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September 30, 2019

Washington Parish Men Indicted in Federal Court

Trevion Harris, a/k/a “Trigga” (22), Jonzarrion Harris, a/k/a Gee” (19), and Demarquiez Harris (24),
all residents of Bogalusa, Louisiana, were charged September 6, 2019, in a twelve-count indictment by a Federal Grand Jury with several narcotics offenses, including conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser.
Click here to read the press release.

Derrick Mark, a/k/a “Dopeman (40) and Christopher Harris (29), both residents of Bogalusa, Louisiana, were charged September 6, 2019, in a five-count indictment by a Federal Grand Jury with several narcotics offenses, including conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser.
Click here to read the press release.

Billy C. Porter (43), a resident of Bogalusa, Louisiana, was charged September 6, 2019, in a two-count indictment by a Federal Grand Jury with distribution of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser. 
Click here to read the press release.

Tourism Office to Sponsor Fair Booth

The Washington Parish Tourism Commission will again provide an informational display during the
Washington Parish Free Fair. We are located in the front of the Old Armory building, with Junior Fine Arts and the Washington Parish Genealogical and Historical Society.

Any local event organizers or TOURISM-related businesses that have brochures, upcoming events flyers, or materials for display in the booth are encouraged to deliver them to the tourism office as soon as possible. This includes parade organizers, museums, festivals or street fairs, art shows, music or holiday events, as well as bed & breakfasts, cabins, or campgrounds, recreational outlets, restaurants, and locally produced products.

The Fair provides a great opportunity to inform our many visitors of all the attractions the parish has to offer, and we also try to provide local residents with information on attractions and activities in our surrounding area. The tourism office maintains brochures throughout the year, and local information is sent in packets in response to visitor queries.

Office hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 9:00am and 4:00pm. The office is located at 1950 Washington St. in Franklinton. You may mail or drop off items at that location.

For more information, contact the office at 839-5228 or email wptour@bellsouth.net.

STPSO: Three Arrested in Animal Cruelty Case

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office advises that three individuals are facing animal cruelty
charges in connection with an abandoned dachshund, who was found last week in a Slidell-area mobile home park with its hind legs removed.

The STPSO was called September 25, 2019 after a local animal rescue group obtained a dog, which appeared to have had its two hind legs sawed off. STPSO detectives  working the case learned the dog, “Buddy,” had been shot several months ago (February 2019), at which time the owners reported the incident to law enforcement. They did not; however, obtain proper medical care for the animal.

As a result of being shot, “Buddy” suffered partial paralysis in his hind legs and was unable to walk. The dog’s legs dragged behind him, causing sores on his legs. Its owners, a 50-year-old Slidell woman and her 17-year-old daughter, told detectives the dog’s legs “fell off” after they bandaged them too tight.

However, detectives consulted with a board certified veterinarian orthopedic surgeon, who concluded with certainty that the wounds on the dog’s hind legs were “maliciously inflicted,” and not removed by a veterinary professional nor by natural means.

The 17-year-old daughter was determined to be responsible for the dog’s condition and was arrested for   Aggravated Cruelty to Animals and booked into the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center Monday (September 30, 2019). Her mother was also arrested Monday (September 30, 2019) on the charge of Cruelty to Animals for failing to get the dog proper medical care. She was released on a summons. A 17-year-old friend was arrested on Friday (September 27, 2019) for Cruelty to Animals after she admitted to detectives that she abandoned the dying dog at the mobile home park. She was released on a custodial agreement to a responsible adult.

Relative to the shooting of “Buddy,” detectives are still actively investigating the incident and are following up with new developments.

“Buddy” is currently in the care of a local veterinarian and is recovering well.

“As a dog owner myself, I was completely appalled when we received a complaint of such horrific animal cruelty in our community. Our investigators acted swiftly, and the parties responsible have been charged accordingly,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “I would urge anyone with information about this case or any instance of cruelty to defenseless animals, to contact the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office at 985-898-2338 or St. Tammany Parish Animal Services at 985-809-0183.”

