear in court 4 times

A man recently booked on several charges in Sabine Parish also has a warrant for his arrest in DeSoto Parish. A report that a fugitive was at Timbers Apartments in Many on Sunday led Sabine sheriff's deputies and Many police to the complex in the 100 block of Airport Road. That's where they arrested 31-year-old Rickey Lamont Booth. He was wanted for several thefts in the area, including one at Tractor Supply in Many during which several hundred dollars' worth of horse-related items were taken.  Booth was booked into Sabine Parish Detention Center on several warrants.  Many police have charged him with 1 count each of theft of goods under $500, possession of marijuana, resisting an officer and possession of drug paraphernalia. Charges filed by the Sabine sheriff's office stem from 3 times he reportedly failed to appear before a judge to stand trial - once on charges of illegal possession of stolen things, forgery and bank fraud; another time on a charge of theft under $100 and still another on a charge of second-offense possession of marijuana. In DeSoto, Booth is wanted on a warrant charging him with failing to appear in court to be arraigned on a charge of possession of marijuana.

July 22, 2016, Friday

All Lives Matter

There will be an "ALL LIVES MATTER" march in Many on Saturday, July 23rd. It beguns at 9 a.m. at the Catholic Church and continues down Main Street, turning down Capitol Streeet and anding in front of the Court House. For information please call Michael Turner at (318)581-5639.

July 21, 2016, Thursday

Bar-S Recall

Bar-S Foods company, an Altus, Oklahoma establishment, is recalling approximatelt 372,684 pounds of chicken and pork hot dog and corn dog products that may be adultered with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announce today. The ready-to-eat chicken and pork hot dog and corn dog items were produced on July 10th, 11th, 12, and 13th.

July 21, 2016, Thursday

Runaway Found Safe

On Wednesday, July 21st, 2016, 16-year-old Phoenix Pichon was reported missing after leaving the Second Street area in Natchitoches walking. His direction of Travel was unknown. Later Wednesday evening, Pichon was found safe. The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office and the Natchitoches Police Department thank the public for their assistance in locating the teen.

July 21, 2016, Thursday

NPSO, LSP, and EMS Respond to I-49 Injury Crash on Wednesday Evening

On Wednesday evening, July 20th, at approximately 6:41 p.m., deputies assigned to the NPSo Patrol Division, Louisiana State Police and Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS responded to a two-vehicle injury crash on Interstate-49 near mile pose #142, north of Natchitoches. Two vehicles were invlved in the crash, a 2011 Hyundai and a 2005 Buick. The operator of the 2011 Hyundai was transported from the scene by EMS to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and transferred to University Heath, Shreveport with what is believed to be serious injuries. The cause of the crash is being investigated by Troopers assigned to LSP Troop-E Alexandria.

July 21, 2016, Thursday

Cane River NHA to Host Lunch and Learn Lecture at Grand Ecore Visitor Center

Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. (CRNHA) will host a lunch and learn lecture entitled, “Smothered, Fried & Baked: A Discussion on Cane River Cooking Traditions with Connie Jones” on Friday, August 12, 2016 at the Grand Ecore Visitor Center. A licensed nutritionist, Jones is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Jones will discuss the foods and cooking techniques that make Cane River cuisine stand out amongst traditional southern foods. Specifically, Jones will cover topics including the history of the Cane River meat pie, teacakes, southern fried, and smothered foods. Jones will hone in on what makes this region’s creole style food unique and examine themes like the Holy Trinity vs. Holy “Quad,” and the sustainability and economics of traditional food preservation techniques. “Connie Jones is entertaining and knowledgeable on all things food and we are delighted to hear what she has to share about Cane River’s unique cuisine,” said Steven Fullen, CRNHA’s Director of Interpretation. The lecture will be approximately forty-five minutes long and held at the Grand Ecore Visitor Center on August 12th from 11:30am-12:30pm. Coffee, tea, and water will be provided to attendees. Participants are invited to bring a bag lunch. The lecture is free, but space is limited.  Please RSVP to Steven Fullen at sfullen@canerivernha.org or at 318-356-5555.

July 20, 2016, Wednesday

Bossier deputies depart for Baton Rouge

Ten Bossier deputies departed for Baton Rouge this afternoon, to provide support for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office during the civil unrest in the state’s capital.  The 13 Bossier deputies who deployed to Baton Rouge July 11 had returned home safely last week. The new detachment will be sworn in as East Baton Rouge deputies and remain in the area for at least the rest of this week. Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington briefed the deputies about the importance of the mission, saying, “We stand for law and order, and it’s a trying and dangerous time for them down there. I know they would come and help us if the roles were reversed.” The team, equipped with riot control gear, left Bossier shortly after 4 p.m.  Bossier Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Jay Valentine asked for God’s blessing on the journey. The deputies will each ride with a local deputy in the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s patrol units.   Preparation for civil unrest actually began more than a year ago at the Bossier Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Whittington set up a special Riot Control Unit to keep peace in cases of civil unrest, and the team has been training extensively. “These are some of the finest deputies you’ll find, and they prepared for a time like this,” said Sheriff Whittington.  “We pray for their safety.”

July 20, 2016, Wednesday

Heat Advisory extended through Thursday

A Heat Advisory has been extended for the entire ArkLaTex through 7pm Thursday. Afternoon temperatures in the mid to upper 90s combined with high humidity will lead to dangerous heat conditions for the next several days. Additional heat advisories are possible through the weekend. The high humidity makes it harder for our bodies to cool off because it doesn't allow sweat to evaporate from our skin. As a result it feels hotter than the actual temperature on the thermometer. The Heat Index or what it will 'feel like' to the average person will climb between 105 and 109 the next few afternoons. Here are some tips to help beat the heat:

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

July 20, 2016, Wednesday

Peace vigil at NSU calls for unity

Students, faculty and administrators at Northwestern State University gathered for a peace vigil Tuesday to honor victims of violence and law enforcement officials who lost their lives in recent weeks. Campus leaders encouraged others to look past race and religion, be slow to anger, embrace community and maintain an open dialogue to help engagement. The event included the lighting of candles, singing, a moment of silence and a prayer for healing and unity.

July 20, 2016, Wednesday

Sabine Parish Police Jury Meeting

The Sabine Parish Police Jury will hold its regulary scheduled meeting Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in the Police Jury Meeting Room of the Sabine Parish Courthouse.

July 19, 2016, Tuesday

Bank Robbery

The DeRidder Police Department is investigating a bank robbery at Sabine State Bank on Mahlon Street. The robbery happened at 12:30 p.m. Monday, according to Deputy Chief Chris Rudy. DeRidder police are searching for two suspects-the man accused of robbing the bank and the driver of the getaway vehicle. The bank robbery suspect is described at a 5'6" white male with a slim build. The driver of the black four door Chevrolet Colorado or Nissan Truckis described as a white male, who is bald and has a thin build. Rudy asked anyone with information to call the DeRidder Police at (337)462-8911 or Crime Stoppers at (337)462-8918

July 19, 2016, Tuesday

Kansas City Police Surround Home Of Baton Rouge Shooter

A man believed to have taken part in the shooting that killed at least three police officers from Baton Rouge, LA, was from the Kansas City metro area. Sources say the shooter is 29-year-old Gavin Eugene Long. Three police officers were killed and three additional police officers were wounded Sunday morning in Louisiana. On Sunday evening, police taped off a scene believed to be Long's most recent home in the 1100 block of East 77th Terrace.  At one point, police surrounding the home and said there was a man inside who pointed a gun at reporters. At that time, they treated the area as if there is an imminent threat to surrounding residents and businesses.  Police had the street in front of the house blocked off for several hours before moving to a second location a few blocks away late Sunday night. Overnight, the investigation also led the FBI, Kansas City and Baton Rouge police to the Waldo Height Apartments at East 81st and Cambell streets. The apartment is about half a mile from the home. Long was a former Marine, according to CBS News. He graduated from Grandview High School in 2005. Grandview police say Long had no arrests on his record. He got a ticket in 2003 and failed a field interview in 2005. The University of Alabama confirms Long attended the university for a semester in 2012 and made the Dean's List. The university says UAPD did not have any interaction with him as a student.  Long was a sergeant, according to records. He served in the military from Aug. 22, 2005 until Aug. 21, 2010.  He was awarded the Marine Corps Good Conduct medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Navy Unit Commendation Medal.  A Grandview High School classmate says that Long converted to Islam three years ago. He said Long was quiet and nice.  Investigators said Long rented a white Chevy on July 12 in Kansas City and drove that to Baton Rouge, opening fire on his birthday. Neighbors in the area have mixed reactions. To some, Long is remembered as the kid who grew up next door. To others, he didn't stand out.

July 19, 2016, Tuesday

SPD Investigating Series Of Weekend Shootings

Shreveport police are investigating a series of weekend shootings that left one person dead and sent four to the hospital. The first shooting happened just after 2 a.m. Sunday in the 4000 block of Golf Links Boulevard. When officers arrived on the scene they learned that 27-year-old Timmy Lane had been shot by a person armed with a handgun who was wearing a mask over his face. Police say they believe the gunman fired multiple shots at Lane, who was sitting inside his vehicle at the time.
Lane was struck by the fired rounds and later drove himself to Willis-Knighton Medical Center's north location after suffering a gunshot wound to the upper body.
Authorities say Lane's injuries are considered non-life threatening and he's expected to recover. No arrests have been made in the shooting. Investigators were notified of a second shooting around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, which reportedly happened in the 100 block of North Greenbrook Loop in West Shreveport. Officers were at University Health hospital with the victim, 35-year-old Kevin White, arrived in the emergency room suffering from a gunshot wound to his mouth. White was immediately taken to surgery with life-threatening injuries. Police say they believe White was shot at a home on Greenbrook Loop and driven to the hospital by private vehicle. On Monday, White succumbed to his injuries. No arrests have been made in that crime either. Just after 6 p.m. Sunday, officers were called to a third shooting involving a teen which authorities believe happened at Lee Hedges Stadium in the 6000 block of Kings Highway. Police say the 17-year-old drove from Lee Hedges Stadium to the Circle K on the corner of Southfield Rd. and Youree Drive after suffering a gunshot wound to the upper body. During their investigation, police say it's believed the teen and another male were engaged in the sale of illegal narcotics when an argument broke out and the other person shot the teen. Authorities say the gunman fled the scene, but say they're confident the arrest of the person responsible is imminent. The fourth shooting happened just after 10:30 p.m. Sunday when officers were called to the emergency room of University Health. When officers arrived, the 31-year-old female victim reportedly told them that she was sitting outside a home in the 2800 block of Hardy Street when she was shot by someone who fired shots from a moving vehicle. Police say very little information was obtained regarding the description of the vehicle involved. The victim suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound to her thigh and arrived at the hospital by private vehicle. Authorities are still seeking people responsible for these shooting and are urging anyone with information about these crime to please call Crime Stoppers at 318-673-7373 or on their website www.lockemup.org.

July 19, 2016, Tuesday

Coast Guard searches for man who fell into Mississippi River

The Coast Guard is searching for the captain of a freight vessel who fell into the Mississippi River in Louisiana. Media outlets report that the Coast Guard began its search for Capt. Ambarish Parekh at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. The Coast Guard says Parekh was last seen wearing a blue shirt and long pants with a personal flotation device.  Parekh was attempting to board the freight vessel African Raptor from a crew boat and fell off a ramp that was connecting the two vessels near Donaldsonville. The Coast Guard asks anyone with information to contact the Sector New Orleans Command Center at (504) 365-2209.

July 18, 2016, Monday

The Latest: Gunman 'was seeking out,' ambushed 6 Baton Rouge officers

A former Marine dressed in black and carrying extra ammunition ambushed police in Baton Rouge, shooting and killing three law enforcement officers less than two weeks after a black man was fatally shot by police there in a confrontation that sparked nightly protests that reverberated nationwide. Three other officers were wounded Sunday, one critically. Police said the gunman was killed at the scene. "His movements, his direction, his attention was on police officers," state police Col. Mike Edmonson said Monday morning. He would not elaborate but used the word "ambush" to describe the attack.  He also confirmed that investigators have interviewed people with whom the shooter had contact with in Baton Rouge. But Edmonson wouldn't say how many or give details. He stressed that the interviews don't mean that those people were involved in the shooting and urged any others who might have had contact with or information about shooter Gavin Long to come forward. The shooting less than a mile from police headquarters added to the tensions across the country between the black community and police. Just days earlier, one of the slain officers had posted an emotional Facebook message about the challenges of police work in the current environment. President Barack Obama urged Americans to tamp down inflammatory words and actions. "We don't need careless accusations thrown around to score political points or to advance an agenda. We need to temper our words and open our hearts ... all of us," Obama said. The gunman was identified as Gavin Long of Kansas City, who turned 29 Sunday.  Long, who was black, served in the Marines from 2005 to 2010, reaching the rank of sergeant. He deployed to Iraq from June 2008 to January 2009, according to military records.  Although he was believed to be the only person who fired at officers, authorities were investigating whether he had some kind of help.  "We are not ready to say he acted alone," state police spokesman Major Doug Cain said. Two "persons of interest" were detained for questioning in the nearby town of Addis. They were later released without any charges being filed. While in the military, Long was awarded several medals, including one for good conduct, and received an honorable discharge. His occupational expertise was listed as "data network specialist." The University of Alabama issued a statement saying Long attended classes for one semester in the spring of 2012. A school spokesman said university police had no interactions with him.  In Kansas City, police officers, some with guns drawn, converged on a house listed as Long's. It was the fourth high-profile deadly encounter in the United States involving police over the past two weeks. In all, the violence has cost the lives of eight officers, including those in Baton Rouge, and two civilians and sparked a national debate over race and policing. Authorities initially believed that additional assailants might be at large, but hours later said there were no other active shooters. They did not discuss the gunman's motive or any relationship to the wider police conflicts.  The shooting began at a gas station on Airline Highway. According to radio traffic, Baton Rouge police answered a report of a man with an assault rifle and were met by gunfire. For several long minutes, they did not know where it was coming from.  The radio exchanges were made public Sunday by the website Broadcastify.  Nearly 2 1/2 minutes after the first report of an officer getting shot, an officer on the scene is heard saying police do not know the shooter's location. Almost 6 minutes pass after the first shots are reported before police say they have determined the shooter's location. About 30 seconds later, someone says shots are still being fired. The recording lasts about 17 minutes and includes urgent calls for an armored personnel carrier called a BearCat.  "There simply is no place for more violence," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. "It doesn't further the conversation. It doesn't address any injustice perceived or real. It is just an injustice in and of itself." From his window, Joshua Godwin said he saw the suspect, who was dressed in black with a ski mask, combat boots and extra bullets. He appeared to be running "from an altercation."  Mike Spring awoke at a nearby house to a sound that he thought was from firecrackers. The noise went on for 5 to 10 minutes, getting louder.  Of the two officers who survived the shooting, one was hospitalized in critical condition, and the other was in fair condition. Another officer was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, hospital officials said. Two of the slain officers were from the Baton Rouge Police Department: 32-year-old Montrell Jackson, who had been on the force for a decade, and 41-year-old Matthew Gerald, who had been there for less than a year.

