January 24, 2021
January 23, 2021
Frank Chandler was booked on the charges of Failure to Change/Secure Registration, No Insurance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Schedule II Drugs by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $3500.00.
Na'Toria Moses was booked In From Court.
Zachary Spears was booked In From Court.
Mark Simmons was booked on the charges of Aggravated Assault Upon a Peace Officer (4 counts) and Resisting a Police Officer With Force or Violence (4 counts) by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $7500.00 bond.
Jeffrey Miley was booked on the charge of Probation Violation by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Jessica Hunt was booked on the charge of Probation Violation by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
January 22, 2021
The Washington Parish Council will meet Monday (January 25, 2020). The meeting will be in the upstairs courtroom in Franklinton, Louisiana. The meeting may also be joined via Zoom. The meeting ID is 841 6519 9664 and the passcode is 318819. A Public Hearing will be held at 5:45 PM on the ordinance below The Council will then take up the Agenda.
Public Hearing (at 5:45 PM)
Ordinance No. 21-675 – An Ordinance directing the renewal of the levy and collection of an ad valorem tax of ten (10) mills tax on assessed valuation of all property subject to taxation in the Parish of Washington, State of Louisiana, for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2022 and ending with the year 2031, for the purpose of constructing, improving, maintaining and resurfacing Parish roads and bridges, including incidental drainage and the acquisition of equipment therefor, with the proceeds of the tax subject to being funded into bonds for such capital purposes to the extent and in the manner provided by the laws of Louisiana.
AGENDA (at 6:00 PM)
1. Call to Order
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Roll Call
5. Approval of Minutes – Approval of minutes dated January 11, 2021.
6. LSU Ag Quarterly Report – Beth Putnam, 4H Youth Development Professional.
7. Entergy - Patrick Hamby – Update on the progress of the new power plant outside of Bogalusa City limits.
8. Louisiana 5th Congressional District Seat Candidate – Colonel Chad Conerly.
9. Adopt Ordinance No. 21-675 – An Ordinance directing the renewal of the levy and collection of an ad valorem tax of ten (10) mills tax on assessed valuation of all property subject to taxation in the Parish of Washington, State of Louisiana, for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2022 and ending with the year 2031, for the purpose of constructing, improving, maintaining and resurfacing Parish roads and bridges, including incidental drainage and the acquisition of equipment therefor, with the proceeds of the tax subject to being funded into bonds for such capital purposes to the extent and in the manner provided by the laws of Louisiana.
10. Adopt Resolution No. 21-1063 – A resolution authorizing the Washington Parish Government to apply for and administer a grant through the Louisiana Governor’s Assistance Program (LGAP).
11. Adopt Resolution No. 21-1064 – A resolution of appointment for the Washington Parish Fire District No. 2. Board of Directors.
12. Adopt Resolution No. 21-1065 – A resolution authorizing the signing of the Louisiana Compliance Questionnaire for the audit of Washington Parish Government for the year ended December 31, 2020.
13. Public Participation
14. President’s Report
15. Council Discussion
Other items added to the agenda will be done by unanimous vote of the Board of Aldermen prior to the beginning of the meeting.
Call meeting to order
Prayer and Pledge
1. Approve minutes-January 12, 2021 Regular Meeting
1. Departmental Reports
2. Public Hearing on Ordinance #1075-An ordinance setting aside Enterprise Funds to serve as security for construction of new well.
3. Adoption of Ordinance #1075-An ordinance setting aside Enterprise Funds to serve as security for construction of new well.
4. Public Hearing on Ordinance #1076-An ordinance to rename Section Line Road to Dr. James Stafford Drive.
5. Adoption of Ordinance #1076-An ordinance to rename Section Line Road to Dr. James Stafford Drive.
6. Approve hiring of Ms. Evelyn Tate – Public Works effective 2/1/2021
7. Accept resignation of Justin Stogner-Police Department effective 1/28/20218.
8. Approve to advertise for 2 positions – Police Department
While patrolling in the Pine area Wednesday (January 20, 2920), Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies Kyle Stogner and Randall Garcia observed a motor vehicle violation and stopped the driver who was reportedly in possession of illegal drugs. Alex Weary, age 51, gave a Walthall County address. According to a WPSO press release, Weary had marijuana in plain view on the front passenger seat of his vehicle and, while being searched, was found to be in possession of additional drugs packaged in a plastic baggie.
As officers attempted to place handcuffs on Weary, he struggled and resisted. The deputies were able to restrain him with the assistance of Lt. Chris Hickman who arrived on the scene and placed leg restraints on Weary.