Obituary

Geneva Simpson Varnado
July 09, 1927 - September 28, 2019

Obituary

Bobby Howard McGee, Sr.
August 16, 1942 - September 25, 2019

Sheriff Seal Recognizes Corrections Deputy of the Quarter

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal recently recognized jail deputy Barry Cooper of Mt. Hermon as the corrections deputy of the quarter.

While awarding Cooper a plaque in honor of his achievement, Sheriff Seal stated, “Although he has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office for only a few months, Mr. Cooper has demonstrated excellent inmate management skills. I am so pleased to present him with this small token of our appreciation for his good work on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Washington Parish.”

Washington Parish Jail Bookings September 27-29, 2019

Amanda Crosby was booked on the charge of Failure to Appear
Marty Martin was booked on the charges of Driving While Intoxicated (2nd Offense), Driving Without Headlights, Failure to Dim Headlights, Speeding 11-20 Over Limit, Ran Stop Sign, Improper Lane Usage, Careless Operation, Open Container in Vehicle, Aggravated Flight From An Officer, and No Seat Belt
Justin Bickham was booked on the charges of Possession of Marijuana (3rd Offense), Failure to Appear, and Failure to Dim Headlights
Darin Virgil was booked on the charges of Aggravated Assault/Drive-By Shooting, Criminal Damage Principle to Felony, Principals, and Principal to Attempted First Degree Murder of a Peace Officer
Major Thomas was booked In From Court
Michael Wallace was booked on the charges of Failure to Appear and Molestation of a Juvenile
Daquanatas McGowan was booked on the charge of Contempt of Court
Ralphael Watson was booked on the charge of Contempt of Court

September 29, 2019

Fatal Motorcycle Crash Near Folsum Under Investigation

At approximately 5:30 pm Friday (September 27, 2019) St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies were
dispatched to the area of North Willie Rd. near Folsom, to investigate a motorcycle crash that has resulted in a fatality.

The preliminary investigation by deputies revealed the crash occurred as the 2014 Honda Fusion was travelling north on N. Willie Rd near La Hwy 40, when for unknown reasons, the driver failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and was ejected.  This was a single vehicle crash.

Despite wearing a DOT approved helmet, the driver sustained severe injuries in the crash.  The driver was transported to a local-area hospital where he was pronounced deceased. 

The remains of the deceased have been turned over to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office for identification and to determine the cause and manner of death.

September 27, 2019

$29,000 of Suspected Drug Money Seized in St. Tammany

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's deputies located and seized $29,000 of suspected drug proceeds during
a traffic stop near Mandeville on Tuesday evening (September 24, 2019). The traffic stop was made by a member of the STPSO Highway Enforcement Unit on a vehicle that was headed westbound on I-12. The driver of the vehicle, Francisco S. Gonzalez (28), identified himself via his Mexico passport and admitted to not having a valid driver's license. He claimed to be traveling back to his residence in Texas after spending a few days in Tallahassee, Florida.

During the course of the traffic stop, a consensual search of the vehicle uncovered $29,000 of suspected drug proceeds bundled in plastic bags and concealed inside one of the vehicle's door panels. Gonzalez disavowed knowledge and ownership of the currency located inside the vehicle. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office seized the suspected drug proceeds and issued Gonzalez a traffic citation for Following Too Close and No Driver's License.

Gonzalez was identified as an illegal alien. United States Border Patrol agents took custody and arrested Gonzalez, who was later booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail and is awaiting deportation from the United States.

“I commend our deputies who conducted this traffic stop, noticed something suspicious and ultimately took an individual, who was not only in our country illegally, but was engaging in suspected criminal activity, off our streets,” Sheriff Randy Smith said.

"The St. Tammany Parish deputies are so remarkably perceptive as they work to make our communities safer, and I once again herald their first-rate efforts in working alongside Border Patrol agents to stop bad people and bad things from harming American citizens, specifically this suspect who wasted little time in exploiting our crisis-ridden Southwest Border to re-enter the country illegally," said New Orleans Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino.

Lacombe-Area Man Fatally Shot by Deputies

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's deputies, attempting to take a man into protective custody, found
themselves having to use deadly force Wednesday night (September 25, 2019), shortly before 9 pm.