July 18, 2016, Monday

Clerk injured in Bossier City armed robbery

Bossier City police are investigating an overnight armed robbery at the Raceway gas station in the 2100 block of Old Minden Road. The suspect was armed with a handgun and robbed the cashier of an undisclosed amount of money about 4am. Police say before fleeing the scene on foot the suspect struck the cashier in the head with the gun.  The cashier was taken a local hospital for treatment. No arrest has been made yet.  Anyone with information is asked to call Bossier Crimestoppers at 424-4100.

July 18, 2016, Monday

Truck Wreck Kills Former Natchitoches Police Officer

A former Natchitoches police officer is the man who died in the wreck of a pickup July 13, authorities say. He is 53-year-old Winston D. Ficklin Jr., a Natchitoches resident who was with the department 15 years ago. The wreck happened about 5:55 p.m. July 13 on Louisiana Highway 9 north of the Natchitoches Parish community of Creston, according to Louisiana State Police. Ficklin was driving 2015 Chevrolet pickup south on LA 9 when he lost control of the truck, says a statement by Master Trooper Daniel "Scott" Moreau, of state police Troop E. The vehicle left the left side of the roadway, collided with two trees and overturned. Ficklin, who was wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead on the scene.The wreck remains under investigation by state police Troop E, which now has logged 29 fatal crashes resulting in 34 deaths so far this year.

July 15, 2016, Friday

SWEPCO Issues Pokemon GO Advisory

 For Pokemon GO players, here's a heads up from electrical company, SWEPCO. Beware of electrical substation locations that may be included on new Pokémon game App. Everyone is talking about and playing the new Pokémon GO App, which uses established buildings and landmarks as gathering sites for players. There is some discussion that you can catch electric type Pokémon near substations and transformers.  "Please be advised that electrical substations and transformers are very dangerous and not to be considered as gaming locations," SWEPCO said in a statement. You should never climb the fence or enter a substation. Stay away from all power lines and transformers on utility poles or located on the ground in green boxes. Don’t climb company poles to try and reach transformers.SWEPCO asks you to "Be electrical safety smart."

July 15, 2016, Friday

Red River Balloon Rally Kicks off in Shreveport this Week

The Super Bowl of Hot Air Ballooning begins this week. Organizers are gearing up for the 2016 Red River Balloon Rally.People who live in Shreveport may have noticed an interesting site Wednesday morning as pilots floated above the area, practicing for the Red River Balloon Rally.  50 hot air balloons will start competing the week of July 14-21. The Red River Balloon Rally begins Friday at 4 p.m. The gates will close at 11:30 p.m. The last day is Saturday and the rally will open at 5:45 a.m. and close at 11 a.m. The gates will then reopen at 4 p.m. and close at 11:30 p.m.

July 14, 2016, Thursday

$1 Million Budget Cut

The governor's office will be laying off some staff members as it deals with a $1 million budget cut for the financial year that began July 1. Richard Carbo, the spokesman for Governor John Bel Edwards, said they did notify some workers Tuesday, but he would not say how many will be getting pink slips. No word on how many workers have already  been notified or how many will be laid off overall. The governor's office said some of the workers may move to other agencies in need of people to fill jobs.

July 14, 2016, Thursday

Natchitoches Man Killed in Crash

Earlier Wednesday, a single vehicle crash killed a man from Natchitoches.Troopers responded to the crash around 5:55 p.m., which happened on Highway 9 north of Creston.  The crash involved a 2015 Chevrolet pickup, driven by 53-year old Winston D. Ficklin Jr.  The Chevrolet was southbound on Highway 9 when Ficklin Jr. lost control and exited the left side of the roadway.  After exiting the roadway, the vehicle collided with two trees before overturning.  Ficklin Jr. was wearing a seat belt, but was pronounced dead on the scene. The investigation remains ongoing.  Routine toxicology tests are pending. Troop E Troopers have investigated 29 fatal crashes in 2016, resulting in 34 fatalities.

July 14, 2016, Thursday

Truck Fire Creates Hazmat Concerns in DeSoto Parish

 Louisiana State Police are investigating after a truck containing potentially hazardous materials caught fire Wednesday morning. DeSoto Parish sheriff's deputies say the driver of the truck called around  7 a.m. when he noticed smoke coming from his truck carrying chemicals. He was  transporting the chemical on a well location site on Goss Lane, near George Small Road, Friendship Road, and Red Lick Road in DeSoto Parish. The truck caught on fire from what was believed to be a mechanical failure.  According to Mike Armstrong with Homeland Security, the scene of the incident was turned over to the oil company and the road was reopened around 9:15. The sheriff's office canceled the evacuation just before 8:30 a.m. Deputies said the initial fire was extinguished and crews were on scene working on cleanup. The DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office said 3 households within the immediate area were contacted and advised to shelter in place. Deputies asked that all people who live within a mile radius of Goss Lane shelter in place and close their windows and doors.  No injuries were reported. No citations have been issued at this time. The Louisiana State Police are investigating the incident.

July 14, 2016, Thursday

Man Booked on Murder Charges

A Merryville man has been booked on second-degree murder after Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office authorities said he allegedly struck a person in the head and drove off with the victim's body. According to a news release from Sheriff K.P. Gibson, it happened shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday near Morse, La. Gibson said 32 year old Ryan Tucker allegedly struck the person with an object, placed  the victim in a vehicle and left, heading toward Beauregard Parish. The victim's name has not been released, yet Gibson said the victim is also from the Beauregard Parish area. Tucker was located with the help of the Allen Parish Sheriff's Office and the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office. During the stop, authorities found the victim dead inside. "Motive has not been confirmed, however; the vicitm and suspect were acquaintances," Gibson said. Tucker was booked into the Beauregard Parish Jail. Gibson said he will be extradited to Acadia Parish this week.

July 13, 2016, Wednesday

Edwards Pleased with Police Response to Protests

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards says he remains pleased with the police response to protests of the shooting death of Alton Sterling by police officers. The weekend protests led to nearly 200 arrests and a show of force from law enforcement. The Democratic governor, who comes from a family of sheriffs, charcaterized the response as "moderate." Critics have questioned the riot gear and weaponry carried by police officers, saying it's out of line with keeping protests from becoming violent. But Edwards pushed back against such suggestions Tuesday.

July 13, 2016, Wednesday


Cash, Drugs seized in Traffic Stop in Many

One person was arrested and about $4,000 in cash was seized after a traffic stop led to the discovery of drugs, according to the Many Police Department. Police say it happened Sunday night at the intersection of Hwy. 6 and MLK Drive.  Authorities say during the stop, they discovered that the driver was a felon in possession of a handgun. The suspect, whose name has not been released, was booked into the Sabine Detention Center. The suspect was also found to be in possession of a small back of synthetic cannabinoids, a designer drug that is chemically different from the chemicals in cannabis but is sold with claims it gives the effects of cannabis, said police.

July 13, 2016, Wednesday

Hodges Gardens State Park Will Remain Open

Hodges Gardens State Park will remain open amid budget threats in Baton Rouge. According to the Friends of Hodges Gardens organization, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser informed the organization's president, Chris Nolen, of the news. "He also indicated his willingness to help Friends' efforts in any way he could, asking us to coordinate with his office to schedule a visit to the gardens," the organization said in a statement. "We now can redirect our energies to promoting Hodges Gardens. We must be diligent in our efforts to increase the visitation to the park as those parks with high visitation were never considered for closure when the finances werr in question."

July 12, 2016, Tuesday

Obama to Speak at Slain Officers' Memorial

President Obama, former President George W. Bush and others will lead an interfaith memorial service today in honor of five Dallas police officers killed by a lone gunman last week. While those leading the protests in Dallas last week say they mourn the officers' deaths, they remain focused on the deaths of black men at the hands of police.

July 12, 2016, Tuesday

Teen Drowned at Black Bayou Reservoir Identified

The teen who drowned Sunday at Black Bayou Reservoir has been identified as 14-year-old Johnathon Clarkson. According to the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office, Clarkson is from Shreveport and was in Bossier Parish visiting with friends. Bossier Parish Sheriff's deputies say the victim yelled to his friends that he couldn't swim and the other boys attempted to save him. Around 7 p.m., divers recovered the teen's body in about 20 feet of water. Deputies on the scene say the teens gained access to the flood gate on the reservoir by crawling through a barbed wire fence. The gate at the water's edge was padlocked with a no trespassing sign.

July 12, 2016, Tuesday

Fraud Advisory

Andrew Cannarsa, Social Security Inspector General, warns public about email Phishing Scheme. The office of Inspector General recieved reports that several hundred employees of a private company, with offices across the country, recently received an emai lmessage that appears to be from the Social Security Administration. The message alerts a recipient of "unusual" activity with his or her Social Security number. The email  subject line reads, "Review Your Social Security", and while the email sender displayed is " Social Security Administration," the corresponding email address is ceriley@centurytel.net . The mesage includes a PDF attachment with the heading "Notification". It advises the recipient, "We detected something unusual about a recent use of your SSN" and "to helo keep you sade, we required an aextra security challenge." The message states that if the recipient did not recently use his or her SSN, then a "malicious user" might have misused the recipient's number. It asks the recipient to review recent activity via an embedded link, which links to a suspicious SSA-like site. Further, to appear legitimate, the notice includes SSA's offcial seal and the words "Social Security Administrator, United States of America" in the signature. If a person has questions about any communication-email, letter, text, or phone call- that claims to be from SSA, Stone recommends contacting a local Social Security office, or calling Social Security's toll free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to verify its Fraud Advisory legitimacy. Individuals may report suspicious activity involving Social Security programs and operations to the Social Security Hotline at https://oig.ssa.gov/report, or by phone at 1-800-269-0271, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. For more information, please contact Andrew Cannarsa, the OIG's Acting Communications Director, at (410)965-2671.

July 11, 2016, Monday

Alford to Play at BPCC

It had been a little bit of time since the Florien Lady Blackcats had been beaten in the Class B finals by Holden. Senior Katie Alford had already signed up for classes at Northwestern State University, deciding to just go to school. But then she stepped into the gym one afternoon and shot the ball. That’s all it took for her to change her mind. Alford, who had an offer from Millsaps College on the table, got in contact with Bossier Parish Community College. She spoke with the coaches, who in turn called up Scott and Brooke Stoehr, the former co-head coaches at Northwestern State University. And upon a glowing recommendation from the Stoehrs, who had offered Alford a tryout, the coaches at BPCC?offered Alford a spot on the team. Alford made it official Friday by signing on with the Lady Cavaliers. “I really like the fact it’s a small school with a program that is building and not very old,” Alford said.?“It’s not too far from home and I’m going to give 100 percent to them over the next two years.” Alford, who had played for the Lady Blackcats since she was a sixth-grader, made many memories as a member of the Florien squad. Not only did she get to play in multiple Ladies Top 28 games, she was also part of three milestone victories for head coach DeWain Strother, including this past year where he won his 1,000th career game in the finals of the Negreet Tournament against Stanley. “He didn’t want us to know about it,” Alford said.?“He wanted us to focus on winning and not the record. And even though I was hurt and not playing at the time, I was there for 1,000, just like I was for 800 and 900.” Alford, a second-team all-district performer who averaged 13.6 points and 2.5 assists per game, while sporting a 21 on her ACT, helped guide the Lady Blackcats to the state finals as a senior, where they fell to Holden. “I was sad that we lost, I wanted to win,” she said. “I didn’t want to just get there. I wanted to win.” According to her mother, Geri Alford, Katie’s persistence is going to pay huge dividends at the next level. “She works very hard and I’m excited for her,” Geri Alford said.?“Her persistent attitude got her to Bossier and I know she will give it all she’s got for them. We are very, very proud of her.” Katie Alford, who graduated with a 3.95 GPA, is the daughter of Geri and Ryan Alford. She has two siblings — older sister Allie Alford Sparks and an older brother, Eric Alford.
July 11, 2016, Monday

DeSoto Parish Deputies Warn Salesmen

DeSoto Parish Sheriff's deputies are warning the public of door-to-door salesmen. Deputies say they've received complaints from residents in the north end of the parish in reference to a person identifying himself as a salesman from Vivint security. Complainants reportedly told authorities that while talking to the man, the man mentions the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office. According to DPSO, the department is not affiliated with Vivint or any of their products or services. There are a number of security companies that install security systems and offer monitoring services. However, the sheriff's office says they're not able to recommend or be directly affiliated with any of them. Authorities say they recommend residents do their research on companies, especially those who travel door-to-door attempting to sell products or services, before making a decision. Those who believe a person is suspicious are urged to contact the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office at 318-872-3956.

July 11, 2016, Monday

Teen Dies in Drowning Accident

A teenage boy died Sunday afternoon during a drowning accident in Cypress Black Bayou near the Palmetto boat launch on Old Palmetto Road in Benton. Bossier Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene just before 6 p.m. after they were notified a young teenager had jumped into the water and did not resurface.  The boy and two friends had apparently crossed the fence at the boat launch area and went to the flood gate where the boy jumped.  He yelled to the two others that he couldn’t swim, and they jumped in to try and help him.  The Bossier Sheriff’s Office dive team quickly came to the scene, and they recovered the unresponsive boy around 7 p.m. The Bossier Parish Coroner also responded, and the Bossier Sheriff’s Office chaplain has contacted next of kin.“This appears to be a tragic accident, and I ask you to please keep the family of this young boy in your thoughts and prayers,” said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington.

July 11, 2016, Monday

Man Recovering from Overnight Shooting in Shreveport

 A Shreveport man was seriously wounded following a shooting at a gas station Wednesday evening. Just before midnight, officers were called to University Health hospital on reports a man arrived at the emergency room suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body. The man, identified as 26-year-old Tyrell Diggs, was treated for his wounds which were considered serious. However, police say he is expected to survive. Police say Diggs was at the Raceway gas station in the 200 block of East 70th Street when he and another man got into an argument.  At the height of the argument, police say the other man pulled out a firearm and shot Diggs multiple times before fleeing the scene. So far, no arrests have been made.

