RPSO investigating shooting on Hwy 71S Posted on 3-11-14
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - The Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office is investigating a Sunday morning shooting.
According to RPSO, it happened about 9:30 a.m. on March 9th.
Deputies responded to a local hospital in reference to a victim of a gunshot wound.
RPSO tells us the victim stated an altercation occurred in the 7500 block Highway 71 S, Alexandria, where an unknown suspect started shooting at them while in their vehicle.
The victim was being treated for minor injuries.
Detectives and Crime Scene responded and the incident is still under investigation.
Detectives initial information identifies a possible suspect as a black male with a bald head and glasses, unknown vehicle description.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call RPSO Detectives at 318.473.6727.
Two arrested for cruelty to a juvenile Posted on 3-11-14
Angela Marie Cerbus Darrell Lionel Robinson
RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB News Channel) On March 3, 2014, deputies responded to a local hospital in reference to a juvenile female being presented for treatment for a severe injury, according to Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said they determined due to the severity of the injuries, it appeared that the juvenile was a victim of an aggravated battery.
During the investigation, Tioga Detectives developed two suspects and warrants were issued for their arrest.
On March 10, 2014, RPSO said they arrested Darrell Lionel Robinson, 33, of Alexandria, for 2 counts of Second Degree Cruelty to a Juvenile.
Angela Marie Cerbus, 34, of Alexandria, was arrested for 1 count of Cruelty to a Juvenile, 1 count of Obstruction of Justice and 1 count of Accessory After the Fact, according to RPSO.
Robinson and Cerbus were booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center and later released on bond.
Robinson was released on a $10,000.00 bond and Cerbus was released on a $3000.00 bond.
Humane Society of Louisiana tracking developments of horse shooting case Posted on 3-11-14
BOYCE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - The Humane Society of Louisiana is reviewing a case involving the shooting of two horses that occurred in September.
According to sheriff's reports, Mr. John Shuler, aged 63, of Boyce, was charged with two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals after he shot two horses belonging to a neighbor multiple times with a shotgun.
The horses wandered on to Mr. Shuler's property after walking through a hole in the fence.
The sheriff's report noted that Mr. Shuler shot the horses after making multiple attempts to drive the horses back to their property.
In the ensuing "round up," Mr. Shuler said that one of the horses kicked him and knocked him off his SUV. After being allegedly thrown off his vehicle, Mr. Shuler went inside his house to retrieve his shot gun and proceeded to shoot both horses.
"Photos submitted to the Humane Society by the owners of the horses show both horses bloody and severely injured. Dozens of pellets tore through the sides of both horses. We agree with the actions taken by the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office that this is a punishable offense," said Jeff Dorson, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, based in New Orleans.
"We also agree that these actions rose to the levels of aggravated cruelty to animals, since both horses were maimed and probably can never been ridden again. I spoke at length with the lead investigator on this matter, Detective Stephen Phillips, who informed me that the case file will be forwarded to the district attorney's office for review as soon as it's completed."
Those convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals face up to 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Louisiana has some of the highest penalties for animal cruelty convictions in the nation.
NPSO deputies arrest wanted New Orleans man Posted on 3-11-14
NATCHITOCHES PARISH, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office deputies arrested a wanted New Orleans man while traveling on Interstate 49 to the Dallas area on felony drug charges, according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr.
On Saturday morning, March 8, at approximately 10:23am, deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division were working on Interstate-49 just south of Natchitoches when they stopped a 2014 Jeep Cherokee for Speeding 89 miles per hour in a 75 mph speed zone.
During the traffic stop, deputies said they smelled a strong marijuana smoke odor.
Deputies say they ran a National Crime Information Center criminal background check on the driver, Frederick Lavelle Harris, 30, of New Orleans.
Deputies learned that his driver's license was suspended for Failure to Pay Child Support and that he was wanted by the New Orleans Police Department on an outstanding criminal warrant for Cruelty to Juveniles.
Harris also had an active court ordered Domestic Protective Order against him.
Deputies say Harris admitted to smoking marijuana just prior to the traffic stop.
