News headlines for Dec. 18, 2014


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SRA diversion canal to supply 46M gallons of water per day to Sasol development

LAKE CHARLES -- The Sabine River Authority's diversion canal will supply 46 million gallons of water per day to Sasol's planned $16 billion-to-$21 billion complex.
That's according to SRA Louisiana executive director Jim Pratt, who gave a presentation at Thursday's Louisiana Water Resources Commission meeting held at the Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center in Lake Charles. More HERE.

Indictments returned in case against Rosepine Chief

VERNON PARISH -- A 30th Judicial District Court grand jury on Wednesday returned indictments in the case involving Rosepine Police Chief James "Dennis" Parrott.
According to Steven Hartmann, of the Public Information Division for the Louisiana Department of Justice, Louisiana Attorney General's Office, Parrott was indicted on felony stalking and malfeasance, the charges he was arrested on in August by Louisiana State Police.
Hartmann said the grand jury also returned an indictment on two additional felony counts of malfeasance in office, sexual conduct (LA RS 41:134.1). More HERE.

Leesville man booked on chlid pornography possession

LEESVILLE -- A joint law enforcement effort led to the arrest of a Leesville man on five counts of possessing pornography involving juveniles, according to a news release from Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. More HERE.

VPSO: Two arrested in check forgery case

VERNON PARISH -- An investigation into a forged check resulted in the arrests of a Robeline woman and a Natchitoches man.
According to a news release from Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft, arrested were 40-year-old Cecilia Daniels Henderson and 33-year-old Johnnie Stewart.
Craft said the arrests were the result of a joint investigation between the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office. More HERE.

Arrests made in cattle thefts

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

BATON ROUGE -- Two men are under arrest following an investigation by the Louisiana Livestock Brand Commission for allegedly stealing three cows and selling them at the Kinder Livestock Auction in Kinder.
Allen Tyler Meylian, 20, from Kinder, and Jacob Chance Constance, 23, from Lake Charles, were booked into Allen Parish Jail on Thursday and each were charged with one count of theft of livestock. More HERE.

Leesville's "Pops" Maldonado matches suits to colorful spirit

LEESVILLE -- Edwin Maldonado is arguably the happiest man in Leesville.
If you've been to any event downtown, you've seen -- and remember --  "Pops."
He's most always festooned in his finest -- colorful suits, glittering hats, coordinating shoes and occasionally, a cane. More HERE.

More headlines this week:

BPSO: Couple booked in juvenile cruelty case; authorities say child has fractured skull, bruising

BEAUREGARD PARISH -- A DeRidder man and woman are accused of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile following an investigation by the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office.
According to Sheriff Ricky Moses, 23-year-old Brittany D. Cooley and 28-year-old Kevin A. Waller were arrested at the Sheriff's Office on Tuesday. More HERE.

New information released in fatal Beauregard Parish crash

BEAUREGARD PARISH -- There is new information in a crash that killed three people in Beauregard Parish on Sunday evening, near Longville.
According to Louisiana State Police, Troop D, after further investigation by the LSP Crash Reconstruction Team, a correction to previously released information has been issued. More HERE.

SBHS student a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist

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

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.  These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered in the spring.
Shanna Alane Barrow, a senior at South Beauregard  High School, has been named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. More HERE.

BubbaQue's BBQ restaurant to open in February

NEW LLANO -- West Central Louisiana is getting a new barbeque restaurant.
BubbaQue's plans to open in February in the old Verona Restaurant space on U.S. 171 in New Llano.
Jody Stanley, owner, said the chain restaurant has locations in Florida, and this will be the first in Louisiana.
Stanley, of said the restaurant will employ 30-40 people. Lunch and dinner will be served. There will also be a sports bar and a party room. More HERE.

Local woman celebrates 100th birthday

DERIDDER -- When 100-year-old Estelle Gill is asked by others to reveal her secret to longevity, her answer is simple ...
"I just tell them the Lord is not through with me yet," Gill said. "I don't know what he has got that he wants me to do, but he is keeping me here for some purpose."
Gill turned 100 on Sunday. More HERE.

Sugartown woman makes blankets for children with cancer

SUGARTOWN -- Alison Greene knows the blankets she makes have no magical healing powers, but kindness -- that's a whole a different story. That, she said, goes a long way.
"When your child gets cancer, your life basically stops. You have to take care of that child. You can't do anything else. Everyone else goes on with their life but you're right here. That's your life," Greene said.
Greene's son, Justin, beat cancer twice as a boy. He's now about to turn 27 and he's doing well. More HERE.

New Llano "Candy Run" slated Friday

NEW LLANO -- The New Llano Fire Department will host their annual "Candy Run" on Friday, Dec. 19 starting at 6 p.m. 
Santa Claus will join the New Llano Fire Department firefighters on their trucks as they parade through the neighborhoods of New Llano, tossing candy to the children all along the way.

Vernon Chamber announces Christmas parade winners

See the list HERE.

Headlines last week:

Executive session regarding Fire Chief may have violated state Open Meetings Law

LEESVILLE -- An executive session held by the Leesville Fire and Police Civil Service Board on Wednesday evening may have been in violation of the state's Open Meetings Law.
The panel met behind closed doors to discuss an ongoing civil service board-led personnel investigation involving Leesville Fire Chief Dewaine Lawson, who submitted a letter of resignation to the city on Monday.
The executive session was not advertised on the panel's meeting agenda. The agenda item was listed as, "Follow up on Chief Lawson investigation." State Open Meetings Law requires advance notice. More HERE.

