A 41-year-old man from Pakistan has been found guilty on charges of simple kidnapping and indecent behavior with a juvenile,the Beauregard Parish District Attorney's Office said. Fahim A. Shaikh, an illegal immigrant, was found guilty of the charges Thursday in court after a four-day jury trial. He will be sentenced in April. The Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office arrested Shaikh on April 18,2014. When they received a report of a runaway female juvenile, Shaikh picked up the 13-year-old girl and transported her to his apartment.
Evening of Concerts
Northwestern State University's band program will be featured in two evenings of concerts March 3-4 in Magale Recital Hall. The Magale Concert Band and NSU Wind Ensemble will perform Tuesday, March 3rd at 7:30pm. On March 4th, NSU Wind Symphony and Fredericks Concert Band will perform at 7:30pm. Admission to each concert is free and open to the public.
Gas Well Goes BOOM
There's now an explanation behind a big boom sound that awakened some ArkLaTex residents early Thursday morning. Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Joe Dewil says the sound came from a Comstock gas well off Highway 482 near Zwolle just after 5:00am. According to Dewil, ice built up around a compressor at the well and that is reportedly what blew. Dewil says no one was injured but it did shatter a window at a nearby home and caused a small gas leak. A worker was able to turn the valve off and stop the leak.
Rapides Parish Bus Crash
Early Wednesday morning, a single vehicle crash involving a school bus ingured eleven children and the driver. A large amount of mud was on the road, which is considered a factor in the crash. Troopers responded to the crash around 6:15am, which occurred on LA Hwy 121 south of LA Hwy 496. The crash involved a 2001 International school bus, driven by Jake D. Lawson of Boyce, LA. The school bus was northbound on LA Hwy 121 when Lawson encountered the large amount of mud on the roadway. He then lost control and exited the left side of the roadway before the school bus overturned on its side. All eleven children and the driver received minor to moderate injuries and were transported to local hospitals. The children ranged in age from five to fifteen. The crash remains under investigation.
The Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office is apparently still searching for the man who allegedly shot at one of their deputies during a traffic stop back on February 13th. It happened in the Belmont area. Police say a sheriff's deputy stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation when a passenger jumped out of the vehicle, fired a gunshot at the deputy then ran into the woods. The driver and a second passenger then reportedly fled the scene in the vehicle with the deputy in pursuit. The chase ended on Haley Road when the fleeing vehicle ran off the road. Both the driver and the sceond passenger jumped out of the vehicle and ran off. The second passenger, identified as Keivondrick A. Cutright, 25 of Zwolle, was caught by the deputy.
Ark-LA-Tex Music Show
The Ark-LA-Tex music show "Tribute to Legends" will be this Friday, February 27,2015 at 7:00pm with a special theme this month being Love Songs. Performing will be: The Legends Band with Jennifer Honeycutt, Suzanne Durbin, Rod Hopkins, Buster Jordan, Kady Leger and several others! Door prizes will include a Free guitar! All veterans are admitted FREE! The show will be at the Sabine Theater in Downtown Many, LA tickets are $7, children ages 6-12 $2, and children under 6 years of age are admitted free. for information and auditions call Rod Hopkins at 318-256-5735.
Historical & Genealogical Society
The Vernon Historical and Genealogical Society will meet Saturday, March 7,2015 at 12:30pm in the meeting room of the Vernon Parish Library. the Heritage Family Association will aslo meet Saturday, March 7th at 3pm at the Vernon Parish Library. The centennial celebration of the Mill Creek Cemetery and church site, scheduled for April 25th, and the spring tour of Peason Ridge on May 2nd will be addressed. the public is invited.
A re-flagging ceremony was held Tuesday at Ft. Polk. The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division was deactivated during the ceremony. The 4th BCT colors were cased for the final time as the 3rd BCT colors were uncased, marking the brigade's reactivation and the beginning of a new legacy at Ft. Polk.
Wanted for Arson
The Natchitoches Police Department has secured Arrest Warrants for the immediate arrest of Carl Everett Myart Jr. Mr. Myart is 30 years of age and described as a black male, approximately 6' 1" in height, weighing approximately 175lbs. Myart is being sought on multiple counts of arson. Sometime prior to midnight last night a mattress inside of the residence of Ms. Shemekka Gaines located at 220 Duplex St. was set on fire. Ms. Gaines was reported to have extinguished the mattress which was pulled out of the residence and placed within the backyard. However, during the early morning hours the extinguished mattress was pulled near the rear door of the residence and reignited. Carl Myart Jr. was reported to have been residing at the Gaines residence; however, Ms. Gaines stated that Myart and her had a disagreement in which Myart was made to leave by Ms. Gaines due to Myart supposedly committing theft(s) from Ms. Gaines' children. If anyone has information about the whereabouts of Mr. Myart they're urged to contact the Natchitoches Police Department at 318-352-8101 or you may contact Detective Victor Pinkney of the Natchitoches Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division at 318-357-3817. All calls shall be kept confidential.
The following roads in the Shreveport area will be closed due to weather conditions:
I-49 North of Shreveport to the Arkansas line
I-49 Urban--Shreveport north of MP 199
LA 3/Benton Road Overpass, Bossier City
Lake Bistineau Bridge on LA 154 in Bossier Parish
The South Beauregard an Lacassine girls basketball teams won Monday night to advance to the quarterfinal round of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association playoffs. Quarterfinal games are scheduled for Thursday.
