January 3, Hessmer Village Council meeting Bordelon announced, “I’m not going to be seeking reelection this fall.” He added that it’s time for the village to get more “young blood” in its municipal government.
Water issues continue to come before the city council for discussion. In photo above, Michael Williams with the city of Marksville Water Department flushes a water line at the corner of Bon Tempts and Monroe streets.
This week’s Avoyellean of the Year nominations were: Alina Fitzgerald of Cottonport and Melissa Star White of Marksville.
January 19, 2012
As the nation celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, area community leaders were asked if race relations and opportunities for minorities have improved over the years in the parish since Dr. King.
Carrying the “I Have a Dream” banner in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day march held on Monday, January 16 in Mansura.
The Mansura Town council began 2012 by hearing more complaints about the discolored water, at its regular meeting on January 9.
Hessmer residents were given the option to pay bills and fines online. The action was approved by the Hessmer council during its January 3 meeting. The council would begin using “NCourt” to allow residents to use credit and/or debit cards as an alternative, but not a replacement, to the traditional ways of paying the village.
January 22, 2012
For the fifth consecutive time, Mickey Romano was elected as Avoyelles Parish Police Jury President. It happen at the jury’s January 10 meeting. The vote was unanimous and no other candidates were nominated.
Frank Stronach: Canadian billionaire makes good on promise
of donation to Avoyelles
Charles Jones was elected police jury vice president for the second consecutive time. And again, there were no other nominations and the vote was unanimous.
Members of the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury agreed to pay engineering fees from the road and bridge maintenance funds for District 2 and 4 to keep a federal grant for road improvements. The jury was awarded a $480,000 grant, but was surprised to find the grant requires paying a $98,000 engineering fee.
The Louisiana Small Business Development Center and the city of Bunkie sponsored a workshop on starting and financing a small business on January 25 at the Bunkie City Hall Annex Building on Oak Street.
The week’s nomination for Avoyellean of the Year were: Craig Foster of Bunkie and J.T. Dunbar of Marksville.
Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s detectives continued to investigate the murder of Christina “Christine” Normand Mayeaux of Marksville. They were waiting on forensic tests to come back.
The television reality show “Cajun Pawn Stars” was filming in Avoyelles Parish. Since last April, filming had been taking place in the Bordelonville area plus other areas of Avoyelles Parish.
January 26, 2012
Three months after assuring town residents their sewer fees would not be raised, the Mansura Town Council passed a proposed ordinance raising the sewer fees. The ordinance could not become effective unless it was enacted by the council following a public hearing. The hearing was set for February 13.
The residents of Plaucheville were asking if they have a police chief or not after the village’s January 3 council meeting. The answer was yes, despite confusion over his “non-reappointment.” The confusion came when the council was making routine village appointments as they had been doing for years at the first meeting of the year. When it came time to reappoint Reggie Sanders as police chief, none of the three aldermen made a motion to approve him. So according to Councilwoman Linda Gagnard, after the meeting many residents felt the village was without a police chief.
Marksville’s plan to have its own water line were about to take a major step forward with the announcement that a state permit authorizing the construction was forthcoming. The announcement was made at the January 11 Marksville CIty Council meeting. The city’s permit request to the La. DOTD had been stalled.
January 29, 2012
During the last 20 years the growth of the Avoyelles Port Commission had been slow, but an estimated $17 million valued donation increased the site to 925 acres with the addition of Magnaville.
Parish Catholic schools geared up for the annual National Catholic Schools Week celebration with the theme “Catholic Schools: Faith Academics. Service.”
The week’s nomination for Avoyellean of the Year 2011 was Marsha Wiley of Effie.
The Second Annual Avoyelles Artist Exhibit opened on January 20 at the Rose-Neath Community Room in Marksville. The show featured art celebrating the Louisiana Bicen-tennial.
February 2, 2012
A young girl is visibly distraught as she is escorted from the scene of what police say was a murder-suicide involving a Bunkie couple on Friday, January 27 at the Deluxe Inn in Marksville.
The bodies of a young couple were discovered in The Deluxe Inn, in what police say was an apparent murder/suicide. Chief Walker identified the female victim as Chantal Latrice Alexander, age 22, of 107 de Nux Street in Marksville. The male victim was identified as Dontrques Daquan Martin, age 24, of 10449 U.S. Highway 71 South in Bunkie.
Federal Court Judge Dee Drell ordered a continuance in the Avoyelles Parish School Board’s efforts to have the “green factor” of school facilities declared unitary. The announcement came after more than five hours of closed door meetings and a hearing in open court. The facility issue was one of five remaining areas that holds Avoyelles under a federal desegregation lawsuit.
A total of 15 Atchafalaya National Heritage Area signs have been erected across Avoyelles Parish.
Cable systems in Bunkie, Marksville, Evergreen, Hessmer and Mansura were supposed to have been upgraded by Media 3 by mid to late December of 2011. However, most customers have not seen the upgrades and many are wondering when they will be completed.
The Louisiana Supreme Court reversed the 12th Judicial District Court decision of Judge Mark Jeansonne in which a woman was awarded $349,214.39, the decision by the high court would affect all municipalities, not only in Avoyelles Parish, but across the state.
Avoyelles Public charter School Director Julie Roy crowned Caitlyn Juneau Homeoming Queen for 2011-12 on December 18 during a basketball game against St. Joseph School.
February 5, 2012
All upcoming construction projects with the Avoyelles Parish School Board came to a sudden halt after a board member brought them to a stalemate at a January 31 committee meeting, but District Attorney Charles Riddle said they could still be presented to the full board for approval.
Board member Liz Ned abstained from approving or rejecting every single item brought to the Needs Assessment Committee, even items she placed on the agenda.
The week’s nominations for Avoyellean of 2011 were: Joey Frank of Bunkie and Michael Lachney of Cottonport.
February 9, 2012
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals for Louisiana, by a 3-0 vote, upheld the second degree murder conviction of Terry Gerard Day of Cottonport, who was accused of killing Aime Harris, age 32, Cottonport and dumping her body in a barn on Andrus Street in Marksville.
The 2012 Louisiana Queens of Hope were crowned on January 15 at Paragon Casino Resort. Proceeds were donated to the American Cancer Society. Winners were: Deb Miss Kimmie Ducote of Mansura, Junior Miss Jordan Lemoine of Moreauville, Teen Miss Destiny Thomas of Mansura, Miss Louisiana Queen of Hope Brooke Carlini of Moreauville, Ms, Queen Chantell Leger of Jennings and Grandma Ms. Queen Shalene Begnaud of Baton Rouge, Toddler Miss Aysia Lumives of DeRidder and Petite Miss Kale Cloud of Oakdale, Baby Miss Brylee Cook of Boyce and Tiny Miss Ahna Malorin of DeRidder.
A former Cottonport policeman was indicted on January 19 by an Avoyelles Parish Grand Jury on two of three charges. The case would then go to trial in 12th Judicial Court.
The Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a decision by 12th District Court Judge Mark Jeansonne awarding $30,000 to Eleanor Gremillion of Marksville, after AT&T had cut off her phone service. It was a classic example of little person versus big corporation.
Avoyelles Parish School Superintendent Dwayne Lemoine (pictured above) spends at least 40 minutes a week teaching a remedial math class at Bunkie High School. Marksville was hit with several inches of rain in a short period. However, it was during another rain event on the following day that Jamie and Victoria Lucas of Marksvielle felt lucky to be alive after a tree fell on their home. The two
were sitting in the living room when a tree fell between them but they suffered no injuries.
February 12, 2012
“Here we go again” was a sadly repeated phrase in Avoyelles as word spread that Gov. Bobby Jindal was up to his same plan for Avoyelles Correctional Center in Cottonport as last year. After failing in 2011, Jindal announced he would once again try to privatize the AVC during the upcoming legislative session to help balance the state’s budget.
The Simmesport Athletic Youth Association 1st Annual Black History March was held on February 18.
The Cottonport Museum and Cultural Center planned to spotlight a Black History Month exhibit throughout the month of February.
African-American churches of the parish gathered for a community-wide commemoration of Black History Month on Saturday, February 25.
The week’s nomination for Avoyellean of the Year 2011: Allison Ravare-Augustine and Kenneth Farbe, Jr., Moreauville.
February 16, 2012
The Marksville City Council passed an ordinance upping the age from 18 to 21 for admission into bars. Mayor John Lemoine said the ordinance brought the city in line with that of other places where teen-agers are not allowed in bars.
Wilbert J. Ducote, age 76 of Mansura was killed after being hit by a car while walking across La. Highway 115 to check his mail.
Norman and Norma Burmah of Marksville have been married 81 years this year. They were honored on Valentine’s Day as Louisiana’s Longest Married Couple in 2012 in Baton Rouge at the Louisiana State Capitol.
A Marksville couple was honored on Valentine’s Day, at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge as the oldest living married couple in the state in 2012. After being married for 81 years, the Burmahs may be in the running for the oldest living married couple, Norman, age 101, and Norma, age 98, Burmah, in the nation.
February 19, 2012
The Avoyelles Parish School Board construction projects in dispute because of the Needs Assessment Committee vote, were approved by the full board during Tuesday, February 7, night’s meeting by a 6-3 vote. The 17 projects at a total cost of over $105,000 could move forward.
Acadian Ambulance was not agreeing to increase discounts from third parties meaning more out-of-pocket expenses for Avoyelles residents. The issue came to light in a lawsuit which began in Avoyelles.
The week’s nominations for Avoyellean of the Year 2011 were; Peggy Deville of Cottonport, Reyne Beridon of Mansura and Karen Gautreaux of Simmesport.
February 23, 2012
The Avoyelles Parish Elementary Students of the Year on the individual school level were honored by the Avoyelles Parish School Board at its meeting on February 7. Students honored were: Aleka Washington, BES; Logan Marler, CES; Kale Mayeux, LES; Shelby Marcotte, MES; Savannah Ducote, PES; and Layla Bell of RES.
