A Natchitoches man is behind bars, accused of kidnapping a woman from her home on Friday, October 14. Police were called to a home in the 400 block of Carver Street around 7:30 a.m. on October 21, after the woman managed to escape and call for help. The woman was treated for her injuries by paramedics. 57 year-old Kenneth Whitaker was later arrested at his home in the 200 block of Airport Road and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on one count each of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery.
The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana has prepared a guide for voters statewide who will be asked to decide yes or no on six proposed amendments to the Louisiana Constitution on the November 8 ballot. Amendments 2, 3 and 5 are particularly significant because of their impact on state policy. They address who will set college tuition levels, the rate and deductions for corporate income taxes and a new trust fund to address state revenue surges. The PAR Guide to the 2016 Constitutional Amendments provides a review of each item in the order they will appear on the ballot. The guide is educational and does not recommend how to vote. It offers concise analysis and provides arguments of proponents and opponents. For a copy of the PAR Guide to the 2016 Constitutional Amendments, persons may visit www.parlouisiana.org.
Alexandria Police arrested a Winnfield man Saturday for allegedly firing a gun in connection with a road rage incident. 21 year-old Cody Tarver was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. Police received a call at 8:24 p.m. that the perpetrator, later identified as Tarver, pulled a handgun and shot following a near accident that occurred in the Lee Street and Interstate 49 area. The complainant said Tarver fired after both of their cars attempted to merge onto Interstate 49 at the same time. The complainant followed Tarverís vehicle into Pineville, where the Pineville Police conducted a traffic stop. A handgun was recovered from Tarverís vehicle.
Millions of Social Security recipients and federal retirees will get a 0.3 percent increase in monthly benefits next year, the fifth year in a row that older Americans will have to settle for historically low raises. There was no increase this year, and next year's benefit increase will be small because inflation is low, driven in part by lower fuel prices. The federal government announced the cost-of-living adjustment Tuesday morning. By law, the adjustment is based on a government measure of consumer prices. The COLA affects more than 70 million people ó about 1 in 5 Americans. The average monthly Social Security payment is $1,238.00. The adjustment translates into a monthly increase of less than $4 a month. Medicare Part B premiums, which are usually deducted from Social Security payments, are expected to increase next year to the point in which they will probably wipe out the entire benefit increase.
Two interstate highways that bisect Louisiana are rated among the most dangerous roads in America. According to ValuePenguin, a financial website, Interstate 10 and Interstate 20 ranked No. 4 and No. 8 among the most dangerous U.S. roads. I-10, which stretches for 2,460 miles from Florida to California, crosses south Louisiana from near Slidell to Vinton. I-10 ranks second among "darkest" interstates and fourth for highways with most drunk drivers. The entire interstate had 1,342 fatal accidents from 2011-15 and 54.5 fatal accidents per 100 miles. In Louisiana, I-10 New Orleans with 89 fatal wrecks between 2011 and 2015 ranks as the most dangerous traffic location in Louisiana. I-20, which crosses Louisiana from Madison Parish to the Shreveport area, is the eighth-most dangerous and fifth-darkest interstate. It stretches 1,539 miles from South Carolina to Texas. It recorded 662 fatal wrecks from 2011-15, 43 per 100 miles. ValuePenguin used National Traffic and Highway Safety Administration data to conduct its study.
Two new efforts are underway to help rural Louisiana schools attract and retain more teachers. The Louisiana Department of Education has received nearly $67 million in federal grant funds to improve teacher preparation in 16 rural districts. According to the department, the grant will provide money for yearlong teacher residencies, stipends for undergraduate residents and mentor teachers, more leadership-building resources and ways for rural districts to raise teacher salaries. Meanwhile, the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana will dedicate $50,000 for pre-service teachers in rural areas, creating more training and preparation opportunities for young teachers and recent graduates. Louisiana superintendents still are working out the details of how their districts will use the grant dollars.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Saline Lake Commission have extended the current drawdown on Saline Lake in Natchitoches and Winn parishes until November 1. The extension is due to unusually heavy rainfall, which kept the area in for most of August. The department said in a news release Wednesday that the drawdown, which began June 14, was originally scheduled to end no later than the first week of October. The department said that drawdowns are a necessary part of its integrated management plan to control aquatic vegetation growth and to improve access for recreational activities. Saline Lake was created in 1933 with the building of the Allen Dam. The lake has often been plagued by aquatic vegetation that can be problematic for boating and fishing.
Winn Parish Sheriff's Department Arrest Report:
On Wednesday, October 19, the Winn Parish Sheriff's Department arrested Jason Small, of the Concordia Correctional Center. Small was charged with failure to appear for a revocation hearing. On Thursday, deputies arrested Wilbur Beard, Jr. for failure to appear on charges of criminal damage. Also arrested Thursday was DaQuinon Davis, of Winnfield, for disturbing the peace, Adam Shirley, of Sikes, for entering or remaining after being forbidden, Matthew Parker, of Montgomery, for illegal possession of stolen things, and Daniel Desota, of Montgomery, for possession of paraphenalia.The WSHS Band will be selling jambalaya Friday night at the Homecoming game between WSHS and Bolton. The band will also perform its full routine during half-time. Everyone is invited to come and support the WSHS Band and the Winnfield Tigers. The Winn Parish Fire District #3 has issued a burn ban on outside burning in Winn Parish. According to Harry Foster, the burn ban is in effect until further notice. The ban does not apply to prescribed burns by the Department of Agriculture, by those trained and certified by the Department, or those who conduct prescribed burning as a generally accepted agricultural practice. Violation of the burn ban may result in a $500.00 fine, six months in jail, or both.
The Cenla Area Agency on Aging and the Winn Council on Aging are holding a Medicare Part D open enrollment event now through December 7. Persons are asked to bring a list of medications with dosages and their medicare card to find the best affordable plan. For more information, call 628-2186 or 318-484-2260.The Winnfield FFA Chapter is currently taking orders for smoked ham, smoked turkey, and Cajun smoked turkey for the holidays. Orders are due November 3 tor Thanksgiving, and December 5 for Christmas. To place an order, contact any FFA member or call 628-4730.
The WSHS Class of 1986 will celebrate its 30th reunion by tailgating at the 2016 Homecoming game on Friday, October 21. All classmates, family, and friends are invited to the end zone. One group is also planning a trip to Las Vegas. The Class of '86 will enjoy a Dutch treat meal at Lynda's Country Kitchen Saturday, November 26. For more information, contact Anthony Hall at 628-3413.The 2016 Dodson Trick or Trunk is scheduled for Monday, October 31, at 6:00 p.m. Activities will be in the Dodson High School Gym parking lot, and everyone is invited to decorate a trunk to hand out goodies and bring the family dressed in their favorite costume for a night of family fun. 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 8, 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