News headlines for Oct. 24, 2014


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There will be drive-thru flu shots given at the Vernon Parish Office of Public Health, at 406 West Fertitta Boulevard in Leesville, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, Friday, Oct. 24. This is for anyone older than six months. There is a $10 maximum out-of-pocket expense. There will be no out-of-pocket expense for Medicaid and Medicare with card. Please bring other insurance cards if you have one. Officials ask that you wear short sleeve clothing to assist with the immunization.

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.

Updated: 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.

Louisiana State Championship Soapbox Derby set Saturday in Leesville

LEESVILLE -- The Louisiana State Championship Soapbox Derby is slated Saturday, Oct. 25 in downtown Leesville. More HERE.

Four Winds Tribe powwow set Saturday, Sunday in DeRidder

DERIDDER --The Four Winds Tribe, Louisiana Cherokee Confederacy, will host its 15th annual powwow on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25-26, at the Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds' Exhibition Hall in DeRidder. 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.

More headlines this week:

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 Tuesday's 30th JDC judge candidates' forum available

If you missed our 30th JDC Division "B" Judge Candidates Forum on Tuesday evening, 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.

"Downtown at Sundown" and "Pumpkin Glow" set Oct. 30 in DeRidder

The following was submitted by the City of DeRidder:

DERIDDER -- The City of DeRidder and DeRidder Main Street will host Downtown at Sundown on Thursday, Oct. 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Amerisafe Pavilion. Free live music will be performed by the LA Sideman Band. There will be free hamburgers and chips. Drinks will be sold for $1. More 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.

Early voting begins for the Nov. 4 election

Early voting for the Nov. 4 election began on Tuesday and will run through Tuesday, Oct. 28, with exception of Sunday, Oct. 26. That takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Registrar of Voters' offices.
Nov. 4 is the open primary/congressional. Any runoffs will be decided during the open general/congressional on Saturday, Dec. 6. More HERE.

DeRidder businessman, Aubrey T. Temple Jr., dies

DeRidder businessman and insurance industry veteran, Aubrey T. Temple Jr., has passed away at the age of 68. According to Temple's obituary from Labby Memorial Funeral Home of DeRidder, Temple died Saturday in Baton Rouge. Temple served on numerous state and local boards and committees over the years. More HERE.

Donors needed for 'Star Spangled Baby Shower' set for Saturday

The following was submitted by Fort Polk Progress:

LEESVILLE -- Donors are still needed for the Star Spangled Baby Shower for Fort Polk military families. The event will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 at the First United Pentecostal Church in Leesville and is sponsored by Operation Homefront Louisiana/Mississippi. More HERE.

Town of New Llano to host "October Fest" on Friday

NEW LLANO -- The Town of New Llano will host its annual "October Fest" on Friday, Oct. 24 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the New Llano Park on Stanton Street.
Fire and police departments from the town and surrounding areas will compete in a chili cookoff. There will be free hot dogs and chili for everyone. 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.

Fall registration for VPSO's "Project Loved One" slated through Thursday

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

VERNON PARISH -- The registration period for the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office's "Project Loved One" program is Oct. 21-23.
"Project Loved One" has been established by the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office in an effort to provide services to persons who suffer from neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, dementia or any mental impairment. More HERE.

Some headlines last week:

Newspaper: Hagel mentions Fort Polk in Wednesday speech at AUSA conference

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel made mention of Fort Polk in a speech Wednesday before the Association of the United States Army conference in Washington.
The Stars and Stripes newspaper reports that Hagel was speaking on the benefit of training soldiers, "full-spectrum," and at "brigade-level centers where they are immersed in realistic threat scenarios facing guerilla, terrorist, criminal and sophisticated conventional forces." More HERE.

Leesville reaches settlement agreement in records suit

LEESVILLE -- The Leesville City Council has reached an 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.
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. More HERE.

Drive-thru flu shot clinic slated Oct. 24 in Leesville

LEESVILLE -- There will be drive-thru flu shots given at the Vernon Parish Office of Public Health, at 406 West Fertitta Boulevard in Leesville, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24.
This is for anyone older than six months. More HERE.

15th Annual Veterans Day event slated Nov. 9 at East Beauregard

DRY CREEK -- The 15th Annual Veterans Day Celebration at East Beauregard will be held Sunday, Nov. 9 from noon to 4 p.m. at the football stadium at East Beauregard High School. More HERE.

L'Auberge to offer free breakfast, lunch to veterans, active-duty personnel on Veterans Day

LAKE CHARLES -- L'Auberge Casino Resort, in Lake Charles, will offer a complimentary breakfast or lunch to veterans and active duty military personnel on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to a news release from Pinnacle Entertainment.
A veteran’s card or valid military ID should be presented to the buffet cashier to qualify for the complimentary meal; one per person. More HERE.

UPDATED: Leesville Council votes to dismiss administrator

LEESVILLE -- The Leesville City Council on Monday voted unanimously to remove current city administrator Courtney Christian, who had served in the post since 2012.
Delain Prewitt, a past city administrator who worked under former mayors Jim Shapkoff Jr. and Betty Westerchil, has been tapped to serve in an interim role for a 90-day term until a permanent hire is made.

Allen: Officials feel dismissal was in city's interest
The reason for Christian's dismissal was not discussed in the meeting. However, Leesville Mayor Rick Allen said in a Tuesday interview that the decision was not an easy one but officials feel they acted in the city's interest.
"The council and I had made several requests about things that we felt need to be happening in the city," he said. "The time frame that these things were being done in was not acceptable." More HERE.

Leesville man accused of stealing, damaging a/c units at church

VERNON PARISH -- A Leesville man is accused of stealing some air-conditioning units and damaging others at a local church.
According to a news release from the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office, 39-year-old Darian Chaney was booked on two counts of felony theft of copper, two counts of criminal damage to property and two counts of criminal trespassing. More HERE.

'Day of the Dead' exhibit planned; history, tradition outlined

LEESVILLE -- Gallery One Ellleven, in downtown Leesville, will host a "Day of the Dead" exhibit that will run from Oct. 15 through Nov. 1. The exhibit will open on Wednesday, Oct. 15. The "Day of the Dead" alter will be held at the "Witch Way to Main" Halloween event on Friday, Oct. 31 in downtown Leesville. For more information, contact Paula Sche-Baldwin at More HERE.

Fort Polk to host 39th annual Retiree Appreciation Day

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

FORT POLK -- A host of activities are planned as hundreds of military retirees from throughout Louisiana and southeast Texas descend on Fort Polk for the post’s 39th Annual Retiree Appreciation Day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 25. More HERE.

Leesville Council votes to introduce ordinance to repeal policy on Sunday bar hours

LEESVILLE -- The Leesville City Council favored the introduction of a measure on Monday that, if finally approved, would repeal its current policy on bars and Sunday operation hours.
Currently, bars cannot be open during daytime hours on Sunday. More HERE.

Suddenlink kicks off 8th Annual Program for Food Bank of Central Louisiana
The following is a news release from SuddenLink:

ALEXANDRIA -- The Food Bank of Central Louisiana and Suddenlink will kick off Suddenlink’s 8th annual “Connecting to Those in Need” fall food drive Oct. 13.
Last year, the “Connecting to Those in Need” campaign collected more than 76,000 pounds of food and monetary equivalent. The program goal this year is to collect 80,000 pounds of non-perishable food items that will be donated to the Food Bank of Central Louisiana, and, through it, to its more than 104 member agencies. More HERE.

Click HERE for news from the week of Oct. 6
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