A Many man was sentenced Friday to 188 months in prison for distributing methamphetamine in the Sabine Parish area, according to a news release from US Attorney Stephanie A. Finley. Scottron Cordell Medlock, 33, was sentenced by US District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote on one count of distribution of methamphetamine. Medlock was also sentenced to four years of supervised release. Finley said according to evidence presented at the July 24,2014 guilty plea, law enforcement agents recorded Medlock selling 24 grams of methamphetamine in Many on July 17,2013. "Video showed Medlock combining several small bags of methamphetamine into a larger one before selling the drug for $1,400," the news release states. The DEA and Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office conducted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation called "Crystal Bend." Assistant US Attorney Brandon B. Brown prosecuted the case.
A Dry Creek man is accused of driving drunk and causing a crash Friday that involved a five-day-old baby. State Police say that Friday shortly before 11am they responded to a two-vehicle crash on US 171 near Calcasieu Avenue in Moss Bluff. Trooper said the preliminary investigation revealed that an Infiniti SUV was traveling on US 171 when a Ford F-350, driven by 27-year-old Colby K. Hebert, pulled out from the parking lot of a bar into the path of the Infiniti, causing the two vehicles to collide. Troopers said the two adults and the baby in the SUV were not injured. Hebert was also not injured. Troopers said Hebert performed poorly on sobriety tests at the crash scene and was transported to Troop D in order to obtain a breath sample. Hebert tested at .397 grams percent which is nearly five times the legal blood alcohol concentration limit of .08 grams percent for individuals over the age of 21. He was transported to a local hospital for examination due to his extreme level of impairment. Upon Hebert's release he was booked into the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Center on DWI fourth offense and failure to yield from a private drive.
The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office announces the February 23,2015 arrests of Brandy Mize age 41, and Travis McKee, age 43, both of Rosepine. On February 22,2015 the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office was contacted by medical personnel at a local hospital regarding a juvenile female who was at the facility. Medical personnel advised that the juvenile indicated that she was the victim of a sexual assault. Deputies and Detectives responded to the facility and met with the juvenile. After speaking to the victim information was obtained which led to the excution of a search warrant at a residence in the Rosepine area. Upon arrival at the residence contact was made with Brandy Mize and Travis McKee. Mize and McKee were transported to the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office. Detectives did conduct interviews with both individuals and the victim during the course of the investigation. Upon further investigation Brandy Mize was arrested and charged with one count of Principal to Sexual Battery and one count of Prinicpal to Simple Rape. Travis McKee was arrested and charged with one count of Sexual Battery, one count of Simple Rape, and one count of Felony Carnal Knowledge of a Juvenile. No bond has been set at the time of the release and both remain in the Vernon Parish Jail.
Closures in Sabine Parish
All Sabine Parish schools are closed today according to Dr. Sara Ebarb. All SARC facilities are closed due to weather conditions according to Rod Davis. Northwest LTC Natchitoches and Sabine Valley campuses will be closed today according to Laurie Morrow. Sabine Council on Aging will be closed today. Northwestern State University is closed today. Natchitoches Parish and Vernon Parish Schools will also be closed today due to winter weather. The majority of all the area basketball games have now been moved from tonight to Tuesday night due to closures and weather conditions.
A basic cake decorating class will begin Tuesday at Northwestern State University. The non-credit class sponsored by the Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will be held on Tuesday evenings from 5:30pm to 7:30pm in the Culinary Arts building adjacent to the Friedman Student Union. The class will run through April 21st. Classic decorating beginning with a thorough understanding of the fundamentals will be covered in the course which is designed for cake decorating shop owners, bakers, caterers, chefs, or enthusiasts. The fee for the class is $99. For more information, go to ece.nsula.edu/non-credit or call 800-376-2422 or 318-357-6355.
Zwolle Mother Charged
A Zwolle mother is now being charged in the death of her 19-month-old son. Back in September 2014, emergency responders were called to a home on Elm Street in Zwolle where they found the toddler. According to the infant's mother, 26-year-old Deunka Lynch, she parked the car and took the keys out of the ignition. That's when she noticed that the window was rolling up, trapping little Robert. Police say that once they arrived on scene, the foun Lynch holding Robert Lynch in her arms. Little Robert Lynch was transported to Sabine Medical Center and later transferred to University Health in Shreveport where he was placed on life support. He was later declared brain dead and removed from life support the following day. Investigators say Deunka Lynch had just left a family gathering and put her son in the back of her car unrestrained. Deunka Lynch is now being charged with negligent homicide family members say. Child Protective Services have custody of Deunka Lynch's other two children.
ArkLaTex Road Closures
DOTD announces that Interstate 49 in Caddo Parish, between La. 1 in north Shreveport to the Arkansas state line, is closed immediately to traffic. Traffic will be detoured to US 71. I-49 North is also closed in Shreveport from Bert Kouns Industrial Loop to I-20, and I-49 South is closed from I-20 to LA 3132. I-220 is also closed in Caddo Parish.
Friday Night Crash
A single vehicle crash Friday night killed a teen from DeRidder and seriously injured the teen driver, according to state police. Both teens were not wearing a seat belt, which resulted in the teen driver being partially ejected and the teen passenger being totally ejected. Alcohol usage is a suspected factor. Troopers responded to the crash around 7:40pm, which occurred on Hawks Road, in Vernon Parish. The crash involved a 2004 GMC pickup, driven by Blake A. Shell of Singer, LA. The GMC was westbound on Hawks Road when Shell lost control and exited the right side of the roadway. After exiting the roadway the vehicle began overturning before colliding with a tree. Shell received serious injuries and was transported to Rapides Regional Trauma Center. His only passenger, identified as Abigail M. Welch, was pronounced dead at the scene. Routine toxicology tests and charges are pending. The crash remains under investigation.
