Local and Area News

Overnight Shooting Under Investigation in Natchitoches

The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating a shooting. It happened at 11:09 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Thomas and Howell Streets. When police arrived they found the victim, 18-year old Justin Walker, had been shot several times. Walker was air lifted to University Health in Shreveport where he was later pronounced dead. Natchitoches Police have not named a suspect at this time. If you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective Jeff Townson at (318) 357-9852. Any information given will remain confidential.

May 31, 2016, Tuesday

Homocide Investigation

Deputies with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office are investigating a homicide in Carlyss. CPSO received a call for a medical emergency Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at a home on Rocky Lane in Carlyss. When deputies arrived they found 89-year-old Andy Phipps unconscious and not breathing. His grandson, 42-year-old Joseph Stutes, was attempting to remove jewelry from Phipps, authorities said.  A witness told deputies the two were in a physical altercation involving a baseball bat. Sheriff Tony Mancuso says Stutes struck his grandfather who was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.  Stutes has been charged with manslaughter.

May 31, 2016, Tuesday

1914 Masonic Time Capsule Opened in DeRidder

It's been over a 100 years since the time capsule was buried and Saturday the community of DeRidder finally got to see what was inside. "It's a snapshot from the present period that's being sent to another generation," said Terry Fowler, District deputy grand master of the 10th district, adding, "This is 1914, back in 914 people were writing in a wagon pulled by a mule or horse through town." Accidentally found by construction workers at the Beauregard Parish Courthouse in April during the expansion project,"it fell out of the Northeast corner," said Fowler. These capsules are a Masonic tradition and something the local Masons are proud of. "This is something that is significant. Masons are concerned about the present time and our fellow men in the future," Fowler stated. And inside there was a holy bible signed and dated on June 6, 1806, a Masonic square and the compasses, legislation authorizing the construction of the courthouse, a newspaper dated March 5, 1914, a pamphlet from a celebration of Saint John's Day, records from DeRidder Lodge Charter Members, a record of the minutes from a police jury meeting from September 10, 1913, a list of the first officers in town, and a buffalo nickel all enclosed in a handcrafted copper box.

May 31, 2016, Tuesday

Runaway Juvenile

The Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's assistance in locating a runaway juvenile. Cody Blakeney is a white male, 16, with brown hair, brown eyes, weighs approximately 125 pounds and is 6 foot 2 inches tall. Blakeney was last seen in the Pineville/Tioga area on Monday, May 9th and has not been heard from since. Cody may be in the Pollock/Grant Parish area. There is no clothing description or possible last known location. If anyone has seen or has information concerning the location of Cody, please contact the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office.

May 27th, 2016, Friday

Truck sought in Natchitoches Parish hit and run

Law enforcement is searching for a pickup truck involved in a Wednesday afternoon hit-and-run wreck in Natchitoches Parish, according to a release. The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office stated in a release that deputies and Louisiana State Police responded around 4:35 p.m. to a hit-and-run on Interstate 49 near Cypress. The driver of a 2013 Honda Accord said that someone driving a blue Dodge Ram pickup truck hit her car, but kept driving north. The Accord driver was not injured, according to the release. Anyone with information on the truck or incident is asked to call Troop E, which is investigating the incident, at 318-487-5911 or the sheriff's office at 318-352-6432.

May 27th, 2016, Friday

Trump wins the Republican nomination for president

AP count: Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president. Trump, the only remaining GOP candidate left in the race, will go on to accept the nomination at the party's national convention in Cleveland.

May 26th, 2016, Thursday

Troopers urge safe planning for Memorial Day weekend

With the Memorial Day weekend approaching, many Louisiana travelers will be taking to the highways to visit family and friends. Schools will be out for summer break and children will be at play in their neighborhoods and communities. As we take time to celebrate the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom, we must not forget the importance of safety while traveling on the state’s roadways. During the 2015 Memorial Day weekend in Louisiana, there were seven fatal crashes resulting in seven deaths. Loved ones left behind by those who choose to make poor decisions behind the wheel will have to deal with a lifetime of consequences. In an effort to reduce the number of serious injury and fatal crashes this weekend, Troopers will partner with local law enforcement agencies to have an increased presence throughout the state. Through a combined approach of extra patrols, DWI and seat belt checkpoints, and public awareness, we can make a difference and save lives. Troopers will specifically be on the lookout for impaired drivers as there is a trend of increased alcohol consumption during holiday weekends. Motorists caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be arrested. Always plan ahead and designate a sober driver.

Remember, buzzed driving IS drunk driving.

“As we reflect on the sacrifices made by the brave men and women of our armed services, we need to ensure that we have a safe weekend,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. “We come together with our family and friends to enjoy ourselves, but we need to be responsible, especially when in motor vehicles. Always buckle up, drive defensively, and use a designated driver when consuming alcoholic beverages.” Troopers will also be focusing their attention on aggressive drivers, speeders, and those who do not wear their seat belts or properly restrain children. Louisiana State Police is currently participating in the nationwide Click It or Ticket initiative and will be proactively seeking unrestrained drivers and their passengers during the day and nighttime hours. Louisiana law requires all occupants to be properly restrained regardless of seating position. While not all crashes are survivable, occupants who are properly restrained are much less likely to be seriously injured or killed in the event of a crash.