Weary has been in the Washington Parish Jail several times since 2009 with offenses including possession of illegal drugs with intent to distribute, driving while intoxicated, resisting an officer with force or violence, battery on a police officer, purse snatching, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and battery of a dating partner.
Weary’s current charges are possession of illegal drugs, resisting an officer, obstruction of justice and motor vehicle violations. Bond has been set at $3500.00.
“Mr. Weary is well known to law enforcement,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “He is a repeat offender who seems to have not learned the life lessons necessary to live as a law abiding citizen. I appreciate Deputy Stogner, Deputy Garcia and Lt. Hickman for making this arrest and removing more illegal drugs from our parish.”
Alex Weary was booked on the charges of License Plate Improper Display, Resisting an Officer, Obstruction of Justice, Possession of Marijuana (3rd Offense), Possession of Schedule II Drugs, and Expired License Plate by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $3500.00.
Preston Baham was booked on the charges of Theft 1000-5000 and Resisting Arrest by Providing False Booking Info by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $5000.00.
Kameron Bickham was booked on the charges of Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule 1 Drugs and Possession of CDS With Weapon Present by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $7500.00.
January 21, 2021
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Unit wrapped up a year-long investigation this week by obtaining warrants for the arrest of a Lacombe woman on numerous bank fraud charges. Shania Dawn Obannon (age 47) is wanted on warrants for 21 counts of Bank Fraud, 1 count of Theft Between $1,000 and $5,000 and 14 counts of Theft Under $1,000. She is currently incarcerated in Orleans Parish Prison.
Between May 2019 and December 2019, Obannon reportedly perpetrated two separate bank fraud and theft schemes amounting to more than $18,000 in fraud. Her victims included 21 different banks, government entities and local businesses.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office began their investigation in December of 2019 after a local business reported a check it received from Obannon for services was returned from a closed bank account.
Through an analysis of bank records, investigators learned Obannon had opened several accounts at various banks and was writing checks on those accounts without depositing funds into those accounts. In some cases she was writing checks on accounts she had previously closed. She was also perpetrating a scheme known as “check kiting,” which involves using bad checks to open accounts at other banks.
Upon her release from Orleans Parish Prison, Obannon will be extradited to St. Tammany Parish Prison.
Washington Parish Government advises that, in Partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health and the Louisiana National Guard, free COVID-19 testing will be available to the residents of Washington Parish on the following dates and times. The location will be at Cassidy Park, 625 Willis Avenue, Bogalusa, LA at the Performance Pavilion in the Park.
Dates: Tuesday, January 26th through Friday January 29th; Times: 9am-2:30pm;
Those wishing to be tested are highly encouraged to pre-register. The preregistration site is: Health.QuestDiagnostics.com/STLOU. You can also be registered on site. The site will use a self-administered nasal swab test that will allow those being tested to swab their own nose which will be observed by a trained medical volunteer to ensure the sample is taken correctly.
Those being tested will need to wear a mask and socially distant at the test site. Your test results will be sent to you through the secure MyQuest online portal or app. For those who do not have email, you may obtain your test results by dialing 1-866-MYQUEST.
State Fire Marshal Chief H. “Butch” Browning is announcing the agency’s 2020 performance outcomes which show, despite the operational limitations of the pandemic, taking on the new and fluid task of Covid-19 enforcement efforts and responding to multiple tropical system threats, that the agency maintained its productivity goals and remained resilient throughout the year.
“The hurdles this agency has jumped over this past year have been numerous and daunting, but I am so proud of how each section of the State Fire Marshal’s Office not only responded, but thrived, in what otherwise has been an incredibly strenuous year for so many agencies, businesses and families,” said Browning.
In 2020, deputies conducted around 35,000 final inspections of new commercial buildings opening across the state as well as compliance inspections of existing commercial buildings. In addition, deputies inspected hundreds of fireworks stands and displays and responded to thousands of impairment reports on life safety and property protection systems in commercial businesses. On top of those regular duties, deputies conducted COVID-19 compliance visits and complaint responses starting in May when Gov. John Bel Edwards moved the state from the Stay At Home order into Phase 1 of the “Roadmap to a Resilient Louisiana” plan. That effort rendered more than 16,000 inspections by the year’s end, more than 12,000 of which were conducted by members of the State Fire Marshal’s Office alone. And that effort continues still today.
Today (January 21, 2021), Gov. John Bel Edwards and International Paper Bogalusa Mill Manager Bernie Chascin announced the company plans to invest up to $52.2 million in capital to increase the efficiency of the mill, which has been a manufacturing mainstay of Washington Parish for more than a century.
