Local and Area News

East Texas Teacher Resigns, Arrested for Improper Relationship with Student

A Lufkin school teacher has resigned following her arrest on a charge of improper relationship with a student. Mary Ainsley Thigpen, 29, was booked into the Angelina County Jail and released a short time later after posting bond. The district issued the following statement: The Lufkin Independent School District received information suggesting that an inappropriate relationship may have existed between an educator in the District and a former student. Upon receipt of this information, an investigation was begun immediately by the School District’s Police Department. When confronted with the allegations and given notice that the educator would be placed on administrative leave immediately and relieved of all duties by the district pending the outcome of investigations by the District and by law enforcement, the educator resigned from her employment by the District. The educator who resigned is identified as Mary Ainsley Thigpen.  A warrant for the arrest of the educator on a felony charge of Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student has been obtained by the Lufkin Independent School District Police Department. The investigation by the School District and the School District Police Department is continuing. The name of the former student is not being released. If anyone has any information about this matter, please contact the attorney for the Lufkin Independent School District, Mr. Wayne D. Haglund, or local law enforcement.


October 21st, 2016, Friday


Pineland Man Loses Life in Florida Car Accident

Sabine County social media is lit up with prayers and tears, after discovering one of their own lost their life in a car accident in Florida. Florida Department of Highway Patrol say Issac B. Shivers was killed when the Ford F-150 he was in crossed the eastbound lands to the westbound land and overturned. The accident happened at approximately 12:42 Thursday morning at mile marker 295 on IH 10 in Florida. The reports says Shivers and another man, Jacob Barnhill of Melbourne Kentucky were both injected from the car. At last word Melbourne was in critical condition. Law enforcement investigation is working to determine who was driving the truck. According to family members on Facebook he was working on a pipeline in Florida. 19-year old Isaac Shivers was a 2015 West Sabine graduate and loved by many. The news came as a shock as friends and family awoke to the news of the tragic accident. He was employed by Global Pipeline. He leaves behind a one year old daughter and a community of family and friends. DNAM does not have details concerning the car accident and will update when more information is known. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

October 21st, 2016, Friday

NPSO: Campti Man Arrested for ATV Theft

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives have arrested a Campti man in connection with the recent theft of an All-Terrain Vehicle in north Natchitoches Parish according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones. On Sunday, October 16th at approximately 2:41pm, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division responded to a reported theft in the 500 block of Davis Springs Road in the Fairview Alpha community. Deputies say upon their arrival, they spoke with the complainant learning that a 1996 Honda Four-Trax ATV valued at approximately $2000 had been stolen from the property. Deputies processed the crime scene, completed an offense report and turned the case over to the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division for investigative purposes. As the investigation progressed, detectives investigating the case with the assistance of the complainant reviewed video surveillance in the area developing a suspect identified as Steven D. Deleon of Campti, La. On Wednesday morning, Deleon reported to the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division for questioning. Detectives say during the interview, Deleon admitted to the ATV theft because he needed the money. As a result, detectives arrested: Steven D. Deleon, 24, of the 100 block of Ella Davis Road, Campti, La., booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 1-count of Felony Theft over valued over $1500. Deleon remains in the Natchitoches Detention Center awaiting bond. The ATV has been recovered and returned to the owner.
October 21st, 2016, Friday

Simpson Man Booked on Over 40 Counts of Pornography Involving Juveniles

A Simpson man is facing two charges of pornography involving juveniles (distribution) and 40 counts of pornography involving juveniles (possession), according to a news release from the Office of the Louisiana Department of Justice, Louisiana Bureau of Investigation. Authorities said 28-year-old Christopher Mitcham was arrested this week as a result of an investigation by the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Crime Unit, Homeland Security Investigations and the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office. Special agents with the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Crime Unit began conducting an investigation on Sept. 21 into the possession/distribution of child pornography through the internet. "During this investigation, it was determined that the images of child pornography were distributed from Mitcham’s address in Simpson. The images distributed and possessed during the investigation were of juveniles being sexually assaulted or posing in a sexual manner with the focus of the camera being the child’s genitals," the release states. On Tuesday, agents with the Louisiana Department of Justice Cyber Crime Unit, assisted by the above listed agencies, executed a search warrant at Mitcham's home. "A forensic preview of electronic storage devices located in the execution of the search warrant revealed additional evidence indicating the distribution of child pornography," the release states. Mitcham was booked into the Vernon Parish Jail without incident. Bond has not been set. The release states that according to state law, "whoever distributes or possesses with the intent to distribute pornography involving juveniles shall be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars and shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than five years or more than twenty years, without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence." "Whoever commits the crime of pornography involving juveniles when the victim is under the age of thirteen years and the offender is seventeen years of age or older shall be punished by imprisonment at hard labor for not less than one-half the longest term nor more than twice the longest term of imprisonment. The sentence imposed shall be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence," it concludes.

October 20th, 2016, Thursday

4 Arrested in Connection with More than 30 Vehicle Break-Ins

Three men along with a male juvenile have been arrested and charged for their alleged roles in more than 30 vehicle break-ins. The vehicle burglaries happened in Shreveport’s Southern Hills neighborhood. Police say over a two-day period, between October 17 to October 19, they responded to several complaints from residents claiming they woke to find their cars had been broken into overnight. Their investigation led them to the 2700 block of Parkridge Street where police say they found merchandise believed to be stolen during the vehicle burglaries. Investigators say they were successful in linking evidence found inside the home to 35 separate vehicle break-ins. Following interviews with people on the scene, investigators subsequently arrested a 15-year-old juvenile, 18-year-old King James Copeland, 17-year-old Tra'darryl Taylor and 19-year-old Jacorey Vinson. Each suspect now faces charges ranging from simple burglary to criminal conspiracy.