If you are in need of assistance or witness hazardous road conditions, impaired drivers, or aggressive driving, you are encouraged to report it by dialing *LSP (577) from your mobile phone.

May 26th, 2016, Thursday

Louisiana joins Texas, 9 other states to sue over Obama's school transgender directive

Texas and 10 other states are suing the Obama administration over a new directive about transgender students in public schools. The lawsuit announced Wednesday also includes Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Louisiana, Utah, Arizona and Georgia. The challenge follows a federal directive to U.S. schools this month to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. Conservative states had vowed defiance since the Justice Department handed down the guidance. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has said "there is no room in our schools for discrimination." The lawsuit accuses the Obama administration of "running roughshod over commonsense policies" that protect children. It asks a judge to declare the directive unlawful.

May 26th, 2016, Thursday

Seafood Co. Lawyers Must Return $1 Million in Spill Money

A federal judge has ordered the return of more than $1 million in settlement money granted to a seafood company after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Tuesday that Crystal Seafood Company defrauded administrators of a BP settlement fund by claiming to be an ongoing Port-Arthur, Texas-based business affected by the storm. Court documents said the company actually stopped processing shrimp in 2009 - months before the April 2010 explosion and spill. The order calls for the return of more than $1 million by the company and its owners Victor and Christopher Tran - including up to $258,527 awarded to lawyers for the company.

May 25th, 2016, Wednesday

Louisiana Lawmakers Again Pass Surrogate Birth Rights Bill

After two years of vetoes, Louisiana lawmakers are again sending the governor a bill to create regulations governing surrogacy births in the state. Only this time, Gov. Edwards who took office in January, is expected to sign it into law. The House gave final passage to the measure with an 87-3 vote Tuesday. Surrogacy isn't illegal in Louisiana, but contracts between a couple and its surrogate aren't enforceable in court. The bill by Republican Rep. Stuart Bishop of Lafayette sets out the legal rights of parents, child and surrogate mother when a woman carries and gives birth to a baby for someone else. Former Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed the bill twice, citing moral and ethical concerns.

May 25th, 2016, Wednesday

Bill on governor's desk makes attacks on police hate crimes 

House Bill 953, dubbed the "Blue Lives Matter" bill, makes it illegal for any suspect to select their victims based on their employment as a law enforcement officer, firefighter or emergency medical services personnel. Those occupations would join race, gender, religion and others as designations of hate crimes. Rep. Lance Davis, (R) Alexandria authored the bill and it has garnered overwhelming support. It passed 91-0 in the House on April 28 and 33-3 in the Senate on May 17. It's now on Governor John Bel Edwards' desk for signing into law. If it's signed, it would make Louisiana one of the first states to implement such a law. Harris said this hate crime designation doesn't just cover attacks on officers and it carries harsher punishments. "It covers anything from terrorizing to arson to vandalism," he said. "Then, if it's a felony, it's a maximum of five years in prison or a $5,000 fine maximum." The offenses that this new hate crime designation fall on include: first or second degree murder, manslaughter, battery, aggravated battery, second degree battery, aggravated assault with a firearm, terrorizing, mingling harmful substances, simple or third degree rape, forcible or second degree rape, aggravated or first degree rape, sexual battery, second degree sexual battery, oral sexual battery, carnal knowledge of a juvenile, indecent behavior with juveniles, molestation of a juvenile or a person with a physical or mental disability, simple or second degree or aggravated kidnapping, simple or aggravated arson, communicating of false information of planned arson, simple or aggravated criminal damage to property, contamination of water supplies, simple or aggravated burglary, criminal trespass, simple or first degree or armed robbery, purse snatching, extortion, theft, desecration of graves, institutional vandalism or assault by drive-by shooting. They are the same offenses that would fall under the category of hate crime if it was committed against someone based on their race, gender, religion, etc.

May 25th, 2016, Wednesday

Senate Kills LGBT Anti-Discrimination Hiring Bill

The Louisiana Senate has killed a New Orleans senator's bid to ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, with no debate from lawmakers against the bill. The chamber voted 25-8 against advancing the measure to the House for debate. Only one Republican senator voted Tuesday in support of the bill. Democratic Sen. Troy Carter's proposal would have applied to public and private business, but exempt churches and religious organizations. Gov. John Bel Edwards has enacted similar anti-discrimination provisions for state agencies and contractors. Carter told his colleagues there was no "hidden message" in the bill and asked them to focus on its sole purpose of extending fair employment opportunities. The bill continually faced strong opposition from business groups and conservative Christian organizations.

May 25th, 2016, Wednesday

Senate Sends red Light Camera Notification bill to Governor

Motorists would have to be alerted to the locations of red light cameras, under a bill headed to the governor's desk.With a 37-0 vote Tuesday, the Senate gave the measure final legislative passage. The proposal was also overwhelmingly supported in the state House.If signed by the governor, the bill would require municipalities to post clearly read signs indicating an intersection red light camera within 500 feet of each camera.The bill would bar local parishes that fail to post the signs from collecting money from drivers fined for running intersections with red light cameras.