July 8, 2016, Friday

Emergency Lane Closure on I-49 in Natchitoches

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), advises the public that Bridge Number 455-06-1884-2 will be reduced to one lane immediately for emergency repairs due to embankment failure. This lane closure shall remain in effect until repairs are completed. This structure is on I-49 (southbound roadway) over LA 120 (Flora/Cypress exit) located at logmile 18.84. Bridge will be reduced to one 12’ lane. Please no wide loads .DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution through the construction site and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

July 8, 2016, Friday

Memorial Movement For Slain Natchitoches Angler Going International

Dylan Poche is still fishing, thanks to a social media movement that continues to grow in his memory. The 18-year-old was a student at NSU, nephew of Bassmaster Elite Series pro Keith Poche and an accomplished angler in his own right.

He was fatally stabbed at the Sibley Lake Boat Launch in Natchitoches on January 31, 2016. In April, a Natchitoches grand jury indicted his accused killer, 19-year-old Andrew Jacob Wallace, charging him with second degree murder.

Since then, a memorial scholarship and fishing tournament has been held in the young fisherman's memory.

Now, a new social media movement has taken his memory to bodies of water across the world.

In honor of Poche's love for fishing, his mother, Misty Ott, said at the memorial tournament that she wants everyone to write her son's name on a rock and toss it into every body of water they can find.

"I want Dylan to go to all the waters of the world," Ott said on May 8, 2016.

Since then, the Facebook group DylanKylePocheFishingAroundTheWorld was created for people to post picture of their rocks and share which body of water they were thrown into. The group is now more than 1,800 members strong.

Rocks have now been thrown for Poche across the country and across the world from Mexico to Canada to Spain to the Bahamas.

"I didn't think it would get this big. I didn't think it would go this far. To say wonderful would be an understatement," said Ott.

"You would think this would just be something as a family would do but once we started the Facebook page, it just went worldwide, everybody started joining in and that's pretty special," said Brady Poche, Dylan's youngest brother.

Ott said the rock-throwing movement started when Dylan and his brothers were very young. She said they used to bring her and their stepmother, Shelley Poche, heart-shaped rocks wherever they found them.

Dylan's parents said this memorial movement is helping to keep his memory going.

"He's there with everybody on these bodies of water," said his father, Burt Poche. "He was just there with me on Lake Sam Rayburn and he helped me catch some fish."

The Poche family, once struck by tragedy and now united in their faith, said they want to thank everyone for taking part in this movement and helping it expand even farther.

"Throwing stones for Dylan....he'd be really honored," said Dylan's brother Kaleb Poche.

"Keep his memory alive, his spirit going through all the waters throughout the world," said Shelley Poche.

The Poche family said they are overjoyed to see that, even after his death, Dylan is still fishing across the world.

July 7, 2016, Thursday

Correctional Center In Winn Parish Is The Focus Of Investigative Series By Mother Jones Magazine

Winn Correctional Center near Winnfield is the subject of a troubling five-part investigative series by Mother Jones magazine in its current edition. Reporter Shane Bauer worked there for four months as a correctional officer in 2014-15. This series chronicles his experiences, as well as the sad state of private prisons in Louisiana and the United States.

While captivated by Bauer's intrepid work, I have rarely been so depressed by a piece of investigative journalism. Bauer describes a hopeless, renegade institution, devoid of compassion and decency.

When Bauer worked there, Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) operated the prison but ended its contract with the state in 2015 to LaSalle Corrections of Ruston. Let's hope LaSalle runs a tighter ship than that which Bauer described.

As portrayed by Bauer, Winn, which houses more than 1,500 state inmates, was a dangerous place. CCA hired correctional officers after little or no vetting, he writes. When he applied, Bauer says he listed his employer on his application form as "Foundation for National Progress" (the entity that owns the magazine). He said CCA hired him as a $9-an-hour cadet in less than 24 hours, never bothering to question him about a teenage arrest for shoplifting. CCA says that the Department of Corrections handled the background checks at Winn.

Bauer describes a prison barely under CCA's control. "Often, the only guard in a 352-inmate unit are the two officers and the key officer," he wrote. "There is supposed to be an officer controlling the gate that connects each unit walk to the main unit, but often there isn't.

"From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, every unit should have two case managers, who manage rehabilitation and re-entry program, two corrections counselors, who are in charge of resolving inmates' daily issues, and a unit manager, who supervises everything. Not once do I see all these positions filled in a unit." Bauer surreptitiously recorded and photographed much of what he observed and said he witnessed "corners cut daily."

The concerns that you and I should have with this are many. First, it suggests that Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC) officials were paying insufficient attention to Winn's operation. That raises questions about procedures at dozens of parish prisons across Louisiana, where 75.5 percent of parish prison beds are occupied by state inmates (the highest percentage in the nation), all housed for less than $25 a day. "Lock and feed is what I call it," DOC Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc candidly told a reporter recently.

Spend 20 minutes reading any one of Bauer's stories and tell me if you feel comfortable knowing that people convicted of violent acts were supervised in such a cavalier fashion.

And, if like me, you also care about the rehabilitation of inmates the state will some day release into society, you should be troubled by the near-total absence of reentry programs and health and psychological services that Louisiana normally provides for inmates at state-run institutions, like Angola. "The big recreation yard sits empty most of the time," Bauer wrote, explains. "There aren't enough guards to watch over it."

After his four months were up, Bauer says he spent more than a year continuing his investigation. CCA, for the record, denied or explained away almost every disturbing incident described in his report.

Based on Bauer's reporting, we should rejoice that DOC handed the Winn prison to another company. That said, it's important to remember that Louisiana didn't privatize Winn because corporations and sheriffs run superior prisons. They did so only to save money. If you run a private or a smaller parish prison, "corrections" may be a foreign concept. It's often about little more that housing inmates for the lowest cost to generate the most revenue.

In a 2012 interview with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, LaSalle executive Clay McConnell was surprisingly forthcoming about LaSalle's economic model. "We realized that prisons are like nursing homes," McConnell said of his company, which also owns nursing homes. "You need occupancy to be high. You have to treat people fairly and run a good ship, but run it like a business, watch food costs, employee costs." We would be fooling ourselves if we didn't admit that most parish prisons are run on the same principles.

As if Louisiana's prison woes were not bad enough, LeBlanc's job at DOC is more challenging now that lawmakers cut his budget by $25 million, meaning the state may rely even more on housing inmates in parish prisons.

When it comes to corrections, public safety should come first. Then, we should insist on policies and programs that help inmates gain the job and emotional skills to help them function once they return to society. As the troubling investigation by Mother Jones suggests, neither was the case at Winn in 2014-15.

July 7, 2016, Thursday

DeRidder Police Department Investigating Stolen Car Report

The DeRidder Police Department is investigating a reported stolen car and say it happened Tuesday around 6 a.m. Stolen was a 2016 Hyundai Elantra, four-door, brown with handicap Alabama license plates, taken from a residence near Planer Mill Road off Highway 190 West. "There were two bicyles found in the same yard that are unknown to the vehicle owners or residents and were not there when the owner went inside for the night, " a release states. Those with information in this case or who can identify the owners of the bicycles are asked to call Detective Darren Hall at 337-462-8911 or Crime Stoppers at 337- 462-8918 and you may remain anonymous if you wish .

July 7, 2016, Thursday

Sabine Parish School Board Meeting

Sabine Parish  School Board meeting will be held  at 695 Peterson Street in Many. This meeting will be scheduled on July 11, 2016 at 6:00 P.M. For any more information, contact  318-256-9228.

July 7, 2016, Thursday

Missing DeSoto Teens Located

Two teens reported missing earlier Wednesday have been located. Both are safe, according to the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office. Destiny and Faith Boyd Sepulvado left a home in Frierson about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. Destiny is a 16-year-old white female, about 5 feet tall  and weighing about 98 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.  Faith is a 14-year-old white female, about 4 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing about 92 pounds with blonde hair and hazel eyes. 

July 7, 2016, Thursday

Louisiana Political Museum In Winnfield Salutes State's Colorful Past

The Louisiana Political Museum in Winnfield counts its Hall of Fame featuring noteworthy politicians both living and deceased as a key attraction of the museum. Also noteworthy is the L&A Railroad Depot from 1908, which houses the museum. The depot was donated to the city of Winnfield by the Kansas City Southern Railroad company in 1985 and moved to East Main Street. The depot became the home of the museum, which hosted its grand opening on the 100th birthday of Huey P. Long, Aug. 30, 1993. Long, the 40th governor of Louisiana, was born in Winn Parish and many family artifacts dot the exhibits at the museum, including a 1951 Chevrolet sedan that was owned by Earl K. Long and used as a campaign vehicle in the 1950s. Dining room furniture belonging to Huey Long also graces the museum floor, and some visitors to the museum have recalled the table being used for late night card games hosted by Long for his friends. Long was assassinated in 1935, shortly after he announced he was running for president of the United States. A selection of law books belonging to an older brother, Julius Long, is also on display. The museum at 499 E. Main St. is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

July 6, 2016, Wednesday

9 Arrested for DWI in Harrison County Over Holiday Weekend

Nearly 10 people are facing DWI charges in east Texas following a joint effort from a DWI Task force over the holiday weekend. The Marshall Police Department and Harrison County Sheriff's Office teamed up and made 4 arrests. The tasks force started on July 1 at 8 p.m. and went until July 4 at 4 a.m. The Texas Department of Public Safety also made 5 arrests for DWI during the same time frame. One of the arrest was made with help from Marshall/Harrison County DWI Task Force. Chief Jesus “Eddie” Campa stated, "I believe the Marshall/Harrison County DWI Task Force was a success, because we were able to remove impaired drivers from our roadways and there were no fatalities involving impaired drivers within our city and county this holiday weekend.”

July 6, 2016, Wednesday

Names Released in Deadly Boat Crash

Authorities have released the names of those involved in a boat crash in Natchitoches Parish that left one man dead Saturday. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s deputies were called to a crash involving two boats at 7:22 a.m. south of Natchitoches near Starlight Plantation. According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), a Dry Prong man was killed when the boat in which he was fishing was struck by another vessel. William Morrison, 65, was reportedly ejected into the water and died when a boat driven by 39-year-old Shannon Mctire, hit Morrison's fishing boat. A passenger in Morrison's boat, Teresa Halbert, wasn't seriously injured in the crash. Authorities say Morrison and Halbert were stationary fishing in the bend on the Cane River when the accident happened. Officials say Mctire came around the bend in the river and collided with the vessel's bow, knocking Morrison into the river.  Authorities say Mctire immediately stopped his boat and jumped in the water to assist Morrison, who was pronounced dead at the scene. LDWF officials say charges are pending in the case, however, alcohol was not a factor. The case remains under investigation.

July 6, 2016, Wednesday

Louisiana's Leaders Taking a New Approach

After years of generosity with tax breaks and subsidies, Louisiana's leaders are taking a new approach with business, responding to years of budget problems with scaled back support for companies and questions about the value of such investments. Governor John Bel Edwards said he wants to make sure Louisiana's limited tax dollars are spent wisely, focused on investment returns rather than giveaways. State lawmakers in some instances have been harsher, suggesting companies have siphoned billions from the state treasury and are too greedy to give anything back amid difficult financial times.

July 5, 2016, Tuesday

Launching Campaign for District 4 Seat

Mary Werner; D-Lake Charles, launched her campaign this week for the District 4 seat on the Louisiana Public Service Commission with stops around the state, including Thursday in Leesville. The Leesville High School graduate is a director and vice president working in business development at the Sweet Lake Land & Oil Company and the North American Land Company. District 4 includes Calcasieu, Rapides, St. Landry, Iberia, Acadia, Vermilion, Avoyelles, Vernon, Beauregard, Evangeline, Jeff Davis, Allen, Grant, Sabine, LaSalle, Cameron and Catahoula parishes. Werner lives in Lake Charles with her husband, Joel, and three chilldren. Voters head to the polls in the race on Nov. 8.

July 5, 2016, Tuesday

Grant Parish Man Killed in Boating Crash

A boating crash involving two boats on Cane River Lake in Natchitoches Parish claims the life of a Grant Parish man Saturday morning, according to a release. The identity of the man has not yet been released. Around 7:20 a.m. officials from NPSO, Cane River Patrol, LDWF and Natchitoches Parish Regional Medical Center responded to a boating accident involving two boats where they pronounced a victim in one of the boats dead at the scene. The release said “all information related to the victim and the crash will be released by the La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, who is conducting the investigation in conjunction with Cane River Patrol into the cause of the crash.”

The victim’s body was transported to University Health in Shreveport for an autopsy.

July 5, 2016, Tuesday

2 Vehicles Hit Man, Killing Him 

A man is dead after being hit by 2 vehicles when he paused while crossing West Bert Kouns Industrial Loop in Caddo Parish late Monday night. It happened around 11:18 p.m. on West Bert Kouns Industrial Loop near Dawn Ridge Dr.  Caddo sheriff's deputies said the man and a friend, both associated with a nearby fireworks vendor, were crossing the street after picking up debris from popping fireworks when the victim was hit by a westbound car. "They were making their way across the roadway with handfuls of trash from popping the fireworks," sheriff's Lt. Michael Gray said. "One of the individuals dropped some of the stuff he was carrying and paused to pick it up and was struck by a passing vehicle." Moments later, the man was hit by a second car. "In the immediate aftermath, there was a driver distracted by all the activity in the road and he actually struck the individual a second time."Authorities are withholding the victim's name pending notification of his family. Deputies say impairment is not a factor in the fatal accident. Citations are pending further investigation.

July 5, 2016, Tuesday

Juveniles Arrested in Connection with Natchitoches Burglaries

Natchitoches police say they arrested two juveniles in connection with two burglaries that happened during the daylight hours Tuesday. On June 28 around 4 p.m., officers were called to the 500 block of Elizabeth St. on reports of a burglary in progress. When officers arrived on the scene, the homeowner reportedly told them that two people fled his residence and ran toward Saint Maurice Lane. After a brief search of the area, police say they found one of the suspects in the 600 block of Saint Maurice Lane and later found the other suspect in the 800 block of Merilyn Ave. Both juveniles were arrested without incident. While the two juveniles were being booked at the Natchitoches Police Department, officers were notified of another burglary that happened in the 700 block of Saint Maurice Lane. Police say the two juveniles are also responsible for that burglary. Both suspects are charged with two counts each of simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling. The juveniles were placed in the Ware Detention Center.

July 1, 2016, Friday

Constitutional Changes Passed

Louisiana voters this fall will decide whether college systems can boost their own tuition rates, whether to sock away money from oil price booms into savings and whether to rewrite the state's corporate tax laws. Lawmakers passed six proposed constitutional amendments during their three legislative sessions that stretched from February until June. All of the amendment proposals will be on the Nov. 8 ballot for voters to consider. That's the same time Louisianians will be voting for a new president, the person to fill an open U.S. Senate seat and the state's six U.S. House members. The amendments are not the heavy lift of some years, when voters were asked to sift through a dozen or more constitutional rewrite proposals, but the complex list still could require some homework.