Deputies placed Harris under arrest on the outstanding New Orleans warrant, and obtained permission to search the vehicle.
During a search of the vehicle and Harris person, deputies seized a loaded Hi-Point .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, suspected marijuana, approximately .06 grams of suspected heroin, and assorted drug paraphernalia.
Deputies say Harris admitted the seized narcotics belonged to him.
Harris was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and charged with 1-count of Felony Possession of CDS Schedule I Heroin, 1-count of Possession of CDS Schedule I Marijuana, 1-count of Possession of a Firearm during a Felony Narcotics Offense, 1-count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, 1-count of Violation of a Protective Order, Speeding 89/75, Driving under Suspension, and 1-count of Cruelty to Juveniles in New Orleans.
A Tenth Judicial District Court Judge set Harris's bond on Natchitoches charges at $23,000.
Harris will be released to New Orleans authorities after bonding in Natchitoches Parish.
Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division were assisted by agents with the Natchitoches Multi-jurisdictional Drug Task Force.
Heroin is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, which is obtained from the opium poppy. It is "downer" or depressant that affects the brain's pleasure systems and interferes with the brain's ability to perceive pain.
Heroin can be smoked, snorted or injected.
Pineville shooting under investigation Posted on 3-10-14
PINEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - On March 6, 2014 at approximately 9:45pm, Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the 1100 block of Brannon Rd in reference to a victim of a gunshot wound.
Upon arrival, deputies said located two subjects that were the victim of gunshot wounds, one subject was un-responsive and was pronounced dead on the scene.
The other victim was transported by Acadian Ambulance to a local hospital where they are listed in serious condition, according to RPSO.
Detectives and Crime Scene responded to the scene and the incident is still under investigation.
Louisiana Legislature has full plate as session beginsPosted on 3-10-14
BATON ROUGE— State lawmakers today enter an almost three-month session in which almost anything but taxes can and will be discussed.
They’ve already laid out more than enough pieces of legislation to keep them busy – 1,575 House and Senate bills – and the 105 House members and 39 senators can introduce five more each after the session begins.
The Legislature convenes at noon today, and Gov. Bobby Jindal is to lay out his plans for the session at 1 p.m. in an address that will be broadcast on Louisiana Public Broadcasting channels and by some local stations.
The session is to end no later than 6 p.m. June 2.
As it usually is, the budget will be of primary interest in this session. Jindal says it is balanced and that no one-time funding is used for recurring expenses, but some lawmakers are expressing concerns about whether that’s really the case. Some say programs are funded with money from questionable sources.
Education also will be a hot issue, with bills introduced to get the state out of an agreement to impose Common Core State Standards adopted by most states and to hold down the rising costs of the state-funded Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) scholarships.
The cost of TOPS rises yearly and is expected to grow nearly $18 million in the coming year’s budget. It’s grown from $40 million in the 1990s to $217 million in the current year.
Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, has legislation aimed at slowing the growth by phasing-in increased requirements, increasing grade-point average requirements to 3.0 by the 2021-2022 school year. It also includes a provision that students or legal guardians have to pay a percentage of the costs after scholarships and loans are considered.
Other bills would convert TOPS to a loan-repayment program or vary the amount of scholarship based on a student’s performance in college or grade level.
One bill would expand TOPS by offering to pay for graduate school for students who originally qualified for scholarships but chose to earn out-of-state bachelor’s degrees.
Bills also seek to prohibit or delay implementation of Common Core and the accompanying Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests to assess student performance under the new tougher standards. Others call for the state or local districts to draw up new standards, as long as they are tougher than the ones now being used in the state.
Attempts will be made to amend Act 1 of 2012, which made teacher tenure harder to get and easier to lose, stripped school boards of authority to hire and fire teachers, and strengthened authority of superintendents. The law has been ruled unconstitutional in state district court and is under appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Other bills seek to change the way teachers are evaluated.
Among the 56 constitutional amendments to be debated are ones that seek to abolish the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and give its powers to the superintendent of education; to make the superintendent again an elected official (it’s still listed in the constitution as an elected position); and to have the entire BESE membership elected instead of some members appointed by the governor.