May 25th, 2016, Wednesday

Vehicular homicide charge filed against Sabine woman in fatal March crash

Charges have been filed against a Sabine Parish woman in connection with a crash in March that took the life of a rural mail carrier and injured two children. Louisiana State Police arrested Jessica Paige Procell, 27, Saturday morning, charging her with with vehicular homicide and vehicular negligent injuring. She was picked up at her home on Jeff Davis Road and booked into the Sabine Parish Jail. Procell remains in jail. No bond has been set.  Procell is accused in the death of Doris E. Jones, 71, of Zwolle. Jones was delivering mail when the crash occurred on the afternoon of March 25. Jones was scheduled to retire in June. State police said Procell was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe westbound on Carter's Ferry Road when she lost control, crossed the center line and hit Jones' Buick LeSabre as she traveled east. Jones was pronounced dead at the scene.  Procell was taken to Sabine Medical Center for treatment of moderate injuries. Two children in her vehicle sustained minor to moderate injuries. Both were taken to area hospitals.  No one in either vehicle was wearing a seat belt. However, Jones was not required to be restrained because of job. Mail carriers who are performing their duties are exempt from the state's seat belt law. The same applies to farm vehicles and newspaper delivery drivers.  A month before her death, Jones was recognized by the postal service with a Million Mile Award for being accident-free in her 30-year career. 

May 24th, 2016, Tuesday

Bossier City firefighter dies in accident Sunday

A Benton man working cattle on horseback died in an accident Sunday. George Chambers IV, 41, was riding his horse out of a gully at property on Pete Modica Road when he became entangled in a low-hanging power line. He and the horse were electrocuted. Chambers was a 20-year veteran of the Bossier City Fire Department.  He was a fire driver assigned to Station 9 on Brownlee Road in north Bossier City. He leaves behind a wife and two children. "The Bossier City Fire Department is saddened over the loss of our brother George Chambers," Bossier City Fire Chief Brad Zagone said in a written statement. "George was an outstanding firefighter and will be missed by all of us who were fortunate to serve with him and call him friend. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family during this difficult time."

May 24th, 2016, Tuesday

Shreveport man shot and killed, two others wounded

Shreveport Police are investigating a deadly shooting in the MLK neighborhood. It happened just before 8:30 p.m. Monday on the 1900 Legardy Street and MLK Drive. Police say a man has been shot and killed. Two more have been transported to the hospital after being shot in the head and leg, according to police. The man who was killed was shot in the chest, according to police. Police say the incident ties back to a vehicle that was reported stolen during a carjacking back on May 8. Police say on Monday, three suspects showed up to a home on Legardy Street in the stolen silver Ford and a fight broke out. Shots rang out and one man was shot dead -- police say the victim may not have even been involved in the initial fight. Police said the suspects ran off heading east after the deadly shooting. No names have been released. Two others were shot and are in the hospital. It is unknown if these two victims are suspects, according to police.

May 24th, 2016, Tuesday

Ongoing Investigation

Vernon Parish Sheriff's investigators continue their effort to fill in the blanks in the Willow Renteria-Molina story. The two-year-old was found dead Friday, may 6th several miles away after being reported missing Thursday, May 5th from her Hornbeck home. An autopsy report indicates she died Wednesday, May 4th. That has not been officially confirmed. In the Vernon Case, until conclusions are returned from the tests, Ortiz said everyone who had contact with the child could be considered a suspect in Willow's death.

May 23, 2016, Monday

Boil Advisory

The Sabine Parish Waterworks District #1 is experiencing problems with the water supply system due to a water line repair. Therefore, as a precautiom, the Sabine Parish Waterworks District #1 is issuing a BOIL ADVISORY effective immediately for customers in the following ares: Highway 6 East from the Highway 3118 to the Natchitoches Parish Road and all surrounding roads.

May 23, 2016, Monday

Peeling Inspection Sticker

Have a peeling Motor Vehicle Inspection Sticker? motorists who noptice their MVI sticker is peeling or damaged are encouraged to return to their MVI Inspection Station and have it replaced at npo cost. Peeling stickers remain valid and motorists are advised that only heavy duty packaging tape is permissable to reapply provided the appearance of the MVI sticker is not altered. Replacement is not mandatory as long as the sticker remains visible, but it is encouraged. MVI Inspection Stations will be able to exchange any returned defective stickers for new ones through the Office of Motor Vehicles. Inspection Station representatives with questions or concerns on replacing the defective stickers should call OMV headquarters at (225) 925-6161.

May 23, 2016, Monday

Local Employees Wanted for Jobs in Louisiana Disaster Recovery from March Floods

Louisiana residents looking for temporary work following the March svere storms and flooding have an opportunity to learn firsthand about tyhe recovery process. The Louisiana workforce Commission, in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is advertising open positions at the disaster recovery officesin Baton Rouge, Pineville and West Monroe. These are temporary, full-time jobs. Interested applicants can visit the Louisiqana Workforce Commission-Helping Individuals Reach Employment (HiRE) wesight at www.laworks.net/. For additional information call Julian Gordon at (917) 861-8442.

May 23, 2016, Monday

Police Seek Information in Attempted Theft from Church

The Many Police Department is investigating the attempted theft of an air conditioner unit from the King's Chapel AME Church. According to police, members of the church found one of the building's units partially removed from a window during services on Wednesday evening. The unit was reportedly removed and stored then re-installed. Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call Many police at 318-256-5617.

