Top stories for 2008 in Bunkie announced.
LSU at Alexandria conferred degrees on 163 graduates at its fall commencement Thursday, December 18, in the Alexandria Riverfront Center. Dr. David Manuel presided over his first graduation as LSUA chancellor and delivered the commencement address.
The Bunkie Garden Club met at the home of Clara Bordelon for their annual Christmas meeting on Thursday, December 7, 2008. Present at the meeting were Ceil Ferguson, Leodocia Pope, Marion Pearce, Elaine Bernard,, Mary Louise Carter, Drue Martin, Anne Plaisance, Lynette Clarke, Junie Rowley, Jo Ann Firmin, Marion Ryan and Winona Cochran. Invited as a guest speaker was Rebecca Redmon from Jo Jo’s Flower Shop.
January 8, 2009
Experience Works, the nation’s largest provider of training and employment services for older workers, recently recognized Jean S. Ducote, age 74, as the 2008 Outstanding Older Worker for Louisiana. Ducote is a former resident of Bunkie. She just recently moved to Lafayette.
On Thursday the Louisiana Technical College in Cottonport will change its name. The center will be named the Louisiana Technical College Ward H. Nash Avoyelles Campus in honor of its former long-time director Ward Nash of Bunkie.
Up until the time that the revolving pistol came into being around the year 1844, the Bowie Knife was the weapon of choice in close, challenging encounters. The Bowie Knife remains today, as probably the best-known knife in history. It would be fitting to give the first-made such weapon its considered place recognition of originality. That place is on the banks of Bayou Boeuf in an area once known as Bayou Boeuf Village. This place and area was the location of the Rezin Bowie Plantation in 1827, the place where the first Bowie Knife was made.
The long awaited re-districting plan for the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury received federal court approval on Tuesday, January 6 at a federal court hearing in Alexandria.
Hessmer’s mayor Lynn Bordelon, the village council and chief of police were sworn in during a short ceremony at the start of the regular village council meeting on Tuesday, January 6.
The late Ward H. Nash of Bunkie was recently honored by the renaming of the school he headed for 28 years. The Louisiana Technical College-Avoyelles Campus in Cottonport (LTC) was officially renamed the Ward H. Nash Avoyelles Campus on Thursday, January 8.
Ward 10 Marshal Fred Carmouche takes the oath of office from Bunkie City Court Judge James Mixon on Monday, January 5, at the Bunkie City Court room.
January 22, 2009
The Bunkie city council has decided to tackle annexation on Highway 29-115 (Evergreen Highway) east of Bunkie. The council is looking to annex to at least Slaughter House Road. The issue came to light during the January 14 meeting of the City Council.
Bunkie General Hospital hosted a kick-off event, on Tuesday, January 6, to promote organ donation registration in Avoyelles Parish during 2009. Campaign Champions at hospitals across Louisiana have agreed to educate their employees and communities about organ donation as part of the first-ever, statewide hospital donor registration drive initiative in the nation.
A work truck didn’t stop in time at a stop sign at dawn on Friday, January 16, and slid under the trailer of an 18 wheeler. Both the driver and passenger in the work truck suffered severe injuries. Those involved in the accident were Dale James Firmin, driver of work truck and Justin Ducote, passenger.
January 29, 2009
In the future there may be a new state park located on the edge of Bunkie. If officials with the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism (LDCRT) can authenticate Bunkie as the original location of where the first Bowie knife was made, they may build a state historic park there.
Ward 10 Marshal Fred Carmouche said on Monday he is attempting to collect on previously owed fines to the Bunkie City Court. He said this has to be done in order for his office to maintain the collection of current fines.
The Essence Social and Civic Club and the community of Avoyelles hosted an Inaugural Celebration for Barack Obama on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at the Bunkie Civic Center.
FEBRUARY February 5, 2009
Cleco power sent 45 employees and line construction equipment to Memphis, Tennessee and surrounding areas to help restore 380,000 customers affected by the recent ice storm. Crews left from Cleco Service Centers throughout the state on Thursday, January 29, to begin work for E-on/us, a gas and electric utility ???? headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. Among the Cleco workers is a team from Bunkie.
For a second consecutive term, George “Mickey” Romano has be elected president of the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury.
Bunkie was the first town that the Avoyelles Parish Warrant Task Force came to pick up people who were wanted by the law because warrants were issued for their arrests. On Monday, January 26, law enforcement officers fanned out across Bunkie looking for people to pick up.
Potential jurors are being questioned in a Miami, Florida federal court for the third trial of six men accused of plotting with al-Qaida to destroy Chicago’s Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices. One of the men accused grew up in Marksville and his father lives in Bunkie. Batiste, allegedly, is the leader of the Seas of David in Liberty City, Florida. He is married and he and his wife, Minerva, have three boys and a girl. He was arrested in June of 2006. His father is Narcisse Batiste of Bunkie.
February 12, 2009
Avoyelles Parish Sheriff Doug Anderson said last week that an audit done once he took over on July 1, 2008 has found the sheriff's office clean in its financial record keeping. The sheriff said the only debt carried over was a $2.4 million long-term debt from the State Bonding Commission.