Deputies were dispatched to a home on Oak Cove Drive off Fish Hatchery Road in Lacombe, to serve an order of protective custody. An Order of Protective Custody (OPC) is issued by the Coroner’s Office and requires law enforcement to take a subject into protective custody so that he/she may be transported to a medical facility for evaluation and treatment. The OPC was issued by the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office after family members contacted that office with concerns their adult son would harm himself or others.

The three deputies who responded to the residence to serve the order were permitted entry into the home by family members. Once inside the residence, they made contact with the individual they were attempting to locate and take into custody. The subject was armed with a firearm. Deputies deployed a less-than-lethal tazer in an effort to subdue the subject, but it was ineffective. The man then raised his firearm, pointing it at and threatening deputies. They responded by discharging their duty weapons, fatally striking the subject.

The three deputies involved were not injured and have been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

“While it is extremely unfortunate that a life was lost, this particular incident is certainly a reminder of the dangers our deputies face on the daily basis.  Fortunately, none of our deputies were injured.”  Sheriff Randy Smith said. 

The remains of the deceased have been turned over to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office for identification and to determine cause and manner of death.

The investigation remains active and ongoing.

Obituary

Shonda Faye Williams
June 27, 1977 - September 22, 2019

Obituary

Deonna ReShea Seals
November 11, 1980 - September 24, 2019

Obituary

Maggie Mizell Corkern
July 24, 1931 - September 26, 2019

Brothers Charged in Independence Shooting

Today (September 27, 2019), the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office reported that they responded on
September 23,2019 to a to a shooting incident on Lewis Lane in Independence and found Stacey Howard (44) of Independence had been shot.

Howard identified Altavian Baldwin (18) and his brother Alton Baldwin, III (20) as being responsible for the incident. On September 25, 2019, the Baldwin brothers were taken into custody and charged with Attempted Second Degree Murder of Stacey Howard.

Slidell Man Guilty of Murder In Drug Overdose Death

District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that a St. Tammany Parish jury found Joseph Laue (39)
of Slidell guilty Thursday (September 26, 2019) of second degree murder, distribution of heroin, possession with the intent to distribute heroin and possession of Suboxone. Laue faces mandatory life imprisonment when he is sentenced October 9, 2019 by District Judge Martin Coady.

On August 25, 2015, officers responded to the scene of a drug overdose in Slidell and discovered that Albert Morant (24) had died of a heroin overdose. An investigation by the Slidell Police Department determined that Morant had purchased the heroin from Laue and that Laue was dealing heroin in his neighborhood with regularity. Laue admitted to being a middle man, making trips to New Orleans to provide heroin for his customers in Slidell.

Morant’s family members were present for the duration of the week-long trial and were pleased with the verdict. They said they hope the awareness of this case can save the life of another person who is struggling with an addiction and also serve as a warning for drug dealers who exploit and profit from those addicted to heroin.

The case was investigated by the Slidell Police Department’s Narcotics Division and was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Holly McGinness and Michael Cochran.

Obituary

Troy Wilson, Sr.
May 18, 1958 - September 24, 2019

Obituary

Gary Donise Harry
November 10, 1958 - September 23, 2019

Washington Parish Jail Bookings September 24-26, 2019

Randall Urbanski was booked on the charges of Convicted Felon in Possession of Firearm, Possession of Firearm With Obliterated Serial Number, Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule II Drugs, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Born Smith was booked on the charges of Failure to Appear, Aggravated Assault With a Vehicle on an Officer, Aggravated Flight From an Officer, and Obstruction of Justice
Joseph Heard was booked on the charges of Simple Assault and Telephone Harassment/Obscene

Man Found Guilty Of Setting Cars On Fire In Covington

District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that a St. Tammany Parish jury found Shane Perez (38)
of Marrero guilty Wednesday (September 25, 2019) of Aggravated Arson. The charge usually carries a penalty of six to 20 years in prison but, due to his prior criminal history, the defendant is facing up to forty (40) years in prison when he is sentenced by District Judge Scott Gardner. The defendant has prior convictions for burglary, domestic abuse of a child, driving while intoxicated, and several batteries. The case was tried by Assistant District Attorneys Casey Dieck and Roy Burns, III.

