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September 21, 2019

Bogalusa Fiscal Administrator Presents Status Report

Albert J. “Joey” Richard, III, the Fiscal Administrator appointed to the City of Bogalusa May 31,
2019, presented a Status Report Thursday morning (September 20, 2019) at a hearing presided over by 22nd District Judge William J. “Rusty” Knight.

Richard reported that he met with the Bogalusa Council Chairman, Mayor, and Department heads to explain administration requirements and to set operating procedures and is receiving cooperation of the Council, Mayor, and employees. Further, Richard had hired legal counsel, an actuary, and landfill engineers. Richard indicated that he is reviewing all departments for potential expense reductions and is also reviewing all fees and charges for services in order to increase revenues.

Richard reiterated the major financial issues as
  • an unfunded accrued pension liability in the COBERS Plan of $22,000,000 as of June 30, 2018
  • a Landfill Fund deficit of $456,000 as of December 31, 2019 and $2,100,000 owed to the Choctaw Landfill Joint Venture with Washington Parish
  • structural annual budget deficits in all funds of $1,200,000 that will require additional revenues or expenditure reductions
Regarding the COBERS Plan, Richard
  • stated that as of June 30, 2018, the actuarial accrued liability was $26,491,000 and had assets of $4,246,000
  • described a decrease in Plan assets due to under-funding over the past four years
  • indicated that the City had rededicated $544,000 in sales and property taxes for 2019 and that additional revenues will be sought, with voter approval, in the spring of 2020
Regarding the Choctaw Landfill issue, Richard advised Judge Knight that he had met with Washington Parish and has another meeting on September 20th, with the goal of resolving the issue without litigation. Judge Knight advised that he wanted to review any negotiated resolution of the issue before it is finalized.

Resolving the financial woes of the City of Bogalusa, a situation that has developed over many years, is a complicated task and one that will not be quickly accomplished. The Status Report presented was, in the opinion of some of those present at the hearing, short on specifics and did not meet their expectations.

Click here for a previous related story and background.

Mandeville Police Department Statement on Fallen Officer

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mandeville Police Captain, Vincent “Vinny”
Liberto Jr.

Captain Liberto was a highly decorated and respected law enforcement officer, who was known across the entire country. Captain Liberto graduated from Brother Martin High School in 1979, and after graduation joined the United States Marine Corps. Captain Liberto was honorably discharged as a sergeant, after serving his country for over 10 years. Captain Liberto joined the Mandeville Police Department in January of 1994. He climbed through the ranks and earned multiple prestigious awards during his years of service, including Officer of the Year. Captain Liberto was a graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy, and was also a polygraphist.

Captain Liberto leaves behind a loving wife and seven children. Several of his children are active law enforcement officers and military. Captain Liberto was 58 years old.

As mentioned earlier, any information in relation to the actual incident, resulting in Captain Liberto’s death, will be disseminated by the Louisiana State Police. There will be more information released about Captain Liberto, the man he was, and his services, at some point next week.

Thank you all for your respect, sympathy, and understanding during today’s incident. It will be a rough couple of weeks for the entire law enforcement community in the New Orleans Metro Area, especially the Mandeville Police Department.

See previous related story "Video Report: One Mandeville Police Officer Dead, Another Injured in Shooting"

Washington Parish Jail Bookings September 20, 2019

Derick Gatlin was booked on the charges of Distribution of Schedule II CDS (2 counts)
Jeffrey Miley was booked In From Court
James Barber was booked on the charge of Probation Violation

Today in History for September 20th

September 20, 2019

Video Report: One Mandeville Police Officer Dead, Another Injured in Shooting

The Louisiana State Police are investigating a shooting near Hwy. 22 and 190 in Mandeville,
Louisiana that occurred today (September 20, 2019) shortly before 2:00 PM. One Mandeville Police Officer is reported to be deceased and another injured from gunfire. Identities have not been released at this time. Two perpetrators are in custody.

Traffic Stop in Lacombe Uncovers Large Stash of Illegal Drugs

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office has taken a significant amount of narcotics off the streets following a traffic stop Thursday afternoon (September 19, 2019) on Fish Hatchery Road in Lacombe.