May 20th, 2016, Friday

Caddo Grand Jury Indicts Man in Toddler's Death

A Caddo Parish grand jury has indicted a Shreveport man on a second-degree murder charge in the death of an 18-month-old boy. Jonathan Turk, 22, is accused of causing internal injuries that contributed to the the death of toddler Kayden Stanley while the boy was at Turk's home in Shreveport in March. The toddler's mother hasn't been charged in connection with Kayden's death.

May 19th, 2016, Thursday

Boil Advisory

The Sabine Parish Waterworks District #1 is experiencing problems with the water supply due to the breakage in line. Because of this problem, the water produced by the water supply system is of questionable quality. Therefore, as a precaution, the Sabine Parish Waterworks District #1 is issuing a BOIL Advisory effective immediately for customers in the following areas: Big N Ranch Road, Little Joe Lane, Rocky Mount Road, Cedar Grove Road, and all surrounding roads.

May 19th, 2016, Thursday

Memorials held across the ArkLaTex honoring fallen officers

 Residents across the ArkLaTex will take part in honoring fallen officers on Wednesday. In Bossier Parish, the memorial will be held at 11 a.m. at Liberty Garden, right next to the Bossier City Municipal Complex. The ceremony will pay tribute to those law enforcement officers from local agencies who lost their lives in the line of duty.  The event will pay tribute to the 39 officers and deputies from Bossier and Caddo Parishes killed in the line of duty since 1894.  Agencies participating are the Bossier and Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Offices, Bossier City and Shreveport Police Departments, Louisiana State Police - Troop G, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, as well as the Bossier City and Shreveport Marshals Offices. Mark Hutchison, father of Trey Michael Hutchison, Bossier City Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2004, will be the guest speaker. In Marshall, Texas, the Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony will be held at the Marshall Visual Arts Center at noon. The ceremony will honor fallen officers in the State of Texas during 2015 and 2016. In 1962, President John Kennedy designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day. The calendar week in which May 15 falls is National Police Week, with 2016 National Police Week being May 15-21. As part of National Police Week, the names of 252 law enforcement officers, 126 killed in 2015, as well as 124 others who died in prior years, were dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., during the 27th Annual Candlelight Vigil on the evening of May 13, 2016.  After this year’s names are engraved, there will be more than 20,000 officers honored on the memorial.

May 18, 2016, Wednesday

Natchitoches police arrest 2 burglary suspects

 Two 18-year-olds face charges in connection with burglaries that apparently happened today in broad daylight. Natchitoches police were summoned to Hidden Hills at 11:09 a.m. in response to reports of a burglary in progress in the neighborhood.  While officers were on their way, Travis Easley and Brian Williams were found exiting woods near the railroad tracks on Louisiana Highway 3175.  Easley and Williams each has been charged with 2 counts of aggravated burglary. Easley also is charged with 1 count each of illegal carrying of a weapon and simple possession of marijuana. Both have been placed in Natchitoches Parish Detention Center. Natchitoches police urge people to call them at (318) 352-8101 to report an emergency or suspicious activity. Call Detective William Connell at (318) 238-3914 to share information about these burglaries.

May 18, 2016, Wednesday

Bossier City Police discipline three officers over police juror incident 

One Bossier City police officer has been fired, another has resigned and a third received a suspension over the way they handled a case involving a police juror suspected of DWI. Police Juror Rick Avery was taken into custody on suspicion of DWI last month when police and sheriff's deputies went to his house after receiving calls about a suspected drunk driver driving from Benton to Bossier City.  Other officers eventually intervened. Avery was taken to police headquarters and eventually released with no charges filed and no breath test done to determine his blood alcohol level.

After Bossier City's police chief learned what happened, he ordered an internal investigation into whether the elected official received preferential treatment by some officers. "Following the investigation it was determined that officers failed to follow proper policy and procedure with regard to the incident," Police Chief Shane McWilliams said in a statement released Monday afternoon. "As a result, one officer resigned from the department prior to disciplinary action being taken, a second officer was terminated and a third received a three-day suspension from duty without pay." McWilliams would not identify the officers, citing department policy on personnel matters. Avery, who has been considering a run for Bossier City mayor, was antagonistic and threatened officers' jobs after they took him into custody on suspicion of drunk driving on April 10, police videos and reports of the incidents show.  A Bossier sheriff's deputy reported that Avery at one point said, "I want all of your badge numbers, because when I become mayor I'm going to fire all of your asses." Avery blamed what happened on mixing a beer with a medication he was taking after surgery. He said he did not realize the effects the mixture could have.

May 17, 2016, Tuesday
 
Local judge, attorney part of landmark asbestos case with $7 million settlement
 
Two Louisiana law firms recently won a $7 million verdict for the death of Myra Williams on behalf of her family according to a release from Louisiana firms Baggett McCall and Unglesby Law Firm. William L. Townsend III of Kelly& Townsend from Natchitoches was among attorneys for the plaintiffs’ attorneys that also included Wells T. Watson and Jeffrey T. Gaughan of Baggett, McCall, Burgess, Watson & Gaughan in Lake Charles; Lewis O. Unglesby and Lance C. Unglesby of The Unglesby Law Firm in Baton Rouge.
 