The Avoyelles Parish Eighth Grade and High School Students of the Year on the individual school level were honored by the Avoyelles Parish School Board at its meeting on February 7. Students honored were: Jennifer Odis, BHS; Kaylan Anderson, MHS; Joshua Mendoza, LaSAS; Connor Gauthier, AHS; Micalee Jeansonne, BHS; Sean Hoffman, AHS; Brooke Anderson, LaSAS; and Austin Bordelon, MHS.
The Mansura Town Council avoided increasing its sewage rates while still qualifying for a federal loan for sewer expansion along Highway 1.
The Hessmer Police Department moved temporarily to the town hall in Hessmer after the police station was reported to have received water damage.
Patty Scallan of Scallan’s Pharmacy in Plaucheville waited for over a year for a phone call to say the breakins at her business in 2010 were solved. She attended the Plaucheville Village Coun-cil meeting regarding the burglary. Finally, there were some answers, but still disappointment.
A former Marksville bar owner, Tony Bize, lost his lawsuit concerning an article in The Marksville Weekly News about a gunfire incident near the lounge on Highway One north of Marksville in 2010. The bar owner and his wife filed the lawsuit against Avoyelles Publishing Company and the reporter, Garland Forman.
February 26, 2012
The Avoyelles Parish Police Jury voted unanimously to oppose Gov. Bobby Jindal’s effort to privatize Avoyelles Correc-tional Center, the state prison in Cottonport.
A pre-dawn house fire claimed the life of Jeroy Augustine, age 62, Hess-mer man on Mardi Gras Day, according to Assistant Coroner Roseada Mayeux.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board announced its Students of the Year on the parish level for 2011-2012. The outstanding students were: Elementary Student of the Year, Savannah Ducote, a 5th grader at Plaucheville Elementary; Middle School Student of the Year, Kaylan Anderson, an 8th grader at Marksville High and High School Student of the Year, Sean Hoffman, a 12th grader at Avoyelles High.
Highway signs were being installed throughout the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, including Avoyelles Parish, to raise awareness for this “rich region of the state,” said Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne.
The week’s nomination for the 2011 Avoyellean of the Year was Wendy Adams of Cottonport.
March 1, 2012
A drilling tower over the Rabalais well in Odenburg.
The latest deep horizontal well in Avoyelles (Rabalais 35 No.1) has been a disappointment, according to a news release by Pryme Oil of Austrailia. The results may help define what areas of Avoyelles are the most promising for mineral production in the Austin Chalk, one of two newly targeted deep oil formations below Avoyelles.
Jake Dunbar and Peyton Dunbar, of the Marksville High School football team signed papers to attend and play football at Louisiana College starting next fall.
The Hessmer Village Council learned at its February 14 meeting that its general fund budget revenue dropped by $122,050 in one year. The council was able to cover the shortfall by using water and sewage revenues, but it’s a major concern for Hessmer Mayor Lynn Bordelon, who said he doesn’t want to raise taxes and will look for other ways in the budget to save money.
Local bank president, .J. Roy, was upset that someone would walk up to a deer pen in a protected area, then shoot and kill a tame deer. A $1,000 reward was posted for the arrest and conviction of the person who did the killing.
The Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 40 year sentence of the man who robbed the Effie Cottonport Bank in 2010 leaving two tellers tied up. The attorney for the convicted robber, Michael Davis Gordon, appealed saying the sentence was too harsh. Two of the three judge panel stood by the sentence which had been handed down by Avoyelles 12th Judicial District Court Judge Billy Bennett.
March 4, 2012
A Bunkie school board member who complained about not having enough school improvements projects in her district has now killed a second plan which included those improvements. School board member Liz Ned voted “no” during a Needs Assessment Committee meeting on Tuesday, February 28. Her no vote killed a seven year plan that Federal Judge Dee Drell had asked the board to come up with before returning to him to seek progress on unitary status on facilities.
Representative Robert Johnson was on hand at the Avoyelles Council on Aging site in Marksville to discuss the upcoming Louisiana Legislative Reg-ular Session set to convene March 12 in Baton Rouge, and how it might affect the Avoyelles council.
The week’s nominations for Avoyellean 2011 were: John Ed Laborde of Marksville, Minni Lafargue of Marksville and Connie Ducote of Mansura.
March 8, 2012
Just after Avoyelles residents narrowly voted to increase salaries for parish school employees last fall, it was announced the state may negatively affect funding to the parish this year by as much as $2.3 million.
The Hessmer Volunteer Fire Department added a new 2011 Ferrara fire pumper truck to its department. This was accomplished through a ten-year lease/purchase agreement.
Improved water pressure came to Hessmer as the village improved its water distribution by replacing a four inch line with a six inch water line.
Several hundred attended the Avoyelles Parish school Board Parental Involve-ment Fair on Thursday, February 16 at L.J.’s Casino banquet room in Mansura.
March 11, 2012
With some of the most important issues at stake for Avoyelles, State Rep. Robert Johnson was preparing for battle in this year’s legislative session.
The Legislature went into session at noon on Monday, March 12, with the governor and the legislature squaring off on several key issues. The session had to end by 6 p.m. on Monday, June 4.
Early voting for the Presidential Preference Primary and Municipal Primary election which began March 10 continued. Th week’s nominations for Avoyellean 2011 were Michael Venable of Mansura, Rev. Chad Partain of Mansura and Ashly Leitch of Marksville.
The 2012 Louisiana Corn Festive Queen’s Pageant was held Saturday, March 17 in Bunkie at the Haas Auditorium.
March 15, 2012
Prison employees and concerned citizens held their first meeting in Plaucheville to organize their fight against the governor’s second attempt to sell the state prison in Cottonport. An estimated 100 people attended the meeting.
Avoyelles Public Charter High School senior Danielle Reed won third place in the high school division of the Youth Art Month State Flag Design Competition for the State of Louisiana.
Avoyelles Public Charter High School senior Danielle Reed won third place in the high school division of the youth Art Month State Flag Design Competition for the State of Louisiana.
Robert Gaspard, a former Avoyelles Parish School Board Supervisor of child Welfare and Attendance, had additional charges placed against him by the Marksville Police Depart-ment. It was the second time Gaspard had been arrested in a month.
With many residents along Louisiana Highways 114 and 115 showing no interest in coming into the village limits the Hessmer Village council chose not to pursue annexing those areas.
Three Avoyelles men have been arrested by the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office and charged with attempted second degree murder and other charges. Two of the men had been arrested in a case involving one violent domestic abuse case, Bobby Rozell, Sr. and Haven Wiley of Center-point, while the third man, Kennedy F. Walker, was arrested in a separate violent domestic issue.
Although the scope of the project may be reduced, the Mansura Town Council still planned to expand its sewer system along Highway 1 without increasing sewer fees.
March 18, 2012
One of the first issues tackled by the Louisiana State Legislature when it opened its regular session was balancing the state’s budget. The House Appro-priations Committee focused on prisons, including the proposed sale of Avoyelles Correction Center in Cottonport. It looked, from the comments made at the meeting, the proposal to sell the prison would have tough opposition.
The future status of the closed Bordelonville school site and building was discussed at a public meeting in Bordelonville on Monday, March 26.
A duck (bottom, right) swims dangerously close to an alligator sunning on a log in Bunkie at Bayou Huffpauir on Saturday, March 3.
Voting of the Presidential Preference Primary and Municipal Primary election would be held Saturday, March 24 in Avoyelles Parish and throughout the state. There were no municipal elections included on the ballot in Avoyelles but there would be a special election in Pointe Coupee Parish.
The week’s nominations for Avoyellean of the Year 2011 were: Dwayne Lemoine and Theresa Thevenote, both of Marks-ville.
March 22, 2012
An attempt by some Marksville City Council members to reverse a decision banning individuals below age 21 from entering bars failed at the council’s March meeting.
While much of the focus on oil drilling had been in the southern part of the parish, leasing wss picking up in northern and central Avoyelles, as mineral companies focused on a different layer of oil than had been targeted in the south.
After listening to residents at the Plaucheville Village Council meeting on Monday, March 5 the council voted against a water rate hike. Several concerned citizens attended the meeting and voiced their concerns over the first item on the agenda, a possible $2 increase to the base water rate to cover necessary repairs for the alter well systems.
March 25, 2012
The annual Farm Fest was held March 29-31 in Moreauville.
The Fox Performing Arts Center in Marksville presented the musical “Grease.” The musical followed the senior class of Rydell High School’s Pink Ladies and Burger Palace Boys.
Avoyelles was spared from the brunt of the storm which stalled over the state causing major flooding in western Louisiana. The slow moving storm came over Avoyelles Parish anddropped a large amount of rain and high wind but no major problems were reported to the parish. What damage was reported was mostly between Marksville and Fifth Ward.
The home of Eric Daigrepont on La. Highway 453 in Hickory Hill suffered major damage on Wednesday morning from high straight line winds or possible tornado as a storm system moved through the parish. The home of Eric Daigrepont on La. Highway 453 in Hickory Hill suffered major damage from high straight line winds or a possible tornado as a storm system moved through the parish.
The week’s nomination for Avoyellean 2011 was: Laura Dauzat of Marksville.
March 29, 2012
Given the amount of rain that fell in Avoyelles Parish over the past couple months it was no surprise to hear complaints about poor roads and flooding at the March 13 police jury meeting. And it also came as no surprise the jurors didn’t have much in the way of answers.
The Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO) was called back to the home of a murdered Marksville woman after another body was found in the hair salon located at the same address. Police believe the victim, Joey Gaspard, age 30, died of a drug overdose and there was no connection to the earlier murder.
Rep. Robert Johnson made his stand official against the controversial education bill being pushed by the governor. However, the House of Represen-tatives still approved it. The bill switches state aid for some students from struggling public schools to private and parochial classrooms.
Voter turnout in the Presidential Primary was very low in Avoyelles Parish. Less than five percent of all the registered voters in the parish voted in the primary. President Barack Obama and Republican Rick Santorum led their respective parties in Avoyelles and across the state.