October 20th, 2016, Thursday

Louisiana Law Said to Deny Immigrants 'Basic Human Right'

Louisiana law requires people born outside of the country to provide their original birth certificate from their country of origin in order to get married. This is something that many legal immigrants are unable to do, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. district court. Phanat Xanamane found out about the law when his cousin was denied a marriage license and had to travel across state lines to marry his partner of 19 years, with whom he has four children.  "Individuals like myself, who came here as a refugee, legally, and have obtained their U.S. citizenship, those federal documents that say who I am and when I was born and show that I'm legally here are not sufficient for the State of Louisiana," said Xanamane. Xanamane is not the only one appalled at this legislation. Viet "Victor" Anh Vo, 31, has just brought his case to a U.S district court claiming it as unconstitutional after a court clerk rejected his application for a marriage license. "It's based on a complete misunderstanding of immigration laws, so you just have to look at the basics, which is marriage is an absolute human right and that's already been decided," said immigration lawyer Ashley Dees. "To ask for specific documents from a specific group of people is morally and constitutionally wrong." Representative Valarie Hodges says the original intent of the legislation was to crack down on fraudulent marriages. She brought the bill to the house in 2015. The Associated Press reports that Hodges said she will push for an amendment that would allow foreign-born people who are legally in the U.S. to get married here if they can't produce a birth certificate. She said it was "basically a technical oversight" that they weren't eligible for judicial waivers under her legislation. This comes after Vo filed the lawsuit in a district court. Instead of preventing fraud, most immigration lawyers say this is preventing asylees and refugees from getting married. They have to go through rigorous background checks and make a valid case to the federal government to be issued a work permit - allowing them to obtain a Social Security number and eventually a green card. "The federal government has that protocol in place through the Department of Homeland Security to identify fraud through marriage-based petitions so it just seems illogical that the state would get involved at this level," Dees said. "If the USCIS has already determined these people to be citizens, they've already done a background check on them, they've already found out they are refugees, they know that they can't get a birth certificate and they're not allowed to go back," said immigration lawyer Chance Shoemake. "It should be good enough for the state of Louisiana, if the federal government says they're a citizen, that they should be able to get a right that every other citizen has." Click HERE to view the lawsuit.

October 19th, 2016, Wednesday

Sabine County Constable Charged in Weekend Shooting

Sabine County District Attorney Kevin Dutton released charges against Sabine County Precinct 2 Constable Jerry Dan Webb, after the 48-hour investigation conducted by Texas Ranger Danny Young. Webb is charged with burglary of a habitation with intent to commit other felony, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault date/family/house with weapon. His bond was set at $385,000 and remains in jail.  According to several family member statements to DNAM.com the incident stemmed from a domestic dispute and the woman who was shot, Lori Williams, 32 and Sabine County Constable Precinct 2 Jerry Dan Webb, 66, had been in a relationship for "quite sometime".  Tammy Williams told us that Lori underwent surgery on her hand on Sunday. "There was extensive damage to the bones, nerves and tendons. She has a long recovery and several more surgeries to endure. Please continue to pray," she said. According to Sabine County District Attorney Webb is accused of shooting Williams in the hand with a shotgun, dragging her around by her hair, and hitting her with the stock of the shotgun. Meanwhile, Sabine County District Attorney Kevin Dutton issued a statement concerning the arrest of Sabine County Constable Jerry Dan Webb, after a shooting in Pineland over the weekend. The 66-year old Constable was taken into custody by Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Jesse Fountain, after he fled the scene of a shooting on Temple Avenue. Webb was charged with evading arrest at that time and booked into Sabine County Jail. No bond was set, pending a 48-hour investigation into the disturbance.  "In the early morning hours of October 16, 2016, Constable Jerry Dan Webb was arrested on the charge of evading detention in a motor vehicle by Texas Department of Public Safety," Dutton stated in the statement. The release goes on to say that the charge arouse out of an incident which occurred in the evening hours on Oct. 15, when Mr. Webb committed the offense of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Pineland, Texas. "Texas Ranger Danny Young was called in to assist in the investigation," Dutton said. He added that the investigation was ongoing and the District Attorney's office anticipates filing several felony charges against Mr. Webb upon the conclusion of the investigation. Dutton anticipated, Webb would appear before the County Judge today, (Tuesday, Oct. 18) as facts pertaining to the investigation are submitted to the court. "The District Attorney's office recognizes this quick response time and diligent work of the Law Enforcement Officers in Sabine County in apprehending Mr. Webb and in the collection of evidence," Dutton said. Sabine and San Augustine County District Attorney Kevin Dutton serves the First Judicial District of Texas. Family members said, Williams was transported to a Tyler hospital, where she is currently undergoing treatment for her injuries.

October 19th, 2016, Wednesday

Investigation Underway

The Many Police Department is currently investigating an attempted theft by forgery that took place Monday afternoon at a local grocery store in Many. Apparently an individual attempted to cash a $469.00 counterfeit payroll check that appeared to be issued by Pizza Hut. The male also used a forged Louisiana I.D. card as identification. The bogus name on the card was listed as Phillip McKinzie. One male was taken into custody by the MPD and is being held on various charges. He has been identified as 26 year-old Phelix Williams, who has an address of Market Street in Shreveport. This is currently an active case.

October 19th, 2016, Wednesday

Clown Arrested

The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office has arrested a DeRidder man for wearing a clown mask and holding a gun inside of a car, allegedly brandishing it at other drivers. Deputies say they were contacted by Rosepine Police around 6:30 p.m. Saturday after that department received complaints from several witnesses that they spotted the man with the mask traveling north on Highway 171. Three witnesses told law enforcement that the vehicle pulled along side of their vehicle, and inside the man wearing the mask held up a gun. Officers managed to track down the suspect's vehicle at a business on Billy Goat Hill. The suspect was identified at Bradley Lane Mock, 21. Officers found Mock's mask, as well as an M-4 style air soft rifle. Mock was arrested and charged with terrorizing. Bond has been set at $50,000.

October 18th, 2016, Tuesday

Natchitoches Man Charged With Kidnapping, Battery

A Natchitoches man is behind bars, accused of kidnapping a woman from her home on Friday. 
 Police were called to the home in the 400 block of Carver St. around 7:30 a.m. Friday, after the woman managed to escape and call for help.  The woman was treated for her injuries by paramedics.  Kenneth Whitaker, 57, was later arrested at his home in the 200 block of Airport Rd. and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on one count each of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery.

October 18th, 2016, Tuesday

Longville Man Dies in Saturday Morning Rollover Crash

A man from Longville died in a single-vehicle rollover crash Saturday morning, after being ejected from the vehicle, state police said. The crash occurred on Highway 171 at its intersection with Topsy Road in northern Calcasieu Parish around 5:00 a.m. Louisiana State Police Troop D spokesman Sgt. James Anderson said the investigation revealed a 2007 Toyota Tundra driven by Cody Cormier, 22,  was traveling north on US 171 when he ran off the road and struck a traffic light support pole before continuing into a ditch where it rolled over. The driver, who was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The crash is still under investigation and toxicology results are pending.

