News for the week of Jan. 20

Leesville man pleads guilty to receiving child pornography

LAKE CHARLES -- A Leesville man has pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography. According to a news release from U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley, 29-year-old Elliot R. Duke pleaded guilty Thursday before U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi. More HERE.

VPSO seeking suspect in worthless checks case

VERNON PARISH -- The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's assistance in locating a subject wanted for issuing worthless checks.
Jennifer Marie Hall is believed to be from Lumberton, Texas but once resided in Vernon Parish, according to authorities. More HERE.

Crime Stoppers offering reward for information in bus damage

BEAUREGARD PARISH -- Beauregard Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for taking and causing damage to a parish school bus. More HERE.

Traffic stop leads to drug arrests

VERNON PARISH -- Two people were booked on drug charges following a traffic stop in Vernon Parish on Tuesday. Steven A. Mills, 31, and Stormie Gale Broussard, 30, were pulled over during a routine traffic stop. More HERE.

Vernon Parish area lawmaker to propose La. Wounded Warrior Fund bill again

Rep. Frankie Howard will once again propose a measure to dedicate a portion of the state excise tax levied on some alcoholic beverages to the Louisiana Wounded Warrior Fund.

Howard, R-Many, attempted the legislation last year, but it was stymied in a House committee.

Howard told the West Central News Center recently that he's hoping to gain the support of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.
More HERE.

Tuck, Clay to remain in officer seats on VPPJ

LEESVILLE -- Jim Tuck and Curtis Clay will remain in their officer posts on the Vernon Parish Police Jury for 2014.
The panel unanimously voted to reseat Tuck as president and Clay as vice president on Tuesday. No other nominations were made. More HERE.

Slot limit removal proposed for Vernon Lake

LEESVILLE -- The slot limit will likely be removed on Vernon Lake, according to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.
The limit was adopted years ago with the intent to yield larger bass, but officials have said that the regulations aren't working.
More HERE.

Louisiana State Parks asking for input

BATON ROUGE -- The Louisiana State Parks department is asking residents to help plan the future of outdoor recreation in Louisiana.
Officials are asking people to complete a survey about the resources the parks provide, what improvements can be made and overall enjoyment of the outdoors in the state. More HERE.

Leesville men accused of selling synthetic marijuana

LEESVILLE -- Three Leesville men are accused of selling synthetic marijuana, according to the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office.
More HERE.

Audit uncovers some issues with Vernon schools' activity accounts

VERNON PARISH -- A recent independent audit of the Vernon Parish School Board has uncovered some issues with some schools' activity accounts.
The audit, compiled by accountants Allen, Green & Williamson LLP of Monroe, was for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013.
Auditors found some purchases not allowed by school board policy, late payment of bills, lack of documentation for purchases and some purchases made without a purchase order/requisition.
Auditors also question some items being purchased with the funds by some schools.
You can find the full audit report HERE.

DeRidder marks life, legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

DERIDDER -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy were remembered Monday in DeRidder.

DeRidder native and McNeese State University head mens' basketball coach, Dave Simmons, as well as Ron Smith, of Cleco, were guest speakers at a prayer breakfast held at P's Seafood.

A march was also held Monday afternoon.

DeRidder's MLK observance is in its 29th year. More HERE.

Local author encourages writers to seek inspiration 'everywhere'

LEESVILLE -- "Watch and observe."
That's the advice local author T.R. Dowden gives aspiring writers in the area.
Dowden has written two books, "Aftermath," and "Delaware Blues." She said she finds inspiration "everywhere" in Leesville.
More HERE.

More headlines last week:

Beauregard courthouse work to begin in 2015

DERIDDER -- Plans to renovate the aging Beauregard Parish Courthouse are close to being ironed out, according to Beauregard Parish police jurors.
Paul Lemaire, of Corne-Lemaire Group in Lafayette, the project's architect, said he has some work left to do on the final plan, which will be submitted to police jurors later this year. More HERE.

BCAA asks police jurors to consider millage proposal

DERIDDER -- An agency that serves about 2,800 low-income residents in Beauregard each year is facing a financial crunch.
The Beauregard Community Action Association on Tuesday asked Beauregard Parish police jurors to place a millage proposal on a future ballot to help sustain the agency's  services. More HERE.

VPSO releases 2013 crime statistics

LEESVILLE -- The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office has released its statistics for Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2013. According to Sheriff Sam Craft, the department responded to a total of 10,895 calls. More HERE.

Louisiana Legislature to convene March 10, bills being prefiled

BATON ROUGE -- The 2014 session of the Louisiana Legislature will convene Monday, March 10. Final adjournment, by law, must be no later than 6 p.m. June 2.
Already, state lawmakers are prefiling bills. See more information, plus a list of prefiled bills, HERE.

Statewide burn advisory in place, 'medium' wildfire threat in Beauregard

BEAUREGARD PARISH -- Dry conditions and dead vegetation in the state have prompted State Fire Marshal Butch Browning to issue a burn advisory.

It's not a ban, but Browning is urging residents to use caution when burning due to the favorable fire conditions.

In Beauregard Parish, state forestry wildland firefighters and volunteer departments have seen an increase in brush fires. More HERE.
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