Governor John Bel Edwards says federal authorities have granted his request for an extension of the filing deadline for those affected by August floods to submit a proof of loss claim. Edwards said in a statement that the extension approved by FEMA will give flood victims more time to document their losses and to submit their claims so they can get the funds needed to repair their homes. The Governorís Office of Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security made the official request for an extension on November 29. With the extension, a National Flood Insurance Programs policyholder will have a total of 180 days following the date of loss to provide the completed proof of loss to the insurer.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence is urging Louisiana voters to back Republican John Kennedy for Louisiana's open U.S. Senate seat, saying Kennedy would be a strong partner to advance Donald Trump's agenda in Congress. Pence headlined a New Orleans rally and a fundraiser for Kennedy on Saturday, the final day of early voting for the Dec. 10 election. Kennedy, Louisiana's state treasurer, faces Democrat Foster Campbell, a state utility regulator, in the runoff for the nation's last undecided Senate seat. Pence said he and the president-elect support Kennedy "100 percent," describing a Kennedy win as putting "an exclamation point" on GOP victories this year.
Uncertainty continues around Louisiana's federal flood recovery package as state leaders are in Washington, D.C., this week for their final push for federal aid. Governor John Bel Edwards met with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill on Wednesday and was scheduled to have more talks Thursday before he returns to Baton Rouge. The governor also was expected to meet with Shaun Donovan, President Barack Obama's chief budget officer, about flood recovery. Edwards had hoped for $4 billion overall for rebuilding after the floods, but Louisiana seems likely to receive less than $3 billion from Congress.
Louisiana is one of eight states that has more opioid prescriptions than it has residents. The state has the sixth highest prescription-per-capita rate at 1.03 pain-killer prescriptions written per Louisiana resident in 2015. The over-prescription "crisis" is leading to addiction, more drug-related deaths and even higher insurance costs for the state. The trend is also found in neighboring Southern states. Alabama has the highest rate at 1.2 prescriptions per resident, followed by Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Kentucky.
The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating an armed robbery that occurred early Sunday morning. Officers responded to an armed robbery call on McDodson Way at approximately 4:30 A. M. on November 27. According to officials, as the victim arrived home she was approached by a black male wearing a black hoodie and black pants. The male had a handgun and demanded that the victim give him money. The victim gave the suspect her purse and her cell phone, and was able to get inside and call police. The suspect is described as a black male, 5 feet and 9 inches tall, and weighing about 150 pounds. Anyone with information about the incident should call the Natchitoches Police Department Investigations Division at 352-5609.
A Grant Parish woman was found dead Thursday night in Baton Rouge with multiple gunshot wounds to the head. According to Baton Rouge police, 47 year-old Roxann Bond, of Dry Prong, was found around 7:00 p.m. Thursday on East Industrial Avenue, near the intersection of Airline Highway and Greenwell Springs Road. Officers responded to a call about a person who appeared to be unresponsive on the side of the road. According to reports, Baton Rouge detectives are treating the case as a homicide. Police have no suspects and donít know the motive for the shooting. Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Violent Crimes Unit at 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at 344-7867.
U.S. highway safety officials have called on smartphone makers to add features that would keep motorists from using functions linked to a surge in deaths due to distracted driving. The voluntary guidelines proposed Wednesday asked device makers to take steps such as blocking some video displays and preventing manual text entry while vehicles are under way. The proposal comes as highway deaths due to distractions reached at least 3,500 last year, and pits industry groups urging regulators to move cautiously against safety advocates who criticized the government for acting too timidly. It also has implications for technology giants Apple and Google, which are developing vehicle technology. The proposal drew immediate opposition from the electronics industry.
Winn Parish Sheriff's Department Arrest Report:
On Monday, November 21, the Winn Parish Sheriff's Department arrested Marcel Evans, of St. Maurice. Evans was charged with simple criminal damage to property, parole violation, and remaining on premises. On Tuesday, November 22, deputies arrested Tracy Berry, an inmate of Winn Correctional Center, for possession of a Schedule I and Schedule IV CDS. Also arrested Tuesday was Jimmy Penton, Jr., of Winnfield, for assault with a firearm. On Thursday, November 24, Benjamin Kyle, of Winnfield, was arrested for first-offense DWI. On Friday, November 25, Tyler Vines, of Dodson, was arrested for aggravated assault with a firearm and simple battery. On Monday, November 28, Blake Tims, of Dodson, was arrested on two warrants for failure to appear.
LifeShare Blood Center will hold a blood drive at Calvin High School Thursday, December 8, from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. According to LifeShare, those donating blood through December 31 will be automatically entered into the 2016 Get in the Game for Life Sweepstakes! The winner will receive tickets for two to the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston, Texas on February 5, and a three-night stay in Houston during the event.
The Winnfield Recreation Department is holding registration for Youth Basketball now through Friday, December 9, at the Grove Street Recreation Center. The registration fee is $40.00 per child, and boys and girls age 4 through 15 are eligible. Late registration will be Monday, December 12 through Friday, December 16, with a $10.00 late fee. Tryouts will be Saturday, December 17, at the Grove Street Recreation Center. For more information, contact the Winnfield Recreation Department at 628-3413.The Winn Parish Library has announced new hours on Saturdays. Starting on January 7, Saturday hours will be from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
The Winnfield Pilot Club is hosting its annual Memory and Honor Light sale for the Christmas holidays. To honor or memorialize a loved one, contact a local Pilot or Anchor Club member. Persons may also purchase lights at Designing Women Monday through Friday, and at the Pea Patch from noon until 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays from December 1 until December 22.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, December 13 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