Local and Area News

Numerous Drug Related Arrests Made in Sabine Parish

 On September 27, 2016, several agencies assisted the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office in executing arrest warrants for individuals allegedly involved in the distribution of narcotics and other drugs.  An intensive investigation into street level drug sales by the Tri-Parish Narcotics Task Force, which consists of deputies from Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office, DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office, led to over 60 arrest warrants being issued for a number of individuals.  Deputies from Sabine, DeSoto, and Red River Parish Sheriff Office’s, were assisted by the DEA, ATF, U.S. Marshal’s Office, Louisiana State Police, Many Police Department, and Zwolle Police Department in executing the arrest warrants. The following individuals were booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center as a result of the investigation:  James E. Alford, 51, of Florien, conspiracy to distribute Schedule II CDS; Hardy L. Booth, 40, of Many, distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts); Justin J. Calhoun, 29, of Many, distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts); Jamie L. Collier, 39, of Florien, conspiracy to distribute Schedule IV CDS, distribution of Schedule IV CDS, illegal use of CDS in the presence of person under 17, possession of firearm by convicted felon; Jackie Dykes, 54, of Many, distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts), illegal use of CDS in the presence of person under 17; Julia G. Easily, 35, of Many, distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts); Howard D. Evans III, 33, of Many, distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts); Rance Gasaway, 53, of Many, distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts); Matthew C. Garner, 27, of Many, distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts); Justin D. Holden, 26, of Many, distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts), distribution of Schedule I CDS; Cardell A. Lynch, 48, of Zwolle, distribution of Schedule II CDS, distribution of Schedule IV CDS (2 counts), conspiracy to distribute Schedule IV CDS, illegal use of CDS in the presence of person under 17; Frank Manning Jr., 37, of Many, possession of a firearm in the presence of CDS (2 counts), distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts); Demarcus T. Morrow, 36, of Many, distribution of Schedule II CDS (4 counts), illegal distribution of CDS in the presence of person under 17; Marcus F. Sibley, 41, of Many, distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts), possession of firearm with obliterated number, possession of Schedule I CDS with intent to distribute (2 counts), possess Schedule II CDS with intent to distribute, possession of firearm by convicted felon (2 counts), possession of drug paraphernalia (5 counts); Dontray A. Smart, 48, of Many, distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts); Clinton Staton, 58, of Zwolle, distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts); Rodney L. Waller, 38, of Many, distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts). A large quantity of marijuana, cocaine, and MDMA (Ecstasy) was seized during the arrests, along with several firearms and over $4,000 in cash.  The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are pending.

September 27th, 2016, Tuesday

VPSO Seeking Information

The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office is seeking information from the public in locating Jonathan Ellis, age 40, of Leesville. Ellis is described as a white male, standing 6'0 tall, weighing 175 pounds, strawberry / blonde hair, and blue eyes. Ellis was last seen on September 19, 2016. VPSO is attempting to confirm the well being of Ellis. Ellis has been known to drive a 1997 Ford F250, Extended Cab, Green in color bearing Louisiana License Plate # Y137606. VPSO Detectives are attempting to locate and speak with 40 year old Wanda Gordon aka Wanda Rodriguez aka Rhonda Gail Gordon, of Rosepine, regarding the disappearance of Ellis. Gordon is believed to be in the Alexandria Louisiana area at this time. Anyone with information regarding this matter can contact VPSO at 337-238-1311 / VPSO Detective David Vance at 337-238-7248 / or Crime Stoppers 337-239-2233. You do not have to give your name ~ a code number will be assigned to you.

September 27th, 2016, Tuesday

NPD: Body Recovered From Cane River in Natchitoches

Natchitoches police have recovered a body found floating in Cane River, according to a news release from Police Chief Micky Dove. Detective have identified the man as 28-year-old Antonio Francisco. His body has been transported to the coroner's office in Lake Charles for an autopsy.  Police received a citizen report around 9:43 a.m. Monday about a body in the river just south of the Church Street Bridge. The body was floating face down. Anyone with information about the incident are asked to contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or Detective Bobby Beard at the Criminal Investigations Division at (318) 238-3914.  All calls will be kept confidential.

September 27th, 2016, Tuesday

Wheels, Tires Stolen From More Than 2 Dozen Vehicles at Stonewall Dealership

DeSoto Parish Sheriff's deputies are investigating a theft that happened at a Stonewall car dealership. Deputies were called to the Marketplace Chevrolet Buick dealership Monday morning on reports someone had stolen wheels and tires from about 28 of the vehicles. According to the dealership, it took the thieves about 5 hours; from about 11:30 p.m. Sunday night to 4:30 a.m. Monday morning. Officials say the thieves also cut the wires and spray painted some of the cameras. Based on video obtained from the business, the people involved made off with the stolen merchandise in a U-Haul van.  Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office at 318-872-3956 and ask to speak with a detective.

September 27th, 2016, Tuesday

Martin Luther Drive Open For Large Trucks as a Detour

The Many Mayor and City Council has approved the opening of Martin Luther Drive for large trucks during the time San Antonio Ave. (Hwy. 6) will be closed by the state for repair. The road closure will begin on Monday, Sept. 26th and hopefully will be re-opened before Oct. 1st. Large trucks are currently banned from MLK, but now will be allowed to travel on the old by-pass (MLK) during this time.

September 26th, 2016, Monday

Converse Man Killed in Desoto Parish Crash

A man airlifted to a hospital after a two-vehicle wreck in DeSoto Parish has died.  The crash happened about 8:50 a.m. Friday at U.S. Highway 84 at Louisiana Highway 191 just east of Logansport. Louisiana State Police say 76-year-old Cecil Hart, of Converse, was driving a 1995 GMC Yukon north on LA 191 when he failed to stop at U.S. 84. Hart's vehicle entered the intersection directly in the path of a 2014 Dodge being driven by 27-year-old Michelle Garcia, of Logansport, says a statement released by Trooper First Class Matt Harris. The Dodge struck the Yukon in the driver’s side door, causing severe damage. Hart suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to University Health in Shreveport, where he later was pronounced dead. Garcia, who sustained moderate injuries, was treated at DeSoto Regional Medical Center in Mansfield and later released, Harris said. Impairment is not suspected as being a factor in the crash, authorities said, but toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for analysis as is routine procedure in investigations of fatal accidents.  

