Lawmakers in the Louisiana House want Governor Bobby Jindal's office to carry the burden of security detail costs from his extensive out-of-state travel. The House voted 55-35 Thursday for a change to next year's budget that would transfer $2.5 million from Jindal's office to the state police to cover the price tag of state troopers traveling with the governor. Jindal has steadily increased his national travel as he readies for a likely 2016 presidential campaign. In a recent budget hearing, the head of the Louisiana State Police told lawmakers his agency spent $2.2 million on travel expenses related to Jindal's protective detail this year. Representative Ted James of Baton Rouge, who proposed the change, said the state police shouldn't pay for "the governor running for president."
After reaching a more than two-year high in early 2015, Americans' satisfaction with the direction of the U.S. continues to fall. According to the latest Gallup Poll, twenty-six percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the nation in May, down slightly from 32% in January and February. The drop in Americans' satisfaction with the way things are going parallels the recent decline in economic confidence. Americans had a more positive outlook on the economy at the dawn of 2015, but these views, like satisfaction, have fallen in recent months. Americans still list the economy, government, and unemployment as top problems the nation faces.
A Many resident pulled over for a traffic violation was arrested Monday after Natchitoches Parish deputies learned his license was suspended, saw drugs inside the car and smelled alcohol. According to a news release. 31 year-old Steven J. Rushing was stopped late Monday night on LA Highway 6 near Robeline. Deputies learned that Rushing's license was suspended. Rushing admitted to drinking earlier, and deputies also observed suspected narcotics in plain view in the vehicle. After a search, deputies found about 4.5 grams of suspected crystal meth with a street value of about $675.00. Rushing was arrested and charged with second-offense possession of meth, driving under suspension, an open container violation and traffic offenses. He remains in jail, awaiting bond.
A child died in a flash flooding incident that occurred on Little River Road in Lincoln Parish early Monday. At about 7:33 a.m. Ruston police were alerted that a vehicle was swept away into Colvin Creek off of Little River Road in Ruston. The vehicle was traveling southbound on Little River Road when flood waters swept it into the creek. At the time, the vehicle was occupied by an adult and two children. The driver of the vehicle escaped from the vehicle as it was being swept down the creek. She was eventually able to pull herself from the creek a distance away, but two children, ages 7 and 11, were unaccounted for, according to Ruston Chief Deputy Clint Williams. Fire department personnel located the 7 year old clinging to a tree about one hour later, reportedly in stable condition. At about 10:00 a.m., emergency crews located the vehicle and recovered the body of the 11 year old passenger.
A Winn Parish man has been arrested by Union Parish sheriff’s deputies for cyberstalking and violating a protective order. 38 year-old Ricky Joseph Bergeron, of Atlanta, was arrested on May 11 and booked into the Union Parish Detention Center.. His total bond on the two charges was set at $6,600. Deputies began an investigation April 30 when the suspect’s ex-wife filed a complaint that she had received a threatening text message over her cell phone. With the help of Winn Parish authorities, deputies were able to interview Bergeron, who admitted that he had sent the message, because he was upset over custody of their children. The Third Judicial District Court in Farmerville had previously issued a protective order for Bergeron not to make contact with his ex-wife in person or electronically.
A powerful and potentially harmful chemical compound has been found in synthetic marijuana tested in several states that saw a huge spike in the number of people hospitalized because of the drug last month. Recent tests have turned up a synthetic cannabinoid that mimics the effects of the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Officials say it's one of several cannabinoids that can cause severe health problems including seizures, elevated blood pressure and death. Dr. Steven Marcus of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System has been monitoring the recent hospitalizations spike. He said that the same compound has been found recently in synthetic marijuana seized in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states.
Winn Parish Sheriff's Department Arrest Report:
On Tuesday, May 12, the Winn Parish Sheriff's Department arrested Dustin Maloy, of Winnfield. Maloy was charged with felony theft. Also arrested was Shandrika Johnson, of Natchitoches, for failure to appear, driving under suspension, and improper lane use. On Wednesday, May 13, deputies arrested Lamarion Evans, of Winnfield, for simple escape. On Saturday, May 16, James Womack, of Winnfield, was arrested for battery of a police officer, flight from an officer, and an unsafe vehicle. On Sunday, May 17, Kenneth Stanford, of Quitman, was arrested for failure to appear. On Tuesday, May 19, Joseph Thompson, of Sikes, was arrested for domestic abuse battery.
LifeShare Blood Center will hold a blood drive at Wal-Mart in Winnfield Sunday, May 24, from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. There will also be a blood drive at Wal-Mart in Winnfield Wednesday, May 27, from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. According to LifeShare, type O negative donors are in critical need as recent patient usage has increased substantially. LifeShare Blood Centers is asking all O negative donors to make a donation.The Soggy Bottom Riding Club will hold its 10th Annual St. Jude's Benefit Trail Ride Saturday, June 13. Registration starts at 9:00 a.m. at the Gum Springs Horse Trail, and the ride begins at 10:00 a.m. The cost is $10.00 per rider, and there will be a hamburger lunch and auction after the ride. Lunch is also available to non-riders for $10.00, and any donations are also welcome. All proceeds will go to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
The Winn Parish 4-H Outdoor Skills Banquet is scheduled for Saturday, June 13, at the Winnfield Civic Center. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m., and the banquet will offer a variety of guns and materials for the homeowner and the hunter. Tickets are $35.00 for individuals, $60.00 for couples, or $350.00 for an eight-person table. All proceeds will go toward activities for Winn Parish 4-H youth. For more information, contact Winn Parish County Agent Donny Moon at 628-4528.
The Winn Ranger District of the Kisatchie National Forest will hold the 13th Annual Youth Fishing Derby Saturday, June 13, at the Bombing Range Pond on Highway 84 West, near the Gum Springs Recreation Area. All children age two through twelve are invited to participate. The purpose of the derby is to provide a fun, exciting, and educational fishing experience to area youth. Each child that participates will receive a prize. For more information, contact the Winn Ranger District at 628-4664.The next meeting of the Louisiana Crime Victims Reparations Board will be on Tuesday, June 9, 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