The National Wild Turkey Federation/Whikey Chitto Longbeards Chapter of Louisiana will hold their annual Hunting Heritage Banquet tonight at the fairgrounds in Leesville. Doors will open at 6pm and dinner will be at 7pm. Tickets are $50 for singles, $65 for a couple or $275 for a sponsor table. Tickets may be purchased at Star Gun & Archery on the Ft. Polk Entrance Rd. or by calling Bobbie at 396-1373.
The Jasper County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help finding a man wanted for an aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury. Deputies are looking for John "Jake" Klinkhammer, investigators say he is a fitness trainer. His wherabouts are unknown and he is believed to be still in the area.
On post last month there were two convicted at general courts-martial, which also saw both discharged from the U.S. Army. The first happened on Jan. 8th. Warrant Officer 1 Benjamin C. Mason was convicted by a military judge of three counts of aggravated sexual contact with a child, rape of a child, three counts of sexual assault of a child, sexual abuse of a child, forcible sodomy with a child and indecent acts with a child. The incidents took place over an eight-year period and involved four children ranging in ages from 4 to 14. Mason, was sentenced to a 55-year prison term and to a dishonorable discharge. He also will have to register as a sex offender. The second court-martial happened on Jan. 23, when a military panel of officer and enlisted personnel convicted Sgt. 1st Class John F. Sellers Jr. of willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, failure to obey an order or regulation, stalking, three specifications of assault consummated by a battery and engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a junior enlisted solider. Sellers was sentenced to be reduced to a grade of E-1, to be confined for 30 months and to a bad conduct discharge. The charges against Sellers stemmed for several domestic violence incidents against his spouse, according to The Guardian. He also stalked his spouse, violated a military protective order issued by his commander and had an unregistered firearm.
Registration is underway for the second eight-week session at Northwestern State University. The Spring B-term will be held from March 9- May 1. All currently admitted students can get more information on available classes or sign up for B-term classes online using NSU Connect, which is available at nsula.edu.
Nebraska Fugitive Captured
Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Deputies that stopped to assist a stranded motorist on I-49 near Derry, wound up capturing a fugitive wanted in two states. Deputies stopped to assist the driver of a 2003 Chevrolet car. Deputies say that while they were helping the driver, they noticed that the passenger, identified as 21-year-old Stelson O. Curry, of Cedar Hill, Texas, was acting strange. Deputies then ran a criminal history background check on both men and discovered that Curry had been wanted by Lancaster County Sheriff's Office in Nebraska since 2014 for robbery and assault. Authorities say Curry was also wanted by Grand Prairie Police Department in Texas since 2014 for possession of dangerous drugs and 9 counts of failure to appear on traffic offenses. Curry was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on fugitive charges. He is currently awaiting extradition proceedings. The driver was released.
Ebarb preschool registration will be on Friday, February 20,2015 at Ebarb school from 8:30am until 12:00pm. Children must be 4 years old by September 30th 2015 to register for preschool. Parents will need to bring the childs birth certificate, immunization record, social security card, proof of income, and verification or residency. Parents must complete pre-registration for preschool at Ebarb school. Screening tests to determine if children might have vision or hearing impairments will be administered at the time of pre-registration. Screening services are free to all children. Universal Preschool also serves children with disabilities. These children receive first priority enrollment. If transportation services are needed, please contact the Preschool office at 318-256-6143. Register Early! Minimum slots are available at each school!
The Choctaw Apache Tribe of Ebarb is hosting their annual Bass Bash Team Tournament on February 28,2015. The event will be held at North Toledo Bend State Park and cost is $50 per team. Foy Motors of Many will pay $500 for the largest bass caught the day of the tourney. Must be preregistered prior to day of the tournament. Weigh in is at 3pm and must be in line at the boat launch by 3pm. Trailering is allowed. More info, rules, and applications are available at the tribal office or at Chesters Grocery or one may call 318-645-2588 or 617-0322.
The Beauregard Parish Police Jury will accept sealed bids for antique radiators and other scrap iron from the Beauregard Parish Courthouse, according to a public notice filed by the Police Jury. The parish's project to renovate its decades-old courthouse has started. The notice states that bids will be accepted for the entire lot, and no items will be sold individually. All sealed bids must be received by 10 am, Friday, February 27th.
Brigade at Risk
Despite the good news for the area with the increase of approximately 700 soliders due to an adjustment by the Army, Fort Polk's deployable brigade is once again at risk as the Army considers ways to reduce personnel by up to 70,000. If Fort Polk is one of the installations cut, the base could lose up to 6,500 of its military population of more than 10,000. Army officials will be in Leesville March 3 for a community meeting to hear concerns about potentially reducing the number of troops stationed at Fort Polk. Stakeholders are urging anyone who wants to show support for the base to be in Leesville that day, or at live streaming events in Alexandria or Lake Charles.
Two officials say a Rosepine employee has been arrested for theft of approximately $3500. A local media reports Troy Miers was booked into the Vernon Parish Jail after he allegedly used the town's fuel credit card for personal use. The alleged theft prompted town officials to implement a new policy for the usage of the card. Miers was booked with one count of unauthorized use of an access card. Bond was set at $25,000. He remains in the Vernon Parish Jail. It was unclear whether Miers has an attorney.
A reflagging ceremony will take place Feb. 24th at 10am on Warrior Field at Ft. Polk. At the event, the 4th Birgade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division will be deactivated, and the 3rd Brigade "Patriots" will be reactivated. The change is expected to bring 700 more soldiers to the army post. For the 4th BCT, the 94th Brigade Support Battalion will reflag to the 710th Birgade Support Battalion. The 4th Brigade Special Troop Battalion will deactivate, and the 4th Brigade Engineer Battalion will activate with an added engineer company. The 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment of Fort Knox, Kentucky, will also deactivate to join the Patriots.