June 30, 2016, Thursday

Bienville Woman Indicted

The aunt of a 5-month-old child who died in May due to what investigators called suspicious circumstances has been indicted on a charge of second-degree murder. Rebecca Trammel, 32, of Saline, was arrested and booked into the Bienville Parish Jail shortly after the grand jury returned a true bill. Her bond is set at $1 million. Trammel is accused in the death of Kristi Skipper, who suffered traumatic brain injury and multiple skull fractures that ultimately led to her death, authorities said. Emergency responders were called to the Trammel residence on Highway 155 east of Saline early on the morning of May 8. Kristi was transported by helicopter to University Health Hospital in Shreveport, where she died. Investigators were told the infant’s injuries happened when she rolled off a diaper changing table and onto the floor. Trammel and her husband served as foster parents to Kristi and two other children. The other two – one 16 months old and another 12 years old – were removed from the home and placed in state custody. If convicted, Trammel faces a mandatory life sentence in prison.

June 30, 2016, Thursday

Cashier Accused of Stealing

A Walmart cashier is accused of loading money onto a store gift card then taking the card without paying for it.  The Caddo sheriff's office says it happened not once, but a dozen times at the retailer's store in Blanchard. Booked into Caddo Correctional Center on a charge of felony theft was 36-year-old Shtonya Webb, of the 2000 block of North Hearne Avenue in Shreveport. Sheriff’s Detective Casey Jones recently arrested her after being notified that she allegedly stole loaded gift cards on 12 separate occasions for a total of $9,000.

June 30, 2016, Thursday

2 Vehicles Strike Pedestrian

 A Sarepta man is dead after being struck by 2 vehicles while he was walking on U.S. Highway 371 in Webster Parish. Louisiana State Police say it happened shortly after 1 a.m. June 29 a mile south of Louisiana Highway 802 (George Taylor Road) in the Porterville community, about 3 to 4 miles north of Sarepta. Tommy Helms, 67, was walking in the southbound lane U.S. 371 when he was struck by a 1999 Mercury Mountaineer being driven south by 57-year-old Brenda Smith, of Sarepta, says a statement from Senior Trooper Michael Reichardt. The impact threw Helms into the northbound lane, where he was hit by a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu being driven by 66-year-old Barbara Mills, of Springhill. Helms was pronounced dead at the scene by a representative of the Webster coroner’s office. Routine toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for analysis, the state police statement says. There's no indication at this time of what Helms was wearing nor why he was walking on the highway. The crash remains under investigation.

June 30, 2016, Thursday

Fourth of July safety tips

 Fireworks are one of the leading causes of serious injuries because of unsafe use by amateurs. Each year, fireworks cause serious injuries resulting emergency room treatment, permanent scarring, loss of vision, dismemberment, severe burns, lifelong disfigurement or even death.  To prevent injuries caused by improper use of fireworks, law enforcement officers are offering the following safety tips:

  • NEVER discharge fireworks indoors
  • NEVER allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks
  • ALWAYS have adult supervision
  • NEVER mix alcohol and fireworks use
  • ALWAYS have water handy (a garden hose or bucket)
  • NEVER pick up or try to re-ignite a dud 
  • ALWAYS light fireworks one at a time
  • NEVER ignite fireworks in any container
  • NEVER hold a firework in your hand to ignite it
  • NEVER place an ignited firework on any part of your body
  • NEVER point or throw fireworks at another person
  • ALWAYS obey local laws

June 29, 2016, Wednesday

"Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" begins this week in Shreveport

Motorists throughout the state and right here at home, will notice a heightened law enforcement presence over the long July 4th holiday. Officers will work overtime to save lives by enforcing Louisiana's DWI laws and removing impaired drivers from the roadways as part of a Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.  The high visibility enforcement wave, June 30th through July 5th, is made possible by federal grants awarded by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.  
"Our officers pride themselves in the keeping our roadways safe from motorists who risk the lives of innocent persons and their families by choosing to drive impaired"  Said Cpl Marcus Hines, Shreveport Police Department's Public Information Officer.
According to preliminary data, there were 374 fatal and injury crashes in Louisiana over the four-day July 4th holiday in 2014. These crashes injured 650 motorists and killed 10.  Seven of the 10 fatalities were alcohol related. Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense in Louisiana, with a first-offense arrest costing thousands of dollars in fines, court costs, attorney fees and even jail time.  An adult driver is legally intoxicated in Louisiana if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 or higher. The limit for drivers under 21 is .02 BAC.  

June 29, 2016, Wednesday

Body found of man that jumped into Red River

Around 7:45 a.m. on Monday, the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office located and recovered a body from the Red River in the area of Luhr Brothers. According to Pineville police, the man is identified as Eddie Jeter, who jumped into the Red River on Saturday from the Gillis Long Bridge. The Pineville Police Department would like to thank all agencies that participated in the recovery efforts:

- Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office
- Pineville Fire Department
- Alexandria Fire Department
- Rapides Fire Protection District # 2
- Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office
- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

June 29, 2016, Wednesday

Babysitter accused of making up molestation story arrested

Bossier Parish Sheriff's deputies say the woman accused of alleging a father molested his 5-month-old daughter has been arrested. Carrie Rivers, 32, surrendered to detectives Monday morning. Deputies say Rivers made a false claim of sexual child abuse against a man. "Her fake accusation caused an investigation that became quite invasive for the little girl through unnecessary medical testing, involved numerous man hours for law enforcement officers, as well as the temporary removal of the father from the home, all done unnecessarily from her bogus claim," said a statement released last week by the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office. Detectives say Rivers made up the story to "make the couple mad" when she was told her babysitting services were no longer needed. Authorities say after being let go, Rivers became upset over payment and texted the child's mother alleging the father had molested his young daughter, and she had a photo to prove it. But authorities say there were no findings of sexual assault on the infant, and when asked to show the picture to detectives, Rivers reportedly said she couldn't find it. Detectives then asked Rivers to come in for an interview and bring her phone so they could retrieve the photo, but authorities say Rivers became uncooperative and said she wouldn't help anymore until she was paid more money for babysitting. "We take every allegation of child abuse or sexual assault very seriously," said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington. "Our deputies and detectives will diligently investigate each and every case and make the appropriate charges." Rivers was booked into the Bossier Maximum Security Facility where she is charged with false swearing - violating public health, unauthorized use of a movable and improper telecommunications and harassment. Her bond is set at $35,000.

June 29, 2016, Wednesday

Cleco customers see lower bills through one-time credit

All retail Cleco customers will see lower energy bills beginning July 1, 2016, thanks to a one-time credit of approximately $475 per customer account. The Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) ordered the credit as part of a set of commitments the new owners agreed upon to acquire the company.  Cleco customers who have a valid 13-digit account number at the close of business on June 30, 2016, will be eligible for the credit. Cleco will apply the credit to each account for those customers with multiple accounts. "We are pleased the credit is coming at a time when our customers begin to use more energy because of the summer heat,” said Shirley Turner, vice president of customer experience. “For many of our customers a portion of the credit will roll over for several months. This will be a big help to those who struggle to cover all of their bills each month. Cleco will apply the total credit of approximately $475 to a customer’s bill in July. If the customer’s bill for July is less than the credit amount, a credit balance will roll over to the August bill. The credit balance will continue to roll over each month until the credit is fully exhausted.  "This credit is just one way we are showing our commitment to our customers and ensuring they receive a direct benefit from our transaction,” said Darren Olagues, CEO and president of Cleco. “Supporting our customers and the communities where we live and work will remain a top priority for us as we plan for our company’s future. Cleco was purchased by a North American-led investor group in April. To gain approval for the sale, Cleco’s new owners agreed to 77 commitments that benefit the company’s customers, employees, retirees and the communities served.

Cleco Power LLC is a regulated electricity utility company, which is engaged principally in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity, primarily in Louisiana. Cleco Power owns 10 generating units with a total nameplate capacity of 3,333 megawatts. Cleco Power serves approximately 287,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business, and it supplies wholesale power in Louisiana and Mississippi. For more information about Cleco, visit www.cleco.com.

June 28, 2016, Tuesday

Wal-Mart Shoplifters

The MPD responded to a report of a theft by shoplifting at Wal-Mart on Sunday afternoon. According to store personel, they had detained a couple that had concealed various items that were placed underneath their infant child and also in the child's diaper bag. After interviewing the suspects, a 37 year old male was cited for theft by shoplifting. The items taken included micellaneous school supplies, baby wipes, infant teething relief, and some vehicle maintenance supplies, all which had a value of $135.00. In addition to the charge of theft , both individuals were served with paperwork forbidden them from entering the store again.

June 28, 2016, Tuesday

Wreck to blame for power outage in Natchitoches Parish

Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), reported more than 1,200 customers were in the dark after a wreck in Campti Monday. Just after 5:30 p.m., Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's deputies, Louisiana State Police and paramedics were called to a single-vehicle wreck on LA Hwy. 486 (Campti Cutoff) near Campti. Authorities say the operator of a 2013 Freightliner truck transporting U.S. Mail left the roadway for unknown reasons and struck a utility pole. The driver was not injured. Deputies reported power outages outside the city limits of Campti and in the Fairview and Black Lake areas because of the crash. At last check, around 10:30 p.m., more than 1,200 SWEPCO customers were still in the dark.

June 28, 2016, Tuesday

The Confederate Flag

The Confederate flag has been a topic of discussion nationwide, particularly after last year's Charleston church shooting. The topic is once again being revisited, but in a very different way. The Southern Baptist Convention is urging Christians to stop displaying the Confederate battle flag, officially recognizing it as a "symbol of hatred, bigotry and racism" that offends millions of people. But a new chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veteran's in SWLA hopes to use it as an opportunity for education. "For the cause of Christ, I agree totally with this," said Dr. Andy Buckley. Buckley and Tommy Curtis say they're in agreement with the most recent resolution adopted at the Southern Baptist National Convention. While the resolution was adopted, both say it's more of a suggestion not a mandate. The two say they plan to follow the new resolution, especially following last year's Charleston church shooting. The one-year memorial was held last week for the nine people shot and killed inside Mother Emanuel AME Church. Pictures of the shooter, Dylann Roof, posing with confederate symbols sparked a nationwide debate on Confederate flags. It was almost one year ago the Lake Charles City Council voted to keep the South's Defenders Monument - a Confederate statue - in front of the Calcasieu courthouse. But rather than a Confederate flag, a stars and bars flag now flies in its place. "It was the first national flag of the Confederate States of America," said Curtis. They plan to to fly the flag not because of the recent resolution, but because of its symbolism.

June 27, 2016, Monday

Louisiana Employer Payrolls Fall Again

Louisiana employer payrolls fell again in May, with the state's unemployment rate holding steady at 6.3 percent, the third-highest rate among the states. Payrolls, used by many economists as their top labor market indicator, have been falling since 2014's end, in part because of heavy oil and gas job losses. May Louisiana payrolls were 18,000 below year-ago levels, signaling economic weakness. The Louisiana jobless rate also measured 6.3 percent in April and in May 2015. Alaska had the highest jobless rate nationwide at 6.7 percent. The nationwide jobless rate was 4.7 percent. Both sets of figures, adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes, were released this week by the state. The number of unemployed Louisianans was flat from April to May at 136,000, about 1,000 fewer than in May 2015.

June 27, 2016, Monday


Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/news/business/national-business/article85960272.html#storylink=cpy

Vehicle Seatbelt Checkpoint

A vehicle seatbelt checkpoint was conducted on Friday Morning on Trace Street. Officers involved included one officer from the Many Police Department and one for the Louisiana State Police. Vehicles were monitered for approximately 20 minutes and four people cited for seatbelt violations. One subject was arrested for an outstanding warrant. These short duration neighborhood checkpoints are in response to various traffic complains in residentials areas. Officers only moniter the traffic and will not stop a cehicle unless a violation is observed.

June 27, 2016, Monday

5-Month-Old Ejected Through Windshield During Crash

Caddo Parish Sheriff's deputies are investigating a wreck that left two children injured Sunday. It happened around 11:30 a.m. in the 8300 block of Old Mooringsport Road. Authorities say 30-year-old Lindsey Leigh Logan, of Mooringsport, was driving a Toyota Highlander northbound when she left the roadway and hit a tree. There were two backseat passengers, a 5-month-old baby girl and a 7-year-old girl. Deputies say the children were not restrained. The baby was reportedly ejected through the front windshield. Both children were taken to University Health hospital where their conditions are unknown at this time. Logan was cited for two counts of child restraint violations and was issued a summons for two counts of negligent injury. The crash remains under investigation.

June 27, 2016, Monday

Vernon Parish Crash Kills Pitkin Teen and Injures Another

A single vehicle crash in Vernon Parish kills one Pitkin teen, injures another. Alcohol is a suspected factor. Around 3:55 a.m. on Sunday, Louisiana State Police responded to a crash on Hwy. 10 east of Pitkin. The vehicle driven by Alfred Trosclair III, 19, of Pitkin was headed westbound when he lost control then collided with a tree before overturning. Trosclair was not wearing a seatbelt, and was pronounced dead at the scene. His only passenger, Carl James, 19, was ejected from the vehicle and received moderate injuries. He was transported to St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria. LSP suspects alcohol as a factor, routine toxicology tests are pending.

June 27, 2016, Monday

United Way To Announce Grants June 29

The United Way of Northwest Louisiana will hold a program to announce grant funds awarded to nonprofits in the southern parts of the organization’s service area. Northwestern State University will host the program in the Stroud Room of the NSU Fieldhouse beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 29. NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson, a former board member of the United Way of Northwest Louisiana, will speak.  The United Way of Northwest Louisiana was established in 1921 with a mission to improve lives in northwest Louisiana by impacting health, education, financial stability and essential needs issues.  The organization’s values are service and community focus, integrity and respect, collaboration, accountability and professionalism and innovation and excellence.  The organization services Caddo, Bossier, Webster, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Bienville, Claiborne, Sabine, Red River and Winn parishes, touching more than 100,000 lives annually.  During the June 29 program, the United Way of Northwest Louisiana will distribute a total of $59,000 to the Campti Community Development Center, DeSoto Healthcare Center, Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation, Natchitoches Parish Council on Aging, Project Celebration and the Food Bank of Central Louisiana. “United Way works to bring groups together to find solutions and work at a community-wide level to address change.  By giving to United Way of Northwest Louisiana, you can have confidence that your contributions are invested wisely through our grant allocation process.  Dollars raised by the United Way in our parishes stay in our parishes to help our neighbors, friends and coworkers,” said Bruce Willson, President and CEO.