Vernon Parish records gains, success in Advanced Placement (AP) programming

VERNON PARISH -- Vernon Parish is one of the 547 school districts around the country and Canada being recognized for gains and successes in its AP (Advanced Placement) programming.
School officials announced last week that the parish was honored by the College Board with placement on the 5th Annual AP (Advanced Placement) District Honor Roll.
The AP program helps prepare students for college coursework and, in some cases, provides college credits. More HERE.

Leesville men accused in residential burglaries; items recovered

VERNON PARISH -- Two Leesville men are accused in two residential burglaries at homes located on La. 1211 west of New Llano, according to a news release from the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office.
Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft reports that arrested were Thomas Brandon Bryant and Avery Evan Preston, both 20.
Craft said during the investigations, residents in the community provided information concerning a particular vehicle that had been spotted in the area at the approximate time the second burglary occurred. More HERE.

DeRidder family dazzles crowds with Christmas light show

DERIDDER -- Old and young are delighted and dazzled at the sights and sounds around a red brick home on Maul Road, south of DeRidder.
The Mlynarski family has been turning their home into a Christmas wonderland for five years.
In that time, the lights of multiplied -- and so have the crowds.
People from across the area -- and even into East Texas -- make their way to the show, which features several songs and light sequences. You tune into 98.3 on your FM dial and the magic all comes together. More HERE.

Woman booked on charges following fatal Sabine Parish wreck

SABINE PARISH -- A woman is facing charges following a fatal vehicle accident in Sabine Parish.
According to Louisiana State Police, Troop E, it happened on Wednesday evening. Troopers responded to the crash around 6:10 p.m., which occurred on La. 6 west of U.S.171.
The crash involved a 2004 Dodge Neon, driven by 37-year-old Heather Ruth Knippers, of Jefferson, IA.  More HERE.

Many man pleads guilty to distribution of methamphetamine

SHREVEPORT - A Many resident pleaded guilty Wednesday to distributing methamphetamine, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley.
Finley said 37-year-old Marcus Johnson pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. to one count of distribution of methamphetamine. More HERE.

40th anniversary Mayfest poster unveiled

LEESVILLE -- The 2015 Mayfest poster was unveiled at an event Tuesday night at Gallery One Ellleven in downtown Leesville.
Lake Charles-based artist Candice Alexander created the 40th anniversary Mayfest poster and was on hand for the unveiling.
More HERE.

Auditor gives City of Leesville 'clean' financial opinion; notes findings

LEESVILLE -- The City of Leesville received a "clean" opinion regarding its independent financial audit for the last fiscal year.
That's according to the city's contracted auditor, accounting firm Kolder, Champagne, Slaven and Company LLC, of Lafayette.
Auditor C. Burton Kolder gave the Leesville City Council an overview of the audit report and unmodified opinion on Monday. The audit report was for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014. It has yet to be released publicly through the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office. More HERE.

Officials: Public hearing will have to be held before annexation ordinance's adoption

LEESVILLE -- The Leesville City Council on Monday adopted an ordinance outlining annexation to incorporate Gene Koury Road into the city, however, city officials on Tuesday said a public hearing must be held prior to the ordinance's adoption, according to policy. More HERE.

Prescribed burns ongoing in Kisatchie through the month

VERNON PARISH -- Annual prescribed burns are underway in Kisatchie National Forest, according to U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Amy Robertson.
Robertson said crews will be conducting annual prescribed burning through Dec. 20 as weather permits. More HERE.

Vernon Parish gets $42K in federal grant money to improve homeless services

VERNON PARISH -- Vernon Parish is the recipient of $42,000 in federal grant money from the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) to improve homeless services in the area. More HERE.

Dry Prong man pleads guilty to damaging archaeological site in Kisatchie

ALEXANDRIA -- A Dry Prong man pleaded guilty Monday to illegally excavating a protected archaeological site in the Kisatchie National Forest, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley.
Finley said 44-year-old Robert Edgar Miles Jr. pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James D. Kirk to one count of unauthorized excavation, removal, damage and alteration of archaeological resources. More HERE.

Town of New Llano to host community gumbo dinner on Christmas Day

NEW LLANO -- The Town of New Llano is hosting a community Christmas gumbo dinner on Christmas Day from noon to 4 p.m. at the old New Llano Town Hall building.
Everyone is welcome.
This is a free event.
For more information, call Carolyn Todd at 378-7607 or email her at

A little bit of Christmas magic on Powell Drive

LEESVILLE -- There's magic at 143 Powell Drive in Leesville. The beautifully-lighted miniature Christmas village display has been helping people get into the Christmas spirit for years. April Canoy said her family has been collecting pieces along the way. The village started in the 1980s. More HERE.

Federal Impact Aid Surveys out now

The following is a news release from Fort Polk Progress:

FORT POLK -- Local school districts are sending out a Federal Impact Aid Survey with each student. Soldiers and Department of the Army (DA) civilians working on Fort Polk have students who receive educational services from these local districts. More HERE.

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