We have more on the robbery of a convenience store in DeRidder. As we reported yesterday, it happened Sunday just before 8pm. According to DeRidder authorities, the clerk described a white male with a face mask wearing a black hoodie and armed with a black large frame pistol, entering the store and demanding all the money. Authorities said the surveillance video shows the man was dropped off by a dark sedan and fled on foot in the same direction. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Joshua Stanford at 337-462-8911 or call Crime Stoppers at 337-462-8918 to remain anonymous.
The Giving Tree
Playing a tree branch has given Caitlyn Whitlock a chance to bloom. Whitlock plays a tree branch in "The Giving Tree," which opens Thursday at Northwestern State University. "The Giving Tree," will be presented Feb. 19-21 at 7:30pm and Feb. 22nd at 2pm in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. Reservations are not required. Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for seniors 65 and older and children 12 and under. NSU, LSMSA and BPCC students will be admitted free with a current student ID.
Northwestern State University's College of Nursing and School of Allied Health will hold its annual open house Thursday, February 26,2015 at 5:30pm at the NSU Nursing Education Center at 1800 Line Ave. in Shreveport. Anyone interested in pursuing degrees in nursing, radiologic sciences or allied health is invited to attend. For more information contact Melanie McBride at email@example.com, or at 318-357-4503.
Spring Fling Canceled
The Friends of Hodges Gardens State Park has canceled its annual "Spring Fling" scheduled for Saturday, March 21st due to budget cuts at the park. The event has been co-sponsored by the Friends group and Hodges Gardens State Park since 2010. Officials said Hodges Gardens State Park continues to operate normally, other than a reduction in interpretive programming due to recent budget cuts. Visitors are encouraged to check the Calendar of Events on www.LaStateParks.com, or Hodges Gardens State Park's Facebook page for the latest information on programming and park activities.
February 17,2015, Tuesday
Oberlin Woman Identified
An 18-year-old Oberlin woman's identity who died Sunday morning in a two-vehicle crash has been reported, authorities said. Authorities said Lindsey Isley was driving a pick-up truck on I-10 eastbound near Welch when it collided with an 18-wheeler. The accident closed the interstate for several hours. Isley was pronounced dead at the scene. No charges have been filed at this time.
According to a Friday U.S. Department of Defense news release, Brig. Gen. William B. Hickman, commanding general, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, will become deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Central/Third U.S. Army, Kuwait. The Army recently announced that Brig. Gen. Timothy P. McGuire would become Fort Polk's next commander.
Convincing Win over UCA
Zeek Woodley couldn't contain himself Monday night, and neither could Central Arkansas. Northwestern State's 6-2 sophomore swingman has a career night, pouring in 36 points while raining in 12 of 16 shots including two of his three 3-point tries, spearheading the Deamons' 86-70 triumph over visiting UCA in Prather Coliseum. Woodley, the nation's No. 3 scorer, raised his average by half a point to 22.5 as he sank 10 of 11 free throws, blocked two shots and made two steals in 33 minutes. The Demons (14-0 overall, 9-4 in the Southland Conference) won for the sixth time in seven games.
Traffic Stop Arrest
A Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office deputy stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on Hwy 120 near Cherry Springs Road on 2-13-15, when a passenger jumped out of the vehicle and discharged a firearm in the direction of the deputy as he ran into a wooded area. The driver and a second passenger then fled the scene in the vehicle with the deputy in pursuit. The chase ended on Haley Road when the fleeing vehicle ran off of the roadway. Both the driver and the second passenger jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot. This second passenger was caught by the deputy and was identified as Keivondrick A. Cutright, 25, of Zwolle. Drugs and paraphernalia were found in and near the vehicle. Cutright was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center for principle to aggracated assault upon a peace officer with a firearm, obstruction of justice, resisting an officer, possession of schedule I, possession of schedule IV, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The deputy was not injured and the incident remains under investigation.
A Natchitoches man is being charged with his sixth DWI after allegedly driving in the wrong way on I-49 with his children in the vehicle. Thursday evening, deputies received several 911 calls reporting that a dark colored SUV was traveling at a high rate of speed northbound in the southbound lanes of I-49 near the Cypress exit. Deputies were able to stop the 2006 Ford SUV on I-49 near the Waterwell exit just south of Natchitoches. Deputies identified the driver as 33-year-old Ricky Anthony Simmons Jr. Kyla Lee Honeycutt, 37, and two small children ages 4 and 5, were also in the vehicle. Authorities say the driver was driving on a suspended license and seemed to be impaired. After failing a series of field sobriety tests, Simmons was transported to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center where he was given a blood-alcohol test which came back at more than three times the legal limit. Simmons is charged with DWI 6th offense, child endangerment, driving the wrong way on an interstate, reckless operation of a vehicle, driving under suspension and two counts of child desertion. Honeycutt was also arrested and charged with two counts of child desertion. Both Simmons and Honeycutt remain in the Natchitoches Detention Center. The children are staying with a relative.
MPD K9 units traveled to Logansport this Sunday afternoon for annual certification with the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association. Both detector dogs passed certification and will continue their service for the Town of Many.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals/Office of Public Health, hereby rescinds the Boil Advisory issued by Town of Many Water System. The samples collected on February 12,2015 were cleared.