Harold Batiste (46) of Lacombe was detained for resisting an officer after he refused to exit his vehicle and was repeatedly uncooperative with deputies. A search of Batiste and the pickup truck he was driving uncovered a large stash of illegal narcotics, cash and drug paraphernalia. 

Deputies located approximately 193.0 grams of suspected heroin, approximately 105.3 grams of powder cocaine and approximately 67.2 grams of crack cocaine, drug paraphernalia and $5,500 of suspected drug proceeds.

Batiste was arrested on the charges of Possession with Intent to Distribute Schedule I (Heroin), Possession with Intent to Distribute Schedule II (Cocaine), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Resisting an Officer (two counts), Transactions Involving Proceeds Drug Offenses, Improper Lane Use, Illegal Window Tint, and Stop Lamps Required.

“This man is a dangerous drug dealer in our community, and I am proud of the work of our deputies who made this traffic stop and successfully removed these very dangerous drugs off our streets,” Sheriff Randy Smith said.

Slidell Shrimp Boat Captain Arrested After Altercation

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a Slidell-area man Wednesday afternoon
(September 18, 2019) after an altercation between two shrimp boat captains in the area of Rigolets Pass near Geoghegan Canal.

The captain of one of the boats, Casey Russell (35) of Slidell, had become angry after locating another individual shrimping “in his spot.” Russell had deployed his boat’s anchor and circled the victim’s boat, causing the anchor to hook the boat’s nets and lines. Russell then dragged the boat, causing it to sustain significant damage and take on water.

Russell was arrested and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail for Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries assisted in the investigation and also cited Russell for  Interfering with a Commercial Fisherman.

Washington Parish Animal Shelter Adoption Event is Saturday


Obituary

Cindy Polkey
May 29, 1968 - September 19, 2019

Obituary

Ruth Jackson-Joyner
October 27, 1930 - September 05, 2019

Obituary

Amanda Brown Smith
March 11, 1951 - September 15, 2019

Washington Parish Charter- “Amended and Restated”

Article by Washington Parish Council


The amended and restated Washington Parish Home Rule Charter is up for ratification on the Oct. 12th ballot. The Charter is the “Operating System”, or Constitution of the Parish Government. The current Charter was drafted 1997 for the transition between the old Police Jury form of government to the President/Council form we have today. It is difficult to update/revise or amend the Charter. In order to do so, it requires the formation of a Charter Commission, a recommendation to the Parish Council from the Charter Commission, a 2/3 affirmation vote of the Parish Council to send to ballot, and ratification by the electorate through a public vote. The Charter has never been amended or updated because of the immense difficulty and expense.

The current Charter is a transitional document that changed the form of government. While Police Juries still exist in Louisiana, most are in very rural parishes. A Home Rule Charter gives local governments more autonomy from legislative interference. Unlike the Police Jury that had 14 jurors and 14 districts where each juror had executive and legislative authority, our Home Rule Charter provides clear separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of the Parish Government creating a balance of power to better represent the constituency and more evenly distribute Parish services and resources.

Due to the transitional language of the current Charter, some ambiguous language as determined by Parish legal professionals, a multitude of grammatical and typographical errors and the need to update to conform to modern legal standards, the Washington Parish Council (acting as the Charter Commission), the Parish Attorney, the Head of the Civil Division of the District Attorney's Office, the Parish President, and Directors of the Washington Parish Government Administration have taken on this daunting task. Numerous public meetings have been held, and a large amount of effort and time has been used to bring the citizens of Washington Parish an amended and restated Charter which we hope will last at least another 20 years.

There is not an overabundance of changes or additions, but there are enough changes along with the grammatical and typographical errors, including transitional language, to justify putting the amended and restated Charter on the ballot. Having the complete amended and restated Charter on the ballot is more sensible and economical than having piece by piece voted on. We sincerely believe that all parties involved have put personal interests aside to come up with a document to best serve the public.

The updated version can be seen on the Washington Parish Government Website. The new language appears in red. This is NOT a tax.

Click here for the Washington Parish Government Website or click here to view on the Mt. Hermon Web TV website.