Through the project, IP plans to retain the mill’s 492 direct jobs that provide an average annual salary of more than $86,000, plus benefits. In Bogalusa, IP operates a paper mill and an associated corrugated box plant. The modernization program would enhance the paper mill’s efficiency by upgrading the recovery boiler system, along with filtration, condenser and acid system enhancements in the papermaking process.
Benjamin Warren was booked on the charges of Fugitive Other Jurisdiction, Convicted Felon in Possession of Firearm (2 counts), Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule 1 Drugs, Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule II Drugs, Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule III Drugs, Resisting an Officer/Flight on Foot, Resisting a Police Officer With Force or Violence (4 counts), and Resisting Arrest (2 counts) by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $150000.00.
Dwayne Butler was booked on the charge of Domestic Abuse Battery by the Bogalusa Police Department. No bond set at this time.
Zach Kendricks was booked on the charges of Aggravated Assault/Domestic Violence, Domestic Abuse Battery, Domestic Abuse Battery/Strangulation, and Probation and Parole Hold by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.
Michael Magee was booked on the charges of Contempt of Court and Fugitive Other Jurisdiction by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $500.00.
Efrem Williams was booked on the charges of Simple Burglary, Resisting an Officer, and Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling by the Bogalusa Police Department. Bond set at $7500.00.
Datron Trotter was booked on the charge of Theft of a Motor Vehicle $25000 or More by the Bogalusa Police Department. Bond set at $10000.00.
Julie Morgan was booked on the charges of Driving While Intoxicated, Improper Lane Usage and Speeding 11-20 Over Limit by the Franklinton Police Department. Bond set at $2500.00.
Peyton Breland was booked on the charge of Carnal Knowledge of a Juvenile by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $10000.00 bond.
Update: He has been foundBobby Anderson, Jr., age 15, was last seen on Tuesday (January 19, 2021) around 9:30 p.m. No one has seen or heard from him since. He is believed to be between Mount Hermon and Tylertown.
If seen, please contact his dad Bobby Anderson 985-201-3928 or 985-788-5870.
January 20, 2021
The agency continues to report a clearance rate of nearly twice the national average for violent crimes and more than two and half times the national average for non-violent crimes, reinforcing Sheriff Smith’s promise to hold criminals accountable for crimes committed in St. Tammany.
“I am extremely pleased with the hard work and dedication of all of our employees who have contributed to another year of successful crime fighting,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “This is a testament to the agency as a whole’s determination to keep St. Tammany Parish safe and hold criminals accountable for their actions.”
The agency has seen a decrease in non-violent crimes. Sheriff Smith said is in large part to the success of the agency’s many social media’s campaigns focused on educating the public on the need to lock their vehicle doors and secure their valuables.
“Keeping crime rates down is a partnership between law enforcement and the community we serve,” Sheriff Smith said, “and we are blessed to live and serve in an area that respects, appreciates and works with law enforcement.”
While the reported violent crimes, which include murder, rape, robbery, assault and battery, saw a slight increase in 2020 over 2019 in unincorporated St. Tammany, Sheriff Smith said this is part of a national trend partially attributed to Covid-19, which led to an increase in domestic violence and narcotics-related crimes.
He asks that anyone with information about crimes occurring in our parish, to submit a tip through the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office website (www.STPSO.com), by calling the narcotics tip line (1-888-GO-2-JAIL), or by calling Crimestoppers. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward through Crimestoppers.
Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office Detectives are trying to identify the male subjects in the photos. They are suspects in thefts at Wilmer Quick Stop on January 16 and 17, 2021. Upon exiting the store, the subjects entered a dark colored Honda with a temporary license plate.
Anyone able to identify the subjects is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-554-JAIL.
On January 6, 2021, the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office asked for the public’s assistance to locate Matthew Cade Dillon. On January 19, 2021, Dillon’s body was discovered in a wooded area off of Jim Edwards Road.
It was reported that Dillon, age 36, was last seen on December 12, 2020, when he was dropping off a car in Mt. Hermon.
Agencies participating in the January 19 search included the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, Franklinton Police Department and the Louisiana Search and Rescue Dog Team. The canines were able to discover the body which has been tentatively identified as Dillon, pending an autopsy to make a final determination of cause of death and positive identification. At this time, foul play is not suspected.
Sheriff Randy Seal commented. “While this is not the outcome for which we had hoped, this does bring some closure to concerned family members and friends. I am grateful for the assistance of all law enforcement officers as well as the canines and handlers of the Louisiana Search and Rescue Dog team.”