A ribbon cutting was held last week by the Bunkie Chamber of Commerce for a new business located on Main Street in Bunkie. Personally Yours, owned by Jody and Paige Douzart, is located a 202 S.W. Main Street next to Bunkie Pharmacy. The store will specialize in monogramming, silk screening, uniforms, school uniforms and gifts.
The national recession, especially the downturn in the housing market, is blamed for the loss of 66 jobs in St. Landry Parish. Many of the 66 workers who lost jobs came from the Bunkie and Avoyelles Parish area. The mill is located just 20 miles south of Bunkie on U.S. Highway 71.
The Bunkie Police Department through a grant from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission was able to purchase equipment and pay for overtime to set up DWI checkpoints in the city. The $25,000 grant was made possible through the help of Steve Gremillion, who is a commissioned board member of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission as appointed by the Governor.
Amy's Sheer Design held a grand opening last week in Bunkie. The location is at 1007 Shirley Road in Bunkie. The business is a full service hair salon and also has a massage therapy. The owner is Amy Iglinsky.
February 19, 2009
For years, people going to the Dugout Grill and Rocky’s Tails and Shells have complained about the condition of Lyles Lane in front of the business. During the February 11 city council meeting the council accepted a low bid of $23,100 from Gordon Blacktopping Service to repair 400 feet of the street from Evergreen Highway to the Bunkie Senior Apartments, which is just past the restaurant.
Funeral services for Tom Anderson were held on Saturday, February 7, at Christian Missionary Baptist Church in Bunkie. Anderson was the oldest living person in Bunkie at age 106.
Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO) deputies have arrested seven individuals relating to the early morning burglary of the Louisiana School for the Agricultural Sciences (LaSAS) which occurred on January 27, 2009. The individuals were Benjamin Voorhies, Brandon Jones, Dontrell Prater and four juveniles.
February 26, 2009
Avoyelles Parish School Superintendent Dwayne Lemoine said the proposed school plan passed by the school board in December has created much discussion throughout the parish. He said the parish needs to be concerned about the overall educational future of the children of the parish.
On Saturday, February 14, St. Anthony of Padua held a pro-life gathering. Over 200 people from various churches around Avoyelles Parish came together to sing, pray, and speak out for the lives of the unborn Americans who have been denied the right to life since Roe vs. Wade made abortion legal (50 million babies aborted so far).
A single vehicle accident on Friday, February 20, has claimed the life of Lauren Elizabeth Rodney, age 17, of Cottonport. State Police responded to the fatal crash around 11:05 p.m.
The Bunkie Police Department along with the Louisiana State Police and the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Department conducted a Sobriety Checkpoint on Friday, February 20 resulting in 279 vehicles being checked in front of Bunkie High School.
MARCH March 5, 2009
Frank Jenkins, Sr., age 75, enjoyed working at the farm owned by Billy Thevenot just east of Cottonport. On Thursday he was, allegedly, picking up limbs along the edge of Bayou de Glaises when he either fell or was pushed into the bayou. Police have charged his nephew with first degree murder.
State Police Troop I investigated a single vehicle fatal crash, which claimed the life of Lone Pine resident, Christopher Armand, age 49. The accident occurred around 5:00 p.m. yesterday, on La. Highway 106 near Bayou Chicot just north of the Chicot Park Road.
A small plane enroute to Marksville crashed late Friday night in a wooded area near Independence killing all three people from Mississippi on the plane. News of the crash made state and national headlines over the weekend. Those killed in the crash were pilot, Glyn Ray Johnson; his girlfriend, Tabitha Dolbare, age 39; and the coulple’s son, Nelson Dolbare, age 12.
A local constructions company has landed three large contracts in south Louisiana that will keep workers busy well into 2010. M.D. Descant, Inc, has been awarded a contract to build the North Oaks Health System medical complex in Satsuma, a new school in Walker and the renovations and restoring of the Laville Honors Dorm on the LSU campus. The cost of the three projects total over $30 million.
Gunfire erupted at the home of Avoyelles Parish Police Juror Francis Keller near Bunkie on Monday afternoon leaving Keller suffering a gunshot wound. An arrest was quickly made and the incident has been classified as a drive-by shooting.
There’s a wind of change blowing into town and the staff at Bunkie High School is taking a deep breath. A methold of teaching and learning could very well be on its way to imspire and better educate the students of Avoyelles Parish. On March 3, directors from the New Tech High Foundation of Napa, California came to Bunkie High School. They spoke with business and community leaders in the city and parish about a new a successful way to motivate students and get them excited about learning.
Roch Bordelon, a teacher and girls basketball coach at Marksville High School, who was arrested and accused of attacking his school principal, has been allowed to resign from the Avoyelles Parish School Board, instead of being fired.
March 19, 2009
A group of Bunkie residents attended the Avoyelles Parish School Board meeting on Tuesday, March 3, to express their concerns about the possible closure of Bunkie Middle School. After a discussion with the group, board members took with no vote or further action on the matter.
A search of a Bunkie home by Probation and Parole officers and Bunkie Police on Friday afternoon, turned up more than officers had expected. Police found a man staying in the home that was wanted in Pointe Coupee Parish for attempted first degree murder.