Other amendments seek to set qualifications for appointment to higher education boards; to allow management boards, instead of the Legislature, to control tuition; and to prohibit cutting state funding when campuses get more revenue from tuition.
Bills are proposed to remove unconstitutional provisions from state laws. While that might seem a reasonable thing to do, removing a prohibition against sodomy and a law requiring the teaching of creationism when evolution is taught are expected to be controversial.
Two bills ask the Louisiana Law Institute to find other laws that have been ruled unconstitutional by the state or federal supreme courts so they might be removed.
Numerous bills affecting state employee and teacher retirement are to be considered.
Several seek to grant cost-of-living raises for retirees of different systems.
One by Rep. Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, seeks to prohibit new employees of public health centers from joining the Louisiana State Employee Retirement System (LASERS) and new employees of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, Louisiana Association of Educators, the Association of Professional Educators of Louisiana, Louisiana Resource Center for Educators and the Louisiana High School Athletic Association from joining the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana.
Guns are again on the agenda, with bills dealing with allowing concealed permit holders and police to carry guns in restaurants that serve alcohol.
Lawmakers will again tackle the issues of requiring employers to equally pay women and men who do the same job and setting a state minimum wage. Previous attempts led to an amended bill requiring the state to have equal pay, which it already did, and defeat of the minimum wage bill. But the issues have momentum this session.
An attempt to set limits on payday loans, which are viewed by opponents as unfairly targeting low-income residents and charging high interest rates, again will be debated. Previous attempts have failed under extensive lobbying efforts by the industry.
Legislation dealing with political campaigns will try to grant more transparency of contributions and prohibit some uses of campaign funds. Another bill seeks party primaries for congressional elections instead of the “jungle primary” in which every candidate, regardless of party affiliation, competes.
Lawmakers will again fight over whether the governor’s records should be open and whether public notices can be published on the Internet, instead of in newspapers.
The oldest version of the Bible is proposed to be adopted as the official state book.
Fort Polk: Thirty-three make grade as expert infantrymen Posted on 3-7-14
FORT POLK — One hundred sixty six Fort Polk infantry Soldiers hit the ground running Feb. 10 in hopes of earning their Expert Infantryman’s Badge. After two weeks of training and testing that required all of the Soldiers’ physical and mental skills, 33 earned the coveted award that identified them as experts in their field.
A ceremony to honor the Soldiers who earned EIB was held Feb. 21 at 9:30 a.m., immediately following the final event of the test — a 12-mile road march with 35-pound ruck that had to be completed in less than three hours. Thirty-six infantrymen began the trek at 5:30 a.m.; 33 finished in less than the allotted time.
First Lt. Keith Davies, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 509th Infantry Regiment, was one of the 33. After dropping his ruck, Davies pulled out his cell phone and began texting his father, Harvey Davies. “I had to let him know I made it,” he said. “I knew he would be excited.” Davies said cool morning temperatures made the early part of the road march a breeze. “It wasn’t too bad,” he said. “But about halfway I began cramping in my legs, and I just tried to think about something else and pushed on.”
This was the second attempt at the EIB for Davies, who turns 40 years old in March. “The road march stopped me last time,” he said. “I wasn’t going to let it get me again.”
In addition to the 12-mile road march, the 33 Soldiers who earned their EIB Feb. 21 qualified expert with their assigned weapon, scored 75 percent or better in each event of the Army Physical Fitness Test, passed both day and night land navigation courses, successfully negotiated and passed three individual tactical testing lanes and three master skills testing lanes.
Command Sgt. Maj. Nuuese Passi Jr., 1st Battalion, 353rd Infantry Regiment, 162nd Infantry Brigade, was the ceremony’s guest speaker. He explained why the EIB was created back in 1943. “The intent of the EIB was to be a drawing card for a tough and thankless job — an infantryman,” Passi said. “It became a symbol for infantrymen who are trained and fit for battle.”