In the early morning hours of September 21, 2017, the victim, her two daughters and her boyfriend awoke to the sound of a car alarm going off outside her Covington home. When the boyfriend went outside to investigate, he discovered that both his and the victim’s vehicles were in flames. The victim called emergency services and the residents evacuated the home as the flames spread from the completely destroyed vehicles to the home.

When law enforcement arrived at the scene, the victim informed them that Perez, her ex-boyfriend, had spent a week harassing her and had threatened to burn her and her boyfriend’s vehicles. These threats included several text messages, 147 calls, and 40 voicemails. Investigators were able to establish that Perez’s vehicle was in the area at the time of the arson and he was arrested the following day, September 22, 2019.

During the trial, the defense argued that the presence of the defendant near the site of the arson and his threats to burn the vehicles was a coincidence. “Mr. Perez, were you struck by lightning too?” Dieck asked the defendant in her closing arguments.

The jury voted unanimously on the guilty verdict after little over an hour of deliberation. The case was investigated by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Video: Bogalusa AARP Chapter 4032 Candidate Forum

The segment featuring the La. State Senate District 12 and La. State House of Representatives  District 75 candidates begin at 12:00 into the video

The segment featuring the Washington Parish President candidates begin at 57:00 into the video.

The segment featuring the Washington Parish Sheriff candidates begin at 1:17:40 into the video.

AP Top Stories September 27, 2019 AM

Today in History for September 27th

September 25, 2019

TPSO Mounted Division Rodeo is This Weekend

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office Mounted Division Rodeo is THIS WEEKEND (September 27
and 28) at the Florida Parishes Arena,1301 NW Central Avenue in Amite. Events start at 7:30 pm on both Friday and Saturday. Admission is $12, children 12 & under is $8.

Events include Bareback Bronc Riding, Break-Away Roping, Bull Riding, Cowgirl Barrel Racing, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, and Team Roping.

Ponchatoula: Example of Drug Overdoses Becoming Common

Ponchatoula Police Department Chief Layrisson reports a string of three overdoses last night
(September 24, 2019).

The first call was at 6:23 pm about a male who was unconscious and in need of medical attention at the Kiwanis Park. Ponchatoula Police Officers arrived as well as the Ponchatoula Fire Department and Acadian Ambulance. The male was administered a dose of Narcan, regained consciousness, and was transported to North Oaks Medical Center. Numerous drug paraphernalia was located at the scene. The female that was with the male subject was arrested for two Failure to Appear warrants and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

The second call was at  6:43 pm about a female who had possibly overdosed in the Walmart restroom. Ponchatoula Fire Department and Acadian were on scene administering aid to the unconscious female and then transported her to North Oaks Medical Center. The male that was accompanying her was seen throwing narcotics on the ground and was arrested for Possession of Schedule I Drugs and transported to the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.

The third call was at 7:52 pm about a female who overdosed. Ponchatoula Police Department officers, Ponchatoula Fire Department, and Acadian Ambulance were dispatched to President Hoover Street. The female was pronounced deceased by Acadian Personnel.

Obituary

Tina Evelyn Norsworthy
October 31, 1929 - September 23, 2019

Bogalusa Police Department & ATF Arrest Suspected Gang Members

The Bogalusa Police Department, with assistance from the ATF New Orleans Field Division, today (September 25, 2019) announced that four suspected gang members were arrested in a series of raids around Bogalusa, as part of a coordinated execution of multiple search and arrest warrants by an ATF Special Response Team (SRT) and officers from the BPD.
Arrested were Billy Porter, Derrick Mark, Christopher Harris, Jonzarrion Harris, and Trevion Harris. A fifth suspect, already in custody in the Washington Parish Jail on unrelated state charges, is also being charged today in connection with this operation. A sixth suspected gang member, Demariquiez Harris (pictured at right), is wanted on federal and state charges, and a search for him is underway.  All are from Bogalusa.

During the early morning raids, ATF New Orleans gents seized a handgun, ammunition, marijuana, and ecstasy.