October 17th, 2016, Monday

Natchitoches Woman Missing

Natchitoches Parish authorities are asking for the public's help locating a missing woman. They are looking for 35-year-old Lacy Ann Litton. She stands 5', 5" tall, weighs 153 to 185 pounds and has black hair and blue eyes. Family members today reported Litton as missing and told sheriff's deputies they last had contact with her during the latter part of September. Litton's last known address is in the 100 block of Baker Spur Road near Campti. She has ties to northern Natchitoches Parish and the Pineville and Alexandria areas of Rapides Parish, authorities say. In addition to being sought as a missing person, Litton is wanted by Natchitoches Judicial District's drug court, the sheriff's office reports. Authorities ask anyone who sees Litton or knows where she is to call the Natchitoches sheriff's office at (318) 352-6432 or your nearest law enforcement agency.

October 17th, 2016, Monday

Sabine County Constable in Jail After Evading Arrest

According to Sabine County Sheriff Thomas Maddox, Sabine County, precinct 2 Constable Jerry Webb was arrested and booked into Sabine County Jail for evading arrest of a motor vehicle in the city of Pineland overnight. Maddox also said that someone involved in a shooting in Pineland, where Webb was allegedly present, was shot in the hand and was taken to a Nacogdoches hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and is expected to live. Sherriff Maddox could not comment on further specifics of the investigation which is ongoing and has been turned over to the Department of Public Safety The investigation is ongoing, according to Sheriff Maddox.

October 17th, 2016, Monday

Belaire Athletic Director Among 4 Placed on Paid Leave For Grade Change Allegation

Four top administrative officials at an East Baton Rouge Parish high school have been placed on administrative leave over an investigation into allegations of illegal grade changes for more than a dozen football players.  The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) is investigating the Belaire High Bengals for allegedly using ineligible players and using other members of the team in games when they were not registered with the LHSAA, according to sources. The allegations are serious and could lead to the team forfeiting their five wins this year.  Head football coach Claude Coleman along with guidance counselor Linda White were placed on administrative leave Tuesday. Principal Roy Walker and Athletic Director Chauncey Moore were also placed on administrative leave as of Thursday.  Coleman also fired two assistant coaches and dismissed several members of the team after its only loss during a 5-1 start, leaving the Bengals with less than half of its roster going into Friday night's homecoming game with St. Michael.  With Coleman on administrative leave, Jarvis Turner has stepped in as interim head coach.  According to sources, there are also allegations of misappropriation of funds and fraudulent claims involving the school's finances. The LHSAA is expected to comment on Monday, October  17.  On Tuesday, Coleman said the player had a legitimate grade change and has not played in any of the games in question.  Coleman said he thinks an ex-employee may have triggered the investigation after Coleman fired three assistant coaches earlier this year. 

October 14th, 2016, Friday

Honda Recalling 350,000 Vehicles to Fix Parking Brake Glitch

Honda Motor Co. is recalling 350,000 Civics in the U.S. because their parking brakes may not function properly. Civic coupes and sedans from the 2016 model year are affected by the recall. The recall only impacts Civics sold in the U.S. Honda says the electric parking brake may not work if it's applied immediately after turning the ignition off. If it can't be applied, the "brake" warning light will blink in the instrument panel. If the parking brake isn't working and the driver doesn't select the parking gear, the vehicle is at risk of rolling away. Honda says no crashes or injuries have been reported. The problem was discovered through warranty claims. Honda will notify owners starting next month. The company will repair the cars for free. Civic coupes and sedans from the 2016 model year are affected by the recall. The recall only impacts Civics sold in the U.S. Honda says the electric parking brake may not work if it's applied immediately after turning the ignition off. If it can't be applied, the "brake" warning light will blink in the instrument panel. If the parking brake isn't working and the driver doesn't select the parking gear, the vehicle is at risk of rolling away. Honda says no crashes or injuries have been reported. The problem was discovered through warranty claims. Honda will notify owners starting next month. The company will repair the cars for free.

October 14th, 2016, Friday

LSU's Postponed Game Against Florida Rescheduled

LSU's postponed football game against Florida has been rescheduled for Nov. 19 in Baton Rouge, according to officials. The game was originally scheduled to be played in Gainesville, Florida on Saturday, October 8, but it had to be postponed because of Hurricane Matthew.  "It was important for us to come to a resolution. Each university had its own set of concerns throughout this process, however existing SEC regulations did not provide an avenue to resolve conflicting issues in a more timely manner," said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. "As I have repeatedly said, this game needed to be played. In the end, I want to give credit to the University of Florida for making concessions to move this year's game to Baton Rouge."  LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said the university originally offered to travel to Florida or host the game before it was postponed. He added that he suggested playing the game on Sunday, October 9 in front of no one if law enforcement was not available and LSU would also have considered Monday, October 10 as well.  "We were willing to go there, and we had a plane. We had buses and we were willing to go. That's my point I want to make here. We would've done anything to play the game," Alleva said during a press conference after the postponement was announced.  Florida officials originally said the game would still be played in Gainesville before postponing the game the next day. Florida athletic director Jeremy previously said neutral sites were not an option.  Foley addressed the media about the reschedule change. Alleva did not speak at a press conference, but instead released the following statement: 

"We are happy with the decision to have our game against Florida rescheduled for November 19 in Tiger Stadium. As previously reported, it was our wish to have played the game last weekend but all options that we put on the table were declined. After extensive discussion, the University of Florida agreed to play the 2016 contest in Baton Rouge and LSU agreed to play the 2017 game in Gainesville.

"I want to thank the Southeastern Conference, in particular Commissioner Greg Sankey, for his efforts to make sure that we found a place on the schedule to play the game. This is a game that our players and fans look forward to each year and we are appreciative of the lengths that our league office went to in order to make this game happen.

"Historically, we have always enjoyed a great relationship with Florida. We have great respect for their institution and their football program. I hope that we can all learn from this experience and as a league, be in a better position to deal with these situations in the future."

The Tigers have also agreed to play their 2017 game against Florida in Gainesville. It was originally scheduled to be played in Baton Rouge. LSU will then return to Gainesville again in 2018, resuming the normal schedule rotation.  LSU was originally scheduled to play South Alabama on November 19 in Tiger Stadium, while Florida was scheduled to host Presbyterian in Gainesville. Officials said both universities will exercise cancellation clauses for those non-conference games.  "Lastly, I send thanks to Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson and his membership which worked in collaboration and a great spirit of cooperation in presenting options as we worked through this process," Sankey said.  Officials said the tickets that LSU issued for the South Alabama contest will be good for the Tigers' matchup with Florida.  If the game had not been rescheduled, LSU and Florida would have been ineligible to play for the SEC football title as the conference requires each team to play all eight SEC games in order to compete.  The existing conference policy is expected to be revised, better outlining the process dealing with postponed or interrupted games. The revised policy could also allow the SEC commissioner the authority to step in if the two schools cannot agree on terms and determine the date and location for rescheduled games. 

