The following is a review of the top stories over the first six months of the year of 2008.
Plaucheville principal Robbie Gaspard was transferred to acting principal at Marksville High. Gaspard was transferred after the position opened when Marksville High Principal Charles Jones went on sick leave for the rest of the school year. Inauguration ceremonies for Louisiana District 28 State Representative Robert A. Johnson were held on Friday, January 11.
The city of Marksville under went renovations to the sidewalks throughout its city limits. According to a city engineer, the 2.52 miles of sidewalks were being widened to four feet for wheelchair accessibility.
Fire departments from across Louisiana gathered in Moreauville to pay final tribute to Moreauville Fire Chief Ted Lemoine. Lemoine was laid to rest on Wednesday, January 9. He had served as assistant fire chief for 15 years.
The new faces serving for the first time on the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury got a lesson on procedures from other parish officials. New members of the Police Jury attended a local orientation meeting for updates on policies, procedures and any on-going projects.
The Avoyelles Parish Library System hosted the popular RELIC, reading and discussion series for 2008. This program was titled “Battleground Louisiana: Civil War Experiences and Events.”
The story of Avoyelles’ newest community, Canadaville, came to life in a locally produced documentary. Avoyelles filmmaker, Susan Shore, initiated the documentary in 2005, later joining forces with a Canadian film production company.
The Avoyelles Parish Law Enforcement District upgraded its 911 communication equipment and constructed a second work release center, thanks, in part, to a zero-percent interest loan provided by the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority.
Carlos Mayeux of Hamburg was named Avoyelles Parish School Board President for the next school year. Lizzie Ned of Bunkie was named vice-president of the board.
Robert Johnson, District 28 Senate Representative, was ceremonially sworn into office on Friday, January 11.
A contractor from the U.S. Army contacted the office of Avoyelles Publishing Company asking for records to help with their search for the location of the family of a Korean War MIA. With the help of current DNA testing, the Army was hoping to identify the remains of Elton Joseph Bernard, son of Simon and Lydia Bernard of Bunkie in order to send them home for a proper burial.
Mickey Romano, newly elected District 2 Police Juror, was selected president of the police jury on January 15.
Residents of Avoyelles Parish received an early morning gift on Saturday, January 19 as snowfall blanketed the parish for the first part of the morning. Temperatures went as low as 22 degrees on that day.
The Marksville City Council got more requests for speed bumps, and yet other requests to remove them. A petition was brought to the council to remove speed bumps along Cedar Lane, and another petition to add speed bumps to Spring Bayou Loop. The council gave approval for the Spring Bayou Loop speed bumps and tabled the discussion on those for Cedar Lane.
An arrest was made concerning the theft of two heat pumps stolen from the new LSU AgCenter/4-H museum located on Highway One in Mansura. Penny Desselle, age 28 of 124 Ero Lane in Marksville, was arrested on January 15 and charged with theft of over $500.
For the second time in less than a year, Marksville was shaken by a deadly domestic violence incident. According to Marksville Police Chief Newman Greenhouse, Brady Dauzat, age 25 of 1025 South Main Street, retrieved a .22 caliber rifle and shot at his girlfriend, Savannah Juneau, age 22. Juneau was struck in the left knee as she ran away. Dauzat called 911 and went back into a bedroom where he used a 12 gauge shotgun to kill himself.
In a different case, Marksville Police responded to another shooting at 729 North Monroe street. According to Chief Greenhouse, Maria A. Patton, age 46, allegedly tried to commit suicide. Her husband, Michael Dwayne Patton, age 48, came out of the bathroom and saw his wife holding a .22 caliber weapon. The husband stuck out his arm to try and stop the shooting, however, Maria Patton allegedly pulled the trigger. A bullet went through Michael Patton’s arm and struck Maria Patton in the throat. Maria Patton was transferred to a Shreveport hospital and was listed in serious condition. Michael was treated at Avoyelles Hospital and released.
Bryan Dauzat of Fifth Ward didn’t let being in a wheel chair get in his way when he killed what was believed to be a record buck on January 9. The non-typical deer weighed 220 lbs. and rated 185 points on the Boone Crocket scale.
A routine traffic stop by a Louisiana State Police officer on Highway 115 south of Hessmer led to the chase and capture of a man wanted in East Baton Rouge Parish. Troy D. Kirklin, age 35 of Baton Rouge, was wanted on several felony charges for dog fighting and drug possession by the State Police Troop A. After giving the officer several fake Social Security numbers and fake names, Kirklin allegedly took off on foot when the officer went to arrest him. He was later captured hiding behind the home of a local resident.
