News headlines for Sept. 18, 2014



*Check out our "Fall Events Calendar" HERE.

One dead in accident in Many involving pickup, log truck

SABINE PARISH -- The Many Police Department responded to a fatal accident around 6:40 a.m. Wednesday morning involving a pickup truck and a loaded log truck. More HERE.

State Bond Commission to take up West Central items on Thursday

BATON ROUGE -- The Louisiana State Bond Commission will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 at the state capitol. Some local items will be taken up by the panel. Up for approval are, more HERE.

City of Leesville to begin enforcing no cell phones in school zones

The following is a news release from the City of Leesville:

LEESVILLE -- The City of Leesville will be installing signage by Friday, Sept. 19 that corresponds to a new state law which prohibits the use of wireless phones to call, text or use social media while driving in a school zone. More HERE.

City of Leesville alerts business owners of new state requirement concerning backflow prevention devices

The following is a news release from the City of Leesville:

LEESVILLE -- The City of Leesville is beginning a campaign to alert business owners within the City's limits of the need for some to install backflow prevention devices.
Louisiana Administrative Code 51:XIV requires public water suppliers to protect their water systems from cross-connections and prevent backflow situations. Public water suppliers must conduct cross-connection control inspections of their water customers' properties to evaluate cross-connection hazards. More HERE.

Relay for Life informational meeting set Thursday in Leesville

LEESVILLE -- There will be a community information night, hosted by the Relay for Life of Vernon Parish, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Los Mayas Restaurant in Leesville. This for anyone who is interested in learning about how to get involved in Relay for Life. For more, call Rachel at 925-222-1601.

Alexandria Gun and Knife Show slated Saturday, Sunday

ALEXANDRIA -- The Alexandria Gun and Knife Show is back this weekend at the Sai Convention Center in Alexandria, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
This is the largest gun and knife show in Central Louisiana. More HERE.

More headlines this week:

Public meeting lays out audit process according to settlement

LONGVILLE -- About 30 people attended a public meeting Monday night at the Beauregard Parish Waterworks District 3 office in Longville.
The meeting, and some future ones, are part of a settlement between RESTORE, a local environmental group, and the district. More HERE.

Leesville, Allen airports to get federal improvement grants

LEESVILLE -- The Leesville Airport will be getting $709,536 in federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
That's according to a Monday news release from U.S. Sen. David Vitter. More HERE.

Texas man booked on fifth DWI

CALCASIEU PARISH -- A Texas man was booked in Calcasieu Parish on Tuesday on his fifth DWI.
Authorities say 38-year-old Curtis Shane Steitler has had five DWI arrests since 2008.
Authorities say at 8:28 a.m. Tuesday, troopers responded to a report of a vehicle in the ditch on U.S. Highway 90 about a mile east of Vinton in Calcasieu Parish. More HERE.

Strain reminds horse owners to protect for mosquito-borne diseases

The following is a news release from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry:

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M, is reminding horse owners to be vigilant in protecting their horses and vaccinate their animals for both Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and the West Nile Virus (WNV).  
Cases of EEE have been reported in Acadia, Beauregard, Evangeline and Vermilion Parishes. One case of WNV was reported in Franklin Parish. Horses are infected the same way humans are infected – by being bitten by infected mosquitoes. More HERE.

Slagle Trade Days set Friday, Saturday

SLAGLE -- Slagle Trade Days will take place Friday, Sept. 19 and Saturday, Sept. 20 at the Slagle Senior Center on Hwy. 8 in Slagle. Activities will begin Friday and go through late Saturday. More HERE.


VERNON PARISH -- P.O. Midkiff Road will be closed from Liliedahl to B.C. Doyle Road on Monday, Sept. 22 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Vernon Parish Police Jury will be replacing culverts if the weather permits.
Anyone living on the road should make necessary arrangements.