Passi told those who were preparing to pin on the prestigious badge they were now part of a select fraternity of Soldiers. “Be proud of your badge and become more expert every day,” he said.
The first two Soldiers to receive their badges were Capt. Sam Kriegler, Joint Readiness Training Center Operations Group, and Sgt. Gustavo Quintero, HHC, 1st Bn (Abn), 509th Inf Reg. In addition to receiving their EIBs, Kriegler and Quintero were presented Army Achievement Medals by Brig. Gen. William Hickman, commander, JRTC and Fort Polk, and Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Crabtree, command sergeant major, JRTC and Fort Polk, for being “True Blue” awardees — the only Soldiers in the testing cycle to complete the entire event without a no-go.
Soldiers may receive one no-go — as long as they come back after retraining and pass the event — and still earn their badge. Two no-go knocks you out of the test.
Rebecca Yaletchko, spouse of Sgt. Mark Yaletchko, 1st Bn (Abn), 509th Inf Reg, said she was proud of her husband for earning the EIB. “He’s worked really hard,” she said. “I know this gives him a sense of accomplishment. The test was a real mental and physical challenge. He was pumped up and I was confident he would earn it.”
Spc. Kurtis Griffey, HHC, 1st Bn (Abn), 509th Inf Reg, sat on his ruck sack, wiping the sweat from his brow and smiling after hearing his time qualified him for the EIB.
“I had a good feeling going in,” he said. “I had never failed a 12-mile march before, but this one was a lot harder with all of our equipment and the time constraints. I had to push through, but it was worth it.” Griffey said if someone tells you the road march is easy, they’re not being honest.
“No matter how good of shape you’re in, 12 miles is a long way and your feet are going to hurt,” he said.
“I think that’s what a big part of this test is all about — completing the mission no matter how bad you hurt. I feel like I could do anything now.”
The following: Soldiers were awarded the EIB Feb. 21:
1st Bn (Abn), 509th Inf Reg — Capt. Nate Drake, 2nd Lt. Mark McCulloch, 1st Lt. Keith Davies, Spc. Christopher Collins, Spc. Kurtis Griffey, Sgt. Mark Yaletchko, 1st Lt. Eric Kirstead, Capt. Joe Fritz, Pfc. Steffan Wouters, Sgt. Kyle Deitch, Pfc. Jason Ellis, 2nd Lt. Jonathan Delgo, Spc. John Mallette, Spc. Jordan Gillett, Spc. Christopher Holmes, Sgt. Gustavo Quintero, Staff Sgt. Christopher Johnson, Spc. Gerard McDermott, and Pfc. Gerard Santos.
JRTC Ops Group— Capt. Sam Kriegler, Capt. Allen Sara, Capt. Zachary Jones, and Capt. George Bowles.
4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division — 1st Lt. Kyle Kubisiak, Staff Sgt. Daniel Vanhouten, Sgt. Ronald Woods, 1st Lt. Grant Cobb, Sgt. Eric Gosney, 2nd Lt. Brian Jernigan, Pvt. Justin Kraft, 1st Lt. Andrew Billisits, and 1st Lt. Trevor Smith.
162nd Infantry Brigade — Staff Sgt. Levi Vernon.
Lawmaker Wants To Crack Down On Payday Lenders Posted on 3-6-14
Payday lending businesses that offer quick, up front cash for costly repayment rates are targeted for tougher regulations by organizations that represent the elderly and the poor.
They want lawmakers to cap the fees that can be charged by the storefront lenders at an interest rate of no greater than 36 percent annually. Supporters of the proposal say the short-term loans currently carry exorbitant fees that put borrowers in never-ending cycles of debt.
The tougher restrictions are proposed in bills sponsored by Rep. Ted James of Baton Rouge and Sen. Ben Nevers of Bogalusa. They'll be considered in the legislative session that begins Monday.
Payday lenders say if lawmakers approve the measures, they could put payday loan stores out of business and send their customers to more expensive, unregulated borrowing options.
UPDATE: body of missing college student found Posted on 3-6-14
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The body of a missing 19-year-old has been found in her submerged car, ending a four-day, multi-agency search.