Bogalusa Man Gets 40 Years for Sexual Battery of 5-Year-Old

District Attorney Warren Montgomery announced that Frederick C. Mangrum (61) of Bogalusa was
sentenced Wednesday (September 18, 2019) by District Judge William Burris to 40 years in prison for sexual battery of a victim under 13.

Mangrum, who had rejected a 10-year plea offer, was convicted of the crime by a Washington Parish jury on July 11, 2019. He was found guilty of committing sexual battery on a 5-year-old girl in 2016. The defendant removed all the child’s clothes and then touched her inappropriately.

The Bogalusa Police Department investigated the case with assistance from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Children’s Advocacy Center in Belton, Texas, and McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple, Texas.

Assistant District Attorneys Iain A. Dover and Holly McGinness prosecuted the case.

UPDATED at 4:06 PM: Headline corrected to 40 years

Mt. Hermon Woman Gets 20 Years For Forgery

District Attorney Warren Montgomery announced that Stephanie D. Wilson (55) of Mt. Hermon was
sentenced Wednesday (September 18, 2019) by District Judge William Burris as an habitual offender to 20 years in prison for forgery. Burris found Wilson guilty as charged after she rejected a one-year plea offer.

Wilson has six prior felony convictions: for issuing worthless checks in December 2010, theft in November 2010, attempted possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance by fraud in November 2010, theft in January 2011, theft of goods in March 2015, and theft in October 2016. She also had a misdemeanor conviction on two counts of theft by fraud in January 2011.

In the most recent incident of forgery, the victim made a complaint to the Franklinton Police Department in March 2018 about checks that had been stolen from her account and cashed with her forged signature. Investigators identified Wilson as the one who cashed the forged checks, which totaled more than $1,300. Wilson initially lied to officers investigating the case and said she was cashing the checks for the victim but could not explain various discrepancies.

Assistant District Attorney Iain Dover prosecuted the case.

Washington Parish Jail Bookings September 19, 2019

Chad Freeman was booked In From Court
Damon Brown was booked In For Court
John Burge was booked In For Court
Randishia Lott was booked on the charges of Speeding 1-10 Over Limit, No Insurance, Child Restraint Violation (2 counts), Simple Battery on a Police Officer, and Failure to Appear
Willie Crain was booked on the charge of Simple Burglary
Nicholas Fields was booked on the charges of Home Invasion, Criminal Damage, and Simple Robbery
Cassidus Martinez was booked on the charges of Failure to Pay Fine and Failure to Appear
Judd Taylor was booked on the charge of Failure to Appear

Today in History for September 20th

AP Top Stories September 20, 2019 AM

September 19, 2019

Kentwood Residents Arrested for Child Endangerment & Drug Offenses

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards reports today the arrests yesterday (September 18, 2019) of Kentwood residents Joseph Hammons (49) and Marylee Bellau (26) on narcotics-related charges.
Hammons and Bellau were taken into custody after arriving at a location where a search warrant was being conducted with a small child in back seat of their car. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed both subjects to be in possession of illegal narcotics.

Hammons was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of  drug paraphernalia, and child endangerment. Bellau was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of CDS II, possession of drug paraphernalia, and child endangerment.   

The child was released to a family member at the scene. 

Help TPSO Locate the Driver of This SUV

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's assistance in identifying the
owner/driver of this dark-colored SUV.

Yesterday morning (September 18, 2019), a caller advised that while returning home from an outing, an unknown white male driving a green-colored SUV pulling a utility trailer loaded with a tractor was pulling away from their driveway. The complainant followed the green SUV to the intersection of Hwy. 1054 and Hwy 16 where contact was made with the driver.

The driver, described as a white male in his 30’s, medium build, with blonde hair, then unhooked the loaded trailer from the SUV and fled eastbound on HWY 16.

Detectives are asking anyone who may have information about this case to please call Crime Stoppers at 800.554.5245. TPSO Lt. Blane Sanders is the lead investigator.

Two Arrested in Kentwood-Area Auto Theft

Today (September 19, 2019), the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division advised that last Saturday (September 14, 2019) Austin Owens (20) of Hammond and Raven Chelsea Short (29) of Loranger were arrested in connection with an auto theft that occurred on September 12, 2019, on Hwy 440 in Kentwood.