According to Avoyelles Parish Sheriff Doug Anderson, at about 10 a.m. Monday, March 26, an inmate, Shawn Alick Jolivette, assigned to a Marksville grass cutting work detail walked off in to the vicinity of the Avoyelles Hospital in Marksville.
April 1, 2012
Knocking on the Bayou Easter Festival in Cotton-port was set for Saturday, April 7. Easter on the Red River in Ward One was set for Saturday, April 7. Marksville Easter Egg Knocking on the Square was scheduled for Easter Sunday, April 8.
The 2012 Cottonport Museum and Cultural Center Art Exhibit opened on Saturday, March 31 and ran through Saturday, April 7.
The week’s nominations for Avoyellean 2011 were: Delores Rabalais of Simmesport and Mary Nuss of Moreauville.
April 5, 2012
Bordelonville area citizens met to discuss the unsure future of the community’s old school property. For almost a century, the Bordelonville school was the central focus of community activity. Although the main use of the school was for education, it was also used for social events, athletic events, elections, disaster shelters and even funerals over the years. It has served as a community center, a place where people gathered.
After 11 years as Marksville High School head football coach, J.T. Dunbar decided to step down as a coach. He has been a coach at the school for a total of 20 years.
Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s detectives were trying to determine the identity of a victim whose authorities believe was a woman whose nude body was found floating in the Red River near the Avoyelles-Pt. Coupee border. The body was found late Sunday afternoon, April 2. The body was discovered floating in the river close to the river’s intersection with Old River north of Simmesport.
A Simmesport man was arrested and charged with aggravated rape of a four year old child. According to Avoyelles Parish Sheriff Doug Anderson, Jonas “Blow” Caldwell, age 31 of Simmesport, was arrested and charged with aggravated rape and indecent behavior with the young child. The incident happened earlier in 2012.
April 8, 2012
The Avoyelles Journal Easter Coloring Contest winners were: ages 2 to 5 years; 1st, Emma Hale, Mansura; 2nd, Zylon Bridges, Cottonport and 3rd, Jennifer Reid, Cottonport. Ages 6 to 8 years; 1st, Ty’liah Jackson, Bunkie; 2nd place; Haylie Lemoine, Moreauville and 3rd, A’Kavion Terrell, Marksville. Ages 9 to 11 years; 1st, Sumer Clark, Hessmer; 2nd Tytiana Johnson Bunkie and 3rd, Koby Gremillion, Marks-ville.
An onlooker checks out the damage at Plantation Apartments in Bunkie on Thursday morning. The largest hail storm ever to hit Bunkie as well as parts of Avoyelles Parish in recent memory roared through the area early on aThursday morning leaving heavy damage in its wake. The damage was throughout the entire town and contained mostly in the city limits of Bunkie. Bunkie Mayor Mike Robertson said the hail storm looked like sheets of ice falling during the height of the storm, pelting the town.
With the proposed education package working its way through the state legislature, the Avoyelles Parish School Board looked to be on the verge of filing for a federal court injunction. The injunction would ask for the federal judge to stop the state from taking local MFP funding from the school system.
The issue of selling the Avoyelles Correctional Center to a private company would be heard on Tuesday, April 10, when the Louisiana House Appro-priations Committee met.
The week’s nominations for Avoyellean 2011 were: Earl Adams of Marksville, and Benny Bordelon.
April 12, 2012
Easter egg knocking or “pocking” and other contests continued as strong traditions in Avoyelles with several events held during the Easter weekend. Visitors traveled from as far away as Hawaii to see the Easter egg knocking tradition in action.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board had its highest ever sales tax collection for a single month. The record amount was in most part due to pipeline construction. A company which supplied material to Michel’s Pipeline Company last year submitted their parish sales taxes in January.
The city of Marksville placed first in district competition for Cleanest City in cities of comparable size. Marksville advanced to compete for the state title of the Cleanest City in its category. State judges would be viewing the city sometime in May.
April 15, 2012
By a slim 13-11 vote the Louisiana Legislature House Appropriation Com-mittee voted to send a bill to the House of Represen-tatives to allow the sale of Avoyelles Correctional Center to a private company.
During the debate in the Legislature House Appro-priations Committee over the fate of the Avoyelles Correctional Center, an amendment was approved to allow the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office and employees of ACC to bid to take over the prison. Their proposal would be considered with any others interested. The amendment was offered by Rep. Joe Harrison, R-Houma.
The Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office continued to investigate an attempted murder/suicide that occur-red in Hessmer early April 10. Two children were in the home at the time of the shooting. According to Sheriff Doug Anderson, Michelle Lee was shot in the face by her boyfriend, Dwayne Franks. He then turned the gun on himself firing one shot to his head killing him instantly. The incident unfolded as a domestic battery incident turned deadly.
In a sudden and shocking move, Kenneth Farbe resigned as mayor of Moreauville. For the time being, Councilman Reggie Ducote, the mayor pro-temp, had taken over the duties of mayor.
The week’s nominations for 2011 Avoyellean were: Charles Guillory and Dr. Bryan McCann both of Marksville.
April 19, 2012
Pleas by Marksville bar owners, employees and young adults to reverse the ban prohibiting 18 to 20 year olds in clubs that serve alcohol went nowhere at the regular April meeting of the Marksville City Council.
Work has begun on expanding the Mansura Fire Department which will include two full bays at 60 foot deep that can handle four fire trucks.
A Marksville bar owner who was ticketed for a violation in his bar had strong words about the police chief at the April Marksville City Council meeting. Later in the meeting the bar owner, Nolan Benson of Borrell’s, got into an argument with Police Chief Ellis Walker over getting a ticket for violating the ban of allowing 18-20 year olds in bars.
Marksville Mayor John Lemoine changed his mind on the issue of 18-20 year olds in local bars, citing the move was simply bad for business. Lemoine at first supported the ban but changed his mind. “Business has just gone to Mansura five miles down the road,” Lemoine said at the April meeting of the Marksville City Council. “Nobody else (in Avoyelles Parish) is doing it. You’re driving everybody out of town…It’s never going to end.”
Avoyelles was gearing up for a debate on the issue of the Avoyelles Correc-tional Center sale in the full Louisiana House floor set for Wednesday, April 18. Public input was heard at the committee level on the entire appropriations bill Monday and Tuesday including Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed plan to sell the state prison in Cottonport.
With growth underway and in the future along the planned five laning of Highway One, the Mansura Town Council appeared to have put the finishing touches on its effort to secure a loan to expand its sewer system along the highway. After a brief public hearing, the council, at its regular April 9 meeting, approved an ordinance committing itself to the method for paying a $1,012,000 loan from the Department of Environ-mental Quality. The loan would be paid through three revenue funds: the sewer fund, the general fund and through one of the town’s two sale tax funds.
April 22, 2012
Avoyelles Publishing Company said goodbye to longtime employee, Kathie Lipe of Effie, who retired at the end of April. Her career at the Avoyelles Journal began back in November of 1978 when publishers Randy and Susan DeCuir started the new weekly paper.
It was a victory of sorts for opponents of the state’s proposal to sell and privatize Avoyelles Correctional Center in Cottonport. The ACC would not be sold but the State House of Representatives left the door open for the prison to be privatized.
The nominations for 2011 Avoyellean were: Emily Ryan of Brouillette and Gary Jones of Marksville.
April 26, 2012
Moreauville Councilman Reggie Ducote was appointed mayor of Moreauville until a special election could be held in November. Ducote replaced Kenneth Farbe, Jr. who resigned on Tuesday, April 10. Councilman Reggie Ducote and Oscar Goody take the oath of office from Avoyelles Parish Clerk of Court-elect Connie Couvillon at the Moreau-ville Village Hall. Ducote was appointed mayor by the council during a special meeting on April 18, after former mayor Kenneth Farbe resigned. Goody was appointed to replace Ducote’s empty council seat.
Control of St. Joseph Cemetery No. 2 in Marksville developed into a dispute between St. Joseph Catholic Church and the cemetery board association that oversees it. The dispute, which evolved since 2005, was made public, and if not settled, could have headed to court, although neither side would say that.
The Cottonport Town Council accepted a reapportionment plan during its meeting on Wednesday, April 11, and hoped to have it in place for fall elections. It was designed by Mike Hefner of Geographic Planning and Demographic Services of Duson.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board honored its Middle and High School Teachers of the Year on the individual school level at its meeting on Tuesday, April 10. Middle school teachers were Ashley Dubroc, Avoyelles High; Beth Ducote, Bunkie High and Leigh Fryery; Marksville High and Curtiss Lindsay, LaSAS. High school teachers were Shauntel Puckett, Avoyelles High; Terry Laborde, Bunkie High; Yvonne Chimwaza, LaSAS and Robert Cole, Marksville High.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board also honored Elementary School Teachers of the Year on the individual school level. They were: Sarah Ducote, Bunkie Elementary; Wanda Salzer, Cottonport Elemen-tary; Carol Simon Daranda, Lafargue Elementary; Tammy Tassin, Marksville Elementary, Claudine Jackson-Rogers, Plauche-ville Elementary and Contina Anderson, Riverside Elementary.
April 29, 2012
Avoyelles Parish Schools were a step closer to ending the decades old desegregation suit. The U.S. Justice Department, on April 20, informed Federal Judge Dee Drell they had no objection to two more Green Factors being declared unitary. The Justice Department in a motion to federal court said they would not object to teacher assignments and administrative assignments being declared unitary.
The Avoyelles Public Charter School Fine Arts Department presented the musical, “Happy Days,” which was based on the popular television show.
Joan James Campbell (left) of Marksville pins the Purple Heart on her son, Spc. Alexas M. James of Mansura. Brig. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis (in background), adjutant general of the Louisiana National Guard watches. James, a member of the deployed 1086th Transportation Company from Bunkie, received the Combat Action Badge and the Purple Heart.