June 24, 2016, Friday

Two Winnfield Natives Inducted Into 2016 Louisiana Sports Hall Of Fame

Two former Winnfield High standouts in different sports, P.J. Brown and Anthony Thomas, are being inducted together into the 2016 Louisiana Sports Hall Of Fame. Brown played basketball at Louisiana Tech and for several NBA teams, including the New Orleans Hornets, while Thomas went to the University of Michigan before becoming the NFL’s Rookie of the Year with the Chicago Bears. Brown did not start playing basketball until his junior year of high school. "A couple of my buddies talked me into coming out to play," Brown said. "I was very reluctant and very shy. I did not want to play basketball. I decided to come out and give it a shot." Induction ceremonies will be Saturday, June 25, at the Natchitoches Events Center.

June 24, 2016, Friday

City Of Natchitoches Announces Employee Of The Month

Rodney Jacobs, Purchasing Warehouse Manager, was named Employee of the Month by the City of Natchitoches for the month of June. Jacobs has worked with the City for 15 years and is described as being someone who quietly takes care of business. "Rodney is always willing to help others and believes in working as a team," said Regina Walker, Purchasing Office Manager and Buyer. "He is easy going, doesn’t have much to say, but he lets his work and what he achieves do his talking for him." Edd Lee, Purchasing Director, added that Rodney "quietly takes care of business and has done a tremendous job helping get the warehouse and grounds ready for the annual audit." Rodney Jacob was presented with an Employee of the Month Plaque by Mayor Lee Posey and received a gift certificate to The Landing Restaurant for his hard work and dedication.

June 24, 2016, Friday

Remains of Vietnam airman killed in action will be returned to Bossier City

The remains of a U.S. airman killed in the Vietnam War will be brought to Bossier City for burial this weekend beside his wife. Staff Sgt. Mercedes Salinas, 37, was killed along with three crewmates on Dec. 11, 1965, when their military transport plane struck trees and crashed while on a mission to an Air Force base at Tuy Hoa, Vietnam. He was a mechanic. The remains of those on board were not recovered until 1974 and it took five years to identify most of the remains. There was a group burial of the four crew members at Arlington National Cemetery and the final remains of Salinas will be interred at Hill Crest next to his wife, Suzanne. A plane carrying Salinas' remains is scheduled to arrive in Shreveport late Thursday afternoon and will be escorted to Hill Crest cemetery. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Hill Crest, with burial to follow. Salinas enlisted in the Air Force in 1945.

June 24, 2016, Friday

Beaumont man indicted in death of man found lying near W. Prien Lake Road

A 27-year-old Beaumont man accused of stabbing a 40-year-old man has been indicted on a murder charge. A grand jury on Wednesday returned a charge of second-degree murder against Joseph Jammad Leday. Lake Charles police found Wesley Anderson III, lying on the side of the road with stab wounds and Leday, lying beside him on Saturday, May 14, said Deputy Chief Mark Kraus, Lake Charles Police Department spokesman. Click HERE for the original story. An altercation between the men led to the death of the Anderson, Kraus said. Anderson and Leday had traveled from Beaumont to visit local casinos.

June 24, 2016, Friday

Leesville man charged with murder in wife's Thursday morning death

The death of a Leesville woman early Thursday morning was reported as a possible prescription pill overdose, but physical evidence at the scene did not match that story, Vernon Parish authorities said. Her husband, Destin Reder, 22, is charged with second-degree murder. Judge Anthony Eaves set bond at $3 million. Samantha Johnson Reder, 28, was reported at 6:39 a.m. to be unresponsive at at residence on Jeane Chapel Road, Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft said. After it was determined that the claim that Samantha died of an overdose was unsubstantiated by the evidence, Destin was brought to the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office for questioning, Craft said. Destin admitted that he and Samantha had been involved in an altercation prior to her death. A cause of death was not provided. The investigation is ongoing.

June 24, 2016, Friday

Disgruntled Former Employee Strikes Back

A disgruntled former employee set fire to and shot out windows of a DeRidder business, law enforcement confirmed. The employee, who had been fired, set fire to an office, said Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Joe Toler, whose office assisted. The handgun was found at the man's home and he was arrested. No injuries were reported. The DeRidder Police Department is the investigating agency.

June 23, 2016, Thursday

High Speed Pursuit

A Lake Charles man is facing multiple charges after authorities said he led them on high-speed pursuit in Beauregard and Calcasieu parishes, and attempted to harm officers. According to the DeRidder Police Department Deputy Chief Christopher Rudy, the ordeal began at around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday when DeRidder police attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a driver in a Nissan pickup. The man, later identified as 29-year-old Cheyenne L. Percle Jr., drove to the parking lot of a local shopping center and then fled from the officer on U.S. 171, North Pine Street. The pursuit continued south on La. 27 with Percle driving into oncoming traffic at a high rate of speed. Percle allegedly placed his vehicle in reverse, striking another unit. His vehicle then hit a utility pole. Percle was booked by DeQuincy Police on two counts of battery of an officer, two counts of resisting an officer with violence, two counts of criminal damage to property, reckless operation and driving with a suspended license. He was treated for minor injuries and then turned over to DeRidder authorities. Officers transported him back to DeQuincy, where he was placed back into their custody with pending additonal charges. Rudy said later on Tuesday, Percle was brought back to DeRidder where he was booked on  battery of an officer with violence, criminal damage to property, reckless operation of a vehicle and aggravated flight from an officer. He remains in the Beauregard Parish Jail.

June 23, 2016, Thursday

Rosepine Man Arrested

A Rosepine man has been arrested, accused of filming a woman and a 9-year-old girl with his cell phone in a restroom of a home. According to a news release from the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office, 30-year-old Jeffery Debarge was  originally booked on two counts of video voyeurism and one count of possession of child pornography. Bond on those charges was set at $150,000. Authorities said, however, during the investigation, additional videos of the girl were found. He faces an additional charge of video voyeurism and bond on that charge was set at $50,000 for a total of $200,000 in the case. "The incidents took place at the residence of Debarge. The camera would be hidden in the restroom of the home. The adult female was an acquaintance to Debarge and she was videoed on a visit to the residence. The juvenile was the child of a female in which Debarge was in a relationship with the child and her mother lived in the home with Debarge.  The incidents took place over a period of time on several occasions," the release states. Authorities said the investigation began in May following the complaints of several alleged incidents. Debarge's latest arrest was this week. Louisiana State Police assisted with a forensic examination of Debarge's cell phone. Authorities said Debarge attempted to delete the videos. He remains in the Vernon Parish Jail and authorities said the investigation continues.

June 23, 2016, Thursday

 ArkLaTex Police Warn of Secret Shopper Scam

Authorities in the ArkLaTex are warning residents about a secret shopper scam. According to Texarkana, Texas police, a resident recently received a check and letter in the mail from a company that they'd never heard of. Like most people would, the recipient knew it was a scam - an elaborate one, but still a scam nonetheless. The check appears to be very real. Texarkana police said the check even had the correct routing number for the bank and the checking number on the bottom belongs to a real company with a similar name as what is printed on the check. The scam artist even sent the letter and check via Priority Mail to make it look more convincing. However, when police in Texarkana spoke with the bank in New York, they learned the account had several counterfeit checks that had been written just like the one the Texarkana resident received. According to police, here's how the scam works: The scammers want their victim to cash or deposit the check. Once that is done, they will typically tell the victim that there was some type of an error on the check and ask for part of the money back. The thieves hope that they can convince the victim to send them some money before the bank figures out that the check is worthless. Of course, banks will immediately reverse the deposit from victim's account, leaving the victim holding the bag for the full amount of the check. Remember, you are responsible for the worthless checks you deposit into your account. That means that you will have to pay the bank back for the entire amount of the check, including any money you sent the scammers or spent yourself. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. People you don't know are not going to send you a check for $20, $200, or nearly $2,000 for nothing - or as in this case, for being a secret shopper. If you feel you may have fallen victim to a scam, please contact your local authorities.

June 23, 2016, Thursday

SFD: Shreveport house a complete loss after suspicious fire

A house in Shreveport is a complete loss after a fire Wednesday morning. The house caught on fire around 6 a.m. in the 3800 block of Lionel Avenue. Firefighters arrived to find the house fully involved with flames. Crews reportedly had the flames under control in 20 minutes. Fire investigators say the house had no utilities and the cause of the fire is suspicious in nature. They are working to determine how it started. No one was inside the house at the time and no injuries were reported.

June 22, 2016, Wednesday

Police: Man shot in leg allegedly by wife

Shreveport police are investigating after a man was shot Monday morning allegedly by his estranged wife.  Around 4:40 a.m., officers were called to Willis-Knighton South in the 2500 block of West Bert Kouns Industrial Loop on reports that a man was in the emergency room seeking treatment for a gunshot wound. When officers arrived, they found 33-year-old Brandon Bardon suffering from what was described as a non-life threatening injury to his leg. Investigators say Brandon Bardon and his estranged wife, 36-year-old Crystal Bardon, got into an argument outside a home in the 600 block of Gladstone Blvd. earlier in the morning. At some point during the dispute, police say Crystal Bardon shot Brandon Bardon in the leg before fleeing the scene. As a result, police obtained an arrest warrant for Crystal Bardon charging her with one count of attempted second-degree murder. Police say Crystal Bardon surrendered herself to police Monday afternoon and was booked into the Shreveport City Jail on the outstanding warrant as well as one count of obstruction of justice. Anyone with additional information about this case is urged to call Shreveport-Caddo Crime Stoppers at 318-673-7373 or on their website www.lockemup.org.

June 22, 2016, Wednesday

Magazine names Toledo Bend No. 1 lake in the nation

For decades, Toledo Bend Lake has been popular with fishermen in Louisiana and Texas. Now it is being recognized by a national magazine. After collecting data from fishing tournaments in the spring, Bassmaster Magazine has chosen Toledo Bend reservoir as the top fishery in the United States. Toledo ranked above 230 potential lakes after the magazine conducted research and personal interviews with anglers from around the U.S. "When you think about all the great fishing facilities in the United States and we get the number one designation, it's fantastic," said Ned Goodeaux, a member of the Sabine River Authority.Jerry Thompson operates Living the Dream fishing guide service near Pendleton Bridge.  "We had a big draw-down several years ago and I think that draw-down helped us quite a bit as far as the bass and crappie fishing was concerned," said Thompson. Thompson said stocking of the lake with fingerling fish and a good spawn has helped."The spawn has been very productive over the years and it has just grown into it," said Thompson. "As far as the work going into making the lake number one in the country, I mean you've got 81 bass over 10 pounds that were registered." Chuck Burnell and his wife like to use guides like Thompson and leave their boat at home.  "They actually put out the piles," said Burnell, CMO for Acadian Ambulance. "They bait the piles and stay on top of the fish the entire year. It takes the guess work out, it takes the headache out of it. I cannot fish as cheap by myself as I can by fishing with Living the Dream, nor be as successful."Just last week former Lake Charles resident Trent Curphy caught the largest bass enrolled so far in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass program. Curphy, landed an impressive 12.93-pounder. He did it with no net, an old lure and his line wrapped around the trolling motor.

June 22, 2016, Wednesday

Byrd Walk-In Clinic Remote

The Byrd Walk-In Clinic Remote, scheduled for June 22, 2016, will be re-scheduled, due to flooding in the building.

June 21, 2016, Tuesday

Rosepine Main Street Closed

Main Street in Rosepine will be closed from Yokum Street to Sadler trailer nPark from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday June 21. The Vernon parish Police Jury will be replacing culverts, weather permitting. Anyone living on the road should make the necessary arrangements.

June 21, 2016, Tuesday

Vernon Sheriff's Office K-9 Passes Away at Age of 9

Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft and his office are thanking both the residents and law enforcement agencies of Vernon Parish for their condolences after the passing of K-9 Kaiser. Kaiser served the residents of Vernon Parish for the past seven years, passing away on June 5, 2016, at the age of 9. Kaiser was extremely popular with the youth and would often visit with area members of the D.A.R.E. Program and 4-H clubs, Craft said. Randall and Beth Martin, of Hixson Funeral Home in Leesville, are presenting Kaiser’s handler, agent Kevin Alley, with a memorial portrait and an American Flag in honor of Kaiser’s service. Craft thanked the Martins "for their kindness and support."

June 21, 2016, Tuesday

Toledo Bend Keeps number 1 Best Bass Lake Crown

For the first time since the creation of Bassmaster's 100 Best Bass Lakes rankings, a fisher has reclaimed the number one spot in the nation. Toledo bend Resevoir, which straddles the Texas and Louisiana Border, keeps the crown and is the only lake to earn the title more than once. "More than three months of research went into this year's rankings," explained Bassmaster Magazine editor James Hall, who noted that the initial pool of top fisheries was developed with input from B.A.S.S. Nation members across the country, state fisheries biologists the 3,500-member B.A.S.S. Council and some of the 650,000 Facebook fans of B.A.S.S.

June 21, 2016, Tuesday

Person of Interest in Vernon Toddler's Death Charged with Additional Offenses

It's been almost seven weeks since Willow Rain Renteria from Vernon Parish died. The 2-year-old's death has been ruled a homicide, but so far, no one has been arrested. However, other charges have been filed in Beauregard Parish against Rodney "Donnie" Bailey Jr., who was the toddler's caregiver when she died. On June 8, the Beauregard District Attorney's Office filed a bill of information charging Bailey with a total of five counts, including possession of methamphetamine, illegal carrying of a .38 revolver, possession methamphetamine, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, illegal possession of a stolen car and use of a vehicle without the owner's consent. According to the bill of information, all the offenses occurred on or about May 6, 2016 - the day the toddler was reported missing. Bailey's bond is set at $120,000. A preliminary hearing was held  will be held August 2 in Beauregard Parish to determine if there's probable cause that Bailey committed the crimes charged against him.

June 21, 2016, Tuesday

Governor Signs Bill hiking Max Fines

Maximum penalties will be higher for violating state laws in Louisiana that ban texting or posting to social media sites while driving and that restrict cell phone use for young drivers. Gov. John Bel Edwards announced this week he had signed the bill into law. The change immediately increases those traffic fines to up to $500 for a first offense and up to $1,000 for additional violations. Drivers under 18 could face license suspension for up to 60 days for second and later violations. Edwards also signed a bill boosting fines for people caught not wearing seatbelts in a vehicle. That measure, which takes effect Aug. 1, increases the penalty for a first offense to $50. Violators will pay $75 each additional time.

June 20, 2016, Monday

Police looking for leaf blower theft suspect

Many Police Department is looking for someone who reportedly stole a backpack leaf blower on June 15. Police say the suspect stole a Shindaiwa blower model EB 854 on Sycamore Street during the day. The leaf blower was taken from the victim’s home. Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call Many Police Department at 318-256-5617. 