Hayley Howard's car and body were discovered Wednesday in water near Irish Bayou and Interstate 10.
WWL-TV reports that's the area they had focused on because of a ping from a cell phone tower - the last activity from her phone Saturday morning.
Howard last was seen after dropping a friend off at UNO.
She got a flat tire in the area and told her boyfriend that "nice people" helped her change it and she would be heading toward her parents' home in Slidell.
Police believe she veered off the side of the road and into the water.
Police Chief Ronal Serpas says the crash is being investigated as a fatal accident
Natchitoches minister makes run for governor Posted on 3-5-14
NATCHITOCHES, La. (From News Release) - A Natchitoches minister has announced he is making a run for Governor of Louisiana in the upcoming 2015 gubernatorial election.
Rev. Jeremy Odom says he has the needed support to get his name on the ballot for the November 3, 2015 election.
Odom spoke to supporters at a recent reception stating "I am convinced that this state is on a perilous course and because I have such strong feelings about what must be done, I feel that I am obliged to do all I can." Odom sees the lack of honesty and integrity in Baton Rouge as motivation to run for office. He says, "Creating more jobs at living wages in Louisiana is priority one in 2016."
Odom and supporters began testing the waters last November by meeting with various people from across the state and voicing the need for changes in the way Louisiana does business.
More information about Jeremy Odom and his campaign can be found on his website, http://www.electjeremyodom.com/. This site includes biographical information about Jeremy and a calendar of upcoming events, as well as his position on many of the issues affecting Louisiana.
Natchitoches Resident Wins Spot on Talent Show Posted on 3-4-14
NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Natchitoches resident DeShawn Washington wins the hearts of the judges on NBC's hit talent show "The Voice".
After singing Sam Cooke's rendition of "Twistin' The Night Away", celebrity judge 'Shakira' turns her chair around and chooses Washington to be a member of her music team.
Washington's single he performed during his televised audition can be purchased on iTunes at this link http://tinyurl.com/ndfxg7z.
Continue to watch 'The Voice' on NBC affiliates KALB News Channel 5 in Alexandria and KTAL News Channel 6 in Shreveport to follow Washington's journey on the show.
Washington is the 23-year-old son of Gwendolyn Ann Washington and Siman Joe Washington.
He's a graduate of Natchitoches Central High School and currently resides in Natchitoches.
Run into shed leads to drug charges for Deville couple Posted on 3-3-14
A woman who ran into a shed as Rapides deputies began to sort out a disturbance call Tuesday led the officers to a cache of meth, marijuana and assorted pills, according to a release.
Deputies had responded to 11885 La. Highway 28 East in Deville and ended up following the woman, 33-year-old Sandy Denise Malone, who ran into a shed on the property, according to the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office release.
Once inside, the deputies saw "a large amount of suspected methamphetamine" in plain view inside a truck that had its windows down. Also inside the shed was a man, identified as 33-year-old Michael James Malone.
Detectives responded to the scene because of the amount of drugs found, and both Malones told detectives that they did have some meth in the shed and gave their consent to a a search of the property, according to the release.
The search unearthed about 2 ounces of meth, a few ounces of marijuana, 97 methadone pills and 40 Soma pills. The Malones, both of 11885 La. 28 East, were arrested and were booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center.
Both were charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance I with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance II with intent to distribute, possession of a controlled dangerous substance IV with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Both later were released on $35,250 bonds. An investigation is continuing, according to the release.
*UPDATE* Lasalle Inmates Escape Posted on 3-3-14
***UPDATE*** - William Mitchell and Jeffery Wayne Cruz, along with the vehicle, were apprehended late last night in New Orleans by the US Marshals.
Gregory Savioy remains at large.
URANIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Deputies are looking for three escaped inmates from LaSalle Parish.
Investigators say around 5:30 Saturday morning, Gregory Savioy, William Mitchell and Jeffery Wayne Cruz escaped from the LaSalle Correctional Facility in Urania.