In a special awards ceremony Louisiana National Guardsman Spc. Alexas M. James received the Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge at Fort Polk’s Warrior Family Support Center in Leesville on Wednesday, April 25.
The week’s nominations for 2011 Avoyellean was, Rev. Edwin Rodriguez.
May 3, 2012
For the third time in 2012 there was an alleged domestic violence case in which a man shot a woman and then killed himself. The latest happened between Moreauville and Bordelon-ville. The bodies of a 27-year Nikki Garlington, and 34-year old Brandon Bonnette, were discovered by relatives at 11:30 p.m on April 26.
Stars mark the site of two deep wells, the first Tuscaloosa wells for Avoyelles, at Hamburg and Brouillette. At the bottom is the site of the Austin Chalk wells drilled earlier near Woodside.
EOG Resources, Inc. of Texas applied to create two units of area to drill for oil and gas in Avoyelles in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale depth. The units pave the way for the first two Tuscaloosa Marine Shale wells in Avoyelles. Drilling would begin this summer.
The April 11 meeting of the Marksville City Council went into executive session to discuss a personnel matter involving two police officers, a pending litigation involving the city and the Ward III water district. When the council came back from the executive session they cleared the two officers of any wrong doing in a recent incident by returning them to duty. The officers had been placed on administrative leave while the incident was investigated.
A Marksville woman was killed and a child seriously injured in a one vehicle accident. Allegedly, the woman was driving the GMC that was eastbound on Gum Ridge Road when she lost control and exited the right side of the road way. After exiting the roadway, the vehicle re-entered Gum Ridge Road and exited the left side before colliding with a tree.
May 6, 2012
The much awaited construction of the five-laning of LA. Highway One from Marksville to Mansura should start sometime this fall. Bids on the project were scheduled to be let on June 21.
This week’s nominations for 2011 Avoyellean of the Year were Rev. Richard McGovern and Ralph Schwartzenburg, both of Marksville.
May 10, 2012
A Marksville man, Ronnie Paul Kelone, was charged with rape and incest of a child who was five years old at the time of the first alleged incident. According to Marksville Police Chief Ellis Walker, an investigation was conducted after the young girl was brought into Bunkie General Hospital on Friday, April 27, where officials were made aware of the alleged sexual abuse.
The Mansura Chamber of Commerce and the town of Mansura were pleased to announce this year’s grand marshal for the 38th Cochon de Lait Festival Parade were members of the Avoyelles Animal Welfare Society.
State Representative Robert Johnson announced that Governor Bobby Jindal awarded grants to Marksville, Mansura and Simmesport for some much needed projects.
A speeding motorcyclist, James Ray Thorton, driving through Mansura landed in jail with the recovery of the motorcycle stolen in Tucson, Arizona three years ago.
This year’s Louisiana soybean crop could exceed one million acres, boosted by low prices for other crops and high fertilizer prices.
May 13, 2012
Each year children from the parish write letters about their mothers and enter them into the Avoyelles Journal Mother’s Day Letters Contest. The six chosen as winners were: Julie Blalock, age 10, and mother Jennifer Blalock of Fifth Ward; Abbie Gagnard, 10, and mother Sonya Gagnard, Marksville; Luke Cass, seven, and mother Evelyn Cass, Marksville; Cary Stevenson, 10, and mother Jenipher Stevenson, Simmesport; Lydia Gaspard, 10, and mother Amy Gaspard, Fifth Ward; Austin Temple, nine, and mother Kim Temple of Cottonport; and I’esha Keno, 13, and mother, Lashond Monroe of Mansura.
The Hypolite Bordelon Home Society and the Avoyelles Public Charter School presented a living history of the life and times of Pierre Bordelon (son of Hypolite Bordelon) at the home site on Hwy. One in Marksville. In addition to the presentation, there was singing, dancing and live animals on site.
The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service has decided not to close 3,700 small rural post offices, across the nation but instead reduced the hours of operations at over 13,000 post offices. Many of those post offices are in the Avoyelles Parish area where hours were reduced from eight hours a day to six, four and even two hours a day.
May 17, 2012
A move by four central Louisiana legislators, including Rep. Robert Johnson of Avoyelles, could lead to the end of Governor’s Bobby Jindal efforts to have the Avoyelles Correctional Center privatized for the second year in a row. On Friday, May 11, the House of Representatives adopted an amendment to the proposed state budget that would fund the J. Levy Dabadie Correctional Center in Pineville and stop the proposed closure of the facility.
Volunteers for St. Joseph School carve up one of 32 roast pigs for the dinners sold during the Cochon de Lait Festival in Mansura.
Mayor John Lemoine and Police Chief Ellis Walker’s rocky relationship had been apparent to anyone attending Marksville City Council meetings. But the antagonism boiled over at the May 9, council meeting with Lemoine saying he would hold an executive session at the the June Council meeting to discuss Walker’s performance.
Things became cramped enough at the town hall in Hessmer that village officials agreed to look at whether a move to the vacant Hessmer Elemen-tary School would be feasible. The idea of the move was brought up at the May 1 Hessmer Village Council meeting by council member Susan Jeansonne.
May 20, 2012
The Avoyelles Parish Police Jury took the first step toward placing a 20-mill property tax referendum on the November ballot for long overdue road repairs. A small portion of the tax could also fund new parish courtrooms which are badly needed.
Five high schools in Avoyelles Parish held graduation commencement ceremonies this week.
With very little discussion, the Avoyelles Parish School Board passed the 2012-13 school calendar. There were some minor changes, which were presented by Luke Welch the Student Information Sys-tems coordinator, and approved by a committee of teachers and administrators.
Carolyn Bordelon was among a dozen supporters of 4-H who were honored Saturday, May 19 when they were inducted into the Louisiana 4-H Hall of Fame. Bordelon is president of the Avoyelles Parish 4-H Foundation and coordinator of the parish 4-H shooting sports program.
May 24, 2012
Since Governor Bobby Jindal could not get enough votes to sell or privatize the Avoyelles Correctional Center through the State Legislature, his staff threatened to close ACC and two other prison facilities to help balance the state’s budget.
A Marksville city councilman, Elliot Jordan, was booked with cruelty to animals, public intimidation and resisting an officer by the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Dancing to the song, “Sur le pont d’Avignon,” a French tune from the 15th century, were these students of Avoyelles Public Charter School.
Native Americans from tribes throughout the Untied States participated in a grand entry at the Chief Joseph Alcide Pierite Pow Wow grounds for the 17th Annual Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow on May 18-20 at the Tunica-Biloxi Reservation in Marksville.
May 27, 2012
Two Avoyelles Parish school officials and the district attorney traveled to Baton Rouge last week to plead the case of the Avoyelles Parish School System.
Superintendent of Schools Dwayne Lemoine cited several reasons why the Avoyelles Parish School System should not be included in the new state education funding. He pointed out a study from a think-tank organization in New Orleans that said one of the biggest problems in public schools is the number of children in poverty attending school.
The gravestone for Cpl. Brian James Gauthier has his photo and a historic photo of U.S. Marines landing on foreign soil.
Former U.S. Marine Cpl. Brian Gauthier of Mansura, who was killed in Viet Nam in 1965, was inducted into the Louisiana Military Hall of Frame and Museum in Abbeville.
May 31, 2012
In what was becoming the issue that would not die, the Marksville City Council on May 9, heard yet again that its ban on 18 to 20 year-olds being allowed in clubs was killing business.
Captain Stephen Belford of the National Guard in Marksville, spoke about the importance of remembering those who gave their lives for freedom during a ceremony hosted by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe on Monday, May 28 on Hwy. One in Marksville.
State senators threw out about $300 million in cuts, including cuts which would have closed the Avoyelles Correctional Center and two other prisons. With the session ending Monday evening, June 4, it looked as if AVC had survived another move on the ongoing saga of Governor Bobby Jindal to close or sell the Cottonport facility.
Marksville Mayor John Lemoine said he would get cost estimates on what needed to be done to repair the D.A. Jordan Center. That came after Councilman Earl Adams said the city has lost $2,600 in the last five months by only charging a $50 use fee for the building.
June 3, 2012
Two proposed tax issues for the parish could not be combined, the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury learned at a special meeting on May 23. There would not be a tax referendum on the November ballot for the construction of the Avoyelles Parish courthouse annex, and it’s also unclear whether or not there would be a tax referendum for road maintenance on the fall ballot.
One of the great family-friendly festivals in Avoyelles Parish was set to begin on Friday night in Bunkie. The 26th Annual Louisiana Corn Festival kicked off on Friday, June 8, and ran through Sunday, June 10.
Avoyelles School Superintendent Dwayne Lemoine had been going over the recent unofficial School Performance Scores for each school since the state released just the average proficiency for each school in the district in late May.
June 7, 2012
The Louisiana House of Representatives passed House Bill 1 with Senate changes. The session kept Avoyelles Correctional Center still in place. The budget also had the 2012 Capital Outlay bill containing several projects for Avoyelles Parish.
Jiffy Lube employee Nathan Cooper looks over damage inside the shop where he and three others were working when the van entered. Note the tires stopped short of the oil exchange well.
A passenger van crashed into the Jiffy Lube building on Tunica Drive in Marksville in an accident that resulted in one person being airlifted for medical help and five others suffering moderate injuries.
In the Dupont-Woodside area a permit for a fourth deep oil well in the area had been issued by the state of Louisiana and a fifth well had been announced.
A convoy led by the Louisiana National Guard 1086th Transportation Company of Bunkie, Task Force Muleskinne, made its was through Kabul on May 23. The unit was completing a 400-mile convoy from Bagram Air Field to Forward Operating Base Warrior and back as security for more than a dozen Afghan-owned cargo trucks, taking one of Afghanistan’s most dangerous roads, Highway 1.
June 10, 2012
Just after the start of the June meeting of the Avoyelles Parish School Board, School Superintendent Dwayne Lemoine was surprised by the announcement that he had been selected as the 2011 Avoyellean of the Year.