October 14th, 2016, Friday

River Authority Unable to Substantiate Fish Kill Reports

The Sabine River Authority investigated several reports of a possible fish kill on Toledo Bend Reservoir on Wednesday.  No evidence of dead fish, or any evidence of possible pesticide spraying that had been reported by people could be found, said Steven Dougharty, Sabine River Authority Manager for Toledo Bend.  "We went and looked in the place where the dead fish were supposed to be," Dougharty said. "We didn't find any dead fish."  The authority checked three or four public boat ramps and marinas in the Poppa Dot's Landing area, Holly Park and Patroon area, according to Dougharty. No one was seen spraying pesticides on the lake. Dougharty said sprayers that do work on the lake are supposed to have permits from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  "There's never been a connection between any fish kills and spraying in the reservoir," Dougharty said.  People who notice more than one or two fish dead in an area are encouraged to report it to the River Authority at 409-565-2273. 

October 14th, 2016, Friday

Toyota Motor Corp. Issues  Recall

Toyota Motor Corp. recalled 340,000 gas-electric hybrid Prius cars around the world Wednesday, 212,000 of them in Japan and 94,000 in North America, for a defect in their parking brakes.  Toyota acknowledged receiving reports of crashes, injuries and deaths. The Japanese automaker refused to provide details, saying it was still looking into the reports.  Toyota said the parking brake cable can disengage unexpectedly, causing the brakes to stop working properly. So if the car is left in any gear other than park, it could start rolling away, and possibly crash.  Toyota said 17,000 Prius vehicles were recalled in Europe, and the rest in Australia and other regions. The problem models were manufactured from August 2015 through October 2016. 

October 13th, 2016, Thursday

Byrd Regional Hospital's Active Threat Simulation Drill

Byrd Regional Hospital, with the involvement of local law enforcement and emergency management teams, will be participating in an “Active Threat Simulation Drill” on Thursday, Oct. 13. This exercise will take place at the hospital and will involve the use of actors/role players to help better prepare the hospital and staff in an incident of this nature. This is only a drill and all personnel should respond accordingly and follow hospital-wide policy for such an event. During this planned drill, all services of the hospital will be available as normal but may incur a small delay based on the nature of the response for this drill.

October 13th, 2016, Thursday

Neighbors: Something Needs to be Done About Land Owned by CLTCC

It's a jungle out there. That's what one Alexandria neighborhood is saying about the land across from their street. What used to be a field, now looks like the woods. "I'm literally scared to come outside at night," said Ida Bynog, a resident of Hargis Street. Bynog said she has lived on Hargis street for 35 years, but it doesn't look the way it used to. She said she used to be able to look out her window and see a clear field, but now all she sees are woods. Her neighbors agree. "I saw a wolf standing across the street, and I stomped my foot at him and he stomped right back at me," explained James Smith, a Hargis Street resident. They're placing the blame on another neighbor for the problem, the Central Louisiana Technical Community College, who owns the land. Since it is state property, it is the college’s responsibility to maintain it. We're told by the school it was purchased about thirty years ago for the purpose of expanding the college. The plans never worked out and after many leadership changes the land became neglected. Recently the residents brought it to the attention of the current leaders. Here's what the school told us. “As a technical and community college, CLTCC wants to meet the educational and workforce needs of the community, maintain our facilities and grounds, and be a good neighbor. The condition of our property bordering Hargis Street is a concern of the administration, and therefore, we have reached out to local contractors for price estimates on cutting back and/or clearing this piece of property.” CLTCC is in the process of moving locations to downtown, and soon the property won't be theirs anymore. Residents don't expect an immediate change, but they hope whoever owns the property will start to maintain it. "If they would just start just a little bit at a time just to show that they want to work with us it'll be good,” said Yvonne Lemons, a Hargis Street resident. “Just to let us know they want to work with us." And the neighbors also said there have been problems with people hunting animals in the area. The Alexandria Police Department would like to remind you that shooting a gun in the city is illegal.

October 13th, 2016, Thursday

Hemphill Man Ordered to Pay Hefty Fine for Running Dump in Forest

A Sabine County man has been ordered to pay $15,500 for running a dump on the Sabine National Forest. According to a notice filed in the Texas Register on Sept. 19, A.B. Clark, Jr. and A.B. Clark III disposed of solid waste on property that A.B. Clark, Jr. owns. The property lies within the Sabine National Forest. According to the ruling Clark dumped cardboard boxes, televisions, refrigerators, speakers, computer components, clothing, and other various household-type waste. The state says Clark violated Chapter 7 of the Texas Water code. "A.B. Clark III also burned some of the waste on the property without authorization from the (Texas Commission for Environmental Equality)," the order states. The state proposes that the Clarks clean the dump up, pay a $12,000 fine and another $3,500 in the state's attorney's fees. The Clarks will also be prohibited from future burning. The public still has some time to submit comments on the proposed settlement. "The Attorney General will consider any written comments and may withdraw or withhold consent to the proposed judgment if the comments disclose facts or considerations that include that the consent is inappropriate, improper, inadequate, or inconsistent with the requirements of the Texas Water Code and the Texas Health and Safety Code. Case Title and Court: State of Texas v. A.B. Clark, Jr. and A.B. Clark III; Cause No. D-1-GN-16-002125, in the 345th Judicial District Court, Travis County, Texas." Written comments must be received within 30 days of publication of the Sept. 19 notice to be considered. They can be sent to: TRD-201604824 Amanda Crawford, General Counsel, Office of the Attorney General.

October 12th, 2016, Wednesday

Obama Says We're Going to Mars by 2030

President Barack Obama said he wants to send people to Mars, and he expects to be around to see it. Obama said Tuesday his goal is to send humans to Mars by 2030 with the help of private innovators. Seven companies have received awards recently to develop habitation systems on the red planet. Obama said his ultimate ambition is to "one day remain there for an extended time." The article was released ahead of the president's visit to the Frontiers Conference on Science and Technology, which begins Thursday.

October 12th, 2016, Wednesday

Mike IV Has Passed Away, Memorial Set for Wednesday

A memorial service will be held for LSU’s live tiger mascot, Mike VI, who passed away Tuesday, Oct. 11. Mike VI was born on July 23, 2005 and adopted by LSU in 2007. He was 11 years old at the time of his passing.  Mike VI, the beloved tiger mascot for the LSU Tigers, was transferred to hospice care Monday. Officials said Mike was humanely euthanized in his night house by LSU's Attending Veterinarian David Baker, DVM, Ph.D.