A grand opening was held by the Bunkie Chamber of Commerce for Scott’s Ace Hardware and Lumber on Friday, March 6. The business is located in Bunkie at the corner of Evergreen Highway and Slaughterhouse Road and is open seven days a week.
A Lettsworth man was sentenced to life in prison for the killing of Jovondre Ravare, Sr., of Marksville on April 20, 2008. Kendrick Scott will serve his life in prison without the benefit of parole.
March 26, 2009
The possible closure of the three middle schools, especially Bunkie Middle, continues to be an emotional issue, and now at least one school board member is pointing fingers at the newspaper for its coverage of the story. The subject dominated the beginning of a speical meeting of the board for about an hour.
A grand opening was held by the Bunkie Chamber of Commerce for Speedway Grocery & Market on Friday, March 6. The business is located in Bunkie at the corner of Evergreen Highway and Slaughterhouse Road and is open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. The store will be a combination of a convenience-grocery store with grocery items and a deli.
Over 900 justice of the peaces and constables statewide poured into Marksville last week to attend their annual convention. The convention was held at Paragon Casino and Resort.
The Bunkie Chamber of Commerce and the City of Bunkie are sponsoring the second annual Art and Farmer’s Market on Saturday, April 18, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the grounds of the depot.
APRIL April 2, 2009
A new water line just put in place along the side of Main Street in Bunkie has city officials worried after the line broke on a weekend. The concern was the type of failure that occurred and what will happen if another break takes place.
A grand opening was held by the Bunkie Chamber of Commerce for Jay’s Specialty Meats & Seafood on Friday, March 6. The business is located in Bunkie at the corner of Evergreen Highway and Slaughterhouse Road and the store will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 12 noon. The store will offer a complete line of specialty cut meats, seasoned, stuffed and ready to cook items.
In a press conference on Friday, March 13, Governor Bobby Jindal announced the administration’s recommendations for the 2009-2010 executive budget. Jindal said the bad news is that state funding for the public education in Louisiana has increased by about $240 million.
Ward 10 Marshall, Fred Carmouche, accepts a car from Avoyelles Parish Sheriff Doug Anderson to be used to conduct the business of the Marshal’s office.
April 9, 2009
The Bunkie Police are investigating a string of daylight burglaries in homes. Police are conducting field interviews of people walking in neighborhoods and that residents concerned.
Clyde Holloway (R) carried Avoyelles Parish in complete but unofficial election returns on Saturday for the Public Service Commissioner post in District Four. Holloway had 1,346 votes or 60% of the vote in Avoyelles Parish compared to 802 or 36% for Joe McPherson (D) and 95 or 4% for Gil Pinac (D). Only 2,243 voters cast votes in the election.
Larwood Construction Company, located at 125 Fred’s Lane in Bunkie, held their grand opening and ribbon cutting at the Bunkie Chamber of Commerce Office at the Bunkie Depot on Wednesday, April 1. The company will do new construction for commercial and residential as well as remodeling for commercial and residential businesses.
April 16, 2009
A community meeting will be held at Bunkie High on Monday, April 20 to discuss the New Tech High School concept that will be implemented at the school for freshmen and sophomores starting in the fall. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. There will be two parent nights for incoming freshmen on Tuesday, April 21 and Thursday, April 23 to discuss the new model.
City Councilmen for Bunkie are looking at increasing the fines for the playing of loud music inside the Bunkie city limits. The item was tackled during the council’s April 8 meeting.
The 2009 Corn Festival t-shirt designer is Amy Chenevert of Plaucheville who designed the shirt of “Light’s, Camera, Corn” is a Hollywood theme based on the movie, “My Own Love Song” that was shot in Bunkie in late 2008.
Bunkie General Hospital has received the Get With The GuidelinesSM-Heart Failure (GWTG-HF) Silver Performance Achievement Award from the American Hearth Association.
April 23, 2009
Avoyelles School Superintendent Dwayne Lemoine recently stole a quote from the great Albert Einstein. Einstein is quoted as saying, “Insanity is continuing to do things the same way we have always done them and expecting to get different results.” Lemoine used the quote to help explain the New Tech High School program planned for Bunkie High in the fall.
The April 14 meeting of the Avoyelles Police Jury began with an unexpected and shocking announcement as jurors opened their packets to find a letter of resignation from Allison Laborde, secretary-treasurer for the Police Jury. She has served in the position for 21 years. Laborde stated she will be leaving on June 30 to take a job with the consulting firm of Frye Magee in Ball.
The Bunkie Police Department and the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Section have arrested Steven Williams, age 39, of Houston, Texas and Daniel Slocum, age 52, of Bunkie as the result of a joint narcotic investigation.
In an unrelated case, Bunkie Police is investigating an armed robbery during the afternoon of Thursday, April 16 in the Avoyelles Village Shopping Center. A black female entered the Video Connection and pulled a knife on the clerk. She demanded money and then after getting the money she ran out of the store and fled the shopping center.
A teacher and coach in the Avoyelles Parish school system was arrested by police in Alexandria on Thursday, April 16 for soliciting for prostitution. He was also a pastor at Little Rock Baptist Church in Bunkie. Melvin Jackson, age 49, of Ville Platte, was arrested Thursday night on Lee Street in Alexandria as part of an undercover prostitution sting. He was booked and released on bond.