We're told the inmates could be driving a stolen 2014 red Ford F-550. The truck has Stott Wood Company logos on it and also has a tool boxes down both sides of the bed.
The police believe the inmates may be traveling south.
If you recognize the truck or the inmates, police are asking you call 911. They advise you to not approach the truck.
Three missing juveniles in Alexandria, Pineville Posted on 2-28-14
RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - The Alexandria Police is requesting the public's assistance in locating the following missing juveniles.
No foul play is expected and the two cases are not related. Sherman Jenkins, described as a black male, 5'7" tall, 215 lbs with brown eyes. May have on hazel contacts.
Sherman, 16 years old, was last seen on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in the 5700 block of Samuel Street in Alexandria wearing basketball shorts and unknown colored shirt.
Areon Nash, 15 years old, described as a black female, 5'5" tall, 130 lbs with red hair. Areon was last seen at 11 P.M. in the 5200 Block of Broadmore Court on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014.
If anyone has any knowledge as to the whereabouts of Sherman Jenkins or Areon Nash, please contact the Alexandria Police Department at 318-449-5099.
The Pineville Police Department also received a report of a missing person Vernon Edwards Jr.
Mr. Edwards is 17 years old and was last seen on Feb. 26, 2014 around 8:00 PM walking away from his residence, 201 Hayes Drive. Mr. Edwards was last seen wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.
Mr. Edwards is described as a black male 6'1", weighing 145 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
If anyone has information on the location or whereabouts of Mr. Edwards please contact the Pineville Police Department at 442-6603.
None of these cases are expected to be related, and no foul play is expected.
Sabine Parish School Board files answer with court in response to ACLU lawsuit Posted on 2-28-14
Many, La. -
After a local family and the American Civil Liberties union filed a lawsuit against the Sabine Parish School Board alleging religious harassment in Negreet High School, the defendants in this case have officially filed their answer with the court.
According to the ACLU and the Lane Family complaint, "school officials have a longstanding custom, policy, and practice of promoting and inculcating Christian beliefs." The lawsuit asks that alleged customs, policies, and practices be stopped and be declared in violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. And, that since the alleged harassment caused the sixth grade student to change to a different school, it asks for reimbursement for transportation costs.
On February 11th, - the Sabine Parish School Board, Superintendent Sara Ebarb, Principal Gene Wright, and teacher Rita Roark did submit their answer to the court. In it, the defendants deny many of the allegations.
Specifically, the defendants state that the sixth grader's new school is not "appreciatively" further from the plaintiff's house and that they're under no legal duty to reimburse the family for transportation. They deny that C.C. (the sixth grader) is a Buddhist of Thai descent for lack of sufficient information. The original lawsuit attached several pieces of evidence. Including a test with a religious question on it, and the parish's official, publicly funded web site that states that "God exists."
Sabine's response does admit that the question was on the test and the wording was on the web site, but claims that they have removed those items. The defendants did admit to a few other items, including the following: The picture of Jesus Christ is hanging in the school hallway, and that prayer occurs at certain school events. It says the superintendent did meet with the family about these matters, but says many of their accounts of their conversation are not true "or...contend that they are taken out of context." It also admits that the sixth grader was enrolled at Negreet High School for about one month at the beginning of this school year.
The parties are set to meet for a private settlement conference on March 5th. According to defense attorney Neal Johnson, the goal of the meeting is to try and reach a resolution on some, if not all, of the accusations. It is unclear whether the case will go to trial.
Four arrested by VPSO for drug possession Posted on 2-28-14
Sheriff Sam Craft reported that on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, the Vernon Parish Narcotics Task Force Criminal Patrol conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that was being operated by Theda I. Guidry, 29, of Pitkin.
Also in the vehicle were Shannon L. Martin, 37, Tina M. Ingalls, 37, and Earl J. Guidry, 27, all of Pitkin.
In addition to the four adults, four minor children were also inside the vehicle.
During the stop, officers observed the presence of illegal narcotics that belonged to the adults.
The subjects were detained and transported to the Narcotics Task Force Office, where they were interviewed and subsequently arrested.