Youth Day Camps
BeauCARE, in DeRidder, will offer youth day camps on Feb. 16th and 17th. Feb. 16th will be a "President's Day" camp from 7am to 5:30pm. Campers must be dropped off before 9am. Fee is $18. This will include meals, snacks and supplies. Activities will include team challenges, outdoor sports, games, arts and crafts, team building and more. On Feb. 17th, there will be a "Mardi Gras" camp from 7am until 5:30pm. Cost will be $18 and includes meals, snacks, and supplies. Lots of activities planned.
Multiple police agencies are searching for an escaped inmate from Allen Parish. At about noon on Thursday, 26-year-old Justin Ray Spears was arrested by tribal police at Coushatta Casino Resort. According to officials, he removed his handcuffs while being transported to the Allen Parish Jail, where he fled from officers on foot. "He is not believed to be dangerous, but authorities do recommend caution," said Allen Parish Sheriff Doug Hebert. Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff's office at 337-639-4353 or the Coushatta Tribal Police at 337-584-1457.
Two men last seen on the Sabine River near Starks were found safe. Colten Fountain, 20 and cody Brasuell, 22, were last seen Saturday while hog hunting near Bass Lake Road. Fountain's father, Shane Fountain told local media that the pair lost one of their hunting dogs and were attempting to locate the animal. Shane Fountain said he received a text message from his son around 8am Saturday. Others said they'd last heard from the pair Saturday afternoon via text message.
Husband charged with Manslaughter
A Bossier City man is now charged with manslaughter after he allegedly caused his estranged wife to fall off the bed of the truck he was driving. The incident happened around 9:00am on Monday near Brooks Road in Shreveport. Deputies say the two stopped to talk and sat on the tailgate of the truck. Allen Wray then reportedly decided to leave while his wife was still sitting on the truck bed. Detectives say as he drove away, Allen Wray slammed on his brakes several times then hit the gas, causing Sherri Wray to fall off the truck. Sherri Wray, 48, was taken to University Health with serious injuries. Authorities say she died Wednesday night. Allen Wray was booked into the Caddo Correctional Center on Monday and charged with aggravated second degree battery and reckless operation. On Thursday, his charges were upgraded to include manslaughter.
Mardi Gras Festival
The Main Street Mardi Gras Festival will be held on Saturday, February 14,2015 from 10:00am to 4:00pm on Third Street in historic downtown Leesville. This will be the same day as the Vernon Parish Mardi Gras parade, which will roll at 2pm. The festival will feature crafts, food, entertainment and more. If you would like to be a craft or food vendor, call or message 337-423-5126 for more information.
The 30th annual Beauregard Parish Honor Bands concert will be presented Friday, Feb. 13th at the DeRidder High School auditorium at 7pm. A special composition arranged by Dr. Quincy Hilliard will be premiered, commemorating the event. Past honor bands members are encouraged to attend. The community is invited to this free concert featuring outstanding junior high and senior high band students from Beauregard Parish schools.
The City of Leesville will pay a monthly stipend to the Ward One City Marchal's Office to help the agency recover from a deficit. The Leesville City Council agreed Monday to pay $1,500 monthly to the office for a year, to be reviewed each month. The Vernon Parish Police Jury also recently approved a similar measure. Leesville Mayor Rick Allen said the city and parish are mandated by state law to assist in times of deficit.
Three higher education websites have recognized Northwestern State University's online bachelor's programs in criminal justice and psychology and graduate programs for their affordability. The university's online bachelor's degree in criminal justice ranked as the most affordable in country by nonprofitcollegesonline.com. NSU led the "Students Before Profits Award" rankings with a four cost of more than $3,300 less than the second ranked insitution.
Water officials with the Many City Water Department say the entire town of Many is without water because of a water main break. Officials say the city could be without water as long as 4 hours or more depending on how long it takes to repair the main. Once the water is flowing again, City of Many will be under a boil advisory.
Pleasant Hill Preschool is having registration for children who will be 4 years old by September 30,2015. You may register your child at Plesant Hill High School on Friday, February 13th between the hours of 8:30am and 12:00pm. Please bring your child's birth certificate, social security card, shot record, proof of income and proof of residency. You may call the preschool office at 318-256-6143 for more information.
February 11,2015, Wednesday
Zwolle Dixie Youth will hold their final registration on Friday, February 13th at Zwolle High School starting at 3:30 until 6:00PM.
DeRidder City Meeting
DeRidder City Council woman Kimaron Moore will host her first District 1 meeting on February 10,2015 at 6:00pm. The event will be held at Norris Memorial Church. The public is invited to attend. For more information, call 462-8900 and ask for Kerri.
The Rapides Foundation has released its new Workforce Opportunity Grant under its Economic Development Initative. The funding opportunity supports training and education for above-median income occupations for which there is demonstrated, unmet employer demand in the nine-parish area served by the Foundation. The grant is designed to promote partnerships between Central Louisiana businessess and accredited public, nonprofit post-secondary institutions from throughout the state.
February 10,2015, Tuesday
Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Deputies have arrested a Sabine Parish man on felony drug and traffic charges according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office. On Friday evening deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division and Natchitoches Police Department stopped a 2004 Chevrolet pickup truck on Keyser Avenue in Natchitoches after an off-duty NPSO Sheriff's Reserve Deputy observed the vehicle traveling on La. HWY 6 West and in the city of Natchitoches in a reckless manner. Deputies identified the driver of the vehicle as Nicholas Lamar Johnson, of Zwolle, LA. A standardized field sobriety test was issued in which Johnson did not perform satisfactorily. Johnson was placed under arrest and transported to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.