April 30, 2009
There have been tons of questions asked by concerned parents and residents pertaining to the New Tech High School model across the nation. Several questions have bee asked by concerned citizens here in Avoyelles Parish. There has been a large group of questions gathered by school officials who have started the New Tech program and these educators give the answers.
The winners of the top three divisions in the 23rd Annual Louisiana Corn Festival Pageant held February 28 in Bunkie are Lindsey Redmon, Junior Miss Louisiana Corn Festival; Megan Clark, Miss Louisiana Corn Festival; and Aaryn Price, Teen Miss Louisiana Corn Festival.
The Bunkie Police Department is pleased to announce that one of its officers, Detective Chad Jeansonne, has recently graduated from the National Forensic Science Institute and successfully completed the twenty third session of the National Forensic Academy.
MAY May 7, 2009
Maher Jamil Isa, age 32, of Baton Rouge was placed under arrest by Bunkie Police after an investigation started by the Louisian State Attorney General’s Office was given to the Bunkie Police. The investigation centered around the man selling counterfeit shoes and clothing under a tent at the corner of S.W. Main Street and Pershing Highway in Bunkie.
The Avoyelles Parish inmate from Evergreen, Joshua Nugent, age 24, who walked away from a Rapides Parish detox center last week was recaptured on Monday, April 27, by Bunkie Police.
Romanaski Williams signs papers to attend Division III Louisiana College starting in the fall to play basketball. The 6-5 senior will play for the Wildcats.
Over the past two weeks people across the world have become concerned about the H1-N1 (Swine) flu outbreak. While there have been no reported cases, as of yet in Avoyelles Parish, officials are keeping a close eye of developments everyday.
May 14, 2009
With less than a month left before school ends, it’s uncertain whether summer school will be offered to public school students. A motion to have a middle school/high school summer school with students paying a $200 fee failed in a four-four tie during the Tuesday, May 5, meeting of the Avoyelles Parish School Board. Last year summer school was free. Superintendent Lemoine told board members they don’t have the money this year to offer it for free.
Bunkie High third baseman Nick Mose prepares to catch the baseball and tag out Parkview Baptist player James Coats in the second innin of the Bunkie-Parkview Baptist baseball playoff game.
A continued rise in domestic abuse cases in Avoyelles Parish has led the parish judicial system to institute a new policy concerning people arrested in domestic abuse battery cases.
May 21, 2009
Avoyelles Parish may be losing “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in tax revenue to a neighboring parish because of a problem with addresses, an Effie resident warned the Police Jury Tuesday, May 12.
Dr. Louis Edward Hamilton, originally from Shelbyville, Indiana, is a true patriot. He raises the flag in the Pythian Cemetery in Bunkie every morning at about 9 a.m. and lowers it at about 6 p.m. in the evening.
The City of Bunkie and Cleco have reached an agreement to provide electricity to the city for the next 27 years. The new lease was approved during the council’s May meeting held on Wednesday, May 13.
The 2nd Annual Bunkie Farmer’s Market is set to start on Saturday, May 30.
May 28, 2009
After six straight hours of testimony, Avoyelles officials and residents waiting to hear the fate of the Avoyelles Parish School System was disappointed when Federal Judge Dee Drell did not give a ruling. Instead, he told attorneys that he would give his decision on Wednesday.
The Bunkie Police Department received great news during the Memorial Day weekend when the state announced the department would receive a large state grant. The grant money will be used to purchase new police cars.
An incident in the Krotz Springs area in St. Landry Parish on Saturday, May 23, ended in Bunkie after a vehicle pursuit. St. Landry Parish officials, along with Bunkie Police and the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office searched for the alleged gunman in the case until Monday evening when he was captured.
JUNE June 4, 2009
LSU at Alexandria conferred degrees on 158 graduates at its Spring commencement. Pineville Mayor Clarence Fields delivered the commencement address. Many students from the Greater Avoyelles Parish area were honored.
Elementary Teachers of the Year for 2008-2009 were Brandi Chatelain, Cottonport Elementary; Andrea Lemione, Riverside Elementary; Casey Lambert, Lafargue Elementary; Janet Bledsoe, Bunkie Elementary; Caneshia Jacob, Plaucheville Elementary; and Jessica Lemione, Marksville Elementary. Middle School Teachers of the Year were Paul McHenry, Bunkie Middle; Ilie St. Romain, Mansura Middle; and Amy Pitre, Marksville Middle. High School Teachers of the Year were Roxanne Laborde-Couvillion, Avoyelles High; Michael Rachal, Marksville High; Frankie Palermo, Bunkie High; Eric Dauzat, LaSAS.
June 11, 2009
The Avoyelles Economic Development Board (AEDB) held a special meeting on Monday, June 1, to discuss spending $75,000 and to see how the board wanted to handle its own future. As soon as the meeting ended, the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury held a brief meeting to approve the minutes of the AEDB meeting.
A report of improving teacher quality for Avoyelles Parish was presented to the Avoyelles Parish School Board during their monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 2. A project to improve teacher quality, if approved by the board, will be funded by The American Recovery and Reinvestment ACT (ARRA) of 2009, which is part of the stimulus funding from the federal Government. The program would cost the school system $5 million to fully implement for two years with $4.5 million already in place.