May 17, 2016, Tuesday
 
Unrestrained Alexandria Man Killed in Crash

Earlier this morning, a single vehicle crash killed a man from Alexandria, LA that was not wearing his seat belt. Troopers responded to the crash around 10:10 a.m., which occurred on US Hwy 167 south of US Hwy 71. The crash involved a 2003 Buick LeSabre, driven by Robert Louis Foreman Jr. (B/M 27 yrs). The Buick was southbound on US Hwy 167 when Foreman Jr. lost control and exited the roadway. After exiting the roadway, the vehicle collided with a bridge support before crossing the northbound lanes and colliding with a tree. Foreman Jr. was pronounced dead. 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 seventeen fatal crashes in 2016, resulting in nineteen fatalities.

May 16, 2016, Monday

VanDam Goes Wire To Wire For Record 21st Career Victory At Toledo Bend

Superstar professional angler Kevin VanDam often deals with a different set of circumstances than the average angler on the Bassmaster Elite Series. With such a sparkling resume, many fans’ expectations for VanDam are much higher.

VanDam slammed the door on a wire-to-wire victory at the A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Toledo Bend with 21 pounds, 6 ounces of bass on Championship Sunday. The big bag gave him a four-day total of 96-2 and his record 21st victory in a B.A.S.S. event. VanDam caught 29-5 Thursday and 20-11 Friday to lead the field into Saturday’s semifinal round with 50-0. He got only five bites Saturday, but they were the right five, and his bag of 24-12 gave him a lead of more than 5 pounds going into Sunday. During the final round, he slowly put together another big limit of 21-6 and put himself beyond the reach of Alabama angler Chris Lane, who finished second with 88-7.

May 16, 2016, Monday

Natchitoches Police arrested woman for leaving an infant inside of her car for over 30 minutes

The Natchitoches Police Department has arrested Jacqueline Procell (W/F, 41 y.o.a., of Natchitoches) for leaving a ten month infant inside of her vehicle for over 30 minutes while shopping on Friday afternoon. On May 13, 2016 around 2:12 p.m., Officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to 311 South Drive (Goodwill Industries) in reference to a citizen hearing an infant crying in the back seat of a vehicle that was not running. When officer's arrived they  questioned Jacqueline Procell, who owns the car, and she said that she does not normally babysit the infant and forgot him inside her vehicle while she was shopping.Officers spoke with several Goodwill employees who said that Jacqueline Procell had been inside the store for over 30 minutes. According to the National Weather Service the temperature in Natchitoches at 2:15 p.m. on May 13, 2016 was 82 degrees with no cloud cover. The ten month old was treated on scene and was turned over to his mother in good health. Jacqueline Procell has been charged with child desertion and cruelty to juveniles.

May 16, 2016, Monday

Governor Edwards Signed Bills into Law

Governor John Bel Edwards announced Thursday that he signed the following bills into law. ACT 78 - HB 26: Provides relative to appeals of certain disability eligibility decisions in the Firefighters' Retirement System. ACT 79 - HB 38: Provides relative to reenrollment in the FireFighters" Retirement System by employees covered by Social Security. ACT 87 - HB 272: Allows a public servant to accept complimenteary admission to a fundraising event held by or for the benefit of certain educational institutions or programs, excluding professional, semi-professional, or  collegiate sporting events.

May 13, 2016, Friday

Soldier Killed at Fort Polk

The Army has released the Name of the soldier killed at Fort Polk Wednesday. Pfc. Victor J. Stanfill, 19, an infantryman with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, died from injuries sustained during a live fire training exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center. He was pronounced dead at approximately 11:08am at Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital on Fort Polk. A Centralized Accident Investgation team from U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center Fort Rucker, Ala. is now at Fort Polk to conduct an investigation.

May 13, 2016, Friday

Burglary in Zwolle

On May 4th, two individuals committed a burglary on carters ferry Rd. in Zwolle. The two suspects stole rods and reels, tackle, rain gear, tools and other items from boats in the shed. Bothsuspects were wearing mask but have distinctive clothing and in case the of one suspect distintive tennis shoes. One suspect is wearing a camoflauge shirt while the other is wearing a partially camoflauged ball cap and a pair of what appears to be warm up type pants. Call Sabine Parish Sheriff's Dept. at 318-256-9241 or Crime Stoppers at 318-256-4511 if you know any information.

May 12, 2016, Thursday

Two Missing Pythons are Found

Two pythons missing for hours in DeSoto Parish have been located. The snakes, one 10 feet long and the other 12 feet long were found in a ditch on US Hwy 171 near the Firetower Road. The snakes owner found them around 3:30 pm. The owner, an oil and gas worker from Baton rouge, told authorities he had the snakes in his work truck in a glass enclosure. He said he heard the half inch glass enclosure crack, and the snakesapparently fell out of the truck while he was driving near the Fire Tower Rd. As a side note, it is not illegal to own a python or boa in the parish but if it is 3 ft long or longer it must be registered through DeSoto Animal Control. If the snakes are over eight feet then they must also be registered through La. Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries.

May 12, 2016, Thursday

Bass Master Elite coming to Toledo Bend

The A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Toledo Bend will be held this weekend. Starting Thursday, professional anglers from all over the nation will compete for the $100,000.00 prize. Large crowds have started to head to the Toledo Bend area to attend the event. These crowds are already causing a big impact economically on the surrounding areas such as Sabine parish. With boatloads of people coming to check out the event, the employees at the Sabine Parish Tourist Commission told us the hotels are starting to fill up. Bassmaster has held events on Toledo Bend for 14 years, this is the fourth time the Elite Tournament is bringing in crowds. Only this time, it is expected to be bigger and better than ever.