Further investigation by TPSO Detectives and Narcotics Agents resulted in locating a stolen truck, trailer, and lawn equipment. The two offenders were taken into custody and the stolen property was returned to the owner.
Sheriff Edwards would like to thank the public for their assistance in this investigation.

Obituary

Jeffery Ryan Schilling
April 14, 1987 - September 18, 2019

Washington Parish Jail Bookings September 18, 2019

Dodecanese Alexander was booked on the charge of Failure to Appear
Dale Williams was booked In From Court
Timothy Murray was booked In From Court
Jason Duncan was booked In From Court
Kayla Phelps was booked on the charges of Possession of Heroin, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Impeding Flow of Traffic, Failure to Appear, and Theft Less Than 1000
Kristian Stoker was booked on the charges of Improper Equipment, Driving Under Suspension, and Fugitive Other Jurisdiction
Glenn Gerald was booked on the charge of Failure to Appear
Samuel Thomas was booked on the charge of Criminal Damage

Today in History for September 19th

AP Top Stories September 19, 2019 AM

September 18, 2019

Washington Parish Jail Bookings September 17, 2019

Autumn Bonnet was booked on the charges of Disturbing the Peace and Resisting an Officer/Flight on Foot
Gary McIntyre was booked on the charge of Simple Arson
Jacob Thomas was booked on the charge of Failure to Appear
Edward Warren was booked In For Court
Christopher Warren was booked on the charges of Criminal Trespass, Home Invasion, Simple Assault, Aggravated Assault With a Firearm, and Aggravated Assault

Obituary

Thomas Elvin Watts
December 21, 1938 - September 17, 2019

Today in History for September 18th

AP Top Stories September 18, 2019 AM

September 17, 2019

Slidell Police Defuse a Potentially Deadly Situation

Shortly after 2:30 p.m. today (September 17, 2019), Slidell Police received a 911 call about a man with a gun who was homicidal and suicidal, and possibly holding another man hostage.

The incident took place in the 1500 block of Florida Avenue. Slidell Police officers worked to clear the area to ensure everyone’s safety, while hostage and crisis negotiators worked to make contact with the suspect. Approximately an hour after the initial call, the Slidell Police S.W.A.T. team was successful in taking the man into custody, without incident. No one was injured during the incident. The man was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation. The incident is still under investigation and criminal charges may be filed at a later date.

Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal says, “As a community, we should be proud of the way our officers handled this situation. At a time when children were getting home from school, our officers ensured everyone’s safety and well-being. Most importantly, the situation was diffused without anyone being injured. It was a great team effort which resulted in a positive outcome.”

Pearl River Clean Sweep is Saturday, Sept. 21st


Obituary

Suan Latricia Payne
July 01, 1979 - September 13, 2019

Miss Silver Creek Woman-less Pageant is Sept. 27-28

Silver Creek Campground in Mt. Hermon will be celebrating 19 years of camping fun later this month with hot dogs, cake, and ice cream, as well as live entertainment. The Miss Silver Creek Woman-less Pageant will be held and include the crowning of "Misss (Not so Miss) Silver Creek.

The "Queen's Basket" will include, but not limited to, gift cards from Bass Pro Shops, Home Depot, Wal Mart, and Lowe's.

Click here for more about events at Silver Creek Campground.

Obituary

Gregory Eugene Pounds
July 23, 1950 – September 15, 2019

Washington Parish Jail Bookings September 15-16, 2019

Shanita Weary was booked In From Court
Randall Lott was booked on the charges of Possession of Heroin, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Theft Less Than 1000
Brent Wempren was booked on the charges of Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Off-Road Vehicles Prohibited on Highway, No Motorcycle Endorsement, No Permit/Registration/Eye Goggles (Motorcycle), and Driving Under Suspension
George Watson was booked on the charges of Criminal Trespass and Simple Assault
Tristen Jenkins was booked on the charge of Theft Less Than 1000
Jessica Hunt was booked on the charge of Possession of Schedule II Drugs
David Magee was booked on the charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Carmen Freeman was booked on the charge of Probation Violation
Brooklyn Magee was booked on the charge of Probation Violation
Rayford Goings was booked on the charge of Possession of Heroin
Tanya Voth-Singley was booked on the charge of Failure to Appear
Matthew Slade was booked on the charge of Probation Violation
Charlotte Branch was booked on the charges of No Taillight, Driving Under Suspension, Possession of Schedule II Drugs, and No Proof of Insurance
Brandon Spurlock was booked In For Court
Ryan Fulcher was booked In From Court
Samuel Silva was booked on the charge of No Drivers License