"There will not be a formal memorial service for Mike VI, but fans are encouraged to share their memories, stories and photos on social media using #MikeVI," states a press release.  LSU's Student Government announced Tuesday afternoon that it will host a memorial service at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12 in front of Mike VI's habitat. Students and the community are invited to attend and share favorite memories of the beloved mascot. At sunset, the Golden Band From Tigerland will play the Alma Mater.  "Our hearts are heavy today as a great symbol of our University passed on," said SG president Zack Faircloth. "Mike taught us how to fight like tigers and we are forever grateful for the opportunity to make him a part of our lives as LSU students."  Mike VI was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma in May 2016. On June 1, he received a round of radiation therapy, which initially showed positive results. On Monday, October 3, Mike VI was taken in for a follow-up CT scan.  "The findings were not encouraging," Dr. Baker explained. "The tumor has resumed growth and has blocked his right sinus cavity, which caused an infection that he was treated for recently. He has developed small nodules in the skin of his right leg, base of his neck and elsewhere. They are small tumors similar to the one that is in his head. X-rays revealed he has multiple tumors in his lungs. All of this shows that the cancer has obviously spread."  Dr. Baker said the aggressive nature of the cancer is unlike any he has seen before. He added that the university has asked for him to begin the process of scouting for a new, male tiger.

October 12th, 2016, Wednesday

Blue Bell and Blue Bunny Recall

 Blue Bell and Blue Bunny ice cream have both announced a voluntary recall of products made with a cookie dough ingredient supplied by Aspen Hills, Inc., due to the potential for the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. Late Tuesday, Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company announced a recall of items made with the same Aspen Hills ingredient. The move by Blue Bell is an expansion of a September recall on Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Blue Bell Cookie Two Step ice cream flavors.  Blue Bunny is recalling two lots of Blue Bunny Hoppin' Holidoodle ice cream because the items contain snickerdoodle cookie dough pieces recalled by Aspen Hills. Blue Bunny has not received reports of any illnesses, it said. The products were distributed in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arizona and Texas, the company said.

The lots and dates used by are:

  • UPC 070640014644 LOY 60001 MM 19115 6228 BEST IF USED BY 2/13/18
  • UPC 070640014651 (High Altitude) LOT 60001 MM 19115 6229 BEST IF USED BY 2/14/18

Blue Bell said in Monday's release that no illnesses have been reported. Blue Bell set the recall after Aspen Hills provided more information to the company on the cookie dough. Chocolate Shoppe said that its products were distributed to ice cream shops, online outlets, and some grocery stores in several states, including Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.       In all, 4,183 three gallon cartons and 5,296 pints are affected by the Chocolate Shoppe recall. No illnesses have been reported, the company said.  This recall includes the following products with code dates provided:

  • Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company three gallon cartons
  • Cookie Dough Ice Cream 12/29/17, 12/19/17, 12/13/17, 12/6/17, 11/26/17 and 11/15/17
  • Heaps of Love Ice Cream 12/29/17, 11/24/17 and 11/8/17
  • Peanut Butter Cookie Dough 12/1/17 and 11/18/17
  • Sticks & Stones 12/27/17, 12/2/17 and 11/10/17
  • Yippee Skippee 12/1/17
  • Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company Pints
  • Cookie Dough Ice Cream 12/13/17, 12/9/17 and 11/26/17
  • The Baked Bear brand three gallon cartons
  • Cookie Dough 12/6/17, 11/26/17 and 11/15/17

Chocolate Shoppe is offering full credit for returned products.  Listeriosis is food poisoning caused by consuming foods with the listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Listeriosis can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in children, the frail or elderly, and others with weakened immune systems, Blue Bell said.  Healthy people may suffer fevers, headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.  The products under the Blue Bell recall were produced from Feb. 2 through Sept. 7. Blue Bell said the recall is being conducted in cooperation with the FDA.  Blue Bell said that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Blue Bell Cookie Two Step flavors, sold in half gallons and pints, should be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund. Also under recall were three-gallon flavors sold to food service accounts, including Blue Bell Blue Monster, Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie and Blue Bell Krazy Kookie Dough. The ice cream flavors under recall were distributed in 10 states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The action came after Aspen Hills issued a recall on the cookie dough ingredient included in the ice cream, Blue Bell said.

October 12th, 2016, Wednesday


Sam Rayburn Water Fined by TCEQ

The Texas Commission For Environmental Quality has ordered that a Pineland water supplier pay a fine for allegedly having too much of potentially carcinogenic chemical in its water and not providing customers with the results of lead tests on the water as required by law. Sam Rayburn Water, Inc. was ordered to pay a $525 assessment on Sept. 27 as part of an agreed order with the state commission. According to the order state officials investigated the water system between February 16 and February 26 which has 120 connections off Farm to Market Road 1751. The officials found that the water operator had allegedly had .89 mg/L of trihalomethanes in the systems water during the fourth quarter of 2014. The legal limit for trihalomethanes is .80 mg/L.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has studied the possible carcinogenic effects of trihalomethanes in water, but has a form on its website that tells water operators to issue this statement when levels of triahalmethans are found in water systems that exceed government standards:
"This is not an emergency. If it had been, you would have been notified immediately. Some people who drink water containing trihalomethane in excess of the (federal standard) over many years may
experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, and may have an
increased risk of getting cancer. Some people who drink water containing haloacetic acids in
excess of the (federal standard) over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer." State officials also accused the water supplier of not providing consumers with lead monitoring results in 2015 and failing to provide proper public notificaiton in 2014 and 2013. The water supplier denied the allegations in the agreed order. The order calls for the water supplier to pay regulatory assessment fees for years 2008-2012, 2014 and 2015.
It also requires that consumers be notified within 30 days of the water supplier's most recent lead tap water results. The water supplier must come into compliance with other state regulations spelled out in the order within a year's time.
October 11th, 2016, Tuesday

Kraft Hienz Company Issuing Recall

 Kraft Heinz Company, a Fullerton, Calif. establishment, is recalling approximately 959 pounds of ready-to-eat “Lunchables Ham and American Cracker Stackers” packaged lunch products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The product contains wheat and soy, known allergens, which are not declared on the product label.  The ready-to-eat meat and cheese packaged lunch items were produced on September 21, 2016. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF only)]