A Marksville woman was arrested and charged with over 100 counts of theft by fraud of a mental health company. Deanna C. Gaspard, age 39, was charged with 109 counts of theft by fraud, four counts of forgery, identity theft and three counts of theft. She allegedly took over $75,000 in funds from 2004 to 2008 from the Cutting Edge Mental Health Center where she worked as a bookkeeper.
Clay Michael Sayer, a 16 year old boy, was tragically killed at the Moncla Mardi Gras Parade when he fell between a truck and a float and was pinned underneath. To make matters worse the driver of the truck was his 21 year old brother, Kain Sayer. Kain was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and was charged with DWI 1st offense, vehicular homicide and careless operation.
Ryland Motors, the last remaining new car dealership in Marksville officially closed its doors, leaving Marksville without a major vehicle dealership. Owner Buddy Ryland confirmed he closed the business after selling the property to a developer who planned to build commercial retail space.
Avoyelles High School (AHS) in Moreauville continued to receive honors for its improvement of test scores. The most recent honor came when the school received the 2007 College Readiness Award from the Louisiana ACT Council for increasing the number of students taking the ACT Assessment over the past five years and increasing their level of achievement and college readiness.
Much needed improvements to Couvillion Street in Moreauville began but it seemed would take months to complete.
Very few voters turned out for the presidential primary election held Saturday, February 9. On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton carried Avoyelles with 46.6% while Barack Obama carried the state. John McCain carried Avoyelles with 50% and also carried the state for the Republicans.
Although the five-laning of Highway One between Marksville and Mansura had been postponed indefinitely, DOTD officials hoped to get it back in line thanks to surplus oil generated taxes. An additional $10 million was needed to make the project work. The costs of expanding the highway rose by $10 million from the expansion of peripheral businesses following the Tunica Tribe’s casino.
The newly elected members of the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury appointed Cilton Bernard of Bunkie as the new parish superintendent.
The Marksville Lady Tigers were just one step away from playing in the Girls Top 28 basketball tournament. Marksville played the Kaplan Lady Pirates and the Winnfield Lady Tigers and won both games to advance to the state semi-finals in Class-AAA.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board honored their Elementary and Middle School Students of the Year: Chase Honeycutt of Bunkie Elementary; Jordan Williams of Cottonport Elementary; Carlie Boudreaux of Lafargue Elementary; Shayna Benjamin of Marksville Elementary; Cassidy Lemoine of Plaucheville Elementary; Chasity Quebedeaux of Riverside Elementary; Alex Charrier of LaSAS; Austin Bordelon of Marksville Middle; and Justin Descant of Mansura Middle.
The High School Students of the Year were: Joshua Michel of Avoyelles High; Thomas Steele of Bunkie High; Megan Anderson of LaSAS; and Roslyn Wilmer of Marksville High.
Avoyelles Parish School Board members were set to vote on a resolution calling for a special election in the Avoyelles High block at their regular meeting on Tuesday, February 12. However, the resolution was pulled from the agenda and sent to the Finance Committee for further discussion.
The Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) District 08 Administrator, Nicholas Verret, Jr., P.E. announced bids for the replacement of the Bayou Des Glaise Bridge located on La. 114 in Moreauville.
Through a state program, “Turn on to Learning,” Cottonport Elementary School was granted the use of laptop computers for their sixth grade classes. The program was designed to get laptop computers into the hands of sixth grade students throughout the state.
The school also received laptop and digital backpacks for each of the two sixth grade teachers, a laptop for the parish technology coordinator, a digital cart to house and power the laptops, and two iPods.
A hearing was held on January 29, in 12th Judicial Court to hear a motion to suppress evidence in the second degree murder case of Joe Plauche. Plauche’s attorney, Mike Small of Alexandria, asked Judge Mark Jeansonne to throw out evidence at the scene because it was collected without a search warrant.
An execution date was set for Darrell Robinson, who was convicted of killing four people, including a baby, in the Echo community in 1996.
A special meeting of the Avoyelles Parish School Board was held to discuss calling an election in the Avoyelles High School block. By a 9-0 vote, the board agreed to a tax proposal and tax election. The election will be held on July 19 and voters in the taxing district will vote on a 15.5 mill property tax for new construction and remodeling at Avoyelles High School. If passed, the millage increase will be for 20 years and will raise $4.9 million for the project.