September 26th, 2016, Monday

Employee Accused of Stealing $38K from Bingo Parlor

A Shreveport man was arrested after Caddo Parish deputies say he stole more than $38,000 from a bingo parlor. Deputies say 34-year-old Patrick Lincoln stole $38,941 from the Veteran's Bingo Parlor where he was employed. On Sept. 10, Lincoln reportedly took two checks belonging to the business and issued them to himself; one for $10,000 and another for $15,000. The next day, detectives say Lincoln took all the money from the safe and ATM, a total of $13,941, placed it in a bag and left the business. Authorities say Lincoln surrendered to deputies after an arrest warrant was issued.  In his possession at the time was $25,475 in cash, according to deputies. Lincoln reportedly told detectives the money needed to be returned to the Veteran's Bingo Parlor. He was subsequently booked into the Caddo Correctional Center where he is charged with felony theft. His bond is set at $40,000. The money was returned to the business.

September 23rd, 2016, Friday

Former Red River Parish Businessman Accused of Sex Crimes Involving Juvenile

A former Red River Parish businessman remains behind bars on a $1 million bond following his arrest last week on multiple charges involving alleged sexual misconduct with a juvenile, Sheriff Glen Edwards said in a news release. Gary G. Holloway, 54, of the 7700 block of Chesapeake Drive in Shreveport, was initially booked into the Caddo Correctional Center on Sept. 9 then transferred to the Red River Parish Jail three days later. He's charged with molestation of a juvenile, sexual battery, aggravated crime against nature, carnal knowledge of a juvenile and oral sexual battery.  Conditions of Holloway's bond required him to surrender his passport, restrict travel within the state and and stay away from designated individuals.  Holloway, a former owner of a liquor store and other businesses in Coushatta, is accused of molesting a female juvenile family member on numerous occasions, beginning in 2006 when the girl was 12 and continuing for several years, according to Edwards.  A complaint was filed Aug. 29 with the sheriff's office. Detectives interviewed the alleged victim as well as potential witnesses. Red River Parish District Judge Lewis Sams signed an arrest warrant on Sept. 8. On the same day, Caddo Parish District Judge Katherine Dorroh issued a search warrant for Holloway's residence in Shreveport. Multiple agencies, including the Red River and Caddo sheriffs' offices, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Shreveport Police Department Interdiction Unit and Louisiana State Police, joined to search Holloway's home, and he was taken into custody.  The investigation is ongoing and involves multiple agencies both inside and outside of Red River Parish. Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to call the Red River Parish Sheriff's Office at (318) 932-6701.

September 23rd, 2016, Friday

Listeria Concerns Spur Another Blue Bell Recall

 Blue Bell has once again issued a recall over listeria concerns.The Texas-based business announced the recall late Wednesday afternoon.The recall includes more than 1,900 cases of ice cream shipped to Brenham, Texas and Sylacaugua, Ala. plants. "The products can be identified by the code date found on the bottom of the carton," read a statement released from Blue Bell. "The products produced with the chocolate chip cookie dough pieces were distributed in the following 10 states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia."Blue Bell said the recall was spurred over possible health risks linked to chocolate chip cookie dough pieces that were supplied by a third party, Aspen Hills, Inc. The products included in the recall were produced at Blue Bell's Sylacauga, Ala. plant.The company said there have been no reports of illnesses and the recall was done out of an abundance of caution.In 2015, three deaths were linked to the ice cream, which spurred a massive recall and shut down of Blue Bell. In July, the Department of State Health Services ordered the business to pay $850,000 "“because it allowed adulterated product to enter the marketplace and cause illness.” Health services also ordered Blue Bell to continue monitoring its products. For more information, consumers with questions may call 979-836-7977 between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

September 22nd, 2016, Thursday

Escaped Inmates Captured

Two inmates who escaped from Allen Correctional Center this morning have been recaptured, according to jail workers. Raymond King, 39, of LaPlace and Gerelle Caliste, 27, of New Orleans, were unaccounted for during a 12:15 a.m. head count, according to a statement from Allen Correctional Center. Local authorities were contacted and the prison grounds and the areas surrounding the prison were searched. The two men were apprehended "in close proximity to the facility" at 6:36 a.m. by staff from the Allen Correctional Center, the Raymond LaBorde Correctional Center and the Allen Parish Sheriff's Office. Caliste, who entered Allen on Nov. 14, 2011, is serving a 32-year sentence for attempted second-degree murder and second-degree battery. King began his stay at Allen on May 19, 2003, and is serving a 29-year sentence for forcible rape and simple escape.

September 21st, 2016, Wednesday

Louisiana Has Two Economies Growing Very Fast, Two Others are Shrinking Significantly

Louisiana has two of the country’s fastest growing economies, while also two of the fastest-shrinking, according to data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. Baton Rouge grew by over 5% and Lake Charles grew by about 8%. LSU Economist Dr. Loren Scott says right now, Lake Charles has almost $100 billion in industrial projects. “In a really good year, in the past, if we would’ve found 5 billion across the entire state, we would’ve thought that was great. We have 100 billion just in one place.”  Scott says Baton Rouge has about $10 billion in projects. He says these growths are primarily going on in the chemical industry and the liquefied natural gas export sector.  “That growth is occurring for two reasons, number one, there has been a big decline in the price of natural gas but the most important thing is that the price of natural gas dropped here, it did not drop in Europe and it did not drop in Asia.” The numbers released show Houma-Thibodaux has the nation’s second worst economy, shrinking nearly 8% and Lafayette shrunk 4%. Scott says these drops are linked to the oil bust. He says back in 2014, there were about 56 rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico, now there are less than 15.  “Where the decline is taking place, it’s primarily either in the actual oil and gas firms themselves or in the service industries that work for the oil and gas industry.”

September 21st, 2016, Wednesday

Road Closure

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises that on Monday, September 26th, 2016, DOTD will be closing LA 6 in Many to repair an existing drain. This closure is expected to reopen on Saturday, October 1, 2016 barring any construction complications or weather delays. The detour for East Bound L.A. 6-Take U.S. 171 North to LA 175 North to LA 120 East to LA 6 in Robeline. The Detour for West Bound LA 6- Take LA 120 West in Robeline to LA 175 South to US 171 South to LA 6. Local traffic is encouraged to use alternate routes during the time of this road closure.

September 20th, 2016, Tuesday

Sabine Parish Police Jury Meeting

The Sabine Parish Police Jury would like to notify the public of a public hearing on September 21st,  2016 at 9:00 a.m. in the Police Jury Meeting Room of the Sabine Parish Courthouse, 400 S. Capitol Street in Many, Louisiana.