  • 3.4-oz. boxes containing four-compartment plastic trays of “Lunchables Ham and American Cracker Stackers,” with a “USE BY” date of 25 DEC 2016 and production times ranging from 9:13 to 10:00 stamped on the side of the plastic container.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 537K” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations in Utah and California.  The problem was discovered on October 6, 2016, when the firm received a consumer complaint. There were no illnesses associated with the complaint. The establishment determined that the “Lunchables Ham and American Cracker Stackers” products were incorrectly labeled with the back label for a “Nacho Lunchable” product. The back label contains the product ingredient statements and as such, the “Lunchables Ham and American Cracker Stackers” products that were mislabeled do not declare wheat and soy on the label. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of this product. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.   Consumers who have purchased this product are urged not to consume it. This product should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase. FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls. Consumers with questions about the recall can contact the Kraft Heinz Consumer Relations Center, at 1-800-572-3877. Members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Lynne Gaila, Corporate Affairs Director, Kraft Heinz Company, at (847) 646-4396 or lynne.galia@kraftheinzcompany.com. Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem

October 11th, 2016, Tuesday

Unrestrained Many Man Killed in Crash

Early yesterday morning, a single vehicle crash killed a man from Many, LA and injured the female driver. Both occupants were not wearing a seat belt. Troopers responded to the crash around 12:20 a.m., which occurred on LA Hwy 6 west of LA Hwy 476. The crash involved a 2003 Pontiac Montana, driven by Rebecca W. Stephenson (W/F 74 yrs) of Many. The Pontiac was eastbound on LA Hwy 6 when Stephenson lost control and exited the right side of the roadway before colliding with a driveway embankment. After colliding with the driveway embankment, the vehicle rolled over. The driver and passenger, identified as Vernon L. Stephenson (W/M 73 yrs), spoke with Troopers on the scene. Both gave a detailed account, of the events that transpired, before being transported to LSU Medical Center in Shreveport for treatment. The driver received moderate injuries, but the passenger was pronounced dead later Sunday afternoon. Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation. Louisiana State Police would like to take this opportunity to remind/inform motorists that properly wearing your seat belt will dramatically reduce your chance of being injured or killed in a crash. We ask you to take one second to “buckle up!” Louisiana law requires that every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled up. Not wearing a seat belt remains the leading cause of death in motor vehicle crashes. Troop E Troopers have investigated 42 fatal crashes in 2016, resulting in 47 fatalities.

October 11th, 2016, Tuesday

Father, Daughter Duo Finds Diamond in Arkansas State Park

A father, daughter duo in Arkansas found a diamond while strolling through Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park and it only took them an hour to do so. Arriving at 8 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 3, Dan Frederick and daughter Lauren spotted a 2.03-carat white diamond by 9 a.m. It was their first time at the park and according to noted Park Interpreter Betty Coors “This is an example of a diamond that all park visitors dream of taking home.” The family traveled all the way from Renton, Washington based on what they found when they searched the internet for “places to find gems.” “My dad and I have always loved to hunt for gems-we’ve dug for sapphires and garnets and always search for agates when we’re on the Washington coast," said Lauren. "Naturally, we had always wanted to go to Arkansas to dig for diamonds.  As much as we have talked about the trip and planned it out, I think we’re still kind of in shock that we found something as big and beautiful as our “Lucky Diamond.”  According to the park’s public information coordinator, they found their gem near the Star of Arkansas diamond marker on the north end of the park’s 37.5-acre diamond search area. Frederick said he spotted the diamond’s metallic shine on top of the ground about three feet away from where he was standing. "When we first found the diamond we kept looking up pictures on the internet to make sure it was real and kept guessing what the weight would be (my guess was closest!). We were so excited with our find that we actually walked around the park for another 7 hours with the diamond in my Dad’s pocket, trying to find another one.  It really was the cherry on top of a fun and special trip with my dad.  Finding the diamond will be one of my favorite memories, especially since my dad and I found it together.” “Dan Frederick has proven, once again, that it is possible to find large, beautiful diamonds while surface searching,” Coors said. Frederick named the diamond “The Lucky Diamond.” Larger diamonds are occasionally found on top of the search area by park visitors. Diamonds are a bit heavy for their size, and when rain washes dirt away, they are sometimes exposed to the surface. When the sun comes out, they sparkle and are easier to spot, according to park officials. Dan and Lauren say they plan to keep their diamond, but they didn’t say what they would do with it. In total, over 75,000 diamonds have been found at the park. The largest was a 16.37-carat white diamond discovered in 1975. Learn more about Crater of Diamonds State Park here.

October 10th, 2016, Monday

Couple Killed in House Fire

A house fire in Mamou killed a man and a woman early Saturday morning, according to a State Fire Marshal's Office press release. The fire occurred on Birch St. in Mamou shortly after 2 a.m. Firefighters then found the bodies of Regina LeJeune, 55, and her husband Michael LeJeune, 57, in a bedroom of the house. Investigators discovered the couple was barbecuing under the carport earlier on Friday evening. Investigators determined that's where the fire started. There were no smoke alarms in the home. The bodies of both victims were sent to the Evangeline Parish Coroner for autopsy. The investigation continues.

October 10th, 2016, Monday

Media Advisory: Secretary of State Tom Schedler to Announce Election Initiative

Secretary of State Tom Schedler will be announcing an exciting election initiative aimed at increasing turnout for the 2016 Presidential Election at noon during the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. Following the Press Club announcement in Baton Rouge, a similar announcement will be made in New Orleans at the New Orleans Museum of Art beginning at 3:30 p.m. Secretary Schedler will be joined in both locations by several special guests who have partnered with him on this unique Louisiana project for the Nov. 8 election. Louisiana was one of only two states in the nation to increase participation during the 2012 Presidential Election cycle reaching 67.9 percent turnout. The last day to register to vote for the November election is Tuesday, Oct. 11 and early voting in Louisiana begins Tuesday, Oct. 25. Press Club meets on Mondays in the Iberville Room of the Belle of Baton Rouge Hotel located at 102 France Street in Baton Rouge. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. at a cost of $12 for members and $15 for non-members. The Press Club is open to the public, but only members of the Press Club and members of the news media are allowed to ask questions during the question-and-answer portion of the program. The New Orleans Museum of Art is located at 1 Collins Diboll Circle, New Orleans, LA 70124.

October 7th, 2016, Friday

Sabine Parish School Board Meeting

Sabine Parish School board will hold a school board meeting October 17th, 2016 at 6 p.m.