The LSU AgCenter, located on Highway One in Mansura, officially opened for business. The new building housed the 4-H agents, ag agents, nutrition agents and the Avoyelles Commission of Tourism office. The 4-H museum was scheduled to be opened at a later date.
The Marksville Lady Tigers played Iota High School in the state semi-finals. A win over Iota would have put Marksville into the state finals in Hammond. However, they lost to Iota by a score of 71 to 53.
Walgreens Pharmacy announced it was coming to Marksville and would open before the end of the year. It was to be built where the Ryland Dodge Motors business had been located.
The 911 center reported that a tornado touched down in the Dupont area around 6 p.m. on February 21 causing minimal damage in the area.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board continued to make positive financial progress according to Aloysia Ducote, CPA with Ducote and Company, who gave the board its annual audit report.
Residents of the Effie community were left to pick up the pieces after a severe thunderstorm and possible tornado passed through the community.
Sawmill company, Roy O. Martin, announced the pending sale of its Lemoyen hardwood sawmill to an investment fund controlled by The Forestland Group, LLC of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
The second degree murder trial of Joe Plauche opened with the first round of jury selection. Plauche,
allegedly, shot and killed his wife in June of 2007.
The second degree murder case of Joe Plauche of Marksville was expected to enter a second week of jury selection. Eleven of the 12 jurors needed had tentatively been seated, but the pool of jury members was running low. According to sources, there was a possibility District Court Judge Mark Jeansonne was going to have to issue summons for other potential jury members.
Avoyelles Parish’s contribution to the founding of 4-H in Louisiana was a major part of the half-hour TV documentary, “Louisiana’s Lucky Clover, A Century of 4-H” was broadcast on Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB).
12th Judicial Court Judge Mark Jeansonne made a ruling for a change of venue motion in the second degree murder case of Joe Plauche. According to defense attorney Mike Small, Plauche requested the venue change because he believed local jurors may be prejudice in their answers.
A new software program for the Avoyelles Parish School System helped with the credit recovery program implemented in schools as well as allowed students to attend summer school in 1st-12th grades. In recent years summer school has been offered only for upper grades. The school board approved the purchase of the “PLATO” software program for $253,006.50.
Dr. Ed Kalifey, Marksville physician, announced his retirement after 45 years of practice. Kalifey originally came to Marksville to only “fill in” for one month, and ended up staying 45 years.
The Class-AAA All-State Girls Basketball Team was released and two Marksville Lady Tiger players were named to the team. Senior Roslyn Wilmer was named to the first team while junior Daneshia Hudson was tabbed as an honorable mention selection. On the boy’s side, Joseph Lavalais was named to the Class-AAA honorable mention team.
The Moreauville Police Department was on the look out for two male suspects who broke into C&R Drug Store between 2 and 6 p.m. on March 15 and stole between $10,000 to $15,000 worth of medication drugs which could be used to make illegal drugs.
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A request was made to purchase property from the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury at its March 11 meeting. Infinity Holdings, LLC made the request to purchase an additional vacant six acres adjacent to the old Garan factory in Marksville.
Hospital Road took the top spot on a prioritized list of 24 Marksville streets slated for improvement in the coming months. The total cost of the 24 street repairs came in at just under the two million dollar budget.
A Bunkie couple was arrested by the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office on identity theft charges. The case was the largest ever in Avoyelles Parish as there were, 31 victims in eight states.
Former New York Life insurance gent Peter M. Lemoine, age 48 of Cottonport, pled guilty to insurance theft over instances which allegedly occurred over a nine year period. Testimony at the hearing claimed that while an agent, Lemoine diverted and negotiated funds from customers that were intended for investments into his personal bank account.
Donald Johnson, Jr., age 23 of 410 S. Maple Street in Bunkie, was arrested for second degree murder and unauthorized use of a credit card when he allegedly killed Janaver Distefano, a 65-year-old woman from Plaquemine Parish, and used her credit card at Wal-Mart in Marksville. Johnson allegedly abducted and killed Distefano in the Paragon Casino parking garage. After questioning Johnson, police found the body in her vehicle parked at an abandoned house in Bunkie.
Avoyelles Parish Sheriff-elect Doug Anderson announced eight key appointments to his office: Geoffery Bordelon, Chief Deputy; Steve Martel, Dep. Chief of Operations; Sherwin Juneau, Executive Assistant; Donald Milligan, 911 Director; John Augustine, Public Integrity; Wayne Riche, Dir. Uniformed Patrol; Darren Bordelon, Chief of Corrections; Dan Schaub, Com. of Investigations.