February 10,2015, Tuesday
Second Degree Murder
Another arrest has been made in connection with the fatal shooting Sunday night of a Sabine Parish teenager. According to Sabine Parish Warden Joe Dewil, 24-year-old Porsha A. Aldredge of Many was booked Monday into the Sabine Parish Detention Center on a charge of accessory after the fact of second degree murder. Dewil says Aldredge transported the 16-year-old accused of shooting the teen from Many to Natchitoches to help him evade arrest on the night of the shooting.
February 10,2015, Tuesday
Sabine Parish Shooting
A 16-year-old had been arrested and charged in conncection with the fatal shooting of another 16-year-old in Sabine Parish Sunday night. It happened around 6:20pm at the Apollo Apartments off of Middle Creek Rd., just outside of Many city limits. According to Sabine Parish Warden Joe Dewil, the teen had suffered a single gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at Sabine Medical Center. Dewil also confirms that a 16-year-old suspect was arrested Monday in Natchitoches Parish on a warrant out of Sabine Parish on a charge of second degree murder. According to the Many Police Department, preliminary reports suggest that the shooting stemmed from some sort of argument that happened at the apartment complex. Authorities say they can't release the names of the suspect arrested or the victim at this time because both are juveniles.
Great East Texas Outdoors
The Great East Texas Outdoors 2015 Festival is here March 6th 12-5pm and March 7th 9am-5pm at the Sabine County Rodeo Arena! There will be live music entertainment food and lots of fun. Charlie Robison will be in concert March 7th Gate opens at 6pm. There will be vendors, silent and live auctions, a beer garden, kiddie area with a kid's fishing tank. Raffle prizes include a pontoon boat, 10 rifles, yeti coolers, rods and reels, hunting gear, fishing gear and camping gear. You can purchase tickets online at GETOUTDOORSFEST.COM
Secretary of State Tom Schedler reminds all Louisianians eligible to vote in the Special Primary Election on Saturday, February 21st that early voting starts tomorrow. Early voting beings Saturday, February 7th and continues through Saturday, February 14th from 8:30am to 6pm daily excluding Sunday, February 8th. Citizens who want to vote early may do so in person at their parish Registrar of Voters Office or at other designated locations. For a complete listing of early voting locations visit http://www.sos.la.gov/ElectionsAndVoting/Pages/EarlyVotingLocations.aspx
February 9,2015, Monday
Investigators from the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office are stringing together the events leading to a fire that destroyed a Natalbany home and claimed the life of a woman. Shortly after 2:00am, firefighters responded to a report of a residential fire at 46485 Durbin Road. Upon their arrival, firefighters were met by a Tangipahoa Sheriff's deputy who advised them that while four occupants had managed to escape the blaze, one person was belived to be trapped inside. After entering the structure, firefighters located and removed Yolanda Dyson, 39, who was found near a window in her bedroom. Despite the efforts of first responders and paramedics, Dyson was later pronounced dead at the scene. Two of the survivors were also treated for minor injuries. Investigators have attributed the cause of the fire to the electric space heater. While the home was equipped with smoke alarms, they were not functioning at the time of the fire.
It wasn't tough to pick Monday night's 6:30 matchup between Southland Conference basketball stalwrts Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin as "Pack Prather Night" at NSU. The NSU-SFA rivalry always keeps ticket-takers busy. With free food, prizes and festivities adding to the allure of the latest battle between the Southland heavyweights, there's a good chance to reach or surpass, the 3,400 capacity listed for NSU's venerable Prather Coliseum. NSU (12-9 overall, 7-3 in the Southland) is No. 2 nationally in scoring 84.7 points per game. SFA leads the country with 31 straight conference regular-season conference wins.
Ringtail Classic Bench Show and Jackpot Coon Hunt at Rebel State Historic site is set for Saturday, March 21,2015. The Bench Show will start at 5pm the entry fee will be $10 with a 50% pay back for each Best of Show Male and Best of Show Female. The Jackpot Coon Hunt will start at 6pm entry fee is set at $20 with a 100% pay back for 1st through 3rd places. It is a open event, UKC rules and regulations will be followed. Don't miss the 6pm Bluegrass Concert, concessions will be available, no alcohol, firearms or unprescribed drugs will be allowed. For more information call 318-472-6255 or 888-677-3600.
Around 100 positions have been eliminated at state parks and historic sites due to mid-year budget cuts, according to Dwight Landreneau, Assistant Secretary of Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. Landreneau said the park system must find $1.5 million to trim from its coffers. In an e-mail to the West Central News Center on Thursday, he said cuts were "strategically to avoid closure of recreational parks." Landreneau wrote that Hodges Gardens State Park is "not scheduled for closure this fiscal year." "Our situation will be reassessed next fiscal year once the 2015-2016 budget is finalized," Landreneau wrote.
February 6,2015, Monday
A joint investigation by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office and Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office has led to the arrest of a Sabine Parish man in connection with several residential burglaries in Natchitoches and Sabine Parish according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr. The investigation began on Tuesday afternoon January 27th at approximately 1:00pm, when Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division responded to a reported residential burglary in the 7300 block of La. Hwy 6-West near Robeline, LA. As the investigation progressed, NPSO Detectives learned the Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office were working residential burglaries in Sabine Parish with several weapons also being stolen. Detectives working together and with information provided by the homeowner were able to identify a suspect vehicle as a gray 2003 Hyundai Elantra operated by Zachery Skinner of Zwolle, LA.