1974 DeRidder High School graduates plan reunion, invite other multi-year grads for gathering

DERIDDER -- The DeRidder High School class of 1974 is celebrating their 40th reunion and they are inviting the classes of 1971 through 1975 to join them on Friday, Oct. 3 for a gathering at Steamboat Bill's at 4 p.m. to visit and eat. Attendees will then make their way to the DeRidder High School football game. More HERE.

VPSO seeking Leesville man on forgery, theft warrants

VERNON PARISH -- The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance from the public in locating 42-year-old Billy Childers, of Leesville.
Childers is described as having brown hair, brown eyes, weighing approximately 190 pounds and stands approximately 5’7” tall. More HERE.

Two from Evans facing drug charges following traffic stop

VERNON PARISH -- Two people are facing drug charges following a Friday traffic stop in Vernon Parish.
According to a news release from the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office, Shandi Cole and Joshua Trotti were stopped near the intersection of La. 111 South and La. 464 in southwest Vernon late Friday. More HERE.

Some headlines last week:

10th Mountain Division soldier dies in Fort Polk training incident; another soldier injured

FORT POLK -- A 10th Mountain Division (LI) soldier stationed at Fort Polk, with the 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, died Wednesday, Sept. 10 in a tactical vehicle incident in the Fort Polk training area. Another soldier was injured in the training incident and was airlifted to a regional hospital.  
Deceased is Spc. Silas S. Jones, 22, of Marionville, Missouri. He was a cannon crewmember. More HERE.

Officials identify soldier who died Sept. 5 at Fort Polk

FORT POLK -- Fort Polk officials have identified Army Pfc. Garrett R. Fox as the soldier who died Sept. 5 on the installation.
According to Fort Polk officials, special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal
Command are investigating the death. Officials, in a news release, said military police were called to a home on-post after a report that someone was trying to break in. More HERE.

DeRidder man accused of selling synthetic marijuana

VERNON PARISH -- A 35-year-old DeRidder man has been booked on drug charges, accused of selling synthetic marijuana from a local convenience store.
According to a news release from the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office, Shah Minhas was booked on four counts of distribution of a schedule I substance, synthetic marijuana, and was booked into the Vernon Parish Jail on $17,500 bond. More HERE.

Photo by Elona Weston
Vernon Parish Fire Chaplains' Corps holds 9/11 remembrance ceremony

LEESVILLE -- The Vernon Parish Fire Chaplains' Corps held a 9/11 remembrance ceremony on Thursday evening in downtown Leesville at the veterans' plaza.
Firefighters from throughout the area attended. More HERE.

Beauregard Memorial Hospital competing in "Pink Glove Dance" contest

DERIDDER -- Beauregard Memorial Hospital is competing in the "Pink Glove Dance" video contest, which aims to raise awareness about breast cancer.
Videos are created by hospitals and communities all over the country -- and beyond. They include narratives and dance. Participants usually wear pink medical gloves.
More HERE.

American Legion Riders Post 145 to host poker run to benefit food bank

The following is a news release from the Food Bank of Central Louisiana:

LEESVILLE -- American Legion Riders Post 145 in Leesville will host a Poker Run to support the Food Bank of Central Louisiana’s Adopt-a-Senior program in Vernon Parish on Sept. 20. More HERE.

THURSDAY SCENE: The Vernon Parish Fire District Honor Guard is shown Thursday morning, lowering the American flag at the Vernon Parish Veterans' Plaza in downtown Leesville.
Photo by Elona Weston

Over 26,000 Fort Polk-related comments gathered in Army assessment process, according to Association of Defense Communities

According to the Association of Defense Communities, the Army Environmental Command has received 26,578 comments relating to Fort Polk in its assessment of environmental and economic impacts from shrinking troop strength Army-wide.
More HERE.

Photo by Elona Weston
Groundbreaking ceremony for new Murphy USA Leesville station held

LEESVILLE -- The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Murphy USA station under development near the Leesville Wal-Mart was held Thursday afternoon at its location on property behind Wagon Master, in the corner of the Wal-Mart parking lot.
According to a Murphy USA representative at the scene, the station's structure has been built off-site. It was slated to arrive in Leesville late Thursday. The location could be ready to go around November.
Area leaders, Chamber officials and community members attended the ceremony.