In a surprise move with no discussion, the Avoyelles Parish School Board rejected the renewal of a two-year contract for Marksville High School Principal Celeste Voinche by a 5-4 vote. The board also did not approve personnel changes because a name submitted to be the new football coach at Marksville High was included in the list.
James Gauthier of Hessmer (left) sells honey to Donald Gaspard (center) of Fifth Ward and Guy Guthrap of Moncla.
Avoyelles received a share of the state’s 2012 Capital Outlay Bill (House Bill2) which statewide totaled more than $1.5 billion in priority-1 projects and another $1.2 billions priority-2 and priority-5 projects.
June 14, 2012
A move by state lawmakers in the final hours of the 2012 legislative session approved plans to create a Central Louisiana Technical Community College system which included the Central Louisiana Technical Col-lege- Ward H. Nash Avoyelles Parish campus in Cottonport.
Dr. L.J. Mayeux stands next to a plaque in Saskatchewan, Canada on October 4, 2009 naming a Ducks Unlimited project in his name. The project is called the L.J. “Dr. Duck” Mayeux Tribute Project.
Marksville physician L.J. Mayeux was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches, on June 23. He was one of 11 honorees recognized at the 2012 ceremony.
Hessmer residents might see their property taxes drop thanks to the council’s decision to make an early payoff of some general obligation bonds. Council member Scott Kelly said the property tax savings for residents could be substantial thanks to the village being able to pay off general obligation bonds two years earlier than scheduled.
A new state guideline could have forced the 25 year old Avoyelles Society for the Developmentally Disabled with Silver Lining Pie Company to close because it couldn’t guarantee a $50,000 line of credit for a state license.
June 17, 2012
The Avoyelles Parish School Board extended the contract for Superintendent Dwayne Lemoine. By a 6-2-1 vote, the School Board extended Lemoine’s contract to December 31, 2016. The contract did not include an increase in salary. It was granted almost a full year before Lemoine's contract was set to expire in 2013 and just days before a new state law on the issue was set to go into effect.
Two parish government groups were getting in line to get their share of oil drilling activity. The Avoyelles Parish School Board would receive about $1 million for mineral leases, and the Police Jury had already begun a $750 permit fee for wells. Local towns would also benefit from increased sales tax revenues if oil drilling picks up as some residents will have more money to spend.
A representative of the Southern University Agricultural and Research Extension Center made a plea to the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury at its June meeting about an initiative to inform Avoyelles residents about better eating habits to control things such as obesity.
June 21, 2012
Marksville Mayor John Lemoine lost a round at the June 12 city council meeting in attempting to replace Police Chief Ellis Walker while having almost no support for the move from the council. The standing room only crowd of mostly Walker supporters was treated to a show, with the meeting ending as it had begun with Walker as police chief.
A true story which took place in Avoyelles Parish over 160 years ago will be the subject of a major motion picture slated to be filmed in the summer. Brad Pitt would produce the story of Solomon Northrup as a major motion picture.
The unexpected news of Governor Bobby Jindal’s decision to close J. Levy Dabadie Correctional Center in Pineville affected 99 workers, including many workers from Avoyelles Parish.
June 24, 2012
With the State of Louisiana now requiring all high school students to take the ACT college entrance exam, the Avoyelles Parish School Board decided to go with the block system of 93 minute classes in high school starting in the fall. Students will now take four courses in the fall and four different courses in the spring semester.
Avoyelles Society for Developmentally Disabled (ASDD)/Silver Lining Pie Company workers are shown inside the bakery. The establishment, which was in jeopardy of closing recently, will remain open.
A last second decision by some board members saved the Avoyelles Society for Developmentally Dis-abled with Silver Lining Pie Company from closing.
An Avoyelles Parish company, Brudd Construc-tion announced that it would expand and move its operations to the Avoyelles Parish port in Simmesport. Port officials were elated at the news of a second business locating there.
From June 28, 2012
Councilman Kenneth Friels summed up the attitude of some of the other council member’s and many of the audience in voicing his frustration at the length it takes to file a complaint against the town’s police officers.
The care of horses owned by Marksville City Councilman Elliot Jordan came to attention of the 12th Judicial Court after two people filed a complaint saying the horses were not being taken care of in their pen.
The Marksville City Council appeared to have found a way to bypass Avoyelles Water Work District Three inlaying a new water line for the city.
At the June 11 Regular meeting in Mansura, Mayor Kenneth Pickett announced that work on the Phase Two sidewalk project would begin in the middle of June. There had been a delay in getting the project after the low bidder was unable to meet insurance requirements, forcing the town to eventually go with the second highest bidder.
July 1, 2012
The Arts and Humanities Council of Avoyelles with the help of Paragon Casino Resort, the Marksville Chamber of Commerce, All Saints Hospice and others, would present the first annual Avoyelles Arts and Music Fest on Wednesday, July 4, in downtown Marksville.
Connie Couvillon, whose first term as elected Avoyelles Parish Clerk of Court begins July 1, presents a special quilt to Sammy Couvillon (far right) during a retirement party in his honor last Tuesday. Sammy Couvillon retired after serving 33 years as the Clerk of Court.
There were probably more people crowded into the Avoyelles Parish Clerk of Court Office than ever before. They were there to wish longtime Avoyelles Parish Clerk of Court Sammy Couvillion a happy retirement, after 33 years as Clerk of Court.
In honor of Indepen-dence Day 2012, the Cottonport Museum and Cultural Center was filling a time capsule that would be sealed for 25 years.
July 5, 2012
An 18-year old Avoyelles Parish murder case was given new life from the U.S. Supreme Court in a ruling which might result in a new trial for the 1994 case involving a teen in the Brouillette community.
Many sportsmen over the years have asked for extra water flow through the Spring Bayou complex to help flush out the sediment that has built up. Redigging a diversion canal in Rapides Parish and the removal of a weir near Marksville might help the Avoyelles project become a reality.
Avoyelles Parish District Attorney Charles Riddle asked the council for permission to hold a festival honoring “Little Walter” Jacobs.
July 8, 2012
Houston oil and gas explorer Halcon Resources Corp. announced plans to drill up to five oil wells in the next six months on its leased Tuscaloosa Marine Shale acreage. The company could drill some of those wells in Avoyelles because the company has been leasing mineral acreage in Avoyelles recently.
Department of Public Safety and Corrections Secretary James Leblanc, Louisiana State Prison Warden Burl Vain and the LSP Museum Foundation announced Charles A. Riddle, III, as one of the highly distinguished individuals to be inducted to the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame on July 13, in Baton Rouge.
Joshua Bradley (right) of St. Landry is shown selling a Sugar Town watermelon to Elton Johnson of Bunkie on Main Street near the Bunkie Depot.
The school bell at BELA formerly Bunkie Elemen-tary School, rung early again this year. The school year began on Wednesday, July 11 when students reported.
The Avoyelles Parish Police Jury discussed Little River Road and a grant for boat ramps at the meeting on Tuesday, June 12.
July 12, 2012
The Avoyelles Parish School Board heard from some Marksville High School faculty members concerning the board’s failure to renew Principal Celeste Voinche’s contract. But after an executive session, the board took no action on who would be the next principal at the school.
The First Annual Avoyelles Art and Music Festival was held downtown Marlsville on July 4 along with the long-standing parade and fireworks show. It was a winning combination for Marksville with crowds gathering for the various events.
Angel Moss, Jaquez Jones and Erica Augustine eat as fast as they can in the hot dog eating contest at the Avoyelles Art and Music Fest held on July 4th in downtown Marksville. The winner was Erica Augustine.
The construction for five-laning La. Highway One from Marksville to Mansura hit a small delay. Bids were scheduled to be opened on June 13 but were pushed backed to August 8.
Henrietta Gilbert of Simmesport has been named one of 19 state Volunteers of the Year by the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana. She was honored at a reception at the governor’s mansion in Baton Rouge on June 12.
July 15, 2012
The Avoyelles Police Jury voted to place not one but two tax referendums on the November ballot for road repairs and resurfacing. The referendums were for a 10-mill property tax and a one-quarter cent sales tax. Both referendums were limited to 10 years. The action took place at the June 12 meeing.
Students who were once sent to APAS in Mansura in the past for discipline infractions would now be at their home school in the upcoming school year but would be isolated from the rest of the student population. The program for suspended and expelled students was called Avoyelles Virtual School Program.
Rev. Kevin Brouillette, Simmesport native and pastor of the First Evangelical Methodist Church in Irvington, Alabama, was pictured as he displayed his right hand that was bitten by a four-foot alligator in Forrest County, Mississippi.
July 19, 2012
An attorney, Peter Lemoine, chastised the Cottonport Town Council at its July 11 meeting, claiming a young man was hit by a police officer. The matter was serious, because the suspect was handcuffed at the time.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of a Bastile Day gathering on the Avoyelles Courthouse Square in 1912, several Avoyelles residents celebrated the French independence day by participating in a regional Bastille Day gathering in Ville Platte asking the legislature to declare July 14 as Creole Day in Louisiana.
Plaucheville residents would be saying goodbye to Mona Rabalais as the mayor of Plaucheville.
The Marksville High School football team finally hired a new head coach. Bryan Gendron, 24, who had been working with the team since June was officially the head coach.
July 22, 2012
State Superintendent of Education John White addresses the crowd at a recent Avoyelles Parish School Board meeting.
Louisiana State Superintendent of Educa-tion John White addressed the Avoyelles Parish School Board at its meeting on July 3 to unveil “Louisiana Believes,” the state’s vision and comprehensive plan for improving educational outcomes for Louisiana students. He also answered questions from board members and people in the audience.
The Fox Performing Arts Center Children’s Summer Musical Workshop presented “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.
July 26, 2012
Avoyelles Parish Police Jury members learned during their July 10 meeting, that the news for an engineering study of Spring Bayou was not so good. Gary Walker with the U.S. Corps of Engineers told the jurors that federal funding for the study has dried up after only the first third of the study had been completed.