Theda I. Guidry was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, driving under suspension, when lighted lamps are required, open container, public bribery, and four counts of controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a person under 17.
Martin was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, two counts bench warrant, open container, and four counts of controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a person under 17.
Ingalls was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, open container, and four counts of controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a person under 17.
Earl J. Guidry was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, open container, and four counts of controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a person under 17.
The minors who were in the vehicle were released into the care of a relative.
Reductions in troops and bases in proposed budget; impact on Fort Polk uncertainPosted on 2-25-14
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday reinforced the Pentagon’s ongoing plan to save money while emphasizing special operations and technology for the future by calling for a smaller Army, changes in pay and the elimination of some venerable aircraft, weapons and bases.
Hagel also said the cuts could get worse if Congress doesn’t agree to the Obama administration’s plan to add an extra $26 billion to the Pentagon budget to prevent some of the more dramatic cuts called for by the 2011 Budget Control Act, which is also known as sequestration.
The new budget proposal calls for the Army to shrink to its smallest size in decades, 440,000 to 450,000 soldiers by 2019, Hagel said. If Congress doesn’t restore money to the Pentagon budget, the number of soldiers would instead drop to 420,000 by 2019.
Those cuts, from the current level of 528,000 soldiers, were needed “to protect critical capabilities like Special Operations Forces and cyber resources,” Hagel said.
“We are repositioning to focus on the strategic challenges and opportunities that will define our future; new technologies, new centers of power, and a world that is growing more volatile, more unpredictable, and in some instances more threatening to the United States,” Hagel said.
It is too early to tell how the proposed Army cuts would impact the Fort Polk in Vernon Parish.
Fort Polk Progress Chairman Michael Reese said the proposed cuts are “a little alarming from the country’s standpoint.”
Reese said the nonprofit would continue to advocate for the importance of the base and to restore funding cut from the armed services.
“Fort Polk provides the best training outcomes, and they do it at the lowest cost,” Reese said. “As the Army makes these cuts, we feel confident we can continue to successfully show the military value of Fort Polk.”
The Obama administration’s proposed military budget also eliminates the Air Force’s fleet of A-10 “Warthog” aircraft, which specializes in close-air support missions for ground troops. First fielded in the 1970s, the A-10 was meant to “kill enemy tanks on a Cold War battlefield,” Hagel said.
Natchitoches' DeShawn Washington to compete on 'The Voice' Posted on 2-24-2014
Natchitoches resident DeShawn Washington will be among the vocalists appearing on the NBC talent show “The Voice” on Monday.
Washington, 23, auditioned in Austin, Texas, last summer and was then invited to travel to Los Angeles to vie for a spot on the show.
The show will air at 7 p.m. Monday on NBC.
Washington will be the grand marshal of the Krewe of Dionysus Mardi Gras Parade at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1, in Natchitoches.
Washington is the son of Gwendolyn Ann Washington and Siman Joe Washington. He’s a graduate of Natchitoches Central High School.
Body found in Bayou Rapides Posted on 2-21-14
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) – Alexandria Police Department has identified the body found in Bayou Rapides.
Police tell us he is Jerry Cubbit, Jr., 39, of Dry Prong.
Alexandria Police Department detectives are currently investigating a report of a deceased male that was discovered in Bayou Rapides on February 20, at about 7:54 a.m.
Officers arrived to the location of the bayou near the 3000 block of MacArthur Drive and secured the scene. APD detectives and Crime Scene were called out to assist.
According to APD, the body was recovered and has been identified. However, the identity is being withheld pending family notification. An autopsy will be conducted to determine exact cause of death.
There were no immediate signs of foul play observed.
No other details regarding this investigation are available at this time.
Beauregard Parish officials examining Bundick Lake rules Posted on 2-20-14
DERIDDER — Beauregard Parish police jurors are reviewing regulations governing boating and commerce at Bundick Lake.
Police Juror Llewellyn “Biscuit” Smith said ordinances now on the books were established in the 1960s by a since-abolished lake commission.