September 20th, 2016, Tuesday

McDonald's Robbed By Man Armed With Hammer

Workers at a McDonald's in Kinder got quite the surprise on Monday when a man reached in the drive-thru window, took the cash drawer and drove off. Employee Mary Duplechian saw the whole thing. A robbery was the last thing she expected Monday afternoon, especially since she's only been working for less than a month. "I've been working here, and I'm like, 'Does this stuff happen on a daily basis?'" said Duplechian. It started out like any other day. "Next thing you know, you hear the lady in back drive yell 'He's got a hammer, and he's trying to rob us!' and at first, we thought she was playing around, but next thing you know, you see a bunch of people take off towards the back," said Duplechian.The suspect threatened employees with a hammer and Mace and ended up reaching through the drive-thru window and stealing the entire cash drawer from the register."He took the actual (bottom part of the) register - like the whole thing," said Duplechian. According to Kinder Police Chief Chuck Welch, the suspect is a black male between the ages of 25 and 35, and he was driving a white GMC Envoy with LSU plates. He got away with an undisclosed amount of money. Police said the suspect left behind his hammer - with all his fingerprints on it - when he took the register. Kinder resident Candice Darwin heard about what happened and still can't believe it happened. "I'd say on a scale of 1 to 10, it's about an eight just because of how outlandish it is," said Darwin. For Duplechian, this incident has definitely made her more aware of her surroundings. "Just because it's a small town, things like this can happen, so be careful, watch out, and prepare yourself for the worst, but hope for the best," she said. All area law enforcement agencies have been advised to be on the lookout for the suspect and his vehicle. Kinder police ask anyone who has any information about the suspect or the vehicle to call the station  at 337-738-2600.

September 20th, 2016, Tuesday

Nursing Home Evacuated After Smoke Fills West WIng of Building

All hands were on deck as the call went out that smoke was coming from the west wing of the nursing home located just outside of Hemphill in Highway 83 West. Hemphill Volunteer Fire Department were called to Shady Shores Rehabilitation Center, formerly known as Mount Moriah, at approximately 9 p.m., September 18. According to the call smoke alarms alerted the staff, who began moving residents out of the building. Sabine County EMS, along with the nursing home staff quickly worked to evacuate the 35 residents of the facility.  Firefighters from Pineland, Six Mile and Pendleton Harbor, along with San Augustine EMS responded to the call to assist Hemphill VFD. Smoke could be seen coming from the west side of the building but no flames were visible as fire departments arrived.  The smoke had begun to disappear as firefighters searched the building for the source with heat sensors. After searching for about an hour firefighters found the air conditioning unit was extremely hot. The electricity was turned off leading to the air conditioning unit on the west wing of the building. All residents returned to their rooms approximately an hour an a half after they were evacuated. No injuries were reported.

September 19th, 2016, Monday

9 NPSO Corrections Officers Fired, Suspended in Connection with Jail Escape

Nine Natchitoches Parish Detention Center Correctional Officers have been terminated or suspended without pay in connection with the violation of standard operating procedures at the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center, according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones. The disciplinary action is in connection with the escape on Aug. 27 of three inmates, Michael Elliot, Walshea Mitchell, and Willie Ethridge, who were serving time for serious crimes - including attempted second degree murder. Four correctional officers were terminated as a result of an internal investigation and five others were suspended without pay or issued reprimands based on policy violations, according to Natchitoches Parish Assistant Chief of Corrections Roger Henson. During the internal investigation, investigators learned that none of the correctional officers were involved or assisted in the escape, Henson said. "At this time, we believe a break-down of procedures were not followed and have taken appropriate measures to make sure these procedures are corrected and followed by all detention center personnel," states a news release from Jones' office. Aspects of this internal investigation and the capture of the inmates are continuing. All resources within the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, along with the assistance of the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Apprehension Team, Louisiana State Police and other law enforcement agencies are being combined to capture the inmates. Detectives are also investigating leads into possible suspects that may be assisting the escapees while they are on the run. Authorities say the three state prisoners disguised their bunks just after 10 p.m., compromised a rear door of their dorm and scaled the razor-wire fence. No one at the facility realized they were gone for more than 15 hours. Information on the whereabouts of the inmates should be reported to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office at 318-352-6432, 911 or the nearest law enforcement agency. A reward is being offered for specific information leading to the capture of the escapees. Information will be kept confidential.

September 19th, 2016, Monday

Suspects in Mansfield Home Invasion Surrender to Authorities

Two men sought in connection with a home invasion Monday in Mansfield that injured a man surrendered to the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office Friday morning. Arrest warrants were issued Thursday for 21-year-old Kadarius D. Green and 21-year-old Zenkendrick K. Green, charging both with home invasion. They also were charged with aggravated battery.  No bond has been set. DeSoto Parish Crime Stoppers offered a reward for information leading to their arrests. A complaint was made to Mansfield police around 2 a.m. Monday. The victim, who lives in the 500 block of Martin Luther King Drive, said two men forced their way into his home, pulled him outside and hit him multiple times in the face and back of the head with a board. Several items were taken from the home.

September 19th, 2016, Monday

Family-Friendly Scarecrow Display

The City of Leesville and the Mayor's Women's Commission will have a family-friendly scarecrow display contest this fall. Groups may set up their creative -- and family-friendly -- scarecrow displays at a designated location between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17. Groups will be informed of display locations before Oct. 13. They will be judged on Oct. 29. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded after the City of Leesville Trash Bash event weigh-in on Nov. 5 at Liberty Gardens, across from the Vernon Parish Library on Nolan Trace. Display contest prizes will be $100, first place; second place, $50; and $25, third place. For more information, call Donna Jones at 501-701-0433 or Charlotte Sonnier at 337-378-3890.

September 16th, 2016, Friday

Reward offered in Home Invasion that Injures Mansfield Man

DeSoto Parish Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of two Mansfield men wanted for injuring a man during a home invasion. A complaint was made to Mansfield police around 2 a.m. Monday. The victim, who lives in the 500 block of Martin Luther King Drive, said two men forced their way into his home, pulled him outside and hit him multiple times in the face and back of the head with a board. Several items were taken from the home. The suspects are identified as 21-year-old Kadarius D. Green and 21-year-old Zenkendrick K. Green. Both are wanted on warrants for home invasion. Kadarius Green is a black male who is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 205 pounds. Zenkendrick Green is a black male who is 6 feet tall and weighs 166 pounds.  DeSoto Parish Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1000 for information to their arrest. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-505-STOP (7867) or Desoto Parish sheriff’s Lt. James Clements at 872-3956. All calls are confidential.