Although the specifics are not yet worked out, the Marksville City Council once again voiced its desire to give city employees a pay raise during its July 11 meeting.
Any time the Mansura Town Council talks about the town’s water, it’s inevitable the discussion will turn to the town’s water supplier, the LAWCO. Such was the case at the Mansura council meeting as the council decided to look closer at the franchise agreement.
The Louisiana State Bond Commission ap-proved over $5.9 million in savings by refinancing existing public debt and $163 million for projects statewide at its July 19 meeting, according to State Treasure John Kennedy.
A young man lost his life during a blaze on Sunday afternoon, July 8 in Simmesport. According to Simmesport Chief of Police Dale Dupuy, Brandon Paul Bordelon age 21, was pronounced dead at the scene after being pulled from his burning home by the Simmesport Fire Depart-ment.
July 29, 2012
The Avoyelles Parish School Board welcomed a new assistant superintendent of schools, as announced by Superinten-dent Dwayne Lemoine. Thelma J. Prater, Mansura was tabbed to replace craig Foster, who retired this summer.
Danny Brouillette and Lyle Decuir, owners of the “Swampeater” Aquatic Mechanical Harvester, held a demonstration of the machine on August 1 at the Grand Lac Landing on Spring Bayou Road outside of Marksville. The machine is the fist of its kind in Avoyelles Parish and is now available to clear swamps from unwanted aquatic weeds.
A State Legislative Auditor discovered that funds were missing from the Southwest Water System in Bunkie. The report was released by the auditor on July 11 showing that over $38,000 in funds was missing.
August 2, 2012
While officials await results of Avoyelles’ first deep horizontal Tuscaloosa marine Shale oil well, a second test well to target the formation received its permit on July 26 from the State of Louisiana.
A drilling rig towers over a field in the Brouillette community. The rig, visible from miles away, was the first well to target oil and gas in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale deep below Avoyelles. The rig was set to be moved to begin drilling a new well in Hamburg.
Breaking ground for the Brudd Construction office complex at the Avoyelles Parish Port on Friday, June 29.
Construction began on two community projects in Ward One. The Ward One community walking trail and veterans’ memorial project, begun in 2007, would be located at the intersection of Highway 107 and 115 Effie.
The advantages of economic shipping by river barges helped the port of Simmesport gain a tenant and a Marksville company expand. Despite hot weather, a large crowd attended the ground breaking for Brudd Construction, at the Avoyelles Port.
August 5, 2012
With Thelma Prater named the new Assistant Superintendent of Avoyelles Parish Schools, Superintendent Dwayne Lemoine also made appointments to administrative positions within the school system.
The State Department of Education announced a second Avoyelles Parish School must offer the “school choice” transfer option due to a drop in its School Performance Score. Riverside Elementary in Simmesport was added to the list of schools which are required to offer “school choice,” giving students a chance to go to another school in the district.
Three men were arrested and a fourth was being sought by the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office after deputies seized a large quantity of suspected marijuana from a residence in Simmesport.
August 9, 2012
A Plaucheville man, Justin Lawson, who allegedly broke into a Plaucheville Pharmacy in 2008, was suspected by Plaucheville Police of returning to break into the same pharmacy on July 9. A woman was also arrested on July 31 for her connection with the burglary.
Interested onlookers gather at Spring Bayou to watch a demonstration of the “Swamp Eater” last Wednesday. The water in the foreground is mainly clear after the machine did some clearing while the water in the background is choked with hydrilla.
A large crowd showed up on August 1 to witness the demostration of the ‘Swamp Weed Eater.” The machine, recently purchased and brought into Avoyelles by two Marks-ville men, may be one of the answers to the plaguing problem of floating hydrilla which clogs the waterways of the Spring Bayou system.
Just days after announcing that Marksville High would have a temporary principal, School Superintendent Dwayne Lemoine named Marvin Hall as the new principal for the school. Mike Rachal was named an assistant principal at Avoyelles High. He joined Cindy Schaub as one of the two assistant principals at Avoyelles.
The LSU AgCenter found soybean rust in both Avoyelles and Rapides parishes. Sugarcane rust was also found in Avoyelles Parish. The problem was not a major concern for the parish farmers.
August 12, 2012
Teachers in the Avoyelles Parish public school system perform a math experiment during the Louisiana MSP Project workshop on Wednesday, July 25 at the Avoyelles Parish School Board Office in Marksville.
Most all public schools in the parish were scheduled to open their doors for the 2012-13 school year on August 13. Avoyelles Parish Superintendent of Schools Dwayne Lemoine said the school system was ready to go.
The Diocese of Alexandria Catholic schools in Avoyelles Parish and the Avoyelles Public Charter School in Mansura were also set to open for the new school year.
An Avoyelles native opera star made an encore performance to help raise funds for the Fox Perform-ing Arts Theatre in Marksville. Robert Hale, internationally acclaimed opera singer who was born in Marksville, performed with Julie Davis at the Avoyelles Public Charter School in Marksville.
August 16, 2012
Avoyelles Parish experienced a brain gain in the last 40 years, joining the rest of the country in what has been a massive increase in the number of adults who have earned college degrees.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board, in a 5-4 vote, decide to overturn a recommendation to terminate a food service technician who works at LaSAS. The vote came after several minutes of open discussion between the worker and school board members and a 4-4 vote was broken by School Board President James Gauthier.
August 19, 2012
The Moncla Theatre hosted a musical production entitled, “Red Runs the River; The Civil War in Avoyelles Parish.” The event, complete with musical interludes, portrayed Avoyelles Parish Civil War experiences of local ancestory and commemorated the 150th Anniversary of The Civil War - the bloodiest conflict in American history. About 1,000 men from Avoyelles, served in the Confederate Army. Many did not return home.
Qualifying opened for Avoyelles Parish Police Jury and several municipal races along with some state-wide races. Qualifying closed late Friday afternoon after the Sunday Journal went to press.
Louisiana continued to see an increase in West Nile virus infections, with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital reporting 15 new cases and four deaths from the disease as of Tuesday, August 14.
August 23, 2012
Four police jurors, a mayor, a police chief and six aldermen were automatically elected as they were the only candidates to qualify for their seats. They would not have opposition in the November 6 election.
Qualifying for candidates closed for Avoyelles Parish Police Jury seats, several municipal positions and for some state-wide officials.
Three people were found murdered in a Larto home in predawn hours on a Monday. A Mansura man was captured for questioning in the murders. The suspect of the triple homicide, 41-year old Lee John Ponthieux, whose address was given as Mansura, is an ex-convict from Avoyelles Parish According to Steve Martel of APSO, Ponthieux has bounced around Avoyelles Parish but has lived mainly in the Old River and Brouillette areas.
This Friday, a federal judge would determine if the Avoyelles Parish school system was closer to the end of a desegregation suit, which has overshadowed the schools since 1969.
August 26, 2012
The Mansura area resident, Lee John Ponthieux Jr., who was arrested in the killing of three members of a family at Larto Lake gave more details of the triple murder, according to the Natchez Democrat.
While the drought in the Midwest had been in the national news with crop yields down, the crops in Avoyelles Parish were fairing well so far because there wasn’t been a drought in Avoyelles and there has been favorable rains.
The first case of West Nile Virus this season in Avoyelles Parish has been reported. The State Department of Health and Hospitals reported on August 17, that the case in Avoyelles Parish was confirmed as the West Nile Fever, the milder form of the virus that causes flu-like symptoms.
August 30, 2012
Avoyelles Parish School Board member Van Kojis (left) talks to Assistant District Attorney David Lafargue (center) and District Attorney Charles Riddle (right) moments after leaving the Federal Courthouse in Alexandria.
With the the approval of two of the “Green Factors” involved in unitary status for the Avoyelles Parish School Board on August 24 at a public hearing in Federal Court, the school system was midway in its efforts to achieve unitary status (unsupervised desegregation of schools). The approval of transportation was given earlier this year. The three factors still not meeting unitary status requirements were facilities, student activities and student assignment.
As the Marksville Weekly News was preparing to go to press Monday evening, Avoyelles was bracing for a possible visit byHurricane Isaac. There was a 65 percent chance of tropical storm conditions beginning as early as Tuesday night if the path took the storm over or near the parish.
Is Mansura’s water supplier attempting to strong arm the town into a long term franchise agreement? Although it was unclear whether that was the intention of Louisiana Water Company, some Mansura officials at the council’s August 13 meeting left no doubt that’s what they thought.
Bryan Gendron, Marks-ville High School football head coach, was pictured congratulating his players after their first win in the Avoyelles Parish High School Jamboree on August 24.
September 2, 2012
As the Avoyelles Sunday Journal went to press late Wednesday afternoon, Avoyelles Parish was still waiting on its unwelcome guests, which decided to show up late. Hurricane Issac stalled over the Houma-Grand isle area on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, and was not projected to arrive here until Thursday morning.
A day before Hurricane Isaac was to visit Avoyelles Parish, inmates at Avoyelles Detention Center #2 in Bunkie were busy filling sand bags. A day before Hurricane Isaac was to visit Avoyelles Parish, inmates at the Avoyelles Detention Center in Bunkie were busy filling sand bags.
Oil activity was bringing more tax dollars for Avoyelles Parish, in the form of increased sales and property taxes. And if the wells are productive, severance taxes would also increase.
September 6, 2012
Pictured above is a radar image showing the eye of tropical storm Isaac as it passed over Avoyelles Parish on Thursday, August 30.
By the time Hurricane I
saac reached Avoyelles Parish at daylight on Thursday morning, August 30, it had lessened to the low end of a tropical storm and most of the rain was to the east into Mississippi. After tense days on Tuesday and Wednesday, residents breathed a sigh of relief as Isaac was a non-event for the parish.
Just days after being told by Federal Judge Dee Drell to come up with a school board policy to select school cheerleaders, dance line members and majorettes, the School Board held a special meeting on August 28, to adopt a plan.