Residents across Avoyelles Parish were in shock and dismay over the senseless murder of the Plaquemine woman in the parking garage of the Paragon Casino, allegedly by a Bunkie man.
A commemoration was set for the 150th anniversary of the establishment of a Catholic Church on Bayou des Glaises, St. Hyacinthe Mission Chapel, founded in 1858.
The Avoyelles Parish Police Jury approved the sale of 10 acres of land in the industrial park to Cenla Oilfield Fabricators, a welding company.
Friends and family of Donald Johnson, Jr., the suspected killer of Janaver Distefano, said he was not the same man he was after his service in the Iraq war. Grace Batiste, Johnson’s mother, said when he came back from Iraq he smoked, drank and gambled, things he didn’t do before he left for Iraq. She mentioned an incident in Iraq that troubled Johnson, where he had to shoot a woman who was threatening him with a hand grenade.
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality notified the village of Hessmer of concerns about Hessmer’s wastewater treatment facility. Village engineer Brendon Gaspard said a few hairline cracks had formed in a concrete-walled treatment chamber that needed to be sealed. The mayor cited an intake screening system had been postponed because $350,000 in funding wasn’t available when it was first considered.
By a narrow 5-4 vote at a special meeting, the Avoyelles Parish School Board members decided to close the three public middle schools and move the students to the high schools. The high schools were to be divided into grades 7, 8, and 9; and grades 10, 11, and 12, with the upper grades located in a separate part of the campus.
Mel Didier of Baton Rouge, a native of Marksville, threw out the first pitch before the LSU-Georgia game at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge on Sunday, April 20. Didier is the son of the late Robert Irby Didier and had been involved in baseball since the 1930’s.
The Marksville City Council discussed implementing “speed cameras” which automatically detect speeding, traffic signal and stop sign violations.
A large crowd of residents gathered at the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury meeting to discuss camp guidelines on elevations as a result of FEMA guidelines. Many people have camp sites on Avoyelles School Board property or other property that fall under the same FEMA criteria.
Marksville all-state guard Roslyn Wilmer made an oral commitment to Louisiana College officials on Friday, April 4 with a signing ceremony held in the school library. Wilmer was a star on the court, scoring 19 points per game and making first team all-state in Class-AAA after leading the Lady Tigers to the Ladies Top 28 for the first time since 1999. She also carried a 3.9 grade-point-average and scored a 26 on the ACT.
A group of about 30 to 35 protesters marched to the Bunkie Police Department on Thursday to protest alleged racial profiling brought forth by concerned citizens in the black community. After the march, a community meeting was held at a business on South Main Street.
An early Sunday morning incident at a Marksville night club left one man dead and five others recovering from injuries at the scene. According to the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office, Jovondra Ravare, age 26 of Marksville, was killed when he was attacked at Bize’s Lounge and beaten to death with a baseball bat.
The Mansura Town Council voted down a motion to review the town’s ordinance governing the sale of alcoholic beverages within 300 feet of a residence. The owner of an established neighborhood gathering spot was denied a permit to sell beer based on the provision and asked the council to revise the ordinance.
Simmesport Mayor James Fontenot informed the council the town’s police department budget was short of funding for about the last six weeks of the budget year. In an effort to cut back, the police department laid off two police officers.
The closure proposal of the Avoyelles Parish middle schools and the proposed tax for improvements to facilities was in trouble. Federal Judge Dee Drell, who had to give approval on the issue was asked for a hearing on Friday, May 2, at 10 a.m. Judge Drell was upset the school board voted to close the middle schools without asking for his approval.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new multi-purpose community/evacuation center on the grounds of Magnaville (known to locals as Canadaville) in Simmesport was held.
Marksville police made arrests in two separate robberies, both involving guns, including one where the husband and wife were shot.
Members of the Louisiana National Guard 228th Military Police Company from Camp Beauregard from Avoyelles Parish were deployed to Iraq. Members were 1st. Lt. Marty Dauzat of Marksville, Sgt. Eric Overgaard of Bunkie, Staff Sgt. Joshua Constantine of Moreauville, Staff Sgt. Natalie Constantine of Moreauville, Sgt. Daniel Gauthier of Marksville, Sgt. James Clark of Moreauville, PFC Gregory Rachal of Moreauville and Sgt. Chris Fogleman of Morrow.
It was learned police were called numerous times to the site of a murder at Bize’s Lounge in Marksville. Since January 1, 2007, police were called to the club 14 times for various offenses. The night club was the site of the murder of Jovondra Ravare, age 26 of Marksville, in April.