Resurfacing project for sections of U.S. 171 in Leesville planned

LEESVILLE -- A resurfacing project for sections of U.S. 171 in Leesville is planned.
Susan Stafford, public information officer with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, said the project is scheduled to go to bid in December 2014 and work could start sometime in the first quarter of 2015.
More HERE.

"Common Core" town hall meeting planned for Calcasieu, Beauregard residents

CALCASIEU PARISH -- A Town Hall meeting is planned for Calcasieu and Beauregard Parish residents who have concerns and thoughts about the state's Common Core education standards. More HERE.

KCS Southern Holiday Express schedule released, no local stops planned

The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express schedule has been released.
There are no local stops on the list this year, but the KCS Christmas train will stop in Pineville and Shreveport.
Baton Rouge and Monroe stops are also planned. Click HERE for the full schedule.

Some headlines last week:

Fort Polk soldier's death under investigation

The following is a news release from the Fort Polk Public Affairs Office:

Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, commonly known as CID, are investigating the death of a Fort Polk soldier that occurred on Friday night when Fort Polk Military Police and Department of the Army Civilian Police were attempting to apprehend a soldier. More HERE

PAR releases guide to the 14 constitutional amendment proposals on Nov. 4 ballot

BATON ROUGE -- The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana on Wednesday released the PAR Guide to the 2014 Constitutional Amendments that voters will decide on the Nov. 4 statewide ballot. More HERE.

"Butterfly Blast" set Sept. 26-28 at Allen Acres

VERNON PARISH -- Allen Acres will host this year's "Butterfly Blast" on Sept. 26-28.
Allen Acres, the home of Dr. Charles Allen, is located at 5070 Hwy. 399 in Pitkin.
This event is for young and old butterfly lovers. More HERE.

Kiwanis of Vernon plans annual "5Kostume Fun Run and Walk"

LEESVILLE -- The Kiwanis of Vernon's "5Kostume Fun Run and Walk" will be Saturday, Oct. 25 in downtown Leesville.
Registration is at 4:30 p.m., and the race begins at 5:30 p.m. at Polk Theatre, at 109 East Texas Street.
Costumes are encouraged but are not required. More HERE.

Sabine Parish man pleads guilty to distributing meth

SHREVEPORT -- A Sabine Parish man pleaded guilty Monday to distributing methamphetamine in the Many area, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley.
Jamal Holland, 28, of Many, entered a guilty plea for one count of distribution of methamphetamine before U.S. District Court Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr.  More HE

Singer man booked on fourth offense DWI

SULPHUR -- A Singer man was booked Tuesday morning on fourth offense DWI, according to Louisiana State Police, Troop D.
Troopers say 30-year-old James Brenton Dale Burnett was arrested after he crashed his car near Sulphur around 1:46 a.m. on U.S. 90. More HERE

Armes says proposed changes to state employee health plans are 'unfair'

Proposed changes to state employee health plans are raising concerns around Louisiana.
Some fear the changes will amount to higher costs and fewer options.
Rep. James K. Armes, D-Leesville, opposes the changes. He is on the House Appropriations Committee. That panel, along with House Speaker, Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, will meet Sept. 25 at the state capitol to hear from personnel with the Office of Group Benefits about the changes being eyed. More HERE.

Vernon Parish woman on mission to spread awareness about Inflammatory Breast Cancer

VERNON PARISH -- It's likely that you have never heard of Inflammatory Breast Cancer, but one Vernon Parish woman is aiming to change that.
Susan Hillman lost her mother to the disease and she's determined to educate as many people as she can in an effort to save lives. More HERE.

Leesville Council approves measure to cover costs of dismissed suit

LEESVILLE -- The Leesville City Council on Monday approved a measure that outlines that the city will cover the legal costs of a dismissed suit against councilman Danny Dowd and late councilman Mike Elliott. More HERE.