June 18, 2009
The Cityof Bunkie began making plans to improve the industrial park on U.S. Hwy. 71 about three miles south of Bunkie. Teh city had over $9 million left to make improvements at the site.
At 6 a.m. on Monday, June 15 the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s deputies put into affect “Operation Summer Storm.” The drug roundup yielded 12 arrests on drug charges and 13 arrestes on various other charges.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board held a special meeting on Tuesday, June 9 An executive session was held to discuss a court case on rights-of-way for a 16th section of land. After executive session, a resolution was passed to resolve the north and south section of teh 16th section land the best way possible and to execute any settlement in the suit.
June 25, 2009
Avoyelles Parish Superintendent Dwayne Lemoine was not present when he learned the board had considered fully funding the Reading First Program and cutting the program that calls for the parish to hire 10 master teachers funded by the federal stimulus plan.
On Monday, June 15 the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted a “street sweep” throughout the parish. There were 18 more people, including two juveniles, arrested on drug charges.
It’s been three years in the making and started when Dr. Don Hines was still president of the Louisiana State Senate. Ono Friday, June 19, a large group of people gathered at Bunkie General Hospital to see the fruits of Dr. Hines work.
JULY July 2, 2009
A new business has opened its doors on Main Street in Bunkie. X’S AND O’S, a boutique featuring women’s and men’s clothing as well as jewelry, purses and shoes, located at 233 Southweat Main Street next to Showtime Video. Owners are Annette Miller and Mitch Aymond.
Two Bunkie High School players have been anmed to the All-State Class-AAA baseball and softball teams. Another player was named to the All-State Honorable Mentio Softball team. Tyler Gagnard, a senior at Bunkie High, was named to the All-State Team as a shortstop for the second straight year. Tiffany Gaspard, a junior, helped lead the Lady Panthers to a second place finish in District 3-AAA.
An Avoyelles Parish Grand Jury has determined a true bill on former Mansura Police Chief Phillip Lucas, Jr., on a indecent behavior with a juvenile charge.
July 9, 2009
A former employee of Bunkie General Hospital has been arrested for, allegedly, stealing over $70,000 from the hospital. The Bunkie Police Department arrested Kimberly Ponthier after a lengthly investigation.
While some medical students are enjoying their summer break, Sarah Lawson of Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans is training with Dr. Mohit Srivastava in Bunkie.
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., and Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) Executive Director Paul Rainwater unveiled the details of the $44.5 million Louisiana Farm and Agribusiness Recovery Grant and Loan Program at the annual Farm Bureau convention in New Orleans recently.
July 16, 2009
Governor Bobby Jindal came to Cottonport to hold a town hall meeting on Friday, July 10. Just as he received gifts from the Cottonport Mayor’s Women’s Association and the Cottonport Museum, the governor came bearing “gifts” for several Governmental agencies in the parish. Before he began speaking, the governor signed a $5,401,772 check made out to Avoyelles Pariah, Cottonport, Bunkie, Hessmer, Plaucheville and Evergreen.
Department of Transportation and Development workers removed the traffic light from the corner of Main Street and Oak Street in Bunkie.
First Baptist Church of Bunkie has welcomed its new pastor, Rev. LaMon Brown and his wife, Pat, both natives of Albertville, Alabama and both fresh off the mission field in northern Thailand.
July 23, 2009
Bunkie High School teachers have been very busy this summer preparing for the 2009-2010 school year and the New Tech Program. BHS is expecting 650 students from grade 7 to 12. The Tech program will include 9th and 10th grades this fall and grow to the 11th the year then the 12th the follwing. Extra classrooms have been built for the Tech students and the program will resemble the block schedule.
A Bunkie man, Edwin Forbes, was arrested on Saturday, July 11, after he allegedly attacked a woman with a baseball bat and slammed a door on her son’s foot. Forbes was booked into the Avoyelles Detention Center #1 and is being held on a $75,000 bond.
Kojis and Son Sign Company builds another Hard Rock Cafe guitar. The company built a guitar for the hard Rock Cafe that survived Hurrican Katrina in Biloxi, Mississippi and just delivered a 97 foot guitar for the famous Hard Rock Cafe and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, with plans for more to build for the chain of cafes.
After a hit run on Saturday, July 18, a Bunkie man was left with serious injuries. Carrison Sampson was riding a bicycle on the shoulder when he turned into a vehicle a witness stated. The pickup continued south on main street and did not return to scene.
July 30, 2009
Allen Holmes, plaintiff in the Avoyelles Parish School Board’s long running desegregation lawsuit, told board members during a July 21 meeting to expect a status or conference call with Federal Judge Dee Drell. Holmes indicated the nature of the call would be concerning the division of board members on who should be the principal at Marksville High School.
The Bunkie City Council held a quick special meeting on Tuesday, July 21, in order to introduce an ordinance to set the franchise fee to be paid by entities providing cable or video service within the Town of Bunkie.
Shaundale Hornes, Johnson, a native of Bunkie, is the author of Once Broken, Now Blessed: A Testimony of Trials and Triumphs, Johnson, who now lives in Dallas, Texas will be in Bunkie and Marksville on Saturday.