The Giving Tree
Northwestern State University Theatre and Dance will present "The Giving Tree" on February 19th and 22nd in the A.A. Fredericks Fine Arts Auditorium. Performance time is at 7:30 pm on February 19-21 and at 2pm February 22nd. Reservations are not required. Admission is $15 for adults and $12 or seniors 65 and older and children 12 and under. NSU, LSMSAA and BPCC students will be admitted free with a current student ID. Tickets can be purchased online at theatre.nsula.edu. For more information, contact Jane Norman at 318-357-4483 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 6,2015, Friday
Northwestern State University's rowing team had several strong finishes at their opening meet of the season at the Tennessee Indoor Rowing Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Devin Metoyer of Melrose had the top individual race, finishing second in the collegiate lightweight men's category closely follows by Jon LaCour of Ball in fourth. Holly Smith of Baton Rouge, was fourth in collegiate novice women while Ashlyn Vitte of Arnaudville was ninth and Alyssa Akers of Spring, Texas was 15th. In collegiate lightweight women, Karensa Bray of Shreveport was sixth and Kayla Ashford of Baton Rouge was 11th. In other individual categories, Nicole Plunkett of Natchitoches was fourth in collegiate coxswain women, Jami LeBlanc of Jennings was fifth in collegiate open women, Anthony Hunter of Morgan City was 10th in collegiate open men. The collegiate team relay squad consisting of Smith, Vitte, Bray, LeBlanc, Metoyer, LaCour, Hunter, and Dontavious Chambers of Shreveport was third.
February 5,2015, Thursday
A historic building in downtown DeRidder was severly burned on Sunday, and fire officials believe "human intervention" may have been involved. Firefighters had the blaze at the Sauter Building under control within an hour, but the building's roof collapsed and walls were knocked down. The building was vacant at the time of the fire, and no one was injured. DeRidder Fire Chief Kenneth Harlow said that the fire is being investigated by his department, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office and DeRidder Police. Harlow said that although they are not saying arson was involved, investigators are seeking any information the public could provide regarding the fire. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 337-462-8918.
The Impromptu Players
The Impromptu Players in DeRidder present two Seussi-fantastical weekends February 27-28, March1, and March 6-8. Imagine the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, and the citizens of the Jungle of Nool and Whoville all meeting on one stage for a colorful, zany, unforgettable evening of rhymes, songs, and antics. Tickets are $15 and seating is limited. Call 337-462-2751 for reservations and tickets.
Gas Prices Increase
Drivers nationwide are experiencing their first increase in gasoline pump prices in 18 weeks, the U.S Energy Information Administration reported today, ending what may have been the longest consecutive streak of weeks for sliding gas prices in 20 years. EIA, which surveys gasoline prices each Monday, said the 17 consecutive weeks of declining prices marked the longest decline since EIA weekly surveys taken over a period of 24 weeks in 1995. Prices rose nationally to $2.068 per gallon Monday, the survey suggested, up from $2.044 on Jan. 26th. The Jan. 19th survey listed prices at $2.066.Consumers should prepare for an upturn in pump prices that are linked to seasonal turns. For example, Louisiana refineries generally shut down at mid-winter to adjust their plants for producing a summer grade gasoline that burns cleaner and is less volatile and more expensive to refine.
The Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra will present its first concert of 2015 on Tuesday, February 10th at 7:30pm in Magale Recital Hall. Tickets are $10. Northwestern State University, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current student ID. Douglas Bakenhus is musical director of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony.
Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler reminds everyone that qualifying begins for the Spring Municipal Elections on Wednesday, February 4th and runs through Friday, February 6th until 4:30pm daily. All candidates for local municipal races will qualify with their local clerk of court or the parish they are registered to vote in for multi-parish races. Spring Municipal Primary Elections will be held on Saturday, March 28th.
February 4,2015, Wednesday
Accused of Murder
A bond has been set for the woman accused of killing victoria Marie Perez and her unborn child in 2011. Allen Parish District Attorney Todd Nesom said bond for Pamela Causey-Fregia was set at $780,000 on Monday. Authorities with the Allen Parish Sheriff's Office believe a pregnant Oakdale woman was killed in 2011 by a woman as part of her plot to take the baby and raise it as her own.
February 3,2015, Tuesday
Destroyed by Fire
An historic building in downtown DeRidder was destroyed by fire on Sunday evening. The building, known as the old Sartor building, on First Street near the Beauregard Parish Courthouse, was over 100 years old. It sat beside DeRidder's Serenity Park, a city-owned pocket park, and across the street from Cecil's restaurant. Firefighters said the blaze started around 5pm. DeRidder and Beauregard area firefighters responded. The fire was contained to the area. The building was unoccupied and had been up for lease. On Monday morning, officials with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office confirmed they are assisting with the investigation to determine the fire's cause.
February 3,2015, Tuesday
Rapides Parish Educator Arrested
A Rapides Parish teacher has been arrested for ciminal sexual conduct. 28 year old Donald Parker III was arrested on February 2,2015. Detectives made contact with Parker III at the Criminal Investigation Division where he was informed of the warrants for his arrest. He was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center. Bond was set at $327,000. Detectives say the investigation is still ongoing. His charges include: 1 count computer aided solicitation of Minor, 1 count pornography involving juveniles, 1 count indecent behavior with juveniles, 1 count criminal conspiracy, 2 counts obstruction of justice, and 3 counts intimidating a witness.
