KVCL Local News

A mass outbreak of salmonella has been reported in Caldwell Parish. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the outbreak occurred in Columbia and is tenatively attributed to a local jambalaya fundraiser for the Caldwell Parish High School softball team. Hundreds have bicome ill and one death is being investigated. Authorities are trying to determine if the death was a result of the infection. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death and identify details surrounding the illness. The Louisiana Department of Health was notified of the potential foodborne outbreak on Wednesday as reports of illness began adding up and a death was reported. According to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 1.2 million people become ill from Salmonella infection each year.

Louisiana was ranked as having the highest murder rate in 2016. According to new statistics released by the FBIís Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the state had the highest murder rate out of the 50 U.S. states last year. Louisianaís murder rate was 11.8, and an estimated 554 murders occurred in 2016. The rates are calculated based on the number of murders and non-negligent manslaughters per 100,000 people. Louisianaís population was just over 4.68 million. Looking at other states, Missouri had the second highest murder rate of 8.8, with an estimated 537 murders reported last year. Alabama had a murder rate of 8.4, with 407 murders occurring last year. The report also collected data for Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, with higher murder rates than Louisiana, with 20.4 for Washington D.C. and 19.9 for Puerto Rico.

A Winnfield man was killed in a single-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon. State police responded to the crash on October 17 around 2:50 p.m., which occurred on LA Hwy 156 at Stevens Road. The crash involved a 2016 Dodge pickup, driven by 50 year-old Randall L. Shell. The Dodge was westbound on LA Hwy 156 when Shell lost control, ran off the left side of the road, and collided with two trees. Shell was wearing a seat belt, but was pronounced dead. Routine toxicology tests are pending, and the crash remains under investigation.

Louisiana's social services agency has posted an online mapping tool to help people find the state's "safe haven" sites, or places where they can legally give up a newborn baby. The Department of Children and Family Services has posted an online directory where visitors seeking a safe haven site can enter a town, city or zip code to find nearby locations. State lawmakers passed Louisiana's safe haven law in 2000, aiming to combat child abandonment. The law allows people to hand over children up to 60 days old to an employee at a designated emergency care facility, such as a licensed hospital, public health unit or fire or police station. The department said 52 infants have been relinquished to authorities under the law since 2004. More information is available at www.LouisianaSafeHaven.com.

About 1,400 state inmates will be granted an early release across the state on November 1. The release is part of changes made to the Louisiana justice system. In the spring, Governor John Bel Edwards and the state legislature introduced a reform package that includes a reduction in prison terms for non-violent offenders. The sentence reductions include drug and property crimes. State officials believe the reforms could save the state more than $260 million in prison spending over the next 10 years, with 70-percent of the savings reinvested into the community for criminal justice programs. A number of sheriffs across the state have expressed disapproval of the early release, saying that those released will be repeat offenders.

Sexually transmitted diseases have increased across the U.S. for a third consecutive year and Louisiana ranked second-highest for the three STDs measured. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Louisiana has the second-highest rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. The CDCís 2016 STD Surveillance Report was released in late September and showed that Louisiana had roughly 16 syphilis cases per 100,000 people. Louisianaís chlamydia rate was nearly 680 cases per 100,000 people, and gonorrhea was around 230 cases per 100,000. A CDC report released last year said Louisiana had the second-highest rate of HIV

Winn Parish Sheriff's Department Arrest Report:

On Friday, October 13, the Winn Parish Sheriff's Department arrested Franklin Davis, Jr., of Natchitoches. Davis was arrested for theft of utilities. Also arrested on October 13 was Jashawn Duane Latchie, of Winnfield, on a warrant for failure to appear, Gabriel Yeatman, of Oklahoma City, on a warrant for failure to appear, Kenneth Phillips, of Colfax, for probation violation, and Billy Savage, of Winnfield, for two counts of trespassing. On Saturday, October 14, deputies arrested Tony Franklin Carter, of Montgomery, on two warrants for failure to appesr.

Winn Parish residents now have access to a new emergency alert program called Nixle which sends alerts to cell phones to notify people of emergencies in our area as they happen. In order to receive alerts, persons must first sign up by text message. To sign up, you need to:

1. Text winnparish (one word) to 888-777

2. Enter your zip code when you receive a text requesting it.

3. You should receive a text to thank you for signing up.

These steps will enable persons to get messages by cellphone. To get the most localized alerts, persons may register online at www.nixle.com and enter their home address and landline telephone number. For more information, visit www.nixle.com.

Winn Correctional Center will host an Arts and Crafts Fair Saturday, October 21 from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. There will be a variety of hand-made leather items for sale, along with art work and wood crafts for sale, and special custom-made orders may also be arranged. No one under the age of 18 will be admitted, and dress requirements include no tank tops, shorts, spandex, or tight-fitting clothing, no open-toe shoes, and no revealing necklines.

Atlanta High School will host a Fall Festival Tuesday, October 24, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Activities will be at the Atlanta High School. There will be gumbo, hot dogs, chips and drinks, a silent auction, along with a variety of games. Game tickets are 50 cents each, and everyone is invited to bring the whole family and join the fun.

Everyone is invited to the 5th Annual Fall Festival in downtown Winnfield Tuesday, October 31. Activities will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Main Streen in Winnfield from the Winn Parish Courthouse to the First Methodist Church. The First Methodist Church will be serving hot dogs and hosting Trunks of Treats, and the Winnfield Pilot Club will host the Costlume Contest on the courthouse lawn across from the Pea Patch. Registration for the contest is at 5:00 p.m., with the contest at 5:30 p.m. Local businesses and churches are invited to come and decorate a trunk and hand out treats, or host a game with prizes. For more information, call 628-6133.

Congressman Ralph Abraham has announced satellite office hours for Central Louisiana parishes. Office hours for Winn Parish will be in the Winn Parish Police Jury meeting room at 119 West Main Street, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month. Constituents are encouraged to visit the staff during these hours if they need help with any federal agency. Staff members are also available during business hours at the Central Louisiana District Office in Alexandria, which can be reached at 318-445-0818.

The next meeting of the Louisiana Crime Victims Reparations Board will be on Tuesday, November 14, at 9:00 a.m., at the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement Office, at 602 North Fifth Street in Baton Rouge. The public is invited to attend this meeting, and assistance will be provided to those who need special accommodations in order to attend this meeting. For more information, persons may call 225.342.1500