Domestic violence that started in Melville ended in Bunkie when a Melville man killed himself at a Bunkie home. The case involved two hostages and a car chase that went from Melville to Simmesport to Marksville before ending in Bunkie.
Thousands of Florida bass fingerlings were released into the Spring Bayou Wildlife Management area on Thursday, May 10. The fingerlings were brought from a hatchery located in Woodworth.
U.S. District Court Judge Dee Drell ordered the middle schools to stay open for at least the upcoming school year. The Avoyelles Parish School Board had previously ordered the schools to be closed. Judge Drell said he wanted more information before a final decision was made about closing the middle schools.
Florida bass fingerglings were released into Spring Bayou in May by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Laura Plauche, a senior third baseman and pitcher at St. Joseph’s in Plaucheville, was a member of the high school all-star softball team for the East squad. Plauche was named to the team as a utility player and was coached at St. Joe by her father, Ronnie Plauche.
Development of the Avoyelles Parish Port in Simmesport was one step closer to completion with help from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development. They pledged at least $200,000 from the state for the project during a special meeting held in April.
Test scores for the Avoyelles Parish schools were released by the Louisiana Department of Education. Superintendent Lemoine was pleased to announce that LEAP scores for grade 4 and the GEE test scores for grade 10 were at or above the state average. The disappointing news was that the LEAP test scores for 8th graders in the parish were below the state average.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board decided to amend their resolution concerning the closing of the middle schools. By the same 5-4 vote to close the middle schools, the board decided to push back the closing until the 2009-10 school year.
The proposed tax election for the Avoyelles High block was killed by the Avoyelles Parish School Board during a special meeting. The board decided to pull the election after the tax issue became bogged down in the closing of the parish middle schools.
Governor Bobby Jindal appointed A.J. Roy, III of Marksville to the Louisiana Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors.
In the wake of deadly violence that claimed the life of one and injured others at Bize’s Lounge on La. Highway 1 near Marksville, the police jury was considering changes to its bar closing ordinance that would make it easier to deal with problem establishments.
Glenn Goudeau of Marksville was named Avoyellean of the Year, surrounded by family, friends and former Avoyellean honorees. The award was presented by last year’s recipient, Edmond St. Romain of Mansura.
A crowd gathered in Plaucheville on a Friday morning as a juvenile Black Bear was spotted sitting about 30 feet high up in a pecan tree. The bear stayed in the tree over an hour until the crowd left, when the bear then ran into the woods.
The attic of a brick home on Highway 114, one mile outside of Hessmer, was destroyed after being struck by lightning during a heavy rainstorm on May 14.
The resignation of Simmesport Police Chief Gerald Jackson led to a square off between the mayor of Simmesport and the editor of The Bunkie Record. Both men threatened to file legal charges on each other. Simmesport Mayor, James “Boo” Fontenot, threatened to have Bunkie Record editor, Garland Forman, arrested for public intimidation and retaliation charges.
The town of Cottonport accepted a bid for a parish animal shelter on Prison Road in Cottonport. A nonprofit group will use the shelter to continue an adoption process for animals.
The Avoyelles Airport Authority in Marksville received a grant totaling $578,410 for the partial construction of a taxiway parallel to a runway and three taxiway connectors.
Former Marksville native Chris Roy, Sr., was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Glenn Gremillion.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board announced 13 Teachers of the Year 2007-08. Elementary teachers included were Wanda Brown, Riverside Elementary; Terri Shannon, Lafargue Elementary; and Tanisha Tinson, Marksville Elementary. Middle school teachers included were Eugenia Desselle, Mansura Middle; and Shantella Barton, Marksville Middle. High school teachers included were Benny Brouillette, Marksville High; and Thomas Wellman, Avoyelles High.
Judge Mark Jeansonne announced his re-election for State Judge for Division “A” of the 12th Judicial District Court.
The Grand Jury upped the charges to 1st degree murder in the casino garage slaying.
After action taken by the Avoyelles Parish School Board, high school students in the parish could transfer to another parish high school under the majority to minority policy, known as the M&M policy.
Avoyelles Parish Teachers of the Year were announced as follows: high school, Robin Moreau of LaSAS; middle school, Shantella Barton of Marksville Middle and elementary, Terri Shannon of Lafargue Elementary.