The arrests came as part of a joint federal-local law enforcement action targeting the Snatcha street gang after authorities on Monday, September 23, 2019 released federal indictments that charged six suspects with narcotics and firearms offenses.

The Snatcha gang reportedly has about a dozen members or associates controlling a large section of the southern portion of the City of Bogalusa to distribute illegal narcotics, conduct armed robberies and burglaries, and sell stolen firearms to commit violent crimes. 2019 has been especially dangerous for the citizens of Bogalusa, as members of the Snatcha Gang carried out multiple crimes, and some gang members are suspects in several shootings over the past several months.

Bogalusa Police Chief Kendall A. Bullen stated in a press release that the men are part of the "Snatcha Gang", that has been an ongoing problem to the City of Bogalusa over the past several years. Two of the suspects are reportedly convicted felons, career criminals, and one has already served 20 years in prison for murder.

"Over the past year, the Bogalusa Police Department has developed an outstanding working relationship with the ATF," stated Chief Bullen. "The assistance of the ATF has been a difference maker in fighting crime in the City, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to make Bogalusa safer. Investigations of this nature will continue."

Special agents from ATF New Orleans Field Division provided substantial support in the investigation since November 2018. Since that time, ATF agents recovered 15 illegal firearms, cocaine, and more than one kilo of methamphetamine.

The Bogalusa Police Department and the ATF are continuing this investigation.

Breast Cancer Awareness Event in Bogalusa


Today in History for September 25th

AP Top Stories September 25, 2019 AM

September 24, 2019

Washington Parish Sheriff Candidates at Forum

La. State Senate District 12 Candidates at Forum

Obituary

Nancy Ault Benoit
November 13, 1951 - September 21, 2019

Obituary

Charles Henry Mitchell
September 24, 1960 - September 23, 2019

La. State Representative District 74 Candidates at Forum

Fake $100 Bills in Franklinton?

The Franklinton Police Department has received reports of fake $100.00 bills being passed at businesses in Franklinton. These are movie props and are marked as "Replica" on the back and front. The paper also does not feel the same as a normal $100.00 bill. Please beware when accepting cash.

Immediate Opening – Experienced Heavy Equipment Mechanic

Washington Parish Government
909 Pearl Street
Franklinton, LA

Immediate Opening – Experienced Heavy Equipment Mechanic
Full time position offering competitive salary, including a complete benefit package.
Must have knowledge and skill set as described below:
• Ability and knowledge to perform all types of maintenance and repairs on tractors, graders, loaders, paving equipment, bush hogs, medium and heavy-duty trucks and pickup trucks.
• Ability to work independently, efficiently.
• Ability to communicate tactfully and effectively.
• High School Diploma or GED; Automotive certifications welcomed
• 2-5 years mechanic experience preferred.
Salary negotiable dependent on experience, certifications and skill set. Full benefits offered, including
health, dental, vision and life insurance, retirement, annual and sick leave.
Apply in person only at: Washington Parish Government Administrative Office
Brad Toney, Fleet Manager
909 Pearl Street
Franklinton, LA

Tangipahoa Parish: Missing Man Found Dead- Murder Suspect Sought

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards reported yesterday (Monday, September 23, 2019) that on Saturday (September 21,2019), TPSO received a missing persons report on Cedric Baldwin (38) of Independence, LA. Baldwin was last seen or heard from on Tuesday, September 17, 2019.

TPSO soon learned that Baldwin's burned vehicle was located by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office in a wooded area off of Louisiana Highway 442. Investigators also learned that Baldwin was said to have been last seen in the company of Michael Ray “Mitch” Moore (41) of Independence. Continued investigation developed the son of Moore, Jermichael Grayer (18) as a potential person of interest to obtain information related to Baldwin's disappearance.

Jermichael Grayer was currently in custody at the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on an unrelated weapons charge and was interviewed by TPSO detectives. Grayer stated that he was present when Baldwin was fatally shot and accused his father, Michael R. Moore, of taking Baldwin's life. Investigations further revealed that Grayer and Moore allegedly traveled to St. Helena Parish where Grayer and Moore are said to have disposed of Baldwin’s body. After disposing of Baldwin’s body, Grayer and Moore traveled from St. Helena Parish to the location in Livingston Parish where the vehicle was set fire.