The Police Jury’s legislative committee began examining the regulations after some residents complained boaters were creating substantial wakes near the shoreline.
The committee has asked the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office to put up signs reminding boaters about the lake’s no-wake zone. The committee had considered creating other measures to prevent boaters from damaging the shore.
“If it’s not going to hurt anything and it will help people’s feelings, why not put (the signs) up?” said committee head Gerald McLeod.
Sheriff’s spokesman Dale Sharp said the current ordinance prohibits wakes within 100 feet of shore and should suffice.
He said the Sheriff’s Office will enforce any law the Police Jury approves.
State law already bars boaters from creating a wake within 300 feet of shore. Sharp said the Sheriff’s Office can cite those who are careless while operating a vessel and can jail those who drive a boat while impaired.
Last year the parish installed a pier and cleared tree stumps that had caused some boaters to shy away from the lake.
The committee considered doing away with an ordinance that prohibits vendors on the lake. But Police Jury secretary-treasurer Tayra DeHoven said a family donated part of a landing with the understanding the parish would prohibit business enterprises there.
Trouble in Allen Parish: Oakdale, Oberlin audits released Posted on 2-19-14
ALLEN PARISH, LA (KPLC) -
Audits released on Monday show trouble for two Allen Parish communities.
The first was in Oakdale, where auditors say the city is in a poor financial state.
In just one year, Oakdale's budget has gone from a surplus of $26,000 to a deficit of over $340,000. Other infractions, some criminal, were also mentioned in the audit.
The City of Oakdale's total revenue is down $921,000 from 2012, which is hurting the city's ability to make payments. The audit showed that because the city has no available funds, it was unable to fund the required reserve accounts on a sewer and bond issue.
The audit also found that city funds were used to play for things like insurance, dental and retirement benefits that should have been withdrawn from payroll checks. This could be a criminal offense.
The audit also showed that the city has been collecting money from tax levies on two issues that have expired or been paid off. Oakdale also hasn't been collecting funds from authorized tax levies, the audit said.
The city's expenditures exceed more than 5 percent of its budget, which could be a violation of the Louisiana Local Governmental Budget Act.
The Auditors Office said the Oakdale Police Department has made arrests in connection with the misuse of city funds and that a criminal investigation is under way.
No one from the police department could be reached on Monday.
Ragley man charged with failure to register as a sex offender Posted on 2-18-14
CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -
A Ragley man has been charged with failure to register as a sex offender, following a traffic stop by officers with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office on Friday.
Officers pulled over 28-year-old Johnathan E. Diaz of Ragley at about 10:30 a.m. on Friday. The traffic stop occurred at the intersection of S. Beglis Pkwy and Maplewood Drive in Sulphur.
When officers spoke with Diaz, they discovered that he is a registered sex offender from Colorado County, Texas. Diaz was convicted of prohibited sexual acts in October 2003 and has been living in Calcasieu Parish since May of 2013. Registered sex offenders are required by law to notify authorities within three days of moving.
According to authorities, at the time of the traffic stop, Diaz also did not have any form of identification on him that identified him as a registered sex offender, which is required by law for all registered sex offenders.
Diaz was arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center. He was charged with failure to register as a sex offender and suspended driver's license.
His bond was set at $10,000 by Judge Kent Savoie.
Cpl. Dennis Pippin with CPSO was the arresting deputy on this case.
Federal judge overturns conviction of Natchitoches man sentenced to death Posted on 2-17-14
A federal judge has overturned a man’s death sentence and conviction in a 1993 murder during an armed robbery of a Natchitoches Parish nightclub.
U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell of Alexandria granted 56-year-old Willard Allen’s petition seeking to overturn his conviction, ruling last week that the state trial court allowed an “avowedly biased juror to be seated on petitioner’s jury, through a fatally defective voir dire.”
Drell returned the case to state court with instructions to conduct a bail hearing within 45 days of Thursday’s judgment.
Allen, of Natchitoches, remains in custody at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. The state has 270 days to decide whether to retry him. Drell says if that doesn’t happen the state must release him.