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News for the week of June 30


Some headlines last week:

Remains believed to be those of Stephens found; two people booked, accused in murder

FROM STAFF REPORTS
VERNON PARISH -- Two people have been arrested in the disappearance of 31-year-old Jamey Stephens, of Rosepine.
Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office authorities say human remains were located in an area on La. 1211 in Vernon Parish. They believe the remains are those of Stephens.
More HERE.


Fort Polk Progress, area leaders urge public input on realignment study

BY ELONA WESTON
LEESVILLE -- There's a lot at stake, and much to fight for.
That was the message Wednesday morning in a news conference that laid out the recent Army assessment of possible troop reduction at Fort Polk.
As in past years, there are possible cuts at Fort Polk.
A recent Army study looks at a possible loss of around 6,500 troops. Last year, the possible loss sat at around 5,300. More HERE.


Judge rules that dog can go home while New Llano pit bull ban case is decided

BY ELONA WESTON
LAKE CHARLES -- A federal judge has ruled in favor of a New Llano couple regarding their request for "preliminary and/or permanent injunctive relief" in their case against the Town of New Llano involving a pit bull ban.
According to the ruling, handed down Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi, Christina and Victor Nelsons' dog, Mazzy, can live in their New Llano home with them, under certain guidelines, until a final judgment is rendered in the case.
The couple filed suit against the town after their dog was banned. More HERE.


Leesville officials sworn in

BY ELONA WESTON
LEESVILLE -- Leesville Mayor Rick Allen and city council members were sworn in for their 2014-2018 terms in a Monday evening ceremony.
Sworn were Allen, councilman-at-large William "Coach" Thomas, District 3 councilman Danny Dowd, District 2 councilwoman Willie Mae Kennedy, District 1 councilman Chris Robertson, and councilwoman-at-large Alice Guess.
Judge Elvin Fontenot presided over the ceremony. More HERE.


New Llano officials sworn in

NEW LLANO -- New Llano officials were sworn in Tuesday at New Llano Town Hall. The terms are for 2014-2018. Also sworn were police officers and reserve officers for the town. See photos HERE.


Cubic awarded $78M to support Army training at Fort Polk

FROM STAFF REPORTS
FORT POLK -- Cubic Applications Inc. has been awarded $78.1 million to support Army training at Fort Polk.
The Department of Defense made the contract announcement on Friday. More HERE.


Self retires; says teachers, community help make Vernon strong

BY ELONA WESTON
LEESVILLE -- Vernon Parish Superintendent Jackie Self said Vernon Parish has a strong educational system due to its teachers and the community. Self retired June 30. More HERE.


Free small business seminar slated July 15 in DeRidder

DERIDDER -- McNeese State University will host a free seminar, "Starting and Financing a Small Business" from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. July 15 at the First Street School (401 W. 1st St.) in DeRidder. The seminar will be presented by the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University. More HERE.


Leesville woman killed in crash, five others injured

A crash involving two vehicles killed a woman from Leesville and injured five others on Thursday. More HERE.


Vernon, Beauregard to benefit from $6M employment grant awarded to state

FROM STAFF REPORTS
Vernon and Beauregard parishes will benefit from a $6.17 million federal grant awarded to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
Officials say the money will be spread across parishes to help employers offset the cost of worker training.
Funds could mean 1,200 new jobs statewide. More HERE.


Longtime Leesville councilman Mike Elliott passes away

BY ELONA WESTON
LEESVILLE -- Longtime Leesville City Councilman William "Mike" Elliott passed away on Tuesday evening. Elliott served the city's District 4. An accountant, he founded Elliott and Associates, a CPA firm, in 1988. He was a native of Bernice and lived in Leesville for nearly three decades. More HERE.


Officials: Election will determine District 4 seat held by Elliott

FROM STAFF REPORTS
LEESVILLE -- An election will have to be called, likely this fall, to fill the vacant term created by the passing of longtime Leesville councilman Mike Elliott.
That's according to the Vernon Parish Clerk of Court's Office.
Officials on Wednesday said they notified the Louisiana Secretary of State's Office of the vacancy, as is protocol when a public official passes. More HERE.


VPSO seeking assistance in Rosepine burglary case

FROM STAFF REPORTS
VERNON PARISH -- The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office is seeking assistance in identifying those responsible for the burglary of a Rosepine area business.
Authorities said the incident took place between June 19 and June 20.
The business' door was pried open and a safe was stolen, containing knives, firearms and over $1,000 in cash. More HERE.


VPSO looking for information in ATV theft case

FROM STAFF REPORTS
VERNON PARISH -- The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office is seeking assistance from the public in identifying those responsible for the theft of two ATVs from a residence in the area of Liliedahl Road in the Rosepine area. More HERE.


"Pushups For Charity" set July 26 at LHS stadium

FROM STAFF REPORTS
VERNON PARISH -- "Pushups For Charity," a fundraiser for the troops, will be held Saturday, July 26 at the Leesville High School stadium.
The event is being sponsored by the Military Affairs Committee of the Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce. It's part of the national, non-profit Boot Campaign.
Activities will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon. More HERE.


Pageant to benefit Rosepine girl battling cancer

FROM STAFF REPORTS
DERIDDER -- "Emily's Fight Like A Girl" pageant and silent auction will be held Saturday, Aug. 16 at the Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall in DeRidder.
Emily Mikkelson is a fifth grader at Rosepine Elementary School. She is battling Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma for the second time. Family and friends have united to host this benefit to assist Emily's family with their expenses.
The pageant entry fee is $40. More HERE.


"Running For A Cure 5K" set Sept. 20 in DeRidder

DERIDDER -- "Running For A Cure 5K," benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, is set for 8 a.m. Sept. 20 in DeRidder. Basic entry is $25. Dedication entry is $30. More HERE.



DeRidder officials are sworn in on Monday.

DeRidder swears in officials, says farewell to outgoing members

BY ELONA WESTON
DERIDDER -- Joe Siciliano will be moving on from DeRidder, but the city will always be near.
For years, Siciliano has served as councilman of DeRidder's District 5.
Siciliano chose not to seek re-election during the spring municipal election. He and his wife will be moving on to new adventures, he said, but he'll carry DeRidder in his heart. More HERE.


Tudor Construction submits winning bid for South Polk Elementary project

FROM STAFF REPORTS
VERNON PARISH -- Tudor Construction Inc., of Alexandria, will build the new South Polk Elementary School.
The company submitted the lowest bid -- totaling around $16.9 million. More HERE.




Ceremony marks command change for Fort Polk's 4/10

BY ELONA WESTON
FORT POLK -- A ceremony on Thursday marked the change of command of Fort Polk's 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.
Col. Mario Diaz and Command Sgt. Maj. Noe Salinas relinquished command to Col. Guy Jones and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Ferrusi.
Diaz and Salinas took command of the Brigade Combat Team shortly after its return from Afghanistan in 2011.
Diaz said the change comes with some emotion. He commended his fellow soldiers and reflected on his time with them. More HERE.

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