September 9, 2012
The Avoyelles Parish School Board was in the running to receive a 10,000 square foot modular building. The only cost would be dismantling the building and moving it from Leesville.
According to reports, new well production from Tuscaloosa Marine Shale in the Florida Parishes and Mississippi indicate some of the hype the Shale play has received over the past few months might be well deserved.
Dale Bordelon of Hessmer (left) and Russell Bourgeois of Jeanerette (center) are pictured with Brady Barr (right) star of the National Geographic television show “Deadly Encounters.”
Dale Bordelon of Hessmer took the National Geographic Channel into the Louisiana bayou for a documentary film on the search for the alligator snapping turtle.
September 12, 2012
The Avoyelles Parish School Board’s three-member Needs Assessment Committee came to the forefront at the school meeting on September 4. There was a brief but tense discussion concerning two projects, one at Avoyelles High and another at Lafargue Elementary.
The Catholic schools in Avoyelles Parish made improvements to their campuses before the start of the 2012-2013 school year. The most renovations were made at Sacred Heart School in Moreauville.
September 16, 2012
Allen Holmes, the plaintiff in the Avoyelles Parish desegregation case, filed an objection in federal court to the Avoyelles Parish School Board’s plan for selection of cheerleaders. He said the court should reject the board’s plan.
Visitors to the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church Fair in the Belledeau community enjoyed bingo and homemade chicken and sausage gumbo inside the church hall.
St. Mary’s Assumption Catholic Church in Cottonport hosted its annual “Cooking for the King” event on September 29 at St. Mary’s Community Center. This year’s event was a USO musical in honor of United States Troops.
State Representative Robert Johnson was the main speaker at the Avoyelles Strategic Plan-ning meeting in Bunkie on September 11 at the Dugout Grill. Johnson spoke about the 2012 Louisiana Leg-islative session and its effect on Avoyelles Parish.
September 20, 2012
The Cottonport Town Council held an hour-long public termination hearing for one of its police officers. The council then continued the discussion into its regular council meeting before voting to terminate the officer.
It has been over a year since oil companies began gobbling up leases in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale in Avoyelles, and already three wells were under way. Some industry experts expected a big increase in test drilling to hit next year.
September 23, 2012
The Mansura Town Council began developing its negotiating position with the Louisiana Water Com-pany over a new franchise agreement.
The Moncla Theatre presented encore performances of the Civil War play “Red Runs the River: the Civil War in Avoyelles Parish,” at the Moncla Community Theatre.
September 27, 2012
The Avoyelles Strategic Planning Committee met in Bunkie on September 11. Members from communities throughout the parish gathered at the Dugout Grill to discuss upcoming events in each town.
This crop duster, flying just south of Marksville on La. Highway 1 on Thursday, September 13, put on quite a show for motorists. The pilot was spraying nearby fields. Some drivers slowed down for a moment as they did a double take.
The Marksville City Council discussed but did not take action on revoking the beer and liquor license of a Marksville night club at its September 12 meeting. The council also discussed some sports items.
Moreauville’s two water towers would soon be given a facelift. The Moreauville Village Council announced, at its September 12 meeting, the village had been approved for two grants totaling $41,900 from the State of Louisiana and the Office of Community Development.
September 30, 2012
After one month of school for the Avoyelles Parish public schools, enrollment appeared to be stable compared to the enrollment at the same time in 2011. Including pre-K students, the school system showed a decrease of only 22 students from 2011.
A war of words broke out recently between Allen Holmes, the plaintiff of the Avoyelles Parish school desegregation case, and the Avoyelles Parish School Board President James Gauthier. The exchange became heated after Holmes criticized a newspaper column written by Gauthier concerning an August federal court hearing.
There are certain weekends in Louisiana that bring excitement. The opening weekend of squirrel season along with the opening of bow season for deer hunting, for most of the state, is always the first Saturday in October. For Avoyelles Parish, it means big sales tax collections and visitors coming to the area.
October 4, 2012
Sheena Grote and Silas Cecil were hired to fill slots left by former LSUAg county agents agents Trent Clark and Rob Fergerson.
Youth from the parish had the opportunity to dress in formal wear and enjoy dancing to the music of “KDK,” a band made up of Avoyelles youth at a cotillion held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Too New for You organization.
Too New for You, a youth organization, celebrated its 20-year anniversary at its 2012 cotillion.
October 7, 2012
Three school buses were involved in an accident on a Tuesday afternoon. Eleven elementary students were sent to the hospital for precautionary reasons and 47 other students were treated for injuries at the scene. In all, 110 students were traveling on the three buses.
Emergency personnel and school officials comfort students sitting by the roadside on Tuesday afternoon just minutes after a three school bus accident.
The Avoyelles Commis-sion of Tourism hosted the 4th Annual Cookbook and Artists/Crafts Festival in Mansura on October 13 on the grounds of the LSU AgCenter extension office.
St. Anthony Catholic School in Bunkie hosted its first annual “Taste and Toasts Event” on October 27 in the SAS gym. This would be an evening of tasting over 15 carefully selected food items and drinks with music, a raffle and entertainment.
October 11, 2012
A special meeting of the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury in late September took all of three minutes. The Jury set the flood elevation for a building at the Avoyelles Parish Port in Simmesport.
Members of the 2012-2013 Marksville High School Homecoming court were: Lauren Bordelon, Ashley Rhodes, Brittany Ford, Chelsea Benjamin, Leah Dunn, Megan Couvillion, Simone Swanier, Shontera Williams, Devon Voinche, Nellie Rose Bennett, Alisha Patel, Deslin Jacob, Kedra Lavalais, Lorielle Greenhouse Abby Dauzat, and Hailey Normand.
The Restoration of the old Hessmer High School gym could be completed in time for a grand opening in conjunction with the Hessmer Christmas Parade, the Hessmer Village Council learned at its October 2 meeting.
October 14, 2012
Voters in Avoyelles Parish were going to the polls on November 6 for several different elections. One of the biggest issues would be a .25 cent sales tax and 10-mill property tax purposed by the Police Jury. The tax would be used for the improvement of approximately 480 miles of roads in Avoyelles including many bridges and culvert.
The Avoyelles Arts Council and Cottonport Bank helped pay tribute to one of Marksville’s treasured sons, “Little Walter” Jacobs, the legendary Blues harmonica player who was born in Marksville on May 1, 1930, by sponsoring the Marksville Harmonica Invitational Workshop and Tribute Performance on October 20.
October 18, 2012
In an effort to get approval from the federal judge of the “green factor” of student activities toward achieving unitary status, the School Board revised the policy for the selection of cheerleaders. The policy was changed because Allen Holmes disagreed with the one-sentence policy the board had passed in September.
The Fox Theatre in Marksville came alive with the vocal talents of young people of Avoyelles Parish during the first Fox Idol Contest. The auditorium was filled with the sounds of favorite melodies for about two hours.
October 21, 2012
A proposition is on the ballot for the November 6 election to set term limits of Avoyelles Parish School Board Members. The state legislative approved Act 386 in its last session that would allow each parish to decide if they wanted to have term limits on school board members.
Mickey Romano, Avoyelles Parish Police Jury President, will not be completing the last two months of his term which will allow the juror-elect to replace him on the vacated seat early.
Mickey Romano, Police Jury president, would not be completing the last two months of his term which allowed the juror-elect to replace him.
For the past 17 years Avoyelles Hospital in Marksville has hosted Pink October, a fund raiser to bring awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early detection to the women of Avoyelles Parish and surrounding areas.
October 25, 2012
Avoyelles emergency personnel push a stretcher carrying Riley Curtis of Jena to an awaiting Airmed helicopter. Curtis was pulled from a Chrysler Concord after it flipped into a ditch on Hwy. 1 near Fifth Ward on Wednesday, October 17.
Avoyelles Parish schools received state test scores, and letter grades for the 2011-2012 school year on October 22 from the Louisiana Department of Education. The school district as a whole received a score of “D.”
As the 2012 calendar year began moving towards a close, the Marksville City Council once again considered its most continuous decision of the year: to prohibit patrons ages 18-20 in clubs and bars where alcoholic beverages are sold. The issue came up at the October 10 regular council meeting.
Olivia Draper, 2012 Avoyelles High Home-coming Queen, was crowned by last year’s queen Angel Bordelon during homecoming activities held during halftime of the Avoyelles High vs. Vidalia football game on October 19.
October 28, 2012
Louisiana’s Medicaid fund, gun rights and retirement legislation were among nine proposed constitutional amendments on the November 6 ballot that Avoyelles Parish voters would help decide.
World War II veterans with ties to Avoyelles were invited to a special gathering on Veterans Day November 11, at the Avoyelles Veterans Memor-ial on La. Highway One in Mansura.
Candidates who announ-ced for November 6 elections were: Timmy Lemoine, Moreauville mayor; Kirby Roy, police jury, Dist. 2; Gerald Mayeux, Cottonport chief; Donald Lemoine, police jury, Dist. 5; and Wade Ducote, police jury, Dist. 8.
November 1, 2012
When the state released its School Performance Scores, the Avoyelles Public Charter School in Mansura received an “A” with a score of 138.0 for the 2011-2012 school year. That was a climb of 17.8 points from the 2010-2011 school year when the score was 120.2
A city of Marksville sewer line is being moved in preparation for the five-laning of La. Highway 1. Don Barron Construction Company is moving the line back six to 12 feet starting at Walmart and continuing to the Avoyelles Parish Jail.
After months of struggling with finances, the Bay Hills Recreational Park decided to close its doors. The nine-hole golf course at one-time was home to one of the best First Tee Programs in the state of Louisiana.
Beau Armand of Cottonport was pictured with the 59-pound pumpkin he grew at his home. Pumpkin seeds were originally planted in May by the students of Megan Parra’s Kindergarten class at St. Mary’s School in Cottonport.
Cottonport councilman Kenneth Friels was upset that the mayor’s court in Cottonport was sending more and more cases to the 12th Judicial Court in Marksville. He felt if the cases were going to be sent to Marksville, then maybe the mayor’s court should be disband.