September 16th, 2016, Friday

Authorities Respond to Crash Involving Tractor Trailer/Train, North of Rosepine

Several agencies, including Louisiana State Police, responded to a crash Wednesday afternoon involving a 2006 Volvo tractor trailer and a Kansas City Southern train at U.S. 171/Calhoun Dairy Road, north of Rosepine. Troop E spokesperson, Master Trooper Scott Moreau, told the West Central News Center that the driver of the tractor trailer suffered minor injuries. The man was cited for certain vehicles must stop at all railroad crossings. Moreau said the crash call came in at 12:35 p.m. Wednesday.

September 15th, 2016, Thursday

San Augustine Chamber to Host Renown Speaker

The San Augustine Chamber of Commerce will host renown speaker during their regular monthly meeting, Tuesday, September 20 at the Log Cabin on Columbia Street in San Augustine. The Sam Houston Historian and lifelong enthusiast of early American History, Denton Florian organized and led the team that produced the celebrated documentary Sam Houston, which won five EMMY Awards. It has also been recognized for excellence by concurrent resolution of the Texas House and Senate. The meeting begins at noon and will be catered by Subway. Come out as the planning for the annual Sassafras Festival continues.

September 15th, 2016, Thursday

College Life, Stephen F. Austin Visits will Hemphill Students

On September 7, 2016 two representatives from Stephen F. Austin State University Office of Admissions visited Hemphill High School to inform students on the importance of going to college and give information regarding SFA.The representatives in attendance were Jessica Maynard, Assistant Director of Admissions and Ryan Brown, Admissions Counselor/Recruiter. Students were informed on admission requirements, taking SAT/ACT, how to pay for college (financial aid including scholarships, loans, and grants), campus living, being involved on campus, and the importance of campus visits. At the end of the presentation, students were offered an opportunity to ask questions as well as see information on the SFA website regarding activities, transfer credits and pictures of freshman residence halls. If you have any questions contact Belinda Ancelot, HHS school counselor, at 787-3371 or email Belinda.ancelot@hemphillisd.net.

September 15th, 2016, Thursday

Ex-Mail Carrier Pleads Guilty to Stealing Mail

An ex-postal carrier in the DeRidder/Lake Charles area was opening mail and searching through it, sometimes taking the contents. Helen J. Nelson, 72, of Lafayette, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of theft of mail matter by a postal service employee. She faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution when she is sentenced by Judge Patricia Minaldi on Dec. 15. The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General began investigating in May after a complaint about a $250 gift card that was never received, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said. The missing card was traced to Nelson, a contract mail carrier. While being watched on her route on May 26, Nelson stopped in a Lake Charles store's parking lot and moved mail from the back of the truck to the front. She then threw away a bag in trash can. The bag was found to contain torn-up mail. When confronted, Nelson admitted to searching through the mail and taking some of its contents. She also admitted to taking the $250 gift card. She admitted that she would take or discard some of the contents, then reseal the envelopes.

September 14th, 2016, Wednesday

NPSO: Man Fled From Deputies Because God Told Him to Drive Fast

A Rapides Parish man was arrested last week after he reportedly led Natchitoches Parish deputies on a 10-mile chase, exceeding speeds of nearly 100 mph, according to deputies. Just before 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 9, deputies were patrolling the City of Natchitoches when they reportedly saw a 1999 Ford pickup truck traveling westbound on Keyser Avenue at a high rate of speed. When deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver sped away, deputies say. Authorities say the driver turned right onto Williams Ave., traveling northbound at excessive speeds, then turned onto Herman Taylor Road. The pursuit then continued on Levee Rd. traveling southbound where the vehicle damaged gates and fencing, deputies say. As responding deputies were preparing to deploy tire deflation devices, the suspect's vehicle lost control and crashed. That's when authorities say both the driver, 20-year-old Dylan Christopher Thompson and a passenger got out of the vehicle and fled into the woods. The suspects were both taken into custody a short time later. Thompson was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and charged with speeding-maximum limit over 100 mph, aggravated flight from an officer, simple criminal property damage and simple kidnapping. Authorities say the kidnapping charge stems from Thompson allegedly pulling the passenger into the woods. Thompson was released on a $25,500 bond. The passenger was not charged. According to investigating deputies, Thompson stated he led them on the pursuit because, "God was telling him to drive fast that day and other people on Keyser Avenue were leading him to drive fast."

September 14th, 2016, Wednesday

Escaped Inmate Back In Custody

An Allen Parish Sheriff's Office jail inmate who escaped Sunday is back in custody, according to the Allen Parish Sheriff's Office. Kirk Marcantel had been on the run for nearly a day. The Sheriff's Office on Monday morning said that he had been recaptured and authorities thanked the public for their assistance in spreading the word via social media. Allen Correctional houses 1,345 inmates, according to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS&C). The facility is currently transitioning from a prison to a jail-and in August, 80 employees were laid off.  "Recent legislative budget cuts forced the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections to scale back Allen Correctional Center, which meant the elimination of mental and medical health services, and instructional programs at the facility," said Ken Pastorick, communications director. The cuts have left many guards feeling vulnerable."We're outnumbered," said a current employee. When asked if he/she felt safe going to work, one guard responded "not at all." Twoemployees say at times it's two guards for a unit of nearly 300 inmates. "We don't have handcuffs. We don't have spray. We don't have anything," said one employee, "All we have is a radio on our hip, and half the time we don't even have that." According to these employees, the lack of proper equipment isn't just a safety concern, but also a health hazard. "Often times, we don't have gloves; we don't have sanitizer; sometimes, we don't have soap," said one employee. Dozens of claims have been made to our newsroom regarding an increase in contraband - weapons and drugs. Meanwhile, some guards said security continues to decline. "The inmates mess with the cameras and they are not seen about," said one guard, "They'll point the cameras at the ceiling, and we can't see what's going on on their tier and no one comes fix them." Bed books detailing which inmates should be where are often incorrect, according to some employees, making their job of keeping up with inmates nearly impossible. We're told in one instance that an inmate committed suicide, yet remained on the books. "A guy did commit suicide," said the corrections officer, "but I found out that they kept him on the books for at least two weeks." They said it's a corrupt environment few are willing to work in. "You feel like your employer doesn't care about your life; they don't care about you at all," an employee said. Without hearing details of employees' claims, GEO Group Vice President of Corporate Relations Pablo Paez denied the allegations. He said his company couldn't comment on operational matters and said our questions would be best answered by the state department.Ken Pastorick said while the state owns Allen Correctional and investigates any complaints, they aren't aware of the issues employees claim. He then said our questions should be directed to GEO Group. While no one responsible for Allen Correctional Center has answered to these claims, employees are left wondering what to do. Guards with years of experience and degrees in criminal justice, who were hoping for a career - not just a job, are now looking elsewhere for work. If things don't get better, honestly I think they should shut down," said the guard, who's openly searching for a new job.