June 20, 2016, Monday

Oil and gas exploration continues to rise

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 10 this week to 424, marking the third-consecutive week the count has increased after a slide that lasted months and pushed the count to record-low levels amid depressed energy prices. A year ago, 857 rigs were active. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday 337 rigs sought oil and 86 explored for natural gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained 13 rigs and West Virginia increased two. Alaska and Louisiana fell by one apiece. Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wyoming were unchanged. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out last month at 404.

June 20, 2016, Monday

Heat Wave

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is urging everyone to use caution this week due to ongoing dangerous heat levels. The National Weather Service (NWS) indicates the forecast for much of the state includes temperatures in the mid-90’s to upper-90’s. Those temperatures combined with high dew points means the heat index will exceed 100 degrees across the state. According to the NWS, the heat index is what the temperature feels like to the human body with relative humidity is combined with the air temperature. This has important considerations for the human body’s comfort. “Please be safe if you are working outdoors,” said GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom. “Watch for warning signs of heat exhaustion for yourself and your co-workers. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated. Check on loved ones and neighbors who may need assistance dealing with the heat. Stay aware of the conditions in your region and look for possible heat related advisories or warnings from the National Weather Service.”

June 17, 2016, Friday

Brookshire Grocery Company to launch "Spring Market" brand

Brookshire Grocery Company announced on June 15 plans to open a new store brand in southern Louisiana and west Texas in former Walmart Express stores. The stores are set to open later this summer. BGC is acquiring 25 former Walmart Express stores and will reopen them as “Spring Market.” According to a press release, the name “represents and honors the company’s great history which began in 1928 with the opening of its first store on Spring Avenue in Tyler, Texas." “Brookshire Grocery Company is already known throughout our market areas for having great stores and we are confident that our customers in these new markets will feel the exact same way. Our Spring Market stores will stand for friendly service, quality products, affordable convenience and a pleasant shopping environment. We are also really excited to hire hundreds of employees from these communities to help us take care of our new customers,” said Chairman and CEO Brad Brookshire. “We look forward to making a positive difference in each of these communities through our people, products, stores and service.”

June 16, 2016, Thursday

Robeline man accused of indecent behavior with 6-year-old

 Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's deputies arrested a Robeline man classified as a "Tier 2 Sex Offender" for allegedly having sex with a 6-year-old boy. At 7 p.m. on June 11, deputies were called to the Victoria Mobile Home Park in the 700 block of Provencal-Robeline Rd., near Provencal, LA when the boy's mother called the sheriff's office alleging her son had been lured into a residence by a man and subjected to inappropriate sexual acts. During their investigation, deputies interviewed the victim and reportedly collected information that led them to identify 36-year-old Donald Wayne Harp, a sex offender who lived in the mobile home park, as a suspect. Deputies say concerned citizens in the area also assisted in their investigation. Harp was taken into custody just after 10 p.m. the same day. He was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile. His bond is set at $100,000. Authorities say Harp had been released from the detention center in 2014 on a prior conviction of possession of child pornography.

June 16, 2016, Thursday

Coroner: Body found was pregnant, shot in head; ID still not confirmed

An autopsy that was performed Wednesday revealed that the victim found in a ditch in Iberville Parish on Tuesday died from a gunshot wound to the head and was pregnant at the time of death, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office. Dr. Beau Clark, the parish coroner, said there was no trauma to the baby, who "died as a result of the mother's death." Officials still have not confirmed the identity of the body, but have said it is "possibly" the missing pregnant teacher from Baton Rouge.  Clark said that the body was so badly decomposed that they needed DNA samples to make a positive ID. DNA analysis is still underway at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.  "Over the last several weeks to days we've had a lot of hot weather, a lot of rain. When a body is exposed to the elements like that, especially in the southeastern part of the United States, decomposition can happen very rapidly," Clark said.  A farmer in Rosedale found a body, which could be Lyntell Washington, 40, who disappeared last Wednesday. Cpl. L'Jean McKneely with the Baton Rouge Police Department said investigators from several agencies assisted in processing the scene Tuesday.  Authorities began search efforts Friday for the missing woman who was once named "Teacher of the Year" and currently teaches at Brookstown Middle Magnet Academy. Crews were deployed in the air, on land, and in the water for much of the day Friday, searching five key areas across south Louisiana, including Baker, Zachary, Baton Rouge, St. Francisville, and Ramah. The multi-agency search was temporarily suspended at nightfall on Friday.  Washington was reported missing Thursday morning after her 3-year-old daughter was found by a Good Samaritan alone near her vehicle in Baton Rouge. Blood was found inside the vehicle. The assistant principal of the Baton Rouge middle school where she works was arrested in connection with her disappearance. Robert Jovantie Marks, 39, was charged with aggravated kidnapping and child desertion charges because Washington's child was left abandoned in a parking lot.   Marks is married to another woman and police suspect he might have been fearful his wife would find out he had gotten Washington pregnant, according to police records. Police said cell phone records show Marks' phone as well as a phone belonging to Washington were in the Ramah area around 9:45 p.m. Wednesday. Both phones were in that area for about 15 minutes before returning to Baton Rouge, according to police documents.  According to the probable cause report, the child told investigators that "'Mr. Robbie' hurt her mother and was now sleeping." It also revealed the child was with her mother and Marks "when she heard a 'bang' and after the bang her mom was 'shaking.' She also stated that her mom's in the lake and that it was dark outside when her mom got hurt." McKneely said detectives also learned Marks took Washington's 3-year-old daughter for a ride on Wednesday night and left her unattended in a parking in the 11000 block of Newcastle Avenue.  Officials with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System confirmed Washington was the 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year. They also confirmed that Marks is the assistant principal at the same school and has been placed on administrative leave.  Washington's child was turned over to family members. Police said Saturday that Marks had gotten a lawyer and refused to cooperate with the investigation.  If DNA identifies the body found Tuesday as Washington, police will likely question Marks, who remains in custody, again.  The 19th Judicial District Attorney's Office said charges related to the body found will likely include murder and feticide, but whether or not it will be Marks facing those charges is yet to be seen.

June 16, 2016, Thursday

Troopers Arrest Three Subjects in Largest Seizure of Child Pornography in Department History

Last week, detectives assigned to the Louisiana State Police Special Victims Unit (SVU) arrested three subjects in the culmination of three separate statewide investigations focusing on the production and distribution of child pornography in Louisiana. The arrests lead to the largest ever seizure of child pornography by the Louisiana State Police to date, totaling over one million illicit files seized. During the course of the search warrants, Troopers seized over 800 DVDs, 13 portable storage devices, numerous cell phones and multiple laptop computers. These electronic devices all contained lewd and lascivious pornographic images and videos of children. Within the seized files, Troopers discovered videos which depicted the rape of infant children. The following is a brief summary of each of the seperate arrests:

  • On June 10, 2016, Detectives with the Louisiana State Police (SVU) Shreveport Field Office executed a search warrant at the residence of 51 year old James Dalton Vail of Shreveport, LA. Vail was found to be in possession of over one million illicit files. Vail was subsequently arrested and booked into the Caddo Correctional Center for 51 counts of Distribution of Pornography Involving Juveniles and 1,500 counts of Possession of Child Pornography.
  • On June 10th, 2016, Detectives with the Louisiana State Police (SVU) New Orleans Field Office, with the assistance of the Louisiana Department of Justice, United States Office of Homeland Security, and the St. John Parish Sheriff's Office, executed a search warrant at the residence of 30 year old Steven Paul Lucia of LaPlace, LA. The search resulted in Lucia's arrest for Distribution of Child Pornography and Possession of Marijuana. Furthermore, Lucia was arrested for Contempt of Court warrants in St. John and Terrebonne Parish.
  • On June 8th, 2016, Detectives with the Louisiana State Police (SVU) Alexandria Field Office, with the assistance of the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Office, executed a search warrant at the residence of 35 year old Nicholas Bordelon of Hessmer, LA. The warrant resulted in the arrest of Bordelon for over three hundred separate counts of Possession and Distribution of Child pornography.

All three of these investigations remain on-going. The Louisiana State Police would like to encourage anyone with any additional information pertaining to these three individuals to contact the Louisiana State Police at (318)484-2194.

June 15, 2016, Wednesday

Williams to Fill Soon-to-be Vacant City Prosecutor Role

Local attorney Clay Williams has been tapped to fill the City of Leesville's soon-to-be vacant prosecutor position. City prosecutor and city attorney Chuck Dowden will be leaving his posts, effective June 30. Interim City Administrator Willie Banks said Williams' appointment is for the prosecutor duties only. He said officials will be looking to fill the city attorney position in coming weeks. Dowden has held both roles since 2014. According to the city's code of ordinances, the city attorney, "supervises the conduct of the legal affairs of the city; shall prepare ordinances upon request of the mayor or a councilman; shall provide legal advice concerning the affairs of the city when requested by the mayor or a councilman; and render written opinions as to legality of all contracts, franchises, and other legal instruments." The city prosecutor's duties involve the city court. Dowden submitted his letter of resignation to the Leesville City Council on May 9. He said he would work with his successor to, "ensure an orderly transition of the legal affairs of the city." Williams will assume the prosecutor duties on July 1.

June 15, 2016, Wednesday

REAL ID Debate Ends with New Law Offering Option to Drivers

Louisiana's debate about the federal REAL ID security law appears to be over. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a new law Tuesday that will let Louisiana's drivers decide whether they want a license that complies with the federal law or one that does not. That ends years of state haggling over the issue, doing away with a state ban on compliance enacted in 2008. Karen St. Germain, commissioner of the Office of Motor Vehicles, hopes to have REAL ID licenses ready to go by Sept. 1. Drivers have worried they will run into trouble boarding domestic flights in a few years without a REAL ID-compliant license. Conservative groups had raised privacy worries about the data collection required for compliance. The new law offers a choice.

June 15, 2016, Wednesday

House Considering Compromise Proposal on Income Tax Bill  

House lawmakers were negotiating behind the scenes ahead of a Wednesday vote on a bill to raise more than $100 million in taxes for next year's state operating budget. The bill, sought by Gov. John Bel Edwards to help lessen budget cuts, would decrease a tax break for those who itemize deductions on their income tax returns, largely upper-income earners. The proposal stalled in the Ways and Means Committee by a one-vote margin. But a similar version sponsored by Rep. Malinda White, D-Bogalusa, is up again Wednesday for a committee vote, with lawmakers trying to strike a deal that could win House support.  The compromise would involve making the bill temporary and including a mechanism to shrink the money raised if tax hikes passed earlier this year bring in more dollars than expected. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans, who cast the deciding vote to stall the prior bill, described the compromise proposal as "a last-resort, short-term loan as a safety net if we absolutely need it." "If we end up raising more than the current forecast (shows from other tax increases), then this will never go into effect," Abramson said of the proposal. If the tax break is reduced, the effect would be temporary, proposed to expire in 2018, Abramson said. The Democratic governor wanted the cut to the itemized deductions as part of a package of tax bills aimed at raising $600 million for the financial year that begins July 1. He says that's the amount needed to adequately fund the TOPS college tuition program, the safety-net hospitals for the poor, college campuses, K-12 education and other services. Republicans in the House have agreed to about $220 million in revenue-raising bills so far, bottling up many other tax proposals. Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, said he doesn't expect lawmakers to reach the figure sought by the governor. "If we got to $450 million, I would be awfully happy with that," Alario said Tuesday. But he acknowledged even that was a "difficult target to reach." Business groups oppose several of the governor's bills. The state Republican Party is urging members not to support taxes. And many GOP lawmakers, particularly in the House, say they won't agree to any more taxes after the Legislature raised $1.2 billion in taxes for next year's budget earlier this year. Efforts to trim the itemized deduction tax break appear to be the only remaining tax hike that could gain traction in the House. With the House scheduling committee debate on White's bill, the Senate moved ahead Tuesday with efforts to clean up sales tax unintentionally charged on items like high school football game tickets, donations to food banks and school lunches. Sales tax increases passed in the final moments of the tax special session earlier this year swept in items that weren't meant to be taxed. Senators had suggested they would stall the cleanup legislation until lawmakers in the House agreed to more taxes for next year's budget than they've supported so far. "There has been movement," said Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee Chairman J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, before the committee advanced a sales tax cleanup bill to the full Senate for consideration. To make everything work, lawmakers don't just have to pass the tax bills. Lawmakers would have to piece together a budget directing how to spend it. Alario said he's concerned because such a budget bill hasn't even been filed in the House, where it must start. Time is running short to get deals struck and the money in place. The 18-day special session must end by June 23.


Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/news/business/article83736387.html#storylink=cpy
June 15, 2016, Wednesday

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/news/business/article83736387.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/news/business/article83736387.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/news/business/article83736387.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/news/business/article83736387.html#storylink=cpy

Four Victims of Fatal Crash Named

Two of the four people killed in a fiery wreck in Vernon Parish Saturday were Oberlin employees, Town Hall confirmed. Oberlin Police Officer Roman Lopez, 25, and maintenance worker Edward Maddox were both killed, as were their girlfriends, Jennifer Sonnier, 35, and Dallas Chantell Courville, 24. Louisiana State Police Troop E spokesman Scott Moreau said that around 4:15 a.m. Saturday, June 11, troopers responded to the crash on La. 10 between Oakdale and Pitkin. Once on the scene, troopers discovered a 2005 Chevrolet was heading eastbound when the driver lost control, exited the right side of the roadway and then over-corrected, colliding with several trees upon exiting the left side of the roadway. The vehicle became fully engulfed in flames causing all four occupants to become trapped inside. They were pronounced dead at the scene, Moreau said.

June 15, 2016, Wednesday

Sabine Parish School Board Meeting

The Sabine Parish School Board will hold a public hearing and subsequent meeting to adopt the 2016-2017 General and Special Revenue Fund Budgets at 695 Peterson Street in Many, LA on Monday June 30th, 2016 at 5:45 p.m.

June 15, 2016, Wednesday

Power Restored After Outage Leaves Nearly 6K Caddo Residents in the Dark

An ArkLaTex utility says it has no outages this morning affecting more that 100 of its 353,641 customers in 50 countiesw and parishes in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. Roughly 5,500 AEP/SWEPCO customers in Caddo were without power part of Tuesday. The outage began just after 2 p.m. when a cross arm broke on a 69,000-volt transmission tower just outside the company's substation on the north side of I-20 across from Splash Kingdom. AEP/SWEPCO said due to the amount of damage, an early estimate on restoration was 7-8 p.m. Tuesday. As of 9 p.m., AEP/SWEPCO's onlive outage map showed service had been restored to the majority of the impacted customers.