September 16, 2019

STPSO: Federal Law Enforcement Agent Arrested

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested a Jerry Rogers, Jr. (46), a federal law enforcement
agent and former STPSO employee Monday (September 16, 2019) for defamation. Rogers is currently employed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and was an employee of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office from June 23, 1998, to Oct. 23, 2009, at which time he left on his own accord.

Rogers was arrested after it was discovered he sent numerous emails which included false information in relation to an open investigation. Rogers used a fake name to create an email account and then sent messages to the family members of a victim. The emails contained false information regarding the ongoing investigation as well as derogatory statements regarding the lead investigator and others closely involved in the investigation. The false information deprived the lead investigator of the family’s trust and confidence.

A warrant was issued through the 22nd Judicial District Court for Rogers’ arrest for violating L.R.S. 14:47 Defamation. He was taken into custody without incident and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail.

Future Site of Washington Parish Veteran's Memorial Announced

A 3.8 acre tract of land, in Washington Parish, will be donated to Our Veterans Memorial Park, the non-profit organization formed to bring the Vietnam Veterans’ “Wall That Heals” to Franklinton in November of 2018. The land, located at the corner of Highway 10 and Dollar Road, is currently owned by Louisiana State University.

“We are grateful to LSU for choosing to honor our Veterans with this tract of land,” said Senator Beth Mizell (R-Franklinton). “This will become a beautiful memorial that Washington Parish will cherish”.

Charitable donations to Wall That Heals project exceeded the costs of planning the event. The additional revenue will be used as start-up money for the new permanent memorial.

“We’ve been in talks with the Lt. Governor’s office about design plans for the new park,” said Mizell. “We plan to honor each fallen war hero from Washington Parish in a solemn and inspiring way. We will release those designs very soon.”

Our Veterans Memorial Park hopes to open the new memorial by summer of 2021.

Obituary

Ephraim Marvin Duncan
April 19, 1927 - September 15, 2019

Obituary

Lillian Sorrell Penton
September 04, 1933 - September 15, 2019

Obituary

Robert D. “Bob” Lawrence, Jr.
July 22, 1938 - September 12, 2019

Today in History for September 16th

AP Top Stories September 16, 2019 AM

Make Plans to "Walk With A Doc"

Join Our Lady of the Angels doctors, team members, and gather a group of friends for a walk with a purpose. Get moving, get healthy, get health info and tips, and win prizes! Attend 4 sessions, get a free t-shirt. Attend 8 sessions, get a free pedometer.

September 15, 2019

Getting Ready for the 2019 Washington Parish Free Fair

Here are valuable links to help you enjoy the many attractions during this year's Washington Parish Free Fair.

Click here for the 2019 Fair Catalog

Click here for the Washington Parish Free Fair website

Click here for the Washington Parish Free Fair Facebook page

Some of the Main Stage (& Other) Highlights
Click the image for a clearer view



Obituary

Georgia Faye Garner Stafford
October 09, 1938 - September 13, 2019

Obituary

Sherry Jenkins Williams
June 25, 1960 - September 12, 2019

Washington Parish Jail Bookings September 14, 2019

Mykenyia Holmes was booked on the charges of Aggravated Second Degree Battery, Home Invasion, Child Desertion (3 counts), Fugitive Other Jurisdiction (2 counts), Protective Order Violation, and Failure to Appear
Robert Westmoreland was booked on the charges of Contempt of Court (3 counts)
Evan Leiva was booked on the charges of Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle and No Seat Belt
Kipp Nash was booked on the charge of Fugitive Other Jurisdiction

Today in History for September 15th