September 13th, 2016, Tuesday

Search Underway in Natchitoches Parish For Missing Man

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Deputies are searching for a Rapides Parish man who was reported missing on Friday. Deputies are currently looking for 45-year-old James Threadwell, of Alexandria. Threadwell is described as a white male who stands about 5'10" tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He has brown hair with a crew-cut style and was last seen wearing blue jeans and no shirt. Authorities say Threadwell was reported missing to NPSO by his mother and sister. Deputiessay Threadwell and his mother were visiting a family member in the 5000 block of LA Hwy. 117, south of Bellwood when Threadwell reportedly became upset overa family member's illness and ran into the woods. Shortly after Threadwell entered the woods, family members and church volunteers searched the woods, but were unable to locate him. Since that time, volunteers and NPSO deputies, along with the assistance of DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office Air Support and US Forest Service have searched several hundred acres of thick woods by air and ground with dogs in all-terrain vehicles , but still have not located Threadwell. Anyone with information on Threadwell's whereabouts is urged to call NPSO at (318)352-6432, Detective Jonathan Byles at (318)357-7830 or your nearest law enforcement agency.

September 13th, 2016, Tuesday

Sabine Parish School Board Meeting

Sabine Parish School Board will hold a meeting on September 12th, 2016 at 6 p.m. at 695 Peterson Street in Many, Louisiana.

September 12th, 2016, Monday

Authorities are Seaching for Escaped Inmate from Allen Parish Jail

Authorities are searching for an inmate that escaped from the Allen Parish jail Sunday morning.  The inmate has been identified as Kirk Marcantel.  Sheriff Doug Hebert reports Marcantel, in for robbery, escaped from the jail by climbing a fence during rec time.  A post to the Allen Parish facebook page asks residents to contact the sheriff's office if they encounter Marcantel.

September 12th, 2016, Monday

San Augustine Teen Killed in One Car Roll-Over Accident

Family and friends are mourning, after the Department of Public Safety confirmed a San Augustine student was killed in a one car accident friday morning. DPS identified the driver as LaSharvia Edwards, 16, a Junior at San Augustine High School as the driver of the car. The accident occurred off of FM 711, about three miles north of San Augustine.  Department of Public Safety Trooper David Hendry investigated, the press release states Edwards was pronounced dead at the scene after being ejected from the vehicle. She was not wearing a seatbelt.According to the report, Edwards was driving a 2008 Kia passenger car southbound when she ran off the road to the right, overcorrected to the left and crossed the road and struck a tree and overturned. 

September 12th, 2016, Monday

Hemphill Police Officer Injured in Three Car Accident

According to Hemphill City Manager Don Ilse, Officer Travis Trexlar is recovering after an accident at approximately 8 p.m. Friday night in Mineola, Texas.  "He was transported to the hospital to be checked out and is banged up pretty good. The good news is he doesn't have any broken bones," Iles said. Hemphill Police Officers Travis Trexlar and David West were coming home with the new police car. The two officers picked the new Tahoe up at the dealership near Dallas. "We were on our way back, it was just a freak accident," Officer David West told DNAM. According to Ilse it all happened as the officers approached the red light near the loop, when the driver  of a Cadillac ran the red light hit a Ford truck and slid into Officer Travis Trexlar who was driving the Tahoe 2014 Hemphill Police cruiser back home. "It caused substantial damage to the city vehicle," Ilse said. "We are just thankful his injuries weren't any worse," he added. Officer David West stated that he had already went through the red light when the accident occurred.  "I was in front of him," he said. Officer Trexlar is recovering and Officer West was not injured.

September 12th, 2016, Monday

DeSoto Deputies Arrest Suspected Car Burglars

Two men are behind bars in DeSoto Parish, accused of numerous car burglaries in the Stonewall area. Nicholas Callens, of Bossier City, and Kaleb J. Janeczko, of Waldo, Arkansas, face theft charges in connection with car burglaries in the North DeSoto Estates and Cathey Acres. Janeczko also faces unrelated charges in Bossier City.

September 12th, 2016, Monday

President amends flood disaster declaration to authorize federal funds at 90% of total eligible costs

President Barack Obama sent a letter to Gov. John Bel Edwards on Thursday and stated he is amending his Aug. 14, 2016 declaration of federal funds for assistance for flood victims. The president said he is authorizing federal funds for all categories of public assistance at 90 percent of total eligible costs. Obama said the federal government has spent more than $660 million to help the state in the aftermath of the floods. He added William Fugate, the administrator of FEMA, will provide a more detailed response to each of the requests Edwards made in a letter sent to the president on September 3.

September 9th, 2016, Friday

Body Found at Esso Drive Residence

The Many Police Department was called to an Esso Drive residence on Wednesday after a maintenance worker reported a deceased person at that location. MPD officers located a body inside the residence that was identified as 56 year-old Ben Rice, who lived alone at that address. It is believed that Mr. Rice expired several days earlier. At this time there is no evidence to suspect foul play, but an autopsy has been requested. The investigation is continuing.