AUGUST August 6, 2009
A U.S. judge in Alexandria has ruled on one of the long running disputes between the Avoyelles Parish School Board and private landowners over rights-of-way to 16th section lands. The judge ruled in favor of the school board, which should make hunters happy.
Rev. Alphonso Denson, pastor of Abram Temple Church of God in Christ, stands in fronnt of a 300 person sanctuary being built on Pershing Highway. The church will also open a daycare center at the location. Everything is scheduled to be completed later this fall.
August 13, 2009
And it’s already broke. At least temporarily. At Tuesday’s meeting of the Avoyelles Parish School Board, the board approved a budget with a deficit of over $200,000 in its General Fund and an overall deficit of over $2 million when all funds are combined.
According to Sheriff Doug Anderson, escapee Brian Keith Thomas was captured on Thursday, August 6, at about 6:30 a.m. in the Houma-Thibodeaux area by the U.S. Marshall Service Fugitive Task Force and members of the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Department.
One of the biggest insurance companies in Louisiana has opened an office in Bunkie and held a grand opening with ribbon cutting on Wednesday, July 29. Farm Bureau of Louisiana has opened a Bunkie office at the corner of Walnut and Pine Street. They are located in the office building once used by the late Dr. Carol Jory.
August 20, 2009
A Bunkie man, Jemorrow Moore, has been arrested for simple rape after an incident at a MacArthur Street home in Bunkie during the early morning hours of Saturday, Augst 15.
They may be an up and coming band from Baton Rouge but three of the four members have Avoyelles connections, including two of the members who call Avoyelles Parish home. On Friday, August 21, the band “Black Magnolia” will appear on stage at what is considered the biggest musical venue in Louisiana. The group will be the headline band at the House of Blues in New Orleans. The members of the band are Adam Pearce of Evergreen, Blake Pujol of Bunkie, Anthony Juneau of New Orleans and Rob James of Baton Rouge.
Inmates at the Avoyelles Correctional Center have been raising funds all year to help buy school supplies for children at area schools.
August 27, 2009
The Louisiana Rural Health Information Exchange (LARHIX), which is located in Bunkie, was one of three organizations that received the ADVANCE’s 2009 IT Project of the Year Award. The three organizations colaborated on development of a regional health information exchange that facilitates electronic sharing of clinical information among community providers.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board (APSB) has done away with the recently enforced policy of not providing bus transportation for students who live within a one-mile radius of their school campus.
A meeting called by Tommy McNabb, owner of the Bailey Hotel, and Leslie Matthews was focused on just one issue, crime. Most of the people in the meeting pointed the finger at juvenile crime. However, others were quick to point out there are adults involved just as much as the juveniles. Many felt the burglaries are being committed by people who are drug addicts, trying for find money to support their habit.
SEPTEMBER September 3, 2009
The Avoyelles Parish School Board approved the hiring of two physical education teachers, but decided to wait until the end of September to see if six guidance counselors could be hired for the elementary schools. A decision was made that one teacher would be split between Riverside Elementary and Plaucheville Elementary while the other tacher would be split between Bunkie Elementary and Cottonport Elementary.
Avoyelles Parish student scores on the ACT college placement test dropped this year but only by one-tenth of one percent. The parish score is below the state and national average.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has opened bids to replace the Fuqua Crossing Bridge over Bayou Rouge in Cottonport. The bridge closed in 2007 when the state deemed the bridge unsafe to cross. The bridge was later completely removed by the town for safety reasons.
September 10, 2009
The Avoyelles Parish Police Jury’s grant consultant was present at a special August 31 meeting to discuss the possibility of obtaining a Louisiana Community Development Block Grant for drainage improvements.
O’Leary Brothers Signs and Awnings, Inc. received a contract from TAF (Tiger Athletic Foundation) in mid-April to replace 1,230 linear feet of awnings destroyed by Hurricane Gustav and the work should be completed by the end of August.
September 17, 2009
Avoyelles Parish students were given the opportunity to view President Obama’s national address on education on Tuesday, September 8.
Bunkie Police are still investigating a large fight that happened just after midnight on Sunday morning on Northeast Main Street in front of the fruit stand. Police have not arrested anyone in the incident and had to call for backup from area police departments.
Herman Dupas of Bunkie breaks away from a group of Iowa defenders as he streaks towards a 93 yard touchdown run last Thursday night at Panther Stadium in Bunkie.
Occupational licenses for peddlers who sell items on the side of the road or store to store were discussed by the Cottonport Town Council. They discussed the proposed elevated rates for peddler licenses which would limit a peddler to seel his wares inside Cottonport to one day a month.
September 24, 2009
What was supposed to be a short special meeting of the Avoyelles Parish School Board turned into a one-hour discussion. Board members approved the hiring of two new assistant principals and the transer of another assistant principal. The opening of applications for assistant principals was also approved.
Dr. Sue Lyles Eakin, professor, historian and author, died Thursday, September 17, 2009, at her home i Bunkie. She was 90 years old.
By Friday morning, the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury is hoping to have completed the task of whittling down 33 Avoyelles Registrar of Voters applicants down to just one. That is the situation the jury will be in on Thursday evening when they try to fill the empty position.
Todd Riche, a 1990 graduate of Bunkie High School, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on August 31.