November 4, 2012
The Avoyelles Parish Police Jury placed two bond issues on the November 6 ballott. One of the bond issues was a three mill tax for new courtrooms of the Twelfth Judicial District Court.
A sex offender, Bryant Washington, was arrested for not registering with the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office, after it was reported he was handing out Halloween candy to children at Halloween on the Courthouse Square.
A Mansura man, Blaine J. Roy, was arrested by Avoyelles Parish Sheriff;s Office deputies on Tuesday, October 30, after they found and elaborated system of growing marijuana at his residence.
November 8, 2012
There was good news announced at the Police Jury meeting on, October 9, Chris Burke, with the Avoyelles Animal Welfare Society, reported the animal shelter in Cottonport finally became a reality.
Cottonport Police Detective Chad Jeansonne stands inside the St. Mary’s Assumption Catholic Church where religious items valued at a total of between $90,000 and $100,000 were recently stolen from the church.
Thieves broke into St. Mary’s Assumption Catholic Church in Cottonport and stole several religious items worth thousands of dollars.
November 11, 2012
The current nine members of the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury will hold their last meeting on November 16. Then sometime early the following week, a new nine-member police jury will take over after elections results had been certified by the state.
Voters in Avoyelles Parish elected three new and re-elected one mayor in the parish as well as new aldermen in Plaucheville, Simmesport, Cottonport, and Hessmer. There will be a runoff for alderman in Moreauville and a runoff for chief of police in Cottonport.
Voters in Avoyelles Parish overwhelmingly approved term limits on school board members by 72% of the vote. Term limits for board members would begin after January 1, 2014.
November 15, 2012
Avoyelles’ candidates and voters had to wait longer than usual for complete election results on November 6, as the early vote counts did not come until 8 p.m. The early vote totals were not posted on the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website until after 11 p.m.
Sixteen of the last surviving veterans of World War II from Avoyelles were honored during Sunday afternoon ceremonies at the Avoyelles Parish Veterans Monument on the grounds of Cottonport Bank in Mansura.
November 18, 2012
A second case of West Nile Virus was reported in Avoyelles Parish, but it was the more serious form. No information was given to where this person lives in the parish. Louisiana health officials reported 12 new West Nile Virus cases during the week ending November 9 and two West Nile related deaths.
Board member Shelia Blackman-Dupas blasted Superintendent of School Dwayne Lemoine and other school administrators for lack of increase in school test scores. The issue became even hotter when Lemoine and Dupas traded e-mails.
Members of AAWS and volunteers for the Avoyelles Parish Animal Shelter in Cottonport prepare to cut a ribbon for the grand opening of the facility.
Early voting for the December 8 runoff election in Avoyelles Parish would begin on November 24 and close on December 1 at the Avoyelles Register of Voters Office.
November 22, 2012
A lawsuit, filed by Rev. Leslie Draper III, was filed contesting the mayor’s election in Simmesport. After an all-day hearing in 12th Judicial Court, Judge Mark Jeansonne ruled in favor of Eric Rusk, confirming his re-election as mayor.
A Marksville deer hunter died from an accidental gunshot wound while hunting alone. According to Avoyelles Parish Coroner Dr. L. J. Mayeux, Brent Ducote, age 40 of Marksville, died on Thursday, November 15, after accidently being shot at his deer stand.
Suzonne Alford loads one of several shopping carts full of toys, purchased through the Marksville Doll and Toy Fund.
More than two years of off-and-on bickering over the funds of Marksville City Court may have been resolved at the November 14, Marksville City Council meeting.
November 25, 2012
Avoyelles Public Charter School in Mansura presented the musical “Lil Abner” on November 30, Decem-ber 1 and 2.
In October the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury was given two options regarding a complaint of negligence by Police Jury employees that allegedly led to windshield damage on a private vehicle.
The Christmas Season began with parades and fireworks in Simmesport, Hessmer, Bordelonville, Moreauville and The Bunkie Fist Baptist Musical.
November 29, 2012
Cottonport Police have charged a Cottonport man , Donovan James, with simple rape from a case that began in October. The police department released information concerning the case and said the investigation was continuing with more possible victims. The charges filed in the current case could be upgraded as the investigation continued.
Bryan Gendron resigned as football coach at Marksville High School after one year. Despite leading the team to a District 3-AAA title, he became the target of someone who may not have been happy with him as coach.
A Bordelonville hunter , David Bordelon, was severely hurt after he accidently shot himself on November 23.
Two Marksville men, Sonny Pennington and Charles Adam Pennington , were among four charged with almost 3,000 counts of drug related charges after being arrested in an Alexandria shop where drugs were suspected of being sold.
For a half a century, Gaon Escude has been volunteering his time with the Mansura Lions Club. For the club’s 50th anniversary, Escude organized the club’s golden anniversary party, tracking down the remaining and oldest members of the club.
December 2, 2012
Pork chops, ladies boots, bed sheets and computers were among the popular purchases for Black Friday shoppers in Avoyelles Parish. People of all ages swarmed retail stores that offered deep discounts as the Christmas shopping season was launched with shopping opportunities beginning on Thanksgivng Day. Stores in Bunkie, Mansura, and Marksville advertised Black Friday special in the Sunday Journal and reported great sales.
The Marksville High School Choir will presented “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at the Fox Performing Arts Theater.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials were seeking leads in the illegal killing of a Black Bear.
A Marksville woman was killed in a single vehicle accident on La. Highway 1 near Fifth Ward during the evening hours on November 27.
December 6, 2012
For a legally blind woman who lives near Plaucheville, the Christmas season got off to a disturbing start when someone fired either a pistol or high power rifle with a bullet striking her home. The woman was not injured in the incident.
Timmy Lemoine (left) takes the oath of office as the new mayor of Moreauville from Justice of the Peace Robert Lemoine (right) on Friday, November 16 at the Moreauville Village Hall. Lemoine replaces Reggie Ducote, who was the acting mayor, in place of Kenneth Farbe. Farbe was also on hand to hand over the gavel to Lemoine.
Cottonport businessman James Bernard has been chosen by the Cottonport Christmas on the Bayou committee as the grand marshal for this year’s parade.
The Marksville City Council at its November 14 meeting voted to put up a gate at the city dump to curb illegal dumping. Council man Earl Adams said the Environmental Protection Agency takes a dim view of improper items being dumped there and has already acted against the city.
Timmy Lemoine takes the oath of office as the new mayor of Moreauville from Justice of the Peace Robert Lemoine on Friday, November 16, 2012 at the Moreauville Village Hall.
December 9, 2012
New members of the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury took the oath of office on Tuesday, November 13 at the Police Jury office in the courthouse in Marksville.
History was made in Avoyelles Parish on Tuesday, November 13, when the new members of the Avoyelles Police Jury were sworn into office. Buy a quick 8-1 vote, the members approved Charles Jones, a minority member from District Five, to lead the Police Jury.
In 43 year old desegregation with involving the Avoyelles Parish School Board appears to be coming into its final stages. The board approved a motion by a 6-2 vote to ask Federal Judge Dee Drell to declare the Avoyelles Parish school system unitary, freeing the system from federal over site as it has met integration goals. While the board passed the motion at the request of its expert Dr. William Gordon, District Attorney Charles Riddle told board members he would no file the motion for a least 30 days or more.
December 13, 2012
An Avoyelles Parish Grand Jury has found two true bills on individuals in connection with the murder of Christina “Christine” Normand Mayeaux. They are the first arrest made in the case that is over a year old. One person has been charged with accessory after the fact to first degree murder. The other person arrested was charged with obstruction of justice.
Lalyn Turner (left), with her mom, Shantelle Ponthieux, throws candy to people along the route of the Cottonport Christmas on the Bayou Parade.
Three elections were held in Avoyelles on Saturday night and the results in all there were close. The biggest race was in Cottonport where Earnest Anderson was elected Cottonport Chief of Police over incumbent Gerald Mayeux in a very close final.
After four days of testimony during the week of November 26 to 30, an Avoyelles Parish 12-member jury rendered a $1.7 million award may be the largest ever in an injury case for Avoyelles Parish.
December 16, 2012
Avoyelles Sheriff Doug Anderson (front, left) talks with other law enforcement agents at the site of the shooting of Larane Pierce by a U.S. Marshal on Wednesday, December 12.
A woman who was arrested last week with possible connections to the murder of a Marksville woman, was shot and killed by the U.S. Marshall Service Violent Offender Task Force on Wednesday afternoon.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board has been told it will receive the donation of a 10,000 square-foot modular building currently located at Fork Polk. The only cost involved will be dismantling the building, moving it from Leesville to Avoyelles High in Moreauville and reassembling it at the school. The building is estimated to have a value of $500,000.
The St. Cecilia Chorale Choir will present a Christmas program on Saturday, December 22, at 6 pm. at St. Mary’s Assumption Catholic Church in Cottonport.
December 20, 2012
The Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut in which 26 people were killed including 20 small children, sent shock waves across America, including Avoyelles Parish. The incident has prompted the review of security plans in the Avoyelles Parish schools to prevent or deal with such an incident in the parish.
With 22 seconds showing on the countdown clock at left, Dashna Byrd of Hickory Hill (center) runs to place a price tag on one of four items she won on the national television show “The Price is Right.”
Avoyelles Parish School Superintendent Dwayne Lemoine said Monday morning he sent a letter to all of the public school principals asking them to do a second evaluation of school crisis preparedness plans for keeping the schools secure.
The timing on Marksville’s laying a 24-inch main feed water line along Highway 1 is getting critical, the Marksville City Council was told at its December 12 meeting. A delay came about because one member of the Avoyelles Water Commission refused to sign off on a contract to run a new 24-inch water line to Marksville.
An Avoyelles Parish football player from Avoyelles High has been invited to South Carolina to participate in a high school all-star football game. Senior linebacker Wesley Boone was invited to play and spend a week there taking place in activities.