February 3,2015, Tuesday
DeSoto Judge Threatened
A bomb squad has given the all-clear to the DeSoto Parish Courthouse, judicial offices in the annex and a district judge's residence after a threat was phoned in early Monday to the DeSoto Parish sheriff's office. Barksdale Air Force Base's 2nd Security Forces Squadron military working dog section responded with three bomb-sniffing dogs to search the properties. Parts of a residential street and downtown Mansfield around the courthouse were blocked to traffic during the searches that ended in early afternoon. "Nothing was found," Mansfield Police Chief Gary Hobbs said. The investigation into who made the call continues through a joint investigation of Mansfield police, DeSoto sheriff's investigators and the U.S. marshal's office. Two anonymous calls were placed to the sheriff's office dispatch around 3:30am threatening District Judge Robert Brugess with bodily harm and to blow up his house, Hobbs said. Additionally, retired sheriff's Lt. Robert Davidson also received anonymous threats on his cell phone around the same time. The situation is still under investigation.
February 3,2015, Tuesday
Concealed Carry Class
Northwestern State University's Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will offer a Louisiana Concealed Carry Class Saturday, February 7th. The class is for those age 21 or older who want to obtain a Louisiana concealed handgun permit. The course will be from 8am until 6pm in South Hall on the Northwestern State campus and at the Natchitoches Shooting Range. The cost is $110 plus a range fee. Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Billiot will teach the class. For more information call 318-357-5682, 800-376-2422
February 2,2015, Monday
A Winn Parish man died Friday afternoon from injuries sustained during a fall at the International Paper Red River Mill near campti. On Friday morning according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr., at approximately 11:00am, the NPSO 911 Center received a call from International Paper Mill near Campti, LA. reporting that a worker had fallen approximately 15 feet requesting assistance. Deputies along with EMS Paramedics arrived on the scene to assist International Paper First Responders learning that Phillip Whitehead, 57, of Winnfield, LA, had suffered serious injuries after falling. Mr. Whitehead was transported from the scene by Natchitoches EMS Paramedics to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and airlifted to University Health, Shreveport, LA. On Friday evening, the Natchitoches Parish Coroner's Office notified the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office that Mr. Whitehead had died from his injuries at University Health. The cause of the accident will be investigated by International Paper Officials.
February 2,2015, Monday
The Allen Parish Sheriff's Office says the remains of Victoria Perez, the missing pregnant Lecompte woman who disappeared in 2011, have been found. The woman investigators arrested earlier this week in her disappearance, has now been charged with both Perez and her unborn baby's murder. Now, investigators in Allen Parish are finally piecing the plot together. The Allen Parish Sheriff's Office says they have uncovered the remains of 22-year-old Victoria Perez, the 8 months pregnant Lecompte woman who disappeared in 2011 after a doctors appointment at Rapides Regional Medical Center. They say her bones were found in the front yard of the woman arrested earlier this week for her disappearance. "Thursday afternoon, a backhoe was brought out and on the third scoop in an area we were originally told the body was burned, we found numerous bones," Said Sheriff Hebert. The Sheriff says it was Pamela Causey-Fregia's own minor children who reported to police on Tuesday that their mother has killed Perez. Investigators say around 2010, Pamela Causey-Fregia's husband left her and moved to Texas. She concocted a story that she was pregnant, even sending him fake sonogram photos, in an effort to win him back, He didn't believe her. In March 2011, when she would have been nearing the ninth month of her supposed pregnancy, she traveled to Rapides Women and Children's with her youngest daughter looking to a child. She found Perez, who was 8 months pregnant. She knew her to be from Oakdale and she lured her to a residence in Oakdale under the promise of giving her baby clothes. That's when they say Causey-Fregia killed her using blunt force. The sheriff says after Causey-Fergia killes Perez, she brought her back to her own home, burned her for several days in the woods and then buried her on her own property. Pamela Causey-Fregia is expected to have her first court appearance Monday. Meanwhile, her children have been placed in state care.
February 2,2015, Monday
C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center
More than two years after the area was shocked by the abrupt closure of the C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center, the prison facility located outside of DeQuincy in Beauregard Parish has received new life. Beauregard Parish Sheriff Ricky Moses announced on Tuesday that the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office has entered into a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Louisiana Department of Corrections to utilize Phelps for a transitional work release program for nonviolent offenders. Phelps officially reopened with an estimated 101 inmates transferred there on Monday. Moses said the program, managed by Louisiana Workforce LLC, will create 45 to 50 jobs when the facility is fully staffed.
January 29,2015, Tuesday
A former Sabine Parish teacher's aide was arrested this week accused of having sex with a student. Authorities say 36-year-old Renee Jones was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center on Tuesday. Jones is charged with prohibited sexual contact between an educator and student. Authorities haven't released many details surrounding Jones' arrest but say that the incident reportedly happened while Jones was employed with Sabine Parish Schoolds. Sabine Parish Detention Center Warden Joe Dewil Jr. says Jones was released on a $1,500 bond.
January 29,2015, Tuesday
Campti Man Arrested
A Campti man is facing charges cruelty to the infirm after deputies say the man used a belt to whip his 82-year-old grandmother. Just after noon on Wednesday, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office deputies were called to a home in the 200 block of Lake Drive in Campti on reports of a battery. When deputies arrived, a female victim reportedly told them that her boyfriend, 35-year-old Rodney Davis, struck her in the eye causing a bruise on Monday and then again struck her again Wednesday afternoon. Authorities were told that the victim and boyfriend lived with his grandmother. During their investigation,deputies also say they learned that Davis allegedly would use a belt to whip both the victim and his 82-year-old grandmother on several occasions. Deputies arrested Davis and charged him with domestic abuse battery and cruelty to the infirm. Davis remains in the Natchitoches Parish Dentention Center.
January 29,2015, Thursday
Northwestern State University is offering the GRE online beginning in February. Prospective graduate students wishing to take the online version of the GRE can take the test at NSU on Feb. 6th, March 13th and 28th, April 17th, May 15th and 29th, or June 5th and 19th.