OCTOBER October 1, 2009
An armed robbery at a video poker establishment in Bunkie on Monday, September 21, left the owner shaken up but unharmed. Six people, including four people from Marksville, have been arrested in connection with the crime. The Bunkie Police Department (BPD) received help from other parish agencies in making the arrests.
In a mere 19 months, Gloria Moreau of Marksville has gone from being an employee for the Avoyelles Parish Registrar of Voters ro running the place. Ms. Moreau was chosen as the new Registrar of Voters at a specially called Police Jury meeting on September 24. It was the second of two specially called meetings to pick a registrar.
Bill Hunt’s first novel, “The Last Witness From a Dirt Road” is a vehicle for exploring segregation and race relations in the 1940s and 50s in the Deep South, written through the eyes of a 12-year-old son of a Louisiana sugar plantation overseer. Again set in Bill’s home town in Louisiana, “A Full-Grown Man” explores the social mores of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, with the compelling themes of relationships and family, tangled in the messiness of living a life.
October 8, 2009
The summer drought has caused a decline in crop production during the fall harvest season. Soybeans and wet potatoes seem to have been hit the hardest because of the drought conditions.
Sylvia’s Caring Companion’s Health Care Services is now located at 104 W Church Street behind Griffin Antiques in Bunkie. The Bunkie Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for the business on Monday, September 28.
The 15th celebration of the Bunkie Service League’s fund raiser, Taste, Tell and Tour, is scheduled to October 17 in the home of Don and Anita Fletcher.
October 15, 2009
The new school plan handed down by Federal Judge Dee Drell during the summer continues to be a hot topic of discussion at school board meetings. One of the most heated discussions came over the appoinements of two assistant principals and how the Dean of Students appointments and administrative assistants are counted toward the Singleton ratio (ratio of the majority/minority race of administrators in the school system).
The Bunkie Panthers celebrate keeping the Catskin in their annual battle with the Marksville Tigers. The Panthers shutout the Tigers 13-0 on Friday night at Panther Stadium to improve to 2-4 overall and 2-0 in District 3-AAA play.
The Bunkie Rotary Club donated much needed supplies and dog bowls to the Bunkie Animal Shelter.
More companies are starting to express interest in the Avoyelles Port located just south of the La. Highway One bridge in Simmesport. Tommy Maddie, chairman of the Avoyelles Port, told the Bunkie Rotary Club last week that an ethanol company is looking at the possibility of setting up a plant at the site.
October 22, 2009
Two recent armed robberies in the City of Bunkie has the Bunkie City Council looking for funds to add a third patrolman to the night shift. The issue came up at the Bunkie City Council meeting held on Wednesday, October 14.
Lane George of Minneapolis, Minnesota flips over the head of St. Anthony Elementary School teacher, Ainsley Moreau during a bicycle stunt and gives her a “high five” as he flips over her head. The stunt and others were performed by BMX Stunt Show provided by Creative Sports Inc. It was a reward for St. Anthony students who did well in a fund raising activity.
A six-man jury found former teacher Roch Bordelon guilty of assaulting the former principal of Marksville High School, but the jury failed to give the prosecution the felony charge it was after. The jury convicted Bordelon of simple battery, a misdemeanor, in 12th Judicial Court under Judge Mark Jeansonne last Friday afternoon.
Long-time Bunkie businessman and World War II veteran Charles Mixon died on Friday, October 16, at the Bailey House in Bunkie. Mixon was 93 years old.
October 29, 2009
State Senator Eric LaFleur of Ville Platte spoke to the Bunkie Rotary Club on Wednesday, October 21. After the meeting he said there are discussions by the state to convert the Bunkie Youth Center from a site owned by the Louisiana State Department of Education to a site run by GOHSEP (Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness).
In a throw back to old times, a Union Pacific Passenger train pulls to a stop at the Bunkie Depot on Thursday October 22. It was part of Union Pacific’s Operation Lifesaver Project. A group of over 40 residents and business people from Bunkie were given a train ride to Alexandria and back to Bunkie.
Terrebonne Parish authorities have arrested a 23-year-old man they say is a killer of a 10-month-old boy. The same man also faces charges of cruelty to a juvenile for the alleged beating of the toddler’s two-year old brother. The father of the children lives in Marksville, and has returned his surviving child to Marksville to keep him safe.
NOVEMBER November 5, 2009
Maxine Doughty of Bunkie was painting this seasonal scene on a window in downtown Ville Platte recently. She said she’s been painting for 30 years, mostly murals and walls on buildings, swimming pool fences, etc. She said she has a knack for taking any small photo and blowing it up big.
A seventh grader who was attacked earlier in the school year by a group of middle school students has allegedly been attacked again at Avoyelles High. The mother of the 12-year old student is now wanting to move her son to another school such as Avoyelles Public Charter School.
Cottonport residents should see a drop in their fire insurance premiums because of work done by the Cottonport Fire Department.
Coach Birthrim Jackson is honored by his peers at Bunkie High School. Since May he has been trying to keep busy. Most of his time has been spent helping his church build a new sanctuary and daycare center of Pershing Highway in Bunkie.
