News headlines for Oct. 31, 2014


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War Memorial Civic Center to sponsor free veterans' dinner and Veterans Day observance

DERIDDER -- All veterans and family members are invited to the DeRidder War Memorial Civic Center to participate in a free dinner and World War II USO live entertainment show.
The WMCC will be honoring veterans by sponsoring a free sit down dinner at 5 p.m. immediately followed by USO-centered entertainment at 7 p.m. provided by "Rosie and the Swingin' Riveters." More HERE.

DeRidder woman, former Jasper teacher, indicted on charge stemming from alleged improper relationship

JASPER COUNTY, TEXAS -- A 32-year-old DeRidder woman, who is a former Jasper High School teacher, was indicted Wednesday on a charge relating to an alleged improper relationship with a student.
According to KJAS-FM in Jasper, Texas, Courtney Rachelle Wysinger was indicted by a Jasper County grand jury on a charge of improper relationship between an educator and student.
More HERE.

BPSO reports recent arrests

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

Wednesday headlines:

Project to enhance runway safety at Leesville airport

LEESVILLE -- A pre-construction conference was held Tuesday for a runway improvement project at the Leesville Municipal Airport.
Paul Jackson, airport manager, said the project involves shaving down a hill to open up the runway and ultimately, to improve safety.
State and federal funds will help cover the north runway safety improvement project.
Apeck Construction is doing the work. More HERE.

McNeese to host small business seminar in DeRidder

The following is a news release from McNeese State University:

DERIDDER -- Are you interested in your own business but don’t know where to begin? If so, a free seminar titled “Starting and Financing a Small Business” will be presented from 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday, Nov. 5, at First Street School (401 W. First St.) in DeRidder. More HERE.

Tuesday headlines:

Dowden: City aiming to "soften the blow" of $400K IRS penalty

LEESVILLE -- Leesville City Attorney Chuck Dowden said Monday that city officials are aiming to "soften the blow" of a $400,000 civil penalty assessed against the city by the Internal Revenue Service.
According to the IRS, in 2010, the city failed to properly file W-2 forms.
Dowden said for the Dec. 31, 2010 tax period, the city faces a $250 fine for each of its 180-plus employees, plus 10 percent of gross wages for failure to comply.
The city learned of the penalty in a Sept. 1 notice. More HERE.

Leesville Council vote allows bars to open on Sundays

LEESVILLE -- The Leesville City Council on Monday finalized action to repeal its current policy on bars and Sunday alcohol sales.
Bars, prior to the action, were not permitted to open during daytime hours on Sunday.
The council, however, unanimously approved action on the change. More HERE.

Settlement finalized in public records suit

LEESVILLE -- The Leesville City Council has signed off on a settlement agreement in the case of a former employee who sued after she submitted a public records request to the city that went unfilled for nearly two years.
The panel's final action came Monday. Members voted for the agreement unanimously.
Tiffany A. Baker submitted her request to the Leesville Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board and to the city on July 26, 2012, and did not receive the records in the timeframe outlined by state law.
In a recent interview, Leesville Mayor Rick Allen said the city will pay Baker around $7,500 plus some court costs. More HERE.

City to advertise to fill open administrator, city clerk positions

LEESVILLE -- The City of Leesville will be advertising to fill its open city administrator and city clerk positions soon, according to Leesville Mayor Rick Allen.
Delain Prewitt, who served as city administrator under two former mayors, is working in the city's top administrative slot on a temporary basis.
Earlier this month, the panel voted unanimously to terminate City Administrator Courtney Christian.
City Clerk Natasha Wilkerson resigned. More HERE.

Beauregard Parish men booked in forestry equipment theft investigation

Two Beauregard Parish men are accused of stealing state forestry equipment and damaging property, according to a Monday news release from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
Authorities say the arrests of 46-year-old Ricky L. Cooley and 68-year-old Everette N. Miller came following a joint investigation with Evangeline Parish detectives.
Cooley was arrested Oct. 15 at his home, and Miller was arrested Oct. 16 after turning himself in to authorities in Evangeline Parish. More HERE.

Some Monday headlines:

Audit report: Waterworks District may have violated state law in payment of Christmas bonuses

The West Vernon Parish Waterworks District, in Anacoco, may have violated state law when it paid Christmas bonuses to its employees.
That's according to an independent audit report released publicly Monday through the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office. More HERE.

Lake Charles man killed in single-vehicle crash on I-10

LAKE CHARLES -- A 30-year-old Lake Charles man died in a single-vehicle crash on I-10 on Sunday.
According to Louisiana State Police, Troop D, killed was Michael Joseph Owens.
Troopers said it happened on I-10 about three-and-a-half miles east of Lake Charles. The preliminary investigation, according to troopers, revealed that a 1997 Dodge Avenger was traveling east on I-10 in the left lane when, for unknown reasons, the driver lost control of the vehicle. More HERE.

Shreveport man, Texas man sentenced for methamphetamine distributions conspiracy

The following is a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office:

SHREVEPORT -- U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Shreveport man and a Texas man were sentenced Thursday to 219 months and 168 months in prison, respectively, for their roles in  a methamphetamine distribution operation that stretched from Natchitoches to Mexico. More HERE.

LA State Fire Marshal's Office offers Halloween safety tips

The following are Halloween safety tips from the Louisiana Fire Marshal's Office:

Halloween offers so much fun, but it does come with hidden fire dangers that can be truly scary. In a recent five-year study, NFPA discovered that decorations were the first items to be ignited in an estimated average of 1,000 reported home structure fires per year. These fires caused per year average of 6 civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries and $16 million in direct property damage. Nearly half of these decoration fires occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source. 41% of these incidents were started by candles; and one-fifth began in the living room, family room, or den. More HERE.