October 7th, 2016, Friday

Louisiana Interstate Highways Among Worst in US, Study Says

Louisiana's interstate highways are in worse condition than those in all but three states. And they saw the highest increase in vehicle travel from 2000 to 2014. Those two conclusions came in a report released Monday (June 27) by a Washington-based transportation organization. It said 26 percent of Louisiana's interstate highway miles are in poor or mediocre condition, the fourth highest rate in the United States, and that there was a 43 percent increase in the state's vehicle travel during the 14-year period, according to the report. The report was issued by TRIP, which is partially funded by highway construction companies. The organization says it is "sponsored by insurance companies, equipment manufacturers, distributors and suppliers, businesses involved in highway and transit engineering and construction, labor unions and organizations concerned with an efficient and safe surface transportation network that promotes economic development and quality of life." TRIP found the 2014 national fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel on interstate highways was 0.54, in contrast to 1.26 on non-interstate routes. Although Louisiana's expressways are some of the fastest growing in traffic volume and deterioration, its 0.77 interstate fatality rate was only eighth in the U.S.

October 6th, 2016, Thursday

AG: Petition Seeking Recall of Mansfield Alderman in Valid

A recall petition seeking an election to remove Mansfield Alderman Mitch Lewis has been deemed valid by the attorney general’s office. It will be up to the governor to issue a proclamation ordering an election. No date has been set. An opinion released Wednesday states a recall petition filed in May needed 296 valid signatures of registered voters to satisfy the requirements of state law. The petition included 327 signatures, 11 of which were rejected by the registrar’s office, leaving 316. Lewis is a longtime alderman of District C, having served since 1989. His term expires June 30, 2018.  Another recall petition in Mansfield is pending. It targets Mayor Curtis McCoy. The petition was also filed in May. Supporters have until about mid-November to get the required signatures.

October 6th, 2016, Thursday

92-Year Old Woman Missing

A missing 92-year-old Lufkin woman has been found safe and sound. "Mrs. Lawasa Thomas has been located safe and unharmed thanks to our media partners and their outreach," said Lt. David Young with the Lufkin Police Department. "A passerby who had seen the news spotted her in Lufkin and waited with her while calling Lufkin PD." Young said Thomas has been reunited with her family. The grandson of Lawasa Thomas reported her missing at 3:30 p.m. He told an officer that he had stopped to see her and noticed her shrubs outside had been freshly trimmed and her car, a green 2005 Chrysler 300 with a Texas license plate number 2LBXC, was gone. He said he then found her walker, which she relies on to get around, left behind as if she had gotten in on the passenger side of the car.

October 6th, 2016, Thursday

Sabine Parish School Board Awarded $2.9 Million to Increase College and Career Readiness Among American Indian Youth

Superintendent Dr. Sara P. Ebarb is pleased to announce that the District has been selected to receive funding under the demonstration Grants for Indian Children Program. This grant is in the amount of $2.9 million over four years and was written by Debra Lee and instructional staff. These funds will support the Promising Futures Native Youth Community Project (NYCP) and will benefit American Indian Students attending Sabine Parish schools.

October 5th, 2016, Wednesday

Escaped Inmate From Louisiana Caught Hidden in Sabine County Home

An escaped inmate from Vernon Parish, Louisiana has been captured in East Texas Tuesday.  Gregory Comeaux, 28, was found in Sabine County, according to Sabine County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief George Griffin. He was found hiding in bedroom in a home in the 400 block of Mason Lane in Milam. Deputies say Melissa Lynn Campbell, 46, of Many, Louisiana, denied Comeaux was inside the house. Comeaux did resist arrest at the time and Sabine County deputies were forced to tase Comeaux to subdue him.  Sabine County deputies were working on a tip that Comeaux got a ride into East Texas after he took off Tuesday morning from a work release program in Rosepine, Louisiana.  Both have been extradited back to Louisiana Tuesday night. Campbell will face charges of criminal conspiracy in relation to Comeaux's escape. While Comeaux is facing a resisting arrest charge from Sabine County Sheriff's Office.

October 5th, 2016, Wednesday

Students Arrested in Connection with Violent Threats Made to Shreveport Schools

Caddo Sheriff’s deputies say they have arrested a teenage student for threats posted on social media directed toward two Caddo Parish schools. Officials say the suspect is a 16-year-old Woodlawn student, who allegedly posted the threats to her Instagram account. Posts made to an account for “wally_clown” threatened that Woodlawn students and teachers would be kidnapped and killed Monday. The posts were made on Sunday and were messaged to the Caddo Sheriff’s Office by followers who saw them on Instagram. Other posts threatened students at Fair Park High School. After learning of the threats, both campuses were searched and additional law enforcement officers were called in to watch for suspicious activity. Following an investigation, the juvenile was identified and later arrested for terrorizing. She was booked into the Caddo Juvenile Detention center on Monday. Caddo Sheriff’s Detective Jared Marshall says the Fair Park threats are still being investigated and other arrests are possible. 

October 4th, 2016, Tuesday

Woman Arrested in Death of Nephew

A woman has been arrested in connection with a Thursday afternoon homicide in the 1700 block of Johnson Chute Road just north of Natchitoches, according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones. Crystal Renee Bremsy, 31, was taken into custody and charged in the shooting death of her nephew, Justin D. Davis, 23 NPSO deputies responded to a call at 2:27 p.m. Thursday relative to a shooting at 1744 Johnson Chute Road relative to a shooting. The caller, apparently a witness, provided 911 operators a description of the suspect and the vehicle she used to flee the scene. As deputies were responding to the scene, they intercepted and stopped the suspected vehicle during a traffic stop near Natchitoches, La. At that time Bremsy, of the 100 block of Kinston Drive in Natchitoches was taken into custody and transported to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division. Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division arrived on the scene and discovered Davis lying on the floor near the front door of the mobile home suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the chest. Detectives assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division, Natchitoches Parish District Attorney’s Office, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS Paramedics and the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office also responded to the scene. Davis was pronounced dead at the scene by the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office. The body was sent for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. According to Chief Investigator Greg Dunn, detectives spent much of Thursday evening processing the crime scene, gathering evidence and interviewing the suspect and witnesses. As a result of the investigation, based on probable cause and sufficient evidence, Bremsy was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center at 8:17 p.m. charged with one count of second degree murder. The suspected weapon used in the homicide has been recovered.Detectives say the homicide was a result of an altercation between Bremsy and her nephew Davis Bremsy remains in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center without bond set. Also assisting in the investigation were agents assigned to the Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force. The case when completed will be turned over to the Natchitoches Parish District Attorney’s Office for review and prosecution. he case is being investigated by lead Detective Jonathan Byles assisted by Asst. Chief of Investigations Reginald Turner and Detective Darrel Winder.