At 3:00 p.m. on Monday (September 23, 2019), with the assistance of Grayer, the TPSO located and recovered Baldwin's body in St.Helena Parish. St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office and the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab were present and in charge of processing the crime scene.

Jermichael Grayer has been charged with obstruction of justice and principal to second degree murder. Detectives have obtained and issued an arrest warrant for Michael Ray “Mitch” Moore, for second degree murder. At this time, Moore has not been located and should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information related to this investigation, or as to the location of Michael Ray “Mitch” Moore is encouraged to contact 911 or the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office at 985.345.6150.

Suspect Sought in Fatal Hammond Shooting

Around 2:30 pm yesterday (Monday, September 23, 2019), Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office
deputies responded to a shooting incident on Dillon Lane in Hammond and discovered two individuals had been shot and transported to North Oaks Hospital by private vehicles.

J. T. Douglas (29) was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. Travis Walker (37) was admitted in the hospital and is being treated for a gunshot wound. His injuries are listed as severe but he is expected to survive. 

Late last night, detectives identified Cornelius Beauchamp (51) of Klein Rd. as the alleged shooting suspect. Beauchamp is being accused of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.  Warrants have been obtained and issued for his arrest.

Anyone with information on Beauchamp's whereabouts is urged to contact the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office at (985) 747-9696 or Tangi Crime Stoppers at 1-800-554 JAIL (5245).

Obituary

William Rivers, Jr.
December 13, 1960 - September 22, 2019

Washington Parish Jail Bookings September 23, 2019

Alesha Shamberger was booked In From Court
Clarence Jackson was booked on the charge of Failure to Comply With Provisions of Supervised Release
Billy Boyette was booked on the charge of Failure to Appear
Jeremy Jenkins was booked on the charge of Domestic Abuse Battery/Strangulation
Levern Ezell was booked on the charges of Hit and Run, Careless Operation, Obstruction of Highway, Improper Equipment, Driving Under Suspension, Expired License Plate, and Open Container in Vehicle
Natoria Moses was booked on the charges of Illegal Discharge/Use of Weapon, Aggravated Assault With a Firearm, and Failure to Appear
Austin Pierre was booked on the charges of Aggravated Domestic Abuse Assault, Domestic Abuse/Strangulation, and Domestic Abuse Battery/Strangulation
Otrevious Gatlin was booked on the charges of Improper Turn/Accident, Driving Under Suspension, Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule 1 Drugs, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Today in History for September 24th

September 23, 2019

Political Forum in Franklinton on September 21, 2019

Mt. Hermon Web TV recorded a political forum on Saturday, September 21, 2019 in Franklinton,
Louisiana. Candidates for the offices of State Senate District 12, State Representative Districts 74 and 75, Washington Parish Sheriff, and Washington Parish President were present. Our intention was to make the video available to the residents.

Very few people were present for the forum. Of the perhaps 50 who were present, most were candidates or family members of the candidates. Therefore, the forum's benefit to voters would be from viewing video of the forum.

The majority of the forum was positive messaging and the candidates are congratulated for that.  However, the forum consisted, in part, of negative comments and tone that is not consistent with our policy of relaying or reporting political messaging. As the political season approached earlier this year, we published an “Editor's Note” (click here to read) that we would decline unverified or unverifiable negative advertising. While the forum recording is not advertising, it is political messaging.

We have made a decision to not make the forum recording available. The decision is consistent with our policy and constitutes the exercise of editorial control and judgment guaranteed by the First Amendment of a free press.

Bogalusa Strong Meeting is Tomorrow - Join In!

The presentation for Bogalusa Strong's September meeting is “Get Moving, Be Healthy Opportunities: How Moving In Our Community Is Changing!”

How we move in our city is changing! Our parks are being revitalized with new equipment, seniors are being more active, our streets are soon gonna look different, wheels are rolling down our streets, paint is going everywhere, walking with friends, doctors and neighbors just got easier, community leaders are putting on their sneakers and tutus are trotting.