Some headlines last week:

BPSO: Teens booked on charges relating to false abduction report

BEAUREGARD PARISH -- An 18-year-old Merryville teen and the 15-year-old girl, who was reported missing earlier this week in Singer, were booked on charges relating to a false report, according to the Beauregard Parish  Sheriff's Office.
Earlier this week, authorities received a report that the girl may have been abducted from school.
Authorities searched, but later learned she had left school on her own and had been with a friend, 18-year-old Tyler Campbell. More HERE.

Funding campaign underway to raise money for DeRidder soldier's memorial

DERIDDER -- There's an effort underway to fund the placement of a memorial to honor the service and sacrifice of 30-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Andrew T. Weathers, from DeRidder.
A GoFundMe campaign has been established for the memorial to raise funds to place it at P.W. West Park. More HERE.

Three arrested following drug investigation in Vernon

VERNON PARISH -- Three Rosepine residents are facing drug charges following an investigation by the Vernon Parish Narcotics Task Force.
Authorities said the Oct. 22 arrests of 51-year-old Paul Nash, 36-year-old Hartson "Bubba" Nash and 44-year-old Lori L. Nash were the result of a lengthy investigation into their alleged drug activity. More HERE.

LSP: State Trooper saves life after crash in Beauregard Parish

BEAUREGARD PARISH -- A State Trooper helped to save the life of a DeRidder man following an accident on U.S. 171 at La. 26 in DeRidder on Oct. 17.
According to troopers, one of the drivers involved in the crash, 73-year-old Derwood Causey, suffered a heart attack as the crash was being investigated. More HERE.

Volunteers combine forces for upgrades at MLK Center park

LEESVILLE -- A small Leesville park got a big boost on Wednesday as volunteers made some much-needed enhancements there.
Children will be happy to find the new touches at the park, near the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, at 1003 North Gladys Street. More HERE.

New Leesville Municipal Golf Course manager aiming to improve course, attract more users

LEESVILLE -- The Leesville Municipal Golf Course has a new manager and he's looking to attract more users.
Mike Carter began at the course about two months ago. The retired military officer moved here from Las Vegas with his wife and son, who is a senior at Leesville High School. Carter's brother, who retired from the Army at Fort Polk, lives in Leesville as well.
Carter said he doesn't have a "golf" background. His experience is in management. In the Army, he worked in logistics and in the civilian world, he has held senior level management positions. More HERE.

Beauregard Parish shows gains in district, school performance scores

The following is a news release from the Beauregard Parish School Board:

The State Department of Education released the 2014 District Performance Scores (DPS) and School Performance Scores (SPS) for K-12 schools showing Beauregard Parish with a score of 97.6, an increase of 9.3 points over last year’s score, according to Superintendent Timothy J. Cooley. Beauregard Parish earned a letter grade of “B” for this year’s performance score. More HERE.

Pitkin residents booked on synthetic marijuana possession

VERNON PARISH -- Two Pitkin residents are facing drug charges following an investigation by the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office. More HERE.

Golf event, to benefit the Alzheimer's Association, set Nov. 15 at Leesville Municipal Golf Course

LEESVILLE -- "A Round To Remember," a golf event to benefit the Alzheimer's Association, will be held Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Leesville Municipal Golf Course.
Registration will be $40 per player. More HERE.

Rebel State Historic Site to honor "The Louisiana Hayride"

MARTHAVILLE -- Sample one of the best-loved roots of country music as Rebel State Historic Site hosts a day discussing "The Louisiana Hayride: The Cradle of the Stars,” on Saturday, Nov. 15.
Presentations are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. More HERE.

Performance scores released by state for public schools, districts

State education officials released performance scores for public schools and public school districts on Tuesday. See how local schools fared HERE.

Audio of 30th JDC judge candidates' forum available

If you missed our 30th JDC Division "B" Judge Candidates Forum held recently, you can find the audio here:

VPSO warns residents of online scam

The following is a news release from the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office:

Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft would like to make area residents aware of a reported online scam.
The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office was contacted by an area resident who indicated that she was contacted by a person known to her on Facebook. More HERE.

Chefs invited to take part in "La Cuisine de Beauregard"

The following is from the City of DeRidder:

DERIDDER -- The date for the 6th Annual La Cuisine de Beauregard has been set for Nov. 8.  Chefs are currently being solicited for the cook-off. More on how to participate HERE.

Entries being accepted for annual Vernon Christmas Parade, set Dec. 13

LEESVILLE -- The Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce's annual Christmas Parade will be held at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 in downtown Leesville.
The parade's theme is "Candy Canes and Christmas Carols."
The entry deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11. All parade participants must be registered. The entry fee is $20 per entry. More HERE.

Cleco agrees to sale agreement

The following is a news release from Cleco Corp.:

PINEVILLE -- Cleco Corporation (NYSE: CNL), a public utility holding company and owner of regulated electric utility Cleco Power LLC, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a group of North American long-term infrastructure investors led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC), together with John Hancock Financial and other infrastructure investors (collectively, “investor group”). The agreement values Cleco at approximately $4.7 billion, including approximately $1.3 billion of assumed debt. More HERE.

Leesville Police Department now utilizing "Nixle" alert service

The following is a news release from the Leesville Police Department:

LEESVILLE -- The Leesville Police Department is now using the Nixle service to provide instant alerts to the community for a variety of public safety events and for other significant community issues. For many years, the city used a similar service that only dialed land-line telephones. Nixle utilizes new technologies that provide instant outreach across multiple medium – telephone, cell phone, text message, email, Facebook, Twitter, and internet. More HERE.

Click HERE for news from the week of Oct. 13
Click HERE for news from the week of Oct. 6
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