                                   May 11, 2016, Wednesday

Oldest World War II Vet Dies

Gov. John bel Edwars has ordered the flags of the United States and the State of Louisiana to be flown at half-staff at the State Capitol and all public buildings in honor of WWII veteran Frank Levingston. Levingston, who at 110 years old was the nation's oldest World War II veteran, died on May 3, 2016. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on October 6, 1942 and served in the Allied invasion in Italy.

   May 11, 2016, Wednesday

         Autopsy Complete

The autopsy of 2 year old Willow Rain Renteria- Molina is complete and her body has been relesed to a funeral home in Leesville. Vernon Sheriff Sam Craft said his department has not yet recieved the results of the examination, which should determine the cause and manner of death. Her Babysitter, 33 year old Rodney Bailey of DeRidder, is being held on felony drug charges, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He is considered a person of interest in her death. Willow's body has been released to Jeane Funeral Home in Leesville. Craft said it is important for law enforcement to learn the time of the death to determine whether she died in Vernon or Beauregard parishes. If her death is ruled a homicide, the place where it happened will determine which parish's district attorney handles any criminal prosecution. Craft sid he doesn't not know yet whether the 2 year old was sexually assaulted. willow's home on JD Williams Road in Hornbeck was processed as a crime scene. Her body was found in a wooded area in Beauregard Parish, not far from where Bailey was apprehended.

 May 11, 2016, Wednesday

Upcoming BDC Events

On Friday, May 13, 2016 heard on KBDV 92.7 Relay for Life at the Fairgrounds in Leesville will be held from 4pm until 6pm sponsored by Anytime Fitness. On KWLV 107.1 and KTEZ 99.9 a live remote will be held at the Depot Art Gallery from 10am until noon followed by the Bass Master Elite Tournament from 2pm until 4pm and on KTHP 103.9 a live remote will be held at the Sabine County Hospital from 4pm until 6pm. Saturday, May 14, 2016 live on KWLV 107.1 and KTEZ 99.9 Gulf Station Cafe will have a live remote from 9:30am until 11am ending the day with the Maydaze car show at from 12pm until 1pm. Tuesday, May 17, 2016 on KTEZ 99.9 Sabine Council on Aging will have a health fair remote from 8am until 10am. And on Saturday, May 21, 2016 on KWLV 107.1 and KTEZ 99.9 we will have live coverage of the Fisher Saw Mill Days festival from 10:30am until 12:30pm.

May 10, 2016, Tuesday

Shooting at Faces

On Sunday, units from the Many Police Department and Sabine Sheriff's Office responded to a residence on Trace Street after neighbors reported gunshots. As officers responded to the scene, a male drove up to the MPD and stated tha the had shot another man at his apartment on Trace Street. The subject, who had a 12 gauge shotgun, with one spent shell in his possession, told the officer that he had heard a noise in his attic and saw a face peering down at him from a hole in the ceiling. It was then he said that he fired his shotgun at the face. Responding officers found no evidence of gunshot damage in the apartment, nor any signs that someone else was in the building. The subject later admitted to officers tha the had been under the influence of marijuana and methamphetamines during this time. After further investigation, it was determined tha the serial number on the shotgun had been filed off. Booked into the Sabine Detention Center was 32 year old Martrell Lynch of Many.

May 10, 2016, Tuesday

Bossier Parish Bus Driver Charged with DWI

A Bossier Parish Schools bus driver was arrested Monday morning, accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated following a random drug screen. Bridget Whitley, 33, of the 200 block of Seven Pines Road in Benton, was charged with DWI 2nd and booked around noon,  according to the Bossier sheriff's office. Authorities say Whitley drove her school bus route early Monday morning, safely delivering the students to their school destinations. At the conclusion of her route, she reported to a random drug screening and drove her school bus to that testing site. During the testing, Whitley allegedly showed signs of impairment, prompting further investigation. Police say Whitley performed poorly on the Standard Field Sobriety Test and was arrested. Whitley admitted to deputies that she had consumed several alcoholic beverages Sunday evening. She was booked into the Bossier Maximum Security Facility with a $50,000 bond. Whitley ran routes for Benton Elementary, Benton Middle and Benton High Schools, according to a Bossier Parish Schools spokesperson.

May 10, 2016, Tuesday

Armed Robbery

The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating an armed robbery that took place in the parking lot of the I-49 Burger King. On May 9, around 8:07am officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to 5386 University Parkway (Burger King) in reference to an armed robbery that had just occurred in the parking lot. Upon arrival, officers made contact with the victim, who stated that while in the parking lot, she was approached by a black male, who ordered her at gunpoint to give him her property. The suspect was then picked up by a current body style white Ford Taurus that turned east on to University Parkway.