September 9th, 2016, Friday

Suspect in Custody After 5-Hour Standoff at Shreveport Drug Clinic

A standoff between Shreveport police and a gunman holed up in a Line Ave. drug treatment clinic ended after about 5 hours.  Authorities entered the building in the 1300 block and took 45-year-old Gregory Lynn, of Keithville, into custody without incident just before 11 a.m. Sept. 8. He did not resist arrest; nor was a shot fired, Shreveport police Cpl. Marcus Hines said. Lynn, who was on medication he had taken from the Center for Behavioral Health-Shreveport, was treated by Shreveport Fire Department medics then taken to University Health in Shreveport to be evaluated, Hines added. Just after 4 p.m., authorities released that Lynn was in serious but stable condition at University Health. Following his release from the hospital, Lynn will be booked into the Shreveport City Jail on one count of aggravated burglary. The clinic has some structural damage from where authorities forced their way in. The opening of the clinic also is being delayed because authorities must inventorying its medications to see what is missing before allowing the facility to open. Some of the clinic's clients told KSLA News 12 off camera that they might be sent to Brentwood Hospital in Shreveport. During the standoff, doors were ordered locked on nearby businesses and two nearby schools and residents were advised to stay indoors. Loyola College Prep no longer is on lockdown. The school had been following its emergency procedures, meaning students could get inside its buildings but could not leave once they were inside. For parents who didn't feel safe dropping their children off for class today, the school is not marking anyone absent. Likewise, personnel at St. John Berchmans Catholic School were waiting outside for youths to get them into the building safely this morning. That campus has been going about a normal school day. But no one was going outside. And teachers and other staffers were manning each and every door to control access. All of the students were able to get to school this morning, it just took them a little longer than usual because of traffic and street blockages. Also, Line Avenue north of Jordan Street has been reopened to traffic.  There never was any indication that anyone other than the gunman was in the clinic during the standoff, police said. The call to the facility came in at 5:46 a.m., Caddo 911 dispatch records show. While plenty of people are at the clinic starting at 4:30 in the morning, Brandi White and her daughter Kaitlan are just grateful a hunch stopped them coming that early on this day. "My mom wanted to come really really early. But something told her it didn't feel right. Luckily we didn't come that early or we would have been in there. That would have been scary," said Kaitlan. And both were still near the scene when police moved in. "We filmed the robot going in and then when he went in you heard a pow and then a few minutes later you heard another pow," added Brandi White. Besides the traffic detours, and schools, local business were also affected, like Monjunis, a block away on Louisiana Avenue that lost its entire lunch crowd. General Manager Judy Rosso explained, "Our whole parking lot has been blocked off all morning with a command center and the bomb squad."

September 9th, 2016, Friday

Hineston Man Disregards Construction Zone Flagman, Fatal Crash Results

Earlier Thursday, a crash involving two vehicles killed a man from Hineston, LA that disregarded a construction zone flagman's instructions. Troopers responded to the crash around 12:52 p.m., which occurred on LA Hwy 461 south of Hineston. The crash involved a 2007 Jeep Liberty, driven by Kenneth R. Keele (W/M 61 yrs) and a 2016 Caterpillar mini excavator, driven by Arnold Johnson (W/M 52 yrs) of Oakdale, LA. The Jeep was southbound on LA Hwy 461, traveling in the center of the roadway, when Keele disregarded a flagman’s attempt to have him slow/stop. This action resulted in the Jeep colliding with the Caterpillar, which was positioned in the southbound lane. The Caterpillar was being operated as part of a construction project. The flagman was positioned in the northbound lane. Keele was wearing his seat belt, but was pronounced dead. Johnson was not injured. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation. Troop E Troopers have investigated 36 fatal crashes in 2016, resulting in 41 fatalities.

September 9th, 2016, Friday

Fort Polk Community Invited to Town Hall Meeting

The Fort Polk community is invited to a town hall meeting on Sept. 8, beginning at 6 p.m., at the Warrior Community Center. This is an opportunity to meet the commanding general, garrison commander and subject matter-experts from across the installation. Even though "virtual" town halls are convenient, sometimes something is lacking when you don't speak face-to-face. During the event, you can ask questions about Fort Polk, express your concerns, meet your neighbors and do some networking. Don't worry about bringing the kids -- we don't mind a little noise. The atmosphere at the town hall will be informal -- with honest and open communication. If you cannot attend, you will still be able to ask questions via the JRTC and Fort Polk Facebook page. We'll have two Public Affairs Office personnel monitoring the page and bringing questions to the attention of the appropriate subject matter expert. For more information, call Kim Reischling at 531-1392.

September 8th, 2016, Thursday

DeSoto Deputies Seek Suspect in Recreational Vehicle Theft

Authorities in DeSoto Parish are asking for the public's help with finding a woman they say stole a vehicle. Deputies say 27-year-old Kelsea Golson, of Logansport, is wanted for theft of a recreational vehicle valued over $25,000. Golson is described as a white female who stands about 5'10" tall and weighs about 120 pounds. DeSoto Parish Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to Golson's arrest. Anyone with information on Golson's whereabouts is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-505-STOP, or contact the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office at 318-872-3956.

September 8th, 2016, Thursday

Suspected Stalker Arrested in Natchitoches Parish

A Red River Parish man who allegedly stalked his ex-wife was arrested by Natchitoches Parish deputies Wednesday. Authorities say just before 2:30 a.m., deputies were called to a home in the 400 block of Stiles Road in Campi on reports that a man, identified by the complainant as her ex-husband, was in the yard trespassing, stalking and harassing her by cell phone. When deputies arrived at the scene, the man kept running into some nearby woods, avoiding them. Deputies reportedly checked the area but weren't able to locate the man, identified as 35-year-old Shannon Barbo. Authorities were called to the woman's house again at 5:30 a.m. on reports Barbo had returned to the residence. This time, deputies found Barbo hiding under the woman's mobile home. Barbo was taken into custody without incident. He was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center where he is charged with stalking and criminal trespassing.

September 8th, 2016, Thursday

Ceremony to Pay Tribute to 9/11 Victims

Fort Polk on Friday will host a ceremony to pay tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to the sacrifices of the military in the War on Terrorism. The public is invited to the ceremony, which is set for 9 a.m. Friday at Warrior Memorial Park.

September 7th, 2016, Wednesday

Man, Woman Sought in DeSoto Parish

DeSoto Parish Crime Stoppers Felon of the Week Program is asking for the public's help with identifying and locating two people wanted in the area.  Authorities haven't released what the pair is wanted for, but is offering a reward for the man and woman's arrests. Deputies believe the pair may be in the Stonewall area. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the man and woman. Anyone with information on the identity of the people pictured is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-505-STOP.  Callers may remain anonymous.

September 7th, 2016, Wednesday

Sabine Parish Man Convicted in 2014 Stabbing Death

A Zwolle man will spend the rest of his life in prison following his conviction Friday in the 2014 death of a Fisher man. A Sabine Parish jury found Major C. Jones, 29, guilty of second-degree murder. He faces a mandatory life sentence. James Paul Green, 50, was found dead in his home on July 18, 2014. He was stabbed to death. Investigators initially responded to Green’s home because of a fire reported the previous night. They returned early the next day after learning the fire had rekindled. That’s when they found Green’s body in the kitchen area. An autopsy indicated the fire did not cause Green’s death. Green's vehicle was missing from his home. It was later found in Zwolle with what appeared to be blood on the center console. An investigation led to Jones’ arrest about two weeks later. Sabine Parish Assistant District Attorney Ronald Brandon prosecuted the case.