October 3rd, 2016, Monday

Man in Serious Condition After ATV Crash in Natchitoches Parish

Friday evening at approximately 6:55 p.m., Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Deputies, Louisiana State Police, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS and Pafford Air 1 responded to an All-Terrain Vehicle Crash on the Westwind Church Road near the public boat landing north of Campti, La. The 46 year-old operator of the ATV was airlifted from the scene by Pafford Air to University Health, Shreveport, La. with serious injuries. A landing zone was set-up for Pafford Air near Lakeview School. The crash is being investigated by Troopers assigned to LSP Troop-E Alexandria.

October 3rd, 2016, Monday

EXT High School Student Dies After Shooting

A Paul H. Pewitt High School sophomore died Saturday evening due to a gunshot wound. On the high school’s Facebook page school officials confirmed Deadrian “Big D” Webster was killed and said “this is a tragic loss for Deadrian’s family, as well as, our school family and community.” School officials also said counselors and area ministers will be on campus throughout the day available to students, faculty and staff. A candlelight vigil was held Sunday at 7:30 on the football field.

October 3rd, 2016, Monday

Natchitoches Sheriff's Deputies Investigating Afternoon Homicide

Natchitoches Parish sheriff's officials say a man was shot and killed Thursday afternoon. It happened in 1700 block Johnson Chute Rd. off state Highway 1. The 911 center received a call about 2:47 p.m. Deputies responded to find a man suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the chest. Based on a vehicle description, a suspect was taken into custody a short time later. He's currently being questioned by NPSO detectives. The body is being taken for an autopsy. No names have been released.

September 30th, 2016, Friday

One Natchitoches Parish Escapee in Custody

An escaped Natchitoches Parish Detention Center DOC Inmate has been captured over 2,000 miles away, according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr. Willie E. Ethridge, 34, who escaped on August 27, was captured in Portland, Oregon by members of the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit,  Assistant Corrections Chief Roger Henson said. Ethridge was serving time until 2037 for attempted second-degree murder, and two counts counts of armed robbery. U.S. Marshal’s are expected to transport Ethridge back to an undisclosed Louisiana correctional facility at a later date. Michael Elliot and Walshea Mitchell remain at-large. "We continue to actively work along with the U.S. Marshal’s and other law enforcement agencies following up on leads and tips in an effort to capture this individuals," Henson said. Jones extends his sincere thanks to the U.S. Marshal’s Service along with the public who have been providing investigative tips to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office during the past month. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Elliot or Mitchell, contact the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office at 318-352-6432, 911, or your local law enforcement agency. A reward is being offered for specific information leading to the capture of the escapees.

September 30th, 2016, Friday

Coroner: Man Found in Cane River Died From Drowning 

The man found dead in Cane River Monday died from drowning, according to a preliminary coroner's report. The body of 28-year-old Antonio Francisco was discovered floating south of the Church Street Bridge. There was no evidence of trauma and foul play is not suspected, states a Natchitoches police news release. Still, Francisco’s death still remains under investigation by the NPD Criminal Investigations Division (CID). Anyone who has information is asked to call Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or Detective Bobby Beard at (318) 238-3914. All calls are confidential.

September 29th, 2016, Thursday

Many Police Department Reminder

The Many Police Department would like to remind you that using wireless phones to call, text or use social media while driving in a Louisiana school zone can now result in a $500.00 fine. The new state law that prohibits most use of electronic devices like smart phones in school zones during designated hours. The school zones must have visible signs that indicate the use of handheld phone is banned during certain times. Many High School now have these warning signs displayed. The prohibition does not apply to the use of a hands-free wireless device or various types of radios. There are also exceptions to the new handheld device rule. A person may use a wireless device in a school zone if they are reporting an accident or crime. A person can also get on their phone in a school zone if he is sitting in a parked car at the time. First time violators will be fined up to $500 and will go up to $1,000, for additional violations.

September 29th, 2016, Thursday

Daytime Burglaries in Natchitoches Solved with Arrests

Two adults and a juvenile are in custody in connection with a series of daytime residential burglaries in Natchitoches. Natchitoches police began investigating the break-ins Wednesday. They occurred while homeowners living in the areas of Whitfield Drive, Henry Avenue and Stephens Avenue were away or at work.  Wednesday, police got a tip from a citizen about suspicious people in the vicinity where the burglaries happened. Officers caught up with the suspects after a brief chase.  Two were captured at the scene and information gathered by detectives led to the arrest of a third. 

In custody are:

  • D’Mario Moran, 25, 401 Rowena St., Natchitoches, charged with four counts of simple burglary. Moran was later transported to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.
  • Shanice Kelly, 22, 727 Brahma Dr., Natchitoches, charged with one count of simple burglary.  Kelly was later transported to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.
  • 16 year old (juvenile-male)., Natchitoches, was also booked on two counts of simple burglary.  The juvenile was later released to the custody of his mother.

Anyone with information on the crimes is asked to call the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or Detective William Connell at (318) 238-3911.  All calls are confidential.  Chief Micky Dove added his thanks to the community for their continued support of the Natchitoches Police Department and said more arrests are forthcoming.

September 29th, 2016, Thursday

Authorities Arrest Suspect in Slaying of Manfield

In custody now is the person suspected of fatally shooting a Mansfield man late last week. Mansfield Police Chief Gary Hobbs said 19-year-old Darrius Smart, of Mansfield, surrendered about 2:45 p.m. Sept. 27 at DeSoto Detention Center. A warrant had been issued for his arrest on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the slaying of 31-year-old Kirby Johnson, of Mansfield. Johnson was found fatally wounded about 6:30 p.m. Friday outside his DeSoto Estates residence in the 900 block of Johnson Street. He was on the sidewalk with a single gunshot wound to the head, authorities have said. Johnson was taken by DeSoto EMS to DeSoto Regional Hospital in Mansfield then flown by Life Air Rescue to University Health in Shreveport, where he died early Saturday morning. Authorities urge anyone with any further information about the homicide to call the Mansfield Police Department at (318) 872-0520, the DeSoto sheriff’s office at (318) 872-3956 or DeSoto Parish Crime Stoppers' toll-free tip line at (800) 505-7867 (STOP). All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential. Assisting the Mansfield Police in the investigation is the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office.

September 287th, 2016, Wednesday

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








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