The Franklinton Police Department is currently accepting applications for two (2) full-time Louisiana POST Level 1 law enforcement officers. This opening is for an entry-level, uniformed patrol officer who is already certified.
The starting hourly wage is $14.00. Upon completion of FTO, the pay rate increases to $16.00 per hour.
Benefits include the following: uniforms and equipment provided, health-care and retirement, and yearly uniform allowance.
Applications can be obtained from dispatch or at this link:
January 19, 2021
On Tuesday, January 19, 2021, shortly before 6:00 am, Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a fatal crash on LA 16 west of LA 449 in St. Helena Parish. The crash claimed the life of 69-year-old Clarence Griffin of Amite.
The initial investigation revealed that Griffin was westbound on LA 16 in a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado when an eastbound 2018 Toyota Tundra, driven by 65-year-old Terry MacDonald crossed the center line in front of him. The vehicles impacted head on and came to rest in the roadway.
MacDonald as well as a 16-year-old passenger were properly restrained and severely injured. They were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Griffin was not restrained during the crash and died on the scene. Impairment is not suspected to be a causal factor in the crash. As part of the ongoing investigation, a blood sample was taken for scientific analysis. The investigation is ongoing and any charges from this incident will be forwarded to the St. Helena Parish District Attorney’s Office.
January 18, 2021
The LSA Scholarship Program will award scholarships providing assistance to worthy Washington Parish students in furthering their education and training with resources made available through the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Honorary Membership Program.
Scholarships of a maximum of $500 each will be awarded to ONE graduating high school student. There are no restrictions on the purposes for which scholarships are spent. The scholarships are not loans and will be awarded as gifts to defray the rising costs of tuition and related expenses in higher education. The only limitations are that applicants be permanent residents of Louisiana; scholarships be utilized in higher education within the State of Louisiana; and students be enrolled as full-time, undergraduate students.
Completed applications must be submitted to the Sheriff of the Parish of the applicant’s permanent Louisiana resident by April 1, 2021. Further, applicants must be eligible for admission to the school indicated on the application. The award will only be paid for attendance of high learning within the state. All scholarships winners will be announced by May 1, 2021.
I am pleased to be able to bring this scholarship to eligible Washington Parish students who are bound for higher education.
Use this link to access program guidelines and application forms: https://www.lsa.org/scholarship
Completed applications may be emailed to Chief Civil Deputy Brent Jones at email@example.com or hand delivered to WPSO-Franklinton at 1002 Main Street, Franklinton or WPSO-Bogalusa at 302 Mississippi Avenue, Bogalusa, LA.
Randy "Country" Seal
The Varnado Museum will have their Quilt Exhibit on display until March. The Museum, located at 936 Pearl Street in Franklinton, Louisiana, is open Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm and on Sundays from 1 pm to 4 pm.
The museum is following social distancing guidelines. Contact them at 985.795.0680.
Visit their website at https://davarnadostoremuseum.com/ and like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/The-Varnado-Store-Museum-107085242654871/
Washington Parish Government advises that the following is the current list of pharmacies in Washington Parish that are receiving the vaccination and taking calls to schedule appointments for the current tier group (remember you must call the pharmacy first to get on the list; do not arrive at a location without an appointment):
- Creel's Family Pharmacy, 26496 Highway 62, Franklinton, LA. (985) 848-5555
- Nielsen's Pharmacy, 1619 S Columbia Street, Bogalusa, LA. (985) 732-7481
- Sumrall's Pharmacy, 30304 Highway 21, Angie, LA. (985) 986-4433
These vaccines are currently available to:
- Persons ages 70 years or older
- Outpatient clinic providers and clinic staff
- Urgent care clinic providers and staff
- Community care clinic providers and staff
- Behavioral health providers and staff
- Dialysis providers and patients
- Home health service providers and recipients
- Dental providers and staff
- Students, resident, faculty and staff of allied health schools (if not already receiving vaccine or in a plan to receive from their respective schools)
Michael Wise was booked on the charges of Improper Lane Usage, License Plate Light Required, Resisting an Officer, Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Possession of Marijuana (2nd Offense), and Possession of Schedule II Drugs by the Louisiana State Police. Released on $7500.00 Bond.
Jeremy James was booked on the charges of Possession of a Firearm or Concealed Weapon by Person Convicted o Domestic Abuse Batery, Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Identity Theft by the Franklinton Police Department. Bond set at $7500.00.
Valerie Carroll was booked on the charges of Contempt of Court and Bond Surrender by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at S10500.00.
Zachary Smith was booked on the charges of Driving While Intoxicated (2nd Offense), Speeding 21-30 Over Limit, and Improper Lane Usage by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $3500.00 bond.