September 7th, 2016, Wednesday

One Vehicle Accident on Highway 6

The Many Police Department responded to a one-vehicle accident that took place at 3:25 am, early Saturday morning on Hwy. 6 near the Many High School. Authorities were alerted of a reckless driver heading west from Natchitoches Parish that was driving at a high rate of speed. State Police located the 1984 Chevrolet moments after it crashed into some trees just east of the school. The vehicle was occupied by one 21 year old male, who was airlifted to a Shreveport hospital with very serious injuries. The accident is being investigated by the MPD.

September 6th, 2016, Tuesday

Small Plane Crashes in East Texas

Authorities in East Texas are investigating after a small plane reportedly crashed in Cass County. It happened just before 2 p.m. Monday north of US-59 in Atlanta. According to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), the pilot, 53-year-old Michael Leslie Johnson of Jefferson, Texas, said the plane had come down too hard when he attempted to land at the landing strip south of US-59, causing the plane to bounce back up in the air. As Johnson turned the plane around for a second landing attempt, Troopers say the plane's tires struck a tree and immediately started to descend, causing it to strike the roof of a building. The plane eventually came to rest on a golf course north of US-59. No injuries were reported.

September 6th, 2016, Tuesday

Highway Bears Name of Late Vietnam Veteran

The piece of Highway 165 that goes through Grant Parish will memorialize Captain Ronald David Bennett by bearing his name. Saturday, the Pollock community remembered Bennett, and his sacrifice, as the new highway marker was revealed. “They've told me for years and years and years, I am the spitting image," said Richard Derek Bennett Joyner, son of late Capt. Bennett. Richard's father was killed in action during the Vietnam War; Richard was only 17 months old. Without any memories of his father, Richard cherishes the things he left behind, but many in the Pollock community could tell stories about “Ronnie” Bennett. "He stood up for me to some bullies, who were making fun of me,” said Karen Carpenter, Bennett’s sister. “I remember that especially. His friends his classmates, it's nice to know they still remember him." Those who knew him said they know he was doing exactly what he wanted to, even when he flew that last, dangerous mission to rescue injured soldiers. "Very much a marine,” said Carpenter. “Very much with that attitude of ‘we can do it.’" The efforts to change the highway’s name was led by Rep. Terry Brown, I-Colfax. “We got it through the house and the senate totally unopposed," said Brown. Those present said driving on Captain Ronald David Bennett Memorial Highway, will be a special experience. "I’ll be thinking about him, and in a way, we are wishing we didn't have to do this. Wishing he was still here." Though friends and family wonder what life would be like if he was still with them, Bennett’s legacy lives on. "Kings wrote their names everywhere because they said if someone called their name they would live forever. So David Bennett, in some small way, will live forever," said Rep. Brown.

September 5th, 2016, Monday

ULL to Replace Diplomas Destroyed by Recent Floods

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette will replace diplomas for alumni whose diplomas were lost or ruined during recent flooding. UL Lafayette will provide a free paper diploma, often referred to as a “sheet” diploma, to any graduate impacted by recent floods in south Louisiana. Duplicate diplomas, which can be ordered through the University’s Office of the Registrar, typically cost $17. Replacement diplomas for flood victims will be issued through Sept. 30 at no charge. They will be printed with the University name that corresponds to the time a graduate received their original diploma. The University was known as the University of Southwestern Louisiana from 1960 until 1999, when it became UL Lafayette. It was Southwestern Louisiana Institute from 1921 to 1960 and Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute from its founding in 1898 until 1921. To receive a replacement diploma, alums must fill out a “duplicate diploma request” form that can be downloaded from the UL Lafayette Office of the Registrar’s website. Applicants must indicate on the form that their diploma was lost during the floods, and include a photo ID with the request. Applicants also must provide documentation that their house, apartment or office was flooded, explained Dr. DeWayne Bowie, vice president of Enrollment Management. “Alums who have questions or who want more information about how to obtain a replacement diploma should get in touch with the University’s Office of the Registrar,” Bowie said. Contact UL Lafayette’s Office of the Registrar at registrar@louisiana.edu or (337) 482-6291.

September 5th, 2016, Monday

Survivors in St. James and West Baton Rouge Parishes May Receive FEMA Help, Urged to Register

Survivors in 22 Louisiana parishes may now be eligible for federal disaster assistance as a result of the continuing severe storms and floods that began Aug. 11. St. James and West Baton Rouge parish disaster survivors may now be eligible for federal disaster assistance. They join Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana as parishes where survivors may receive FEMA help.

Apply for FEMA help three ways:

  • Log onto DisasterAssistance.gov with any computer, smartphone or tablet.
  • Download and use the FEMA mobile app.
  • If you cannot access the website or FEMA app call the FEMA helpline at 800-621- 3362. If you use TTY, call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.

You don’t need to register again if you’re a survivor in St. James or West Baton Rouge parish who has already done so. The toll-free telephone numbers are operating from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. FEMA never charges fees to apply for or receive federal disaster assistance. State and federal officials encourage you to be alert for scams and report any suspicious activity by calling the Louisiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection hotline at 800-351-4889. Assistance provided by FEMA for homeowners and renters can include grants for rent, temporary housing and home repairs to their primary residence, as well as other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs. In addition, Assumption, Cameron, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist and West Baton Rouge parishes have joined Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana as parishes eligible for FEMA Public Assistance. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. The loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. Homeowners and renters should apply as quickly as they can, even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments but underinsured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled. Residents are urged to contact their insurance company to file their flood insurance claims. For flood insurance policyholders who may have questions, FEMA has streamlined its process to better service claims and answer questions. Policyholders may call 800-621- 3362 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and select Option 2. Call center staff are available to assist policyholders with information regarding their policy, offer technical flood guidance to aid in recovery, and respond to general as well as complicated questions about the NFIP. Policyholders with questions specifically about an insurance claim can be transferred to their insurance carrier for additional assistance. Download and use the FEMA mobile app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips. You can also check the status of your FEMA help application. The app provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the Nation. The latest feature of the app allows you to send notifications to your device to remind you to take important steps to prepare your home and family for disasters. Go to Ready.gov for more details. We urge everyone to continue to use caution in areas where floodwaters remain. Monitor DOTD’s www.511la.org website for updated road closure information. Look for advisories from your local  authorities and emergency managers. You can find the latest information on the state’s response at www.emergency.la.gov. GOHSEP also provides information on Facebook and Twitter. You can  receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App. It is free for basic service. You can also download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at  www.getagameplan.org. Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585. FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.  Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of  money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing  disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster Deaf and hard-of- hearing individuals may call (800) 877-8339.