Come join us and learn more about these opportunities......what's coming next!   Invite community members and organizations to join our efforts. Look forward to seeing you there!

Special thanks to the Bogalusa Rotary Club for hosting the Bogalusa Strong Monthly Meetings and Golden Pear for our meal.

What is Bogalusa Strong?
Bogalusa Strong is a collaboration of community members, leaders, businesses and organizations working together to improve quality of life by promoting physical, social, and environmental health. Supported by Mayor Wendy Perrette, the Mayor’s Wellness Council, Our Lady of Angels Hospital, LSU AgCenter, and the Louisiana Department of Health Well-Ahead Louisiana, Bogalusa Strong works to empower a vision for a healthier community. Bogalusa Strong meets the 4th Tuesday of each month at 12:00 p.m. at the Bogalusa Country Club. 

If you have questions please contact Derek Covert at derek.covert@fmolhs.org or 985-730-6707.

Washington Parish Jail Bookings September 22, 2019

Patrick Brewer was booked on the charges of Domestic Abuse Battery, Bank Fraud, and Exploitation of the Infirm
Tommy Alsobrooks was booked on the charges of Failure to Appear, Sexual Battery, Domestic Abuse Battery, and Domestic Abuse/Child Endangerment
Delester Mingo was booked on the charges of Cruelty to a Juvenile(s) and Failure to Pay Fine
Pokeyto Peters was booked In From Court

Today in History for September 23rd

September 22, 2019

Arrest Made in Hammond Fatal Shooting

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards today (September 22, 2019) reported the arrest of Tyrius
Young (22) of Hammond early yesterday morning (September 21, 2019) on the charge of manslaughter, following a shooting incident on Rogers Road in Hammond, Louisiana.

Shortly before midnight on Friday (September 20, 2019), while deputies were working a security detail in the Emergency Room at North Oaks Medical Center, they encountered two subjects suffering from gunshot wounds. While investigating the incident, Tyrius Young told deputies that he was involved in a physical altercation with one of the subjects, Adrius “AJ” Warren (19) of Independence, when a handgun he was holding accidentally discharged as he was being punched by Warren and Warren was shot in the chest. Young's mother, who was present at the scene of the altercation, was also accidentally struck in the hip by stray gunfire. Both gunshot victims were transported to the medical facility by friends or family members.

Warren was immediately rushed into the operating room but succumbed to his injuries shortly after 1:00 am. Young's mother was treated and released.

The investigation remains active and on-going.

Suspect Identified in Mandeville Police Officer Shooting Death

Shortly after 2:00 pm on September 20, 2019, the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigation was
requested by the Mandeville Police Department to investigate a shooting incident involving their officers. The incident took the life of Mandeville Police Department Captain Vincent “Vinny” Liberto, Jr.  and resulted in non-life threatening injuries to a second officer.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the incident occurred as a Mandeville Police Department Officer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle. As the driver refused to stop, a pursuit ensued along U.S. 190 in Mandeville. During the course of the pursuit, the suspect’s vehicle crashed into the ditch along the U.S. 190 southbound off ramp to LA 22. As the incident unfolded, both Mandeville Police Department officers were shot by the suspect.

The suspect, identified as 21 year old Mark Spicer of Covington, has been charged with one count each of First Degree Murder of a Police Officer, Attempted First Degree Murder of a Police Officer, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, and Possession of Stolen Property (firearm). A passenger in the suspect’s vehicle sustained minor injuries in the crash. The investigation remains active and ongoing and no further information is available at this time.

Click to read previous related story "Video Report: One Mandeville Police Officer Dead, Another Injured in Shooting" and click here to read another previous and related story "Mandeville Police Department Statement on Fallen Officer"

Washington Parish Jail Bookings September 21, 2019

Ryan Jones was booked on the charges of Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property, Disturbing the Peace/Drunkenness, Open Container in Vehicle, and Leaving Scene of Accident
Austin Jenkins was booked In From Court
Ashey Bergeron was booked on the charges of Driving While Intoxicated (3rd Offense), Diving With Suspended License Due to Previous DWI or Other, Careless Operation, and License Plate Improper Display

Today in History for September 22nd

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.