An Echo man, Stanley P. Lacombe, was killed on October 27 on La. Highway One in the Fifth Ward area when he collided with the rear of a garbage truck.
November 12, 2009
Recently passed state Medicaid cuts have local health officials concerned about the future of health care in the parish. While Avoyelles Parish is currently exempt from Medicaid cuts, possible future cuts in funding will make running small rural hospitals, as in Marksville and Bunkie, tougher to run.
Bunkie High students are currently preparing to participate in “Tar Wars” an event sponsored by the Rapides Foundation. The students will present the dangers of smoking to area schools. They will also be entered in an annual poster contest.
The Bunkie High School Panthers won the District 3-AAA football championship on Friday night with a 42-14 win over Avoyelles High. It was the first ever district title for Head Coach Bruce Webb as a head coach. Bunkie finished the year with a 6-4 overall record and a perfect 6-0 mark in district play.
November 19, 2009
An on-going issue over putting culverts in ditches in Bunkie came up and will be continued for at least another month. Council members feel they need more information from professionals before passing an ordinance that affects the drainage in the city.
A Marksville insurance agent and her agency were issued cease and desist orders, summary suspensions and fine notices last week for allegedly allowing an employee to conduct the business of insurance without a license.
Taxes. The five letter no-no arose again at the Police Jury’s regularyl-scheduled November 11 meeting. This time is came from District 1 Police Juror Larry Sayes, who is chairman of the jury’s Finance Committee. When it came time for Sayes to give the monthly finance report, he announced the jury was about where it expected to be on its budget. In other words, it’s still broke.
November 26, 2009
The Bunkie Police Department reports for October and November showed the police having a busy month. There were several felony cases worked and solved by Bunkie Police in the last several weeks. The police are also actively looking for two suspects in unrelated cases.
Members of the Bunkie Service League are working hard this week to prepare food baskets, which will be distributed during the Thanksgiving week to needy families.
The annual Bunkie Rotary Club Christmas parade will roll through downtown Bunkie on Saturday, December 12 at 4 p.m. A fireworks display, sponsored by the city of Bunkie, will accompany this year’s parade and is scheduled to begin at approximately 6:15 p.m.
DECEMBER December 3, 2009
Crowds were lined up to get special sale items at the Marksville Wal-Mart on the day after Thanksgiving. This year, instead of locking the front doors and opening them all at once, the store handed out pull tabs to customers who waited in various departments to get the hottest items. When the sale hour began, they were able to hand in the tab for the sale item.
Avoyelles Parish residents that are at high-risk for H1N1 (swine) flu will now be able to receive their seasonal flu shot at the parish health units in Marksville and Bunkie, and school officials are preparing for student vaccinations next week.
Rev. Fanley and Florence Thomas both 59, died from a train-car collision near a church where the husband pastored Sunday, November 22.
December 10, 2009
A church minister is upset with the school board and the parish judicial system after two Marksville High students were arrested and jailed after fighting at shool. Rev. Charles Guillory, pastor at St. John Community Church-Baptist in Marksville and chairman of the Avoyelles Coalition Task Force (ACT), addressed board members on the issue.
It was an early Christmas present for many in Avoyelles when old man winter blew in and dumped one to two inches in the area. It was the earliest snowfall accumulation ever recorded in Bunkie.
Peering over eyeglasses that rest on cheeks as pinchable as tufts of cotton candy, Douglas “DJ” Pete, Jr. aptly deserves his nickname, “the little professor.’ The moniker not only applies to DJ’s appearance but also to his life story, as he has seen and experienced far more than most toddlers. Born with Down syndrome, DJ has endured surgery to repair three holes in his heart and is currently battling acute myeloid leukemia (AML)-the illness that brought him to St. Jude earlier this year.
December 17, 2009
Avoyelles Parish Police Jury approved a four percent across-the-board pay raise for its employees.
The football contest winners are Marvin Roy, 1st place; Tommy McNeal, 2nd place; and Jim Bordelon, 3rd place.
Three Avoyelles Parish individuals, two from Bunkie and one from Plaucheville, have been arrested for allegedly receiving and planning to sell high grade marijuana. All three have been arrested and booked into jail.
Another new business held its grand opening on Tuesday, December 8 on Main Street in Bunkie. B&C’s Puff N’Stuff has opened where old Todd’s Texaco used to be located. The new owners are Bill Longoria and Carolyn Cogbill.
December 24, 2009
Bunkie businessman Greg Kojis was the 2009 Bunkie Rotary Club’s Citizen of the Year on THursday, December 17. The announcement was made during the club’s annual Christmas party held at Firthland Plantation. The announcement was made by last year’s winner, Dori Ard.
Bunkie General Hospital has been selected by the Rapides Foundation as a Cancer Screening Project Site in Avoyelles Parish. Free breast, cervical and colorectal screenings are available on a monthly basis at the Bunkie General Hospital campus through the Cenla Medication Access Program.
Kenneth Ducote, 56 years of age of Bunkie, announces his candidacy for mayor of Bunkie.
December 31, 2009
A tornado which destroyed the Catholic Church building in Whiteville south of Bunkie in St. Landry, made its way into Avoyelles Parish towards Bunkie. The storm hit Christmas Eve morning, but the twister path in rural areas left little damage in Avoyelles.