June 15, 2016, Wednesday

Natchitoches Boil Advisory in Effect

Many residents in the Natchitoches area are urged to boil their water.  The Natchitoches Water Works #1 Distribution System is experiencing low pressure problems along Hwy 6 west of the water supply system. This drop in system pressure below 15 pounds has been caused by contractor damage to our service lines.  Because of this drop in system pressure, the water within our water distribution system is of questionable microbiological quality.  Therefore, as a precaution, the Water Works #1 Distribution System is issuing a boil advisory effective immediately for the area west of Interstate 49 only.  This boil advisory is to remain in effect until rescinded by the Water System. It is recommended that all water system consumers along Hwy 6 west of Interstate 49, disinfect their water before consuming it (including fountain drinks), making ice, brushing teeth, or using it for food preparation or rinsing of foods.  Boil water for one (1) 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 it from one clean container to another, or by adding a pinch of salt to each quart of water that is boiled.) Upon notification from the Office of Public Health’s State Regional Laboratory that the samples collected from our water supply have been found to be safe, the State Health Department will notify the water supply of the sample results.  Upon such notification, the Water System will then rescind the Boil Advisory and notify its customers that the water has been found to be safe.

This Boil advisory does not affect the City of Natchitoches Water Distribution System.

June 14, 2016, Tuesday

RPSO is Looking for a Runaway Juvenile

The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a runaway juvenile. Jillian Grant is a white female 17 years of age. She has blonde hair, blue eyes, 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. Jillian was last seen around 2 a.m. on June 12 in the Melder Road area of Glenmora. Jillian may be in the Rapides Parish area or the Lake Charles and Sulfur area.

If anyone has information or has seen Jillian, please contact the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office at 318-473-6700 or the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Juvenile Detective at 318-473-6727.

June 14, 2016, Tuesday

Boil Advisory

A boil advisory has been issued for portions of Beauregard parish following a lightning strike that may have affected water supply. The advisory is for Waterworks District 3. Residents are urged to boil their water until further notice.

June 13, 2016, Monday

Man Sentenced For Fort Polk Burglary

A Leesville man was sentenced Thursday to 36 months in prison for burglarizing homes and a truck on the Fort Polk military installation. Dakota Cole Yarbrough, 22, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi on one count of simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release. According to the March 3, 2016 guilty plea, Yarbrough was driven to the outskirts of the Fort Polk U.S. Army base around 10 p.m. on August 5, 2015. He then illicitly crossed the fence onto the installation. Once on the base, he illegally entered two residences where families were sleeping and stole personal belongings from the homes. He also broke into and stole items from a pickup truck. The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office found many of the stolen items in Yarbrough’s residence after a search on August 10, 2015. The Fort Polk Directorate of Emergency Services and the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph prosecuted the case.

June 13, 2016, Monday

A Vehicle Goes Up in Flames

A vehicle goes up in flames after it crashed in Vernon Parish early Saturday morning. All four occupants were killed. Louisiana State Police responded to the crash around 4:15 a.m. on Hwy. 10 between Oakdale and Pitkin. The vehicle was eastbound on Hwy. 10 when the driver lost control and veered off the right side of the road. The driver then over corrected the vehicle, reentering the roadway and exiting off the left side. The vehicle then collided with several trees before going up in flames. Speeding is a suspected factor. All four people in the vehicle were trapped inside and were pronounced dead. LSP said the identities of all four people are being withheld pending positive identification by DNA analysis. It is unknown if the occupants were wearing seat belts.

June 13, 2016, Monday

Family Reacts To Loved One Being Found Dead in DeSoto Pond

 Less than a full day after authorities charged a Logansport man with second-degree murder, that charge has been dropped. According to the DeSoto sheriff's office, it all began as a missing persons case that turned into a homicide investigation after the discovery of the woman's body Friday. A crowd gathered this weekend next to the small moss-covered pond along Old Mansfield Road in Logansport where an investigator discovered a body tentatively identified as 21-year old Maranda Whitton late Friday morning. Later that same day, the sheriff's office arrested 33-year-old Jarrod Johnson. Whitton's big sister Britni Phillips fought back tears at the scene Saturday afternoon as she told us, "We thought we had him yesterday and come back today and tell us that they don't. If you take a look here, my sister was here and there's no justice for her." DeSoto Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle said after consulting with the district attorney's office they decided to drop the murder charge when initial autopsy results could not determine a cause of death. Whitton's cousin Robert Adams pointed to the small dam running alongside the pond and said, "It looked like she had tripped, maybe, she might have tripped."  Adams said it's understandable why Johnson was the prime suspect in the case. "He was the last one seen with her." Johnson told investigators he'd been tearing down a family house. Relatives said Whitton and her boyfriend went there Monday night for a bonfire with Johnson and others. According to relatives and Whitton's boyfriend, she left the bonfire about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday and began walking to a relative's home. What's not known for sure was her state of mind when she left and why she left. The distance from Johnson's family home to the site where her body later was found at the pond is just a few hundred yards down Old Mansfield Road in Logansport. "We heard that she was mad and was leaving because people was doing drugs," added Adams. We caught up with Whitton's boyfriend, Steven McCoy, who lives just a block from the pond.  He too doesn't know what to think at this point. But he said it was actually Johnson who left the bonfire first, then Whitton. "When I found out he was arrested, I asked the detectives if he admitted, you know, to doing it? They said, you know, he didn't admit to it. But, we just, we have a lot of evidence, and that was yesterday," McCoy continued. "And now today I hear he's being released, and I don't understand if they have evidence of him doing it or of anything like that sort how can he be released." McCoy told us he and Whitton were engaged and happy. He insisted she was not upset that night. "No, she was not leaving because she was upset. She was walking to her cousin's house." Johnson's second cousin T.J. Rogers said Johnson actually came to his house right down the road within hours of Whitton's disappearance early Tuesday morning. "And he's, you know, talking all crazy. You could tell he was all doped out," recalled Rogers. Rogers said his cousin's story just kept changing, even mentioning a car that pulled up and stopped on Old Mansfield Road just as Johnson and Whitton were walking away from the bonfire. "And he went one way and she went the other way, and he hadn't seen her since then. And he came up with her boyfriend and was asking, 'Have you seen her? Have you seen her?' And all this stuff." Whitton's cousin Robert Adams doesn't buy the theory that she might have simply tripped in the dark of night and died half submerged in the pond. "I don't know. I just want whoever done it because I don't believe she just walked out here and died." Whitton's aunt Theresa Fonville agreed. "No, I don't think she tripped and falled because she's scared of the dark and she wouldn't have been in the woods by herself."  Investigators are now waiting for toxicology tests on Whitton's body in the hopes it might answer at least some questions. Meantime, Johnson did not walk free from custody. Several sources, including relatives, confirm that at last word Johnson still was recovering at University Health in Shreveport after allegedly swallowing drugs before he was arrested Friday.

June 13, 2016, Monday

Infant Dies in Red River Parish Crash

An infant lost her life this afternoon after the vehicle she was a passenger in traveled off the road and struck a tree. Shortly before 2:00 p.m. on June 11, 2016, Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop G responded to a single-vehicle crash on US Highway 71 just north of Louisiana Highway 514.  The initial investigation by State Police revealed 23-year-old Desmond Scarborough of Natchitoches, LA was driving a 2004 Mitsubishi Galant south on US 71.  During a heavy rainfall the vehicle traveled off the road, down a steep embankment, and struck a tree.  A passenger in the vehicle, 4-month-old Miracle Scarborough of Natchitoches, LA, who was restrained at the time of the crash, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Red River Parish Coroner’s Office. A routine toxicology sample was obtained from the driver and will be submitted for analysis.  The crash remains under investigation.

June 13, 2016, Monday

Boil Advisory

Please be advised that the boil advisory has been lifted fir Big N Ranch Road, Little Joe Lane, Rocky Mount Road, Cedar Grove Road, and all surrounding roads.

June 13, 2016, Monday

Free ATV Safety Course for Kids Saturday 

In one year alone 400 people died while riding an ATV, according to The Centers For Disease Control. To lower that number a free ATV safety course for kids is taking place this weekend. The event is sponsored by University Health. It is for kids ages 6-15 from 9am - 1pm at Muddy bottoms in Sarepta. "We will teach how to check for maintenance on your ATV," University Health injury prevention coordinator Holly Liles said. "We will teach how to properly use breaks. How to go over obstacles, how to go up and down hills and how to make quick stops and swerve." You can register at Atvsafety.org or call 800-887-2887. "Leading injuries are head injuries, spin injuries and broken bones," Liles said. "All of these can be prevented by knowing how to properly operate your ATV." Liles said only purchase DOT certified helmets. Experts said always wear a helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves. Never ride on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV. Supervise riders younger than 16; ATV's are not toys. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed. "Parents need to make sure they properly educate children on ATV safety to ensure everyone can continue having a good time on them," According to the CDC, from 1982-2014 thousands of fatalities occurred while on an ATV.

Texas: 612

Arkansas: 312

Louisiana: 262

June 10, 2016, Friday

UPDATE: Missing Sabine Parish inmate located, arrested

A Sabine Parish inmate discovered missing this morning has been located and arrested. Olive A. Somersall, 33, of Many, was taken into custody at approximately 1:15 p.m. Thursday, almost 14 hours after she was discovered missing from the Sabine Parish Women's Facility.  SPSO received a call  shortly after 1 p.m. that Somersall was seen walking on Newton Road in Many.  Deputies responded and were able to take her into custody without incident. Somersall is being booked on a charge of simple escape. She was discovered missing during regular rounds Wednesday night. Deputies learned she was able to gain access to the elevator while the deputy on duty was distracted with other inmates. Somersall is six months pregnant. She was being held on a probation violation for aggravated battery.

June 10, 2016, Friday

SPSO Searching for Missing Inmate

On June 8, 2016, at approximately 11:30 p.m., an inmate at the Sabine Parish Women's Facility was discovered missing. Olive A. Somersall, 33, of Many, was discovered missing during regular rounds and it was later found that she was able to gain access to the elevator while the deputy on duty was distracted with other inmates. Somersall is a 5'4" tall black female and weighs approximately 150 pounds. She is 6 months pregnant and was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and light grey sweat pants. She was being held on a probation violation for aggravated battery. If anyone was information concerning the whereabouts of Somersall, please contact the Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office at (318)256-9241.

June 9, 2016, Thursday

Sheriff Sam Craft announces the June 6, 2016 arrest of Brandon Monvelle Potter, age 41, of DeRidder.

The arrest is the result of criminal investigations into numerous car burglaries throughout Vernon Parish. Detectives did, on two occasions, recover video of a black male using credit cards taken from cars that were burglarized. A parish wide bulletin regarding a description of the suspect’s vehicle was issued to law enforcement. The information regarding the suspect vehicle was also placed on social media. VPSO was contacted by an observant citizen who advised that they had in fact seen the suspect vehicle. The citizen was able to provide additional information to Detectives regarding the suspect vehicle. While on Patrol a VPSO Deputy observed the suspect vehicle in the Pickering area and a traffic stop was conducted by the Deputy. Detectives were contacted and responded to the location where they did observe a black male, later identified as Brandon Potter. Detectives obtained a permission to search the vehicle and during the commission of the search located items believed to be related to the vehicle burglaries. Detectives did advise Potter that they did in fact have video of him conducting transactions with stolen credit cards. Potter was cooperative and upon arriving at VPSO he was interviewed by Detectives where he admitted to numerous car burglaries within Vernon and Beauregard Parish. Detectives were able to contact and prepare reports for additional victims who were unaware that a theft had taken place from their vehicles. Potter was arrested on two counts of Theft over $ 500, three counts of Theft under $ 500, three counts of Simple Burglary, two counts of Unauthorized Use of an Access Card, and one count of Theft from a Motor Vehicle. Bond has not been set and Potter remains in the VPSO jail. VPSO is also working with Pennsylvania and New Jersey Law enforcement Officials in relation to numerous out of state identification cards and personal documents located in the vehicle which are also believed to have been stolen during the commission of car burglaries in other jurisdictions. Detectives are currently reviewing reports of previously unsolved car burglaries within the parish. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected

June 9, 2016, Thursday

Natchitoches Parish double homicide murder conviction upheld

The murder conviction of a Campti man in connection with a double homicide has been upheld.  According to Natchitoches Parish District Attorney Van H. Kyzar, Reado Nargo (a/k/a Renaldo Nargo), 32, was convicted on September 17, 2014, of the shooting deaths of Johnny L. Brimzy and Stanley J. Brimzy, both of Campti.  Stanley Brimzy’s body was found on Vaughn Street in Campti by a passerby in the early morning hours of January 26, 2012.  He had been shot once in the head.  The body of Johnny Lee Brimzy was found later that morning next to a railroad track.  He had been shot once in the leg and three times in the head. Witnesses who discovered the first body described three individuals seen around the area just prior to the shooting, with one of those suspects being Nargo.  He was located and transported to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office for questioning, where he gave a statement.  While waiting to be transported to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center, Nargo escaped.  He was apprehended in June 2012 in Tacoma, Washington, by the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Apprehension Team. In his appeal, Nargo’s attorney alleged five different errors were committed at trial; however, the Court of Appeals determined that these allegations lacked merit in their opinion dated June 1, 2016.  Nargo is currently serving a life sentence at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.

June 8, 2016, Wednesday

Shreveport Police officer arrested

 A Shreveport Police officer placed on administrative leave on last week, has been arrested following an ongoing investigation. Back on June 1, Shreveport Police officer Bernice Lefeat was placed on paid administrative leave following allegations of alleged policy violations.   Since the launch of the investigation, information and evidence has led investigators with the Shreveport Police Department to procure warrants for the arrest of Lefeat charging him with a single count each of Possession of Schedule II, Malfeasance in office, Possession of a legend drug without a prescription, and two counts of Theft of a Firearm.  Lefeat, who was hired by the department in February of 2009, was taken into police custody Tuesday afternoon at his Keithville, Louisiana home.   Following interviews with detectives at Shreveport Police headquarters, Lefeat was booked into the Caddo Parish Correctional Center. Lefeat remains on administrative leave in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board which states: “When an employee is charged with a felony he shall, and if a misdemeanor he may, be immediately relieved of duty and placed on “departmental leave” for up to one week at full pay and with continuing seniority.”