September 5th, 2016, Monday

Louisiana Rising: A Benefit Concert for Flood Relief

Louisiana Rising is a benefit concert being held for victims of recent South Louisiana floods. The concert will air on Labor Day, September 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. The concert will feature Harry Connick Jr. and Randy Jackson. More than a dozen well-known artists will play in the concert, including New Orleans-based Better than Ezra. Sonny Landreth, Chris Thomas King, MacKenzie Bourg, Luther Kent and Rockin' Dopsie have also joined the cause.

September 3rd, 2016, Friday

Troopers Keep Focus on Impared Drivers this Labor Day Weekend

Throughout the Labor Day holiday, Troopers are working closely with our local law enforcement partners to remove impared drivers from our roadways and keep our communities safe. Last year over the Labor Day weekend, Troopers had the difficult task of notifing five Louisiana families that one of their loved ones was killed in a preventable crash. With the increase in holiday gatherings and traffic, motorists are urged to plan ahead, designate a sober driver, always ensure all occupants are properly restrained and exercise patience on our roadways. Motorists that witness hazardous situation are urged to call *LSP (*577) and repart that activity to the Louisiana State police. Furthermore, motorists are encouraged to follow the Louisiana State Police Facebook and Twitter pages for the most up to date information on roadway closures and state police activities.

September 3rd, 2016, Friday

Karey Trial Expected to Start September 12th

It's been nearly three years since Woodrow Karey was arrested and jailed in connection with the shooting of Pastor Ronald Harris in front of his congregation. Karey was in court Wednesday morning for a hearing dealing with evidence in his second-degree murder trial, which is coming up Sept. 12. Karey is accused of shooting and killing Harris, pastor of Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center, during a Friday night revival service in 2013. The defense doesn't want the state to show gruesome pictures and video to the jury. The judge is expected to review the material. Judge Clayton Davis indicated he will not allow repetitiousness.  The state doesn't want the defense to be allowed to "bash the victim." The judge said he doesn’t want victim bashing but indicated the defense will be allowed to present information about the victim’s behavior as it relates to the impact it had on the defendant.   "It has to be something that is relevant to the facts of that particular incident.  And I think Judge Davis is going to do a very good job making sure that relevant information and only relevant information comes into the trial," said Ron Richard, Harris family attorney. Richard, who represents the Harris family in a civil suit, said they want the criminal trial to go forward:  "The family's extremely hopeful that on Sept. 12 the process of obtaining justice will begin. The pretrial motions today gave them some hope, seeing the judge's rulings, that things will progress quickly and justice will be had," he said. They are waiting on a ruling from the State Supreme Court on whether Karey can be tried for second-degree murder when the grand jury originally indicted him for manslaughter.A later grand jury reconsidered the case and Karey was then indicted on the second-degree murder charge which means life in prison if convicted. The defense also wants language added to the jury instruction to tell jurors they can convict on a lesser charge even if the state proves second-degree murder. The state disagrees with such an instruction. Jury instructions are not finalized until after the evidence part of the trial. Both the state and the defense say they are ready to go to trial.

September 1st, 2016, Thursday

Fairmount General Store Opens For Business

The Fairmount General Store is open for business, as the staff continues to stock the shelves. Manager Susan Patillo, says the deli is currently serving both breakfast and lunch. The deli hours are currently from 6 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. "We have a daily lunch special," Patillo said. "The pizza oven should be here this week." The supplies and inventory are still arriving and we are opening amenities and services as each arrive, she added.Fairmount General Store is more than just a store, once completely stocked will include a tackle shop, hardware, icehouse, deli, certified scales, package store and of course ethanol free gas. "We are still taking applications and have both full and part time positions available, just come by and pick one up," Patillo said.  The gas is flowing and many Sabine County residents are making their way, not only to take a look at the new store but to fill up their tanks. The ethanol free gas is $1.67 per gallon "We just want to bring amenities and convenience to residents at a fair price," she said In a statement to fuel customers, "We set our prices by looking up the lowest prices within a 150 mile radius and subtract three cents per gallon. If there is a gar war anywhere in the area, we are in it too, and everyone gets low gas prices." The Statement goes on to sau "we buy the best quality unleaded regular no ethanol fuel on the spot market. We buy the best quality diesel #2 on the spot market.  Fairmount General Store offers the lowest price possible, and hope the store will be a favorite stop for all household needs.  A grand opening and ribbon cutting is scheduled for Labor Day weekend. "We hope everyone can come out," Patillo said. The ribbon cutting will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 3.

September 1st, 2016, Thursday

Missing Two-Year-Old Found, Reunited with His Family in Bossier Parish

A 2-year-old boy who went missing from a Bossier Parish residence Wednesday morning has been found after a three hour long search in a wooded area in the 700 block of Maxwell Road near Haughton.Josh Cagle, the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office Spokesman, told us "We had K9's on the ground and bloodhounds on the ground. And we just canvassed the whole area." That effort also included the use of a Life-Air Rescue helicopter along with law enforcement officers all looking for Jayden Kolby Tatom, a little boy who turns three on Sunday. The boy's stepmother, Stephanie St. Clair, got up to find the child sleeping Wednesday morning, Cagle said, so she laid down for a 30-minute nap while she was house-sitting. St. Clair told authorities that when she woke up at about 9:30 a.m. Tatom and his dog were gone. Cagle said they ended up finding the boy about three hours later, half a mile into the woods in what's called a dirt pile, playing in some water that appeared to be about as deep as an adult. Authorities said the boy's dog, a red pit bull, was found with him.  Cagle added, "Actually one of the deputies that was on a side-by-side was hollering out for the child and luckily and thankfully they found him." We were there shortly after the tearful reunion between Tatum and his stepmother, ending what should have been a quiet day of house-sitting. She tried to speak with us briefly. "I was scared to death. Scared to death." But just talking about the ordeal led St. Clair to break down in tears, unable to continue the interview; overcome by the sheer emotion of the moment. Chief Kenny Tyson, with South Bossier Fire District 2, described Tatom as having just a few scrapes and scratches along with some bug bites. But overall he was in good condition.

September 1st, 2016, Thursday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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