With only 29 days left in the 2008 fiscal year, the Simmesport Town Council held a special meeting, on Monday, June 2 with CPA Joan Ducote and adjusted accounts to finish the fiscal year in good standing.
Avoyelles Parish Port Commission President Tommy Maddie announced a smaller company was locating at the port site and would employ 10 people. Will Bender and Simmesport native Stewart Jackson of Eagle Marine Towing, Inc. said, in time, they expected the operation to employ as many as 200 people. Maddie and port commission member Wayne Coco expected work on the facility to begin in August and proceed through the end of the year.
A motorcycle accident claimed the life of Sheila Bordelon, an Avoyelles Parish teacher. According to the highway patrol of Tennessee, Sheila Ann Taylor Bordelon, age 61 of Cottonport, was killed on Saturday, June 7 in Inglewood, Tennessee. She was riding on a 2003 Honda Gold Wing three-wheel motorcycle driven by her husband, Eddie Bordelon, age 60 of Cottonport, who was also injured during the accident.
Bunkie Police, on Tuesday, June 10, arrested a Bunkie man after he threatened people, including a district court judge who was campaigning for re-election. The judge had sentenced the man to about a year in prison for drug charges stemming from 2005 and 2006 arrests.
The Avoyelles Police Jury voted to introduce a parish wide ordinance for an earlier bar closing time at their June 10 meeting, and advertised to hold a public meeting on July 1, at 6 p.m. at the Avoyelles Parish Courthouse for the purpose of allowing the public to express their opinions concerning closing hours for bars and lounges.
Sam Chaze of Marksville celebrated Father’s Day even though he was not a biological father. In some ways Sam was more like a fortuitous and unexpected father; Sam called it a “wonderful adventure.”
On the advice of city engineer Rene Borrel, the Marksville City Council approved a motion to award a $2.6 million contract to Gilchrist Construction of Alexandria to carry out a city-wide street improvement project. The project included repairs and improvements to 24 city streets. Borrel said he hoped work would begin within a month. The primary funding for the project was a $2,000,000, twenty-year loan that had already been secured.
Hessmer Police Chief Mack Villemarette threatened to kill himself at the police station on Friday, June 13. After speaking to Detective Dan Schaub and Captain Wayne Riche, he agreed to be evaluated by Avoyelles Parish Coroner, Dr. L. J. Mayeux. After the examination, Chief Villemarette was released.
Mayor Lionel Bordelon announced at the June 9 meeting of the Moreauville Village Council that the village was not in consideration for an $800,000 block grant for sewer improvements. Mayor Bordelon explained the village received a letter from the state of Louisiana stating no application for the $800,000 grant was ever received.
A man was killed on Monday, June 9 while working with heavy equipment in the Fifth Ward area. Norris Dauzat, age 65 of Marksville, was working on a John Deere JD 310 front loader with a backhoe and it was unclear what happened but the backhoe struck Dauzat, killing him instantly.
For the third time in less than three years, Marksville High School was looking for a new principal. The position was one of the two principalships open. The other was at the Avoyelles Parish Alternative School (APAS) School, which would be located in Mansurain the fall.
Curtis Alfred, Sr., of Bunkie returned a billfold belonging to Fr. McNeill of Our Lady Queen of All Saints Church in Ville Platte. Fr. McNeill sent Mr. Alfred a thank you letter including a cross, and a check for his noble act of honesty.
During its June 3 meeting, members of the Avoyelles Parish School Board heard a report about the different career and technical academies which would be offered at the parish high schools. The academies were part of the Louisiana High School Redesign.
Hessmer Mayor Lynn Bordelon and council members were concerned about the town’s police department. Police Chief Mack Villemarette was not in his office which left the department with no administrator.
Kenny Cloud, age 61 of Oakdale, escaped serious injury on after a one-car accident on La. Highway One. He was trapped in his truck and the Marksville Fire Department and Acadian Ambulance worked to free him from the wreckage. He was taken to Christus St. Francis Cabrini Hospital to be treated for possible injuries.
Doug Anderson, age 54 of Simmesport, became the new sheriff for Avoyelles Parish. With over 25 years of law enforcement experience with the Louisiana State Police, Anderson assumed control of a sheriff’s department that had over 300 employees, full-time and part-time, and a payroll of $7.5 to $8 million annually.
A proposed pay raise for Louisiana state legislators had citizens in an uproar across the state. Many people were demanding Governor Bobby Jindal veto the measure when sent to his desk, but said he would not do so. During his campaign for governor, he had pledged to prohibit legislators from voting themselves a pay raise to take effect while in office.