June 8, 2016, Wednesday

Multi-parish police pursuit led to arrest of an Oakdale woman

Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of Edna Miller, 46 of Oakdale. The arrest was the result of a multi-parish police pursuit, which began in Rapides Parish. VPSO was notified by Rapides authorities that they were in pursuit of a white female in a green Ford Ranger Pickup. VPSO learned that law enforcement had been in pursuit of Miller for a length of time in Rapides Parish before the pursuit traveled West into Vernon Parish. The pursuit traveled West on highway 10 through Pitkin to highway 171 where Miller turned North. Spike strips were deployed on three occasions during the pursuit, but Miller was able to travel into another lane of Highway 171 to avoid the spike strips. Ultimately, Deputies pursued the vehicle to an area on Highway 171, just South of West Hawthorne Road. Edna Miller lost control of her vehicle, striking a bridge railing, which caused her to travel into a VPSO unit, causing damage to the unit. Miller's vehicle then overturned and she was taken into custody without incident. Agencies involved in the pursuit included Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office, Glenmora Police Department, McNary Police Department, Louisiana State Police, Fort Polk Military Police, New Llano Police Department, and Leesville City Police Department. Miller will be charged with numerous traffic violations, multiple bench warrants, and narcotics charges.

June 8, 2016, Wednesday

Hostess Brands Recall

Hostess brands says it is voluntarily recalling various snack cakes and doughnuts over concerns they may have come in contact with peanut residue not included in the ingredient list. The Kansas City, Missouri-based company's recall announced Friday covers more than 700,000 cases of Ding Dongs, Zingers, Chocodile and various doughnuts sold in Grocery, dollar, drug and convenience stores in the U.S. and Mexico. The recall covers single-serve products and multipack boxes. Hostess says Friday's announcement is a result of a recall by supplier Grain Craft of certain lots of its flour for undeclared peanut residue. Consumers are encouraged to destroy the recalled items or return them for a full refund. Hostess says it has received notice of two allergic reactions involving the recalled products as of Friday.

June 7, 2016, Tuesday

Alligator Hunting

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will continue to accept bids for alligator hunting on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) properties and state wildlife refuges for the 2016-2018 alligator harvest seasons through June 15th. Eligible alligator hunters are chosen through a bid system every three years on selected WMAs/USAVE/refuges properties. A total of 30 alligator hunting opportunities are available for bid on one refuge, 13 WMAs and two USACE properties. The number of alligator tags that will be issued to successful bidders in 2016 will range from 10-90 tags depending on the area awarded.

June 7, 2016, Tuesday

Longest Legislative Statehouse Entrenchment

When the 2016 Louisiana Legislature withdraws on June 23rd, from its Statehouse entrenchment, following a second special session that begins today, it will have served 19 consecutive weeks, the longest weekly stretch in the legislative branch's 204-year history. Starting February 14th, it will have spanned three seasons of the year. Research by Manship School News Service and information supplied from State Archivist Bill Stafford and the Legislative Research Library revealed lawmakers will have spent more consecutive weeks in Baton Rouge this year than any other body of Louisiana legislators since they first convened in 1812.

June 7, 2016, Tuesday

Stonewall Couple Indicted in Special Needs Child's Injury

Arraignment is set June 22 for a Stonewall couple indicted last week by a DeSoto grand jury for allegedly injuring a special needs child. Indicted on charges of second-degree cruelty to juveniles are the child’s mother, Brittany Alyssa Acklin, 23, and her boyfriend, Glenn Ray Blomberg, 39. Both remain in the DeSoto Parish Detention Center. Acklin’s bond is $300,000, and Blomberg’s is $500,000. When the couple was arrested in April, Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle called the case one of the most disturbing veteran investigators had handled in many years.  The three-year-old child was hospitalized for treatment of injuries that included internal bleeding, broken bones, lacerations and bruising. He’s been released but requires 24-hour a day care at home. Second-degree cruelty to juveniles is defined by state law as the intentional mistreatment or neglect of anyone under the age of 17 that causes serious bodily injury or neurological impairment. A conviction carries a prison sentence of up to 40 years. 

June 7, 2016, Tuesday

Family pleads for help finding missing man

 There's a desperate call for help from the family of a man who disappeared 6-years ago. Relatives refuse to give up on this cold case and insist someone must know what happened to him. "How can a person disappear, after you know, so long and nobody finds him," said a frustrated LaDarrell Young of Shreveport. For Young, the disappearance of his uncle Taurean Johnson 6-years ago, still haunts him. "Every time anything comes up I'm right there, hoping and praying it's not him," explained Johnson. Johnson was 24-years-old back on February 1, 2010 when a relative drove him to Werner Park Grocery Store in the 4700 block of Mansfield Road in Shreveport and went inside with him. Relatives say they know Taurean Johnson went into the store, that he did cash a Social Security check, and then walked out carrying a little more than $600 in cash. That relative, Connie Brown, said she and Johnson left the store together and he began walking north. Brown said Johnson then called her that night, using a friend's phone and said he was thinking about going out of town on a trip with some friends. But he was never heard from again. Brown described Johnson as developmentally challenged and fears someone may have taken advantage of his situation. Johnson's cousin, Brandon Williams, said Taurean didn't have any enemies. "He had no beef, because he was (a) kind guy," said Williams. As for LaDarrell Young, he told us he just wants closure. "If he's out there, I just want him to come home," said Young. Young, Williams and their relatives just hope someone will see this report and call police to help solve this cold case.

Anyone with information on the case can call Crime Stoppers at (318) 673-7373.

June 6, 2016, Monday

 'Slide the City' coming to Shreveport this summer

A monster waterslide that spans 1,000 feet is coming to Shreveport this summer. The attraction is called "Slide the City" and it's touring the country. The event is a family friendly slip-and-slide water party event. There will be live music, food, drinks, water and of course the biggest slip-and-slide ever to hit asphalt. But don't worry, it's padded. "Slide the City" will be in Shreveport on August 20.

June 6, 2016, Monday

Plans to be announced for Natchitoches Riverfront Improvement project

The city of Natchitoches and Cane River Waterway Commission will unveil plans Monday for the Riverfront Improvement Project.  City officials say the plans will be unveiled in a press conference at 11:00 a.m at the Natchitoches Events Center located at 750 Second Street.  Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects designed the Riverfront Improvement Project to revitalize the downtown riverbank area. The project will turn the area into a multi-million dollar event space for the community.  City officials say construction is expected to begin January 2017. The project will take approximately 10 months to complete.

June 6, 2016, Monday

Shreveport mother charged in death of 2-year-old son

A Shreveport woman jailed last month, now faces murder charges in the wake of an ongoing investigation into the death of her 2-year-old child. Back on May 26, 2016, Shreveport Police detectives were called to a home located in the 6900 block of Buncombe Road regarding two juveniles who were suffering bruises to multiple areas of their bodies.  The responding police officials detained the mother of the children, 32-year-old Brandy Shackelford on scene at the residence and following subsequent interviews with her at Shreveport Police headquarters, arrested the woman and booked her into the Shreveport City Jail on charges of Domestic Abuse Battery. The children, ages 2 and 7, were removed from the residence upon Shackleford's arrest and remanded to the care subsequent family members.  Shreveport Police Juvenile investigators were contacted the morning of May 27, 2016 and advised the 2-year-old child, Richard Malott, had died after being taken to the hospital following being discovered unresponsive at the home of attending family members. It was not immediately apparent the cause of death in the toddler's case; however, charges in the matter against Shackleford were then upgraded to two counts of Cruelty to a Juvenile.  Since the launch of the investigation, Shreveport police detectives say they have gathered information from officials with the Caddo Parish Coroner's Office, determining the death of Malott to be a homicide. Charges against Shackleford have since been upgraded to Second Degree murder in the case.  Shackleford still faces a single count of Cruelty to a Juvenile for her alleged role in injuring the 7-year-old.  No other persons have been charged in the death, which remains an active investigation.

June 3, 2016, Friday

Arrest made in Natchitoches deadly shooting

Natchitoches police have made an arrest in the shooting death of 18-year-old Justin Walker. The shooting happened last Saturday, May 29 on Thomas St. near the intersection of Howell St.  When officers arrived on the scene, they found Walker suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Walker was taken to University Health in Shreveport where he later died. On Thursday, around 10:30 a.m., detectives in Natchitoches arrested 20-year-old Robert Deshawn Clark on charges of first-degree murder for his alleged role in the crime. Right now, detectives say they're not sure what led to the shooting. The case remains under investigation.

Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call Natchitoches police at 318-352-8101 or Detective Jeff Townson at 318-357-9852.

June 3, 2016, Friday

3 charged in Natchitoches Parish ATV theft

Police lost track of a stolen all-terrain vehicle early Saturday when the operator drove it into a wooded area, but deputies ended up arresting three people when they heard it being operated hours later in the same location, according to a release. The theft of the 2016 Polaris Sportsman ETX ATV was reported to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office early Saturday morning from Patrick-Miller Tractor in the North Natchitoches Bypass. The dealership manager told deputies that the ATV, valued at $6,000, had been stolen sometime during the night. The investigation at the scene revealed that the suspects also had used a tractor to ram a rear fence of a tire shop. Surveillance video showed the suspects on the dealership's property around 1:20 a.m. Saturday, reads the sheriff office's release. "Around that time early Saturday morning, Natchitoches Police were involved in the pursuit of an ATV in the Brahma Drive area, but were unable to identify or apprehend the suspects after it evaded them entering nearby woods," reads the release. But around 8 p.m. on Saturday, two deputies returned to the spot where the ATV had gone into the woods, searching for any evidence left behind. Then, they heard the sound of an ATV. "Deputies covertly moved through the woods and were able to apprehend three suspects riding what was believed to be and confirmed as the stolen ATV," it reads. Natchitoches Police Department officers assisted and took the three to their headquarters as the sheriff's office continued the investigation. The ATV was confiscated, and deputies eventually got enough information to arrest the 17-year-old and two juveniles. The 17-year-old, Steven Craig Vercher of the 1300 block of Berry Avenue in Natchitoches, was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center. He was charged with two counts of felony theft, two counts of criminal trespassing and three counts of simple criminal damage to property.

He remains in jail on a $30,000 bond.

The 16-year-old was transferred to Ware Juvenile Center in Coushatta. He was charged with two counts of felony theft, three counts of simple criminal damage to property and one count of criminal trespassing. The 15-year-old was charged with one count of illegal possession of stolen things and was released to the custody of his parents.

The investigation is continuing.

June 2, 2016, Thursday

ATV Wreck Kills 13-year-old girl

Ron Rivers, Assistant Coroner

On the night of June 1, 2016 at approximately 10:18pm I was contacted by the Sabine Parish Sheriff's Department in reference to an ATV accident on Wrights Landing Road with injuries. Updated information was that there was a juvenile that was unresponsive. North Sabine Fire/Rescue and Med Express Ambulance were contacted to respond to the scene. During my investigation I learned that a 13 year old girl from Zwolle, LA. was traveling on Wrights Landing Road north of Zwolle on a Polaris 800 side by side. The side by side was traveling east in a left hand curve when she lost control of the vehicle. During rotation of the vehicle the 13 year old juvenile was ejected from the side by side and landed on the main travel lane. The accident was not witnessed. Passerby's came up on the accident and found the juvenile on the roadway. The juvenile was transported to Sabine Medical Center by Med Express with life threatening injuries. Shortly after arrival the juvenile was prounounced deceased from severe head injuries. The cause of the accident is still under investigation by the LA Sate Police.

June 2, 2016, Thursday

REAL ID Security Law

Louisiana lawmakers want residents to choose whether they have a driver's license that complies with the federal REAL ID security law. The measure could be a law sooner than you think. All that's left is for Governor John Bel Edwards to sign the bill. If he does, Louisiana will join 24 other states that are already compliant with the federal REAL ID act. Louisiana residents would also need specific identification to access federal buildings and military bases.

June 1, 2016, Wednesday

Cursive Writing Could be Returning to Louisiana's Public Schools

With a 37-0 vote Tuesday, the Senate gave final legislative passage to a bill requiring public schools, including charter schools, to introduce cursive writing instruction by third grade. Instruction would have to continue through 12th Grade. The proposal by Senator Beth Mizell, a republican from Franklinton, would take effect July 1, 2017, to give schools time to prepare. The bill heads next to Gov. John Bel Edwards. A handful of states have similar requirements, including Arkansas.

June 1, 2016, Wednesday

Insurance Fines Bill

A Baton Rouge lawmaker's bid to create payment plans for people struggling to pay lapsed car insurance fines is headed for the governor's desk. With a 94-0 vote Tuesday, the house gave final passage to the bill from Democratic Representative Denise Marcelle. Louisiana law requires drivers to have insurance on their vehicles. Marcelle's bill outlines payment plans for drivers for drivers owing the Office of Motor Vehicles more than $250 in lapsed insurance fines. The state can revoke licenses and seize bank accounts if fines remain unpaid. Supporters said the payment plans will allow those who become insured to reclaim their revoked licenses while repaying their debts. The OMV is currently owed more than $250 million in unpaid fines issued to thousands of drivers with lapsed coverage.

June 1, 2016, Wednesday

A Weekend Stabbing Claimed the Life of A DeRidder Man

A weekend stabbing claimed the life of a DeRidder Man in Lake Charles. According to the lake Charles Police Department, it happened early Sunday in the 2300 block of South Roosevelt Street. Police said officers were called in reference to a disturbance and a possible stabbing. They arrived to find 36-year-old Rubin Piper lying on the ground with a stab wound. Piper was taken to Lake Charles Memorial hospital where he died. "Detectives are interviewing several subjects. Investigation is ongoing and as more information develops, additional details will be released," a news release from the department states.

June 1, 2016, Wednesday

Statewide Traffic Fatalities Rise Following Memorial Day Weekend Crashes

As we celebrated our brave men and women who gave their lives for this country during Memorial Day weekend, the summer of 2016 got off to a tragic start on Louisiana highways. Louisiana State Police investigated 9 fatal crashes resulting in 14 deaths statewide. This was a sharp rise from the 7 fatal crashes resulting in 7 deaths that occurred during the 2015 Memorial Day weekend. Poor planning and disregard for personal and public safety resulted in our highest number of deaths in recent years. Unrestrained occupants and impaired drivers accounted for several of the highly preventable deaths this holiday weekend. Throughout the weekend, Troopers statewide arrested over 100 suspected impaired drivers, potentially preventing even more serious injury or fatal crashes.

June 1, 2016, Wednesday

Mayflies invade Shreveport-Bossier

Swarms of mayflies made their annual appearance across portions of Caddo and Bossier Parish Monday night. KSLA Stormtracker 12 Chief Meteorologist Jeff Castle was even able to pick up the swarms on radar. According to Dr. Beverly Burden, an Entomologist and associate professor at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, weather plays a big factor in when mayflies emerge. The lifespan of a mayfly is very short - only about a day. But, this may not be the last time you see one.  "In this area there are over fifty different species of mayflies. You can have one species emerge every other day," said Dr. Burden. Although hundreds to thousands of mayflies appear at one time, they are harmless. They will not do much more than be a nuisance, as they are attracted to lights, like the ones on your car.

June 1, 2016, Wednesday

        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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