Man sought by police arrested, booked on list of charges

VERNON PARISH -- A man sought last week by the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office and the Leesville Police Department was apprehended by Lake Charles Police.
Authorities announced Sept. 3 that they were looking for 34-year-old Jeremiah Bell.
Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft reports that Bell was arrested later that day, following a BOLO that was released to the public through the media. More HERE.

Meeting to center on proposed changes to state employee health plans

The following is a news release from the Louisiana House of Representatives:

BATON ROUGE -- House Speaker Chuck Kleckley and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Fannin have announced that the Appropriations Committee will convene Sept. 25 to hear from personnel with the Office of Group Benefits concerning proposed changes to state employee health plans. More HERE.

McNeese to offer free workshop series for families of children with autism

The following is a news release from McNeese State University:

LAKE CHARLES -- The McNeese State University Autism Program will sponsor a free fall parenting workshop series at 5:30 p.m., Thursdays, Oct. 2, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4, in Baker Auditorium of Farrar Hall on campus.
The series will focus on providing education to families of children with autism, intellectual disabilities and other challenging behaviors, according to Alfred Tuminello, director of the McNeese Autism Program. More HERE.

Indictments returned by grand jury in Stephens murder case

VERNON PARISH -- Indictments were returned by a grand jury on Thursday in 30th Judicial District Court in the murder case of 31-year-old James "Jamey" Stephens, of Rosepine.
According to court information, 24-year-old Jose Israel Ayala III, of Leesville, was indicted on second-degree murder and obstruction of justice in the case. More HERE.

BPSO reports recent arrests

BEAUREGARD PARISH -- The Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office is reporting the following recent arrests, more HERE.

Decades-old fiddle competition slated Oct. 2 during Beauregard Parish Fair

DERIDDER -- One of the oldest fiddle contests in the South will take place Thursday. Oct. 2 at the Beauregard Parish Fair in DeRidder.
Ron Yule, who has organized the competition for four decades, said the contest can be documented back to 1928, but it's believed to be much older, possibly dating back to around 1915. It's held in conjunction with the fair's Senior Citizens Day. It takes place under the fairgrounds pavilion. More HERE.

New Llano man booked on second-degree murder in death of Leesville man

LEESVILLE -- A New Llano man is accused in the murder of a Leesville man.
According to the Leesville Police Department, 36-year-old Detrail Harris is being held on $200,000 bond in the death of 38-year-old Carlos Acey.  Harris faces a charge of second-degree murder in the case. More HERE.

Twenty-one sex offenders arrested in Calcasieu Parish

The following is a news release from Louisiana State Police:
CALCASIEU PARISH -- Earlier this summer, detectives assigned to the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations examined the online Internet activities of registered sex offenders in Calcasieu Parish. Troopers coordinated their investigative efforts with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Louisiana Probation and Parole, Lake Charles City Police, and the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office in a joint investigation. More HERE.

Two attempt escape from Vernon Parish Correctional Facility

VERNON PARISH -- Jose Israel Ayala III, accused in the murder of 31-year-old James "Jamey" Stephens, of Rosepine, and Joshua Griffin, accused in the 2011 death of 23-year-old Jason Perry, also of Rosepine, are accused of attempting to escape from the Vernon Parish Correctional Facility on Tuesday night. More HERE.

Project will connect Hornbeck, Anacoco water systems

VERNON PARISH -- Hornbeck and Anacoco officials plan on connecting their water systems, and officials say it will benefit both communities.
The Hornbeck Town Council on Tuesday took action on the project.
Hornbeck Mayor Clarence Beebe said officials have been working on the effort for some time. More HERE.

Hornbeck's 50-year-old water tower to be revamped

HORNBECK -- The Town of Hornbeck's 50-year-old elevated water tank is slated for a major revamp.
According to Mayor Clarence Beebe, planning is underway and the project will be bid in the near future.
Beebe said the town received around $180,000 in state money for the $240,000 project. The town will put up the remaining $60,0
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