May 10, 2016, Tuesday

Local Veterans Benefit

This Friday, support local veterans and have fun doing it. At The Bar in Many from 11am through closing, Bar - B - Que chicken dinners, delivered, only $10. There will be a 50/50 card drawing at 9pm, 3 ball tournament, T-shirts and two bands one at 6pm with the second band playing at 8pm. All donations will be honored. This is all sponsored by The Bar and Alford Detail Shop. Show our local veterans that we care and thank them for what they have done. To call in orders or for more information phone 318-256-3322, 318-256-1442, or 318-508-0633.

May 9, 2016, Monday

Color Run / Walk for Londyn Hope Bridges

 On May 14, 2016 there will be a color run / walk for Londyn Hope Bridges sponsored by the PHHS Cheerleaders and Softball Team. Entry fee is $15 registration will begin at 9am at Pleasant Hill High School. The 2 mile run/walk will begin and end at Pleasant Hill High School at 10am. Only early paid entries will receive color run t-shirts. Same day sign up available at same price, just wear a white t-shirt!

May 9, 2016, Monday

Missing Child Found

Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office regrets to inform the public that the search for the missing 2-year-old female child from Vernon Parish has come to a tragic end. The remains of the deceased child were located in a remote area of Beauregard Parish VPSO is working jointly with the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office, FBI, and the Louisiana State Police in the investigation into the death of this child. Law enforcement officials are currently processing two locations in an attempt to collect evidence. Please continue to pray for this family.

May 9, 2016, Monday

Voter Registration

Secretary of State Tom Schedler is joining registrars of voters across the state the week of May 9-13, 2016 to host Voter Registration Week activities aimed at registering eligible citizens to vote. Voter Registration Week activities by parish can be found on the Secretary of State's website at www.sos.la.gov/Pages/NewsAndEvents. To register and vote in Louisiana individuals must be : a U.S. citizen; at least 17 years old to register and 18 years old prior to the next election to vote; not under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony; not under a judgement of full interdiction for mental incompetence or partial interdiction with suspension of voting rights; and a resident in the state and parish in which you seek to register to vote. For more information on elections, visit www.GeauxVote.com.

May 9, 2016, Monday

Concert Under The Tent

Saturday night May 7, 2016 at 7pm at 1674 Natchitoches Hwy across from Many High School With christian renown artist Ben Anderson will perform. No cross no crown ministries is hosting Many camp meetings throughout the month of May next to the Sabine Veterinary Hospital. Services will be every Thursday through Sunday at 7pm nightly with evangelist Donald Sabrina Eskine. For more information call 504-812-4267.

May 6, 2016, Friday

Scam Alert

The SPSO has received two complaints this week in regards to a scam that is being used by those seeking to prey on victims emotions in order to solicit money from them. The victims were contacted and told a loved one was in jail and needed money immediately. On one occasion a person claiming to be the loved one spoke briefly to the potential victim. The scam seems to be aimed at the elderly but anyone can be a victim. Please be aware and verify any information that you receive over the phone.

May 6, 2016, Friday

Teacher Evaluated

A bill that would change the way teachers are evaluated is headed for debate in the Louisiana Senate. Three Calcasieu Parish teachers spoke on Thursday in the Senate Education Committee in favor of a bill that would change the way teachers are graded. Currently, 50 percent of teacher evaluations are from observations in the classroom. The other half are based on student growth. The "student growth" portion has caused some controversy because it's measured based on students' test scores at the beginning of the school year versus the end of the year. Many teachers have signed a petition calling the system unfair. Ganey Arsement, a teacher at Barbe High School, says the way a student tests doesn't accurately reflect how well a teacher does his or her job.

May 6, 2016, Friday

Leesville Water Bill Changes

The City of Leesville Water Department, as a part of its recent conversion to a new accounting software, announces changes to the format of the water bills. The new water bills will be on a full sheet of paper, and customers will receive it in an envelope. Customers will no longer receive the postcards. Due dates for water payments have not changed. In order to avoid penalties, City of Leesville water customers must pay their bills by May 20, 2016. All questions concering changes with the water bill format can be directed to Tracie Haymon at 337-238-2256.

May 5, 2016, Thursday

Boil Advisory

The Sabine Parish Waterworks District #1 is experiencing problems with the water supply system due to the breakage in line. Because of this problem, the water produced by our water system is of questionable quality. Therefore, as a precaution the Sabine Parish Waterworks District #1 is issuing a boil advisory effective immediately for customers in the following area: Big N Ranch Rd, Little Joe Lane, Rocky Mount Rd, Ceader Grove Rd and all surrounding roads. Again, please be sure to disinfect your own water prior to consumption until you have been advised otherwise.

May 5, 2016, Thursday

Stolen ATV

The Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office is asking for information regarding the theft of a 2009 Honda Rancher four wheeler. The ATV was taken during the night of April 8th 2016 from a residence located on Hwy 120 in the Belmont Community. Crime stoppers is offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person/persons who committed this crime. Contact SPSO Detective Walker with any information or call Crime Stoppers at 318-256-4511 if you wish to remain anonymous.

May 5, 2016, Thursday

Veterans Exempt

Louisiana's lawmakers have decided veterans should be exempt from having to pay a state fee to get a concealed carry permit. The Senate gave final passage to the proposal with a 37-1 vote Tuesday, sending it to the governor's desk. A five-year concealed carry permit costs $125 and a lifetime permit costs $500, with veterans currently charged half the fee's price tag. The bill by Rep. Tanner Magee, a Houma Republican, would do away with the fees for veterans entirely.

May 4, 2016, Wednesday

Graduation Rates

The Louisiana Department of Education has released the 2015 cohort data for graduation rates which shows Beauregard Parish tied for the fourth highest graduation rate in the state, according to Timothy J. Cooley, Superintendent of Beauregard Parish schools. The 2015 graduating class in Beauregard Parish had a 93.9 percent graduation rate. This represents a .7 increase from the previous year and places Beauregard Parish as one of 16 among the 74 reported districts in the state to have a graduation rate above 90 percent.

May 4, 2016, Wednesday

Raise The Age Act

The Louisiana State Senate passed the Raise The Age Act, Senate Bill 324 authored by Senator J.P. Morrell, by a vote of 33 to 4. The Raise the Age Act passed out of the Senate Committees on Judiciary B an dfinance before seeing a vote on the Senate floor. Louisiana is one of only nine states where 17-year-old offenders are recognized as adults, no matter how minor their offenses. A key part of Gov. John Bel Edwards' agenda for the 2016 Regular Legislative Session, SB 324 would effectively submit 17-year-olds who commit delinquent acts to the authority of the juvenile justice system, rather than automatically trying them as adults, or keeping them in adult prisons for detention prior to trial.

May 4, 2016, Wednesday

Renamed Highway

Gov. John Bel Edwards on Monday signed a bill into law that renames a section of La. 14 in Calcasieu Parish as the "Louisiana State Trooper Steven Vincent Memorial Highway." Senate Bill 1 becomes Act 1 and was sponsored by Sen. Dan "Blade" Morrish, R-Jennings. Vincent was shot Aug. 23, 2015, in the line of duty when he stopped to investigate a suspected driver in Bell City. He later died from his wounds. The 44 year-old had been on the state's force since 2003. The portion to be named is where La. 14 meets La. 27 and Longnion Road. The bill directs the Department of Transportation and development to place appropriate signage.

May 3, 2016, Tuesday

Louisiana Graduation Rate

Louisiana education officials said the graduation rate in 2015 made the second largest gain in the past 10 years and reached an all-time high of 77.5 percent. The Louisiana Department of Education reported the graduation rate increased 2.9 percent over last year and was the fifth year in a row the rate went up.

                                       May 3, 2016, Tuesday

New cost control for TOPS

New cost controls are planned for TOPS, as lawmakers struggle to pay for the nearly $300 million college tuition program. The Louisiana House gave final legislative passage Monday to a bill that locks in the tops payment rate at next year's tuition level, unless lawmakers vote to raise payments. That could cost students more if tuition grows larger but lawmakers don't boost TOPS payments.The proposal by Sen. Jack Donahue heads the governor's desk with a 74-20 vote. Former Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed the bill last year. But Gov. John Bel Edwards has said he will sign it into law. Because of state budget gaps, it's unclear if students will even get full tuition funding next year or only partial awards.

May 3, 2016, Tuesday

Color Run/Walk

Color Run/Walk for Londyn Hope Bridges will be Saturday, May 14. Registration will begin at 9am at Pleasant Hill High School and the 2 mile run/walk will begin and end at the school, starting at 10am. $15.00 entry fee. Only early paid entries will recieve color run t-shirts.

                                     May 3, 2016, Tuesday

Stonewall Shooting

DeSoto Parish sheriff's investigators are still tracking down leads on an early mornnig shooting that sent three men to the hospital. The three victims at last check late Sunday afternoon were still being treated at University Health Hospital in Shreveport. Lt. Adam Ewing identified them as Beau Hardy, Joshua Brummett and Michael Atkins. Ages were not immediately available. The alleged shooter is a juvenile under the age of 17. His name is not being released because of his age. The teen is in Ware Youth Detention Center in Coushatta, charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder.

May 2, 2016, Monday

Road Closure

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises the public that bridge number 029-02-0156-1 will be reduced to one lane for bridge inspection from 9am until 3pm on Monday, May 2. This structure is on La. 8 over Forker Creek and is located at log mile 1.56. Bridge is located 0.3 miles east of the west intersection of La. 111 and La. 8.

May 2, 2016, Monday

Trespass Horses

The population of trespass horses on the military training area creates a safety hazard and training distractor. After a careful and thorough analysis considering safety, training impacts, environmental impacts, public perceptions, cost and time, the preferred alternative is to remove the trespass horses using a cyclic process. This process was selected because it offers the best opportunity to find a new safe home for every horse. The cyclic process begins with the round-up of about 10-30 horses. The first step provides official animal welfare groups with a 10-day window to claim the horses. If any horses are not picked up by the animal welfare group, the process proceeds to the second step which provides the general public a seven-day window to claim a horse. Fort Polk officials believe that all or almost all of the horses will be removed by animal welfare groups or members of the general public, but if any horses are not picked up by members of the general publc, the third step is for the Army to offer the remaining horses for sale to the general public at a local sale barn. Upon completion of all three steps, the cycle begins again until no horses exist on the trianing area. Throughout the process, Fort Polk officials will consider offers to relocate all or signigicant numbers of the horses to non-Army property. Fort Polk officials anticipate the process may take three years. This allows for the removal of the horses from the training area so JRTC remains the premier training facility in the Army.

May 2, 2016, Monday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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